Sunday, February 28, 2010

No Fleas On Amir


When I wrote the "It's My Party - And I'll Lie If I Want To" post, I did something that I was hoping would be noticed. I presented you with what is called a naked fact. Such bad form! I was hoping against hope one of my readers would catch it and call me on it. Mr. Maven said no one would notice. I love it when I'm right.

I am pleased to announce that Amir Dekel, The Abba (Dad) Blog, noticed. I wish there was a prize. Had no one found this little tidbit I would have had to write an entirely different follow-up article. Amir has redeemed us all.

The naked fact is, "Every blog year is the equivalent of six human years." Amir commented:
"They say that the Web doesn't run on human years, it runs on Web-years. Every blog year is the equivalent of six human years."

Ummm... I'm going to need a source citation for this!
I am so proud!

Researching that little tidbit was very interesting. Whatis.com defined a web year as the length of time it takes for Internet technology to evolve as much as technology in another environment might evolve in a calendar year. Early posts by old line bloggers quoted 3 months as equaling a web year, but that was in 1996 and things have sped up since then.

So I wanted to know if there was a new measuring stick. I kept researching. The author of "Manage your speed in web years," on the Business Management Daily website had the what and why of conversion. In 2006, BMD wrote:
"Ever hear of Internet time? It’s kind of like dog years: Each calendar year equals six Web years.

More organizations are realizing that they have to measure time by this new clock: New-product development speeds up from years to months. Developing new technologies accelerates from months to days. Decisions are yours to make in
hours. . .

Lesson: If you’re not six times faster than your competition, you’re in trouble. Your dog days are coming."

So there you have it. No fleas on Amir.
You have the source of my naked fact.

It's My Party - And I'll Lie If I Want To




Today Is The Eighteenth Anniversary
Of The footnoteMaven Blog



I can hear you. You're saying, "There goes Maven lying about her age again." But it's true.

They say that the Web doesn't run on human years, it runs on Web-years. Every blog year is the equivalent of six human years. That means that today footnoteMaven celebrates three human years of blogging, the equivalent of 18 web years. No wonder my hair is gray.

GeneaBlogging has changed a great deal since my first post. Today there are many more genealogists who read blogs than disparage them. Yes, there are still those who rail against the quality of our content, but their numbers are dwindling. Genealogists who blog are a fast growing segment of the genealogy population. The Genealogue's blog finder is tracking 1,556 genealogy blogs.

We blog in exciting times and I look forward to the year before us.

This year genealogy hits the masses with Faces of America on PBS, The Generations Project on BYU, and NBC's Who Do You Think You Are?

This week Family Tree Magazine recognized the GeneaBlogging community by publishing its selections for the Top 40 Genealogy Blogs.

This day, I celebrate my personal triumph of being a member of the GeneaBlogging community for three years.




As it's my party and I have the magic lamp, I'd like to make three wishes:

May I continue to blog in these interesting times

May I continue to enjoy writing, and you continue to enjoy reading what I write

May I find what I'm looking for, whatever that may be


And to those who take the time to read, enjoy, comment, and

become friends, thank you! I wouldn't be here without you

and it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Baker's Dozen - Traits Of A Family Historian


Trait

a distinguishing quality (as of personal character)

A posting of What Does It Take To Be A Successful Genealogist on the Genoom Blog and Are There Common Traits All Genealogists Share? on Elyse's Genealogy Blog prompted me to compile my list of traits.

For me, most traits are things you are born with, although they can be acquired if you are hit over the head often enough. Knowledge; citing sources, research techniques, even organization can all be learned provided you have the necessary traits.

  1. Self-Discipline - Must be a self starter and able to often work alone.
  2. Common Sense - if it looks too good to be true . . .
  3. A Logical Mind - able to make a whole pie from the pieces.
  4. Curiosity - You must love a mystery, as life is filled with them.
  5. Generosity - family history is all about giving.
  6. Tenacity - like a dog shaking a bone, never give up.
  7. Discretion - many of the things we find will require it.
  8. Luck - Hopefully "Good Luck." I'll take luck over skill any day. In my case if it weren't for "bad luck" I wouldn't have any at all.
  9. Enthusiasm - the drive to learn something new everyday. The reason you get out of bed every morning.
  10. Conscientiousness - If you say you're going to do it, do it. Even if you only say it to yourself.
  11. Humility - Don't worry. If you don't have this trait you will soon acquire it.
  12. A Keeper - both personally and professionally. All the Family Historians I know are keepers. Our families couldn't do without them.
  13. Intelligence - Be smart enough to know you don't know everything.

Want To Add Something?
See Trait No. 5

Monday, February 22, 2010

Could the Day Get Any Better?




You blog, you wonder if anyone reads, then along comes a day like today. Holy Cow!

I started the day with an email from Diane Haddad. THE Diane Haddad, Managing Editor of Family Tree Magazine. Thank you Diane for a great start to the day!

The email said:

Congratulations! Your blog was voted one of the Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy blogs!

You can see our announcement and the full list on our Genealogy Insider blog here.

You may recall we had a round of nominations and voting last fall. We’re grateful to everyone who helped spread the word about that process, and to you for your hard work in promoting the pursuit of family history.



Recall? Of course I recall.


Thank you, to all those who voted and to Family Tree Magazine. I am so very honored to be in such esteemed company; people I enjoy reading and admire greatly.

Thank you, Maureen Taylor, for the really great write up you did for all the winning bloggers. No easy task. And thank you, Maureen, for the lovely comments about the mysterious footnoteMaven. Does this make me MfM?

Thank you to the entire list of Top 40 winners. I read you, I enjoy you! The great work you do makes me a better blogger.

The winners in the All-Around were:

But quite frankly, today I feel like a cross between the Wizard of Oz and Seinfeld (Yes Kathryn, you won't like this analogy).

I've often said this blog reminds me of Seinfeld, a "blog about nothing;" focused on the minutiae of searching for those elusive ancestors and coping with the petty injustices of my efforts.

Who knew there was a category for this in the Family Tree Top 40 called All-Around.

So where does the Wizard of Oz fit into this? Well, I honestly feel like the all-seeing, all-knowing Oz just before someone pulls the drape and finds out that behind-the-curtain is nothing more than a computer, an internet connection, an office filled with stuff (lots of stuff), two dogs and a cat, and the Maven still wearing her slippers (and they're not Ruby) at ten in the morning.

So what's the best thing about GeneaBlogging? Awards? I am grateful, but no. It's the relationships; no not the kind you can chart on a family tree. It's the great friends I've made, and the generosity of spirit I've experience every day.


Thank you my friends, for reading, for commenting, for sharing,
for encouraging! I could never have done it without you!
In particular, Jasia, of Creative Gene for giving
me my start and for her continual encouragement!

Raise a glass with me to the Family Tree Top40!


P.S. The day did get better, Maureen Taylor's two new books arrived. Jackpot!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident!


91st EDITION OF THE Carnival Of Genealogy


The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:


A Tribute To Women!


- ¤ -

March is women's history month and a great time
to honor the women on our family trees.

- ¤ -

This is will be the 4th annual edition on this topic so
we're going to change it up just a bit to keep it fresh...

- ¤ -

Write a biography about a woman on your family tree
starting with a timeline of their life
.

- ¤ -

The timeline can be a separate post that you link to
from your biography (which can itself be a series of
articles) but please just submit one post to the COG.

- ¤ -

If you haven't written from a timeline before
you may find it a great learning/research experience!

- ¤ -

Since this topic will likely require more research and writing time
you'll have a full month till the deadline. There will
be no March 1st edition of the COG.

- ¤ - ¤ -

The Deadline For Submissions Is
March 15th
30 submissions accepted

- ¤ - ¤ -


Attention All COG Participants

Read Also The Changes To The COG In 2010


Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form or select the 89th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

And The iGene Goes To




footnoteMaven's 3rd ANNUAL iGENE AWARD WINNERS
~ 2009 ~





We're here on the red carpet with the footnoteMaven who has again nominated several of her 2009 Blog Posts for award consideration.

As we look down the carpet we find fM has stopped to pose for "the glam cam," hosted by Thomas MacEntee. They're discussing fM's beautiful gown and jewels. She has chosen a gossamer gown with over one million dollars in diamonds sewn into the bodice. This is a signature look for fM, last year she also wore a gown heavy with diamonds. The Bulgari jewels she wears were a gift from Maven's escort. What must his wife think? The crown we all know is as much a Maven trademark as the pince-nez glasses. This gorgeous gown was designed specifically for Maven by the Italian fashion house, Ferragamo.

She is a picture isn't she?


Maven's escort for the evening's festivities is her famous dancing partner, Samuel Langhorne Clemens. As you will remember, Maven nominated a small independent musical at the first awards, of her and her escort doing an infamous dance. Some men never learn, and it seems Mr. Clemens can not resist the Maven's charms.



Jasia of Creative Gene will again host the iGene Awards Gala in the Creative Gene Theater. This is the GeneaBlogger event of the year. Maven has progressed a little further down the carpet and is being interviewed by intrepid GeneaReporter Randy Seaver. When Randy asked what fM hopes for from this year's Awards Gala, Maven said, "That I don't fall on the way to the podium to accept my award and that I don't put my footnote in my mouth." I'll bet Randy has blogged that already.

The house lights have flickered so join the crowd inside the Creative Gene Theater and let the festivities begin.


BEST PICTURE

Best old family photo that appeared on this blog
2009


And The iGene Goes To:

Sticks And Stones Will Break My Back



What a backbreaking job to cut and stack so much wood. I love the way you solved
the mystery of the photo backdrop with another photograph; it's a good
reason to "curate" everything with care.. . .Denise - The Family Curator



Olive Suter Palmer
Born 26 December 1895 - Neligh, NE
Died 31 May 1989 - Ronan, MT

It's that huge pile of sticks that has been the cause of much discussion in my husband's family when viewing this photograph of Olive. There have been many creative guesses as to what that pile of sticks in the background might be. Then my husband's uncle delivered the photograph below. It solved the mystery. All guesses were wrong.



BEST SCREEN PLAY
The family story that would make the best movie.

And The iGene Goes To:

Auntie Em, Auntie Em

Aw, seriously, fM, I think my lips are blue at this moment. I'm sure I stopped breathing
at paragraph 3! . . .
T.K. - Before My Time



May 21, 1957
Shortly After 4pm
St. Francois County, Missouri

By the time I was ten, I had been taught to read the clouds. Reading the clouds could save your life. When the storm clouds gathered in southeastern Missouri you would find everyone in their yards, their eyes fixed on the heavens. You had to know when to take cover. There were no sirens or tornado alert systems in 1957. That tornado intuition Missourians are born with was all we had to depend on to save our lives; and sometimes even that didn't save us.

Auntie Em, Auntie Em is coming to the big screen and fM is very
pleased to announce the following Hollywood stars have been cast
in the lead roles.



BEST DOCUMENTARY
Best informational Article in 2009

And The iGene Goes to:

Wait It's A Tie!

Search Engines Can't Read Your
Mind Or Your Images


Thanks so much for this great explanation. Sometimes when I read things meant as advice they are along the lines of, “You really should be doing X.” Well, if I understood how to do X I probably WOULD be doing it! I need the step-by-step instructions that you have here and I also love to be told WHY something is important. I’ve learned so much from reading your blog – thought it was past time I told you that!!. . . DianaR - Random Relatives



tombstone of Jacob W. Huffman, Civil War veteran, Co. B, 93  Illinois Infantry, Fall City WA Cemetery
As genealogists and family historians, we blog hoping to make online connections. Connections to family, friends, and other researchers. When those connections occur it is most often attributable to the use of search engines.

Much of the valuable information contained on our blogs and websites involves photographs. Photographs of people (our ancestors), places (cemeteries and tombstones), and things (documents).

Are you getting the most contact potential from the photographs that you post? Have you optimized your images for search engines?



I've been trying to make my titles a bit more enticing as you've suggested and now I'll work on my opening sentences. I continue blogging with the hope that with much practice my writing will become easier to read and enjoy. Thank you for the advice. . . KayB - Kay B's Place



"Few good works, if any, spring fully formed in first draft."

~ Tom Jenks ~

My sentence was, "We had only been at my Grandmother's house an hour when the hearse came and took my Mother away." Short, not complex, setting a mood, making you want to know what my Mother was doing in a hearse. Was she dead?




BEST BIOGRAPHY
Best Biographical Article Written in 2009

And The iGene Goes To:

Today I Understand, I Wish I Had Then



What a powerful story! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal part of your family history. . . The Genetic Genealogist. . . The Genetic Genealogist



My Mother came from a privileged family and married into what her Mother considered abject poverty. I don't know if I could have lived my Mother's life. Moving from the excitement of Carnegie Hall to wringing the necks of chickens in a coop in nowhere Missouri.

Both she and my father had a quiet dignity. What they believed, they lived. My Mother and Father did not believe in credit or debt. If you could not pay cash for something then you couldn't afford the thing you wanted.







BEST COMEDY STORY
Which was the best funny story, poem, joke, photo, or video
that you shared on your blog in 2009?


The First Great Genea-Bloggers' Just Make Up
Some Lyrics Challenge!

And The iGene Goes To:

Stop The Music

Wow! Does that bring back memories! Of course I was but a wee itty
bit of a lad *cough*...alright, I was 7 or 8 when "Runaround Sue"
was a hit!
. . . Bill West - West In New England



With apologies to Dion and The Belmonts.

Yeah, I should have known it from the very start-a,
Great Grandma’d leave me with a broken chart-a.
A-listen people what I'm telling you-a,
I-keep a lookin’ for-a Runaround Lu.




BEST ART DIRECTION
The poster that grabbed the imagination of
the GeneaBlogging World in 2009

And The iGene Goes to:

It Seems Like Only Yesterday

Wow, what a killa tribute poster! You've done our Queen Jasia good. I'm glad I've gotten to know both of you remarkable ladies.. . . Donner Pointkouski - What's Past Is Prologue


COGB2




I humbly accept these awards on behalf of my ancestors, my fellow GeneaBloggers, and the family history and education for which we have been privileged
to be a small part.

Thank You to the Academy and particularly my ancestors for providing the material!

And Thank You Jasia for one terrific idea!



Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, the clock has run down
on the 2009 iGene Awards Gala.

Now it's off to the After Awards parties. I have a lot of GeneaBlogs to visit.

"SEE YOU AT NEXT YEAR'S AWARDS"


Academy of Genealogy and Family History (AGFH)
Founding Member


All photographs and illustrations are in the collection of the author.


Note: Be careful what you comment! You could find yourself here next year!



Put On Your Best Dress Baby!





90th EDITION OF THE COG



The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is:


iGene Awards - The Best of The Best!

Academy Awards Time
Academy of Genealogy and Family History (AGFH)
Honor Your Best Blog Posts - 2009

5 Categories

- ¤ -- ¤ -

Best Picture
Best Old Family Photo that appeared on your blog in 2009.
(Tell us which you liked best and why.)

- ¤ -

Best Screen Play

Which family story that you shared in 2009 would make the best movie?
Who would you cast as your family members?

- ¤ -


Best Documentary

Which was the best informational article you wrote about a place,
thing, or event involving your family's history in 2009?

- ¤ -

Best Biography
Which was the best biographical article you wrote in 2009?

- ¤ -

Best Comedy

Which was the best funny story, poem, joke, photo, or video
that you shared on your blog in 2009?


- ¤ - ¤ -

The Deadline For
Submissions Is
February 15, 2010



Attention All COG Participants

Read Also The Changes To The COG In 2010

Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Introductions for your articles will not be provided for you due to the volume of articles submitted. Thank you!

Also, check out Jasia's post "FAQs About The Carnival of Genealogy," for all you need to know about submitting a post. First-timers always welcome and greatly appreciated!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form or select the 90th Edition COG poster in the upper right hand corner of this page. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.




Monday, February 1, 2010

Just Shoot Me!


This is a villanelle. A poem in fixed form, consisting of a number of tercets (usually five) and a concluding quatrain. It has only two rhymes, and the first and third lines of the poem are repeated in alternate tercets and at the end of the final quatrain. It established itself in the 16th century in France. Yes, blame it on the French.

Now to make this more difficult, two of my GeneaBlogging/Twitter friends, Family Stories and Desperately Seeking Surnames have issued a challenge you will recognize within the poem. It is the result of me sticking my foot in my mouth and now choking on it.

I start each Chapter of my Family History with a vignette. This poem would take the place of the vignette used to discuss Louis Salter's many faceted job description. The original story is "In The Competent Hands of Louis Salter." To understand the poem it might be best to familiarize yourself with the story. Technically not what was called for in this Carnival, it is however, my contribution.

Louis Salter kept it together all the time. He kept it together for Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic, and as you will see in this poem?, even New York's finest. Louis Salter was my great grandfather and the Superintendent of Carnegie Hall for over thirty years. And now . . .

Looking like fools with their pants on the ground.
The Irishmen gather igniting a Carnegie altercation
Of pants on the ground, pants on the ground.

They are Sinn Fein and they plan to defiantly sound
The call to arms, a trademark of their organization.
Looking like fools with their pants on the ground.

Salter places a call to the precinct amid a background
Of groans, hisses, boos and a major distraction
Of pants on the ground, pants on the ground.

Fifteen men and women, Sinn Fein abound.
A kicking swearing mass of insurrection
Looking like fools with their pants on the ground.

"What About Ireland?" they yell spellbound,
Engaged in a choreographed rendition
Of pants on the ground, pants on the ground.

The disturbance is squelched, the Times having found
Louis Salter admirably handled the situation.
Looking like fools with their pants on the ground.
Of pants on the ground, pants on the ground.



With abject apologies to Dylan Thomas' - Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night.
The most famous example of this form in English.