This Week's 48 Hour Ephemera Challenge
Who were Mr. and Mrs. George Koehler and their son Earle? Whatever became of them after this photo was taken? What happened to them before this photo was taken? Did Earle marry? What was George's occupation? What was Mrs. George Koehler's name? Can we find their stories? Can we put them back into history where they belong?
In 48 hours?
There's only one way to find out.
Come join us in the 48 Hour Ephemera Challenge Forum this weekend. No experience necessary. Watch, participate, whatever...
And? You've just been ephemerally challenged.
Texas Hill Country
Because this week's Who Do You Think Are? is a rerun of the Martin Sheen episode [the first episode of the season], there will be no Spreecast tonight. Plus? My kids are on Spring Break, and we are in the Texas Hill Country where, btw, many German Immigrants settled when they came to Texas. Lots of historical stuff and German food. I'm right at home. [You didn't think I'd pick a place to vacation with no historical stuff, did you?] The Wifi is "spotty" and I don't think the Spreecast would have worked well.
Anywho, if you missed the first episode with Martin Sheen, then I highly recommend watching it. Excellent episode.
I'm SO excited and honored to be a Blogger of Honor for the Houston Family History Expo! I finally have a conference that's in my backyard. No airline tickets to buy. No hotel reservations to worry about it.
The Houston Family History Expo will be next month, April 6th-7th, and will be held at the Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport
9100 Gulf Freeway in Houston, Texas.
Of course, I'll be interviewing some folks ~ both vendors and speakers ~ on the fly with my iPhone. But? Which sessions should I attend? I dunno. I need to mull things over and make a tentative list of must-sees to see what I can fit into my scheduled duties as a Blogger of Honor.
So, are y'all coming on down here for some Texas-sized genealogy? Will I see you there?
And my local non-genealogy folks who I've connected with online, this Expo is a great chance to learn how to research your family's history.
To see what you can find.
To find some family stories.
To start preserving them for the future.
What will be the legacy you leave behind for those who come after you?
Come to the Houston Family History Expo April 6-7th and find out.
For more information, please visit the Family History Expo website for more information and to register.
Disclosure Note: I am a Blogger of Honor for the Houston Family History Expo. In this official capacity my duties include:
On the Road Again
I'm always interested in the topic of transportation. How could I not be? My father ran a very successful truck and trailer company that had a parts department, sales department, service department, and paint and body shop. His company served as a support system to the truck and trailer industry. Dad's company kept other companies on the road. In fact, I remember one year where his slogan [which he put EVERYWHERE] was "On the Road Again". You know, like the song by Willie Nelson, "On the Road Again"?
Of course, he had to get permission from Willie to use the title of his song on all his advertising and to play the song for radio and t.v. commercials. [Yes, we had t.v. commercials. My cousin on my Dad's side did those.] And you'd think that would've been hard to get Willie on the phone and to ask him. I can still hear my Dad tell that story.
"It was easy. I put in a few calls. He called me back, and said, 'Sure.'"
Nothing was signed. Nothing was official. But? This was Willie Nelson. On the phone. And we never got sued. Of course, years later I was riding in the passenger seat while Dad was driving, and we were listening to the news. And they were talking about Willie Nelson's income tax woes. Basically, he hadn't been paying his taxes, and he owed them quite a bit in back taxes and penalties.
"Guess that's why he never had us pay to use his song and title. He was passing on the savings. Bet he's regretting that now." *snort*
Finding More of the Peeps' Stories
Likewise, I'm always particularly interested in how our ancestors made their living. And I always perk up when I find one that's involved in transportation in one way or another. I have a 2nd great grandfather, Daniel Rook Vaughan, whose maternal uncle, James Rook, was a teamster. That couldn't have been an easy job back in 1860. They'd be dirty and grimy. They'd be constantly exposed to the elements. But what an integral part of life! They'd be moving cargo and people from one point to another in a time where there wasn't many other alternatives.
But another one of my peeps that I'm fond of was Clayborne Leander Bouquet. He was a railway messenger for Wells Fargo and for the company that would become American Express. I call him a 'peep' because he isn't an ancestor of mine, but he married my great-grandmother's sister, Genevieve. And while Clayborne [whose name ROCKS, btw] didn't drive a team, or in this case wasn't a railway engineer, he was the person that protected everything and everyone on that train and did so by risking his own life. He did this for years on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border. Maybe he wasn't as dirty and grimy as James, the teamster, but it couldn't have been easy to keep the peace on those trains and to be so far away from Genevieve and his 2 girls.
While researching him, I found that Clayborne and Genevieve eventually divorced, and Clayborne eventually pursued [quite naturally] a law enforcement position where he could stay at home. All of which leads me to one of my interests in the 1940 US Census. [Yes, I know. Finally.] When did Clayborne give up the 'rails' for a more 'still' life? When did he and Genevieve divorce? In the 1930 US Census, it's recorded that Clayborne had risen up the ranks to Chief Messenger, and he was still married to Genevieve. That's where I lose his story, and I don't pick his trail back up until the late 1950s when he passes away.
Tracking ol' Clayborne down in the 1940 US Census will hopefully nail down a few things for me about his and Genevieve's stories.
Support is Always Needed
But? When the 1940 US census is released, it won't be indexed, and that's where you can help. Join the 1940 US Census project and sign up to be a 1940 Census indexer. Being an indexer is one of those support jobs, like my Dad's company was. The more people who sign up to index, the quicker it will get done. And the quicker it gets done, the more researchers will be back on the the road again hunting down all those family stories.
On the road again
Just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again
~1st chorus of On the Road Again by Willie Nelson
Okay, it's taken me a while to get this all together. Since my last post, Problems with Evernote and Genealogy?, I purchased Family Tree Maker 2012. It has quite a few of the capabilities that I want when it comes to supporting me and my online research workflow. While it does have a way to extract data from sites and merge to a person on my tree, it doesn't have a way to clip a whole webpage nor does it have a way to annotate on top of the webpage. Sometimes I want to do this. However, it does have a place for a description that stays attached to the image. So that's a plus. [And I'll go over more of that feature in my next tutorial.]
This tutorial goes through the motions as if I was not able to add a description to the image. This method works well if you use genealogy database software or if you don't. Unlike, Evernote, it has a few more annotation features and when you save the file, it saves it as an image file that is compatible with your genealogy database software.
So, here's the tutorial. Yes, I said, 'Um..." and "So" a lot. But? At least I did the tutorial. So. I'll work on that. =) To see everything in detail, you need to click on the full screen icon in the bottom right hand side of the video box thingy. [Technical jargon *snort*]
If unable to watch this tutorial here, then click on the link below to watch it on YouTube:
Note: I am an affiliate of Ancestry.com. I am not being paid to use their software, and I only purchased FTM2012 recently because it comes the closest to supporting the way I actually do online and offline genealogy research. Being an affiliate of Ancestry.com does not mean this post is biased. Don't worry. I'll be posting what I'd like to be different on it as well. This blog post is my honest opinion of the software. If you are interested in purchasing the software and you choose to do so by a link on my website, then I will receive a small referral commission. But? Please only buy the software that you think will support how you actually research online and offline. FTM2012 may not be the software for you. And that's okay. For more information please visit my Disclosure Page.
Tonight is Jerome Bettis on Who Do You Think You Are? on NBC at 7pm CST. Come join us on my Spreecast as we watch it together and talk during commercials or chat in the chat room. Be on video if you want. We start at 6:45pm CST and end promptly at 8pm. This way we don't tweet our thoughts/spoilers for the other time zones.
Here's the preview for tonight's show:
Who are you?
[Warning: this is a rather long post. If you're looking to skim a post, this isn't it.]
Okay. It's taken me all week to research and verify this. First of all, let me state that there are many ways researchers search online, and however you are doing it is the right way if it works for you.
Also? If you're using Evernote as part of your research workflow and you're happy with the way you're doing things, then it's the right way.
And neither a Conclusion-Based Database Software User nor an Evidenced-Based Database Software User is wrong. They're just different, and that's okay. [Information on those terms: Randy Seaver's Are You an Evidence-Based or a Conclusion-Based Genealogist? and from Russ Worthington's When to enter data into your Genealogy Software? ]
And if you're an all-paper researcher, an all-digital researcher, or somewhere in between, that's okay too.
And whether you started researching 30 years ago when it was all paper all the time or whether you started yesterday on Ancestry.com on your laptop and you own an iPad, and/or iPhone or if you are somewhere in between, well, that's okay too.
Me? I'm a New Age Genealogist doing New Age Genealogy.
Why doesn't Evernote work with my Online Research Workflow?
[I don't know. I didn't make the darn thing. But here goes...] Well, let's say today is THE day. I'm surfing the internet because I have a 3-day weekend holiday, and I'm not stopping until I find the genealogy data that I need to help me with my brick wall problem or to give me a clue as to where to look offline. And guess what? Today turns out awesome. I'm on a roll. I'm finding 'stuff' left and right. I've got multiple tabs open on my browser for Google Search, Bing, Geneabloggers.com [to search surnames on all the genea-blogs], Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, GenealogyBank.com, Footnote.com, Genforum.com, Rootsweb.com, USGenWeb.org, and whatever else I could think of. And? I'm web-clipping, saving URLs, and writing lots of notes and citation information in Evernote. And that's just the first day.
After a 3-hour cat nap at my desk, I wake up and continue the hunt. Then towards the middle of my 3-day genealogy research binge, the thought crosses my mind that maybe I should start transferring this info to my genealogy database [because I'm Evidence-Based]. Besides, shouldn't I be using the tools for analysis in my genealogy database software that I paid good money for?
But, alas! After much googling and forum stalking I find the following unsatisfactory options for my situation:
By now, I'm thinking, "Why did everyone say to use Evernote for genealogy research? I can't easily do anything that I want to with the data I find and save. It's backed up all right. And locked up, too.
So, what do I do?
With everything given above, I have a particular online research workflow that is not supported easily [if at all] by Evernote. Check out the cool flowchart I made below. Be nice. I haven't made one since I took Computer Math in high school to avoid taking typing. Yes, the joke was on me when I made that decision. Computer Math is HARD.]
So, what tech do I use to help me collect data, annotate it if I want [which can't be done very well in Evernote], AND be able to save it in a type of file [like PDF or JPG] that's compatible with my online and/or offline software? [Greedy much? Not really considering the tech is out there.]
My solution is to use a Firefox browser add-on called Fireshot where I can capture all or part of the screen or web page, if I want to, then I annotate it with colors, shapes, text, and lines [Oh my!]; and then I save it to my Dropbox file located on my hard drive. It then automatically syncs to the cloud. Like magic. And the beauty is that it is saved as a JPG and since I use Ancestry.com as my online tree database, you can see the document on the person and the fact or clue it supports [whereas if it was a PDF for what they call a 'story' it's a link to be read in a PDF reader.] Also? I have Dropbox on my iPhone. Handy.]
If I'm on a site like FamilySearch.org where it allows me to save a document like a death certificate AND I don't want to annotate it, then I save it in my Dropbox file on my hard drive and it automatically saves to the cloud. Like magic. However, the beauty of taking a screenshot of it is that it captures info like the title of the collection and the name, FamilySearch.org, so that all I have to add [annotate] is the date accessed and the URL address. All of which makes creating the citation later much easier and streamlined. [But that's just me.]
One thing to note is that if you're going to annotate a document, it would be best if you took 2 screenshots. One of which you just saved. Keep it clean. And the second you mark up with notes, etc.
Last thoughts. Sorta.
My workflow is not wrong. And if you do it differently than me, it's not wrong either. We're just different. There are some out there who do it very similar to me, or would like to. Therefore, I thought I'd explain how I do it. Plus? If you are wanting to do it similar to the way I do it, I thought I'd warn you about Evernote. It's all fine and dandy if you want to fill up the file cabinet [which is what Evernote is likened to], but it doesn't play well if you want to relocate your data out of the file cabinet. That's important if you collect data and then move it elsewhere in the same manner that I do.
Now, that's not to say that I don't use Evernote. I use it for collecting data that I'm going to write about for articles and blogging. Well, I did use it until my husband's company offered MSOffice Professional Plus 2010 for $10 to us. And? It came with OneNote. I absolutely adore OneNote because it supports the way I actually research online and produces files in .doc and pdf and that makes me happy. Therefore, I don't actually do the above process unless I want a JPG [an image], which sometimes I do. What can I say? I like options. However, the above process is good for those who cannot afford MSOffice with OneNote. [OneNote also has an app for my iPhone.]
But? It comes down to these questions:
What's your online workflow? What tech are you using? Does it work for you? Any questions about mine? Let me know in comments below.
New Age Genealogist
Area near where my 2nd Grt Grandfather's farm was on Galveston Island, TX.
Many of us have done it. Many more will. And last week on Who Do You Think Are? Reba did it. And in the upcoming episode this Friday, Jerome Bettis will do it.
What am I talking about? Walking where our ancestors walked trying to put ourselves in their shoes to see and feel the world of the past. It's a moving experience to try to get closer to our ancestors. And? It makes for good storytelling whether we're writing about our family history in a blog or whether we're watching someone on TV go through the experience.
Below are 2 episodes from Who Do You Think You Are?. The first is a deleted scene from Reba's episode where she tours a replica of the ship her 6th great grandfather sailed on as a 9yo indentured servant in 1698. In her episode, Reba exhibits characteristics of a natural family history detective. She's always asking questions, especially, "Why?" And in this scene it's no different. Also? Her emotional response to the tour is palpable. Take a look at the scene, "Standing on the Deck of the Past":
If unable to watch the video here, here's a link to the video on NBC:
Something tells me that Reba will continue her family history searching. How can I tell? I can see it in her eyes. She's been bit by the genealogy bug. She won't have a choice. Like us.
And? The next video is a scene from this next Friday night's episode with Jerome Bettis! And in this scene, you can tell how moved Jerome is by walking on the land where his ancestors had lived. Take a look at the scene, "Walking in the Footsteps of the Past":
If unable to watch the video here, here's a link to the video on NBC:
And whether you stand on a deck or walk in the footsteps, it's a moving and humbling experience to try to get closer to your ancestors. I've done both. I've walked a deck of a ship that one of my husband's great uncles served on in World War II. I've also walked the land on Galveston Island that was once farm land owned by a Prussian immigrant who also was my great grandfather, John Marschall. Both times I was extremely moved, and you know what? I did feel closer to both of them as well as to their pasts. I felt like I understood their stories a lot better. So, if you get the chance, do it.
And? This Friday night I will be hosting another Spreecast on my channel where we watch Who Do You Think Are? together. We start 15 minutes before the show starts [6:45pm CST on NBC] and we discuss the show at commercials. So please join us. It's very casual. You don't have to be on camera although I wholeheartedly welcome you to do so if you want. And if you don't want to be on video, there's a chat room where we continue the discussion. We end promptly at 8pm CST for those who want to join Geneabloggers Blog Talk Radio.