Saturday, 27 Aug 2011, I had the privilege of attending the Chaparral Genealogical Society 's monthly meeting and presentation. And guess who I sat by and chatted up? Amy Coffin from The We Tree Genealogy Blog. Yeah. We're neighbors ~ sorta ~ here on the sun. [Oops. I mean, here in Texas.] And? I met her son. I think I heard a rumor a while back that perhaps he wasn't real, that perhaps she posted stock images of a boy on her blog and that she had ~ perhaps ~ made this whole "son" thing up. But? I'm here to tell you, folks, that he's real. That's right. And the rumor about his love of trains? And those train blogs? All of it's true.
And since I don't like to do anything half-way, I joined the Chaparral Genealogical Society, even before Maxine Heath's presentation about Sacajawea's son. That's right. They had me at, "Would you like some coffee and donuts?"
Seriously, though, I had a fabulous time. Next month's presentation is "Migration routes...Trails and Roads In Early America, Your Pathway to Early America" by Linda Jameson. And I think I've mentioned before about my crazy outrageous fascination with migrations. No? Well, I have this crazy outrageous fascination with migration routes. [Nodding head.] Therefore, even if they had no coffee [Gasp!] and no donuts [Gasp!], I'd be going back. [And I'd bring the coffee and donuts myself.]
[And just between you, me, and the gatepost? I would've spent a lot more than $12 for membership. They were such a welcoming group of people, and I look forward to getting to know them better. And going to lunch with them next time. Yeah. They also "do" lunch afterwards. Love it.]
Raise your hand if you like a good story. [That's what I thought.]
There's a new company and website that has recently been brought to my attention called 1000memories.com.
The company states on its website, "1000Memories is a transformative social media site dedicated to changing the way people remember and are remembered." Basically, memorial pages can be created for a loved one that give the feel of an online scrapbook with the user being able to enter in stories, photos, quotes, videos, songs, and documents ~ all in an effort to share a loved one's story.
I love the idea that their focus is on the story ~ the family story, and I love the layout of their memorial pages. I think they describe it as a "quilt" and I think they're exactly right in that description. I'm not done playing around with their website, but I am in the beginning stages of a memorial page for my infamous grandfather, Big Paw Paw. [Who else, right?] You can take a look at his memorial page here. The memorial pages are free to create and look at, and the company maintains that through the help from angel investors, they will always remain free and secure. However, they do plan to add premium features in the future.
The other cool tool that I've started playing with is their new Social Security Database Search that they just debuted on their blog this past week. When you enter the name of a loved one that has passed away, it populates an interactive map and list of all people with that name who had a social security number. Using the interactive map you can then narrow down the search by state. When you select the correct person, you can start a memorial page for this person, and it automatically starts the page for you with their name, date of birth, and date of death. I think this is a great tool especially for the beginning family history researcher. You can take a look at this feature here.
For those who have been working on their family tree for a while, the website indicates that it accepts GEDCOM's by email. I haven't tried this feature yet to see how this works, but certainly with this ability, starting memorial pages will be a lot easier for those who already have data on their ancestors.
As I mentioned previously, I have just started out using this website, but my overall impression of it is that it is a website that is perfect for those interested in sharing the story of a loved one's life story with friends and family. With its collaborative features, you can truly get the their story from different points of view. It's interface makes it very easy for a family member to share their stories, photos, etc. without feeling like they have to know a lot about the ins and outs of family history and genealogy, which means family members are more likely to share. [And that's a very good thing.]
As I work with it and develop Big Paw Paw's memorial page as well as other's pages, I will share more about it in upcoming posts. However, take a look at a video of Jonathan Good, one of the cofounders, speaking in San Francisco about 1000Memories.com's vision:
[If unable to watch video here, then watch it here: http://youtu.be/sGE4HMvDe-Q ]
[Disclosure: Other than the fact that I was contacted by the company to take a look at their site, I have no connection to 1000Memories.com.]