Notes from the past…


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Why do I blog about my genealogy?

Beyond the obvious benefit of it being a great way to document my research, it’s also a great way to meet new “cousins”!

Since began this blog 4 years ago, I have met several “cousins” online. These people have seen my posts about my different ancestors and recognized something in particular (be it a name or a location or maybe a family story) and have contacted me. This is a wonderful addition to traditional research efforts! As I am always willing to share my data (what’s the point of doing it if it’s not to be shared?), my new cousins usually are happy to “share and share alike”.

Case in point: the image of my grandfather that I posted for this past Wordless Wednesday was received from a cousin I met online. Prior to this very nice lady contacting me, I had no photos of my grandfather at all, and I don’t believe my Dad had any, either. One of those unfortunate situations when someone is cut out of the will for no apparent reason, but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of worms, as my grandmother loves to say. Anyway, this photo brought tears to my Dad’s eyes. I am so very grateful to my cousin for sharing her data with me!

Yesterday, I got a comment on that Wordless Wednesday post from a lady who might be related to William Earl Hall, my mysterious great-grandfather. How exciting! So I immediately sent an email back to her and when I got home from work last night and checked my email, I found a long and detailed message from her. :) :) :)

A busy day ahead!

And… HAPPY HALLOWEEN, everyone!!!


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Daily Journal 30 Oct 2009: an online wiki anyway

Yesterday I posted about my plan to upload my TiddlyWiki research notebook to my hosted site. I even found digestible instructions and everything. (You like that word?) Well, as usually happens when something sounds to good to be true, it was. In spite of those tasty directions, I couldn’t get my little wiki uploaded. Not to my site, that is.

But it is online, hosted at TiddlySpot for free. I still have complete control and can edit my notebook online or locally and sync the two as needed. I even created another page here that links to my wiki. Click on the Wiki page to check it out. All the info is there for anyone to see, but only I can edit it, as a password is required. I could also make it private if I preferred.

I also completed my great-grandfather William Earl Hall’s files. Didn’t take long, as I have almost no data on him. A 1910 census entry, a 1906 marriage license, and his name on both my grandfather’s and my great-uncle’s delayed birth certificates, that’s it. He was the first of my great-grandmother’s 6 husbands and is believed to have died in a railroad accident ca 1917 (?). As I did my routine cursory search that I do as I examine each ancestor’s file, I did locate a possible 1900 census for him, but there is no way to know if this person is really my William Hall:

  • Born about Mar 1885 (my William ca 1887)
  • Born in Kansas (my William in Kansas)
  • Living in Indian Territory, now present-day Oklahoma (my William married my great-grandmother in Indian Territory, OK)
  • This William’s parents’ names are unreadable (smudged!) on the census page and the names of his brothers and sisters don’t ring a bell (not carried down to descendants’ names that I can tell)

So is this my William? Who knows… it would explain why my great-grandparents were married in Indian Territory, OK even thought they lived in north Texas and why my great-grandmother frequently dressed in full Indian garb (according to my Dad). There is an Indian connection, at least. I have never been able to prove that my great-grandmother Dovie McBurnett was actually a Native American and I have researched the McBurnetts back several generations with no mention of it. Perhaps her “Indian blood” was by marriage?

I’ll keep that census sheet in William’s file, but at this time I haven’t added it to my RootsMagic database.

I also posted my Follow Friday entry for Lifehacker.com. A great site, definitely check it out!


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Follow Friday: Lifehacker.com

While not specifically a genealogy site, Lifehacker.com has a lot to offer the family historian. To be found at this site are software reviews, the majority of which are freeware programs or open-source software, tips and tuts for computer use written in plain English and their “Best of” series, a reader-driven poll of the best programs in particular categories. New or established web sites are also examined, with lots of “how-to” thrown in for extra flavor. The site is easily searcheable and results are graded according to relevance.

A quick search for the term “genealogy” returns 10 hits, such as:

Looking for a good image-editing program that doesn’t cost your first-born male child? Of the 510 hits, you might want to check out Free Online Image-Editing, or maybe GIMP Tricks Everyone Should Know.

In need of something to keep your research notes close and secure? Enter the term “note taking software” into the search box and you see these links:

As you can see, Lifehacker covers a lot of ground. I subscribe to the RSS feed, which makes it quite easy to keep up with the latest in online-research-open-source-freeware-software-image-editors-gallery-web-site-reviews-anything-and-everything-related-to-genealogy-family-history-news!

Take a stroll over to Lifehacker and enjoy!