Notes from the past…

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To be a volunteer

By now, most of us have probably heard the sad news about the death of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness founder Bridgett Schneider over this past weekend. The RAOGK website has been down for about a month due to Bridget’s illness.

I have been a RAOGK volunteer for a few years now, although I haven’t been able to do much volunteering lately do to my work obligations. I joined RAOGK as a way to “pay it forward”, to return the help and kindness shown to me by others around the country. If I could get up tomorrow and jump in my car, just me and my laptop (and a couple of cases of Dr Pepper) and travel all over this land of ours in search of genealogical data, I would in an instant!

Unfortunately, that isn’t possible for me and probably most of you. So to get some of the documents and images I need for my research, I have used RAOGK many times, usually with exciting success! The volunteers that I have dealt with over the years have been selfless and diligent, frequently providing me with much more data that I had originally requested. Bridgett’s dedication and hard work made it all possible. She will be missed!

I hope RAOGK will soon be up and running again, but in its’ absence there are still many things that we can do to help each other. For my part, I am uploading headstone photos to Find A Grave. I joined up about 3 years ago, but really didn’t do much. About 5 years ago, I spent several weekends during the hot Texas summer inventorying and photographing headstones in 2 rural Hill County, Texas cemeteries that are the final resting places for several ancestors. I intended to upload these images to Find A Grave, but then I am an outstanding procrastinator

Today, at about 3am, I uploaded my cemetery images to Find A Grave. I couldn’t sleep, might as well get some work done. As it turns out, for one of my cemeteries, a gentleman had already added his own images. All except one. I have that image! When I took those photos several years ago, the headstone in question was broken and difficult to read, but still there. Sadly, it is now gone. I am so glad that I had taken the time to get those photographs!

Pay it forward!


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Last week’s research activities

A pretty good week with a total of 9 ancestors “processed” (research/review/update), including another murdered ancestor in San Saba, Texas! San Saba was a rough place in the late 1800s-early 1900′s. The actual murder total may be 3, but the third man needs more research. Maybe next week…:

  • Research and document my findings for
  1. Elmore Franklin Bennett
  2. Irene Bennett
  3. Sue Bennett
  4. George Bennett
  5. Earl Littlechild
  • Complete the Week 16 task for 31WBGB
  • Update both my Freepages site and WorldConnect database
  • Add 2 direct-line ancestors to my research wiki
  • If 31WBGB continues on hiatus, then I need to complete the task of adding inscriptions to the headstone photos at my 2 cemetery sites, Chatt-Jessie and Graham-Mason. Say, 25 per week.

It seems 31WBGB is suspended, so I’m taking it off my weekly list for now. I hope Tonia will start it up again soon!

Both sites have been updated, and I emailed a backup of my RootsMagic database to my Gmail account, snug in the cloud (until the next time Google forgets to pay its electric bill…).

Added 3GGF James Bennett, Sr and 2GGM Mary Lavina Bennett to my research wiki.

Inscriptions added to all headstones (22) at Graham-Mason Cemetery! This was the lesser task, as Chatt-Jessie Cemetery has over 100 headstones to update…

I also tweeked this site a bit. The Footnote icon/link needed to be changed to Fold3. I get what Fold3 means, kinda cool, but it’s still a weird name for a website. Also added a Find-A-Grave icon/link and uploaded a bunch of headstone pix to the site at 3am this morning. Couldn’t sleep, might as well get some work done… :)

Plans for next week:

  • Research and document my findings for
  1. Henry Clay Bennett
  2. John W Bennett
  3. James Bennett, Jr
  4. Albert Bennett
  5. Millie A Armstrong
  • Update both my Freepages site and WorldConnect database and email a RootsMagic backup to my Gmail account
  • Add 2 direct-line ancestors to my research wiki
  • Continue to add inscriptions to the headstone photos at Chatt-Jessie Cemetery