28 August 2007
I'm not going to say much more as Susan really says it very well and I don't need to add much. So check it out on her site, and thanks Susan for giving PERMISSION for those of us on the same team to use your illustration. I love it. She also covers, for those of you interested, how to block Ancestry.com from spidering your website in the future. It won't remove what they already have, but it will stop them in the future from stealing your hard work to charge other people to have access to it.
Others who weighed in on the situation were: Genealogue, Cow Hampshire, Kimberly Powell of About.com, Genea-Musings, Kinexxions (a great time log of how she found out and what has transpired since) and of course Ancestories, who already had some of these links to me when I got a chance to set down at the computer today.
Well as of this afternoon Ancestry.com has announced......(which I received through the grapevine).....that they will now make the collection available for Free, but members still have to register. Meaning "hehehehe we'll tease you with this free piece of cheese until you walk into our trap and still pay." I still think they are pushing the limit. At least stepping on the line, if not over it. Our sites should be available for free, they are anyway.
If they want to link to our sites that's fine with me, but they shouldn't even use our sites as a teaser to get their customers. Hell I'd love to make more money at what I do too, but I'm not sick, demented, cruel, rude and just plain unethical enough to take advantage of others and step on who ever necessary to make that almighty dollar. Hell I'd love to be able to pay my mortgage on time, but I'm not about to use others in getting that goal. It's still not good enough! If you want to help us get traffic that's fine, but not at your gain for our hard work. I believe that's where all of us have a problem with this. Heck we link to each others blog and help get each other exposure and hits on our sites because we all have something in common. "We want people to have access to information so they can find and trace their ancestors at little or no cost, preferably free." This reminds me of old cartons I've seen where the big corporate dog is stepping on the little guy and crushing them.
27 August 2007
I have been working hard to transcribe and place information on Genealogy Trails, Kootenai County, Idaho website, which I'm hosting. Only to find out today that Ancestry is spidering our websites that we offer for free and gladly put up to share with other researches to put on theirsubscription based, pay to view site! This is BS! THEY ARE CHARGING OTHER PEOPLE TO FIND OUR FREE WEBPAGES!!!!!
I friend was telling me how they were so quick to sue someone for placing one copy of a census page on their website that pertained to their research that came from Ancestry.com's database. But they think they have the right to steal our work for their paid subscription users.
Well I just needed to vent. Now I'm back to putting more information on my site and finding out a way that I can put on my site that our information is on the internet for FREE. So when our pages show up on Ancestry's subscription pages people will see they are being charged in part for information they can see for free. I'm sure they will now be charging more for this added feature too! Jerks!
26 August 2007
To me the most rewarding part of my search for my ancestor are the photos I find and that others so graciously share. When you can put a face to the name and see that they really did exist it's indescribable the way you feel.
There are several different ways you can organize and preserve your photos. You can chose one or a combination of methods.
- Scrapbooks This method is fun. It is also a great way to show off your photos and include information about the people and events in the photos. However be careful when scrapbooking to make sure that all material is acid free. Also as much as you want to do not cut your photos. What may not be important to you now may be invaluable to a genealogist in the future. Such as a car with a license plate, or a picture of the family in front of the house that 10 years later is torn down, these items can help to date a photo. If you would like to do scrapbooking you can check it out by searching the internet, there are too many sites to list, check out your arts and crafts store, photos shop, or even Wal Mart carries a good selection of scrapbooking material, though read every label to make sure it is archival safe.
- Boxes Okay I know I told you to get your photos out of the boxes, but you can still use boxes, but they just need to be organized and labeled in some fashion that will make it easy for future generations to search through and view your life. There is a large variety of boxes out there for photo storage, Clamshell boxes, crafted removable lid boxes, photo frame boxes, wooden, plastic or cardboard. It doesn't matter what style you use, what you need to make sure is that it is archival safe and organized. Now you can organize them by surname if your purpose if for mostly family research, or by events in chronological order, or a combination. Maybe you want a tab with a surname behind that tab are all pictures that pertain to that surname, but then maybe behind that you want a tab for weddings with those pictures, anniversaries, reunions, graduations, and so forth.
- Photo Albums These are the great old time favorites of most families. I'm sure some of your photos are already in a few. These are also just as great as scrapbooking, though not as decorative. However, they are still a great way to create a book with pictures and captions talking about the people in the photos so that you can share them with others. Some people find photo albums a little easier to do the scrapbooks. There are also many beautiful photo albums out there to use. Again make sure that the pages are archival safe.
What ever method you choose to use, here is what you must consider.
- Is is archival safe? I can't stress that enough. You don't want your great granddaughter to come across you wedding photo some day in an album and not be able to see your face because the photo has faded beyond recognition.
- Is it simple enough that you will continue to use it? Don't choose scrapbooking as your only method if you are only going to get one book started and then throw everything back in a boxes and give it back to the dark, dreary basement again. That doesn't serve the purpose. If you don't have a lot of time then simply choose the box method. Make tabs and then organize your photo in the boxes. Make sure to write information on the back with a soft pencil as you go.
- Will future generations be able to view and understand the people and events when you are gone? Make sure to label all photos either on the back or with a caption below it. Include name, dates, places, and events.
- Last but not least make copies and give to other family members. This way in the event something catastrophic happens to your home and contents those photos will not be lost forever. I'm sure they will be gracious enough to make copies and give back to you.
The last thing to think about is what will happen with your photos and heirlooms when you are gone. Make sure that you have a data base or a file somewhere that expresses who is to get what item when you pass away. This way there is no question to your intentions. The best method is to have a will with every precious item listed and the recipient. Then to further enforce it find a way to put that person's name on the item, or on the container it is stored in. If each generation the item is passed down to continues to do this then it will also serve as a record of each person who has owned the item.
If you have any other methods that you and your family use to preserve, label and designate the next heir of your precious heirlooms and photo please share them with us. I'm sure there are many other methods out there. What ever works for you just make sure it will preserve and be very clear for the next generation to come.
25 August 2007
The first part of your family search is gathering information. Where do I start gathering information? In your own home. Go through you attic, basement, chests, and hutches. You will want to gather up all of your photos, certificates, letters, heirlooms (or at least a list of the items), diaries, and books about your family.
Okay, now what do you do with that pill in the living room floor!!? Don't panic, but do pick a place where you can spread everything out for a few days while you work on this. Preferably where the dog won't get it, your hubby won't trip over it, and the kids won't get their sticky paws on it.
Now start separating all of that into piles. One for photos, one for letters, one for heirlooms, another for books and diaries and so forth. Now the books and diaries are the easiest, start there. These are either yours or they have been passed down in the family. What you don't want is for them to deteriorate, so you can pass them on for the next several generations. Air and sunlight are their enemy. As much as I'm sure you would love to display them on a shelf with pride, DON'T. What you need to get are some book boxes to put them in. They need to be archival safe boxes. Here is a list of websites you can visit that offer many types of archival safe products.
Check out these websites to get an idea of the types of boxes you want and will need to preserve your books. Gravity is also another enemy of books, especially heavy ones. So once you get your boxes, label them on one side so you can see what book(s) you placed in them and then lay the box flat on the shelf, not on it's end.
If this is not an option for you then what you can do won't be as good, but can help to prolong the life of you families books. Find a dark and dry room with very little dust and a moderate temperature, and put your shelf there. Then place your books on that shelf again laying flat, this will save the spin for years to come.
Now the books are out of your way. It's just a dent, but your making progress. Now lets set down and work on the family heirlooms. Some may be very large, others may be small like rings. As much as possible you want to set down at your computer and type up information that you will then attach to each family heirloom.
The information should include the first ancestor to first own it and how it was passed down in the family, and if there is any certain pattern to be followed for the future generations. The date if know when it was first purchased or given as a gift to the first ancestor, and by whom the gift was given. Also include any special story that tells if it was given for an event in that persons life or just because great grandpa cherished and loved great grandma.
Now find acid free labels to print the information on. You may want sheet size so you can cut it to whatever size is needed. Then attach it in a very inconspicuous place. For example on great grandma's oak table attach the label on the underside of the table, you may also want to put a smaller one on each of the chairs so it is understood those chairs stay with that table. But then you will have many items that do not have that kind of room or that you do not want to attach a label to such as a purse or quilt. If it is cloth you could consider making or having made an embroidered label and attach it so that it does not distract from the heirloom.
The only reason I say label each item if possible is if for some reason it is stolen or if you pass away and the rest of the family doesn't pay attention, they may see this label later and realize what they have, or someone else may find it and make an effort to reunite it with your family. But no mater if you use labels or not, you most definitely should create a data sheet of your heirlooms, listing the items, a description, who was the first ancestor, how it was passed down, the dates and places as well as the story behind each item. Then put it in a safe place, like a fire safe, make several copies and give to your children or other family member, and then just cross your fingers that nothing bad ever happens. But if God forbid you have a fire, robbery, flood or any other disaster hopefully you will be able to recover the items or at least prove to you insurance, though anything they pay you in restitution would not even compare to it's real value to you. Also include photos of each item.
Next lets tackle the pictures. Some of them you treasure and hang on your wall. I do too, but are they safe from their natural enemies, sunlight and moisture. Yes the ones on your walls are just as important to organize as the big old box from you basement. Check through these steps for each wall photo
- Get it OUT of SUNLIGHT! If you want to show off your photo then consider a low watt spot light in a darker room.
- Get the GLASS OFF the PHOTO! If you want glass over the photo to protect it from dust, flies, and scratches you can. The only safe way to do that is with a matting around the photo, or if it is in a frame you can't part with then consider taking the photo out and placing thin strips of card board between the glass and the photo, but where the frame will hide it this will put space so that the glass does not touch the photo. But be careful when removing. Move slowly because it may already be too late. If your photo has stuck to the glass, stop don't go any further. Consult a professional framer or photographer. They may or may not be able to help you depending on the damage.
- Make sure that you label the back of the photos. Use a soft pencil to write down the names of all in the photo, as well as the place and date it was taken and by whom.
- Last find a nice place as described in 1 to display your wall portraits with pride and place your spot lights on them if you choose.
Then the fun begins. But I'm going to stop here. I will continue this later. The next thing we will go over is that pile of loose photos. So for now work on your heirlooms, those books, and your wall portraits. Believe it or not this is just as important to find and preserving you family history as the hunt that will follow later, but if you don't organize first the hunt may become too daunting later.
18 August 2007
At this point I need any and all records, biographies, census, cemetery, school, military, and vital records that I can get my hands on. If you have only the records of your family, please consider sending me the information so that it can be added.
Thanks in advance for anyone who can help out!
16 August 2007
I found myself volunteering today to transcribe data and host Kootenai County, Idaho. But they need many more volunteers. Here is the Genealogy Trails Volunteer information. They need volunteers to host the states and especially to host counties. Take the time to look and see if a county you have information on or access to data is available to be hosted. Then seriously consider it.
If you are like me you do a lot of research from home on the computer. I do because I have three small children. I try to go to the library and Family History Center every Wednesday, but that's not always possible, not to mention I don't get a whole heck of a lot accomplished when I'm trying to keep the kids quiet in the library...haha! The more we can work together and make records available online, the more we can all add to the history and genealogy of our families. I truly support access to free information online.
I know there are sites that charge for their data, and I understand they are providing a valuable service, but it's not always easy for those of us living on a shoe string budget to obtain information when we have to pay for it. So if you have access to information, consider sharing it so that the stay at home mom can write the history of her family for her children to cherish for generations to come, or the adopted individual can reconnect with lost loved ones.....and the list of reasons why go on. But don't forget about yourself. Do it because it feels good and you will reap the rewards of it....I guarantee it!
14 August 2007
You can find graves to famous people as well as submit searches for your ancestors. This is also a great community. There are many volunteers on this site willing to take still photos of graves. All you have to do is make a request for a still photo.
A really unique aspect of this site that sets them apart from all the other grave search sites it that you can leave a memorial for anyone. You have flowers and other items available that you can leave and then type a little message to them. I used this feature for the ggggg grandfather of my children, Jesse Chisholm. I was able to leave a message about the wonderful man he was and flowers as well. This is just really nice when you don't live near by.
The reason I am posting about this site tonight is it ties in with my series of posts about forums. I just discovered tonight that this site has a forum. Which is great for others interested in cemeteries, their history, preservation, residence, and more. So I joined the forum tonight. I will most likely spend a lot of time there. Every since I was a child cemeteries have always fascinated me. The history that is there. The lives that were lived and lost. It was never a scary place to me, but intrigued me. I've also volunteered to do still photos for cemeteries in my area of Kootenai County, ID.
12 August 2007
She tagged me and four other to join in this Life Balance Meme. The instuctions are to answer any, all of the questions or simply share your thoughts on balancing life. The questions are:
- How do you achieve balance in your life? hmmmm good question. My family would say I don't. My parents would tell you they are afraid I am addicted to my computer, my husband for once in his life would probably agree with them on this one thing only. I'm not saying they are wrong. I do have a passion for what I do. What can I say genealogy makes me happy. If I play my cards right I might just be able to make a living at it. I can't say my life has ever been balanced. I'm a very passionate person. I never do anything half way. I always go all out, especially when it's something I'm passionate about.
- What is your biggest challenge in balancing your life? My biggest challenge in spending enough time with my children and getting the project around the house and the house cleaning done. I do spend more time with my children now then I did when I was working, but still they play with each other and with the neighborhood kids alot. However I don't let them veg out in front of the TV. But then again growing up I can't say my mother spent time doting over my brother and I either. We spent a lot of time just playing, the two of us.
- What are your priorities? First it's my family, followed by a very close second with my genealogy. I spend parts of my day making sure my house stays clean and if I have time and the energy I'll do a project like painting or organizing the house. But then nap time and at night are spent at my computer doing my genealogy. On Wednesdays I am now taking the kids with me to the library and Family History Center (at least till school starts). It's good for them to learn to go somewhere where they have to be quiet and encourage them more to enjoy books.
- How have your priorities changed over time and why? The biggest change was when our daughter was born. I became a stay at home mom. It was time to put my family first. I use to put my career in sales first. I would work all day, then come home and spend time on the computer, reading books, and finding ways to improve my skills as a sales person. I think my husband in some ways has learned to live with the fact that my passions control me more than I control them. I've really had to learn to put them in check. Especially with the genealogy. Otherwise the house and kids would be neglected completely. There have even been points that I've had to put myself in check by making a schedule only allowing myself so much time on the computer in order to get back to my family and the home. I always slide, but someone always thumps me on the head and wakes me up. It's a battle for me to stay in balance.
- What advice can you share to help all of us balance our own lives? I can say I do best when I make a schedule. When I make is a priority to put my family and home first. Of course I've got a dear wonderful husband who often reminds me when I'm sliding. It's never a pleasant moment when he does, but I know it's for the good of our whole family and I love him for it. You really need to know what is important in your life and make sure you have it at the top of your list, but it never hurts to have someone at your side that can help you realize when your life has fallen out of balance.
Wow after that I'd almost say that was also a tribute to my dear husband. It was a sore subject last week. When he was last home and off the road we of course had a day long discussion about how he was out earning a living for his family and I wasn't getting the house painted, or exactly clean and the kids (of course he was wrong on this note) were raising themselves. If that were the case my kids would be at every other neighbors house instead of all the darn kids at my house driving me crazy. I do keep my kids close, always where I can see them. But my husband was right about the house. I've not gotten back on track and getting projects done. You know it feels good when you can cross another item off your list.
Speaking of items to finish on my list I guess it's a toss up between filing that stack of bills and other papers or going out back, turning on the porch light and doing some more painting while its cool.
I'm suppose to tag five others to write about and pass along the meme. My victims are:
According to family tradition he told this story: His mother died when he was a small boy. He had an abusive Irish step-mother. As a young lad to stowed away on a wagon train headed west. By the time they discovered him it was too late to turn back and so he continued on with them and that's how he ended up in TX. Then he would add "and that's all I'm going to say about that." If he was anything like his grandson, my grandfather Albert Woolsey, I can just see that character that was stated with.
But through all the typing of record searches it suddenly hit me that my daughter was born on his birth day about 142 later. We always thought that my mother was the person of honor when our daughter was born a day before my mother's birthday and then we gave her my grandmother's (mom's mom) middle name as her middle name. But it just suddenly hit me today that William Grant "Billy" Woolsey has the honor of his ggg granddaughter being born on his birthday.
I wonder how many ancestors we can find in our lineage that we share a special day with. It's just one of those interesting things you often don't think about, but somewhere along the way you will suddenly realize that you share something more than just your heritage and genes.
09 August 2007
Then I visited the Family History Center in Hayden, ID yesterday and ran in to a great bunch of ladies. One of them suggested that if I am going to Google my ancestors I need to put there name in " " and then anything else like the wife or location outside of the quotes.
I was so excited when I got home I couldn't wait to try it. I was working on the MILLARD family, descendants of Ben MILLARD, "The Father of the Badlands" of SD. So I first tried it in searching for Ben MILLARD. It worked! I found so many articles about him! Now I'm off to try it on some of my family.
I also had a great time at the Hayden Lake Library yesterday too. Wednesday afternoon is Genealogy day at the Library. There is always a volunteer from the society there to help. I had a great time visiting and talking to others there researching even though I didn't find anything for the families I'm working on.
Now my plan it to visit the Library and probably the Family History Center in Hayden every Wednesday. Also I'll try to make it to the next society meeting on September 20th at the museum in Coeur d'Alene at 7PM.
05 August 2007
Our oldest truly enjoyed the experience with his dad and was so disappointed that they were done. I made a last minute decision, it wasn't like there was anything really keeping me at home for the day. So I asked my hubby if the Blazer would make it all the way to Lewiston. He said sure, just check the oil. So I told him that I need to go get gas, diapers (since I had left our daughter's diaper bag at home) and I'd be right back. So he pulled over to do his paper work until I got back. When I got back he refilled my oil and we were off.
It was a long hot drive from Coeur d'Alene to Lewiston. We went through the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation. I've been through there before, but it never gets old. It's just as beautiful to me as Coeur d'Alene is. All the beautiful trees and the rolling hills of wheat and hay in the mix. The little old towns along state hwy 95 have that old rustic nostalgic look to them. Though I also feel for the people there. You can tell many of them barely hold onto what they have. Then the complete opposite along the way is the Coeur d'Alene Casino that boasts of money. Standing tall, beautiful and so rich looking. It really does look so out of place out there. But I have to admit it's a fun casino. I've been there a couple times since I moved here about 10 years ago.
Then we went through Moscow, a college town. The main Idaho college is there. What can I say it's quaint and neat, but too crowded for me. I hate living in Post Falls as it is. I truly wished I could afford to live out in the middle of no where. Still not a bad looking area with it's rolling hills through out town and even out of town covered with trees and old farm houses outside of town.
After Moscow though the scenery changed. I didn't mind the rolling hills of wheat with no trees around so much. I did enjoy the cute little farm houses I saw along the way, and then there was the scattered one that you could tell a farmer was still living in but barely as you saw the barns and even the house was falling apart around them. My heart goes out to those farmers. I know some of them hold on till the bitter end. Farming is not a profession that makes you wealthy anymore, but I find that it's a life style that make those who live it so much richer in so many other ways. Someday I would like to be one of them. Of course I'd rather have cattle then fields, but either way to be out in country, living off the land, would be a treasure to me.
Anyway when we got close to Lewiston it got really ugly. There were hills, but they weren't rolling with wheat. They were dead, nothing growing, no life, just hills of dry dead weeds and dirt. Very unattractive to me. The river that ran through it though looked crisp, clean and beautiful. Before you get into Lewiston you come down off of a very steep hill. As you are coming down you can see the river snake through town and dotted along the river are large plants with vats of water. I found out later from my husband that those were the pulp plants. Not only did the area look God forsaken ugly, but the smell. Oh my the smell made my nose curl. Again I found out later that was because of the pulp plants.
Lewiston, ID though has a wonderful history to boast, and boy do they know how to brag about it. Apparently this was one of the locations that Lewis and Clark discovered on their exploration of the inland northwest in October 1805. The town wasn't founded though until 1861 during the gold rush of the area and it was named after Lewis. You can read more on the history here. Lewiston has statues and bronze figures honoring them and the Nez Perce Indians along the main highways as you enter town. As much as they have a fabulous history to boast about I still could never get over the smell and the ugly look of the area. To me the only thing beautiful was the river that ran through it.
That afternoon we finally stopped to eat after unloading the truck at the Pier 1 in Lewiston. Of course the topic of conversation for my husband and I were how rude the employees at the dock were to us. In Spokane they weren't rude, and in Coeur d'Alene they were very friendly, but in Lewiston was a different story. The gals on the dock started to give me lip as I pulled up in our Blazer beside my husbands truck there by the dock. Of course I couldn't hear what they were saying, but the looks two of them gave me said it all. If looks could kill, yikes. Apparently they were upset about us getting there late. My husband didn't appreciate the attitude so he didn't even bother to tell them that we really got stuck and delayed by some road construction in Moscow. But why explain something to jerks. Then receiving manager's response was "I hope you can get this unloaded by 3:00 because that's when my unloaders go home." So let's just say that one comment set us off on the wrong foot with them. There was nothing friendly about our interaction there. The openly sexual innuendos and teasing amongst the employees I also didn't appreciate in front of my 10 year old son. There were a couple times I asked him to go back by the Blazer and check on his brother and sister (who I could see for my self, it was just an excuse). It just shows their maturity level.
I don't know how my hubby managed it, but he talked me into staying the night. Mind you this was a spur of the moment decision for me. I didn't pack for it. I had diapers now, but no clothes, tooth brushes, combs, nothing. But I take every opportunity I can to let the kids spend more time with their dad and I know he enjoys it too, because he misses them on the road. So I got out there and washed all of our clothes that night by hand (yes my luck a small pair of sweat shorts of my husband's were in his drawer and one of his T-shirts I changed into) and hung them up to dry in the front of the cab. Talk about feeling like I was a woman in the old west again. Out there with a bucket, soapy water and rubbing our shirts to get spots out, rinsing and then wringing them out. I didn't sleep much that night. It was rather difficult to sleep two adults on a bunk made for one, our daughter was on the floor (which is nicely padded really) and the boys on the top bunk. Later polls with the kids said no one slept very well, but they were glad we did it.
The next morning we went across the street to the flying J where I got coffee (hubby being a non coffee drinker doesn't keep it on hand) and some breakfast (cookies, I didn't say it was a healthy breakfast) and chocolate milk for the kids. It was that morning that the smell of the town was the worst. You'd think in the heat of the afternoon it would have been, but no it was that morning that just yuk. I know I would never want to live there. We said goodbye to hubby and got on the road. He didn't know where they were sending him next, so he waited there. Little did I know he wouldn't be far behind us and came home for the night. He has another load to pick up in Spokane today and have to Portland by Monday morning.
It was a great experience and I'm so glad we did it. The next time he has another drop with in a few hours of home like that I may just pick up and do it again.
01 August 2007
Scrapbooking or digital scrapbooking are a great way to preserve the history we have found. So here is a new forum for you. DragonFlarie Studios is a great place to go and discuss ideas on scrapbooking. Learn to use photo shop, digital scrapbooking techniques, and if you are still the old fashion scrapbooker it's a great place for you. This forum accommodates all of us who have the desire to preserve what we have discovered about our family for future generations to cherish. Hence Heritage Makers' tag line DISCOVER*PRESERVE*CHERISH.
I've joined the forum, but I haven't had a lot of time to play around with it, but I will. So come on and join us. Let's discover all the ways we can preserve our memories. Even if you haven't discovered the memories of past generations you should still make the effort to preserve your memories for future generations to cherish. We must all start somewhere.
Don't forget you don't have to make a mess on the dinning room table to preserve your memories. If you are like Heritage Makers is a great way to use your computer to make beautiful books that will last through the generations. Visit my website at Untangled Family Roots.