My mom, circa 1970. Lost her 10 years ago today, but it feels like yesterday.
This week finds us at the McNamee Cemetery behind the Stadium Drive Garage. Not many people know about this spot, which looks pretty innocuous to the innocent passerby.
Recently, I attended WebSearch University in Washington, D.C. The conference is geared toward research professionals of all ilks. I attended pre-conference workshops on public records and finding business information in the “deep web” (those sites that aren’t indexed/searchable by services like Google). I learned about how to search without leaving a trace. There were sessions on Big Data, MOOCs, multimedia searches and other online resources. I was attending on behalf of the engineering company that I work for full-time, but a list of tools that I could put to use as a genealogist came to light as well. Here’s just some of what I learned:
Death Indexes Online — divided by state; online searchable death indexes and records. (Interesting side note: I found out about this resource in a session taught by a Department of Justice researcher who LOVES to use FindaGrave to search for next of kin in cases where there are assets to disperse.)
Western States — have an ancestor who lived in The West? This BYU-established resource may have marriage information for them.
GenWed — marriage records arranged by states
VitalRec.com — comprehensive database providing access to birth, marriage and death records.
Geonames.usgs.gov — this place name repository provided by the USGS can help you identify the county in which a place your ancestor lived in or frequented is located
NETROnline — find what public records are available online for a particular location
Public Records Search Directory — another resource divvied up by state and topic
Google tip — search for your ancestor by searching for “lastname firstname” AND “firstname lastname” to make sure you are finding all records (a good tip for other databases too)
Another Google note: I learned that Google disabled the use of the tilda (~) for searching back in June when it did away with almost 70 different services. At an earlier genealogy conference, I had learned to add ‘~genealogy’ to search terms on Google to help narrow results to only those that would be relevant to genealogy. According to Google, their built-in synonymizer should provide the same function, but you lose control over the search by turning it over to them. Just a word of caution.
Black Book Online — a site geared towards private investigators that may also prove useful to forensic genealogists and others trying to find living relatives
More exciting details about this historic African American neighborhood in this article!
I not going to be hard on myself, I decided. I'm simply not keeping up with my goal to journal each and every day -- it's been really difficult to fit that into my life. But I still go back and try to fill in the blanks when I do get the chance. I know that I'll enjoy reading through this album years from now and that's why I keep going.
While I did manage to get something down on paper for every day in February, I didn't actually journal each and every day. In fact, there were a couple strings of five days or more during which I completely forgot this project! Luckily, I had some tools (my calendar and Facebook timeline) to help me remember what the highlights of each day were so I could go back and add something in.
I did it! Not without some cheating, but I completely journaled the month of January for my 2013 scrapbook.
Here is what the page started out as on January 1:
And here is what it looks like now, January 31:
This was a lot of fun! The chance to reflect on my day was nice and I enjoyed finding little things to add to illustrate each day.