GeneaBloggers 2010 Winter Games: Week 1

Well, I was off to a strong start, but then life, the day job and client research got in the way (still not clear if any of the client work I’m doing can be counted towards the medals or not…). So, there really hasn’t been a change in my medal status since I last reported in: two bronzes and one silver. We’ll see if I can make some more progress over the weekend…

2010 GeneaBloggers Winter Games: Day 3

I went back to work today for the first time in more than a week thanks to the Blizzards of 2010. It’s not quite 9 p.m. as I type this, but I’m already bleary-eyed after work, my commute, volunteering and genealogy research.

But, I did manage to comment on a new-to-me blog post and that means I advance to a silver medal in Reach Out & Perform Acts of Genealogical Kindness category of the 2010 GeneaBloggers Winter Games. Woohoo!

The post that inspired me to comment was this gem at the GeneaBlogie blog.

That puts my medal standings at two bronzes and one silver.

52 Weeks to a Better Genealogy: Google Maps

Here’s this week’s challenge from Amy at We Tree:

“Play with Google Maps. This is a helpful tool for determining the locations of addresses in your family history. Where your ancestral homestead once stood may now be a warehouse, a parking lot or a field. Perhaps the house is still there. When you input addresses in Google Maps, don’t forget to use the Satellite View and Street View options for perspectives that put you were right there where your ancestors once stood. If you’ve used this tool before, take sometime and play with it again. Push all the buttons, click all the links and devise new ways it can help with your personal genealogy research. If you have a genealogy blog, write about your experiences with Google Maps, or suggest similar easy (and free) tools that have helped in your own research.”

I decided to look up the address my paternal grandfather listed on his WWI draft registration card. The address is in Northwest Washington, D.C. By looking at the various views on Google Maps, I was able to determine that he lived near the National Zoo:

And that the location is now nestled between a bank and a Verizon Wireless store:

Google Maps states that a management company (with some pretty negative reviews) currently is housed at the address, but there’s a For Rent sign in the window on Street View.

My grandfather was a physician and it’s likely that his practice was housed in this building as well, especially since it appears to be a mixed use area. I know that the family used to live on the premises because I have other documents, including a letter written by my father as a teenager, bearing the address.

What I want to know is if some of the photos I have of my dad were taken at this address, including his ever-popular Rick Astley shot, which would have been taken around the time the family lived at this address. Has the neighborhood changed that much or was this photo taken at a different location?

Folks who like this kind of task may get a kick out of the Historical Aerials web site. It’s not comprehensive, but you may luck out and be able to see what your ancestral locations looked like from the air decades ago. I was able to find a view of the above street corner from 1963.

[This post constitutes Task A in the Expand Your Knowledge Event of the GeneaBloggers 2010 Winter Games and earns me a bronze medal!]

2010 GeneaBloggers Winter Games: Day 2

I didn’t manage to compete in very many categories today in the 2010 GeneaBloggers Winter Games. It was more of a housework olympiad for me.

However, if citations for client research count toward the Go Back and Cite Your Sources event, then I’m well on my way to a bronze after thoroughly citing nine sources for a client project.

For now, my medal count remains the same as yesterday: 3 bronze medals.

2010 GeneaBloggers Winter Games: Day 1

I’ve earned three bronze medals today in the 2010 GeneaBloggers Winter Games.

In the Expand Your Knowledge Event, I completed Week 7′s task in the 52 Weeks to a Better Genealogy series, which I will post on Monday.

In the Write, Write, Write event, I pre-wrote three blog posts for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I’m going to start working on a fourth (Part III in my What I Did During the Blizzards of 2010 series) shortly.

In the Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness event, I posted photos to FindAGrave.com.

Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games: Opening Ceremonies

Today marks the start of the 2010 Olympic Games — everyone knows that. But it’s also the start of the GeneaBloggers Games for Winter 2010 as well.

And so, I give you my flag:

I had a more heritage-inspired flag, but it ranked up there among the world’s ugliest. It was really busy. No, seriously. I’m sparing your eyesight by not posting it. It had cross-sections of the flags for Ireland and Germany interspersed with cross-sections of the state flags of Maryland, Virginia and Texas. All of this nestled under the header of my blog. Biz-ee.

I couldn’t do that to you, my readers, and so instead I opted for the more understated and pleasing to the eye upper-left-corner of my blog header, which I noticed at the eleventh hour just happens to be flag-shaped. Perfect!

So, what else can you expect from the Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games? Here’s a rundown of the events:

1. Go Back and Cite Your Sources
2. Back Up Your Data
3. Organize Your Research
4. Expand Your Knowledge
5. Write, Write, Write!
6. Reach Out and Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness

Full details available here. Let the games begin!