Update from The Hill

Just a quick post to share a link to another blog: Archaeology in Annapolis by the team of students from the University of Maryland who spent three weeks on an archaeological dig at the “Buffalo Soldier’s House” in Easton’s The Hill neighborhood. They found some great stuff!

My First Jamboree — Part 1

I just returned today from four jam-packed fun days at the Southern California Genealogical Society 2012 Jamboree. Why would a Marylander with no ancestors from Cali trek so far? Because she was jealous of all her friends who’ve attended and touted the event in years past. Plus, I’d never been to California before.

I arrived mid-morning on Thursday after a very early departure from Baltimore and tried to nap in my hotel room before hanging with my genealogy pals in the afternoon/evening. I say ‘tried’ because I wasn’t very successful due to some ambient noise in the hallway. Turns out we were sharing the hotel not only with this year’s American Idol finalists, who are on tour, but hopeful singers auditioning for The Voice 3. And they practiced. A lot. In their rooms. At all hours. Not all of them very well.

But I digress. I met up with several fellow genealogy bloggers in the lobby and bar that evening, include Denise Levinick, Amy Coffin, Thomas MacEntee, Caroline Pointer, Kimmy VonAspern, Randy Seaver, Lisa Alzo and Kathryn Doyle (hope I’m not forgetting anyone!). Kathryn and Denise had actually served as my welcoming committee as I first arrived at the hotel. We had a great time catching up, but I made an early night of it due to my lack of sleep.

I spent the next morning hanging out with a subset of the above group in the lobby of the hotel after having breakfast with Elyse Doerflinger. I also introduced myself to genealogy megastar Megan Smolenyak. I was ecstatic to run into Tonia Kendrick, whom I hadn’t seen since FGS in Knoxville in 2010. We had lunch that day and then Denise Levenick and I went to the conference registration desk to pick up our nametags and check out the exhibit hall before the first sessions of the conference. At some point during that day, I ran into Kim Cotton (or was it the day before?). I also finally got to meet Gini Webb. It’s so fun meeting folks I’ve only been in contact with over the web.

One of my favorite parts of the conference is networking with fellow genealogists, but there were sessions to attend. On Friday, I attended sessions on a genealogy case study and the impact of the Internet on genealogy. I skipped the last session of the day and instead was found in the bar with Lisa Alzo, Amy Coffin, Thomas MacEntee and many others who wandered in and out.

Carla Laemmle, on the right.

That night was one of the highlights of the conference — the Hollywood Gala. We were encouraged to dress to the nines, and many did. There were movie stars from days gone by on hand, including Carla Laemmle, who was in the cast of 1931’s Dracula. We had a lot of fun posing for a photographer while we gabbed and sipped sparkling cider.

More to come in a future post!

Social Media Makeover for Genealogy

Last year, at the Association for Independent Information Professionals conference, Mary Ellen Bates gave tips for completing a one-day marketing makeover. With a tip of the hat to her, here’s how you can apply the same principles to your social media profiles on the web to maximize exposure to those who may be looking for you (or at least looking for the same ancestors as you).

Blogging

If you’re reading this site, you know about blogs and may even have one. I’ve done a pretty thorough job of tagging my posts with the surnames that are mentioned, but other bloggers have gone a step further and created a list of the surnames they are working on all in one place. I decided to do the same and used my Ahnentafel chart as a starting point. While I was at it, I did a refresh of the about page for my blog and republished that.

One additional step I plan to take is to add my email address to all of my posts that deal with ancestors. Too often, I see folks find my blog by searching for common ancestors, but they don’t reach out to me. I want to make it as easy as possible for them to be in touch.

Facebook

I’m friends with dozens of other genealogists on Facebook and I happen to know that at least a few of them have found distant relations on this social media site. I’ve even made a few such connections myself. I don’t have my profile set up so that just anyone can see everything. You have to be friends with me to see most of the information about me. So what if a cousin is seeking me out on Facebook? Would they be able to find me?

You can see how your Facebook profile appears to others by clicking the “View As” link under the little gear icon on your profile page. That will take you to the version of your profile that the public sees. From there, I clicked on “About” to see what information was visible there. I noticed that my blog address was missing from my Contact Info box for one thing. I also noticed that I’m not taking advantage of the About You box — I’m considering listing my surnames there too.

Twitter

Twitter has been a great tool for connecting with other genealogists, but its Profile page barely allows you to list more information about yourself than you can include in a tweet. All the more reason to make sure you’re making use of all of the available fields — name, location, web site and bio. The Bio field only allows up to 160 characters. Currently, my web site field points to my business site. I added my personal blog address to the Bio field.

LinkedIn

I don’t really spend a lot of time on LinkedIn to begin with and I haven’t tried to use it as a cousin-seeking tool. I do link to most of my blog posts from LinkedIn, however, as a way of sharing my latest research. Has anyone else used LinkedIn to connect with distant relatives?

Pinterest

I recently joined Pinterest and have been using it mainly to collect recipes, but it also can be used for genealogy. I did a quick check and Google does include it in search results, so be sure to tag your pins with appropriate surnames or create boards about particular surnames, to make it easier for others to find you.

If you’re interested in searching Pinterest for your own surname(s), I recommend going to Google instead of using the Pinterest search interface. In the Google search bar, type “‘surname’ site:pinterest.com” and it will bring up just results from Pinterest, but in a list format that’s a bit easier to sort through.

So, the above are the main sites I use to connect with others. I’m sure there are similar tips for freshening up your presence on other sites. Why not take a few minutes to make sure your profiles are up to snuff?

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 1

It’s the first week of the new genealogy blog prompt series 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, and not only am I barely squeaking in a post, but I’m breaking the rules already. Here’s the prompt:

Week 1 – Blogs: Blogging is a great way for genealogists to share information with family members, potential cousins and each other. For which blog are you most thankful? Is it one of the earliest blogs you read, or a current one? What is special about the blog and why should others read it?”

I’m simply going to talk about a blog that I love and it’s not even really a genealogy blog. Streets of Salem is a treasure that I follow in Google Reader. I don’t always remember to check it (since it’s not under my Genealogy tab in Google Reader), but I’m always glad when I do.

The blog is written by a history professor in Salem, Mass. (a town that I adore from having visited several times when I lived in New England). Her posts cover just about anything (food, art, home furnishings) that she might see around town. So how does this relate to genealogy?

The blog is very thorough, delving in-depth into each topic. As a genealogist, I can appreciate that. Sometimes, she captures simply a moment in time (holiday decorations around town last month) and in others, she reveals the way a certain topic was portrayed in years gone by (see her recent Calendar Girls post).

These observations add color to the dry data we often conjure up about our ancestors using census and other records. If you have an ancestor from Salem or its surroundings, I highly recommend you check this blog often.

PS — Thank you, Amy Coffin, for this new series!

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

It’s my two-year blogiversary! Has it really been that long? This has been such a fun two years, getting to know all of the other genealogy bloggers out there, posting and learning about my family, and helping others (hopefully) with tips and projects like the Friends Album. I’m currently looking for more projects like the Friends Album about which to blog. If there is anything you’d like to see more of here at Bayside Blog, speak up in the comments below!

My 99 Genealogy Things

I found this list on Tonia Kendrick’s blog, Tonia’s Roots. I love lists (and memes!)!

Key:

Things you have already done or found – bold type

Things you would like to do or find – italics (NOTE: my blog renders itals as bold and red. Go fig.)

Things you have not done or found /don’t care to.

99 Genealogy Things

  1. Belong to a genealogical society (Not counting the national ones, I belong to the Upper Shore (Md.) Genealogical Society and the Historical Society of Talbot County. Hoping to join more societies relevant to my own ancestry — in Texas and Virginia, for example.)
  2. Joined a group on Genealogy Wise.
  3. Transcribed records.
  4. Uploaded headstone pictures to Find-A-Grave or a similar site
  5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents)
  6. Joined Facebook.
  7. Cleaned up a run-down cemetery.
  8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group.
  9. Attended a genealogy conference.
  10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
  11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society/local library’s family history group.  Would do this before attempting No. 10.
  12. Joined the National Genealogical Society.
  13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.  Not yet, but I will.
  14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
  15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
  16. Talked to dead ancestors.
  17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
  18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants. 
  19. Cold called a distant relative. (Does cold-messaging on Facebook count?)
  20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
  22. Googled my name (and those of ancestors)
  23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
  24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it. 
  25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
  26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research. I’d love to be able to do this, but haven’t found the right formula!
  27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.  Okay, I’m counting this as the same as No. 19.
  28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
  29. Responded to messages on a message board.
  30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
  31. Participated in a genealogy meme.
  32. Created family history gift items.  But I have created house history gift items!
  33. Performed a record lookup.
  34. Took a genealogy seminar cruise.
  35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space. – Ha-ha — yes, several.
  36. Found a disturbing family secret.
  37. Told others about a disturbing family secret (but not all of the secrets).
  38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
  39. Think genealogy is a passion and/or obsession not a hobby.
  40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person. I would love to do this, but need more time in the day.
  41. Taught someone else how to find their roots. Would love to teach a course someday.
  42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure. Thankfully, no.
  43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
  44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.  Thanks to dabbling in DNA!
  45. Disproved a family myth through research.
  46. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
  47. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records. Always
  48. Translated a record from a foreign language. Will need help doing this someday with German records, I’m sure.
  49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record. Not the immigrants, yet, but several native ancestors have traveled abroad and I’ve found their records.
  50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer. 
  51. Used microfiche. Just did this today!
  52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
  53. Used Google+ for genealogy.  I’m on there, but I’m not really using it…
  54. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
  55. Taught a class in genealogy.
  56. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
  57. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century. I have not, but others before me have (thank you!)
  58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century. Ditto, No. 56.
  59. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents. I wish. I’ll get there!
  60. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
  61. Have found many relevant and unexpected articles on internet to “put flesh on the bones”.
  62. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
  63. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.  Since my research business is based in an area where I have no ancestors, this happens all the time!
  64. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC. I have home field advantage on this one.
  65. Have an ancestor who came to America as an indentured servant.
  66. Have an ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 or Civil War.
  67. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
  68. Can “read” a church record in Latin.
  69. Have an ancestor who changed his/her name, just enough to be confusing.
  70. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  71. Created a family website.
  72. Have a genealogy blog.
  73. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
  74. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
  75. Done genealogy research at a court house.
  76. Borrowed microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center(s).
  77. Found an ancestor in an online newspaper archive.
  78. Have visited a NARA branch. Only the main one!
  79. Have an ancestor who served in WWI or WWII.
  80. Use maps in my genealogy research.
  81. Have a blacksheep ancestor.
  82. Found a bigamist amongst my ancestors.
  83. Attended a genealogical institute.
  84. Taken online genealogy (and local history) courses. ProGen counts, right?
  85. Consistently (document) and cite my sources.  Lesson learned!
  86. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don’t live in) in search of ancestors.
  87. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes.
  88. Have an ancestor who was married four times.
  89. Made a rubbing of an ancestor’s gravestone.
  90. Followed genealogists on Twitter. Follow me! @baysideresearch
  91. Published a family history book.
  92. Learned of a death of a fairly close family relative through research.
  93. Offended a family member with my research.  Hope not!
  94. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.
  95. Have a paid subscription to a genealogy database.
  96. Submitted articles for FamilySearch Wiki. Maybe someday…
  97. Organized a family reunion. No, but I plan to attend the 85th CORLEY family reunion in Illinois in 2012!
  98. Used Archives in countries where my ancestors originated.
  99. Converted someone new to the love of all things genealogy.  I think I’ve passed the bug on to a few.