Monday, June 20, 2011

Kevin's Story, Part 11, Graduation

Not mine, not a family history graduate, my son graduated from high school this week.  Time keeps ticking along.  It seems like yesterday that he was graduating from Kindergarten.  Amazing how his sister ten years older than he would be teaching the little ones in the same room that he attended only twelve years ago.  Things have changed.  Maggie stepped into the building as a five year old and stepped out of the same building twelve years later as a high school graduate in 1948, Kevin started Kindergarten in Maine, finished Kindergarten in Wilmington California on the other side of the Country.  First grade was in Connecticut, second grade Vallejo, California. Twelve years twelve schools?  Not that bad, maybe nine schools.  It wasn’t easy keeping our children in the same schools for twelve years.

Why couldn’t they teach me how to remember family history in school.  I learned algebra, and trig.  Why not teach the importance of family history.  In the seventh grade (Junior High School when I attended, where did the term middle school come from?  I digress) In the seventh grade they should have a class, Family History 101, that teaches you how to interview your grandparents.  In the eight grade, Family History 201, how to interview your parents.  If only I would have asked a few questions.

My first gift to you, if I can figure out how to attach it, “In The Life Of”.  Get out the video camera and have your kids ask grandma and grandpa a few questions.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BillionGraves: Tips & Tricks

BillionGraves: Tips & Tricks: "Today some of us went to out to test the Android app and some updates to the iPhone app (both are looking sharp, and it shouldn’t be too muc..."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kevins Story, Part 10,

Family history with the help of a little green leaf and some of the other tools available on I started to put the family together.  This is the dilemma, do you jump on each suggestion blind because you want to add names to the family or do you want the history in your family tree to be accurate?  This is where I’m going to pause and start the Lessons Learned section.  Because it is with this drive to add family members, that we get a little carried away.

Lesson Learned #1; Lie!  I know, mama told you not to lie, and daddy told you that if you lied he would take his belt off.  In fact my Mom would say, “you’ll never be to tall to stand up to my chair and broom young man.”  Let me explain.  If you run into a brick wall and can’t find anything out about where that family member came from or their parents, take a guess.  Put the guess in and see what happens.  Is there leaf now?  If you get suggestions, follow that and see what happens.  Let me explain.  If your great grand father was Felix Sigler and you can’t find any other family members, guess that his father’s name is Phelix Sigler, or Filex Sigler, F Sigler.  Run your search and see if anything pops up.  If it does, then see if you can find census records or something else that confirms your guess.  Since we are talking of census records, take a look at anyone else with the same last name.  If they were born within 10 or 20 years of each other, assume they were siblings.  Lie and put them into your family tree and see if you can make a match now.  Confirm the lies.  If it doesn’t work out, make sure to remove those lies, so it doesn’t confuse the next researcher.

We have to be careful when we follow the green leaf.  One small error can put you in the Queen of England’s family.  Can you imagine the back taxes you might owe?  Verify your work.  So much information is being added every day.  If you run into a brick wall, don’t give up.  Make a list of those family members that you would like to do more work on.  When you need something to do, start at the top of your list and see if anything has changed.  Any green leaves now?  

To be continued . . .

Friday, June 3, 2011

Photo’s, The Dummies Guide, Part 1

What better way to save your family history than to include photo's of your ancestors on that family tree.  If you have a just a few photo’s now, you will probably have a lot of photo’s later.  Find a way to organize your work now.  It will save you from duplicating and wasting your time.

What do you want to do with your photo’s?  Are you going to store them, share them with family members, post them on the Internet for all to see?  Maybe you want to create a memorial slide show for a family member that is no longer with us.  How about your grandma’s 85 birthday party?

Is the quality of your photo good enough?  If you are going to share them on the Internet then maybe they are fine.  What size should the picture be?  Many questions.  Some basic answers will follow.  Most important, I am not a photographer.  If you want the best then consult a pro.  I will try to bring you up to speed to help you with your genealogy work.  Anything past that you should do some additional study.

I love to work on photo’s and use a few programs to help me.  If that’s not your interest, I suggest you get help from someone that loves to.  I suggest you talk to Lisa at  Take a look at her website and see what is possible.  Lisa is passionate about working with her photo’s and will take the same care with yours.  If you think it is impossible, contact Lisa.
Most importantly.  Backup your work.  Have a backup plan and stick to it.  If you are going to digitize your pictures, make sure a copy of the work is protected and stored at a different place than the original.

To Be Continued . . . .

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

BillionGraves: Launching

BillionGraves: Launching "As we here at launch our website and release its integrated iPhone app, I wanted to give you an insider look at what we d..."