Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Happy Dance

The theme for the 65th Carnival of Genealogy: "The Happy Dance. The Joy of Genealogy. Almost everyone has experienced it. Tell us about the first time, or the last time, or the best time. What event, what document, what special find has caused you to stand up and cheer, to go crazy with joy?
One occasion I recall was when I received my maternal grandmother's "Official Personnel Folder" from the US Government. She had worked for the Post Office from 1921-1936. My maternal grandfather's OPF contained 50 pages of material from his career. My grandmother's 3. Her signed Oath of Office taken in 1921 was nice, but it's not my only copy of her signature. The document entitled "Report of Separation" didn't have a lot of useful information. It noted that her 'last date of pay' was Jan 21, 1937 - which was a fun coincidence since it was exactly 32 years before I was born.

It was the third document that caused the Happy Dance

A year by year accounting of her career, including her name changes in 1927 and 1929. At that point in my research, from letters she had saved from her father, I knew she had been planning to marry someone named Dale in 1927. I also knew from my mother that there had been one or two husbands prior to my grandfather. But we had no last name. After opening the package, I instantly called my mother to give her the information, which I then passed along to an aunt in an email.

Another happy dance occurred upon my discovery of testimony my maternal Hartley ancestors gave in front of the American Dawes Commission - backing up the family story that we have Choctaw ancestry.

On my paternal ancestry, I'd have to include my discovery that my second great grandfather Selig Feinstein had received a patent for improvements to a fire hydrant. At this point in my research this was confusing because I thought his career was limited to real estate and laundry. A week later I discovered he spent ten years as a shoer/blacksmith.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Black Swan Fallacy

The Black Swan Fallacy is taught in college logic courses. "I've never seen a black swan," the logic goes, "so black swans don't exist."

The logic is obviously absurd. No one has the opportunity to personally examine the color of every swan on the planet. That doesn't stop us from accidentally falling into this logical trap. We may be very familiar with American swans, for example, and think our experience is sufficient. But black swans actually exist in Australia, if not elsewhere.

There are also people who are very adamant that no two snowflakes look alike, or that there's no such thing as an honest politician. Science tells us the truth about snowflakes. Though I fear the existence of an honest politician is an element of faith one must either have, or not have.

In genealogy we run across this fallacy when one assumes that their search for a particular document has been exhaustive, and thus, the document doesn't exist.

For example, you may find two marriage documents for the same individual, but be unable to find record of an intervening divorce. That doesn't necessarily mean the individual was a bigamist. Before the 20th century divorces were uncommon, and in some places illegal, but even in the 20th century, one doesn't have to file divorce papers in the same county/state where one was married.

Sometimes an ancestor's residence is fairly stationary, narrowing options. However, other ancestors were more mobile. Some might decide that verifying whether everything was legal isn't vital, and focus on other research.

The Genealogical Proof Standard includes a "reasonably exhaustive search." Though we must remember reasonably exhaustive will still miss records. And truly exhaustive is next to impossible. If my maternal grandmother, Myrtle Van Every, hadn't saved a copy of her divorce proceedings, I doubt I would ever have discovered where and when she had married her second husband, Dale Ridgely. They were married and divorced in San Francisco, CA over a period of five months in 1927. There wasn't a single St. Louis City Directory my grandmother missed from 1921-1929. At some point the California marriage records might get indexed on some online database, but I'd have had no reason to look.

Around the Genea-Web

This is by no means a complete list, but here are several blog articles I found poignant, entertaining, or informational in the past few weeks:

When You Assume at 24-7 Family History Circle.

Tri-Racial Isolate: A Hidden Ancestry at Desktop Genealogist Unplugged

Building for Others at Gtownma's Genealogy. (The poem included is The Bridge Builder by Will Allen Dromgoole

How Will the Economy Affect Genealogy at GeneaMusings

The Burrough Family:Poignant Story Told in Stone
at Hill Country of Monroe County

And while not genealogically related, the writer and poet in me enjoyed
Literary Follies: Lipogrammatic Writing
at Hill Country of Monroe County. For those seeking unusual writing restraints, I recommend the Table of Forms at Spineless Books.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

64th Edition of Carnival of Genealogy

The 64th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been Posted by CreativeGene with 31 submissions of Winter Photo Essays.
The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: "The Happy Dance. The Joy of Genealogy. Almost everyone has experienced it. Tell us about the first time, or the last time, or the best time. What event, what document, what special find has caused you to stand up and cheer, to go crazy with joy? If you haven't ever done the Happy Dance, tell us what you think it would take for you to do so." The deadline for submissions is Feb. 1st. More information.
Themes for the upcoming editions for most of 2009 have already been decided and can be seen in advance on the left sidebar of CreativeGene's blog. (Some editions are still open for volunteers to host.)

Smile for the Camera 9th Edition Posted

The 9th Edition of Smile for the Camera has been posted.

I count 47 bloggers who are seeking assistance in identifying individuals in photographs. And as usual, The footnoteMaven has done an amazing job introducing each one.

For February:
The word prompt for the 10th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Costume? No, not as in Halloween. Costume as in dress in general; especially the distinctive style of dress of a people, class, or period. Show us that picture that you found with your family collection or purchased that shows the costumes of the rich to the not so rich, from the civil war to the psychedelic sixties. I know you have them, so share. Admission is free with every photograph!
Deadline for submission is February 10th at midnight PT

More Information

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The St. Louis "Snow Event" of 1982

The topic for the 64th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: A Winter Photo Essay. Show us those wintertime photo(s) of your ancestors or family members and tell us the story that goes along with them. Winter is here! Let's record it and celebrate it!

The word 'winter' and 'snow' quickly bring to my mind the year 1982.

On January 30th and 31st 1982, a 1-in-70 year snow event occurred from the eastern Ozarks to central Illinois with the heaviest axis of snow blanketing St. Louis, Missouri. The snow began during the evening of January 30th, a Saturday, and ended during the afternoon of Sunday, January 31st.

The National Weather Service explains, despite what St. Louisans almost universally call it, it wasn't technically a blizzard. But not calling it a blizzard is sort of like not calling Pluto a planet. If you look at the map above, the purple section in the middle is St. Louis, and the key shows that close to two feet of snow fell. I was 13, and remember the weekend well. According to the National Weather Service linked to above:

The storm was not well forecast by the National Weather Service, private meteorologists, local television and radio meteorologists, nor local university meteorologists. The consensus the night before the event was for light snow to occur with a few inches of accumulation.

As you can see, 'not well forecast' is an understatement. Local TV stations were still saying 'a few inches' when residents could look out their window and easily see those few inches had been long surpassed. I remember going outside Sunday morning with a yardstick.

As a 13 year old, I was overjoyed with two feet of snow. I'm sure my parents weren't. [They were also a little concerned about its timing, and this perhaps would have concerned me too, but they were smart enough not to let me know they were concerned.] My parents called around and actually found a restaurant (the Parkmoor) that managed to be open for breakfast on Sunday morning within walking distance, and the family made our way through the fallen snow. (I have no idea how they managed it. Maybe they had enough dedicated employees within walking distance.)

I know this carnival is supposed to be a Photo Essay, but I don't have any personal photographs of the snowstorm to share. However there are some good photographs at the National Weather Service link above.

What I do have is a photograph taken one week later, on February 6th, 1982. Still winter time by all definitions. The photo was taken inside, but it is due to this event that there is no way for me to forget when the snowstorm occurred. It's also what concerned my parents - whether or not the snow would be cleared in time for my Bar Mitzvah, so delivery trucks could make it into St. Louis - trucks carrying the food and table flowers for the event. Apparently, it was close, but the roads opened up by the latter half of the week.

(Me and four grandparents. My paternal grandparents Melvin and Sissie (Feinstein) Newmark on the left, and on the right my maternal grandfather, Martin Deutsch, and his second wife, Marjorie (Shelp Helmkampf) Deutsch.)

The photograph was taken at United Hebrew Congregation. The building was sold in the late 1980s to the Missouri Historical Society, and it now houses their research library which I visited last weekend.

A final religious note: The weekly Torah portion that would have been read the weekend of January 30, 1982, preceding the snowfall, was Exodus 10:1-13:16 which describes the twelve plagues. It's possible one or two people noted this irony at the time.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Private Browsing

The ACLU's blog had a recent post on How Private is Private Browsing. While not directly related to genealogy, those who use shared computers at libraries or genealogical societies may be interested. Or, of course, if you share a computer at home and want to hide your browsing activities from family.
‘Tis the season for private browsing, or so it seems. Apple’s Safari Web browser led the pack in introducing a “private browsing mode” in 2005; in recent months, the other browsers on the market have finally followed suit, with Google’s recently-released Chrome and beta versions of Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer adding similar features.

What does “private browsing” mean, however? For the most part, these “private” modes are designed to protect your privacy only vis-a-vis other users of the same computer, whether you’re at an Internet cafe or just trying to avoid letting your partner know what you’re doing with their laptop (which earned these features the moniker “Porn Mode”). But do these “private” modes prevent Web sites from identifying you and tracking your actions? If so, how, and how effectively?
The article has a detailed answer to that question, and shows where the functionality of the browsers differ, helping you to choose which one offers the better private browsing for your needs. Of course, you may be limited to the options on the shared computer, but often libraries will have multiple browsers installed, so you will have a choice.

[Note: The ACLU blog post links to the main sites for Microsoft IE and Mozilla Firefox. I have linked directly to the pages with the beta download, since the non-beta releases don't have private browsing yet.]

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Missouri History Museum Research Library

Back on Wednesday, I mentioned that I was going to visit the Missouri History Museum on Saturday.

It was a fun experience. First time visitors are asked to read a list of procedures, which are all basic stuff. Treat the documents with care. No pens are allowed - pencils only.

Somewhat frustrating is their insistence that staff do the photocopying. I understand it. They have some fragile books, and staff are trained on how to make photocopies while doing the least damage to the books. But there were a couple photocopies made yesterday for me that weren't as good as the others, and I don't know if it was due to the condition of the book, or whether a better job could have been done. All the photocopies were of high school yearbook photos spanning the years 1917-1933 for some collateral kin. The photocopies only cost 25 cents apiece, which easily justifies the trip if you live in the vicinity.

I had also found in my search of their index a scrapbook, "St. Louis in World War II" which contains several volumes of newspaper clippings. My grandfather appeared in one article, but it was a listing of several dozen St. Louisans headed off to Red Cross training, and didn't provide any information I didn't already have. There was a similar article that mentioned a cousin of his headed for naval training.

They have several card catalogs that aren't yet in the online index. A brief search through them revealed they have a collection of obituaries, though it is a relatively recent one, as I saw no relatives who passed prior to 1980 in the catalog.

I will probably have to go back for a more in-depth search of their holdings at some point.

Friday, January 9, 2009

How Genealogy Can Determine Your Age - 2009

Back in May I showed you how Genealogy Can Determine Your Age. I indicated that the procedure would have to be altered slightly each year. So, I have done so:


This takes less than a minute. Work this out as you read.

Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!

1. How many Great-Grandparents do you have full name, date of birth, and date of death for?

Secondary spouses don't count. Only (pardon the redundancy) direct ancestors count.

2. Multiply by the number of biological parents you have, regardless of whether or not you have any information on them. (Everyone should have the same answer here. 2.)

3. Add the decimal number next to your paternal grandmother on your ahnentafel chart. (Once again, everyone should have the same number. 5.)

4. To honor the year the Roman Emperor, Claudius, adopted Nero -- Multiply it by 50

5. To honor the marriage of George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis, add 1759. [Genealogical note: George Washington may be considered by many Americans as "Father" of the nation, but he had no children, so he has no biological descendants.]

6. If you haven't had your birthday yet this year, subtract 1.

7. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number

The first digit of this is the number of great grandparents you have all that information on!

The next two numbers are:


Don't deny it!

Note: This will not work if you are at least 100 years old. (But, congratulations!) This will also have to be tweaked, just a little, in future years. Only one step will have to be changed, though. I'll leave it up to you to figure out which one.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Do you know Jack?

The word prompt for the 9th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Who Are You - I Really Want To Know? Show us that picture that you found with your family collection or purchased, but have no idea who they might be.

I have an idea who the man below is, but if I am correct, I only know his first name, which isn't much, and I'd like to know more.

(click to enlarge)

My maternal grandmother, Myrtle Van Every (1900-1951), received letters from both of her parents circa 1919-1920 consoling her on a divorce from a guy named Jack. This would have likely been her first of three marriages. I know she was married again in 1927 for about 2 months. She married my grandfather in 1936, and the third time was the charm. She was 38 years old when her first child was born.

Unfortunately, her parents didn't include Jack's surname in the consolation letters. The photographs above come from my grandmother's photo album, and while it's definitely not certain, I feel there is a strong possibility the man in the photographs is Jack. It's clear he is a 'beau' from the picture on the left, and a few others. And the date is right.

In 1919 the Van Every family lived in El Paso, TX, which borders both New and Old Mexico. They had a farm in Fort Hancock, TX. My grandmother's oldest sister, Minnie, had a farm in Old Mexico. So there are a variety of places my grandmother and Jack could easily have gotten married/divorced making the search for those records more complicated.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Missouri History Museum Research Library

I made a decision that I was going to visit the Missouri History Museum's Research Library this Saturday, so I visited their website to see what I could learn of their holdings before my trip.

[Note: This 'trip' will be a 10 minute drive for me, and the only reason I can come up with for postponing it until now is an emotional one. In the 1980s the congregation my family attended built a new synagogue and sold the one I grew up with to the Missouri History Museum, which converted it into their research library. The building could have been torn down, so I should be happy it was preserved, but I definitely have an emotional attachment to it.]

The Missouri History Museum website has a Genealogy and Local History Index, which I am certain wasn't there the last time I visited their website. The database is flexible and allows you to search by personal name, business name, street address, or by source (currently 'over 125 distinct sources' are indexed).

Images aren't provided, but you are able to request a photocopy of the indexed page - $4 if you are a member of the history museum, $5 if you are a resident of St. Louis City or County, or $7 for anyone else.

I found several items I am going to look up on Saturday. In particular, I am going to head straight for their section with high school yearbooks, as I found several hits from the 1920s and 30s in them. None direct ancestors, but several cousins.

The website also has a growing digital archive. For example, here's a 1910 prediction of 2010 downtown St. Louis (pdf).

Monday, January 5, 2009

99+ Genealogy Things Meme

The latest meme to hit the genea-blogosphere, created by the combined effort of the bloggers behind Kinexxions, Destination: Austin Family, Past Prologue, Looking4Ancestors, Geniaus, and California Genealogical Society

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (color optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

  1. Belong to a genealogical society.
  2. Researched records onsite at a court house.
  3. Transcribed records.
  4. Uploaded tombstone pictures to Find-A-Grave.
  5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents,
  6. Joined Facebook.
  7. Helped to clean up a run-down cemetery.
  8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook.
  9. Attended a genealogy conference.
  10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
  11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society.
  12. Been the editor of a genealogy society newsletter.
  13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
  14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
  15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery. (but did get lost in 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.
  20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
  22. Googled my name.
  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.
  27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
  28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
  29. Responded to messages on a message board or forum.
  30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
  31. Participated in a genealogy meme.
  32. Created family history gift items (calendars, cookbooks, etc.).
  33. Performed a record lookup for someone else.
  34. Went on a genealogy seminar cruise.
  35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
  36. Found a disturbing family secret.
  37. Told others about a disturbing family secret.
  38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
  39. Think genealogy is a passion not a hobby.
  40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person (Unclaimed Persons).
  41. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
  42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.
  43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
  44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.
  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.
  48. Translated a record from a foreign language.
  49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
  50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
  51. Used microfiche.
  52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
  53. Visited more than one LDS Family History Center.
  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.
  58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.
  59. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents. (I have 16 names...but they aren't all verified)
  60. Found an ancestor’s Social Security application.
  61. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
  62. Used Steve Morse’s One-Step searches.
  63. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
  64. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
  65. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
  66. Visited the Library of Congress.
  67. Have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower.
  68. Have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.
  69. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
  70. Became a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.
  71. Can read a church record in Latin.
  72. Have an ancestor who changed their name.
  73. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  74. Created a family website.
  75. Have more than one "genealogy" blog.
  76. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
  77. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
  78. Visited the DAR Library in Washington D.C.
  79. Borrowed a microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center.
  80. Have done indexing for Family Search Indexing or another genealogy project.
  81. Visited the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  82. Had an amazing serendipitous find of the "Psychic Roots" variety.
  83. Have an ancestor who was a Patriot in the American Revolutionary War. (collateral but not direct)
  84. Have an ancestor who was a Loyalist in the American Revolutionary War.
  85. Have both Patriot & Loyalist ancestors.
  86. Have used Border Crossing records to locate an ancestor.
  87. Use maps in my genealogy research.
  88. Have a convict ancestor who was transported from the UK.
  89. Found a bigamist amongst the ancestors.
    (bigamy not definitively proved, as divorce from first wife may have occurred. Not having found documentation doesn’t equal non-existent.)
  90. Visited the National Archives in Kew.
  91. Visited St. Catherine's House in London to find family records.
  92. Found a cousin in Australia (or other foreign country).
  93. Consistently cite my sources.
  94. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don't live in) in search of ancestors.
  95. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes.
  96. Have an ancestor who was married four times (or more). [3 times is maximum confirmed.]
  97. Made a rubbing of an ancestor’s gravestone.
  98. Organized a family reunion. (in process of organizing one.)
  99. Published a family history book (on one of my families).
  100. Learned of the death of a fairly close relative through research.
  101. Have done the genealogy happy dance.
  102. Sustained an injury doing the genealogy happy dance.
  103. Offended a family member with my research.
  104. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.

A few I will add:

  1. Have an ancestor who served in a nation's military other than your own.
  2. Transcribed letters, journal, or other writings of ancestors.
  3. Written poetry about your ancestors (if considered separate from #38)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Weekly Picks

Weekly Picks for December 27 - January 3

Lee Drew at FamHist in Full Circle or Infinite Loop writes about discovering his old data online, with the errors he had since corrected, and considers whether the internet will preserve and spread our mistakes, as well as discusses the problems of copying/stealing the work of others without verifying the information.

Baroque in Hackney has a detailed post on a descent from the poet John Milton, and if you aren't aware of what famous American personage is descended from the poet, you are likely to be surprised.

Old Picture of the Day has a photograph of some Titanic survivors on the Carpathia.

The Daily History Dose is a new blog sharing stories of a few events daily that happened on that day of the year.

Randy Seaver at Geneamusings reminds us that the World War II collection at Footnote is still available for free for a limited time.

Finally, Randy also discovered The Mom Song on YouTube, and it is awesome in its accuracy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Randy at Geneamusings asks are any other Genea-bloggers Twittering?, and receives a yes from several, including myself.

Twitter is a social networking application which asks the user "What Are You Doing?" and provides 140 characters to continually update your response. You can follow other people, and they can follow you. You can reply to other's "twitters" or "tweets" (There hasn't been universal agreement yet on which term is best) Replies can be seen by everyone, but you can also send "Direct Messages" that only the recipient can view. (Direct Messages can only be sent to people who are following your tweets.)

My first tweet was on July 27, 2007: I'm waiting for an SS-5 of an ancestor. I've been waiting for about a month, but they cashed my check a week ago. 5:03 PM Jul 27th, 2007

Other early tweets included:

Decompressing from 4 days of nonstop fun at NASFiC. Rcvd ancestor's SS-5 finally from SSA over the weekend. 9:07 PM Aug 5th, 2007

Saw Les Miserables at The MUNY tonight. Well performed all around. Several scenes were cut a bit, but it still flowed nicely. 12:33 AM Aug 16th, 2007

The problem I had with my early usage is that none of my friends were using it to my knowledge, so I was just speaking to the ether. In early January 2008 I grew tired of this and wrote: Either: 1) sleeping 2) eating 3) drinking 4) working 5) reading 6) writing 7) interacting 8) necessary bodily functions. 5:37 PM Jan 9th, 2008 [I was pretty sure that covered all the bases.]

and stopped using Twitter for several months.

Then sometime in spring of 2008 some friends started joining, and conversations started happening. Twitter asks you "What Are You Doing?" but not everyone takes that literally. Twitter has been referred to as "Microblogging" since tweets are similar to blog posts except limited to 140 characters. Twitter lends itself very well to tweets such as "I'm headed to the corner bar, see ya there!" as well as "Have you heard the one about the bishop, the priest, and the rabbit?"

Those familiar with Instant Messenger (IM), Internet Relay Chat (IRC), or the old-timers familiar with Bitnet Relay (Relay) are familiar with the conversations that take place with these applications.

Due partially to President-Elect Obama's campaign's usage of Twitter, the usage of this social networking tool has grown more quickly than some others. Non-bloggers are discovering it is much easier to come up with 140 characters. And since tweets can be sent and recieved through cell phone text messaging, it has become one way for the youth who are attached to their cell phones to communicate with their parents who are attached to their computers. (Don't ask me how to hook up Twitter to your cell phone - I don't know how.)

While several of my early tweets were related to my genealogy research, when my friends joined in I knew they were less interested about that, so I migrated towards our shared interests. Now that several genea-bloggers are creating accounts, I suspect I will start tweeting genealogy again.

Dean at Genlighten has an idea on how Twitter could be used productively by the Genealogy community.

Users should be aware that a complete history of your tweets can, by default, be read by anyone. Not just those who are in your "Followers List". By default, twitter feeds can also be read through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) on any newsreader.

Here's a link to my Twitter page; I use the pseudonym Gavroche. (The name of the mischievous gamin from the book/musical Les Miserables.) If you scroll down the page you will see an RSS link. Here's my twitter RSS feed for anyone who has a 'Newsreader' such as Bloglines or Google Reader and wishes to follow me without joining Twitter.

[I have added a 'TwitterRoll' to the sidebar on the right using the RSS feeds.]

Some may have noticed that above I use the phrase "by default." If you want only those who you approve to be able to read your twitter feed, you can click on "settings" at the top of your page, and on the bottom of the initial tab "Account" there is the option "Protect my Updates." Put a tick in the box next to that, and only those you approve will be able to read your updates, and it won't be available through RSS.

Twitter Feeds of a handful of Notable People

WilW [Wil Wheaton, former child-actor (Stand by Me, Star Trek:TNG) current author.]
levarburton [Levar Burton, actor (Roots, Reading Rainbow, Star Trek:TNG)]
WarrenEllis [Warren Ellis, author of comics and novels]
AlGore [Former Vice President. It could be him, or someone from his official website]
Scalzi [John Scalzi, author]
CraigNewmark [Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist - and not related to my knowledge.]
DaveJMatthews [Dave Matthews, Musician]
MCHammer [MC Hammer, Musician]
cst_roeper [Richard Roeper, columnist for the Chicago Sun Times]

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Year in Review in Twelve Sentences

For those who like memes, here's a fun one to consider. Now is a time for looking back on the past year. Here's a way to quickly create a brief summary of the past year on your blog. Take the first sentence from the first post of each month. You will end up with only twelve sentences. Post those twelve sentences.

I didn't have twelve months last year to do this here, but I did on my non-genealogy blog in both 2007 and 2006.

TransylvanianDutch - A Year in Review -2008

  • TransylvanianDutch is going to take a break from our usual focii to present you a Tabloid News Exclusive!
  • Names on a theme from various databases at
  • Can anybody read the occupation on the left?
  • Janice, at CowHampshire, has challenged other GeneaBloggers to post Lolcats.
  • This takes less than a minute.
  • The Carnival of Genealogy is upon us, and this is apparently "The Swimsuit Issue"
  • This is the third in a series of “Brick Wall” posts.
  • Here's a poem I discovered in a box of my maternal grandmother's.
  • I thought I could focus my attentions elsewhere, and then Tom Kemp on his GenealogyBank blog says he's a cousin to Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, and that she is descended from a Rev John Lathrop.
  • Using mitochondrial DNA, researchers are able to prove that Vikings conquered much of the British Isles.
  • The word prompt for the 7th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Oh, Baby
  • Received an email with lots of pictures of dogs with funny captions.