Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: My Great-Grandfather's Honey Wagon

Melvin Van Every, his honey wagon, and an unidentified girl, likely a daughter. Unfortunately, the photograph isn't clear enough to identify which one. Melvin's youngest daughter was 17 when they moved to El Paso, so this picture was likely taken in Caldwell County Texas.

I believe the photograph was from the collection of Myrtle Amatee Van Every Carleston (1877-1966), Melvin's sister. I received the photograph from a cousin, and I'm sharing it with her permission.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekly Genealogy Picks: Feb 17-23

Highlights from news stories and blog posts I have read in the past week that deal with my overlapping interests in Genealogy, History, Heritage, and Technology.

Research Tips
  • Philip Trauring at Blood and Frogs reports that JRI-Poland and The Polish Archives have officially signed the agreement that was announced as upcoming back in January. The details of the agreement are exciting, and I look forward to the simplifying of the record ordering process, and all the digitization.
Technology, and Blogging
  • Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics humorously points out a serious problem with the speed of advancing technology.  If we can predict we won't be using a single piece of software in 10 years that we are using today, how do we preserve data?

Other Weekly Lists
Upcoming holidays - religious and secular, national and international - for the next two weeks

Two Week Calendar
  • Feb 26 - Intercalary Days (Baha'i) [Feb 26-March 1]
  • Feb 26 - Savior's Day (Nation of Islam)
  • Feb 28 - Rare Disease Day
  • March 1 - Ancient Roman New Year
  • March 1 - National Pig Day (US)
  • March 2 - Nineteen Day Fast (Baha'i) [March 2-20]
  • March 8 - International Women's Day (Eastern Europe, Russia, former Soviet Bloc)
  • March 10 - Meatfare Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
  • March 10 - Maha Shivaratri (Hindu)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Free Art for Your Blog

One way to enliven a blog entry is with photography or artwork. Many entries on a genealogy blog will obviously be illustrated by photographs from family collections. However, sometimes we write about things for which we don't have photographs. Some bloggers are handy with a camera, or the sketchpad, but others aren’t. Those of us who find our creativity restricted to the palette of words in the dictionary soon find ourselves wondering where we can find free photography and art.

Sure, you can go to Google Images, search for keywords, download, and then use the images you find. However, while possibly tempting, most bloggers realize there are legal issues with doing this. Furthermore, we don’t want people copying and pasting our words on their websites without our permission; therefore we should show the same respect to photographers and artists.

However, there is a lot available that is free (or almost free) of copyright restrictions. Below are five good resources; there are undoubtedly others. Those with suggestions should include them in a comment to the post.

I. Flickr

A. The Commons
Flickr, the photo-sharing website, has a section they call The Commons. The Commons began in January of 2008 when The Library of Congress released about 1500 photographs from their collection to display on Flickr. Since then, The Library of Congress Flickr collection has grown to over 17,000 photographs. Several other libraries and museums have added photographs from their collections. If you search The Commons any photographs you find will be completely free of copyright restrictions. If you follow a link to the museum’s full collection on Flickr, leaving The Commons, some of those photographs may have copyright restrictions. The description of the photograph should indicate whether or not there are any restrictions.

[Note: The 1860s image on the left of the
Jefferson Barracks military post just South of St. Louis, Missouri came from the New York Public Library collection at The Commons.]

B. Creative Commons

Flickr also has a section entitled Creative Commons

Anyone is able to contribute photographs to this section. These photographs aren’t completely free of copyright restrictions, but they fall into the “almost free” category. There are six groups, each with a different combination of four requirements

Attribution: The simplest, this means to use the photograph or artwork you must provide credit. An easy way to do this is to provide a link to the individual Flickr account from which the work came.

No Derivatives: You can display the artwork or photography exactly as it appears; you can’t make any changes. (Changing the size of the photograph, as well as trimming a ‘detail’ are both derivative works. Even copying the image in photo-editing software, pasting it into a new file, and adding a caption in whitespace underneath, is still a derivative work. The image you download from Flickr must be the exact same file you upload to your website.)

Non Commercial: – You can’t use the work for commercial purposes. (While many people will think ‘commercial’ means putting the photo on the cover of your CD, or on a tshirt you sell on CafePress – if your blog has advertisements from which you make money, a court could decide your blog is commercial. Since you probably don't wish to upset the artist, I would recommend asking permission from the owner – as they should be easily contactable from their Flickr accounts.)

ShareAlike: ShareAlike means if you make a derivative work, you must distribute it under a similar Creative Commons license

With those four definitions in mind, here are the six Creative Commons categories at Flickr, each of which can be searched individually:

1) Attribution License: Only attribution is required. You can make derivatives, use it for commercial purposes, etc. Once you make changes to the work, you can redistribute your derived work under a different set of requirements.

2) Attribution No Derivs License: You must give credit, and you aren’t allowed to make any derivatives. But as long as you don't make any changes to the work, you can still use it for commercial purposes.

3) Attribution – Non Commercial – No Derivs License: The most restrictive of the categories, the photographs are still free to use on a personal, non-commercial site.

4) Attribution – Non Commercial: Derivatives are allowed.

5) Attribution – NonCommercial – ShareAlike: If you make a derivative work, you must distribute it under a similar Creative Commons license

6) Attribution – ShareAlike: Same as #5, but you may use for commercial purposes.

II. LIFE Magazine

LIFE Magazine is sharing a large portion of their historical photo collection on Google Images .

They have the images organized by decade, and images from the 1880s through the 1910s are free of copyright restrictions. Those in the 1920 category and later are restricted to “Personal – non-commercial usage.”

III. The US Government

The US Government has an index of the images available on all their websites:
Most of these images and graphics are available for use in the public domain, and they may be used and reproduced without permission or fee. However, some images may be protected by license. We strongly recommend you thoroughly read the disclaimers on each site before use. For information about obtaining seals of Federal Agencies and the United States, please see the Government Printing Office website.

Images range from insects on the US Department of Agriculture website, photographs of the Grand Canyon on the National Park Service website, to images of the lunar surface on the NASA website.

IV. Classic works of art are a great way to illustrate your entries.

Art History Resources on the Web
is a handy index to websites where you can find classic works of art that are free of copyright restriction.

Note: While artwork might be in the ‘public domain’ the photographs of the artwork might not be. If the image is the painting only, and you don’t see the frame, or the museum wall behind it, one photograph is going to be nearly identical to any other photograph, so it can be safely assumed to be in the public domain. However, once the creativity of the photographer enters into the photograph, you are on rockier grounds. And if the work of art is a sculpture, the photographer will often matter.

V. Pixabay

Pixabay is a relatively new entry into sources for free photography and artwork, but they look extremely promising. Quoting from their Terms,
"Images on Pixabay are bound to Creative Commons Deed CC0. To the extent possible under law, uploaders of Pixabay have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to these Images. You are free to adapt and use the Images for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source. Although absolutely not required, a link back to Pixabay would be nice."
There are a handful of limitations. For example: if there's a person in the image, you might need to get a 'model release' from that person to use it for commercial purposes. If there is a company trademark in the photo, you might need to get permission from that company for commercial usage. They also state you can't use the images for "unlawful or immoral purposes." The latter is somewhat difficult to define globally. What one person, locality, state, or country considers immoral, another might not. Though one immoral purpose specifically mentioned is pornography. There are other limitations mentioned in their terms, which should be read.

As one might expect, there are a lot of cat images at Pixabay
While they state you don't need to attribute your source, some bloggers may decide it is safer to do so. Anybody can set up an account at Pixabay, and start uploading photographs. Pixabay states that they attempt to screen the uploads, but there is no guarantee they are 100% successful. By linking to the image source on Pixabay, if the image was inappropriately uploaded, the original rights holder will know who to hold responsible. Here's Pixabay's recent response when asked what one should do if an original rights holder files a complaint.

Note: Pixabay has an agreement with Shutterstock. All search results will start with a handful of images that link to the Shutterstock website. Those images aren't free, but they are very easy to scroll past.

There are websites that will sell you the rights to photography, such as ShutterstockiStockPhoto, or Getty Images . However, since there are several places to find free images, unless there is a particular image at one of these sites that really strike your fancy, there is no need to use them.

With all these sources for free photography and artwork, when you don't have a photograph from your family collection for a blog entry, your entry doesn't need to be image-free.

This article is revised and updated from a 2009 post.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Weekly Genealogy Picks: Feb 10-16

Highlights from news stories and blog posts I have read in the past week that deal with my overlapping interests in Genealogy, History, Heritage, and Technology.

Research Tips
Other Weekly Lists
Upcoming holidays - religious and secular, national and international - for the next two weeks

Two Week Calendar
  • Feb 18 - George Washington's Birthday (US) [Federal holiday]
  • Feb 20 - World Day of Social Justice (International)
  • Feb 21 - International Mother Language Day
  • Feb 23 - Purim (Jewish) [Sunset Feb 23 - Sunset Feb 24]
  • Feb 26 - Intercalary Days (Baha'i) [Feb 26-March 1]
  • Feb 26 - Savior's Day (Nation of Islam)
  • Feb 28 - Rare Disease Day
  • March 1 - Ancient Roman New Year
  • March 1 - National Pig Day (US)
  • March 2 - Nineteen Day Fast (Baha'i) [March 2-20]

Thursday, February 14, 2013


CAPTCHA is an ancronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart

A Turing Test - named after Alan Turing - is a test of a machine's ability to simulate a human. A test to tell computers and humans apart.

[Obviously, the CHA part of the acronym is redundant and repetitive. Apparently those who coined the term wanted to add half of a dance step to it.]

Some people refer to a CAPTCHA as a "Reverse Turing test," since it is a computer program providing a test to a human (or another computer program). You're probably very familiar with CAPTCHAs. And you probably hate them.

Above is the CAPTCHA form you will find on blogs using the Blogger software. Often they are a lot more difficult to read than the sample above. I have been blogging since 2002, and up until November of 2012 I avoided installing a CAPTCHA. Here's a 2005 post on my non-genealogy blog explaining my anathema. (At that time I used a blogging system called MovableType. A week later I switched to Blogger. In February of 2006 I switched to WordPress. When I created this separate genealogy blog, though, I chose Blogger. MovableType still exists, maybe someday I will experiment with it again. Or try something else.)

Where was I? In November of 2012, on this blog, I was getting enough spam in my moderation queue on a daily basis I felt it was taking too much time to delete it all. I discovered Blogger's CAPTCHA had an audio option for the visually impaired, overcoming one of my major complaints about CAPTCHA in 2005. So I added the CAPTCHA, and that solved the problem instantly. For me. I'm sure it created problems for some of my readers. Most of you were kind enough not to say anything. (I do have an email address posted, even if you found yourself unable to leave comments.) However, I have received some comments recently almost begging me to remove the CAPTCHA.

I decided to test removing it, and see how much spam I received. November might have been a temporary fluke. For a few days the CAPTCHA hasn't been there. I have been getting some spam, but not nearly as much as I was getting in November. I can handle it at this level.

Some other bloggers recommended to me that I remove the "Anonymous" option in my comments. It is true that all the spam I receive in my moderation queue was/is anonymous (Back in November, and Today). However, I feel the Anonymous option is essential, at least for me.

Here is what the "Choose an Identity" portion of my blog's comment screen appears like currently:
For someone who doesn't own a Google Account, and has no clue what OpenID even means, much less how to use it, the only two choices are Name/URL and Anonymous.  If I could, I would remove just the Anonymous option. But on Blogger, removing "Anonymous" also removes "Name/URL."

There are many many many internet users who would look at that, scratch their head in consternation, and probably curse a little. CAPTCHAs might be irritating, but in my estimation this would result in greater confusion and annoyance. I want to scare away as few distant cousins as possible.

So What Happens if Your Spam Increases Again?
Will the CAPTCHA return?
Maybe not.

I've been investigating several other options.

1) Leave Blogger

WordPress allows for a lot greater flexibility in Spam Control. Their Akismet plug-in is exceptionally good at catching spam. I'm surprised Blogger isn't as good, as Google's Gmail is also exceptional. If the Akismet plug-in started to fail, there are some plug-ins with significantly more benign CAPTCHAs. Honeypots and Checkboxes are my current favorites.

A Honeypot Captcha inserts an invisible input box into the comment form; that is, it is invisible to humans. The spambots will see the box, and fill it in. The biggest problem with honeypots is that many people use automatic scripts on their browsers to fill in forms. Those scripts see the honeypots too.

Checkboxes, as the name suggests, inserts a simple checkbox asking if you're human. The spambots aren't (currently) expecting this. I suspect as checkbox CAPTCHAs become more common, the spambots will become smarter.

I prefer Blogger's user interface, but this is a possibility. There are other blogging systems I might investigate. My website host offers easy installation of either B2Evolution or Nucleus - neither of which I am familiar with. I'd appreciate insight from anyone who has used either of them. 

2) Install Disqus or IntenseDebate

I've heard that both of these comment systems can be installed on Blogger, and both have greater means of spam control. I would appreciate any insight from those who have used either of them, from the perspective of either blogger or commenter. I don't receive a lot of comments on my posts, so my main reason for using these would be spam control.

3) Install a completely separate comment script on my website, and link to it from my blog. There are lots of options here. I have a very simple guestbook/messageboard on another site that is completely spam-free. This would allow those who can't navigate the CAPTCHA to leave a visible comment for me.
Whatever I do, I will always provide some means for people to leave comments, and I will try to make it as user friendly as possible.
If anyone has any thoughts on this topic, please feel free to share them in the comments.

Clockwise: How does one define that word?

This post has very little to do with genealogy. However, readers may still find it interesting.
As everyone learns when they are young, "clockwise," refers to the direction the hands of a clock turn.

But what if the direction the hands of the clock turn depended upon the clock? I'm not referencing the novelty wristwatches marketed by Disney with pitcures of Goofy on them. They are intentionally 'goofy.'

As some may recall, back in July of last year I blogged about a clock tower in Prague, at the Jewish community center next to the Altneu Synagogue, where the hands go "Counter-Clockwise," and have been doing so since 1586. Which, as I mentioned, doesn't make sense linguistically. For that clock, 'clockwise,' is different.

I purchased a wristwatch while in Prague which is modeled after the Altneu Clock-tower. The time on the wristwatch shown is approximately 4:22. (My wife and I were married on April 22nd last year. Prague was our honeymoon. It's not a coincidence that I took the photo at that time.)

The direction of the clock has no relationship to the direction of the written language. Arabic is right-to-left, just like Hebrew. And it is probably Arabic numerals on the watch of most individuals reading this post. Watches and clocks that actually have Roman numerals don't turn in the opposite direction. Apparently, after some research, I have discovered that clocks were originally designed to imitate sundials. Interestingly, sundial movement is different in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, and if clocks had originally been designed in the Southern hemisphere, the usual definition of 'clock-wise' would likely be inverted.

Clocks and watches in Israel all run clockwise. (I shouldn't say "All," but Israel was another stop on our honeymoon, and I did look for watches there that ran counter-clockwise, and found none. I've also looked online since our return, without success. The Altneu wristwatch appears to be unique. And, for what it's worth, I've only seen Altneu-styled watches available online at auction sites such as Ebay. If you can't find it at an auction site, it appears you currently have to go to Prague.)

So - the clock tower in Prague - why does it do that?

Well, the person who designed the clock tower is deceased. (You may recall I mentioned above that it was built in 1586.) I am unaware of any record of his intent. There are actually two clocks on the tower, and the other one does have Roman numerals. Maybe the designer did decide, incorrectly, that the direction should be based on the written language. It's certainly possible Arabic numerals weren't in common usage on clocks in 16th century Prague. Perhaps the designer wanted the Hebrew clock to be 'different' as a metaphor for the community. Lots of possibilities.

Since I am submitting this for this week's SepiaSaturday meme (the soldier in the pic is wearing a watch), I should probably include a photograph more than 12 months old. Here's a photograph/postcard of "The Alt-Neu Synagogue and the Jewish community house," courtesy of the Yad Vashem Photo Archive. You can see both clocks; the Hebrew clock is the lower of the two.

Yad Vashem doesn't put a date on it, but some other sites with the same postcard state it is from 1890. If I were able to identify the motorcar in the photograph, I might be able to be more certain about the date.

Top Photographs - ©2012 John Newmark.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day

To A Lady
by Victor Hugo,
From Les Feuilles D'Automne

Child, were I king, I'd yield my royal rule,
My chariot, sceptre, vassal-service due,
My crown, my porphyry-basined waters cool,
My fleets, whereto the sea is but a pool,
For a glance from you!

Love, were I God, the earth and its heaving airs,
Angels, the demons abject under me,
Vast chaos with its teeming womby lairs,
Time, space, all would I give--aye, upper spheres,
For a kiss from thee!

translation by Thomas Hardy
photogravure by Goupil et Cie, from a drawing by Deveria, appears in a collection of Hugo's poetry published by Estes and Lauriat in the late 1800s.

Why is Valentine's Day on February 14th?

There is a theory that the only reason tomorrow is associated with Cupid is due to a poem Geoffrey Chaucer wrote.
In 1381, Chaucer was busy composing a poem in honor of the arranged marriage between England's Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. This was a very big deal indeed, and Chaucer was looking for just the right saint to honor on May 3, the day Richard II signed the papers of engagement to his Bohemia beauty.

His search ended, Kelly surmises, when Chaucer learned that a Saint Valentine of Genoa had an honorary feast day on May 3. Perfect! So he wrote the poem "The Parliament of Fowls" in the couple's honor.

"The Parliament of Fowls" literally means "the meeting of birds," says Kelly. "Chaucer dreamed up the idea that all birds chose their mates on May 3rd," he says.

After Chaucer's death in 1400, Valentine's Day celebrations got pushed back to February.
Why exactly is unclear, however, if you forgot, and someone is upset, perhaps you can use this information to give yourself a few extra months.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekly Genealogy Picks: Feb 3-Feb 9

Highlights from news stories and blog posts I have read in the past week that deal with my overlapping interests in Genealogy, History, Heritage, and Technology.
Other Weekly Lists
Upcoming holidays - religious and secular, national and international - for the next two weeks

Two Week Calendar
  • Feb 10 - Chinese New Year
  • Feb 10 - Transfiguration Sunday (Christian)
  • Feb 12 - Lincoln's Birthday (US)
  • Feb 12 - Darwin's Day (International)
  • Feb 12 - Red Hand Day (United Nations)
  • Feb 12 - Shrove Tuesday (Christian)
  • Feb 13 - Ash Wednesday (Christian) [Lent Begins]
  • Feb 13 - Lupercalia - Feb 13-15 (Roman Empire)
  • Feb 14 - Saint Valentine's Day (Christian)
  • Feb 14 - Nirvana Day (Buddhist)
  • Feb 15 - Nirvana Day (Jain)
  • Feb 15 - Vasant Panchami (Hindu)
  • Feb 15 - Susan B Anthony Day (US)
  • Feb 18 - George Washington's Birthday (US) [Federal holiday]
  • Feb 20 - World Day of Social Justice (International)
  • Feb 21 - International Mother Language Day
  • Feb 23 - Purim (Jewish) [Sunset Feb 23 - Sunset Feb 24]

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Barrels; Bee Boxes; Bridges

The prompt at SepiaSaturday this week contains a lot of snow, a man with a white beard, an overcoat, a lamp post, barrels, houses, a fence, a shovel, and hats. A lot of different things for the mind to focus on.

While my family's ancestors have lived in the Midwest since the late 1800s, I don't have a lot of winter-time photographs, except more recent ones, and I have a policy on my blog of not sharing photographs of living people without their permission. The final caveat, and the fact I am often too lazy to ask for permission, results with the one major exception to the rule being photographs of myself. (I am great at giving myself permission.)

This photograph, however, wasn't taken during the winter. It was taken in August of 1973 in Williamsburg, Virginia. It looks like I am having a barrel of fun, doesn't it?

Maybe I'm thinking to myself, "If I click my red shoes together, will I find myself at home?"

I'm also wearing a tricorne hat approximately 15 years before I would develop literary Francophilia. A 1988 production of Les Miserables led me to read more of Hugo, and then follow him up with Baudelaire, Moliere, and Montaigne. I haven't been the same since.

This photograph reminded me of a photograph I had shared in the past.

That isn't a barrel the young girl is standing on. That's a bee box. My assumption is that she knew the bees were asleep, or the boxes were empty.

The girl might be my grandmother, Myrtle Van Every, who was born in 1900. The young lady on the right might be her sister, Minnie (16 years separated them in age), or their mother, Margaret. The apiary almost definitely belonged to my great grandfather, Melvin Van Every, and if he had a daughter of the age of the girl in the photo, they were still living in Caldwell County, Texas.


I do have a couple winter-time photographs to share, though to my knowledge they contain no kin. The Missouri History Museum recently shared a photograph on their Pinterest Board which caused me to do a double-take.

The photograph is from February, 1905.

The Mississippi River had frozen solid, forming a bridge of ice from one side to the other.

The lady isn't the only one crossing the river; you can see a line of people in the background.

This may be another view of the same ice gorge:

Source: Courtesy of the Missouri State Archives.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Weekly Genealogy Picks: Jan 27-Feb 2

Highlights from news stories and blog posts I have read in the past week that deal with my overlapping interests in Genealogy, History, Heritage, and Technology.

On the blogs
In the News
  • The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), home of WorldCat, has formed a partnership with FamilySearch. (Press Release)
Who pulled off a really neat trick
For 2.2 centuries he lived
Unless his tombstone does fib
He musta made a deal with Old Nick. 
On the Lighter Side 

    Other Weekly Lists
    Upcoming holidays - religious and secular, national and international - for the next two weeks

    Two Week Calendar
    • Feb 3 - Setsubun-sai (Shinto)
    • Feb 4 - World Cancer Day
    • Feb 10 - Chinese New Year
    • Feb 10 - Transfiguration Sunday (Christian)
    • Feb 12 - Lincoln's Birthday (US)
    • Feb 12 - Darwin's Day (International)
    • Feb 12 - Red Hand Day (United Nations)
    • Feb 12 - Shrove Tuesday (Christian)
    • Feb 13 - Ash Wednesday (Christian) [Lent Begins]
    • Feb 13 - Lupercalia - Feb 13-15 (Roman Empire)
    • Feb 14 - Saint Valentine's Day (Christian)
    • Feb 14 - Nirvana Day (Buddhist)
    • Feb 15 - Nirvana Day (Jain)
    • Feb 15 - Vasant Panchami (Hindu)
    • Feb 15 - Susan B Anthony Day (US)

    Friday, February 1, 2013

    Sepia Saturday 162

    Through my post last Wednesday, a commenter introduced me to Sepia Saturday.

    Every week they post an old photograph, and participants are supposed to use it as a prompt and reflect upon an old photograph (or photographs) from their collection that in some way correspond(s) to a theme associated with the original.

    I like the challenge of finding a photographic companion to their prompt. I can see that I am occasionally going to have to get a bit creative. At least they give previews for the following two weeks, which gives some time to allow the creative juices to flow.

    I know one question in some reader's mind: Wait, it isn't Saturday yet!
    I am posting this at midnight GMT. While it is six hours earlier where I am, the host of Sepia Saturday and several participants are "across the pond." Several participants are likely to have jumped in even earlier. Even though I posted on Wednesday last week, I was still the sixth participant.

    Here's this week's photographic prompt:

    Here's my response:

    This is a photograph of my maternal grandfather, Martin Deutsch, from 1972, when he was 65. I was 3 years old at the time, so while I've seen pictures, I never knew him as a younger man. That's the way it is with grandfathers. However, he was very active. Not only did he ride bicycles, he lifted weights, bowled, jogged in circles around his basement, and in the winter shoveled snow.

    Here's a photograph of him from 1942, during his war service. He was stationed in the Middle East and Africa.

    A jeep isn't too much different from a bicycle. Both are 'open air' modes of transport. Different number of wheels. 

    In both of my photographs, there are trees, and grass. Something noticeably absent from the prompt.

    Poetry Friday: Jefferson Howard - Edgar Lee Masters

    Jefferson Howard - Edgar Lee Masters (from Spoon River Anthology)

    MY valiant fight! For I call it valiant,
    With my father’s beliefs from old Virginia:
    Hating slavery, but no less war.
    I, full of spirit, audacity, courage
    Thrown into life here in Spoon River,
    With its dominant forces drawn from New England,
    Republicans, Calvinists, merchants, bankers,
    Hating me, yet fearing my arm.
    With wife and children heavy to carry—
    Yet fruits of my very zest of life.
    Stealing odd pleasures that cost me prestige,
    And reaping evils I had not sown;
    Foe of the church with its charnel dankness,
    Friend of the human touch of the tavern;
    Tangled with fates all alien to me,
    Deserted by hands I called my own.
    Then just as I felt my giant strength
    Short of breath, behold my children
    Had wound their lives in stranger gardens—
    And I stood alone, as I started alone!
    My valiant life! I died on my feet,
    Facing the silence—facing the prospect
    That no one would know of the fight I made.

    Spoon River Anthology, Edgar Lee Masters, 1916, is a collection of poems written as epitaphs for a fictional village. While the village is fictional, there is a Spoon River in Illinois, and Edgar Lee Masters spent his youth nearby the river in Lewistown, IL, about 40 miles SW of Peoria.

    Data Backup Day: Digitize Your Records

    The first day of every month is "Data Backup Day"

    For a genealogist, "Backing up one's data" can include asking yourself whether or not you have any important photographs or paper documents that could be converted into data.

    This makes it easier to share the documents with relatives, as well as helps preserve the documents (if the data is backed up on a regular basis.)

    Image Source: A Scholar, Rembrandt, 1631.