Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Under the Tree

So far, I like what I've heard from Meredith Williams' Under the Tree genealogy podcast.



One of the hosts of 10, a video podcast about technology, is getting her DNA tested for a segment on the show. There's not much to comment on at this point since the results will be shown in a future segment, but it was interesting to see what other tests (allergies, etc.) available.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

No luck in Bavaria

Back in December, I submitted six GEDCOMs* to the Society for Family Research in Franconia as part of their annual, free project to try and find matches between researchers. The results just arrived: No one else had matching information for my BURGER, EBERT, FUCHS, KRUG and SCHWEIGER families. (The sixth file was for another BURGER family, whose relation to my ancestors is currently unproven but likely.)

Although more than two million names were submitted, less than 600 people sent files to the Society. Since there don't seem to be many FHL films for Bavarian church records -- well, at least in the places I need to research -- I hope this project becomes more popular.

I found out about the project from one of the RootsWeb mailing lists. I'm sure details will be posted later this year for the next round of the project.

* The files only had basic information (name, places, dates) and were limited to two generations.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Free access to The New England Historical and Genealogical Register

From the New England Historic Genealogical Society's eNews (March 15th):

Free Non-Member Access to the Register Online March 20-22

As a way to introduce potential members to the wealth of information available to members, NEHGS is pleased to offer free access to one of the thousands of databases on NewEnglandAncestors.org, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Normally available only to NEHGS members, the Register database will be accessible to all from Monday, March 20 through Wednesday, March 22, 2006.

Published quarterly since 1847, the Register is the flagship journal of American genealogy and the oldest journal in the field. The database includes issues from 1847 to 1994. For more information visit www.newenglandancestors.org/research/Database/register/reg_info.asp.

Non-members will be asked to provide contact information, which will not be shared, but will be used to send information about membership to visitors. Visitors will be taken automatically to the Register database after submitting their information.

PLEASE NOTE: Only the extensive Register database will be open for public use. The remainder of the databases continue to be accessible to members only.

We encourage all NEHGS members to spread the word about this offering, but to avoid disappointment, please make sure to mention that this offer is limited only to the Register. Thanks for your help in letting others know about the wealth of significant information offered by NEHGS.

Non-members can use the Register database for free March 20 to March 22.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

RootsWeb message boards

I know RootsWeb is having trouble with their boards, but I think the problem may be more widespread than their message indicates:

A hardware failure has stopped the board indexing. This means the search engine is not picking up posts. No time estimate was given on repairs. We apologize for the inconvenience.

A few days ago I was unable to find a message in my history that I had posted last summer. Not knowing the exact date, I navigated through a few pages of the board's archives to find the post. When I found it and refreshed my history, the link was then visible in my history. I thought that was odd.

Mysteriously, though, another message that I thought I had posted in that thread was gone. This bothered me because what was missing was my "thank you" to someone that not only pointed out a useful website for an area I know little about, but had taken the time to look up the names I had asked about.

I then posted a (second?) "thank you." The next day I was notified by email that the person who had helped me last summer had replied to my post. But when I clicked on the link to read her post, it was gone and so was my most recent "thank you."

I don't know what's going on, but I will not be posting anything until this is cleared up.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Online maps

Ask.com now does mapping, similar to Google and Yahoo. I like the animation, but the site seems slow.


Eastman's survey

Dick Eastman has posted results to his survey about genealogists and computers. Among his comments, is this:

"Of all those who use Windows as their primary system, 88.8% are using Windows XP. This surprised me a bit, as XP has not been around too many years. It shows that genealogists frequently upgrade their systems to the latest available hardware and operating system software."

Personally, I think the reason for such a high number of XP users is that Windows 95 crashed a LOT and Windows 98 wasn't much better. I still recall with some bitterness having to reboot Windows 95 multiple times on some days. Many days, actually. I never used Windows ME, but I can't recall hearing or reading much positive about that operating system, especially when it came to installation.

I've been using XP for three years and can't recall more than a few times that the system has locked up. It's even possible now to leave the computer on for days without a problem, something that I can't imagine could have been done with Windows 95.

One should also consider that support and security updates for Windows 95 was discontinued, and on June 30th of this year the same will happen to Windows 98 and ME.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Personal DNA Map

The National Human Genome Research Institute at the U.S. National Institutes of Health hopes to have the cost of DNA sequencing down to $1000 by 2014. Assuming that goal will be met, setting aside pocket change -- say, 35¢ -- each day for the next eight years would allow you to pay for a digital readout of your personal genome.

National Geographic News: Coming Soon: Your Personal DNA Map?

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Dictionary.hm is a cool site, but I'll be sticking with Dictionary.com for now. The biggest drawback to Dictionary.hm is that they don't generate a list of suggested words when you enter something that is misspelled. This happens to me quite a bit while transcribing old death and burial records, and I need the correct spelling or definition of a medical word.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


A cousin from the WIEDEY family has located an 1894 deed which mentions a family member in Redlands, California. This deed is key because it proves that previous discoveries of a city directory and census record do in fact show that a family member headed west after 1880. Great find, Janet!

Yahoo's people search shows just three WIEDEYs in California, but if any descendants of Friedrich (Fred) Wilhelm WIEDEY and his wife, Minnie, are out there, we'd like to hear from you.

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We've got a "new" contact in the family, another descendant of James HEATON's son, Edwin.

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