Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tech Tuesday: On-Site New England Research

  Okay, it's official. I am in love with On-Site New England Research  with Marian Pierre-Louis. The concept of her podcast is pretty simple - explain to listeners how to do research in sites throughout New England. The level of detail is what makes the program valuable. The first program on the microtext department at the NEHGS covered the department's function in great detail, even down to what one should bring and read before arriving and what one shouldn't expect to find there. If you're on your first visit, this is a must listen. I'll be listening to the next episode.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Genealogy Mystery Novels...

   If you've been reading for long enough, you probably already know that I'm a fan of "cozy" mystery novels -especially when they have a relationship to genealogy. I mentioned two of my favorite series in a November 2012 post. But, like so many readers, I've exceeded the writing speed of my favorite authors. Rather than waiting for months, I decided it was time to go hunting for new authors.
  Of course, I started with Google. One of the first listings is a review of ten genealogy mysteries from Kimberly Powell at About Genealogy. The list is a little outdated - most date from the 1990s - and isn't confined to cozies, but I did decide to order a few. A book list on Cyndi's List overlaps a little and offers a few more suggestions... Unfortunately for me, most are not cozies :( An e-zine review can help you narrow your choices.
   Despite all this, I suspect I'm missing a few choices. What have you read and loved?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Follow Friday: Calling all Connecticut Genealogy and History Bloggers!

   After looking through a few hundred genealogy blogs, I decided it was time to send out a request. Do you know of a good genealogy or history blog covering Connecticut that I haven't already reviewed? Please share.
   In the meantime, I thought I'd share a Civil War site that might be helpful to a few of you. Damian Shiels runs Irish in the American Civil War . An Irish archeologist, Shiels is clearly interested in the Civil War from all sides. Blog posts profile soldiers from both sides of the conflict, discuss Irish attitudes towards African-Americans, and much more. I admire the author's attempt to handle contentious topics with care and sensitivity as well as his clear effort towards historical accuracy (most have images of documents). It's an interesting read - and may provide those of you with Irish ancestors with new information!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Those Places Thursday: Durham Connecticut - genealogical tourism

   I've finally gotten my act together and finished compiling a genealogical tourism page for Durham, CT. I've focused on resources that are actually in Durham - some Durham records are held elsewhere, usually Middletown - and on places I've visited. For right now, the listing is pretty basic. It includes places to stay, eat, and research. I've left off church records for the time being, because most do not store their records onsite or would require permission to access the records. I've got grandiose visions of improving the site in the long term... but this is a starting point!
   Which brings me to the question: what have I missed? What do I need to improve? What resources do you think should be featured?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Beyond the Gravestone Blog

    It's an unusual business, so I was surprised to stumble across the blog of Beyond the Gravestone. Run out of Storrs Connecticut, Beyond the Gravestone specializes in gravestone repair and cleaning. Their basic philosophy is pretty simple: care for the gravesite shows respect for those buried there. It sounds like the business is fairly new, but that the owners have done their best to advance their training.
    While I don't usually like commercial blogs, their blog is less pushy than most . Each post profiles a project in process. Some are short and mostly promotional, talking about a project's successful completion. Others depict a smaller project and focus on the details of the individual's life. I very much appreciated the respectful attitude. Now I would just like to see a little more history.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Inauguration Monday: Connecticut Connections

  Yes, it's Inauguration Day, and my family has been watching the parade. (If you're interested, it's on CSPAN). It got me to wondering: what presidents have Connecticut connections?

1) #41 + #43 have strong connections: According to WhiteHouse.gov, George H.W. Bush went to Yale, and George W. Bush was born in CT.

2) John Adams made a visit to Middletown that has been quoted for generations.

3)Abraham Lincoln made a famous follow-up to the Cooper Union Speech in New Haven, according to the New Haven Register.

Who am I missing? Oh, yes... George Washington (while many houses still claim he slept there, a few are telling the truth) - and probably John Quincy Adams. Who else?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Follow Friday: Kinnexions and Church and Sprague families

   Follow Fridays are my favorite of the Geneabloggers suggested blogging prompts. Why? Because I've reformulated the idea a little. Instead of writing about any blog I find interesting (although I still do that occasionally), I try to uncover new Connecticut-related history and genealogy blogs.
   Admittedly, the process has gotten harder the longer I've done this. I always start by searching Google. To avoid making myself crazy, I limit the search to blogs that have updated in the last month. I've pretty much exhausted "Connecticut" + "History" + "Blog" and am currently working my way through "Connecticut" + "genealogy" + "blog." Sometimes all I find are vague mentions of Connecticut in someone's genealogy blog (often mentions of a new FHL collection). Other times, I find one fantastic blog post on CT buried in someone's posts on another region of the country. Since I realize that you may want to read just the post, I link to those on my Google+ page. And occasionally, I get very lucky and find a blog that has at least a few solid posts on Connecticut history or genealogy.
   Finding this week's feature took a lot of digging. Kinnexions is most definitely a personal genealogy blog. Becky Wiseman, the blogger, is from Indiana, and the vast majority of her posts follow her journey through her parents' families. However, lucky for us, a few of those families lived in Connecticut at some point.
   To find those ancestors, click on the tabs on the top of her home page. "Maternal Ancestors" and "Paternal Ancestors" lead to a list of her family lines. Search for the word Connecticut would bring up all the possibilities. Once you have a Connecticut family, click on the family name to read all the posts she's written. Thus far, I've seen Church, Goodrich, Sprague, Marvin and more...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Genealogical Tourism Websites + Blogs

   In the latest batch of new blogs on Geneabloggers, I was happy to discover Yellow Springs Heritage. Written about Yellow Springs, Ohio, the blog serves as a genealogical tourism "primer" for the town, with posts on town history, plans for walking tours, and more. It's written by an individual genealogist named Robin Heise. It's also her business site.
   Why am I so thrilled? Because I see in her site a model that a town could use. (Robin, you may have a niche here!) There are great opportunities in running a blog on the town's history with tabs on places to stay, places to eat, walking tours, and more. Local genealogists could add a page on how to request research. Ideas... Ideas...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sorting Saturday - um...- Monday and bookmarks

   When was the last time you looked at the list of bookmarks you've saved on your computer? According to my best estimate, my last glance was sometime in early 2010. I had a long list of websites I'd saved. Most I'd looked at once. A few more, maybe twice. So why keep it?
   As it turned out, that proved to be a good question for me. I started sorting through my bookmarks last night. Thus far, I've deleted a fair number. Some pointed to sites that no longer existed. Others were for things I didn't need to keep, such as links to shopping page for a Christmas gift I bought two years ago. Others turned out to be rather useful. Those, I'm sorting into new folders.
   Lesson learned? I hope so. Now I just have to remember to check my bookmarks!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fun with Search Terms

   Thanks to Amy Coffin of We Tree for the "Fun With Search Terms" prompt. The idea behind "Fun with Search Terms" is pretty simple. I use the search terms that have led people to my blog and try to summarize what I've written about them - or do a little research if I don't already know the answer. Most of my search terms are not as silly as the ones Amy discovers. But I'm still learning!

1) charteroakgenealogy.blogspot.com: Yes, that's the URL for my blog. Why? Because that's also the name of my genealogy business.Moving on...

2) Rudy Favretti Jumping the Puddle: A book on an Italian family in Connecticut, Jumping the Puddle was part of my reading last February.

3) The DeKoven Hose, Middletown: One of the few remaining original houses from Middletown's harbor area, the DeKoven House is owned by the Rockfall Foundation. You can read about its history here.

4) Griffin essex genealogy blog: I know the answer to this one. You're looking for the Samuel Griffin FamilyBlog. It's here: http://samuelgriffingenealogy.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 11, 2013

Follow Friday: The Scrappy Genealogist

   A truly eclectic blog, The Scrappy Genealogist makes for a fun - and surprising - read. Based in New Hampshire, blogger Jen writes about all aspects of her genealogical life. Recent posts cover her sister's family history related Christmas presents, purchases on ebay, and photos of her town's veterans monuments. The site clearly reflects Jen's hobbies, which include scrapbooking and surviving genealogical research as a parent. Since I love some of these topics, this was a fun read for me :)
   But what does that mean if you're a) childless b)not a big scrapbooker or c) not from New Hampshire? Yes, the site's still useful. It just requires a little more digging. She does write about Connecticut families - but you may have to hand search posts to find the right information. Check out her surname list to find out if her blog might be helpful to you. She also has a great section on genealogical organization. I only have one request for Jen: please add a search function to your blog!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Follow Friday: Relative Musings and the Bradley family

   If you've been to Connecticut, you probably recognize the name Bradley. (It's the name of our major airports.) Relative Musings is devoted to the study of that surname. Each post profiles one or two individuals, tracing a part of their lives. Some profiles cover biographical information; others, specific aspects of their lives, such as military service. The most recent post describes Donald Custer Bradley, a World War II veteran. Most of the family comes from Wisconsin, but if you're willing to go back a little further, you end up back in Connecticut. Happy research!