Friday, May 24, 2013

Follow Friday: Parkman Genealogy

   Some of the best blogs seem to peter out quickly. I suspect it's because the author pours huge amounts of time and work to each post. Once life gets in the way, continuing may no longer seem worthwhile. I suspect that's what happened with Parkman Genealogy.
   Designed to trace the American version of the Parkman family, the blog ran for only a few posts. But what is there offers great  material for new researchers. You can study the Parkman Coat of Arms, review the history of the first Parkman immigrant, even enjoy pictures of their shoes. Have fun!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Those Places Thursday: Terramuggus, Connecticut

  I just relearned an important lesson: do not believe everything you read on a document. I just read the name "Terramuggus" on Google Maps.  Cool name, I figured. Probably a village I hadn't heard of...Not so much.  Lake Terramuggus is in Marlborough. Google Maps, once again, gave the closest "village" the name of the nearby lake. Interesting reminder, anyone?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Godfrey Scholar+ Connecticut Cemetery Database

  The Godfrey Memorial Library is updating Connecticut's classic Hale Collection. From the 1910s through the 1930s, Charles R. Hale ran a project transcribing Connecticut's cemeteries. (You can read more about it here.) While local cemetery managers and historical societies have made new transcriptions - sometimes with images - of their own cemetery, there has been no statewide update until now. Ed Laput and other Godfrey volunteers have spent the last few years giving new life to an old collection.
   I received an update on their project from the Godfrey's email list a few days ago and decided to check it out. To access the database, you'll need to have a subscription to Godfrey Scholar+. Rates vary depending on which package you choose. Once you have registered, click on "Scholar+" under "Memberships" and log in. You'll then click "Search our Databases." On the next screen, click "Cemeteries." On the following page, it's "Ed Laput Cemetery Project." Once there, you can search by as much information as you know.
   I entered one of my family names (which happens to be very common in Connecticut.) Once the search results came up, I clicked on one of my ancestors. This brought me a page for the cemetery where they were buried. If I clicked on their name, I was provided with an image of their gravestone.
   Technologically, is this a great advance? No. The website functions like most cemetery listings and perhaps has a few more steps than it needs.
   Where will it be helpful? If you have a lot of family from Connecticut. Find A Grave is far from complete, and many gravestones have been lost since the Hale Collection. Who knows - with the other databases in the subscription, you may even save money. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Follow Friday: Holmes Genealogy

  It's time for another surname blog... Holmes Genealogy traces a family that began in Massachusetts, in the Plymouth Colony, and eventually moved to Montville. Posts reflect the author's unusual tastes - one post consists entirely of references to the Smith family in the land records, another reveals his struggles with family relationships - and require tolerating ads. But if you're related to the family, he does offer some solid hints.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: The In-Depth Genealogist

   If you haven't found The In-Depth Genealogist yet, you're missing out.  The site is a one-stop shop for introductory level (and sometimes more advanced) genealogy research. Going In-Depth, their magazine, covers everything from Civil War research to the use of city directories to study female ancestors. The newsletter precursor to the magazine offered the same informative articles in a shorter format. The blog covers news in the genealogy world... and there's even more available on the site.
    I may not always learn something new, but I make sure to review any new material on The In-Depth Genealogist. I'd hate to miss something. Think they haven't touched far enough on something? You can volunteer to write for them.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sorting Saturday: How to Archive Family Keepsakes

   It's official - I'm in love. I guess I should explain. For the last few years, I've taught a course on managing your family papers. While there's a lot material out there, much of it is complex. Want to find out how to protect your family photos? The first explanation you'll come across is often one designed for a professional archivist. It makes suggesting reading material pretty hard.
  Until now. I stumbled across Denise May Levenick's How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn how to preserve family photos, memorabilia  & genealogy records while preparing for the next class cycle. (We all have to keep up to date!) The guide concisely answers my students' primary questions: how do I decide what to keep and how do I organize what I have. Preservation sections deal with most kinds of material in an easy to follow format. I probably could have skipped the section on organizing your genealogy research, but I know those who have just inherited a family story will love it. Happy research!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Follow Friday: Avon Historical Society

   I'm sure I've looked at the blog for the Avon Historical Society in the past. It just looks too familiar with anything else to be possible. But honestly, I'm glad I took a second look. There are some nice features for Avon historians.
    First among these is the "History of Avon" section. The section has several sub-parts, including barns, local homes, and history rooms. Photos and descriptions are solid. If you happen to be related to the family mentioned in the section, you will have found a gem.
   Sites to visit allows you a virtual visit to the Avon Historical Society's homes. Schoolhouse #3 - now the living history museum - had a fascinating past as part of the town's rural community and life.  Pine Grove Schoolhouse played the same role, 30 years later.

   And there's even more there... My only complaint - the site needs to be updated. I see 2011 and worry!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Andover, Connecticut website

 Have you ever heard of tiny Andover Connecticut? It only has 3600 residents, but the town website is a genealogist's gem. The "About Andover" section provides an introduction by the town's historian, a page describing historic sites, a history of the public library, stories and memories, a town tour, and more. I am thoroughly impressed with the attention to detail. While not everything on the site is of use to genealogists - you may not be interested in political parties - the town's site provides a fantastic starting point for research.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Follow Friday: The Distracted Wanderer

  I love a good travel blog. Even when you've been there -once or many times - you can always take something from a writer that knows what they're doing. From one writer, it may be a good piece of history. From another, it's a new photo. And if you've never been there, the experience is that much better.
   Linda Orlomoski's The Distracted Wanderer meets my qualifications of a good travel blog. The blog is a bit eclectic, since it covers her trips throughout the U.S. Her "Wander List"  allows you to follow her visits to California, Vermont and more. Want to narrow it to one state? Simply click on the posts underneath that state's name. I found the Connecticut posts detailed, informative, and a fun read. Her voice shines through... And the photos aren't bad either. A nice way to "visit" CT!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Angela Packer McGhie's Hard at Work Again!

  If you haven't "met" Angela Packer McGhie, you've missed out on a series of wonderful genealogical opportunities. Angela coordinates the ProGen Study Group, which gives members a chance to study the chapters of Professional Genealogy. As a recent grad, I can tell if you've ever considered professional genealogy (in the sense of professional level skills, not necessarily taking clients), this is a must. She also writes about education opportunities in her blog, Adventures in Genealogy Education. And now she's launched a new endeavor...
   Angela has just announced study groups about Mastering Genealogical Proof. They're scheduled to organize in May. Here's the link for more information.
    Thank you a million fold, Angela! I have no idea how you manage all this!