Potpourri: 22 May 2015

Wilder PassThis is a collection of a variety of comments, observations and thoughts about genealogy. I promise not to do this too often (Left and in the spirit of miscellany: I just like the picture of Wilder Pass (CO).  It has nothing to do with the post!)

1.  I was recently named one of the top five Social Media Reps for the NGS 2015 conference!  And to think, just a few years ago Mary Tedesco gave me the twitter tutorial.  (I am still learning how to retweet and like other people’s tweets!) 🙂

2. Debbie Meiszala blogged about genealogical regrets.  I have many.  There are the usual ones—“Why didn’t I ask gramma __________?”   Or, “I should have taken that photo when I had the chance.”  Or, “I forgot to pick up that record at the courthouse.”  My prime regret, however, is that I didn’t share the information I had gathered on my mother’s family–with my mother!  Of course, I also would have liked to have shared with my Swede/Dane father that he was 6.25% Norwegian. (My aunt didn’t know.)

3. The program for the Northwest Genealogical Conference 2015 is out.  Whew!  I am not opposite Judy Russell, a very popular speaker on issues related to genealogy and the law who is making four presentations that day.   Not that the other speakers aren’t formidable–Janice Lovelace, Jean Hibben, CG, Sara Scribner, CG, etc.  I will be presenting on “House Histories! Hooray for the Tax Man”.  You are either interested in House History or not.  I am sure that however many attendees come, they will be enthusiastic.

4.I have fallen into the trap of other genealogists when I watch “Who Do You Think You Are?”  I yelled at the TV the other day “Why don’t you look for an obituary to find the siblings? You do not need to travel to _______.”  Is WDYTYA becoming my “reality TV?”

5.  At the NGS conference I went through the exhibitor area and picked up material on 3 or 4 companies.  One booth I stopped at was ArkivDigital, a pay website of photographed original Swedish records.  These records are beautiful.  There are multiple locations to obtain the Swedish records, including SVAR, FamilySearch and Ancestry but all of these records were digitized from microfilm and so they are in b&w.  ArkivDigital images are in color and they are gorgeous.  Problem:  they do not have the tax records I am looking for.

6. The other product I am seriously investigating is RootsMagic, a genealogy software product  The developer of my software which I have used since 2002 has stopped supporting the product, so I needed to get a new software that will accept the information from my old program.  I hope it works.  I am worried about losing all or part of my data.

7. I was asked to write an article for the Federation of Genealogical Societies magazine on organizing a Family History Writing Contest.  I had to beg off because in the next 6 weeks I will be attending three conferences, taking 1 vacation, assembling 1 SGS Bulletin and entertaining 3 guests for a week.  I will be pretty busy for the next seven weeks! Don’t be surprised if 1.) I post no blogs or 2.) I post more blogs than usual to get away from the mayhem!  Either option is possible.

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last posting: I am starting to work on the next (and my last) SGS Bulletin, submitted my SGS monthly reports and tweaked my Jamboree presentation based on my presentation on the same topic to the Fiske Genealogical Library on Wednesday.


BCG Extension: oh, so easy; oh, so needed!

Clock 1I have missed a number of interim milestones in my plan to become certified genealogist through the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG). I had committed to using the entire 6 weeks following Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy (SLIG) in January to focus on my portfolio.  Didn’t happen! I think I might have spent 5 hours on it–maybe.  So….if you look at the calendar on the right it is now a year further out. And on the left is a beautiful Elgin watch on display in Elgin, Illinois.  It’s my symbol for being “on the clock!”

BCG certainly makes it easy to extend and I do not think I have met a person yet who didn’t extend at least once; some go through 3- one- year cycles.  I feel I am in good company. (rationalization #1)

I am the victim of my own lecturing success and have been developing presentations, syllabi and websites to support the lectures I give. (rationalization #2)

I am divesting myself of other tasks–I will no longer be on the Board of Seattle Genealogical Society, nor will I be their Publications Director after one more newsletter this April and one more Bulletin.  I have also turned down the City of Seattle and will not serve on the Pike Place Market Oversight Committee–which was a very tough “no!” (rationalization #3-too busy volunteering)

Working against me: I continue to be very aggressive in submitting to national, regional and local conferences and societies.  The latest submission is six proposals to the Ohio Genealogical Society for their 2016 conference in Mason, Ohio.  They turned me down last year, but my resume looks much better this year.  In addition, I have eight proposals into National Genealogical Society (2016, Ft. Lauderdale) and Federation of Genealogical Societies (2016, Illinois). Now, normally they do not pick all of them and in fact, I will be lucky if they pick one.  Presenting this June at Jamboree in Burbank, CA is a great boost–now I have to do a good job–er, “great job.” (rationalization #4)

I truly do need to refocus on the Case Study and the Kinship Determination Project (KDP), both significant papers.

So, wind the clock again and lets get started…but first I have to judge the Family History Writing contest submissions and lay out the newsletter and… and… 🙂

Happy Hunting!


What I have done since the last post:  Thanks to all of you wishing me a successful outpatient surgery.  Everything went more than fine and exceeded my expectations by a significant amount!  I have been cleaning up a presentation on nonpopulation schedules after Ancestry.com changed the method for accessing the records!  Lesson Learned:  ALWAYS review your presentation before you give it and compare it with reality–as reality changes. Has everyone been watching “Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies”?  If not, check out PBS.  I really thought the book was better than the series but one can also get bogged down in the book.