Monday, January 31, 2011

MSLIS Monday: New York State Library

NY Highway Sign

Last week, I went to the New York State Library in Albany with a bunch of classmates.  When I lived in Oneonta, I went to Albany often and always meant to go to this library, but never made it.

We were incredibly lucky to not only visit, but a full-day experience with speakers and tours of the building.  As a library student, it was fascinating to hear from librarians who worked there and see places not normally open to the public.

The library has a few different parts.  There is the Research Library, the Division of Library Development and the Talking Book and Braille Library.  Also in the building is the New York State Museum, which, unfortunately, we were only able to take a quick run through.  I will definitely be going back to view the museum displays and get a more in depth look at the genealogy collection.

Over the next few days I will discuss each part of the library in its own blog posting.  Please stay tuned.

Monday, January 24, 2011

MSLIS Monday: My Last Semester

Can you believe I am in my second week of my last semester in graduate school?  I sure can't.  The past year and a half went so much faster than I ever imagined.

I am taking some awesome classes this semester, which is definitely the right way to finish.

  • Library Planning, Marketing and Assessment: I think this will be the most important class I take in my collegiate career.

  • Information Resources: Organization & Access: An overview on metadata, indexing and the like.

  • Museum Development: This is for my CAS, but the skills are for all non-profits and the professor will allow me to use libraries as examples in the projects.  This will really help with my goal to become a library director one day.

  • Internship: 2 credits worth.  I think I found a cool one and will give more information when it is firmed up:-)

So here I go again.  One more semester left of school, then I receive my Master's degree and get hooded.  How awesome is that?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

SNGF - Ancestral Name List Roulette

Courtesy of Randy at Genea-Musings:


1) How old is one of your grandfathers now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ahnentafel"). Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."

Theodore Frank Acquard was born 21 Sept 1933, so he would be 77.  77/4 = 19.25, which we will put as 19.  Spinning the ahnentafel chart, we get Jozefa Szydlik, my great-great-grandmother.

Jozefa was born 26 Sep 1886 in Poland.  One of my goals for 2011 is to look into my Polish ancestry more and figure out where in Poland they came from.  She came to New York state with her family and died in Warsaw, Warsaw Co., NY 4 Apr 1973.  She was married to Franciszek Karpinski.  Good thing we only need to give three facts because that is about all I have on her.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter Memories – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

GeneaBloggers and Amy Coffin's newest series, 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History, week #2 – Winter Memories Week 2: Winter.  What was winter like where and when you grew up?

Snow to Power lines

Growing up in Buffalo means a lot of winter memories.  Memories from the past, such as this picture of my Grandpa Casell during the Blizzard of '77, when the snow reached higher than the telephone wires and memories of the Christmas Eve when I was young whenwe got over 2 feet of snow in just a few hours.  I remember measuring with a yard stick when we got home from my aunt and uncle's.

My favorite winter memories are of the smell of a clear winter night, when a million stars filled the sky and my sister, cousin Matt and I would play outside as my Aunt Amy cross-country skied around the yard.  Snowmen, snow angels, and making "igloos" are the best things of a childhood in a snowy area.  The smell of winter takes me back to my childhood every time.  I remember making "feet" on the frosted over front door while waiting for the bus, brushing snow off the car and hoping for snow days.

Snow-covered Truck

Another part of winter is the hearty food that gets made to warm one up after shoveling the driveway or having a snowball fight.  Beef stew, chicken noodle soup and roast with vegetables are my favorites that I still enjoy for a cold night spent in my warm apartment.  And don't forget the hot chocolate with marshmallows (Swiss Miss is my favorite)!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

National Letter Writing Week

Woman Reading a Letter(Source)

In todays digital age, letter writing has fallen out of style, replaced with texts, emails and Google chat.  As a genealogist and one who has done an internship in an Archive, I find this sad, as all of these will easily disappear and no one will be able to read them in the future.  This is unlike letters on paper, which have lasted for centuries and give a view of history that is more personal and interesting than is found in books.  This week is National Letter Writing Week.  Write and mail a letter to a loved one today.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Passenger Lists Beyond Immigration

Those of us to have progressed out search to immigrant ancestors always try to find the passenger list that shows them emigrating from the mother land.  Once we find this, it can be easy to stop looking at passenger lists, after all, we found the most important information on one, right?

Actually, this is not correct, particularly if your ancestors came to America over a century ago or more.  Early passenger list records do not have a lot of information on them.  Luckily for us, our ancestors did not just move to America and then forget about their homeland.  They went back to visit, to introduce their American-born children to their family and for funerals.  Surprisingly, they even traveled to other countries for fun, like we do today.

Here is some information I have found on non-immigration passenger lists, that you may be able to, as well.

Not All People Stayed in the US the First Time They Came

~~Marco & Pietro~~

Family Relationships

Maiden Names

Important Dates

~~Naturalization & birth dates

Relative Hometowns

~~Visit in-laws, particularly if male

Friday, January 7, 2011

What Will Babies Born in 2011 Remember?

Stacy Johnson of The Huffington Post wrote a list of items she believes babies born in 2011 will not remember.   I agree with parts of it, such as video tape, wired phone lines and movie rental stores, but others I am not so sure about.  I know that when I have children, who will be born after 2011, I will make sure they have one photograph per frame, paper books and maps.

I will also be sure to teach them that there should be a separation of work and home time and also that talking to one person at a time is polite and will be done.  No texting at the dinner table.  I feel these two items in particular are relating to manners and quality of life, which are tremendously important, even as we become more and more digitally connected.

What do you think about this list?  If you have small children or grandchildren, do you feel this will be true for them?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - New Year's Memories

GeneaBloggers is hosting a new 52 Week Challenge focusing on our personal genealogy and history.  I think this is wonderful, as we so often get stuck in the past, that we do not remember to save our traditions for future generations.

Week 1: Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?!

Growing up my Grandma Casell would have all of us grandkids over every New Year's for a sleepover.  We would have snacks like pigs-in-a-blanket, chips and dip and pretzels, watch movies and the ball drop, wear tiaras and make lots of noise at midnight.  Then we would get in our sleeping bags, spread all over (there were 7 of us there) and go to bed, with our parents picking us up in the morning.

I don't know that I realized how wonderful this was until recently.  That is to say, how unique and amazing my grandmother was for doing this so that her children and their spouses could enjoy New Year's, all the cousins could play and she could spend time with us.  When we helped through a party this New Year's many people had trouble coming due to the problem of finding a sitter.

I have spent New Year's in many places as an adult: Pretoria (South Africa) Paris, the Bronx and many towns in Central New York, but I will always treasure those memories of my childhood New Year's and they will always be my favorite.

Monday, January 3, 2011

MSLIS Monday: 3 Down, 1 to Go

I have just finished my third semester in graduate school for my MSLIS.  It is hard to believe how quickly I have gone from brand-new first-year, to nearly-done, job-hunter.

I really enjoyed my classes this semester.  I took Introduction to Cultural Heritage Preservation, Telecommunications and Information Policy and Life Histories and Ethnographies.  It was busy, to be sure, but I learned a lot and was surprised in many ways that the class I was least excited about became my favorite and the one I learned the most from.

IST 618, Survey of Telecommunications and Information Policy, if notorious for being despised by LIS majors.  It is required for our degree, yet no one ever wants to take it and complain continuously about having to do so.  After this semester, I understand and fully support the requirement and consider it one of the most important classes I have taken.

I took the class with Dr. Lee McKnight, who explained why information policy is so important using real life examples throughout class.  He often brought up policies in libraries and that impacted libraries, both in class and in our readings.  Additionally, our project was to create a case study and this allowed me to survey actual librarians about their internet usage policies, correlate the data, and create graphs and write a paper to explain our research's importance in relation to material my colleagues found in a literature review.  I would classify this project as the most important in my time at SU this far.

My Introduction to Cultural Heritage Preservation class showed me the importance of collaboration between libraries, archives and museums (LAMS).  My favorite parts were learning about social media and emerging technologies in preserving cultural heritage and looking into the part tourism plays in this topic, using information from the classes I have taken toward a tourism management degree, along with more recent research.

My Life Histories and Ethnographies class was not quite what I had expected, but I did read many fascinating ethnographies, wrote an autobiography and interviewed my father-in-law to write a life history on him.  Learning about well-regarded ethnographic writers and reading what they have written is helpful in my genealogical research as I start to write profiles on my ancestors.

Overall, it was a wonderful semester and I look forward to beginning my forth, and last, semester at the end of January.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

End of Year Meme - 2010

Found on Head Tale:

  1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before? Got married, lived in a foreign country for 4 months.

  2. Did anyone close to you give birth? No

  3. Did anyone close to you die? No, thankfully

  4. What countries did you visit? Canada, Germany, England (just to run through the airport to my plane, though), The Netherlands, Denmark, Iceland

  5. What would you like to have in next year that you lacked this year? A Master's degree, a library job and the whole year on the same continent as Aaron

  6. What date from this year will remain etched upon your memory? 2 October, when I got married

  7. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Planning an amazing wedding

  8. What was your biggest failure? Spraining my ankle on my 29th birthday and having to spend 2 weeks on the couch

  9. What was your biggest surprise? How much harder it was to spend 4 months away from my family and friends than it used to be.  Part of growing up, I suppose

  10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Sprained my ankle on my birthday (ick) and still dealing with the repetition motion injury at work

  11. What was the best thing you bought? My wedding dress

  12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? My friends and family who send me cards and letters and emails and had Skype conversations while I was in Hamburg.

  13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? I am going to keep my answer from last year: The government in relation to the health care bill.  They need to stop thinking about their parties and lobbiests and start taking care of the people.

  14. Where did most of your money go? Tuition and Germany

  15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My wedding:-D

  16. What song/album will always remind you of this year? "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz

  17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  18. Happier or sadder?  Happier

  19. Thinner or fatter? About the same

  20. Richer or poorer? Poorer, as I make much less money than in the past

  21. What do you wish you’d done more of? Budgeting so I could have done more traveling around Europe

  22. What do you wish you’d done less of? Being homesick

  23. How will you be spending did you spend Christmas? Worked from 7:30 - 3, then at Aaron's parents.  Spent the week before Christmas with my family.

  24. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with? My mom, she's pretty much the only person I call.  Text-wise is Aaron.

  25. What was your favourite TV program? Grey's Anatomy, this season was awesome

  26. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No, I hate all the same people;-)

  27. What was the best book(s) you read? Julie and Julia, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Eat, Pray, Love

  28. What was your greatest musical discovery? None I can think of

  29. What did you want and get? A Librarianship Into the Future Award at school, which is a half-tuition scholarship

  30. What did you want and not get? To exchange my plane ticket home for one a few weeks earlier without having to spend a massive amount of money

  31. What were your favourite films of this year? The Social Network, Up In the Air

  32. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 29.  I went to my anthro class, then slipped on ice and sprained my ankle, spending 6 hours in the ER, followed by a trip to Wegman's for painkillers, Indian for dinner with Aaron, then fell asleep at about 7:30pm.  At least it was memorable;-)

  33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If I had kept up my running.  In Hamburg I was running 3-5 miles a night, then I stopped when I got back and am now picking up from scratch

  34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept this year? Sweatshirts and jeans

  35. What kept you sane? Downloading books from Onondaga County Public Library, running around the lake in Hamburg, having supportive family and friends

  36. What political issue stirred you the most? The health care bill and the repealing of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

  37. Who did you miss? Aaron while I was away

  38. Who was the best new person you met? I met a bunch of amazing people in Hamburg

  39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year. Savor the week of your wedding and take lots of pictures.  It happens so quick

  40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year? "I'm a rover and I'm bound to sail away;  I'm a rover can you love me anyway?"

  41. What do you hope the next year brings?  Graduating with my MSLIS, getting a library job and a new, larger apartment

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Goals

Happy New Year!  1/1/11 is here!  I love 1s.  New beginnings, new challenges, change (yep, I'm one of those weird people who likes change).

The end of the year was rather different from years past.  I slipped on ice at school and sprained my ankle on my birthday.  I have spent the past few weeks on my couch, which has given my a lot of time to think and plan for 2011.  I am not a fan of resolutions, but I did want to come up with some goals.  2011 is looking to be a great year: I will get my Master's degree, find a job outside of retail, turn 30...  Here is a list of my personal and genealogy-related goals for the coming year.


  • Become a better blogger, posting at least 3 times a week and commenting more on other blogs.

  • Train for and run a half-marathon

  • Read at least 2 new books a month

  • Plan more game nights/dinner parties/etc. to see friends more often

  • Become more active with my church Social Justice Committee and History Committee

  • Send birthday and anniversary cards to friends and family


  • Write one ancestor profile a month for the blog

  • Create written research plans, at least one per month.  Post on my blog, along with follow-ups as to how the research goes

  • Complete at least the first two CDs of the NGS home study course

  • Attend at least one national genealogical conference

Back to Basic: July

July went quick! GRIP  went virtual! I attended (most) of the sessions in Documentation and then continued my citation work with my ProGen a...