Thursday, September 29, 2011

Legacy Genealogy Cruise: On Our Way!

As this post publishes, Aaron and I are on our way to New Jersey for the Legacy Genealogy Cruise!  I am not sure how often I will be able to post, but I plan on writing up everything in Windows Live Writer and have them post whenever I find wi-fi.

In addition to awesome genealogy classes from Legacy and genealogists such as Thomas MacEntee, I will also get to meet Barbara Poole & see Heather Wilkinson Rojo at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston!

We also have a bunch of other fun non-genealogy plans, such as visiting with my cousin in Boston and celebrating our 1 year anniversary:-)  I'll see you with updates soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Facebook Improving for Genealogists

Picture it: The year is 2031 and your child/grandchild/etc. is visiting Randomtown, USA on a road trip with some friends.  The decided to visit because you had often spoken of how much you liked visiting there back in the day.  Upon checking in to Randomtown on Facebook, they then find your Facebook page and see that 20 years ago you checked in there as well and see who you were there with, comments you left and photos you took.  They then go and take a photo in front of that same building you stood in front of decades earlier.

Facebook is not quite there yet, but on October 4th a major renovation to users profile pages will take us one step closer.  No longer will profiles be just long lists of status updates, comments from friends and random game applications; now they will document a person's life from the big to the minute, complete with linking to others involved and photos, in timeline format.  Basically, it is like a blog, but easier and more likely to be updated.

For genealogists, this will be amazing!  After all, what genealogist doesn't love a timeline?  Imagine being able read about the day to day life of your great-grandmother.  Most of us do not have that ability, as finding diaries from our ancestors is difficult, if not impossible.  I would love to have something like this just for me parents even, to see what they thought, felt and did when they first started dating or when I was born.  It also gives an easy way to see what current generations are doing.  Find out about a new cousin?  You can learn all about their life in an easy-to-view format.

Obviously, there is no guarantee that Facebook, or even the internet, will still be around in 100 years.  But if pieces of it are saved, such as with the Wayback Machine, it will be fantastic for our descendants.

Want more info?  Check out these posts by Katy Widrick and CNN.  Mashable also offers the process to get the Timeline turned on early.  I changed mine and already love it and can't wait to play around with it more today.   What do you think of the changes?

Monday, September 26, 2011

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?: Banned Book Edition

Sheila at the Book Journey started the meme "It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?" that I am going to start participating in.

In honor of banned books week, some of my favorite banned books to read:

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry: One of my top 3 favorite books of all time, this is a dystopian novel following a young boy as he is chosen to become the next Receiver of Memories.  As he learns more and more about his "perfect" world, we see that everyone being the same is not such a good thing, after all.  I cannot possibly describe how amazing I felt this novel was as a child and I find it even more brilliant and relevant as an adult.

  • The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: I doubt anyone has not heard of the story of a boy who goes to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  I consider any book that is hundreds of pages long and children still want to read a good one!  (I think these are a fun read, too).

  • The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank: I find it difficult to understand how one can feel compelled to ban a book written by a girl the age of the people reading it.  As a young teen, Anne wrote about her life in hiding in Nazi Germany.  A true story of a time that should never be forgotten.

Want more information on Banned Books Week, check out the ALA website.  Then go to your local library and pick up a banned book or two to read this week!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hobbies: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History

From Genea-bloggers and Amy Coffin.  Did you have any hobbies as a child? Which ones?

Some hobbies I had as a child have stuck with me to adulthood, such as reading.  I loved Baby Sitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps, Fear Street and anything by Bruce Coville, Lois Lowry, Judy Blume and Shel Silverstein.  I also loved to write stories, which now tends to show in my blog posting.  In my early teens I found out how much I enjoyed planning trips and traveling, another love I have kept.  A big part of this is my enjoyment of research and learning new things, which, also in my early teens, led to my beginnings as a genealogist.

Not all hobbies lasted.  I used to love making things out of plastic canvas.  Although I haven't done this in years, my mom still hangs up many of my creations for holiday decorations.  For a long time I collected and learned about Barbie dolls, but I haven't participated in that since I was a teenager.  Lastly, when I was younger I was a big fan of video games, especially Zelda and the Sims.  Now I haven't played a video game since the Wii first came out.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

3 Things Thursday: Genealogy Edition

  1. To say that I haven't done genealogy in months is an understatement.  Life is getting in the way.  Hopefully it will get out of the way soon;-)

  2. My second cousin, once removed, found my blog and emailed me:-)  Hi Erin!

  3. On 2 weeks until I leave for the Legacy Genealogy Cruise!  Hard to believe we'll be celebrating our first anniversary during the 10 day trip.  Time flies...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Last Rebel Outpost

It's 1946.  A movie world premier.  A dog named Damn Yank.  The last remaining town still part of the Confederacy.  A vote to decide whether to re-join the Union after 85 years.  Where does this take place?  Virginia?  Alabama?

Nope.  A small hamlet in Western New York.  Town Line, to be precise, located on the border of Alden and Lancaster.  Also where I lived for all but the first year of my life prior to college.

(Even today the Town Line Volunteer Fire Dept. patch says "Last of the Rebels".) Photo Source.

Thursday I was able to attend a presentation in my home town on the secession of Town Line from the Union in 1861.  A random fact that I never knew about.  Reasons why they seceded are varied, Wikipedia writes "an article in The Buffalo News from 1945 cites discontent with President Lincoln, treatment of Confederate soldiers at a POW camp in Elmira, dissatisfaction of German immigrants with being subject to conscription or war, the interest of self rule or perhaps an incident by some runaway slaves at a local underground railroad stop."

No one really knows why, although the POW camp was actually not yet created in 1861, so that can be ruled out.  I am a fan of the theory that slave hunters had started looking into the Underground Railroad stops in Town Line a bit too closely, so by seceding they could continue to help slaves escape more easily.  The vote was 85 to 40, a pretty decent margin.

5 men from Town Line actually went to fight for the Confederacy, as did 20 for the North.  After the war, the town either forgot or just ignored the fact that they had left the Union, until a newspaper article came out in 1945 amidst the renewed patriotism of WWII.  The first vote to re-join the Union in 1945 failed, but a second vote on 26 January 1946, led by Cesar Ramaro, passed -.  Those against it?  One woman felt it shouldn't be unanimous, so she asked the ladies auxiliary members to vote "no" (she also owned the dog "Damn Yank".)

According the the lecture, the hamlet had a difficult time finding a Confederate flag to raise for the few minutes of the vote, as one had never actually been hung in the town.

I think this is a fantastic story and one that deserves to be more well know.  Who would have guessed that the last Confederate stronghold would be the only town north of the Mason-Dixon line to have seceded?  And that is my hometown.

Further Reading:,_New_York

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...