Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On the Bookshelf: Ron Arons' Mind Maps for Genealogy

I'm a big fan of genealogist and author Ron Arons. Ever since I read his book The Jews of Sing Sing I've admired his research and approach to telling the stories of his ancestor's lives.


Ron's latest book is Mind Maps for Genealogy. Enhanced Research Planning, Correlation, and Analysis. This is an important work that provides researchers with ideas not only on how to incorporate mind maps into their research but also how to navigate mind mapping software. Ron writes of the book,

 "This publication introduces you to the basic concepts of mind maps: what they are, how to create them, and how to use them for planning genealogical research, logging, correlating/analyzing, and reporting. This publication also shows how mind maps complement the Genealogical Proof Standard..."

Why is this important? I'm visual, I like images and photos. No, I'm not an artist  but I do draw mind maps, either by hand or using software on my iPad. I use mind maps to help me visualize connections between people in a community. I draw them to flesh out ideas for my writing. I even draw them to better understand what questions I have about a particular ancestor. This book is a creative and much needed approach to research planning, analyzing and reporting on research.

While I am a frequent user of mind maps I will be the first to admit that I am not utilizing all of the capabilities of my mind mapping software. I don't have the patience to read software manuals but with Ron's book I don't have to. Ron takes readers through a  tutorial of how to use various mind mapping software programs including Free Mind, Simple Mind and X Mind. This section helped answer my questions and give me ideas for how I can be building better mind maps.

Looking for ways to plan out your research or share facts about your research with others? Go visual and use mind maps. Not sure how to do that or need some help? Check out Ron's book, Mind Maps for Genealogy. Enhanced Research Planning, Correlation, and Analysis.



Disclaimer: I had the honor of being a beta reader for this book and am proud to call Ron a friend. I was also gifted a copy of this book by Ron. However, that doesn't mean it influenced my review. Believe me, I wouldn't have a problem stating my opinion even after getting a free book.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WIKICHICKS GENEALOGY NEWS NETWORK OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2014
Contact: Tami Osmer Glatz, info@wikichicks.wiki


The WikiChicks Genealogy News Network (WikiChicks GNN), an engaging genealogical news service, has officially launched. “WikiChicks GNN is a new way for genealogists to stay informed of current industry news and relevant stories. By using social media tools we can provide information in a way that allows folks the ability to both read and share it easily with others” said Tami Osmer Glatz, co-founder of the group. “What I like about this concept is that it is a great example of how genealogists can come together, collaborate and make great things happen!” said Eowyn Langholf, co-founder. WikiChicks is different from existing community news services in that it is accessible through many platforms, and news is shared throughout the day, with evening digests of the day’s events created as a single blog posting.

WikiChicks’ goal is to share information of interest to genealogists daily via popular social media sources, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flipboard, and Storify.

WickiChicks’ postings combine aggregate information with new content. For those who don’t spend all day perusing social media sites, the team publishes the “Whaddya Miss” posting every weekday evening on the WikiChicks Genealogy News Network blog ,  www.WikiChicks.wiki. This segment includes all the day’s shared links and stories in one place.

Additionally, the WikiChicks team shares regular weekly columns on the WikiChicks.wiki blog,  such as Monday’s Muse, a collection of interesting genealogical tips, tricks and stories to motivate you for the week ahead; Tuesday’s ChickTips, featuring websites and resources helpful for research; Wednesday’s Spotlight, sharing personal stories and information about folk’s genealogical journeys; Thursdays Tweets, a collection of the week’s interesting and informative “don’t miss” comments from various genealogists on Twitter; and Friday’s Weekend Warmup, a recount of a few select news stories to get readers “warmed up” and ready to research over the weekend.

The website, www.WikiChicks.wiki, includes the blog, as well as an all-inclusive genealogy calendar of events, searchable by state or event type, such as conferences, webinars, etc.

Who are the WikiChicks?
The WickiChicks began as Eowyn Langholf and Tami Osmer Glatz.  The two met as team members for the collaborative family tree website, WikiTree, where Eowyn is the Forest Elf and Social Media Manager, and Tami is the Playground Manager & Courtesy Counselor (aka Community Assistant).

Tami’s contributions to the genealogy community have included the free Relatively Curious Internet Genealogy Toolbar, and presentations and classes on using the Internet for research while maintaining professional-level genealogical standards and practices.  Eowyn is smart, funny, wonderful, wildly successful working for a major published author & celebrity, and single. She recounts “Tami and I were manning the WikiTree booth at RootsTech, modeling our fashionably orange WikiTree shirts when Genea-Musings blogger Randy Seaver stopped by for a chat.  He took one look at us and said ‘You two must be the WikiChicks.’  We give him credit for the name and now refer to him affectionately as ‘Uncle Randy’”.  

Eowyn and Tami are pleased to announce the latest  contributor  to WikiChicks, author and researcher Gena Philibert-Ortega.  “Gena has been a part of so many aspects of the genealogy community, from her articles for WorldVitalRecords, to her being the genial hostess of the Genealogy-Wise online forums, to her behind-the-scenes research for Genealogy Roadshow, and so much more. Her breadth of knowledge is going to be a huge asset.”

About WikiChicks
The WikiChicks Genealogy News Network (WickiChicks GNN) is a free service that  provides social media posts to help educate and inform genealogists and family historians about news, events and research tips.  The WikiChicks’ GNN team share information of interest to genealogists daily via popular social media sources, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flipboard, and Storify.

To have your society or group’s events included on the Calendar, or to share  news and press releases, please email  info@wikichicks.wiki. To learn more about WickiChicks see their website at www.WikiChicks.wiki.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Going to Jamboree

It's time for the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree. I've written about Jamboree for the GenealogyBank blog including information for how to attend Jamboree from home.

Here's what I will be speaking on during the conference.



FR000E Friday June 6, 9:45 a.m.-10:45a.m.
10 Tips for Finding Newsletter Content
You have just been asked to edit your society newsletter, now what? Writing and editing a society newsletter is a vital job in the overall health of a society. The newsletter's mission can be a complex one including; informing members, potential members and non-members or upcoming events and projects, exposing members to new genealogical methods, research, websites and technology, providing a place where members can pass along information and get assistance and perhaps even a vehicle for some fundraising. With all that a society newsletter can be, it can feel like an overwhelming job that never ends. Whether you are a new newsletter editor or have been doing it awhile and need some new ideas, the ideas in this session will make your newsletter a must read and most importantly make your job much easier.

SA030 Saturday June 7, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Journals, Store Ledgers and Letters to Aunt Mary: Using Manuscript Collections
Manuscript collections are an overlooked resource in genealogy. Housed in archives, museums and libraries, manuscript collections can provide you with genealogical gems often overlooked when researching solely online. In this presentation we will look at what manuscript collections include and how to find them.

SA009 Saturday June 7, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Using America’s Ethnic Newspapers to Find and Document Your Family
Typically, when we consider newspaper research we narrow ourselves to a city newspaper that served our ancestor’s hometown. But the reality is that there could be multiple newspapers that reported on an area. In a large city, finding a mention of a person can be difficult at best. Ethnic communities often had their own newspapers. Because of possible prejudices, you may have a better chance at finding an ancestor in an ethnic newspaper than a general area newspaper. Join me as we discuss what treasures ethnic newspapers hold and how you can find them on GenealogyBank.

SU002 Sunday June 8, 7:00-8:30 a.m. - Scholarship Breakfast
Of Elephants, Gold, and Dashed Dreams: Researching the California Gold Rush
Did your ancestor come to California seeking their riches in gold? Maybe they came to make money off those with golden dreams. Whether your ancestor was a miner, a merchant or somewhere in between their story can be found in the social history and records.

SU021 Sunday June 8, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
GenealogyBank - Inside and Out
Everything you need to know about GenealogyBank.com
See practical examples of the genealogical information contained in newspapers. Learn about this extensive U.S. newspaper archive with more than 6,500 newspapers from all 50 states, spanning the years 1690 to today.

I hope to see you at Jamboree.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Church Record Sunday: Memorial Day 2014 Edition

Photo courtesy of Gary W. Clark. Used with permission.


One of the benefits of friends knowing you are interested in ephemera is that they send you interesting pieces to research. Today's Church Record Sunday is a copy of Strength for Service to God and Country. Daily Devotional Messages for Those in the Services. Edited by Chaplain Norman E. Nygaard (1942).

Photo courtesy of Gary W. Clark. Used with permission.

On first glance, I was focusing on the presentation page, thinking about researching the names inscribed.

Photo courtesy of Gary W. Clark. Used with permission.


Notice the comment at the bottom of this page, warning the reader not to include any identification about their unit or where the soldier or sailor is serving.

It was after taking a closer look at this book I realized that a name, church name and place were listed at the bottom of each devotional page. According to a history found on The United Methodist Church Global Ministries page, "In early 1942, the Methodist Publishing House wanted to provide devotional material for soldiers and sailors departing U.S. soil for battles across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. They asked Army Chaplain Norman Nygaard to recruit 365 church leaders to write one-page devotions..."

Photo courtesy of Gary W. Clark. Used with permission.


Here's a look at some of those names from this book, starting with the month of January:

James E. Freeman, Bishop of Washington, D.C., Episcopal
T. Roland Philips, Arlington Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Md.
Henry H. Crane, Central Methodist Church, Detroit, Mich.
Victor M. Rhein, Pilgrim Congregational Church, Oak Park, Ill.
Bernard Iddings Bell, St. John’s Cathedral, Episcopal, Providence, R. I.
Karl P. Buswell, Chaplain, U.S. Naval Reserve
C. Gordon Brownville, Tremont Temple Baptist Church, Boston, Mass.
Oliver J Hart, Bishop Coadjutor of Pennsylvania, Episcopal on leave as Chaplain, Fort Dix, N. J.
Arthur Braden, Wilshire Christian Church, Los Angeles, Calif.
Jacob J. Sessler, First Reformed Church, College Point, N.Y.
Joseph Marquis Ewing, First Presbyterian Church, Fresno, Calif.
Cleland B. McAfee, Noted Bible Teacher, Former Moderator, Presbyterian General Assembly
Daniel A. Poling, Baptist Temple, Philadelphia, Pa.
Samuel W. Marble, Trinity Methodist Church, Denver, Colo.
Howard P. Powell, Dilworth Methodist Church, Charlotte, N.C.
Francis Shunk Downs, First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, Calif.
John Curry Walker, Second Congregational Church, Waterbury, Conn.
E. C. McCown, Mount Lebanon United Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pa.
William E Brooks, First Presbyterian Church, Morgantown, W. Va.
Paul Calhoun, First Presbyterian Church, Spokane, Wash.
Roy L. Minich, First Church in Malden, Malden, Mass.
Charles Gerlinger, First Congregational Church, Sioux Falls, S.D.
O. James Sowell, University Place Christian Church, Oklahoma City
George R. Davis, First Christian Church, Chickasha, Okla.
J. George Dorn, Hollywood Lutheran Church, Hollywood, Calif.
George Hunter Hall, First United Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles, Calif.
George M. Gibson, United Church of Hyde Park, Chicago
John Newton Garst, First Baptist Church, Schenectady, N. Y.
Willsie Martin, Wilshire Methodist Church, Los Angeles, Calif.
Wendell L. Miller, University Methodist Church, Los Angeles
Thomas R. Niven, First Presbyterian Church, Omaha, Neb.

Looking through newspapers by searching on the name of Norman E. Nygaard I found another mention of this book and the assertion that it was used by a million and a half soldiers and sailors in World War II. This newspaper clipping is from Newspapers.com and promotes a presentation Nygaard was giving in Southern California. (Click on the link for an enlarged view of the article.)

Rev. Norman E Nygaard, The Van Nuys News (Van Nuys, California) 9 August 1951

The legacy of this book continues on today. An Eagle Scout, Evan Hunsberger decided to make it his project to get the book republished after finding his grandfather's copy from World War II. You can read more about Evan's project and the new revised edition on the website Strength for Service.

Did your World War II or Korean War era soldier carry Strength for Service? Was your minister family member one that contributed a devotional to this book?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

May Presentations

Looking for something to do this month? Check out my presentations in Southern California and online. I hope to see you at one!

May 10, 2014. San Diego Genealogical Society
Topic: Read All About It: Newspaper Research/Hit the Books!: Digitized Books

May 12, 2014. Sun City, Palm Desert
Topic: Read All About It: Newspaper Research

May 21, 2014. Southern California Genealogical Society Webinar (FREE)
Topic: Cost Cutting Measures to Help you Do More Genealogy

May 22, 2014. Family Tree University Webinar
Topic: Making MyHeritage Work for You

May 27, 2014. North San Diego County Genealogical Society
Topic: Cemetery Research

Monday, May 05, 2014

Join me for Breakfast! Jamboree Style

Going to the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree? Like to eat breakfast? (You know you need to eat breakfast at least once while you are there.) So why not join me for Of Elephants, Gold, and Dashed Dreams: Researching the California Gold Rush, the Scholarship Award Breakfast on Sunday, June 8th.

Official announcement of Jamboree breakfast including a joke those Jamboree folks played on me.


Sure there's going to be the traditional breakfast foods; eggs, fruit, "assorted herbal infusions," sausage or bacon (heck, consider it an all-you-can-eat bacon bar) but more importantly it supports a cause, the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant founded by my friend the Family Curator, Denise Levenick, and honoring her mom. I believe in this grant and am honored that I will be providing the presentation for this award breakfast.

So sure, come and eat lots of bacon with me but also come to support the winner of this year's grant, tell Denise thank you for giving this grant, and thank the Jamboree folks for supporting it. It's through opportunities like this award that we support the continued love of family history in the next generation.

To sign up for the breakfast, see the Jamboree website. There is a limit to how many people they will provide all-you-can-eat bacon too, so please hurry and register.

See you at the breakfast!