Saturday, April 30, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 18 - Weather

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Week 18 - Weather

Thanks to GeneaBloggers and Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog for these prompts.

Week 18. Weather. Do you have any memorable weather memories from your childhood? How did your family cope and pass the time with adverse weather? When faced with bad weather in the present day, what do you do when you’re stuck at home?

1. For many years, as a native Iowan, living across the United States, I told of the May 28th snow storm when I was a child, on our farm... I could not remember the year, nor did 'anyone else' I talked to, it seemed. I continued to tell the story, of course, when extreme weather was part of the conversation. My dad died in 1977... some years later, Mom married again, to another Iowa farmer. One day, probably early 1990s, it came up in conversation that I began to tell my 'May 28th snow storm' story - how Mom had a club meeting at the farm house that night, and what a mess it was.

Her husband, Roland, picked right up on the story - "Yes, it was 1947," he said. "I remember it at our farm; it was awful for that time of year" .... and went on and on about his recall of the event! How happy I was, to sit there and listen to another story of the same May 28th, 1947 snow storm I recalled so vividly from when I was just approaching my 8th birthday a month or so later...

2. Iowa - 100 year floods - 2 in just a few years

3. Table Rock Lake, MO - also 2 - 100 year floods in 4 years, 2008, 2011

Photo taken yesterday of Table Rock Lake and Dam with lake level just under max, gates in full release flooding many homes and parts of Branson Landing below...

Water from that last one not totally receded yet - watch out those of you in the lower Mississippi River regions in coming weeks!

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Follow Friday - 29 Apr 2011

Follow Friday
29 Apr 2011

Discussions among a number of GeneaBloggers this past week or so have certainly, among other things, raised questions in my mind as to why I blog the way I do. Once again, Marian's Roots & Rambles provides a useful framework for further consideration. I recommend it for your consideration as well:
My Top 3 Bits of Advice for Blogging

Her three bits are simple and to the point, but be sure to read what she says about each one, whether you are a newbie or have been around a while.

A couple of my comments on each:

1) Know Your Goal

I have a goal for each blog. That part is pretty easy, but as I explained, it does make prioritizing challenging. How are you doing on this?

2) Write from Your Heart

By doing this, I continue to enjoy every post I write. I used to worry about followers, and number of hits, etc. I don't any more - because, I get enough comments, from folks I already know as well as folks I don't already recognize (thank you each!) that I am confident there are some readers who are benefiting from my remarks as much as I am from writing them. Just keep on keeping on.  ;-)

3) Stick to Your Guns [she left off Your, but I know it was there...  ;-)]

I generally write short posts; and generally only read relatively short posts. Put, there are many exceptions to each. I can only write in my "writing style" - so I liked that advise! How do you handle this important topic? I've noticed a number of my fellow bloggers making some significant changes - I assume they are from changes in goals and priorities over time. Have you notice? What do you think?

P.S. A second recommendation this week, from our good friend and fellow blogger, Randy Seaver:
21st Century Genealogical Societies - in case you missed it, and are interested - great summary article.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding Genealogy and Stats

Grant Brünner, Community Evangelist at has kindly offered the following to share; you may have seen it elsewhere, I have. But if not, for your viewing pleasure:

Note: I have received nothing in exchange for posting this embedded poster.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week 17 - Pets

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History
Week 17 - Pets

Thanks to GeneaBloggers and Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog for these prompts.

Week 17: Pets. Did you have any pets as a child? If so, what types and what were their names. Do you have pets now? Describe them as well. If you did not have pets, you can discuss those of neighbors or other family members.

This one is actually pretty fun and pretty simple, for me. I had a collie-like dog as a child on the farm. It was the family dog, of course, but as the oldest child, I thought of him as mine. We called him Whitey, but as you can see, he was a 'dirty-white' at best. He 'left' while I was still in country school, that finished with the seventh grade.

By the time we got another dog, it was Spice, and my younger brothers were more involved than I. I've never had another pet, myself. There could never be a replacement for Whitey!  ;-)

Mom's handwriting says June 1945, in her distinctive script! Younger brother, Jim is in the wagon. I also see a nice rain-water barrel and nice dirt yard. This is our farm house in Willow Township, Greene County, Iowa. That is the back door of the house onto a small porch - very typical of the time. We are looking in the direction of the barn and the rest of the farm. [Back in Week 3 - Cars - I shared a couple of other photos of the old porch, back door and new porch that show changes over time.]

As the years go by, I do look a lot more at the background of these old photos. In the past, I mostly looked at the people, which are still important, of course. Searching for this photo with the dog, I found a few others of the period that I have not previously shared. That will be fun. THANKS!  ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Follow Friday - 22 Apr 2011

Follow Friday
22 Apr 2011

"Speaker Tip: An Easy Way to Become a Better Speaker" posted by Marian's Roots & Rambles offers not only specific tips but ways to pick up more yourself as you watch the better (and other) speakers go about their work, at conference, seminars or even in the classroom.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Genea-opportunities - we each choose what is right for us

Genea-opportunities  - we each choose what is right for us

Thomas MacEntee, at, is writing a series of posts this week on the multiple opportunities in the genealogy industry/community - including as a career. As with any blog post, the comments recorded are also very useful to consider. Also, please note the thanks he gives at the end of the posts, and in the posts, to other useful information by others.

This series was prompted by a number of blog posts and Facebook discussions over the past several days. I took a small part in some of those discussions, and feel the need to add some further comments of my own here, as well as to bring attention to the fine series Thomas is presenting. Others are doing the same...

As you know, I am a retired university business school professor emeritus who also has pursued my own family history and genealogy seriously since 1995. I began blogging seriously in September of 2005, as a volunteer (as part of my life as a professor) working in local tourism. I retired at age 70 and am still capable of writing and reading at a high level of my own choosing.

Note the 'of my own choosing' phrase, above. During my first year of retirement, I made a conscious effort to determine what mix of work and leisure was going to work best for me - and my wife. I blogged about it.

As retirement approached, I became familiar with the latest Print-on-Demand book publishing options, and began to publish non-fiction family history books (4 to date). Promoting these books lead to my book blog, which included reviews and other book related activities, begun in March 2009. I am an active member of LibraryThing and their Early Reviewer program. In doing a thorough review of blogging in general, to promote my books, I discovered genealogy blogs. I began my genealogy related blog in September 2009 as a part of that process.

The one specific goal I had set for that first retirement year was to: finish the fiction novel I had begun in 1987 - before the first retirement year was over. Promotion of the work and the novel was tied into the book blog, but, I also created a new blog for the family saga novel series that appeared to be headed for a trilogy. The first novel in the series, "Back to the Homeplace," was completed and published, in Spring 2010. The second in the series, "The Homeplace Revisited," will appear in June 2011, with a little luck. While I make a few dollars from the novels, it does not cover the cost of the others books we are buying and reading every month!

Two additional non-fiction family history books are in the works, and I am anxious to get into them in more depth as soon as the second novel is laid to rest.

In the summer of 2010 I also became affiliated with This is a commercial news organization of the online era. I assume the closest comparison might be to the Huffington Post... however, the point of is that it focuses on local news written by local writers. It is 'for pay' in the broadest sense of the word - that is, we are paid very little (unless we are read widely and get a "lot" of hits on our articles). Only a few are able to write for the money - most of us write for the love of the writing and the recognition of our work in print. I write on two topics: as Springfield (MO) Genealogy Examiner, and, as Ozarks Cultural Heritage Examiner. Note: I appreciated subscribers (free)!

And, I am still the retired Grandpa and husband that I am expected to be - I hope!

So, GeneaBlogger is 'one of my favorite things' - but far from my only thing! Amateur or professional is the least of my concerns, thank you very much. That is my 'two cents' - I hope you will write about yours! 

[As I am writing this, Amy Coffin published her thoughts on The We Tree Genealogy Blog! I'm sure there are others, as well!  ;-) ]

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Follow Friday - 15 Apr 2011

Follow Friday - 15 Apr 2011

Today I am recommended the results of a recent Family History Survey; in case you haven't seen them. I will be writing about them further, likely here, and for sure on my column. Check it out.

Thanks to Family History 21ster

Results from Family History Survey now available

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

National Heritage Areas are for all of us

National Heritage Areas

There are now 49 National Heritage Areas around the United States. We should each include a National Heritage Area visit in our summer (and year around) vacation plans just like we have historically included the National Parks. Here is an excellent (short 4 min - that helps make it excellent!) video I hope you will watch.

Here are two URLs to visit, when you are done, to read more about the locations of the 49 locally-based National Heritage Area. If you have visited one or more, I hope you will leave a comment.

April 16-24 is National Park Week

Note: Freedom's Frontier NHA straddles the Kansas-Missouri border
Silos and Smokestacks NHA covers the NE quadrant of Iowa

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Civil War Series on Sunday - War began 150 years ago this coming Tuesday

Civil War Series on Sunday
War began 150 years ago this coming Tuesday

The American Civil War began 150 years ago, early this coming Tuesday morning, April 12, 1861. Here is a good piece to get the commemoration started.

I have already published 13 posts related to the Civil War [See label 'Civil War' in lower left sidebar] including stories of most of my Civil War ancestors. More will be added, I'm sure.

The History Channel coverage can be found here.

I just finished reading the big thick book, Team of Rivals, set during this period, of course, so I am ready for the commemoration to begin, in all its forms.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Follow Friday - 8 Apr 2011

Follow Friday
8 Apr 2011

My recommended article this week comes at the question, "What is genealogy research?" from one direction. I'd like to interpret what I see in this fine article from a slightly different perspective. It seems to me there are two primary objectives in doing what we do: 1) build a 'family tree' for ourself, or for others, that as nearly as possible 'mirrors reality,' and 2) is based on independently verifiable sources and 'best evidence available.' The professional genealogist uses 2) to accomplish 1). We should all aspire to do the same.

To me, whether "it has been done before" is not relevant. Even if a report, a tree, a family story or carefully cited genealogical compilation in a respected journal has information relative to the family under study, each fact and relationship must be analyzed and demonstrated to 'mirror reality' in order to be used. The professional must be compensated for doing that. The non-professional must do it to accomplish the goal. Each and every time we may be tempted to 'short-cut' any element of 2), for whatever reason, we reduce the likelihood of achieving 1).

The article for this week:
"What if it Has Already Been Researched?" posted by Kory Meyerink, with ProGenealogists: Official research firm

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Follow Friday - 1 Apr 2011

Follow Friday - 1 Apr 2011

Today, I am sort of 'cheating' - but it is my blog, right? I am a week ahead, but I want to remember to go back to this organization post -  thanks, again, to Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:
Testing DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Paper Organization System

Maybe I'll find another recommendation or two, during the coming week...  ;-)

Sunday update - I did. Thanks to Randy, again.

"You Go Genealogy Girl #2 - Cheri" posted "Are You a Genealogist?" on 22 Mar 2011.
Well worth reading... I posted a comment, I hope you do to!  ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)