Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Genealogy Goals - 87th Carnival of Genealogy

As we close out 2009, here are my goals for my genealogy research for 2010:

Research:
  • Finish fixing source citations in database and organize digital files (just my grandma's line to go, too bad it's half the database).
  • Finally order some film from FHL.
  • Gather more original sources and find more ancestors and their stories.
  • Visit a cemetery or local library for information on my ancestors.
  • Write up some of my research as ancestor narratives to give to family. (I would like to do one a month, but I'll say that I want 6 done by the end of the year since I don't know how easily I will be able to put them together.)
  • Finish Vevay Newspaper Index (18 years to go).
Education:
Blog:
  • Figure out exactly where I want this blog to go.
  • Continue my monthly to-do lists and get others to participate.
  • Write more about my own research findings and family memories.
  • Comment on other genealogy blogs more.
Family:
  • Continue to gather family stories, photos and memorabilia.
  • Convert grandfather's 8mm movies to DVD.
  • Get husband to work on his own family tree some more.
I hope that 2010 is a great year for all my genealogy friends and that we all break down some brick walls. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December Genealogy To Do List Reviewed

Time to wrap up December and see what I accomplished on my genealogy to do list for the month.

For December I wanted to:
  • Finish sourcing ECK line. Finished!
  • Create a sharable CD of my ECK side for my dad to view. I'm trying this out in Rootsmagic and will have some posts about my experiences soon. Finished! Haven't heard if my dad has tried it out yet though.
  • Research my new STULL lines from Canada. Finished! Still need to do more research, but I added everything that I had to my database.
  • Talk to my grandma and get all the birth and marriage dates for my aunts, uncles and cousins. For some reason I never completed this for that side of the family. Finished! And entered into database (plus I got lots of new photos from her house!)
  • Renew membership to National Genealogical Society and Indiana Genealogical Society. Finished!
  • Work on POTTER and RICKETTS lines that are sitting on my desk. Finished! (And I can't believe how long these sat on my desk because it took me no time to deal with them.
I also was able to put a large dent in my genealogy bookmarks and loose files. Plus I scanned a bunch of photos that I got from my grandma and dad. I now have lots more old photos of my family and am in the process of putting them in new albums (since they were in magnetic albums). Two years of my Vevay Newspaper Index were also completed and uploaded.

It was a good month, hopefully it will continue into the new year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Geneabloggers!

I just wanted to take a moment and wish a very merry Christmas to all my fellow geneabloggers!

Thanks again to Thomas for the wonderful Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. I really enjoyed remembering all those Christmases past and using the same questions to interview my parents and grandma.

This year we celebrated Christmas by reenacting scenes from a Christmas story (the pictures are up on Facebook for my friends there) and ended it with a trip to the Chinese buffet.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and got something for their genealogy research. (I received a hard drive for back ups and Genea-Santa got me Getting the Most out of RootsMagic. (Thanks again Bruce!)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mom and Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Eve

Day 24 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Eve

Day 24 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

December 24 - Christmas Eve
How did you, your family or your ancestors spend Christmas Eve?

Many Christmas Eves (after Santa) were spent with my mom's side of the family. Either at my grandma's house, our house, or an aunt's house. That left Christmas day to be spent someplace else (for us it was usually at home but my aunt would go to her in-laws).

Later we would be able to have one present on Christmas Eve and eventually all our presents. (I think my parents just didn't want to wake up early and didn't want me waking up my brother before noon.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mom and Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Sweetheart Memories

Day 23 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Sweetheart Memories

Day 23 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

December 23 - Christmas Sweetheart Memories
Do you have a special memory of a first Christmas present from a sweetheart? How did you spend your first Christmas together? Any Christmas engagements or weddings among your ancestors?

So I don't remember what my husband gave for our first Christmas, so I asked him. He told me that he gave me a bracelet. That's probably right. I still have it somewhere but never wear it. He has since learned and this year for Christmas (I already got my presents), I received a hard drive and speakers.

Our first Christmas was spent hundreds of miles apart. I was in the Cincinnati area and he was in the Philadelphia area. We were home with our parents during Ohio State's winter break and exchanged presents when we were back in Columbus.

Our first Christmas together was several years later when I traveled to his parents' house for Christmas. That was the only Christmas we have spent there (and the only one we ever will).

This year's Christmas celebration will be spent at the Chinese Buffet!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas and Deceased Relatives

Day 22 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

My grandfather, Roy Suckling, died 31 December 1993. In the years after that we would stop by the cemetery and my mom or grandma would put flowers on his grave. My grandma continues the tradition, but I haven't been there in years.

Mom and Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas and Deceased Relatives

Day 22 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Music

Day 21 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.
My family always enjoyed the "odd" Christmas songs. Here is a list of some of my family's favorites:
One year my aunt recorded a bunch of Christmas songs from the radio to a cassette tape that we would listen to in the car on our trips during the holidays. There was one problem though, she never got the entire song. She would hear the song come on the radio and have to stop whatever she was doing and hit the record button across the room. Most of the songs started half way through and some were just the ending, but it made the tape memorable.

Nowadays I would like to know why the radio thinks that Christmas music should be playing at the beginning of November. Seriously a person can only take so much Christmas music, wait until Thanksgiving at least!

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Music

Day 21 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Religious Services

Day 20 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

My dad is Catholic so my brother and I were dragged to church usually on Christmas Eve. (It might have been Christmas morning when we were very young, but I don't remember.) Later we would have Christmas with my mom's side of the family right after church so it was always a rush. With all the standing and sitting, I could never take a nap.

Now my husband and I are not church people and do not attend any religious services.

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Religious Services

Day 20 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Shopping

Day 19 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

My mom was always in charge of the Christmas shopping. When I got older, I would usually go with her. This meant that I would pick out my presents and there would be no surprises for me Christmas morning. (Which was a good thing except my mom would always find some stupid present that I didn't want to give me as a surprise).

Now all of my shopping is done online. It was fun for a couple of times to go out with all the crowds, but it got old pretty fast. I like to get all my shopping done in advance to keep from the crowds and shipping delays.

Mom and Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Shopping

Day 19 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Stockings

Day 18 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.
At my parents house, our stockings were hung on the banister on the stairs in the foyer of the house. I don't know why they were never hung by the fireplace. Probably because the Christmas tree was in the living room and it opened up on the stairs. That way every gift was in one central location. They were also the first things my brother and I would look at when we could come down the stairs on Christmas morning. This was one of the decorations that I enjoyed doing because it was easy to put the garland on the stairs and tie the bows and stockings on the banister. It also didn't take nearly as much time as the tree and I didn't need supervised to do it.

We had four stockings, one for my dad (the giant one), one for my mom (red cloth that I think was from something else) and one for my brother and one for me. Besides my mom's stocking the others were the boring red and white furry ones. My mom made stockings for my brother and me as one of her many cross-stitch projects. But then she never put them together (like many of her projects). So we have some half made stocking somewhere.

My grandma also cross-stitched stockings for all the the grandchildren (and she actually put them together!) They were always hung above the fireplace at my grandparents' house.

Both of our stockings would be filled with our presents that would fit in the stocking. (Usually the junk presents.) We would also get some candy.

Mom and Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Stockings

Day 18 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Home Videos

Day 17 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.
My dad's family lived in central Pennsylvania while we lived in the Cincinnati area. Sometimes we would visit them for Christmas and some years we would stay in Ohio and spend Christmas with my mom's side of the family.

My grandfather was always interested in photography and had a video camera. My dad would borrow that one before he got his own. So there are lots of videos of my Christmas past.

But there is only one word to describe these videos: unwatchable.

That's not to say that it isn't fun to see what we all looked like and what we got for Christmas. It's what my dad would film. He didn't film us opening our presents or playing with them later. He filmed up telling the camera everything we had received for Christmas and who gave it to us and usually a comment about what a great gift it was.

My dad would then send the video to his parents for them to view. I can't imagine them getting through the entire tape. They were so boring. And I know this because two years ago I converted them all to DVD and it was painful to watch. I edited them all down so that 2 hours of each Christmas became more like 15 minutes. But now they only have to good parts, like the presents I remember and the one year that we were actually shown playing with our toys.

My grandfather also filmed my mom's Christmas pasts with an 8mm camera. I took them from my grandma's this past weekend in hopes of getting them copied onto DVD. Anyone have any experience doing this?

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Boxing Gloves

Day 17 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mom and Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas at School

Day 16 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas at School

Day 16 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

December 16 - Christmas at School
What did you or your ancestors do to celebrate Christmas at school? Were you ever in a Christmas Pageant?

We always had a Christmas party the last day of school before our winter break. There would be lots of treats and a video.

In elementary school, each year one grade level (3rd or 5th maybe?) would put on the Nutcracker. I was in the chorus part, but my brother was a tree when it was his year. Later I would have holiday chorus concerts and my brother would have holiday band concerts.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - The Holiday Happenings and Tombstone Tuesday

Day 15 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - The Holiday Happenings

Day 15 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

December 15 - The Holiday Happenings!
Often times December to mid-January birthdays and anniversaries get over shadowed by the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays. So we're going to shine a spotlight on those family members and ancestors this time around. Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays and/or anniversaries on your family tree. Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys and gals and write a toast to the anniversary couples.

Here is a list of all of my ancestors who were born or married in December and the beginning of January:

8 December 1793 - Roswell WASHBURN born
8 December 1858 - Theresa BANK born
22 December 1838 - Carley H BASCOM married Elizabeth POTTER
25 December 1772 - Henry CLEVELAND married Elizabeth ROYCE
30 December 1890 - William Watson SUCKLING married Lavina Victoria FARRELL (my ancestor)
31 December 1800 - William B SANDERS born
1 January 1803 - Leura CLEVELAND born
1 January 1916 - William Watson SUCLKING married Mabel RICHARDS (second wife)
4 January 1868 - Willard Theodore BASCOM born

Grandma's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - All in One

This past weekend I visited my parents, grandma and aunt. I finally got around to getting all the dates of my aunts and cousins for my database and lots of new photos which I will blog about later. I decided to ask my grandma the questions for the Geneablogger's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. She didn't remember much from Christmas when she was young, so I'm just going to post all of her answers into one post.

They had a real tree and she remembers that because she had to water it regularly.
She doesn't remember any special holiday foods and said they just eat what they would normally eat.
The family would send a few Christmas cards to close friends and family, but not nearly as many as she sends today.
The family didn't do any outdoor decorations when she was small. After she was married, she would help her mother decorate her house and she hurt her back one year and had to go to the hospital.
The family would all get together over the Christmas holidays.
Her mother made Christmas cookies.
She didn't remember any specific presents that she received, but she said that they were lucky to get anything, usually just one present for each child.
She doesn't like fruitcake.
They celebrated Christmas at school with a treat from the teacher.
Their stockings were hung and an apple or orange may be found inside on Christmas morning.
She remembers many Christmas songs and is tired of listening to them all now.
Before she met my grandfather, she dated a marine/actor who gave her nothing for Christmas. He did give her a cross with diamonds for a present, but not for Christmas. My grandfather didn't give her anything for a long time. After they were married he would give her jewelry such as a watch or necklace.
She doesn't remember visiting anyone at Christmas. They would just open presents and eat dinner.

As a bonus she remembered during the 1930s and the depression how her brothers and sister and her would go to get their rations with her little red wagon.
She also said that her father moved the family around a lot because he said that it was cheaper to move than to pay rent.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Fruitcake

Day 14 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.
I have never eaten fruitcake and will never eat fruitcake unless someone ties me down and forces it into my mouth. But they should be warned that I bite.

Growing up I don't remember any fruitcakes getting passed around or receiving any. But one year my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I saw packaged fruitcakes at the store and decided to give one to my dad. At our Christmas party with my mom's side of the family, we played our card and gift exchange game. We decided to add the fruitcake to the game, but wanted to make sure that my dad was the one who got it. So we didn't wrap it and put it with the other gifts to choose from. Instead we hid it until we could find the right time to give it to my dad. My dad decided to give my grandma a gift instead of taking one for himself. So we gave him "The Most Generous Player" Award. He probably almost fell out of his chair laughing when we gave him his fruitcake award.

But instead of waiting for Christmas, we would exchange the fruitcake at birthdays and anniversaries and other holidays throughout the year. Eventually we gave my dad a fruitcake at our wedding (yeah, we're weird). My parents found it when they were helping to set up and stole it. So my husband had to go buy another one before the wedding. My brother's wedding speech was all about giving the father of the bride a token for allowing his daughter to be married. My dad saw it coming, but had no idea that another fruitcake had been found.

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Fruitcake

Day 14 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Holiday Travel

Day 13 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.
When I was young, my family would regularly travel to from Cincinnati to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to visit my dad's family. We would all pile into the van and my dad would cram more than you could imagine in the back (that's where I get my awesome spatial skills). All our presents from Santa would make the trip out to Pennsylvania and then back again. I still don't know how we got everything in there and back. My grandparents were always shocked by what would come out of the van.

I remember one year that we couldn't leave early because my brother had to go to his friends' party. And we had to leave the next day because that was Christmas Eve. And of course that day was filled with snow and ice. The roads were awful and we saw many accidents along the way. We made it the 500 miles safe and sound and who knows how much longer it took to get there. I think that was the last time my dad ever traveled in bad weather. Now if it is snowing anywhere in the lower 48, he won't venture any distance. It's annoying but it makes a little sense remember that trip.

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Holiday Travel

Day 13 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

SNGF - Another Wish List

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver is:

Define one or more genealogy or family history databases, that are not currently online, that would really help you in your research. Where does this database currently reside?

I asked my husband what I would want (and after explaining what it meant) he said Pennsylvania records. That is a good choice since I would love to see birth, marriage and death records for Pennsylvania available online and easy to access.

I would also love to see all of the records from Switzerland county, Indiana digitized. I have many of my grandma's family from this county and would love to do lots of research online for those ancestors. I want all of the records: births, marriages, deaths, land, probate, tax, court, newspapers, etc.

Thanks Randy for another awesome SNGF!

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Charitable Work

Day 12 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.
My dad's work did lots of charity things including a gift wrapping day for the gifts that were bought for the needy. Other than that I have never done any charity or volunteer work for Christmas. I don't understand why it is so important to help the needy this time of year. Why not the entire year?

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Charitable/Volunteer Work

Day 12 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Other Traditions

Day 11 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.
I wish that I knew what traditions that my ancestors brought with them from their home countries. Unfortunately I don't and I don't think they have been carried forward into my own family.

Growing up I was friends with people of many different faiths and knew some about their traditions, but never celebrated with them. We learned about all the different December holidays in school, but not much. Today working with many English Language Learners in the schools where I substitute has given me a greater understanding of the traditions of many different cultures. I just need to learn more about the ones that my ancestors practiced.

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Other Traditions

Day 11 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Gifts

Day 10 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Gifts

Day 10 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

December 10 - Christmas Gifts
What were your favorite gifts, both to receive and to give? Are there specific gift-giving traditions among your family or ancestors?

I have enjoyed the giving more than the receiving for many years now. I am too picky to make the getting any fun. I usually dislike most things that other people think that I would want. For many years I really liked cows. Everyone in the family found out about this and thought that was all I would ever want and that I would want every single cow thing ever made. Well I didn't. I just liked them. I wanted a few things to keep around, but not a ton. It was really annoying. One Christmas I opened my present from my grandma and she had gotten me a set of cow mugs. I looked at her and said "Grandma, I don't like cows anymore. I like penguins." After she got up off the floor, I told her that I was just teasing her. But ever since them I did like penguins. But then every just got me every penguin thing. So I guess I need to pick a new animal (maybe a turtle).

On the other hand, I have always enjoyed finding a present that someone else would really enjoy, especially when it seems on the surface that they wouldn't. For example, one year I got my brother a shirt. Normally, he would never want a shirt for a gift. But I got him a shirt from our favorite artist. He loved it!

A tradition in on my mom's side of the family was to pull names out of a hat and that was who you had to buy gifts for instead of everyone buying presents for everyone. It made it a lot easier, but there were definitely people who you would rather buy for than others.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mom and Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Grab Bag 1

Day 9 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Peeking

Day 9 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

December 9 - Grab Bag
Author’s choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!

So I was never one to like a surprise. Probably because I usually didn't like any gifts that I didn't pick out myself. One year my parents with to a holiday party (the only one I ever remember them go to) and left my brother and I home alone. So what are two kids going to do in a house, home alone, after they have learned there is no Santa? Of course we did it!

My brother and I searched everywhere. Usually my mom would put everything in the guest bedroom. But they weren't there that year. We finally found them under my parents' bed. We enjoyed finding out what our presents were going to be.

But my parents found out. I don't remember how they knew. Either things were different with the presents or with us. That year we each got a box of unwrapped presents. Why bother wrapping them when the kids already know what they are getting? (I also have proof of this from a home movie my dad made that year to send to his family that I recently converted to DVD.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mom and Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Cookies

Day 8 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Cookies

Day 8 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

December 8 - Christmas Cookies
Did your family or ancestors make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?

I don't remember making many cookies when I was little. There were always Christmas cookies around, I just don't remember anyone baking them.

What I do remember were the awesome cookies that my mom's entire family would buy from Miss Alice's Cookies in Norwood, Ohio. There were so many different varieties: almond crescents covered in powdered sugar, red and green sugar cookies shaped like wreathes, oatmeal cookies, and chocolate stars are the ones I remember most. Unfortunately, when we went to get cookies a few years back the store was gone. I miss those cookies. They were the best.

When I got married, I started baking my own Christmas cookies. I have made the almond crescents, but they just aren't the same. I can never get enough powdered sugar to stick to them to make them taste just right. I made tins of cookies for my brother and parents.

And I really wish I could get some of those Christmas stars again.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Holiday Parties

Day 7 of my Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.The only holiday parties that I remember are the one's with my dad's side of the family when we traveled to Pennsylvania for Christmas. Most of my aunts and uncles (except for the one that wouldn't let anyone into his house after I crawled around it when I was one and dusted his floor and his sister endlessly made fun of him) would have a party at their houses. Every night we were in town, we would go to a different house and have a different get together. (This was apparently passed on from a tradition with my great aunts and uncles.)

One of my uncles came up with a crazy, fun game that we would play every year. He would go and buy little "gifts" and wrap them up. When everyone arrived, he would put the presents on a table in the center of everyone. He would pass out a deck of cards and keep a deck to himself. Then he would call cards from his deck and the person with the matching card would get a present from the pile. When the gifts ran out, you had to "steal" one from someone else. At the end, you would open the presents that you had kept. They were always crazy things that nobody every really wanted, but that's what made it so much fun. Eventually other relatives would play the same game at their parties as well.

The first year my husband spent Christmas with my family, he and I decided to play the game with my mom's side of the family. We went to the "Good Dollar Store", a subsidiary of the Goodwill store and bought all of our "gifts" and wrapped them before we went to my parents' house. The most memorable gift was the toilet plunger that we wrapped very obviously. My dad, knowing this game well, didn't want any of his gifts, so he kept trying to pass them off onto other people. But we had something to take care of that: we awarded him a fruitcake for being the "most generous player". (You'll have to wait until December 14 to learn more about this fruitcake.)

This game was always the best part of the holidays when we traveled to Pennsylvania. I wish we could play it again, but it's more fun with lots of people and we don't have the big family parties in Ohio/Indiana.

Mom and Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Holiday Parties

Day 7 of my mom and dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mom's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Santa Claus

My mom has now decided to participate with my dad and me in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

December 6 - Santa Claus
Did you ever send a letter to Santa? Did you ever visit Santa and “make a list?” Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Santa Claus

Day 6 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Santa Claus

Day 6 of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

December 6 - Santa Claus
Did you ever send a letter to Santa? Did you ever visit Santa and “make a list?” Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

I love Santa! The only reason to celebrate Christmas and get presents is Santa. I still believe in Santa and sent him a letter just yesterday. That's the first letter I remember sending to Santa. I'm sure that I wrote some in school growing up or at home, but I really don't have a memory of them. I remember more of my Christmas lists from after my parents kicked Santa out of the house and bought our presents themselves. Presents are a lot less fun when you know what you are getting and go shopping for them yourself.

When we were in college, my brother and I would always want to take our picture with Santa and give it to our parents. But my husband would never let us. (He also says that Santa can't give me any presents because he can't get in our house because we don't have a chimney. But I keep telling him that Santa will find a way.)

Roots Magic Shareable CD - My Impressions

I've been posting about the process that I went through to make a shareable CD using Roots Magic 4 (RM4). I have already discussed how to make a shareable CD and export a GEDCOM. Today I'm going to discuss my own impressions with the CD.

I really like the opening screen of the CD. It gives a title, photo and menu. In the menu, you have:
  • View Family Tree (Opens the tree)
  • About this Disc (The introduction that you wrote.)
  • Contact the Author (Can include address, website, email and more)
  • Rootsmagic.com (Takes you to the website for RM4.)
The CD is read-only, meaning that a person can see everything, but can't make any changes. You can search the database, view the media and sources, and print reports.

The CD is slow compared to running the RM4 from your computer. But this has to do with the CD drive and not the program itself. I found that it showed the profile image on my home person (my grandfather) but did not display other images on its own. It would show a file image so you would know something was there, but you would have to click on it to see it.

For the sources, it left the main part of the source and text I had entered from the source, but did not keep the source details (for example, it give the source as 1930 census, but does not give the city, county, page, etc.). I'm not sure why this would not be in the CD, but it is a major disadvantage to me. I want someone who sees this CD to know exactly where I got the data and how to get it themselves (even if they have no intention of doing so).

I also wonder how easy it is for people who have never used RM4 to find the source media. How many people are going to go to each fact, find the source, then find the media. It seems like it would be hidden to people who have never touched the software. I am interested in what my dad will be able to find when I give him the CD.

I didn't spend a lot of time with the CD. I know what's in my database and would never use it to copy my own information. It's also not something that I would give to a fellow researcher. They can handle the GEDCOM and media files on their own (at least I think). I think that the shareable CD is for sharing your research with non-genealogists, but I am not sure how well they will be able to figure it all out on their own. After I give my shareable CD to my dad, I will report back on how easy or hard it was for him to figure out on his own and how much I had to explain. So stay tuned.

Full Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of RootsMagic. Just a happy user.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

SNGF - Dear Genea-Santa

Dear Genea-Santa,
I have been such a good little genealogist this year and all I'm asking you for is one small thing. All I want this year is the book Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic. I really want this book so that I can learn how to do everything with my RootsMagic 4 software that I got in the spring and and loved using. (You see how it's for learning and not for fun. I'm getting all growed up now.)

I have been so good this year, so it shouldn't be a problem to get just one little present from you Genea-Santa. I've been working very hard on my "To Do Lists." I have fixed many source citations and organized many of my genealogy media files (the Eiswerth and Suckling lines are done and I promise to finish the Eck line this week.) I scanned all of my grandfather's WWII photos and created a book for my relatives so that they can enjoy them too. I've gotten good grades in my genealogy classes from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I even got my husband to start working on his genealogy too!

If you just give me this one little present, I promise that I will try harder to keep my genealogy bookmarks under control and keep up to date on my "to do" piles on my computer and desk. I promise to keep most of my binders and books on the shelves where they belong instead of the floor (of course this only applies to when I'm not using them).

I hope that the reindeer are ready for flying this year.
Love,
Tina

P.S. If you want to get me something else because I've been so good this year, you can bring me the parents of George E. Hillis.

Thanks Randy for another great Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Outdoor Decorations

Day 5 Dad's memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

December 5 - Outdoor Decorations

Did people in your neighborhood decorate with lights? Did some people really go “all out” when decorating? Any stories involving your ancestors and decorations?

As I recall, our house had a nice tree in the front yard and we always strung lights on it. Later we added lights along the gutter and across the garage. Somehow I got assigned the job of untangling the lights on many occasions. Although we had wreaths and red bows and some lights to decorate the outside, inside is where we really tried to decorate the most. I think most of our neighbors did the same thing.

Roots Magic Shareable CD - Creating a new GEDCOM

Yesterday I discussed the process of making a shareable CD of my database with Roots Magic 4 (RM4). Today I'm going to discuss how I exported a GEDCOM from RM4 to make my database and media fit on one CD.

In order to get my database to fit on a CD (since I was trying to use them up), I had to export a GEDCOM of my database to include only my paternal grandfather's side of the family. It was a little tricky to get just the part of the database that I wanted.
  1. Select File from the menu, then select Export.
  2. Check which pieces of your database you want to include (notes, sources, addresses, etc.) At this point you can also privatize living people.
  3. At the top, you will see a drop down box. It will say Everyone by default. Choose select from list to choose just those individuals that you want.
  4. A new box with a list of everyone in your database will appear. You can choose them from memory or select one person and choose people linked to them. I chose my grandfather, then clicked the "Mark people" button. Choose "Ancestors of highlighted person." Here you can choose direct ancestors, ancestors and their children or collateral lines. I chose "ancestors and their children" because that includes my ancestors, their siblings and their sibling's spouses. (Which is about all that's in my database. You could also choose collateral lines if you want all of the cousins.) Then I clicked the "Mark People" button again with my grandfather selected and chose "Descendants of highlighted person" then chose "Descendants and Spouses".
  5. Choose a name and place to save the new GEDCOM.
Now I have a GEDCOM of my grandfather's side of the family (ancestors and descendants). If you choose collateral lines of ancestors, you can get all of the cousins. But if you choose collateral lines of descendants, you end up with the ancestors of everyone else. For example, all of my mom's side of the family will end up in the database, when I don't want a tree of that side.

It sounds more confusing than it is. Play around with it for a little while and you will start to see who gets connected with each option.

Tomorrow I will post about my own impressions with the shareable CD that I created and later will post about my dad's impressions when I give it to him.

Full Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of RootsMagic. Just a happy user.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Outdoor Decorations

Day 5 of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Roots Magic Shareable CD - Creating CD

I've been looking for easy ways to share my family history data and images with my family. I have an online tree on Ancestry where I attach records that I find on the site. My dad is able to see the images that I have attached without a subscription (at least until he lost the password). I also have a tree on Geni, but I have not attached any documents.

One of my annoyances with online trees is that they do not update with my database. Therefore, I have to update every new fact I find 2 or 3 times to get it where everyone can find it. Although I will update my Ancestry tree with records I find on Ancestry, I do not add any other records that I find elsewhere. My online tree on Geni does not get updated often because I would prefer to upload a new Gedcom, but it does not allow that feature and I don't have the time to update every tree continuously.

In the spring, I purchased Roots Magic 4 (RM4) for my new database software. I have been very happy with it and have been using it to fix my source citations and how I organize my genealogy media. RM4 offers the feature of a shareable CD. It will create a CD or DVD using your database and also incorporate your media and sources. I decided to try this feature out and give a copy of my current database to my dad so that he could see all of the media that I have attached.

In order to make a shareable CD in RM4, you need to:
  1. Select Tools from the top menu and choose "Create a Shareable CD."
  2. A menu will prompt you that the CD will be created from the database that you have open or you can create a new database by exporting a GEDCOM file.
  3. You are prompted for a Title, Photo and Introduction for your CD.
  4. Then you are prompted for your contact information. At this point you can preview what it will look like.
  5. Then RM4 will collect your images and create a temp folder of the CD. This will take a while depending on the size of your media collection.
  6. You are given the option of burning the CD from RM4 or using your own software.
  7. Insert CD. Burn. You are done!
This is fairly simple to do, but I ran across some problems.
  • RM4 does not let you decide where to place the temp folder of your shareable CD. It places it in a very odd place (in my opinion) and is hard to find. (Mine was found in C:\Documents and Settings\Tina\Application Data\RootsMagic\Shareable CD.) If you don't have space on one drive, this process will most likely fail. It would be nice to be able to choose where the shareable CD files are created.
  • My genealogy files take up around 3 GB. There is no way that this can fit on a 750MB CD. But RM4 did not warn me about this. Instead, it chose to try to burn the CD and then failed when it ran out of space, wasting a CD. Now I was aware that this would be an issue and wanted to test out what would happen when you used media that would never fit your database, so it was no big deal for me an my many CD-Rs. But this is very annoying to someone who doesn't want to be wasting CDs (even more so for more expensive DVDs). It would be nice if it told you which size media you would need and warn you when you did not have enough room before it started burning the CD and wasting it.
These are two items that I would add to my wish list of things that I would like to see added or changed in RM4. Tomorrow I will discuss how to export a GEDCOM of just the people you want. Sunday, I'll post about my impressions of the shareable CD I created. When I give it to my dad next weekend, I'll get his impressions and post those as well.

Full Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of RootsMagic. Just a happy user.

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Cards

Day 4 of my dad's Christmas memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.December 4 - Christmas Cards Did your family send cards? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards? Do you have any cards from your ancestors?

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Cards

Day 4 of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.December 4 - Christmas Cards Did your family send cards? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards? Do you have any cards from your ancestors?

My family has always sent Christmas cards. We would set up a production line at the kitchen table. My dad would be the one to write any messages in the cards and put the address on the envelope. Then my brother and I would put on the stamp and return address. I don't really remember my mom helping at this stage, but she was always the one to buy the cards during after Christmas sales.

The cards would end up in a basket on the fireplace. I loved getting the mail during December and opening all of the Christmas cards. It was always exciting to see all of the different cards. My uncles would send us funny ones many times and those were the best.

When I scanned my grandfather's WWII photos, I found a few copies of the ones that the men had sent from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.


Today I still send cards, but not nearly as many as my parents send. I keep the list short with only close family and friends. And I still enjoy getting the cards in the mail.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Tree Ornaments

Day 3 of Dad's version of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Tree Ornaments

Day 3 of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dad's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Holiday Foods

Day 2 of my dad's memories for the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories made possible by Geneabloggers.

Today's Prompt:
December 2 - Holiday Foods
Did your family or ancestors serve traditional dishes for the holidays? Was there one dish that was unusual?

Cookies, cookies, cookies are what we made every year. All kinds of cookie varieties got passed around and exchanged with aunts. I remember several cookie making parties. As far as an unusual or traditional dish for the holidays, we stuck primarily to the turkeys and hams. If Pennsylvania deer hunting season was successful, then we might also have some venison steaks or butterflied chops for a change. Once we even had a black bear roast that was given to us by my Uncle Norbert and the way my mom cooked it, it was delicious.

My grandparents always came to our house for Sunday dinner during the holidays. It was a blast for us kids. My Grandfather Eugene Eck, (aka Pop-Pop) always sat the head of the table and said grace before we ate dinner. Pop-Pop was always making jokes and had all kinds of stories from his days as a mail carrier. After dinner, he’d park himself in the middle of the sofa and we would all pile in around him to get him so we could hear his latest jokes. If we had turkey, for some reason he needed a nap for 15 minutes before the jokes and stories began.

My Grandmother Eiswerth (Catherine) would usually have to wait until after Christmas day to visit us. She worked as a cook/housekeeper at a parish rectory, and was always very busy at Christmas time. She lived about 3 hours away. Grammy was greatly loved by us kids and we always had fun when she came for a few days visit. One year she was coming to see us and her old Ford car broke down. She had to have it towed to a repair shop. In true Christmas spirit, the repair shop owner and his wife drove Grammy to our house that evening. Dad tried to give them money, but they wouldn’t accept it. My mom managed to give them a big can of her cookies. After that when she travelled, Grammy always stopped at their gas station to say hello to her new friends.

I remember that bear. My brother and I were told that it was deer and only found out after we liked it what it actually was.