Thursday, October 27, 2011

Indiana Genealogical Society - Always A Hoosier Project

The Indiana Genealogical Society has a project called "Always a Hoosier". This project is all about user submissions. If you have ancestors who was born before 1930 and is buried in Indiana, you can contribute information about them. All you have to do is fill out a simple form and prove that they are buried in Indiana. Include a photograph of your ancestor or their gravestone to liven up the entry. All entries are printed in the IGS newsletter along with the contact information of the submitter.

If you ancestors lived in Indiana, but were buried somewhere else, you can record information about them in the IGS project "Once a Hoosier".

IGS publications are all digital. But they are printed and preserved at the Allen County Public Library and other libraries in and out of the state.

It's a great way to preserve the story of your ancestor and find new cousins. I just submitted a bunch of ancestors along with the gravestone photographs that I found on my trip to Switzerland County back in the spring.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Current Project - Recording My History

Over the past few years, I have research my family history, recorded family stories, scanned family photographs and shared what I have found with others. But there has been one area of my genealogy that has been lacking: the part about me.

I've scanned photographs of myself growing up. I've recorded the important dates of my life in my genealogy program. I've recorded a few of my memories.

One of the problems with recording my own history is that I took all my personal history items from my parents' house when I starting getting involved in genealogy. So then when I scanned what my parents had my stuff wasn't there. Of course there were photographs, but no report cards, no awards, no baby book, no yearbooks, no Puffalump. All of my stuff has been buried in my closet. I knew I wanted it. I knew I need to preserve it. I just never did anything useful with it all.

So now I am on a mission to record "my history". I pulled everything out of my closet so that I could get to the good stuff. I am scanning photographs, photo albums, yearbooks, report cards, and everything else I forgot I had.

Here are my tools:
Hopefully this won't take too long. I mean there is less than 30 years of history to record. And I'd really like to be able to get to my bookshelf without tripping on all the stuff that should be in my closet.

Disclosure: Amazon affiliate links were used for the tools I am using.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - William and Lucetta ECK

Feb. 20, 1823
Oct 5, 1900

Aug. 26, 1826
Mar. 6, 1905

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

Photo taken by Tina Lyons, July 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Watching Someone Analyze Your Blog Is Weird

Last Thursday I went to the Allen County Public Library to crash my friend Melissa's class on genealogy blogs. (You may remember Melissa from FGS. She was the one causing trouble and blaming it on me.) She told me on Wednesday that she was using my blog in her presentation. Very cool! The class discussed the different blogging platforms, where to find genealogy blogs, how to read blogs and what to write on your own blog. Melissa did a great job and hopefully inspired some new genealogy bloggers.

What I didn't realize was how weird it is to have someone discuss your blog. Melissa didn't just show my blog and say how awesome I am and move to the next blog. Oh no, she analyzed all the features on my blog. Here's where you can subscribe to Tina's blog. Here's where you can follow Tina's blog. Here's where you can see all the categories on Tina's blog. Here's the surname page on Tina's blog. Here's the archive on Tina's blog.

Looking at my blog and all the features of it on the big screen got me thinking.
  • Why was my archive set up on a weekly basis? That was find back in the beginning when there wasn't much time elapsed on the blog. But it makes more sense to set the archive by month now. 
  • Should my categories by listed by frequency (as they are now) or in alphabetical order? Or in a cloud (even if Melissa isn't a fan)?
  • When was the last time I updated my surnames page? And why haven't I set it up like on my husband's blog with the area where they lived?

So I went home from the class and did a little blog tweaking. Even the crasher learned something.

[It is also really fun to tweet while crashing a genealogy blog class. Then the presenter gets emails asking her what she's doing with other people's blogs.]

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Organizing my Digital Photos with Lightroom

One of my genealogy goals this year was to digitize all the slides at my grandma's house. I knew that she had a lot, but I didn't realize that it would take 3 trips and months to finish just the scanning of the slides.

Then I took another trip to visit my dad's side of the family in Pennsylvania. There I was able to scan a few photo albums. I also scanned all the photos at my parents' house while I was there.

By the end of the summer, I had tons of digital photos from many families and across many decades. The problem was that when I wanted one to add to a blog post or for my family history books, I couldn't find the one I knew I had. If I couldn't find the ones I remembered, imagine trying to find the rest.

Over the summer, I used a few different software programs to add metadata to my photos with varying degrees of success. In the end, I decided to purchase Adobe Lightroom.

Lightroom lets me import all my photos. It allows me to add tags and copyright information during the import process. I can add tags in batches or tag individual photos. I can add captions. I can move photos between folders within the program. I can rename groups of photos using a variety of their preset naming structures or create my own.

I love being able to sort the photos in a variety of ways. User order is my favorite. Since I have photos from a variety of collections for the same event, I was able to put them in order. Lightroom also lets you compare two photos and decide which is best. You can then delete the other one or rate the two photos. For example, these features came in handy when I was trying to organize a group of family photos taken in 1991. My grandfather liked to take a large family photo, then photos of each of his daughters' families, then just the grandchildren and so on. I had scans of photos from my grandma's collection and from my parents. I really didn't need 4 copies of the same picture, so I organized the photos by who was in them and then compared each photo. Then I could just keep the best ones.

Lightroom was just what I needed to organize all those photos. I haven't even discussed the photo editing side of the software. I haven't used it much yet, but I plan to use it more now that everything is organized.

The next photo project? Scanning and organizing all the photos in my closet. Good thing my husband got me a Flip-Pal at FGS.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review. The links above are Amazon affiliate links. I get a small percentage of your purchase price at no additional cost to you. I do not see or fulfill your order.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Michael F DINCHER

Michael F.
Born Jan. 18, 1825.
Died Nov. 2, 1897
Aged 72yrs. 9 M. 14 D.

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

Photo taken by Tina Lyons, July 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Isle of Canes by Elizabeth Show Mills - Book Recommendation

Everyone knows that Elizabeth Shown Mills can write an epic book on source citations. But how many of you are aware that she can also write an epic historical fiction?

I just finished reading her book Isle of Canes. Never before have I seen a fictional narrative include source citations at the end. Elizabeth Shown Mills takes all the sources that she has found while researching the families that lived in the Isle of Canes in Louisiana and interweaves the facts into a captivating story.

The Isle of Canes is a region between the Cane River and the Little River in Louisiana, south of Natchitoches. This region was settled by blacks who gained their freedom in the late 1700s. The mixing of the races (white, black, Native American) and the languages (French, Spanish, English) creates a whole new culture for the citizens on the Isle. These free blacks became enterprising men and women and owned vast plantations and even slaves.Throughout the book, the family lives through slavery, freedom, war, and reconstruction.

Little has been written about this minority of blacks that gained their freedom and became the masters. ESM does a wonderful job of bringing their history to life. I highly recommend reading Isle of Canes.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review in any way. The above links are Amazon affiliate links. That means that a small percentage of your purchase will come to me. You do not pay more and I do not see your purchase.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Maria SCHILLING DINCHER

wife of
Michael F Dincher
Jan. 6 1829
Died Nov. 2, 1903
74 yrs 9 M & 26 D

Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Bastress, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

Photo taken by Tina Lyons, July 2011