Friday, August 18, 2006

Strong Reaction by Family Researchers to the "New"

OK, nobody else (that I've seen) has blogged about it, but it is really big news: changed its website, including the way information is accessed. No one seems too happy about it, but apparently Ancestry is not willing to change it back...only to address some of the more serious problems. In the past 18 days, there have been 185 comments posted to the Ancestry Weekly Journal post about the changes...of those, I only found one comment that was NOT negative.

There's a lot of frustrated people out there who say they are cancelling or choosing not to renew their subscriptions when they come due. One fellow warned, "AOL wouldn't listen to their customers, either, and look what happened to them!"

I'm not too pleased myself. I loved the "People I'm Looking For" feature, which has been messed with. I had to upload my GEDCOM to continue it, and I'm not so sure that's a good idea. Years ago I didn't like that Family Tree Maker took people's GEDCOMs, turned around and put them on CD, and then sold them...with mistakes and old incomplete data galore. Makes me wonder...?!

Well, if ain't broke, don't fix it. I think a business has a lot to lose if it doesn't listen to its customers. It will be interesting to see what the outcome will be. I think Heritage Quest, with much similar data, will be giving Ancestry a run for its money.

I invite your comments below.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mark Your Calendars!

The Eastern Washingon Genealogical Society will be starting out its 2006 - 2007 year with our first meeting on Saturday, September 9th. While we normally meet the first Saturday of each month, excepting July and August, the first Saturday of September usually falls during Labor Day weekend, so we will have it on the second Saturday this year. We meet in the meeting rooms on the main floor of the Downtown Library, off to the left of the main entrance as you walk in from the street. There is parking in the library basement (access from Spokane Falls Blvd.) or across the street in River Park Square, which is connected to the library via a skywalk (the library basement parking is cheaper, but there are less parking spots).

We will have coffee, cookies (free!) and conversation at 12:30 PM. Our meeting starts at 1:00 with some business and then our guest speaker will do her presentation. September's speaker will be Linda Walston, an ex-Microsoft and NASA employee. She will be giving tips on making our computers work better and safer.

In addition, we will be selling raffle tickets for special prizes ($1.00 a ticket, or 6 tickets for $5.00), and will have various helpful and fun genealogical items for sale. This will also be a good time to register for our October Workshop with Michael John Neill!

I hope you will join us. You do not need to be a member to attend the meetings or workshops, and we always have a warm welcome for visitors!

Many people decide to come early or stay late to do their research. There will be EWGS volunteers on duty in the genealogy section of the library (3rd floor). This is a great time to find out about all the great resources available...not just for the Spokane area, but for other states and countries as well. Learn how to use a microfilm reader, too! Bring your research notebooks! The library opens at 10:00 AM and closes at 6:00 PM.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Grave photos of Charles Anderson and Emeline Mary (WILBOURN) MIDKIFF

I discovered that back on May 31st, Laural D., a Find A Grave photo volunteer, took photos of the unmarked lot where my husband's great-great-grandparents, Charles Anderson MIDKIFF, Sr. and Mary Emeline WILBOURN were buried in 1919 and 1923, respectively. Click on the links to view their memorial pages, portraits, and their cemetery lot photo. You can also click here to read a synopsis of Charles' life.