Thursday, July 31, 2008

This and That

WOW! Thanks to the great publicity over at facebook's Genea-Bloggers Group, we had the Best Scanfest Ever. We had three records broken! The first was a total attendance of 20, which means that in all, 20 Scanfesters participated at some point between 11 AM and 2 PM, PDT, but not all at the same time. The second was the highest number of Scanfesters in the chat conversation at once, at 18. The third record was the highest number of first-time Scanfesters in attendance: 11! My only regret was that I did not get as much scanned as anticipated because my hard drive was filling up (I've since been working on remedying that problem by deleting unnecessary files and programs). So who were our participants? Besides your humble hostess, we had Colleen, Diana, Diane, Elizabeth, footnoteMaven, George, George, Jasia, Kathryn, Kathryn, Kathy, Laura, Lori, Lorine, Michelle, Randy, Renee, Sheri, and Thomas! Too bad Craig couldn't make it! Thanks to Diane, Thomas, Randy, Kathy, and George for your announcements or follow-up posts on Scanfest, too.

Online Photo Storage
Speaking of scanning, Lee at the Footnote Blog shares how you can store your photos online for free at Footnote...and do a whole lot more with them, too!

Find A Grave now has 25 million grave records in the non-famous side of their website! Take a might find an ancestor or two.

The Facebook craze has hit the genealogy community, thanks to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak's Unclaimed Persons project. A side effect of this is a new Facebook group, the Genea-Bloggers, started by Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family. This group is for those who either blog about genealogy, or are fans of genealogy blogs. Genealogy bloggers have been learning more about each other in this terrific social networking community, and thanks to Thomas' great administrative skills, we're kept up-to-date on all sorts of blogging and other events, such as carnivals and Scanfest. Thomas recently started the Facebook® Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers blog to help out those genea-bloggers learn how to navigate and use Facebook. I encourage you to join Facebook (a social networking site, similar to MySpace, but a little more "grown up") and add me as your Friend (contact) by searching for "Miriam Robbins Midkiff." (Don't be afraid to challenge me to a round or two of Scramble!) Besides adding genealogy community contacts, I've added real-life friends, family members, members of my local genealogical society and acquaintances from church and schools I've attended. I also recently searched for and found some cousins I've been out of touch with for years.

And if you're already a member of the Genea-Bloggers Group, stay tuned to the FB for GB blog to hear of an exciting new event coming in August!

An Award

Fellow Washington State genea-blogger Carol Wilkerson of iPentimento honored me with a BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) Award. The rules for passing on the award are:

1. Only five people are allowed to receive this award
2. Four of them must followers of your blog.
3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to who ever gave you the award.

I hereby pass this on to Jasia, footnoteMaven, Apple, Renee, and Diane (the newbie to my blog, who technically doesn't live that far away - British Columbia - but it is another country, after all!)

Photos of Ancestors' Ports of Emigration
My primary heritages are Dutch and Frisian, and thus I've been a fan of Henk van Kampen's Trace Your Dutch Roots. Lately, he's been featuring photographs of Dutch ports. Do you have Mayflower ancestors? Take a look at the Delfshaven pictures. Did your ancestors (Dutch or not) traverse the Atlantic on one of the Holland-American Line ships? See the Wilhelminakade.

North Frisian Resource
The Frisians are an ethnic minority who live in present-day Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, whose language, customs, and ethnicity are more closely related to the English than the Germanic peoples of the countries wherein they reside. I blog often about my Frisian ancestors from the Netherlands, and if you're a fan of Michael John Neill's RootDig, you'll hear about his Ostfrisians (West Frisians from Germany). Recently, Jennifer of Our Future Rooted in Our Past blogged about the North Frisian Emigrant - Archive of the Nordfriisk Institute in Denmark. Thanks for sharing this great resource, Jennifer!

Family Ties
My parents returned home in the wee hours of this morning after a trip back to Michigan to visit my paternal grandmother, who was diagnosed about a year or so ago with Alzheimer's. As well, they enjoyed visiting the families of their respective brothers and one of Dad's sisters. I was relieved to hear that Grandma recognized Dad and Mom and that they had an enjoyable time together. My parents have made similar trips in the past to say their last goodbyes to their parents. Grandma is my last biological grandparent, although my mother's step-mother is still in good health. They also got to see one of the newest members of the family. I know this was a bittersweet time for the folks...a part of the circle of life.

Internet Genealogy
And finally! I received the latest issue of Internet Genealogy magazine today (I think I was the last person on the planet to do so!). One of the many reasons I love this publication is that I see so many familiar names, sites, and blogs mentioned. footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog was featured in the Net Notes column by Donna Pointkouski. If you're interested in the photography side of genealogy (and who isn't?), be sure to read this article, then drop by Maven's blog.

Donna Potter Phillips of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society has two articles. One is "E.W.G.S. at 75: Thriving' and Survivin'" and highlights the many ways our terrific society has kept up with the times and has stayed growing and vibrant in an age when we're seeing a demise of many societies. Her "Cold Case Research: Genealogy Style" reminds me of the Campbell House and Unclaimed Persons projects, and explains how doing family tree research on strangers from history is not only fun, but educational! If you're stuck or tired of your own family lines, why don't you and some genealogy friends or fellow society members do a similar project?

And that's a wrap!


Thomas MacEntee said...

Thanks for the mention of Genea-Bloggers and Facebook Bootcamp! I can't believe how many living cousins I have found. I keep reminding myself that sometimes genealogy is looking forward and not always looking backwards.

footnoteMaven said...


Thank you so much for the BFF Award. You are my BFF online and in the real world.

And thank you for the Internet Genealogy plug - you are the best.


Untangled Family Roots said...

That is so great that your Scanfest is doing so great! I may soon have some time to join you when I get moved, yikes!

Also I love your last suggestion. I've been doing the same thing. Today I just handed a co-worker a binder with reports, charts and records of the research I just did on his family over the last two months. He keeps saying thank you. I can tell he treasures it and looks forward to passing it on two his two boys and two grandaughters that are on the way.

It's very rewarding to do research for others when you hit too many brick walls on your own.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...


Thank you for the BFF Award! I'm ashamed it took me this long to thank you.

With that large a group for scan fest it's a wonder any scanning got done!