Wednesday, February 29, 2012

If Everyone Does a Little... one has to do a lot.

That was the mantra of the parents of our childrens' elementary school PTO in its early days when the school had first opened. We were a close knit bunch, much like the genea blogging community, and we accomplished so much for our children. It was all because everyone chipped in and helped a little.

I haven't previously helped out with any indexing projects but am ready to jump in when the 1940 US Census comes out in 33 DAYS! So I'll make you a deal. I'll do some indexing and you do some indexing. If we all do a little indexing, no one will have to do a lot and I'm betting that one of us will index the family of someone in our genea community. So let's get on it!

You can sign up to help with indexing at the 1940 US Census Community Project. They say it's easy and I believe it. After all if we can track down dead people, how difficult can it be to index a few names?

You can apply to become an ambassador for the 1940 US Census Community Project here.

Remember, on April 2nd the 1940 US Census will be available at NARA's 1940 Census website. I hope they are ready for us!

URL for this post: © 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Sunday, February 26, 2012

21COFH - Eight Steps to Organize Heritage Photos - Week 9

This week we are going to take a group of photos, scan, organize, preserve, and store them in 8 easy steps. We will be focusing on a group of what I'll call heritage photos; card photos from the late 19th and very early 20th century. Find a group of photos, hopefully of a similar type and follow along. Perhaps your project is straight out of a dusty old box or it's one that you have done some work on previously. You can start from the beginning or at a step appropriate for your situation.

Remember, as you work through this project you will want to preserve the original order by working from the top of the box down, one item at a time.
  1. After examining this mini collection, decide how it should be stored. Factors to consider:
    1. Size of pictures
    2. Condition
    3. How much handling you expect them to have in the future.
  2. Gather your materials. Will you be storing them upright or flat in boxes? Do you want to use envelopes or folders? Should they be placed in a clear plastic cover?
    • The Sassy Jane Genealogy Blog mentioned earlier this week that Hollinger is having a winter sale until March 15th. This might be a good time to order some quality archival materials.
    • If I have the time to work a project now but don't have all the materials on hand, I'll use temporary materials while waiting for an order to arrive. Unless, of course, I'm working with some very fragile items.
  3. Briefly describe this series of pictures. Who/what are the subjects? What time period and localities does it cover? How many photos are there? What size and type are they?  What is the provenance and how did it come to be in your possession? You can do this on a form or in a short paragraph.
  4. Prepare an inventory. You might want to do this at the same time as step 5.
    • Consider preparing a spreadsheet or a list to include information like:
      • ID number or file name
      • Description/subjects
      • Photographer and location information
      • Notations on the picture
      • Size
      • Type of photo
  5. Scan. You might do this at the same time as step 4.
    • Scan both the front and back. Even if there is nothing on the back. That way you know what is or isn't on the back of each picture.
    • For these types of photographs, I prefer to scan them in a .tiff format.
    • Use the naming convention you previously developed.
    • Consider including metadata.
  6. Make a note as to what you have done on the inventory you started back in week 6.
  7. Make copies and distribute to interested family members.
  8. Label your box and put in a safe place, also remembering to note on your inventory where you have stored your precious pictures.
There you have it. Eight easy steps to organize, digitize, preserve and store a small collection of "heritage" photos.

If you don't finish this week and have to set the project aside, make some notations as to what you have done and what the next steps are. Then place the notes with the physical photos and on your hard drive with the digitized work you have completed to date. That way you can pick your project back up and run with it later.

You can complete this week's mission by leaving a comment or writing your own post and leaving the url to your post in the comments section. If you don't have a blog, keep your own journal! Good luck!

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© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Sunday, February 19, 2012

21COFH - Family Emergency - Week 8

I am sorry to report that I do not have a project for this week. Our family is in the midst of a crisis that we need to deal with. Our beloved Family Dog mysteriously went from 100mph to stuck in the mud over the course of about 3 days. After much angst and medical tests, we were informed that he has lung cancer that appears to metastasized from elsewhere. We are all feeling like we have been sucker punched, including our poor canine friend. It's all the more difficult with the kids off at college and trying to help them understand.

We have another veterinary appointment soon and I image we will be making some very difficult decisions in the days to come. I appreciate your patience.

We will get back to our 21st Century Organized Family Historian Project soon but for now we need to circle the wagons and take care of each other.

So for this week, if there's a previous project you would like to work on, now is the time! Perhaps that inventory needs more work, you have another album needing rescue, or your digital gadgets have once again accumulated images that need to be transferred and organized.

Prayers and warm thoughts are appreciated.

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© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jean Wilcox Hibben to Speak in Mesa, AZ

I received the following flier last night at our Family History Society of Arizona chapter meeting. Hibben is a national genealogical speaker and presented at this same seminar in 2011. Not only is she a great teacher but she also entertains with her guitar and folk songs. You can't beat the price of $15.00!

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And the Winners Are...

Photo by Michelle Goodrum.
In The Turning of Generations second blogiversary post, I announced three randomly selected well wishers would be highlighted. It's my way of saying thank you to the Wonderful Readers of this blog. Using, the readers whose numbers came up are:

Shelley Bishop - A Sense of Family
Shelley has been researching her family for a number of years now and has been taking courses to further her genealogical education. Her blog always has something interesting, whether it be a story, heirloom, document, research tip or strategy. Since Shelley has a wonderful way with words, I find myself immediately drawn into whatever topic she is writing about.

Jill Ball - Geniaus
Jill is one of our community's bloggers from Down Under. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting her at RootsTech and attending one of her presentations. She is delightful. Jill also has another blog, Android Genealogy where she writes about and highlights the use of Androids and related apps in genealogy. I always pay attention to what Jill has to say.

Sheri Fenley - The Educated Genealogist
Sheri, who claims to be painfully shy, doesn't take genealogy too seriously. Don't get me wrong, Sheri is serious, passionate, and knowledgeable about her profession but she isn't afraid to put a humorous or entertaining spin on any topic. Whenever Sheri posts, I may laugh until I cry but I always learn something from her.

P.S. No blogiversary is complete without Sheri's rendition of, "Happy Blogiversary to You."

Thank you to all of the Wonderful Readers who stop by The Turning of Generations. Your support and friendship is priceless!

URL for this post:

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Sunday, February 12, 2012

21COFH - Stock Up & Catch Up - Week 7

This week we have two "topics."

First, we haven't discussed supplies we will need for our projects as 21st Century Organized Family Historians. In a perfect world, where budgets are unlimited, we would use acid free, lignin free, PAT passed, PVC free, etc. materials. Unfortunately, we have to make choices about the materials we use as well as the environment we store them in. We do the best we can.

Gaylord has a very helpful resources page that explains many storage options and materials. I'm not pushing this website. They just have some helpful information.

Some things to consider when selecting materials for your projects include:
  • Size and condition of photos or other papers.
    • Larger items are better off being stored flat. Personally, I tend to draw the line around 8x10 inches. Anything smaller can be stored upright. Larger is stored flat. However if the item is very old or brittle. I store it flat.
  • Age of the items.
    • Older items are stored in the truly "archivally safe" materials. More recent items might be just fine for now in boxes from a craft store.
  • Amount of future handling.
    • Pictures and documents that will rarely be handled are probably fine in paper enclosures or folders. Those items that you know will be picked up and looked at over and over might be better off in a clear enclosure.
    • Sally Jacobs has a nice discussion of Paper vs. Plastic that I have found to be very helpful.
    • Also, an item that is particularly fragile, like my great grandfather's naturalization papers from 1880, might be better off in a clear enclosure as well.
These are just a few things to consider when selecting your storage supplies, in addition to budget considerations. Remember our goal is improvement. So if your budget doesn't allow for several truly archivally safe boxes and enclosures, supplies from a craft store might still be better than the 50 year old dust laden cardboard box your treasures are sitting in right now.

Based on the inventories I have done, I try to keep a small supply of archivally safe storage materials on hand so when I do dig into a project, I can run with it. Otherwise, I pick up whatever boxes or other supplies I might need from the local craft store.

So, your first project for this week is to put some thought into the storage materials you might need based upon the inventories you have taken. If necessary, go ahead and order or otherwise round up some supplies.

Your second task is to play catch up on any projects from previous weeks that you haven't had the time to complete to your satisfaction. Personally, I'm stuck (literally) on an album rescue project so that's where my effort will be going this week.

Good luck and keep us posted on how your are doing!

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© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, February 10, 2012

21COFH - The Inventory - Week 5

Well, I am running a wee bit behind with last week's project due to SLIG and RootsTech. The inventory I conducted is really an update since there have been at least two done previously. Here's what I did.

1.  I decided to consolidate everything by using OneNote and setting up a notebook called Goodrum Family Archive.

2,  Next I set up a tab called Inventories. Here is where the updated inventory went (along with the old inventories)
           and the new inventory form that will be slowly but continuously updated as the project progresses.

3. I also set up some tabs for item level descriptions that have been done on a few boxes previously.

4. Finally, I set up an Overview tab with a brief description of our entire photo collection:

Now onto this week's project!

This post was written in response to 21COFH - Take Inventory.
Link for this post:

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, February 9, 2012

RootsTech 2

Continuing with my RootsTech experience from the other day, the remaining sessions I attended were:

The "Galaxy Girls" - Three Genealogists and Their Android Tablets - Jill Ball. Jill, who is from Australia, reported on a project she participated in with two other Aussies. They each purchased Samsung Galaxy Android Tabs and explored apps that could be used by genealogists. Since I'm trying to decide whether I want to purchase a similar device, I decided to attend. While I still haven't made any decisions, I did learn about the enormous number of apps out there, some of which I am guessing could be used on my Android phone. The syllabus for this talk is well worth looking at.

The remaining sessions I attended were workshops you had to sign up for in advance. I understand many people were disappointed to find the workshops had filled by the time they attempted to sign up. However, I got lucky as I was sitting at my computer when the announcement came out that sign ups were open!

Snagit for Genealogists - Barbara Rennick
Snagit is an image capture program that I've had for a while now but knew I wasn't using it very well. It was a hands on session in the computer lab. WOW! Barbara, who is an excellent presenter, walked us through a number of features of Snagit and showed us how to use Snagit to create a research log for our online searches. I left this session feeling much more comfortable using the program.

Bonus: I ran into Barbara in the exhibit hall the following morning and was asked to assist in the impromptu lunchtime session. So not only did I get to listen and pick up on some things I missed the first time around, but I had the opportunity to run around the classroom and assist attendees who were having difficulties. It reminded me of helping in the kids school computer lab several years ago.

The 19 page syllabus is online if you are interested. Did I mention it's 19 pages?

Word Processing Tricks for Genealogical Publishing - Jeri Steele
Jeri covered working with images, table of contents and indexes in Word 2010. It was an extremely helpful session, although now I want to upgrade from Word 2007. Sigh. There's a nice syllabus online for this session too.

How to Do a Webinar - Geoff Rasmussen
In this session, we went behind the scenes to see just how Geoff puts on his awesome Legacy webinars. Will I be doing one anytime soon? Mmmm. Probably not but I left feeling like I certainly could!

There you have it. My classroom experiences at RootsTech. It was a great 3 days and definitely a different experience from the genealogy conferences we are used to attending.

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Well, I'm still recovering from a busy couple of weeks at SLIG and RootsTech but I do want to share what I learned. There is such a wide variety of sessions to attend, I decided to focus on those that could help progress family history here and now.

One-step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse: A Hodgepodge of Lesser Known Unrelated Problems

Part of the reason I chose this talk was because of the presenter. Stephen Morse made a significant impact on the lives of millions of people with the 8086 processor and now with his One-step Webpages he continues to have an impact. I was curious. What is he like? Well, he is brilliant and funny. I left feeling more comfortable using his website which I admit I have used very little up to now.

E-learning Software and Authoring Tools for Genealogical Education– Mark Lowe
Initially I wasn't sure whether to attend this session or not. Boy am I glad I did. Mark alluded to this session in his 2 hour presentation, at the APG conference on Wednesday, titled “Developing Advanced Research Plans While Staying on Track in a Modern World,” so I decided to go. One of the tools I learned about is Screencast-O-Matic, an online screen recorder. I see a future YouTube channel or even including video in this blog, if I can figure out how...

The Powers of Evernote: Photos, URL’s, Censuses, Geo-location, and Stories - Tevya Washburn and Kurt Francom

Being a huge Evernote fan, I was definitely looking forward to this presentation. While it was oriented toward beginners, I came away with a better understanding of several aps that work with Evernote such as:
  • Skitch - a drawing tool.
  • If This Then That ( - a rule setting ap that can be plugged into Evernote, Facebook, gmail and other. It's used to create rules so for example, you could set up a rule if you post to your blog, then ifttt saves into Evernote.
  • allows you to send shoeboxes of photos and documents. They scan and push to your Evernote acct. Then you can tag, etc. if you want.

By the way, did you know the syllabi are available at the RootsTech website for anyone to download, whether you attended or not?

I'll have more in the next day or two. Right now it's time for some rest and NCIS.

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, February 6, 2012

RootsTech - The Pictoral Version

Since I'm still recovering from two weeks of intensive and exhausting genealogy learning, here's the photo version of RootsTech. The wordy version is still to come.

The first person I ran into in the exhibit hall was none other than Becky Wiseman of Kinnexions. We had lunch together and ran into each other in one of the sessions. I felt fortunate to be able to spend time with Becky and get to know her better. She's one of my genealogy, travelling, photography heros!

Next along came the author of Stardust 'n' Roots, aka GeneaPopPop. We also ran into each other in a session and had some time to visit.

Tim Firkowski, The Genealogy Assistant, was regularly seen out and about in his costumes.

Thomas MacEntee, Mr. GeneaBlogger himself, was wearing his mardi gras beads on Saturday. Those things are truly world travellers by now!

It was a joy to meet Down Under blogger, Jill Ball, of the Geniaus blog. It was her contest that I won which gave me free RootsTech registration. She is a doll and I loved her presentation. More on that later.

Then there was the media hub. If you wanted to meet up with a blogger, it was definitely the place to be.

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Sunday, February 5, 2012

21COFH - To the Rescue! - Week 6

Now that you've had an opportunity to take inventory of your photos, you may have identified some things needing to be rescued from less than desirable circumstances. Your mission this week is to do just that.

1. Use your inventory from last week to select an album or group of photos (more if you have the time).

Some projects you might consider:
  • Rescue photos from a "magnetic" album. You know the ones with the sticky pages covered by plastic - aka- the "chemical sandwich of doom." You can scan pictures or not depending on your desire and available time. Just getting those pictures into another album, box or other storage will help lengthen their life. If you decide to put them into a box, please interleave the photos with acid free paper. You don't want any residual glue on the back of one photo to transfer to the face of another.
  • If you have some older albums with photos pasted or otherwise attached to black construction paper, you might consider a project similar to what I did with my mother's old album.
  • Also, it's perfectly OK to decide to leave an old album, like Mom's, alone and simply interleave the pages with acid free tissue paper to slow down any degredation that is occurring.
  • Don't forget about loose, brittle pictures that are wandering around in old boxes.
2. Decide what your approach is.
  • Do you want to simply put the pictures in a safer storage environment?
  • Do you want to scan them?
    • If you do be sure and use the organizational  and file naming schemes you developed in Week 2.
3. Obtain the necessary (permanent or temporary) storage supplies.

4.  Execute your plan (remember to use your work area).

5. Update your inventory.

6. Tell us about your project either in the comments or a post of your own. Be sure to leave the url in the comments section.

Remember to keep your project(s) to what you can complete this week. Have fun and good luck!

    © 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    RootsTech Keynote

    Just some quick thoughts regarding Jay Verkler's engaging keynote this morning.

    • Bringing users and developers together to develop exchange mechanisms for genealogical information
    • Demonstrated ways of linking information together and embedding media in an engaging, user friendly way.
    • Updating GEDCOM to transfer all of your information.
    • Developing in a way to be able to add changes in the future
    • Google Software Engineers demonstrated changes they have made in searches friendlier to those searching for historical information. Apparently we can do this now.
    • Including the souce authority to allow users to judge the reliability of information. Jay even quoted Elizabeth Shown Mills.
    • Then they did some fun demonstrations that us, our children and grandchildren might use information in the future.
    Just quick thoughts. This is a need to view presentation if you have the opportunity to watch a recording. Gotta see it to appreciate it.

    On to the vendor hall.

    © 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    The Eve of RootsTech

    Tomorrow is the big day! RootsTech.
    Salt Lake City is crawling with genealogists. Today after attending the Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference, I headed down to the lobby of the Radisson where it was held and lo and behold, it was full of GeneaBloggers I actually "knew." At least virtually. Now I know them personally. Linda McCauley, Elise Doerflinger, Footnote Maven, Russ Worthington, Denise Levenick, Tim Firkowski had lots of laughs trying to "Bump" our smart phones with varying degrees of success.

    It seems like everywhere I turn there's someone I know and everyone is extremely friendly. Can't wait for tomorrow!

    © 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum