Monday, July 25, 2011

What Are We?

This is the question I got from Youngest Child a few months ago. When I responded that we are American, she was not satisfied. She wanted other countries. So in response to Sheri Fenley's idea, here are some pie charts showing what we are. There is a nifty tool over at Kid's Zone for this. Pay attention Dear Children!

I went back through mine and Husband's great great grandparents to depict their places of birth. Dear Children, your pie chart at the end will show through your great great great grandparents. In a word, we are Mutts! Someday, when I have a little extra time, I will extend some of the lines that end in a US state to the country of origin. For now you will have to be satisfied with your 3rd great grandparents.

Starting with myself (Mom)

What Dad is:

What you are:

Once we go back a couple more generations, you will be able to add more French as well as Irish and probably Scotch, Welch and who knows what else. Stay tuned...

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Friday, July 22, 2011

#31WBGB: Promote a Blog Post

This week, Tonia over at Tonia's Roots has challenged us with promoting a blog post. Here's what she says. My comments are in italics.

11 Ways to Promote a Blog Post

  1. Pitch to other bloggers: ask another blogger to consider linking to your post. Tonia and several other bloggers have mentioned they aren't terribly comfortable with this one and neither am I.
  2. Social Messaging: use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks to promote your post. Darren says “the key is not to incessantly spam your followers and your friends with your link.” I already have a feed from my blog to Facebook. Right now that's the only social network I use.
  3. Social Bookmarking: promote selective links on sites like Digg or StumbleUpon. While this interests me, it's not something I see myself doing at this time. Maybe down the road though. There's only so many hours in a day folks.
  4. Internal Links: what posts within your own site can you link to a given post? Have you written on a topic before? Are you writing a series? Link them up. Another way to do this is to use automatic apps, like a related-post plug-in if you are on WordPress, or a widget like LinkWithin, which I believe works on both WordPress and Blogger. You can also add a section in your sidebar with “Latest posts,” “Popular posts,” “Featured posts,” etc. WordPress makes this very easy to do; I’m not sure about Blogger. This is something I have done on a number of occassions and will continue to do. It takes a little bit of extra time but it's a feature I use as a reader of blogs so I figure other's probably like to use it too.
  5. Newsletters: shoot an email out to your newsletter list, if you have one. (Does anyone do a newsletter? I’d like to hear more about how often you do that, what kind of content you include, etc.) Newsletter??? I've wanted to do one for years but I keep finding myself saying, "There's only so many hours in a day."
  6. Other Blog’s Comments Sections and Forums: leaving good-quality comments can help drive traffic to your site and leaving a link can be appropriate if it is germane to the discussion. (Just a note here, I use a plug-in called CommentLuv that automatically inserts a link to each commenter’s last post, if they’ve signed up for the service. And since, I’m signed up, my links are left on other bloggers’ sites, if they use CommentLuv.) Personally, I love commenting on other blogs. So much so, that I have to restrict my time allotment for this activity. I had never heard of CommentLuv but I LOVE the idea!
  7. Email signatures: Darren suggests including links to recent posts, instead of just your blog’s front page URL. This had never occurred to me but I think it's an excellent idea. I do use my blog URLs in my email signature and often get comments from people, so I know they click on it.
  8. Follow-up posts: write a new post that picks up where another left off, like a series, or adds new information to a previous post, then inter-link them. I've done several series  such as
  9. Advertise your post: You might consider a small ad campaign for a post you are particularly proud of, using AdWords, StumbleUpon, or similar services. This probably isn’t something most geneabloggers would consider, but it might be worthwhile for those who are professional genealogists. Not something that particularly interests me.
  10. Pitch Mainstream Media: You might want to do this for a really interesting post. Again, I think this would be more suitable for the pros. Hmmm, I'll have to think about this one.
  11. Article Marketing: Rewrite some key articles and submit them to article marketing sites. Not something that would have occurred to me but I could see myself doing it.
Action Item - Just as soon as I come up for air and catch my breath, I'm going to look into CommentLuv.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, July 18, 2011

Just When I Thought I Could Come Up For Air... computer decided to have major problems. Problems of the kind that have caused me to decide to start using a different one. You know, I thought I had a week or so to actually catch up on some things, including a few blog posts. It looks like it's not to be.

Fortunately, Youngest Child just got a new laptop for college, so I'm taking over her old one.

Unfortunately, it needs a new CD/DVD drive so the new setup is going to take a little extra effort.

I may not be around much for a little while...

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Aerial Tour of the Cascades - Mt. St. Helens on Wordless Wednesday

Continuing with our tour of the peaks of the Cascade Mountain range, this week I present Mt. St. Helens. These two pictures were taken as we flew into Seattle on the morning of June 14th to wrap up things with the Family Home.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

10 Reasons Why I Haven't Blogged Much Lately - #31WBGB

I have been wanting to write this post for several weeks now but haven't had time! Here's my assignment for Week 2 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog, Making List Posts Work for Your Genealogy Blog.

I've been rather busy the last couple of months and will be for several more weeks. It's been cutting into my blogging time! Here's why:

  1. Youngest Child graduated from high school.
  2. We've had several waves of company (see #1 above).
  3. I spent several days helping Oldest Child move.
  4. We put the Family Home on the market and had one last final push to get it emptied out.
  5. We've been involved with several softball tournaments.
  6. We attended Freshman Orientation with Youngest Child.
  7. I have been working hard to sort through the contents of the Family Home (see #4).
  8. Did I mention that we have been very involved with softball tournaments?
  9. Those darn bills, household tasks, etc. have been really piling up.
  10. By the end of the day when I realize I never got around to writing up the latest blog post idea, I am exhausted and my brain is fried!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Onward and upward!

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Elevator Pitch - 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog

Tonia Kendrick over at her blog, Tonia's Roots, has kicked off  Week 1 of 31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging with the challenge of writing an Elevator Pitch for your blog.

Here's my Elevator Pitch:

Having been blessed with ancestors who saved everything, I originally created The Turning of Generations blog to share what I've learned while sorting through the contents of the family home. I particularly enjoy piecing stories together starting with what was discovered at home (the exciting part), coming up with questions about the heirloom or document (usually the fun and easy part), and then researching other records to find the answers (the challenging but very rewarding part).

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

An Aerial Tour of the Cascade Peaks - Wordless Wednesday

The past several months I have made numerous trips to the family home to finalize the downsizing efforts. I finally figured out that if I keep my camera handy, I can get some incredible pictures of the mountain peaks of the Cascades as we approach Seattle (weather permitting that is).

This week I present Mt. Rainier. If you look closely at the first picture you can see Mt. Hood in the background.

Taken on the morning of June 14 flying into Seattle from Eastern Washington.

Also taken the morning of June 14th.

Taken the evening of June 20th from the west as we departed Seattle.

 © 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2011 Genealogy Resolutions - The Year's Half Over!

Photo by Pascal Blachier
used under the creative commons license.
It's hard to believe but 2011 is half over. It's time for another progress report on my genealogy resolutions for the year. So far I would say I am managing to balance them.

Research Goal:

Find and prove the identity of the parents of my gg grandfather, William H. Ballinger, who was living with his wife Lucinda and their children in Black Oak, Mahaska County, Iowa in 1856.

So far, probate and Mahaska County’s meager death records have not produced anything. Lately I’ve been looking at land records and while I have uncovered more clues, there is no direct evidence stating who William’s parents or even his siblings are.

Since I have come to the conclusion that there very likely is no record that directly states who William's parents are and that I am going to have to piece this puzzle together using indirect evidence, I have to say that I’m pretty satisfied with the progress to date. Little clues keep presenting themselves and I keep chipping away at the documents that have been uncovered.

Now I am at the point where I need to step back and set up a system to organize and analyze what has been discovered so far.

Organizational Goal:

The arrival of wave after wave of guests in the month of May forced a big push on organizing the Archival Closet. I’m happy to report that I have accomplished what I wanted to do. This doesn’t mean that everything is perfectly organized but the Roos Family Papers are in a better place and a much improved state of organization.

There is still much organizing to be done with other branches of the family as well as the family photos. But I feel I have accomplished the original goal.

Writing Goal:

Put together a "draft" of the story of Mrs. Robinson's Homestead to share with family members.

For starters, I should scan the file, all four or five hundred pages (I’m not exactly sure how big it is. It’s just really big). That will be the first bite of the elephant.

In Summary:

Organizational Goal – Accomplished
Research Goal – Still plugging along
Writing Goal – At least I’ve got the beginnings of a plan now!

We will see what the second half of the year brings.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum