Feb 23

College Room-Mates, Part I

I’m writing this as I wait for my hostess to waken. I’m spending a couple of days in Venice, Florida, with my college room-mate and her hubby, Jane (Hawkins) & David Goland. As usual, I’m up early (4:30 am) and am trying to be a thoughtful guest. It may be hard to believe, but there are not many folks who enjoy the early morning hours as I do.

When my Mom left me off at Fisk Hall on the Keene State campus in early September 1959, I was petrified. You see, I’d stayed with the family of Eleanor and Elmer Lewis while working at the Knotty Pine Grill in the Weirs between my high school graduation from Walpole High School and entrance into Keene State as a freshman.

Eleanor and the Lewis children, Robert and Debbie, lived in their lovely cottage at the Weirs during the summer and Elmer would join them on the weekends. Elmer and his Dad owned a drug store in Westborough, Massachusetts. One weekend he arrived with exciting news. Jane Hawkins of Westborough would be attending Keene State as a freshman and had just learned that her roommate would be Linda Woodward – Hey, that would be me!  Can you imagine the excitement. Eleanor and Elmer related all kinds of details of the beautiful, gregarious, popular high school senior who would be my room-mate. I was pretty much, the opposite, shy, and sort of “book-wormish.” I settled in while dreading the moment Miss Home-Coming Queen would arrive.

She arrived in mid-afternoon, but was rather sedate. While the Lewis’ had been telling me all about Jane, they had also told Jane something of me—quite, studious, and industrious. Jane was quaking in her boots! We were very reserved for about the first 30 minutes or so. I don’t recall, but I expect it was Jane who broke the ice. It wasn’t long before we realized that we would not only get along, but that we would really like each other.

Ah, what memories… I’m sure that more memories will be forthcoming during the next couple of days.

Feb 15

Wordless Wednesday: Nubble Light

Cape Neddick ("Nubble") Light, York, Maine

Feb 04

Evidence: A Matter of Context for Genealogists & Historians

There is never a good excuse for not remembering to wish our friends a happy birthday or plesant salutations for various holidays. However, some of us get caught up with every day family affairs and work and are not always wonderful about remembering to send out a “snail mail” paper greeting.

With that in mind, a clever friend who did not send me greetings on my recent entry into the septuagenarian club gave me a late birthday card for my 70th as well as a second card for my 80th, stating that she did not wish to be late sending me a card for that special event. That tickled me and I couldn’t resist sending out the following tweet

That tweet was automatically shared with my Facebook account.

I’m sharing the comments made on Facebook – all from my family of genealogists and historians.

It just goes to show that top notch professionals do not always look at evidence in the same manner. It depends on the context. However, I’m thankful that most did not think I appeared to be 80 years old.

Feb 03

2012 FGS Conference Registration is Open

For Immediate Release January 16, 2012

Indians, Squatters, Settlers and Soldiers in the “Old Southwest” A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists

January 16, 2012 – Austin, TX. Registration for the 2012 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, scheduled for August 29 – September 1, 2012, in beautiful Birmingham, Alabama, is now open. This year’s conference theme is “Indians, Squatters, Settlers and Soldiers in the ‘Old Southwest’,” and the local host is the Alabama Genealogical Society (AGS).

This year’s FGS conference offers an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in researching their family history. Over 175 educational sessions and 13 luncheons are designed to balance the needs of genealogists at all levels, exploring a variety of records, strategies, and other tools available to those interested in researching their family history. Special sessions include a wide variety targeting members and leaders of genealogical and historical societies. In addition, special events, such as the Alabama Genealogical Society Opening Social at the Alabama Theater, the FGS Evening Social at the historic Sloss Furnaces, Spotlight on Societies, and daily sponsored lectures provide an excellent environment to meet and network with others interested in family history and genealogy.

Session sponsors include FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, findmypast.com, the National Archives and Records Administration, and others.

Conference Highlights

• Librarian’s Day: On Wednesday, August 29, 2012, ProQuest is sponsoring a full day of sessions designed for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals serving family history researchers.

• Conference Sessions: A wide variety of genealogy-related lectures and workshops for all experience levels. Topics include Southern research, Settlers and Indians, soldiers, strategies and techniques, technology, and writing.

• Special Events: Include the AGS Opening Social at the Alabama Theater and the FGS Evening Social at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark—all providing an excellent environment to meet and network with others interested in family history and genealogy. This exciting week of genealogy closes with a Farewell Brunch on Sunday.

Press Release – FGS 2012 Conference Registration Is Open January 16, 2012

• Exhibit Hall: Filled with a wide array of vendors and organizations, Cyber Café and lounge area sponsored by RootsMagic, and a special Spotlight on Societies area will showcase local and regional genealogical and historical societies.

There are more activities and research opportunities too numerous to list. However, you can learn all about the 2012 FGS Conference and register for this exciting four-day event at http://www.fgs.org/2012conference. Be sure to also visit or subscribe to the FGS Conference Blog at http://www.fgsconferenceblog.org for more information and travel advice. We look forward to seeing you in Birmingham in August!

Learn More and Stay Connected

• Visit the Conference News Blog: http://www.fgsconferenceblog.org

• Follow the Conference on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fgs2012 and on at http://www.twitter.com/fgs2012

• Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau at http://www.birminghamal.org

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

Feb 03

IGHR – Jean Thomason Scholarship

Released by Beth Ashmore, 1 February 2012

The Jean Thomason Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the recipient of the2012 scholarship is Durham Hunt. Durham is a Library Assistant IV in the South Carolina Room of the Greenville County Library in Greenville, South Carolina. He has been in this position since August 2003, after having worked 10 years as a Reference Librarian. Durham spends an average of 100 hours each month helping patrons primary and secondary sources on South Carolina, focusing primarily on Greenville and the Upstate.

Feb 01


Press Release. Boulder, Colo., February 1, 2012


Historical Record Storage and Sharing, iPhone and Android Apps, Discovery Stream

“With these new features, Mocavo has evolved into a primary resource for genealogists and family historians to research and share their stories,” said Cliff Shaw, CEO of Mocavo. “Our goal is to host all of the world’s free genealogy content, to make new discoveries an everyday occurrence and to put more research tools into the hands of family historians.”

Curt Witcher of the Allen County Public Library, one of the largest genealogy libraries in the world, said, “The Allen County Public Library is thrilled to have our digitized Genealogy Center materials at Mocavo. For 21st century genealogists, it’s all about the experience—and Mocavo provides a fresh, exciting search experience that returns remarkable numbers of relevant results.  And it’s only going to get better from here.”

Historical Record Storage and Sharing Platform

For the first time ever, genealogists have a platform to self-publish high-resolution documents that are automatically digitized using OCR and made searchable – all for free. Mocavo users will be able to upload historical records like photos, books and documents to their accounts. Records can be uploaded several different ways: via a Web browser, Mocavo’s new smartphone apps, by email, or through the popular Dropbox service. Mocavo users retain full ownership of their records, can delete them at any time, and control whether or not their records are shared with the public.

iPhone and Android Apps

Mocavo’s new iPhone and Android smartphone applications enable users to take pictures of historical records, photographs – even entire books – and have them automatically uploaded to Mocavo’s historical record storage and sharing service. Users can also perform Mocavo searches and access their Mocavo accounts through the smartphone apps. Mocavo’s apps are in the process of being approved and will soon be available for download; demonstrations are available at RootsTech. Mocavo expects the apps to be available for download within the next 30 days.

Discovery Stream

In addition to creating a powerful search engine for family history, Mocavo wants to connect andempower the social discoveries made by genealogists every day. The stream will deliver a constant source of new user-generated content in a fashion similar to the Facebook newsfeed or Pinterest. Whether users are uploading family trees and documents, or finding positive matches on the search engine, Mocavo wants to bring these interactions to light and begin a truly social moment for genealogy.

New Content Additions

In addition to these important new capabilities, Mocavo announced three new additions that will add important family history collections to its vast index. New collections include the Allen County Public Library’s Internet Archive records, the US Social Security Administration’s Social Security Death Index, and the World Family Tree developed by the popular Geni family tree service.

“Our mission is to find the world’s family history records and make them easily accessible to thegrowing legions of genealogists and family historians,” said Shaw. “The Allen County Public Library data, SSDI, and Geni are only the beginning – we want to work with every genealogy content creator, be they big or small, to help them bring their content online and make it searchable for free.”

Visit Mocavo at the RootsTech Conference in Booth 440 in Salt Lake City February 2-4.

About Mocavo

Mocavo operates the world’s largest free genealogy search and seeks to index and make searchable all of the world’s free genealogy information. While Mocavo.com discovers new sites every day, some of the existing sites searchable on Mocavo.com include genealogy message boards, state and local historical societies, the Library of Congress, National Archives, Ellis Island, Find A Grave, the Internet Archive, various U.S. state archives, and thousands of genealogy sites built by individuals.

For more information, visit www.mocavo.com or http://www.mocavo.co.uk/

Jan 31

Online Sources from the NH State Archives

As a twenty-seven year resident of the state of Georgia, and as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, it’s been several years since I’ve had (or made time) to work on my family. This week, I’ve changed that and have been attending the Advanced New England track at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). This is the first year that I have attended SLIG and surely hope that it will not be the last time.

A couple of years ago, I visited the website of the New Hampshire State Archives and must stay that I was not particularly impressed. When trying to answer one of the questions concerning my New England ancestors this week (“Did Stephen Woodward who was in Plaistow, NH, as early as 1757 serve during the Revolutionary War?”). During a consultation with David Dearborn of NEGHS, one of our instructors this week, he suggested that I look at the NH State Papers. I have several volumes in my personal library and had planned to look at the volumes in the book collection on the third floor of the Family History Library while I’m here in Salt Lake. Learning that the entire collection as well as a compiled index to the collection is online. Hot Dog!

So if you have New Hampshire archives you’ll love the online State Papers. Each volume is available in PDF format which you may browse online or download the PDF file. Many of those have been “OCR’ed” which allows searching within the volume but at least one volume (shucks, I didn’t make a note of that specific volume) was apparently stitched into a PDF file from digital images and searching within the volume is not possible.

Another nice feature of the New Hampshire State Archives website is the collection of “Archives Guides,” PDF files, that are organized alphabetically with distinct PDF files for each letter of the alphabet.

From the home page select “Publications & Collections” to access the digitized collections of “Guide to Archives,” “Civil War Records, ” “the New Hampshire State Papers, “1850 Constitutional Convention Journal,” and “Seal and Flag of the State of New Hampshire.”

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved


Jan 30

The Ancestry Insider

Have you meet the Ancestry Insider? I saw quite a lot of him last week at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy of Genealogy (SLIG) and expect that he be present and very active at RootsTech later this week. If you’ve not met him in person, I’m sure you’re aware of his blog: The Ancestry Insider: The unofficial, unauthorized view of Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. As indicated in the header of his blog he “reports on, defends, and constructively criticizes these two website and associated topics.” I believe his does that very well and really enjoy reading his posts to learn about such topics as missing census records, what’s new at FamilySearch.

I found his post “FamilySearch Data Centers and Second Vault” very interesting

His topics are varied and I can’t imagine a genealogist who wouldn’t enjoy following the Ancestry Insider.

Confession: since I love lighthouses so was excited to see his post (admitted some time ago) called “Serendipity in Genealogy: The Lighthouse.”

© Linda Woodward Geiger. All Rights Reserved.


Jan 30

Preparing for RootsTech 2012

RootsTech 2012 begins on Thursday, February 2, only four short days away. Are you ready? As with any event, or research trip, we all reap the rewards of being well prepared. We are fortunate in that the RootsTech team have supplied many tools to assist us in our preparation.

Did you know that you can obtain a free app for RootsTech for your smart phone, iPad or tablet? It is really a helpful app providing users the ability to

  • construct ones personal schedule by bookmarking any events and/or custom items
  • view maps to help navigate the Salt Palace and the exhibit hall
  • check all events or checkout events by developer or user
  • learn about the speakers
  • view documents about the “Demo Theater” schedule, general information, keynotes, and unconferencing
  • view the photo gallery
  • view videos
  • learn the latest news about the conference
  • Prepare your profile to share
  • Find friends

Lately we have been seeing new additions to the RootsTech website that are appearing this week. The downloads page contains

  • Session Syllabi
  • Conference Guide
  • Expo Hall Map
  • Link to the mobile apps

Hope to see you at the Salt Palace for RootsTech 2012.

Jan 28

RootsTech Will Broadcast Select Session Free Online

RootsTech Press Release

SALT LAKE CITY—RootsTech, a leading family history and technology conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah, February 2-4, 2012, announced today that fourteen of its popular sessions will be broadcasted live and complimentary over the Internet. The live broadcasts will give those unable to attend worldwide a sample of this year’s conference content. Interested viewers can watch the live presentations at RootsTech.org. The second-year conference has attracted over 3,000 registered attendees.

The free online sessions include the keynote speakers and a sampling of technology and family history presentations. Following are the fourteen broadcasted sessions and speakers. All times are in Mountain Standard Time (MST):

Thursday, February 2

  • 8:30-10:00 am, Inventing the Future, as a Community(Keynote Address) by Jay L. Verkler
  • 11:00 am-12:00 pm, Do I Trust the Cloud? by D. Joshua Taylor
  • 1:45-2:45 pm, Effective Database Search Tactics by Kory Meyerink
  • 3:00-4:00 pm, Twitter – It’s Not Just “What I Had for Breakfast” Anymore by Thomas MacEntee
  • 4:15-5:15 pm, Eleven Layers of Online Searches by Barbara Renick

Friday, February 3

  • 8:30-9:30 am, Exabyte Social Clouds and Other Monstrosities (Keynote Address) by Josh Coates
  • 9:45-10:45 am, Publish Your Genealogy Online by Laura G. Prescott
  • 11:00 am-12:00 pm, Optimize Your Site for Search Engines by Robert Gardner
  • 1:45-2:45 pm, Genealogists “Go Mobile” by Sandra Crowly
  • 3:00-4:00 pm, Google’s Toolbar and Genealogy by Dave Barney

Saturday, February 4

  • 8:30-9:30 am, Making the Most of Technology to Further the Family History Industry (Keynote Address) by Tim Sullivan and Ancestry.com Panel
  • 9:45-10:45 am Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101 by Lisa Louise Cooke
  • 11:00 am-12:00 pm, Future of FamilySearch Family Tree by Ron Tanner
  • 1:45-2:45 pm, Privacy in a Collaborative Environment by Noah Tatuk
About RootsTech

RootsTech is a new conference designed to bring technologists together with genealogists to learn from each other and find solutions to the challenges faced in family history research today. The conference’s activities and offerings are focused on content that will help genealogists and family historians discover exciting new research tools while enabling technology creators to learn the latest development techniques from industry leaders and pioneers.

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