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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    « A Fine Feathered Tale for Friday | Main | Tech Tuesday: Flashy Flash Drive Apps »

    Tech - Tombstone Tuesday: Look What We Found on the Web!

    This week's regular Tech Tuesday column has been pre-empted by Tombstone Tuesday: technology is helping break down walls with connections between Genea-Bloggers and even a virtual tombstone sighting.

    What began as a request for research tips at the New England Historical Genealogical Society, quickly turned into an online research-fest when blogger Midge Frazel, Granite in My Blood, read my research goals. Seems Midge loves a puzzle, and before I was out of bed this morning, Midge was emailing me from New England with all kinds of helpful information, including the possible burial place of my ancestor. It's a case of genealogical kindness of the best kind.

    The small Mathewson Cemetery located off Winsor Avenue in Johnston, RI is reported to have 75 burials, and yes, Midge, that looks like a monument to me too!

    Just in case there are still folks who think that technology isn't worth the bother, I thought it would be instructive to list how technology helped us connect:

    • Sunday morning - While reading the February 2009 Scanfest Archive from AnceStories, I noted that Midge Frazel mentioned doing research at the NEHGS.
    • Contacted Midge via her Facebook page; chatted briefly at Scanfest Sunday 27 March.
    • Monday, Midge and I talked via email and she gave me some good tips for working at "HisGen."
    • Tuesday, Midge finds a Will extract naming my ancestor Henry M. Winsor, at and locates a small Mathewson cemetery in Johnston, RI using GoogleMaps; forwards pdf and jpg image files.
    • I scan and send Midge pdf images of letters to and from the Mathewson family that I received from a Vermont researcher my mother found on a message board.
    Whew! It's not even noon on the West Coast and suddenly the walls are coming down. We've connected through Facebook, CoverItLive, and email; discovered information through database searches and virtual map imagery; and shared information through digital files scanned or copied and sent via email. I can only imagine how long it would have taken B.I. (Before Internet) to accomplish so much. Thanks Midge. This is the best Tombstone Tuesday ever!

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    Reader Comments (12)

    Yes, but where is it that you and I are related? I will keep digging!

    March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMidge Frazel

    Very interesting!

    It is so funny that Winsor is coming up; I just posted on my blog about my 4th-great grandfather, John Winsor, in Duxbury, MA.

    I grew up in Bridgewater and went to school with Midge's daughter. But I have more in common with Midge herself! LOL

    Anyhow, I'd love to know where your Winsors lead!

    March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWendy Hawksley

    This is great! Thanks for sharing!

    March 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGinger Smith

    Wow! That is amazing!

    April 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeanna

    Absolutely awesome! I always think the technogeek stuff on TV is so far-fetched, yet see what a couple of tech-savvy geneabloggers can do ...

    April 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGreta Koehl

    Is everyone in New England related to everyone else? They surely did recycle names "back then." I think Midge and I are determined to follow this one to the highest branch.

    stay tuned.

    April 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Family Curator

    Hello, I live in Johnston, RI, and am familiar with the Mathewson Farm cemetery - I've taken photos there in the past. I also work for the local "Johnston Sun Rise" newspaper and am supposed to interview the property owner (I think its been in the Mathewson family for three or four generations) about their selling the development rights to the State.

    Let me know if you need any more info on the cemetery - I'm also a member of the Johnston Historical Societ. Winsor is a common name, there's a Winsor Road, Winsor Hill Elementary School, and also Winsor homesteads in Johnston and nearby Smithfield. Also a William Winsor Elementary School in Smithfield, RI.

    Anyone who loves genealogy is usually willing to help another.

    Beth Hurd
    Johnston, RI
    beth.hurd at

    April 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Hurd

    Thanks, Beth! RAOGK are going strong among Rhode Islanders. You can be sure that Midge and I will be in touch for help with the Winsor/Mathewson line.

    April 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFamily Curator

    Hey! I'm so glad Scanfest played a part in this! :-)

    April 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMiriam Robbins Midkiff

    Wonderful post about Genea-Techno age collaboration :) Hope you find those Winsors...let me know if you need any more Canadian records.

    April 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoan Miller (Luxegen)

    Miriam, it just shows how you never know quite what's around the corner. Scanfest as a collaborative experience!

    April 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterFamily Curator

    Thanks, Joan. I may be taking you up on your offer sooner than you think.

    April 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterFamily Curator

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