Click Here to Receive New Posts
in Your Inbox

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    SEARCH

    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.

    Now Available

    Follow Me
    Wednesday
    Sep172014

    Sneak Peek at Steve Robinson's New Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery

    TLE cover

    Disaster at sea, an heirloom locket, and pre-war espionage all play a part in The Lost Empress, Steve Robinson's fourth novel in the Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series.  I received an advance review copy and Steve's promise for an interview to answer questions about Tayte's news adventures. I wish I could drop everything and start reading right now; but I know from the first three Tayte mysteries that the story will be an impossible to put down page-turner. <Sigh> Of course, the promise of a good mystery might be just the motivation to clear my desk faster! 

    Steve Robinson Profile Pic

    I'm looking forward to talking with Steve after I've read the book. It's great to chat with authors about their books and writing life, and even better when it includes more than a little genealogy. Steve is always generous with his time for the genealogy community, so don't be bashful about leaving comments and questions for him about any Jefferson Tayte book.

    Look for a full review and interview in the next few weeks, and in the meantime you can get your own preview of the book with Amazon's Look Inside feature offering the opening pages of the The Lost Empress.

    The Lost Empress is now available for pre-order; Kindle orders will be delivered wirelessly on the October 21, 2014 release date. While you're waiting for the book's release, check out the first three Tayte adventures or revisit Jefferson Tayte's career as professional genealogist and unwitting detective:

    1 - In the Blood

    2 - To the Grave

    3 - The Last Queen of England

     

    Note: I accepted an advance copy of The Lost Empress without obligation to review or publicize the book. I enjoy Steve Robinson's genealogical mystery series, and share news about his new releases because I think you might like them too. If you buy a book using one of the affiliate links on this website, the fees earned help support this site.

    Sunday
    Sep142014

    Prepare Your Family History to Survive Fire Season

     

    A common sight in Silverado Canyon every September.

    The rest of the country may be feeling the first chill of autumn, but in Southern California September heralds the arrival of California's 5th Season, Fire Season. Once again Silverado Canyon is on fire watch as a hot wildfire burns the dry hillsides along the narrow canyon walls.

    Santiago Fire 2007

    My sister and her family lived in Silverado for over twenty years and this is the first year in all that time we aren't watching the news anxious about their personal safety. Last winter they sold their custom-built Victorian house and moved to a parcel of land on Oregon's Deschutes River. We're relieved they aren't in the fire path once again, but sad to see their former home and community in danger. 

     

    Damage from fire retardant.

    Fire Danger to Family Keepsakes

    When we think about the danger of wildfire, we tend to think about losing our belongings to raging flames, but the bigger threat comes from smoke, fire retardant and water damage.

    • Paper will quickly absorb smoke odor, and the longer items remain enclosed in a box or sealed environment the harder it will be to remove the smoky smell.
    • Homes in fire zones are often treated with a fire retardant gel that brings its own special hazards, corroding copper and metal, staining paint and other surfaces, and killing landscaping. Your heirloom furniture and other keepsakes can be severely damaged if you aren't home to close windows and remove family heirlooms before the spray hits your house. My sister's family experienced this first-hand.
    • Water from burst plumbing, fire sprinklers or fire hoses can quickly turn a storage area into a water-soaked mess. 

    Be Prepared for Wildfire

    After living in a risky area for so many years, my sister says she actually feels better prepared now than ever before. The last time they evacuated their Silverado home, the family was unable to return for over 14 days and they learned a lot about emergency preparedness during that episode:

    1. Keep valuables organized and ready to grab in case of evacuation
    2. Store digital copies offsite at the office or on Cloud storage
    3. Give your young adult children the originals or copies of any documents they might need like birth certificates
    4. Know how to contact your insurance agent in case your home is damaged

    HD4100

    Store Valuables in a Home Safe

    While researching "Your Genealogy Disaster Plan" for the September 2014 issue of Family Tree Magazine I discovered a home storage container with an impressive disaster survival story. The SentrySafe HD4100CG fireproof waterproof home safe is rated for 30 minutes of fire endurance and water submersion. Models come in all sizes and configurations and are available on Amazon and home improvement stores. I spoke with a SentrySafe representative about a suitable size for genealogy materials and she sent me a link to a story about a safe filled with family history research that survived Hurricane Sandy. It's an emotional video, but brings home the reminder that some things need a bit of extra protection in our everyday life.

    When she lived in Silverado, my sister and I often talked about protecting photos and keepsakes from natural disasters. It can be hard to enjoy your family heirlooms if you're worried about fire or flood, but digital copies stored offsite or on the Cloud are a good backup in case of damage or loss. I don't live in a fire zone like Silverado Canyon, but I keep some family treasures and digital copies in a fireproof waterproof safe. And I hope I never see that safe sitting in a pile of charred rubble.

    Note: I'm providing links to the SentrySafe HD4100CG recommended by the company representative as most appropriate for a small genealogy collection. You can read more about the different models and compare prices at Amazon where I receive a small affiliate fee from orders, or see some models in local stores such as Target, Home Depot, and Lowe's. The featured model is large enough to hold file folders and a few small items. IMHO, it's a worthwhile investment.

    Friday
    Sep052014

    RootsMagic with MacBridge: Fabulous Friday!

    MacBridge 1024x698

    This is the best news I've had all week! RootsMagic has just announced the new MacBridge product that runs RootsMagic on a Mac computer without Windows! As the Roots Magician Bruce Buzzbee described it last summer, MacBridge is a easy-to-install single product workaround using CrossOver to install and run RootsMagic (hope I've got this right). I've run RootsMagic with the full CrossOver and been disappointed by the updates and mystifying WINE terminology, so I'm excited to try MacBridge and the easier and more direct installation process.

    MacBridge is listed to run both the free and paid versions of RootsMagic on a Mac, without Windows. Sure, a Mac can run RootsMagic with virtualization software like Parallels, VM Fusion, or Apple BootCamp, but you still need to install Microsoft Windows on the Mac. CrossOver from Codeweavers and Open Source WINE run many programs, including RootsMagic, but my experience has been less than wonderful with CrossOver. If the new MacBridge works as promised, the entry ticket of $9.95 will be well worth the price of admission to the Magic Show.

    Thank you, Roots Magician!

    Wednesday
    Sep032014

    Wordless Wednesday: Back to School 1923 Edition

     

    "First Graduates - '23" from the Edna and Walter May Photo Album; privately held by Denise Levenick, 2014. Edna McClure May was a teacher at the San Juan Capistrano School, California.

    Thursday
    Aug282014

    Genealogy Photo Gallery World Photo Day 2014, #TBT

    The Past is Present once again in these thoughtful entries for the Genealogy Challenge for World Photo Day 2014, posted today for #ThrowbackThursday. Thank you to everyone who responded to the challenge by posting photographs and stories on family history blogs and on The Family Curator Facebook Page. As you'll see, the entries are creative, clever, and clearly genealogical.

    We open the Gallery with Jenny Lancetot's photograph posted on The Family Curator Facebook Page showing her grandfather and his sons in front of their home in 1959, "Dear Photograph" style, against the home in 2011. You can just about see them on those steps today. 

    On the Front Steps

    Five Generations

    At Lonetester HQ, Alona Tester, a self-confessed Gen Xer from South Australia with a passion for genealogy, posted two five generation photographs bringing together her parents' line from ancestor to herself. The photos look like a great start for a family history book, Alona! And, thanks for kicking-off the challenge by submitting the first entry.

    Dunbar Hospital 1922 & 2014

    Then and Now are always popular themes for bringing the past into the present, and Kristin Cleage Williams, creator of the Finding Eliza Blog has submitted a creative view of the physicians at Detroit's Dunbar Hospital in 1922 juxtaposed with a modern day image.  I love the way the men really do appear to be seated on the porch of the building in 2014.

    Home is Where They Lived

    Queenslander Pauleen Cass, author of Family history across the seas, posted photos from a "Then and Now" activity that included walking the local streets "matching up old photos with the current image." What a great idea! She shares a series of Then and Now images that feature houses and family members from the 1920's to the present day.

    You Can Go Home Again

    Sharn White, is a genealogist living in Sydney, Australia, and creator of the FamilyHistory4U blog. She posted a collage showcasing her childhood home in Queensland, from the 1950's through 2014 remodeling and transformation.

    Dear Photograph: Disneyland Edition

    I enjoyed a walk down memory lane this month with a handful of old snapshots to bring home this Dear Photograph edition for The Family Curator blog. Disneyland was still noisy and crowded, and just as much fun as ever!

    The Past is Present in Photographs

    Our Challenge Gallery concludes with the entry from Sharon of North East Victoria, Australia, who wrote a fascinating article and posted several photos on her blog Strong Foundations to highlight the love of photography she shared with her grandmother. Scroll down the article to view the great photos of old Kodak Brownie advertisements and the photos of Sharon and her grandmother, both with cameras at the ready.

    Thank You, Photographers

    It appears that the family history bloggers from "Down Under" outnumbered the North Americans in the 2014 Genealogy Photo Challenge, but next year, things might be different :>) . Thank you to everyone who participated. Start thinking of your entry for 2015, you have almost an entire year to snap the perfect Past is Present photo.

    Find us on Google+