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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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    Monday
    Feb232009

    Where's Henry M.?

    We have a problem. Arline's great-grandfather, Henry M. Winsor was orphaned in 1827. After 1850 I know that he joined the Union Army, mustered out, and relocated his family to Kansas. Where was he living between 1827 and 1850?

    I found 29 year old Henry and his growing family in the 1850 census living in Rutland County, Vermont. At that time, his oldest child was 6-year old Martin. Henry and wife Fanny were probably married at least one-year prior to Martin's birth; they were likely still single in 1840. I was unable to find an indexed census record for Henry in 1840.

    According to Rutland County probate extracts, however, on 7 Sept 1831 Edward Dyer was appointed as the legal guardian of Henry Windsor, age 10. The 1840 census lists two Edward Dyer households: Edward S. Dyer and Edward Dyer in Rutland, Rutland County. Both were possibilities. Edward S., probably a son of Edward Dyer, and a female, probably his wife, were listed as age 20-29 with one male in their home age 15-19 and another male age 20-29. This 19 year old could be Henry. Nearby, the elder Edward Dyer, age 60-69, lived with a female, probably his wife, age 50-59 and 2 males 15-19. The household also included 1 male age 10-14, 1 male 20-29, 1 female 15-19, and 1 female 20-29. The 19 year old male in this house could also be Henry.

    I then looked at data from the 1830 and 1820 censuses to discover if a male in the correct age range was living in the Dyer household in those years. Instead of a 9-year-old male in 1830, I found extra children in other age brackets. These children did not appear in 1820; they seemed to come out of nowhere, and I was having a hard time keeping the data straight with the traditional census extract forms.

    The internet to the rescue. On Tech Tuesday this week, I will share the census tools I found that helped me unscramble my data and develop a game plan for a new line of research. I don't know if I found Henry, but I have a few more ideas of where to look. See you then!

    Tuesday
    Feb172009

    Tech Tuesday: Notetaking and Blogging with ScribeFire

     

    This week I have been using the ScribeFire Firefox plug-in for notetaking and blogging. I have been searching for a stand-alone application that I could use offline on my laptop, so I first bypassed ScribeFire. It kept popping up in searches and reviews, however, so I went back for a second look.

     

    ScribeFire comes in two versions -- ScribeFire Notes, initially designed for enGadget whose editors wanted "a tool just for taking notes and text-editing." Notes uses the ScribeFire base without the blog-specific features. The full ScribeFire Blog Editor adds several features including direct blog posting. I first tried the Notes version and liked it so much that I moved up to the Blog Editor.

    ScribeFire is very intuitive -- a top requirement on my list. The note window closely resembles the Blogger interface and I had no trouble figuring out how to create a new note, format text, and insert links and images. ScribeFire supports several blogging services and platforms includes WordPress, MovableType, and Blogger. It also offers a blog advertising program that I have not investigated.

    The overall note taking interface is different from Evernote and Springnote in that the note titles are listed in tabs along the top of the note window and in a list window on the right. It does not use a tree-format. The window itself is accessed by clicking on an always-present icon in the bottom bar of the Firefox window. A new note taking window pulls up from the bottom of the browser leaving the currently open page in view. I like the easy accessability and obvious commands. Each of the three programs offers something different: collaboration, bookmarking, and sharing with Evernote and Springnote, and a free note-taking and blogging app with ScribeFire.

     

     

    Friday
    Feb132009

    Dow Jones: "Some days, it's up, some days, it's down"

    Quilters have always used their art to reflect the culture and politics of their times. The names of quilt blocks and whole quilts speak for the times -- Burgoyne Surrounded, Rocky Road to California, and Log Cabin. This last design became especially popular in the 19th century because of its symbolic associations with President Abraham Lincoln.

    Now we even have a new quilt design for OUR times, as uncertain as they may be. The Dow Jones Quilt, designed by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company speaks to economy, uncertainty, and whimsy. The pattern for this quilt requires 61 charm squares for the basic pattern. For non-quilters, a charm square is a 5 x 5-inch square of fabric commonly packaged to spotlight a new line of fabrics. A fabric designer usually designs an entire line of 20 to 40 different complementary fabrics in different color-ways. The "charm pack" consists of one "charm square" of each fabric, providing an economical way for the quilter (or fabric "collector") to acquire a sample of the entire collection.

    Charm packs and patterns have become increasingly popular as the price of quilt fabric has risen in the past few years to about $9.95/yard (at my Southern California quilt shops).

    Dow Jones makes good use of charm squares in a graphic image of the stock exchange graph. If I make this quilt, I think I will leave the market moving in an upward trend. It doesn't hurt to hope!

    Tuesday
    Feb102009

    Tech Tuesday: A Student Wish List for Online Learning

    You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but it's hard to keep a teacher from learning. Now that I am not teaching high schoolers, I have more time for my own educational pursuits, and the internet is bringing the classroom to me. At least it was, until our Southern California rain cut off phone and internet service. Unfortunately, the days I had set aside to complete the first lesson for my online genealogy course were spent organizing papers and filing. That ugly task is nearly finished, DSL is restored, and the sun is peeking through the rainclouds.

    This semester I am enrolled at Monterey Peninsula College's distance learning program for a course in intermediate genealogy . I completed the first course this Fall, an introduction to basic genealogy and research. Now, we are moving back farther in time to research a family who lived 1820-1900. This class promises to be as challenging and rewarding as the first, and I am already excited about the material we will be learning.

    Although I used classroom web pages for my students, this is the first time that I have been the student myself. The experience has given me new insights into some of the challenges of distance learning, and I have come up with a Student Wish List for Online Learning. These goals would apply not only to a full online course, but also to any kind of instructional materials presented online.

    A Student Wish List for Online Learning

    1. Easy Login/Signup Instructions -- Why is this information often buried in lines and lines of text? Make it clear and obvious. See Google (or most any successful website) for an example.
    2. Easy to Understand Structure -- Students are accustomed to understanding course assignments in a certain form in the same way that cooks are accustomed to finding a list of ingredients followed by directions in a recipe. Typically, a professor hands out a Syllabus or Reading List broken into weekly assignments. This didn't change much from my undergrad days in the 1970s to my grad school classes in 2000. Now, more assignments are on the web, but they are still listed in a weekly format. Occasionally, a professor will break these into a group or unit of study, but the best syllabi offer clear, concise language. A student should not have to search for the link to the online reading for Week 2. Build the link right into the assignment line.
    3. One-Stop Shopping -- Assignments listed and linked in one place. Less confusion.
    4. Interactive Learning -- Those who don't like distance learning cite its "impersonal" structure. They must never have been a part of an active course. As both teacher and student, I have used online discussion boards and list-servs to foster interaction. More learning came out of those sessions at times, then a weeks' worth of face-to-face classes. If students seem reluctant, require a set number of postings. They soon forget the requirement and join in the discussion.
    5. Faculty Office Hours -- Instructors, be available to your students, either by email, chat room, or phone. It doesn't need to be 24/7, but regular feedback is vital to success.
    6. Rewarding Success -- Learners miss hearing "good work" or "interesting comment" from classmates and teachers when the only interaction is submitting papers and seeing a grade on the screen. Many online students are taking courses for enrichment, they truly want to know if they are moving in the right direction. Be generous with your comments.
    7. Realistic Deadlines -- It is easy to get sidetracked when you are attending school online. After all, you can go to class in your pajamas at 5 a.m.! I do so appreciate deadlines that are set with sensitivity to major holidays and with reasonable time between assignments.
    8. Resources For Further Study -- I love links and resources for more information. I don't always have time to read everything, but I do save those resources and often go back to them for additional ideas.
    9. Professionalism -- Students appreciate a professional instructor who guides forums to minimize off-topic chat, gossip, or commentary. Set rules and enforce them. Most students will appreciate your efforts.
    10. Patience -- If I don't understand a topic, or how to access information, be patient with my efforts. I will keep trying with your encouragement.

    I am appreciating the great effort that goes into a well-designed online course. If you can add to the list, share your own wishes and thoughts in the comments.
    This article was written in springnote.

    Sunday
    Feb082009

    Internet Down? Read a Book!

    This past weekend I have enjoyed reconnecting with my ancestors' pre-bandwidth lives. Our DSL internet lines went down first. . . email came through and then an annoying message from Outlook Explorer "searching... searching... searching." Finally, it became obvious that this was a serious problem.

    When I called the telephone company, they suggested working on the phone lines first; "don't you notice the poor connection?" And I was so focused on the internet, that I was ignoring the snap, crackle, pop of the phone wires. Sure, fix the phone lines.

    Then, they were dead too.

    Silence.

    More silence.

    It was raining in Southern California (don't believe what you hear in songs) and our wires were FRIED! The repairman could not come for two days.

    So, I organized my genealogy papers, cleaned up my desk, and finally curled up in front of the fireplace with a book. Afternoons with Emily became "evenings" and I managed to spend a wonderful weekend enjoying my cozy home with a book. Haven't done that in a while!

    When the repairman arrived, to nod his approval at Mr. Curator's "fixes," our phone and DSL service was revived. Alas, the novel is too good to put down.

    Tuesday
    Feb032009

    Tech Tuesday: Sometimes, Low-Tech is Just Fine


    Okay, we all love the bells and whistles, the slick new gear, the cutting-edge idea . . . but, sometimes Low-Tech is just fine. This past weekend, I was reminded of the old Boy Scout maxim, KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly) when my 20-something son, Christian, was visibly excited by a gift of 3x5 cards.

    Christian dropped in for dinner this weekend and we gave him the Levenger Note Card Action Board along with an extra set of ToDo Cards. The response overwhelmingly positive.

    Mr. Curator first spotted the Levenger 3x5 system for organizing ideas using the Note Card Action Board and ordered it for our son, a first-class list-maker, an Eagle Scout of List Makers. The Note Card Action Board speaks his language.

    Christian loves to make lists on scraps of paper in his Germanic-precise handwriting. The kitchen island of his lovely new home is covered with carefully scribed lists. The Levenger Note Card Action Board serves as a launch pad for such lists; and with the included 3x5 notecards (or any 3x5 index card) Christian can add as many lists as he likes. With a bit of organizing, they can even be divided into categories such as for his various projects: Back Yard Landscape, Lowe's Shopping, Places to Visit When We Go to Germany. . .

    I use 3x5 cards often for quick lists. They are convenient and inexpensive. Years ago, when I was a young mother of two boys looking for divine inspiration to organize the chaos of our life, I remember stumbling across a woman whose business motto was "we change lives with 3x5s." The jingle always stuck by me, even though I have long since abandoned the idea of scheduling every vacuuming and ironing date on a 3x5 note card.

    The idea of using 3x5 cards has been taken to its elegant and sophisticated peak with the Levenger Company, an online source of reader and writer tools. Levenger has captured the essential easy and "cool" factor of 3x5 cards, and brought this to new limits. They offer personalized cards, launch pads, and accessories. I find that combining their products with the affordable office supply pack of notecards offers a reasonable and effective system for keeping track of things to do, projects, and "notes to self."

    Sometimes, paper and pencil are all that is needed to stay on top of a task. In the midst of bandwidth, and gigabytes, and wonderful new apps, sometimes I have to remind myself to Keep It Simple, Silly! It's just a grocery list, for goodness sake!

    Friday
    Jan302009

    Cheap! Family Memories For Sale

    While searching for letterpress printing equipment (my other vice) this week on eBay I stumbled upon an auction for a bundle of family letters. Over one hundred letters from a young man at college in the 1930's written home to Mom. Letters asking about laundry, mending, and even breaking the news of his engagement. Photos enclosed. Sold for ephemera value, marketed to scrapbookers and paper artists.

    I was heartbroken to see such memories for sale and attempted to purchase the lot, just so I could try to return them to the family. Alas, I was outbid in the final seconds... the winner paying less than $40.00 for such a treasure. I am haunted by the thought that I should have been willing to pay more, but consoled by the hope that maybe the bundle was purchased by a like-minded family-history lover who will do the same. Were you the highest bidder?

    Tuesday
    Jan272009

    Tech Tuesday: "Share Your Where" with Blip for Blackberry

    Blackberry users might feel a bit jealous of all the cool tools for the iPhone, but some applications are still exclusively Blackberry, including the GPS tracking program, Blip by BlackLine GPS.

    I have been using Blip since last summer, mostly to find out if Mr. Curator has left work for home so that I can put the tuna casserole in the oven. This FREE application runs on GPS enabled Blackberry mobile phones. Activated on the phone, it works as a mini-tracking device. Go to Blip, and any shared phones are listed. Select the phone you want to view, and choose "Map Last Location." In a few seconds, a Google Map of the area appears identifying the selected user.

    Now, it's obvious that Blip would be great for a bit of detective work if you wanted to follow someone's movements, but tracking can be turned off any time by the user. Do I really want Mr. Curator to know that I am at the quilt shop again? When I tell friends about the program, their reactions mostly run to "cool, but not on my phone." Some think it is just a bit too Big Brother-ish. I think it is useful, however, especially if you are travelling in an unfamiliar area or alone. I first activated Blip on my Blackberry last summer when we were in New England and I planned to spend a day on the backroads by myself doing a bit of family history research. You can be sure I showed my husband how it worked, just in case my car went off the road and into a ditch.

    Blip is a step-brother application to Blackline's portable tracking device, Snitch GPS. The palm-size Snitch, and it's counterpart Loner, act much like an auto LoJack anti-theft device. The difference is portability. GPS Snitch protects your auto, RV, truck, or other vehicle. If activated by a break-in it will silently notify you via email and initiate GPS tracking that you can follow on the Snitch Website. Loner GPS works in much the same way, but is designed to act as an emergency safety device for employees working alone in the field. The device is worn by the person and activated by motion-sensor technology. Way cool. Both are available from Blackline.

    I am playing around with using Blip to record tracking information that I can transfer to a saved Google Earth map. This would be a convenient way to mark gravesites or residences with GPS coordinates.

    Saturday
    Jan172009

    Quilting and Family History: Report from Road, Honoring Eleanor Burns


    The Family Curator meets with Eleanor Burns at
    Road to California Quilt Show in Ontario, California

    The Road to California Quilt Show is wonderful again this year. My first order of business was to visit one of my favorite booths, Beyond the Reef Patterns, and find the fabric to finish a baby quilt for nephew Ryan and his wife, Jordana. Baby Rojo (as they call her) is due soon, so I have to get busy. Natalie loved the quilt top made with their island-style fabrics and has already posted a picture of me with the quilt top on the shop blog.

    Then it was on to the floor of the convention center to view the quilt exhibits, talk to friends, and shop with the hundreds of vendors.

    Among my favorites are the historical and reproduction fabric and pattern lines. I am continually amazed at the beautiful reproduction fabrics designed by Judie Rothermel at Schoolhouse Quilts and by Froncie Quinn at Hoopla. Both design fabric lines from textiles at New England museums so that today's quilters can use authentic period colors and designs in new interpretations of antique quilts.

    One of my last stops at the end of a very long day was at Eleanor Burns' Quilt in a Day booth. Most quilters have heard of Eleanor, even if they didn't learn to quilt by her methods. I learned how to quilt from her! With a book on the table, I was able to design, cut, sew, and actually finish my first quilt. In fact, the pattern I am using for Baby Rojo is the same one I used for that first quilt and is still one of my favorites.

    Eleanor revolutionized the world of quilting with her first book in 1978, Make a Quilt in a Day Log Cabin. Her theme seems to be "you can do it." She helped people find success in quilting by rewriting patterns in plain language and streamlining construction techniques for modern equipment. And, everything was always done with a smile and a laugh.

    She has written quilt patterns and books featuring designs from the Civil War through the mid-20th century. Each book includes notes about the culture of the times and serve as a helpful memory-jogger for working with the period.

    Her latest book, Victory Quilts, is a treasure-trove for history-buffs and filled with stories about World War II and the 1940's. Anyone interested in making a special family memory quilt would enjoy the sampler patterns and Eleanor's conversational writing.

    Eleanor has been honored by many quilt guilds and associations for her contributions to the craft, and I think quilting family historians would also acknowledge her efforts to make history personal and more meaningful. I don't know if she compiles pedigrees or researches her family history, but for her contributions to family history and culture, I name Eleanor Burns to be an Honorary Family Historian.

    Is there someone in your sphere of interest whose work enriches that of genealogists and family history researchers? Perhaps they deserve to be an Honorary Family Historian too. If you write about them on your blog, post a comment here and I will round up the list for easy viewing.

    Tuesday
    Jan132009

    Tech Tuesday: Easy Photo Sharing with the Eye-Fi Wireless Memory Card


    My grandmother, Arline Kinsel, loved her little Kodak camera. In her letters she often mentions snapping pictures of friends and family and including copies to share. As she grew older, she became almost obsessive about identifying the golden genealogy trinity, "people, places, dates" on the back of old prints, and I wonder what she would think of today's digital cameras.

    Like many digital photographers, I sometimes delay downloading images from my camera to my computer. I am fairly prompt with file transfers following a major event or vacation, but those everyday snapshots of an over-burdened tomato vine or the cat drowsing in a shaft of sunlight seemed to languish in limbo, unviewed and nearly forgotten. I have the best of intentions, but the photos just don't get out of my camera as quickly as they should.

    I first read about the new Eye-Fi wireless SD card some time ago in Walt Mossberg's technology column for the Wall Street Journal. Since then, this little memory card has attracted a lot of attention, winning a host of awards including PC World's The 100 Best Products of 2008.
    When the card began showing up at my local Best Buy this holiday season, I looked at it again and got pretty excited at its potential for recording family events and sharing the images almost instantly.

    The EyeFi card looks like a standard SD card and claims to work with any SD-compatible camera. It holds a small wireless transmitter inside with the memory chip which enables the card to send images directly to your computer without taking the card out of the camera and without cable or adapter. But that isn't all it does. It can also upload images to the internet via your home wireless connection, add geotag information, and connect at wireless hotspots like Starbuck's.

    • The basic Home version uploads photos from camera to computer.
    • The Share version moves photos from camera to computer, AND to a designated online photosharing service such as KodakGallery, Flickr, or Facebook.
    • The Explore version does all this, PLUS connects at wireless hotspots and adds hotspot location information.

    I purchased the 4gb EyeFi Anniversary Edition Share card and it was configured in less than five minutes. No lie! The family was arriving for a holiday dinner and I wanted to test it out. All afternoon I snapped photos. When I glanced at my computer (powered on), I saw that my photos were already uploaded to the designated folder. My wireless connection is not very strong throughout my house, so occasionally I set the powered on camera next to the computer. The images began downloading as I watched. I have configured the card to move images to an Eye-Fi folder on my computer desktop. I will organize them later from here. They are also transferred automatically to my Kodak Gallery account. The first time the Eye-Fi card uploads photos to Kodak Gallery it creates a new album with the date as its name; photos are added to this folder throughout the day.

    Then, the next cool thing took over. With my wireless digital picture frame, Kodak Easyshare W820, I was able to access my Kodak Gallery account, select the photo album with the current date and set it to show the new photos as a slide show. We stood around the frame watching the photos taken minutes earlier. Great fun for everyone.

    The Anniversary Edition Eye-Fi Share card can be enabled with the geotagging feature for a subscription fee; if you purchase the Eye-Fi Explore card, unlimited geotagging is included with one-year hotspot access. This is NOT GPS geotagging, however. It is a form of tagging that relies on wi-fi hotspots, therefore it is most useful in urban areas and not in the back-country where GPS satellites excel. I would like to use it for cemetery research, but because of this restriction I am not sure how useful geotagging would be in rural or even city cemeteries out of wi-fi range.

    In addition, although the Eye-Fi card is to configure and operate, it is not as speedy in transferring images as a dedicated card reader. For this reason, I would still use a card reader for transferring hundreds of vacation photos.

    For transferring images easily and almost without thinking, however, the Eye-Fi card is a great addition to my photo toolkit, and something to seriously consider setting up for someone like my mom who doesn't want the bother of transferring images via card reader or camera cable. It would also be fun to link more than one card to the same folder or online album and let several photographers contribute nearly simultaneously to a family photo shoot. I think Arline would have been an early Eye-Fi fan, and I am sure her pictures would be among our favorites.

    Sunday
    Jan112009

    The Curator Quilts, too!

    Detail of Lone Star Christmas Quilt, made by Denise Levenick

    Lately I've been bumping into Genea-Bloggers who are also quilters, such as Dear Myrt and The Chart Chick, and quilting bloggers who are also family historians, like Lillian's Cupboard. It's not an unlikely pairing, as anyone who has inherited a family quilt would know. Quilting is like anything else, in that the craft itself can connect us with the past.

    My dad loves tinkering with cars, polishing the chrome until it gleams like a mirror. I remember my grandfather's tidy garage and pristine auto and know that every time he pulls out a polishing cloth, my dad is reenacting a ritual he observed in his own father's garage. When we bake a cake from a heirloom recipe, sew a doll's dress, or harvest the first tomato of the season we honor and remember those who taught us.

    I didn't have the privilege to learn quilting from my grandmother, but in reading her letters, I have found several references to sewing. Evidently, like many women in the early 20th century, Arline was proficient at creating her own sylish wardrobe. She used a Singer machine that she occasionally mentions, although I don't know if it was a treadle or electric model. And from what I have gathered about her busy life, I doubt that she had time or interest to make heirloom quilts. If she did make quilts, it was probably out of necessity, something so common it didn't even garner a mention in her letters.

    I started quilting in 2000 after a friend dragged me along while she purchased a new sewing machine. I took a class to learn about my new Bernina (of course, I bought one too!), and got to work on my first quilt. It was a crib size Flying Geese pattern made from an Eleanor Burns pattern. My boys are over 6'4" tall and I didn't have grandchildren, but it seemed like a manageable project.

    Since then, I have made dozens more quilts from easy to difficult, from doll-size to queen-size. I don't think I will ever be a "Master" Quilter, but I do enjoy making something enduring and comforting. That crib-size Flying Geese brightens my eldest son's sofa in his New York City apartment, and a western-theme flannel quilt warms my younger son and his new bride in Southern California.

    Next week, I'll be at the Road to California Quilt Show in Ontario, California, viewing quilts, meeting designers, and generally getting inspired to make a new family heirloom. Maybe I'll even bump into a quilting Genea-Quilter; leave a comment if you will be there!

    Friday
    Jan092009

    Sneak Preview of a New Weekly Feature: Tech Tuesday


    Ok, ok, I'm a tech gadget junkie, and maybe you are too. My family just laughs and begs me not to gift them with thinigamajigs that are on my wish list. This year I complied, but they are all green with envy.

    Just in time for our family Christmas dinner, I popped my new Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card into my digital camera and snapped away. Moments later, the photos appeared on my computer and then... well, for the rest of the story and my experience with this cool new gadget, check back next Tuesday for the first article in a weekly series featuring technology for the family historian.

    See you Tuesday, January 13th at The Family Curator for Tech Tuesday.

    Wednesday
    Dec312008

    Getting My Tech Together, part 1

    Denise Olson at Family Matters has pushed me over the edge into Twitter which moved me to "get my tech together" starting at the goal-setting site, 43 Things. In fact, I am soooo inspired that I sent out this email to my family and friends this morning, and thought I would just post it here for my blogging pals, in case anyone needs another nudge.

    Hello friends,

    It's the end of 2008 and as I am thinking about hanging up a new calendar I just wanted to share with you my recent tech finds, in case you have an urge to try something new this year.

    www.43things.com
    has been around for a while, but I haven't really used it much. It is a website where you can list goals, and see how many other people have the same ones. Kinda fun. Very easy. and as we all know, making goals is the first step toward getting there.

    www.twitter.com
    is a social networking site (like facebook, but easier). I'd heard about for a while, but after reading an article in the Wall Street Journal earlier in the month I decided to give it a try. I also read a good piece about using Twitter to keep in touch with family in the event of a disaster. It is a website where members communicate in "tweets", very short text messages. You can "follow" other people's twitters (tweets?) to see what they are up to. So, if I am going out to lunch and post "going to lunch" anyone who follows my twitters will know this. Who cares? Well, it is fun to know what folks are doing, and if there is an emergency it is a very fast way to say "we are ok". This is a good little clip about what else it can do. Also, you only have to follow people you want to, and you get to allow people access or not to your own twittering. Oh, you can also do this via cell phone, which makes it really useful.

    youtube intro to twitter

    Denise Olson's article about using twitter in emergencies

    Denise Olson's great intro to twitter from FamilyMatters blog

    Let me know if you try any of these out. Can you tell that one of my top goals for 2009 is to be better prepared for an emergency?

    xo, Denise

    Wednesday
    Dec312008

    The Proximadade Award

    Graças a Msteri and footnoteMaven for nominating The Family Curator for The Proximadade Award.

    Proximidade (from the Portuguese)

    proximity, nearness, imminence, neighborhood, vicinity

    This honor seems to be quite international, having been bestowed throughout blogdom on scrapbookers, blogging moms, and other creative types. Now it is making the rounds of genea-bloggers, and in my turn, I hereby nominate the following:

    Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Spellbound Blog, writing about archiving, digitizing, information, and a host of topics that are always timely and interesting.

    Thomas MacEntee, Destination Austin Family, the go-to-guy for recipes, tech questions, crafts, and a good tale. Definitely, a Destination Blog.

    Linda Stienstra, From Axer to Ziegler, a past Californian with non-stop adventures wherever she roams.

    Lori Thornton, Smoky Mountain Family Historian, gathering local and family history for her thoughtful articles; and she's been at it since 2004!

    Dawn Thurston, Memoir Mentor, inspiring and encouraging family history writers, and providing an outlet for their writing.

    Becky Wiseman, Kinexxions, blogger extraordinaire sharing stories and photos that make me smile, laugh, and cry. Her goal-setting is nothing short of inspirational.

    Back-at-You Msteri, Heritage Happens, because yes, "heritage happens" in the little everyday things of life, and I love the way you let your readers glimpse a Real Person behind the blogger.

    And footnoteMaven, one of the original hostess-with-the-mostest of the blog-neighborhood coffee klatch.

    Wednesday
    Dec312008

    Happy 100th Posting from The Family Curator

    It's rather like The Big Birthday. I've anticipated the One Hundredth Posting for some months, but mostly in the wee hours of the night when I am not at my computer to speculate when exactly that date will occur. So, I was taken quite by surprise today when I realized that this very post will be that special one. Spontaneous serendipity. A lovely surprise. And a grand adventure.

    Henry David Thoreau, always one for finding meaning in meaning, "moved" to Walden Pond on July 4th. It was his own Independence Day. As 2008 comes to a close, it's a good time to look back and The 100th Posting is a good place to reflect on The Family Curator.

    What began as an online research journal has become a forum for new ideas and a place to connect with like-minded family historians. Certainly I have learned more from these blogging connections than I ever did muddling around on my own; and not only about family history and genealogy.

    I have been prodded toward organizing my files and piles; I have stretched the creative limits of file naming; I have tried a Carnival performance or two; I have "talked" with bloggers on all sorts of subjects; I have cajoled reluctant new readers to blog-world; and I have rediscovered my own writing.

    Our stories go round and round building communities of "cousins" both by blood and by byte. I know that most of us will never meet face-to-face, but I do feel that if we were to find each other at some event we could easily continue a conversation begun days earlier in cyberspace. Thank you for your readership and your comments. I look forward to the next hundred postings. . . at The Family Curator and at your blog as well.