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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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    Entries in footnoteMaven (5)


    We're Puttin' on Our Shades for Golden Rule Days, Tuesday's Tip


    Miss Penelope Dreadful is pleased to endorse Golden Rule Days, the latest edition of Shades of the Departed Magazine published by footnoteMaven.


    Inside the over of this beautifully illustrated full-sepia journal, the reader will find 122 pages filled with perfectly precious photographs, handsome heirlooms, attractive artwork, persuasive prose and various verse, along with a short work presented by yours truly, Miss Penelope Dreadful.

    As readers may (or may not) know, this reporter has enjoyed weaving tales of suspense, intrigue, and near-truth for many issues of Shades of the Departed, (now available in back issues from the Publisher). These various pieces of protracted prose are inspired by Miss Maven's extensive collection of Photographs of various subjects. Miss Maven proffers the photograph and Miss Dreadful delivers the deed, er goods. 

    Our latest tale involves unraveling the story behind the old photograph, and takes into consideration the Science of Phrenology as revealed by a careful analysis of the photograph on exhibit, that of Schoolteacher Alice B. Olver. Please enjoy "Penny's Dreadful Secrets Unlocking the Clues in Old Photographs" beginning on page 18 of the current issue of Shades of the Departed Magazine. Feel free to address your compliments to Miss Dreadful ℅ the Publisher.

    Tweet It --

    Miss Penny Dreadful LOVES Shades of the Departed #oldphoto Magazine. RT if you do too! -- Click to Tweet

    It's Here! Shades of the Departed New Edition #oldphotos #genealogy -- Click to Tweet


    New Reviews for How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Thumbs Up!

    Still deciding whether or not you need a copy of my new family history handbook How to Archive Family Keepsakes? Check out these reviews and news bytes from genealogists and family historians you may know --

    and remember:  

    Proceeds from book sales throughout the blog book tour will be used to fund the 2013 Student Scholarship Grant awarded to assist the genealogical education of a promising young family historian.

    Midge Frazel, cemetery / gravestone expert and techie, writes at Granite in My Blood:

    OK, so I AM organized. I love being organized, but I discovered very early in my reading of her [My California-Girl friend, Denise Levenick's] book that I still have a LOT to learn from this book. Buy it! I guarantee that you will findthings and Web sites you do not know about.

    In honor of her book tour, I purchased an different archival box for my file. . . This is what genealogist want for Valentine's Day plus a copy of Denise's book.

    Denise Olson, news hound, tech guru and bookseller, writes at Moultrie Creek Books and

    In How to Archive Family Keepsakes, Denise Levenick has created an amazing reference for anyone who has inherited a collection of family letters, documents and personal items. For family historians and genealogists, this is an essential guide for organizing and managing the family archive.

    How to Archive Family Keepsakes is a great reference and one you’ll want to include in your library of research essentials.

    Caroline Pointer, genealogy and technology artist at 4YourFamilyStory, writes

    . . . after reading her book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes, I have to say she rocks it in her book. . .
In fact, in reading her book you can tell it is her passion, which is always awesome.

    With her simple how-to's, checklists, and forms, when you purchase Denise's book {Not if. I'm that confident you will purchase this book.}, you will not only be motivated to preserve your family's keepsakes, but you will have the tools to go through that box {Or if you're like me, boxes} of your family's 'stuff' you have tucked away in that closet in your guest bedroom that you keep telling yourself you need to go through and do 'something' with.

    Moreover, what I really appreciate is how Denise writes her tips and suggestions in How to Archive Family KeepsakesShe gives you many options in her preservation suggestions, and she does so in a way that makes you feel like she's right next to you sharing her knowledge.

    Lynn Palermo, family history writing coach at The Armchair Genealogist, comments

    There comes a time in your research when you decide to take all the documents, artifacts and photos you’ve accumulated throughout the years and formulate them into stories. One of the biggest obstacles we face as writers is the overwhelming task of getting all that information organized so we can begin to write. . .

    After reading Denise’s book it became clear to me she had written a book that stood at the core of helping authors prepare to write.

    footnoteMaven, Editor Publisher of the popular online photography magazine, Shades of the Departed, writes 

    You can use the book for quick answers, efficient archival workflow, digital savvy, collecting strategies, and most importantly confidence. Confidence that no matter what you acquire you have an answer as to how to proceed.

    I keep the book on my desk and refer to it often. Treat yourself! It is so worth it.

    Shades gives it 4 out of 4 old cameras:


    Ready to purchase your own copy of How to Archive Family Keepsakes? Now available in both PRINT and eBook editions. Click the button to see ordering options.

    Visit Week 2 of the Blog Book Tour for more exclusive articles on working with family history photos, documents, and artifacts, and a chance to win the Week 2 Giveaway Prize.


    footnoteMaven is Talking About Many Things! Blog Book Tour Visits Shades of the Departed


    How to Archive Family Keepsakes Blog Book Tour Visits Shades of the Departed

    It's "Many Things Thursday" at Shades of the Departed online photography magazine, and Editor/Publisher footnoteMaven joins the virtual book tour today with personal insights and book highlights of particular interest to anyone caring for family history photographs. fM also shares the backstory of The Family Curator's alter ego, Miss Penelope Dreadful, and a few more tales from the Shades archives.

    Longtime fans of footnoteMaven's work with historical photographs and genealogy citation standards will be happy to see fM online again after a too-long stretch of dreadfully distracting disasters. I hope this is just the first of many more posts to light up the dark at Shades.


    from Shades of the Departed, Many Things Thursday

    Many of us find ourselves in the position of family curator. How each of us deals with that position is often the true story. Denise Levenick has a longtime interest in her family history. Stories of her maternal grandmother growing up in Colorado and Kansas nurtured that interest and a steamer trunk full of letters and photographs sparked her odyssey.

    While wandering the web one day I bumped into Denise's experiment in family history. She was writing about a transcription project for her class of high school students using her family letters. I was hooked (continue reading at Shades of the Departed). . .

    And, for a chance to win a Family History Photo Archive Kit, remember to leave a comment at today's Blog Tour post on Shades of the Departed.


    It's That Time of Year: Blog Caroling with Footnote Maven, "Silent Night" on the Heirloom Music Box

    Thank you, footnote Maven, for this wonderful tradition to pause again and listen to the beautiful sounds of Christmas music. Last year I nominated Stille Nacht accompanied by a (rather grainy) photo snapped of a German church steeple high above the Rhine Valley one December night in 2003 in Stille Nacht is Still My Favorite.


    I knew there was a reason that photograph was a favorite! Not long ago Mr. Curator brought home a large inlaid music box he inherited from his parents. It was prominently displayed in their living room in front of a set of large French windows; and every holiday, the box would be opened, brass records carefully selected, and the hand crank firmly turned. Then the music would begin. Enjoy!


     "Silent Night" by Music Box, on The Family Curator's YouTube Channel,


    Shades: Birthday Edition -- Finding footnoteMaven in the 1940 U.S. Census, a Dreadful Tale 


    It's a Holiday! Today is the birthday of footnoteMaven, editor/publisher of the award-winning Shades of the Departed Online Magazine. The Shadettes and Shades-dudes Staff Writers are pleased to present this Special Birthday Edition of the magazine as a tribute to their dear friend. Long may your tiara sparkle, fM!

    Visit the blogs linked below to read more and feel free to join the party by posting a tribute on your blog and adding the link in the comments.

    Finding footnoteMaven in the 1940 U.S. Census, A Dreadful Tale

    from the pen of Miss Penelope Dreadful

    "Curses, foiled again!," Penny exclaimed, tossing aside her pen and spattering indigo ink across the pages spread before her on the table. She pushed back her wooden chair and stood up, indifferent to the cascade of paper tumbling to the floor.

    "Who do you think you are, footnoteMaven?" she cried, "trying to hide from me in the United States Census!"

    As she paced the room with long, thoughtful strides, Penny pushed her spectacles to the top of her head and rubbed her brow thoughtfully. Where is she hiding? Where can she be? Her words became synchronized with the clock ticking on the mantel and her shoes clicking across the carpeted floor. Where? Where? Where can she be?

    Abruptly, the pacing stopped and she returned to the desk. "Of course," she cried. "I'm decades too early, and making this much too difficult. The family… the family…" and her questing eyes returned to the pages before her, skimming line after line and name after name until they found their prize.

    A few days later, when Penny shared her story of discovery, I asked about her sudden change in search tactics.

    "I was going about it backwards," she exclaimed with a laugh. "I assumed -- most incorrectly -- that footnoteMaven was our friend's married name. After all, we know so well her affection and deep esteem for her dear Mr. Maven that it seemed elementary the two should share the groom's name."

    "But, I was WRONG!" Penny added with a smile. "Think," she said to me, "think."

    When I threw up my hands in answer, Penny grinned and sat back in her chair to recount the rest of the story:

    I wondered if it were possible that our friend footnoteMaven, like another well-known researcher, could have married someone unrelated by blood who shared her surname. Two Mavens, one name. To test my theory, I searched the Census for a Maven family in southeastern Missouri. I didn't expect to find fM's family of six, after all those Censuses won't be available for another decade. But what I did find was nearly as interesting -- the Maven family in it's earliest years.


    The Census shows the Maven household with four residents -- fatherMaven, motherMaven, grandfatherMaven, and auntMaven. The full transcription reveals that young fatherMaven aptly worked as an Enumerator while his wife, motherMaven, stayed home Keeping Sources. We also learn that grandfatherMaven's occupation is given as Tallyman working with the Customs Office.


    As expected, the young footnote, eldest of the four Maven siblings -- sisters footnote and bibLio, and twin brothers citation and endNote --  has not yet been born; nonetheless, her namesake appears in the document. Look closely and you will see a young  Aunt Maven who surely must have been tagged with a nickname in honor of her very interesting job as "Footnote Checker," a job and nickname she may have still held years to come when her first niece was born.


    In case you're wondering --

    Who is footnoteMaven and who are all those other Mavens? Who's Penny Dreadful, and why is she writing so strangely? What are those odd occupations listed for the census?

    Good questions. To begin at the end… Miss Penelope Dreadful is the pen name of Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, so christened by footnoteMaven, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Shades of the Departed Magazine, the premiere online photography magazine.

    footnoteMaven, or fM as her friends call her, writes two award winning blogs, footnoteMaven and Shades of the Departed, and is the creative spark generating the highly-acclaimed online magazine, Shades. fM is also known as an advocate for source citation and excellence in genealogical research. She's Tops!

    Today, Sunday, April 22 is fM's Birthday, a special day in the blogosphere. I'm pleased to dedicate this day's post to my dear friend with my deep appreciation for her friendship and encouragement. In addition, I'm dreadfully delighted to repay fM for the Birthday Surprise she so masterfully accomplished with my mom in 2009.

    Happy Birthday, dear fM. May all the best be yours today and always.

    Read more Shades: Birthday Edition stories from your favorite Shades authors at --

    Shades: Birthday Edition - Captured Moments of footnoteMaven at CreativeGene, by Jasia

    Shades: Birthday Edition - A Very Speial Birthday Surprise at  The Educated Genealogist, by Sheri Fenley

    Shades: Birthday Edition - Your Family Story at For Your Family Story, by Caroline Pointer

    Shades: Birthday Edition - "It was a dark and stormy night. . ." at Geneablogie, by Craig Manson

    Shades: Birthday Edition - Lost Images Found? at Landailyn, by Janine Smith

    Shades: Birthday Edition - ladies in glasses at A Sense of Face, by Rebecca Fenning

    Shades: Birthday Edition -- A Teacup Throne at Moultrie Creek, by Denise Olson

    Shades: Birthday Edition - The Fountain of Youth at What's Past is Prologue, by Donna Pointkouski


    Image Source:

    footonoteMaven. "Earth Day - Birthday Graphic." footnoteMaven, 22 April 2009. : 2012. 

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