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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson


nbc's who do you think you are! NEW Jan 2011

Updated on January 16, 2011 at 11:17PM by Registered Commenterabbyb

After enjoying the first season of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are, I am very excited to announce the season 2 premiere Friday January 21, 2011 at 8pm! If you missed the first season you can watch full episodes and access a bunch of research information from their website. Updates for the new season!

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Transcribing Love Letters

Proven true in recent media, the remnants of a relationship are hard to delete thanks to wonderful technology saving allllll the juicy details. When it comes to researching your pre-computer-internet ancestors, finding a letter, a signature, or writing on the back of a picture; little snippits of their handwriting and thoughts are PRICELESS. Living in a world with instant 24/7 access to anything, it's hard to believe the amount information we've lost.

Letter from Wentworth to Edith 1919

When I was a not-so-desperate-newbie genie I sifted through documents and pictures from an old box of stuff from my parents. It was hard to start my search in an organized way with a vast array of information from different family lines. One of my first projects was to organize, transcribe, and preserve a series of letters from my Great Grandfather Wentworth Middleton to my Great Grandmother Edith Shaw Middleton. The letters start in 1914 while they dated and end in 1924 married for 8 years. Wentworth had to travel out of town for his job with The Crucible Steel Company for weeks at a time and during the summers Edith would go down the jersey shore. My father rememebers Edie as a "family historian" of sorts and I'm so thankful these letters found their way to me, I will save them!

how to preserve original letters and documents

The letters weren't organized well and I spent many hours squinting and examining the loose pages and envelopes. I absolutely love Wentworth's beautiful writing, but it did take some effeort to learn his style. In all there are 28 letters and they are one of my most treasured items. I spent hours transcribing the original documents to digital format. Once printed the transcriptions were put in acid free plastic inserts with the orginal letter and envelope behind. A great way to enjoy and preserve these pieces of history.

I want to inspire you to break out that box and see what stories you have to preserve. You don't have to read or transcribe every document to make the first step. This could be a great family activity for post thanksgiving dinner (or pre dinner if your bird just won't cook!). There's probably a dormant genie in your family just waiting for some motivation.



Weba what? Do I need to be tech savvy or have special software? Do they cost money? How long does it last? Where do I go?  What if I miss it?

If you have never watched or participated in a webinar, one or all of the questions above may have given you reason to pause, but they are a FANTASTIC way to get information and there are alot out there for FREE. Free is the best right? Especially when genealogical reasources can be pricey!

A webinar is a live online educational presentation during which participating viewers can submit questions and comments. These virtual sessions (yes! virtual=you sitting cozy on your couch) are great for learning new genealogy tips/resources/technologies from knowledgable professionals.

The presenter will display a power point presentation on your screen and they will talk you through the slides. Don't worry about writing everything down, you will be able to download the power point after the session. Webinars can range from 30mins to hours, but most often they run 1-2 hours with the last 30 minutes or so of Q&A. If the webinar is scheduled during a time you're not available or you miss it, you can usually still download the presentation! Check out and Legacy Family Tree for their archived presentations. Legacy Family Tree's presentations are only available for 30 days post webinar, lucky for us they just had a bunch so check them out. Family Tree University has educational resources, live webinars, and many webinars on demand but you have to pay.

 Examples of genealogy webinar topics:

Now what might be the biggest question- what technology do I need? Well I have good news, if you're reading this blog you have 2 out of 3 major requirements, a computer with internet access. The organization hosting the webinar will send you a link, usually via email. When it's a few minutes before the scheduled time click on the link and enter the meeting, it's just like entering a chat room! You will see the main slide or images from the presenter's computer on your screen and then you just wait for the learning to begin. The 3rd need is sound, there are 2 ways to do this- speakers on the computer? perfection! If you don't have computer speakers, sometimes they will provide a dial in conference number with number codes to punch in and viola, sound!

*please keep in mind there are many webinar programs out there so the exact methodologies and computer requirements may vary* It's important to check the system requirements provided by the host and to test your computer by logging into the meeting early to make sure!

Check my events calendar for scheduled webinars! If you know of a webinar covering genealogy, researching, history, or any topic you think fits I would love to hear about it. Same goes for your thoughts or comments from a Webinar experience!


brooklyn flea mixes with the revolution 

My first post!! While I am usually attached at the hip to my mac, this past weekend was the epitome of fall splendor and those beautiful leaves were calling my name. One thing I love about weekends in Brooklyn is the Brooklyn Flea, an eclectic mix of old, refurbished, and new items for sale in laid back bk style. But really, the best part is the food!! So many vendors to choose from, my 2 personal favorites

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