New Year’s Eve

[UPDATED 1/1/2009, 4:00 PM, PST: Added missing links; minor corrections]

Settle an argument, willya?

Is today New Year’s Eve 2008 or is it New Year’s Eve 2009? Well, on the one hand, it is December 31, 2008, but it’s the eve of the new year 2009. (Did that help?)

Whichever it is, we need to get cracking with the last posts of 2008–we’ve spent most of the day working with Microsoft, Motorola, and Comcast to get and keep the Bloggcast Center in Carmichael, California, back online. What a way to end the year!

The Proximidade Award

Yesterday, Miriam at Ancestories was kind enough to honor me wiht the Proximidade award, which she had received from Janet Illes. The scroll below is inscribed

These blogs invest and believe in PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers, who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

A great sentiment and I’m pleased to accept, Miriam. I was particularly touched that Miriam passed the award to those of us she called “the pioneers” in the geneablogosphere. So much has gone on in our community over the last year and so many new faces have come to the fore. I want to pass the award on to some of those newer folks. I choose:

Robert Baca of the New Mexico Genealogical Society and The Baca/Douglas Genealogy and Family History Blog.

Sheri Beffort Finley, The Educated Genealogist and The Educated Graveyard Rabbit.

Denise Levenick, The Family Curator

Allum Spence, Spence-Lowry Family History

Elizabeth O’Neal, Lil Bytes O’ Life and The Central Coast Graveyard Rabbit

Dru Pair, Find Your Folks

Harold Henderson, Midwestern MicroHistory

Sheri Bush, FamilyTwigsTwigTalk, and The Graveyard Rabbit of Jackson County, Indiana.

I commend these to you as exemplars of the fine writing that’s out there to be found!

2008 Kudos

One of our mottos here at Geneablogie is: Give Credit where Credit is Due. And that’s not just a dosumentation standard! The genealogical community continues to grow and 2008 was a significant year for the community and genea-bloggers in particular. The efforts of many people contributed to this, but some stand out for special mention.

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak and Marcy Brown were the creative leads behind the Unclaimed Persons Group. This group has provided a vital and compassionate service by assisting coroners in locating relatives of those who died alone, and, often, lonely. This was the single most important development in the genealogical community in 2008.

The Unclaimed Persons Group give rise to the genealogists’ invasion of Facebook. Thomas MacEntee, founded the Genea-bloggers group on Facebook, aided by Denise Olson, Kathryn Doyle, Jasia, the footnoteMaven, Terry Thornton and others. They put together the Facebook Bootcamp for Genea-bloggers and were our advance party in this strange new Web 2.0 world.

And speaking of strange new worlds, Ol’ Myrt herself (Pat Richley) has been leading the way into Second Life. She established a genealogical beachhead there and I know many will eventually follow.

Terry Thornton and footnoteMaven did something extraordinary and perhaps unprecedented: in just a few weeks, they put together a worldwide organization, The Association of Graveyard Rabbits, that has in the last several months published hundreds of thousands of words in nearly a thousand articles on cemeteries, burial customs, graveyard history and preservation of memorials. This group has been of great value in calling attention to the issues of graveyard preservation and has contributed immensely to the written history on their topics.

Denise Olson continued her prodigious output on tech issues in her Family Matters blog, while aiding genealogical scholarship by creating and shepherding the Genealogical Resources Group at The Genealogical Resources Group has 80  members who have contributed nearly 1500 bookmarks. Many of these came from Denise herself! And if you’ve ever missed an edition of Family Matters, well, stopping reading this and go there NOW! Denise also writes the Moultrie Creek blog and is the Graveyard Rabbit of Moultrie Creek–and works a “real” job, too!

Blaine Bettinger, PhD, brought common sense and great comprehension to a variety of genetic genealogical issues. He critiqued, probed, examined, and explained in great detail! (And he did all of that while in law school!).

Randy Seaver continued to be the go-to guy on a diverse number of topics. Randy writes so much that is so valuable; it’s hard to keep up with him!

Jasia remained the muse for the Carnival of Genealogy; Chris Dunham continued to ensure that none of us takes ourselves too seriously. Miriam Robbins Midkiff wrote several great pieces on her ancestors and kept us busy at Scanfest. Miriam’s articles late in the year on file organization are invaluable (and she did that while recovering from surgery!).

And of course, as always, we had the benefit of wise counsel from Maureen Taylor, Thomas Jay Kemp, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Kimberly Powell, and Sally Jacobs.

I regretfully acknowledge that I no doubt have not mentioned everybody I intended to mention.

For me, 2008 was a year of mixed blessings. I met many folks in our community in person for the first time. I met several relatives I had not met before. And I was blessed with an incredible treasure of photos and documents–but those came as the result of the death of a relative.

Then just this very morning, I came into contact with two people, each of whom could hold the key to significant brickwalls in my research! One of them has information that could lead me past the brickwall of my great-grandfather Richard William Gines, which has been one enduring and frustrating mystery. I can’t wait to see where 2009 takes us!

And so ends 2008 . . . .Happy New Year to All!


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8 Responses to “New Year’s Eve”

  • Sheri Fenley says:

    Happy New Year Craig! I am so pleased that you read my blog and find it worthy enough to pass on to others. I can’t thank you enough. I can’t wait to see what 2009 will bring.

  • Thanks for the kudos Craig! And another event (I know there were so many) was the Genea-Blogger Games back in August 2008. Miriam and Kathryn did a great job getting participation in this carnival!

  • Hey Craig,

    Happy 2009! And thanks for the mind-blowingly kind words about Unclaimed Persons and RootsTelevision. Of course, Unclaimed Persons would be nothing without Dee Welborn, Terry Elliott and the more than 400 volunteers who so generously apply their sleuthing skills to this purpose. What did we do before the Internet, eh? Sure shows the power of community — even when virtual. Can’t wait to see what 2009 brings! Thanks again, Craig. You started my year off on the right foot!

  • Denise Olson says:

    Craig, I am speechless. Your praise is especially gratifying since your writing has been an inspiration to me ever since I first found GeneaBlogie. Thank you for thinking of me.

  • Randy Seaver says:

    Excellent post, Craig! Thanks for the kind words.

    It was great to meet you and other genea-bloggers at the SCGS Jamboree. I hope we can get together again occasionally.

    I hope that you have a happy and healthy 2009 – go knock down those brickwalls!

  • Great wrap-up/review post, Craig, and thank you for the kind words.

    One more point: two genealogy carnivals were added to the genea-blogging world. footnoteMaven’s “I Smile for the Camera” Carnival and Kathryn Lake Hogan’s Canadian Genealogy Carnival.

    What a year it’s been!

  • CRAIG, Thanks for the kind words — it was and is the talent and contributions of Graveyard Rabbits such as you that has allowed the Association of Graveyard Rabbits to “take off” and grow so rapidly. I appreciate all that you do in the GeneaBlogging world — thank you. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • Laura Adams says:

    I have just returned home from La Guiannee, the French New Year celebration which has been a continuing tradition in Prairie du Rocher since 1722. Your ears must have been burning– you and your ancestors were the subject of conversation! I told them about your search, your blog and beautiful photographs. We celebrated at the Creole House, you probably saw it just across the street from Lisa’s where you ate lunch. Was there a Felix Mischeau in your family? If so, his beautiful violin, bow and case are lovingly preserved on a display shelf directly across from the entry door. The curator is looking very much forward to speaking with you and I am proud to say that I have your “Recettes of Old Prairie du Rocher” book in my hands, ready to mail as soon as I get your address. Bonne Annee!

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