March, 2009

How to Make Effective Use of Blogs in Your Research

Blogs are not an exotic species.   They are a form of expression by real people discussing, for the most part, issues of real interest to real audiences. At their core, blogs are not essentially different from books, magazines, television shows, newspapers, etc.  They are sources of information. But anyone can write a blog! That fact is actually one of the …Continue reading →


“Jesus Wept.” Maybe He Didn’t Like the Food . . . .

My ancestors include a number of clergymen and my ancestors in general were religious people.   But one curious thing I began thinking about recently. At mealtimes when my paternal grandmother, Jessie Beatrice Bowie was visiting, she would say a blessing consisting of two words:  “Jesus wept.” Well, I know, of course, that this is the shortest verse in the Bible …Continue reading →


John Hope Franklin, 1915 – 2009

One of America’s greatest historians, John Hope Franklin has died at the age of 94. Born on January 2, 1915 in Rentiesville, Oklahoma, a place so small it seems to have been overlooked on the 1920 census, he was the son of Buck Colbert Franklin and Molly Parker Franklin. His father was one of the first black lawyers in Oklahoma, …Continue reading →


Why I Blog–Reason No. 1 and Reason No. 776,002

Several weeks ago, in a post called Happy Dance Days are Here Again, I posted some photographs. The photos were of Frank Gines and his wife Willie V. Cole Gines, and their children. Frank Gines (1883-1946) was a son of Richard William Gines (1860-?) and Sylvia LeJay Gines (1863-1940). One of Frank’s younger brothers was my grandfather, William Edward Gines …Continue reading →


The (New) Paripatetic Graveyard Rabbit . . .

. . . is here. Eh, I mean here! You’ll find up to the minute news about graveyards, cemeteries, and monuments, as well as the PGYR Video of the Week. This week’s video highlights a monument conservation training program put on by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). Located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, NCPTT is an element of …Continue reading →


There’s No Such Thing as Proof

If, as a genealogist, you believe that you can “prove” something, well, you need to be re-educated. . . . In genealogy, we talk about evidence and data sources, and the Genealogical Proof Standard.  We don’t talk enough about what is meant by “proof” or how “proof” is distinct from evidence,or about the multifaceted nature of proof (which means our …Continue reading →


Another Approach to Finding African-American Names in the Census

Last year I wrote an article called “Slaves and Slavs in the U.S. Census (and how to tell the difference!).” You can find the post here: It describes how to find African-Americans by name in the census prior to 1870. Since writing that last year, I’ve continued to experiment with the topic and have discovered another way. On, …Continue reading →


I Love Ancestry’s Expanded, Updated City Directories

Last week, updated and repackaged its U.S. Directories and U.S. Public information databases.  These are now all a part of Ancestry’s “1940 Census Substitute.”   Part of the upgrade was acquisition of  what Ancestry VP for Content Gary Gibb called ” a huge collection of city directories.”   I was excited about this from the outset.  I’ve long understood the value …Continue reading →


Carnival of Genealogy: A Tribute to Women

The Carnival is now posted at Jasia’s Creative Gene.  There are 31 outstanding selections from both veteran and nedwcomer genea-bloggers. You won’t find my contribution there; I simply ran out of time.  But had I had the time, I would have written about Mary Elizabeth Bowser.   A Central Intelligence Agency paper tells her story as one of the least-known, but …Continue reading →


Geographical Genealogical Geopardy: The Answer is “The Faroe Islands”

The question is: What does “FO” in Rootsweb’s SSDI mean? This issue is raised by Arlene Eakle in a blog post on Monday, March 16.  It seems that an individual’s obituary neglected to name the place of death.  But in Rootsweb’s SSDI, a place is given as “FO”.   The Rootsweb SSDI also indicates that the death was “verified,” that is, …Continue reading →

March 2009
« Feb   Apr »