Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let's Go to Expo! Part 4


Are you ready for the 4th installment for the Let's Go to Expo! series? I hope so because we have two amazing women in store for you today.  Imparting her knowledge of New England and New York research, Arlene Eakle, Ph.D., will be speaking on four occasions at the 2010 Mesa Family History Expo.

1/22/09 @ 1:30:  Virginia Genealogy Part I: Virginia Jurisdictions and Genealogical Research: A Preliminary Checklist.
1/22/09 @ 3:00: Virginia Genealogy, Part II: What is New and What Research Strategies Work
1/23/09 @ 8:00 New York Research Part I
1/23/09 @ 9:30 New  York Research Part II

Aside from being a professional genealogist for over 30 yers, Arlene is "merely" the President and Founder of The Genealogical Institute. She specializes in New York, the Southern U.S., the British Aisles, Switzerland and parts of Germany.  Attendees are sure to learn much from Arlene!

 Baerbell Johnson, AG, is an International Reference Consultant at the Family History Library.  I can attest to her knowledge and expertise, having had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with her at the 2008 FH Expo in Mesa.  I had a question for DearMyrtle, actually and she pulled in Baerbell to give me some tips on passenger ships and ports of departure/entry to include Austria and St. Kitt's.  Baerbell will also grace us with her presence and knowledge at the 2010 Mesa Expo:

1/22 @ 10:00  German Genealogy on the Internet - An Overview and German Town Genealogies and Parish Register Indexes on the Internet.

1/22 @ 11:30  Avoiding Mistakes in German Research

1/22 @ 1:00 Occupations in German Research.

1/23 @ 8:00  Finding Your Italian Ancestors

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Let's Go to Expo! Part 3

The Internet is a great thing, but it can be scary, too.  Lots of things can go wrong, such as phishing and hacking and identity theft.  Genealogists are not exempt from these dangers.  Fortunately, we have Andrew Pomeroy.

Andrew is a partner at Limited Edition Publishers, who specialize in family histories and color-accurate photo books.  He is educated in business/marketing/technology, and he promises to help genealogists stay safe. At least,  he promises to help genealogists attending his lecture at the 2010 Mesa Family History Expo in Mesa, Az! His speaking schedule is as follows:

1/22/10 @ 4:30:    Internet Safety for Genealogists and Everyone Else
1/23/10 @ 11:00:  Connecting Families Through Facebook

Many, if not most, of you know that the Geneabloggers have grown from a small group of people navigating through each others' blogs to communicate to an approaching-1,000 member strong group on Facebook as well as each others' blogs.  Well, Anna Fechter, who has a B.S. degree in Sociology, can help family historians find and grow communities on the Internet!

Anna is the Community Operations Manager at Ancestry.com, and she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Rootsweb, The Learning Center, and The World Archives Project. Community is her thing, and if you want it to be your thing, too, plan on attending her presentation:

1/23/10 @ 1:00:  Tapping into the Ancestry.com and RootsWeb Community.

I'd love to go to this presentation, except, well, er, uh....I'm presenting at the same time! I'll tell you about my topic a little later! I'm glad there will be a syllabus available of all presentations, because everyone will want to know all about everyone else's subjects!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Let's Go to Expo! Part 2

Today I will focus on two presenters for the 2010 Family History Expo in Mesa, Az., since I missed a few days for the Holiday.
Alice Volkert is on the board of the Southern California Chapter of the Association for Professional Genealogists. She focuses on general United States research and New England. She is also associated with the Family History Center in Orange, California. She is presenting on two topics at the Mesa Expo:

1. 1/23/10 @ 11:00: Digital Photography. Alice will discuss why the digital camera is one the most valuable tools for genealogical research.

2. 1/23/10 @ 2:30: Naming Patterns in Colonial New England. I suspect Alice has some tricky stories and tricks up her sleeve as she delves through the mysterious patterns (or lack thereof) of naming children in this early geographic area!

Anastasia Tyler is the Genealogy Research Manager for the Conferences and PR team at Ancestry.com. She is currently working on her accreditation on English Research, after having graduated from Brigham Young. She'll be presenting on two different occasions:

1. 1/22/10 @ 10:00: Getting the Most out of your Ancestry.com subscription

2. 1/22/10 @ 11:30: Best strategies for Searching Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com is constantly adding more data to their bases (sorry, couldn't help add a little twister there). Anastasia will tell you how to make the most of the site!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let's Go to Expo!

It'a ONE MONTH until the Mesa Family History Expo! The event will occur at the Mesa Convention Center in Mesa, Az on January 22 and 23, 2010. The details can be found HERE. Since it is going to be the event of the year for all of Arizona, I thought I'd do some spotlighting. Over the next month you will get to "meet", right here at this blog, the people who will be making it all happen. I will introduce you to the presenters at this year's Expo. By the time all is said and done, you will surely want to be there in person to see it in 3-d!

I notice that the opening speech for this year is being held in one of the ballrooms at the Mesa Convention Center. At the first Mesa Family History Expo in November of 2008, the speech was held outside. The weather was a tad bit cool in the morning but warmed up by the time the speech began. The 2nd Expo here is in January, and though it IS Arizona we're talking about, the weather is likely to be less predictable.
The keynote speaker for this event is Tim Sullivan, the CEO of Ancestry.com. He is highly educated, having received an MBA from Harvard Business School and accomplished the honor of Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His topic for the opening ceremony? "Digital Expectations: Preserving Yesterday's Records for Today's Researchers". Attendees will get a look inside the process by which technology allows Ancestry.com and other organizations to do what they do for researchers around the world.

It's sure to be a HOT event in every sense of the word (and if you're coming from Buffalo or the Upper Peninsula, it's likely to be hot outside even if it's cold to us Arizonans!).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Annual Carol-A-Long

Yep, it's that time of the year again: footnoteMaven's Blog Caroling. My first year's presentation was of a childhood favorite (whether it be December or July!), The Little Drummer Boy. Last year I included a video from a dog-blogger who'd created a video of dogs lip-synching to "Do They Know It's Christmas".

This year I chose a piece performed by one of my favorite groups, Celtic Woman. The voices of these women (and men, too) melt my heart, and the accompaniment fills the room with energy. I had the pleasure of seeing this ensemble perform a couple years ago and I was so impressed with every tune. I hope you enjoy this song and video. I present to you "Christmas Pipes".

Christmas Pipes

Words and music by Brendan Graham]

Christmas pipes, Christmas pipes
Calling us calling on Christmas night
Call us from far, call us from near
Oh play me your Christmas pipes

Christmas bells, Christmas bells
Over the hills and over the dells
Ringing out bright, ringing out clear
Oh ring me your Christmas bells

Christmas strings, Christmas strings
Playing the peace that Christmas brings
Fiddle and bow, gentle and low
Oh play me your Christmas strings

(1st verse)

O Holy night
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night

Christmas choir, Christmas choir
Christmas carols 'round Christmas fire
Holy night, angels on high
Round up your Christmas choir

Christmas band, Christmas band
You're waiting for me with your Christmas band
Cymbal and drum, rattle and hum
March out your Christmas band

Good to be home to your Christmas pipes

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Success At Last!

Oh my gosh! What a HUGE success story THIS is! I can hardly contain myself.

As a child, I remember the holiday spread that my dad's mother, Mary (HODICK) McHUGH would put out. Not just the Christmas Eve dinner, but the cookies and the candies (remember ribbon candy?) and just about anything you could ever dream of putting into your mouth! Alas, I was more of a tomboy when I was a kid, hence, neither grandmothers nor mother could get me into the kitchen to learn how to do the things that they did. To this day, if I have any regrets, it is that I did not partake in culinary endeavors with my elders when I had the chance.

Well, to follow up last year's GeneaBlogger Cookbook, Thomas MacEntee put together a version for 2009 with a focus on Holiday Treats. It can be found HERE. I didn't have an entry for this year, since I really didn't have anything to contribute to a holiday-themed cookbook. But I DID have use for the recipes found within the pages of this year's edition! We're having a cookie exchange at work tomorrow, an event which terrifies me given my lack of baking ability. I once tried a simple sugar cookie and it was disastrous!

So I spent the afternood baking. Yes, you heard me, baking. I used one cookie recipe from a Taste of Home recipe magazine (I love that magazine!), and I must say it was quite easy!
I've seen these coookies called many things, but this book called them "Nutty Orange Snowballs". I usually see them called Sandies, and they are a Christmas favorite of mine. This year, for the first time since Grandma (HODICK) McHUGH died in 1976, I get homemade Sandies!

Then I tried a cookie recipe from the GeneaBlogger Winter 2009 Cookbook desccribed above. I chose Lynn Palermo's (The Armchair Genealogist) recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. It was shocking enough to have ONE cookie come out right, but to have TWO in ONE DAY? It is nothing short of a Miracle! I truly felt my Grandmas' presence today!

So, Lynn, do they look right? They sure taste good!

Had She Been Born Today...

My loyal readers might be a bit tired of my posts about Aunt Marianne, dad's oldest surviving sibling who was born in 1930 with Down Syndrome. But they will also know that I often ponder how her life might have been had she been born today. This morning I saw a video of a young woman in New Zealand whow was born wtih DS about 31years ago. Her accomplishments are amazing, albeit still quite unusual in modern times. But I hope that she is an inspiration to future generations of children and young adults born with this very special condit ion.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dear Genea-Santa:

I haven't been a very good blogger this year. I've slacked off on more than one occasion. So much so that I've missed out on many activities. But I promise, I will do better. There is one thing that would surely help me:

The distinguished looking man in the back there is my great-grandfather James O'ROURKE, and he is pictured here with his wife Mary (KEARNS) and daughters Mary (Mae), Betty, and Margaret (Nellie). James and Mary had two other children, James (my grandfather) and Lucille, who was special, from what I hear.

I know quite a bit about Mary's family: She was the daughter of John and Bridget (DONAHUE) KEARNS. She was one of seven children (with siblings Winifred, Genevieve, Lawrence, Jeremiah, John, and Francis), and her parents were Lawrence and Mary (KEHOE) DONAHUE.

Mary, aka Mae, married James JORDAN, an ophthalmologist who fixed my big brother's eyes when he was a wee one, and his descendants now are well known in Pittson, PA and surrounding areas for their work on people's eyes. Betty married George ROCHE, and Margaret, aka Nellie, married Frank McCARTHY.

But I know nothing about my great-grandfather James O'ROURKE's family. So Santa, won't you please give me the energy I need to order vital records in hopes of finding out who James' parents were? I have James' years as 1876-1944; at least that's what is on his headstone, of which I have a photo thanks to my cousin, Pat Sharpe-Dunn. If you give me some help with this, I promise to be a better blogger.

Well, I promise to be a better blogger anyway, but I still would love some help!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We Look Like Who?

Randy of GeneaMusings posteed yet another activity for his fellow geneabloggers to do. He asked participants to head over to MyHeritage.com and click on the "Celebrities and Fun" tab. There visitors can upload a photograph and it will tell them which celebrities they most resemble. Here are the results for my entries:

I had entered three different photos, and Anjelica Huston was on each result, though this is the only one on which she didn't appear as the highest match. Others that resulted from the other two pictures (all three taken within the past year) were Victoria Principle and Thiessen (I can't remember her first name).

Wondering how others in my family would turn out, I put in a picture of my mother and father. Dad's first:

Then Mom.

Since I'd always been told I look like mom, I expected some of our celebity-look-alikes to match, but they didn't. She would be THRILLED to see Jackie O on her match list!

Perhaps Grandma (HODICK) McHugh will share some of my matches:

Nope. Grandpa McHugh?

Nope again. How about Grandma or Grandpa ORourke?

(Check out Cary Grant under my grandpa! COOL!).

Since none of us share a single celebrity look-alike, I am left with no choice but to conclude that we were all adopted!

I tried to see who Izzie looked like, but alas, the face recognition tool couldn't find his face!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I can't remember a year when we didn't decorate for Christmas. Growing up in western NY state, where White Christmases were the norm, it was easy to get into the spirit. Dad would decorate the outside of the house with big, bulb lights and a homemade gigantic star that was placed in the middle of the porch railing. Mom would take care of the inside, for the most part. She did have some help with the tree and the platform underneath:

Most of the houses and trees, and the brick paper and the mountain paper in the background belonged to my paternal grandmother, Mary HODICK when she was growing up, so the set was spectacular. I'm not sure, though, whatever happened to the set once us kids all grew up.

As an adult, I carry on the tradition of decorating for the holidays. I don't have any family heirlooms, and the oldest thing I have is ... well, probably a nutcracker of some sort (I have 37). Tonight I finished my annual tradition of decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving. It sure looks a lot different from my childhood home in NY, and certainly has progressed from Grandma McHugh's aluminum tree and color wheel!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shoo-be-doo-be-doo ... be-doo

Some people strive to be singers and start out as Backup Singers. Genealogists strive to have backed-up data (soured and cited) and know the first step is to have Backup Data.

Today is Data Back Up Day. It is one thing to have a wealth of data of any type; it is quite another to lose all that data because of a system failure, natural disaster, or other catastrophic event affecting your computer. Potential loss of data can be avoided simply by having a back-up of your computer. It isn't enough, either, to back up your computer once and forget about it. Any new data introduced since the backup would still be lost. Now I don't know about you, but if I lost the new data I have on my computer since January 1, 2009 I would be lost. I might even be discouraged enough to just give up. So backups should be done often. My workplace backs up daily. I would be well-behooved to do so monthly. Geneabloggers is the guru of such knowledge, and he says to do so monthly and reminds us Geneabloggers to do so on the first of every month. So it's high time I listen to the almighty techno-guru!

The last back up I have is on a thumb drive. I don't even quite know where the drive is right now. So what good does it do?

So I am considering my options. I could back up using my CD/DVD drives. But that would be rather burdensome, and CD and DVD discs don't last forever, and they would add to my clutter.

I'm considering online storage sites, but have two problems: I don't know any reliable ones that are either free or cheap. I'd hate to spend money on "renting" storage space. Ultimately, my goal is to get an external hard drive. But, even though they are more affordable, I don't have extra money to spare at the moment, and I don't have the patience to learn how to use one. Maybe Santa will be good to me!

While I'm waiting for the external hard drive, which option should I choose? Any suggestions for trustworthy, reliable online storage sites? What concerns/precautions do I need to implement to protect sensitive data? Should I back up sensitive data on CD's/DVD's and only put less sensitive data on an online site? Input, please!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Save the Date

January 22-23, 2010 at the Mesa Convention Center. This is the date of the 2nd Annual Mesa Arizona Family History Expo. I attended last year's Expo and had a fabulous time! I will definitely be there for this next one, too.

This year I will have the honor of being a presenter for this Expo! My topic is "When the Past Meets the Present to Change the Future: Using Geneograms in Genealogical Research". It will be held on Saturday, 23 Jan 2010 at 1:00 p.m. in the room Palo Verde II. The presentation will be part lecture, part hands-on activity so attendees can learn by doing! I hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Congratulations Marianne

The time has finally arrived. The post that brought Marianne McHugh to the attention of the publishers and writers of "Encyclopedia of American Disability History" has come full circle.

This volume is now available at Amazon.com, and in this volume you will find an article on "Daily Life" of people with disabilities. In this article you will find my father's oldest surviving sibling, Marianne McHugh:
Thanks aplenty go out to Penny L. Richards, who "found" Marianne on the March 9, 2008 edition of the Carnival of Genealogy and passed my article on. Thanks also to Susan Burch, the editor of this encyclopedia for her enthusiasm for the project and for using Marianne's photograph.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ancestral Roulette

Randy Seaver has done it again. He's created another Saturday Night Fun activity to spur us on in our research. The instructions are:

1) How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

Well, I started with my father, who is 72, making my roulette # 18 which is empty. My mother, if alive, would be 71 which also made my roulette # 18. So I chose my aunt, Marianne McHugh, instead, since she has probably had the most influence on my professional life. Marianne, as you will recall, was my father's oldest surviving sister/sibling and she was born with Down Syndrome in 1930. If Marianne was alive today, she'd by 79 years old. Using the calculation described above, this gives me the roulette number of 20. The person with that number on my ahnentafel is John Kearns.

John Kearns was my second great-grandfather on my mother's paternal line. Three known or speculated facts about John Kearns:

1. He was born about 1855 (1880 Census).

2. He married Mary Donahue.

3. He was a coal miner residing in Pittston, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

(photo courtesy of Pat Sharpe Dunn)

John and Bridget's daughter, Mary, married my mother's grandfather, James O'Rourke (1876-1944).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

You've Probably Seen this by Now

But THIS is the way to start a new branch!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The 75th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Justice and Independence

(artwork courtesy of the footnoteMaven)

This edition of the Carnival of Genealogy celebrates our country’s struggles and glories of Justice and Independence. These concepts have been at the core of our nation’s philosophy since its formation and geneabloggers have not gone without recognizing this fact. Below you will find a summary of those who’ve chosen to celebrate Justice and Independence in their search for genealogical answers. And as usual, footnoteMaven provided us with a unique banner to celebrate the occasion! Thanks fM!

Dorene from Ohio celebrates Justice in her post, F. D. Parish, Sandusky Lawyer and Abolitionist. Dorene states: "F. D. Parish actively helped fugitive slaves find freedom during the time of the Underground Railroad in pre- Civil War Erie County, Ohio. While F. D. Parish is not my ancestor, he helped seek justice for future residents of the United States and Canada." You can find Dorene's Graveyard Rabbit blog at http://graveyardrabbitofsanduskybay.blogspot.com/.

Midge Frazel, author of Granite in My Blood (http://granite-in-my-blood.blogspot.com/), writes that "Finding the graves of those who served in our American Revolution is a passion for many gravestone hunters. But, finding out what they did for their country can prove to be difficult. Take Cap's Peter Brown for example...". Yes, I am going to make you click HERE to read the rest!

T. Casteel regales us with the participation of an ancestor, Captain Edmund du Chastel in Queen Anne's War in the 1700's. This post gives a little family history, a little American History, a little European history and a lesson in war-naming. You can find this post at the above link to the blog Tangles Trees at http://tangledtrees.blogspot.com/.

Jasia provides us with a much-needed reminder to remember those who fought for Justice throughout the world in her post, Lest We Forget. Jasia writes: "I don't have a long line of ancestors who fought for independence here in America. But watching a recent WWII re-enactment of D-Day brought my Uncle Edward to mind. Photos and reflections of that day are presented here." Jasia's blog, which needs no introduction, is located at http://creativegene.blogspot.com/.

Karen Packard Rhodes tells the story of her fourth great-grandfather Richards Packard. She tells a great story and provides us with a "short bio of my fourth great-grandfather Richards Packard, a soldier in the American Revolution". You can read more of Karen's writings at her blog Karen About Genealogy, http://karenaboutgenealogy.blogspot.com/.

John Newmark has many stories to tell relating to this topic and summarizes the thought processes that went into his decision to incorporate music for the COG. His post, Deuteronomy 16:20 ,describes how, "In the end, raised on the music of Peter, Paul and Mary, I had to write about Deuteronomy, Chapter 16, Verse 20." You can read this and many more thought-provoking posts at his blog, Transylvania Dutch, http://transylvaniandutch.blogspot.com/.

Jean B. Duncan of Forget Me Knots: My Ancestors and My Ghosts (http://.jeanbduncan.blogspot.com/) writes, in her post "Harry Buzzell's WWI Story, Part 1",: "Time to start thinking about and getting ready for the 4th of July. Harry Buzzell, my grandfather's brother, automatically comes to mind as he is the one in our family who made the ultimate sacrifice in 1918 during World War I in France. His story was captured in his own words in 60 letters that he wrote home from 1914 to 1918. I've written about him before some and even presented a speech once. But now I want to look at it again and thought that I would create a series about him in anticipation of the upcoming holiday weekend."

Earline Bradt offers a different perspective for geneabloggers in her post "Justice and Independence - The Loyalists' Viewpoint" at her blog Ancestral Notes (http://ancestralnotes.ebradt.org/ ). She "...discovered that "Justice" depended entirely on your political and religious affiliation, it was not handed out to all Americans, only those who supported the newly formed government. The Loyalists, while being citizens of America, suffered terrible injustices in search of their independence. "

Linda Hughes Hiser of Flipside (http://lindasflipside.blogspot.com/ ) isn't kidding around with her sharing the story of Purcell Houston, her fourth great-grandfather. Her post, "Carnival of Genealogy, 75th Edition—Purnell Houston in the American Revolution" is a fascinating read.

Amanda tells the story of a great-uncle who died in Normandy and pondered what he and the other men who landed there thought at her post "Freedom Isn't Free". You'll find it at her blog at http://www.ataleoftwoancestors.blogspot.com/.

Dawn Watson of "Genealogical Research: A Hobby or an Obsession?" (http://www.genealogical.wordpress.com/) tells a fascinating story of the Little Lulu's crew on her post, "The Crew of the Little Lulu". She introduces us to "My grandfather, Thad J. Watson, Sr., was a crew member of the Little Lulu, a B-24 Liberator which was shot down on August 24, 1944". It is a great story!

Debra Osborne Spindle posts a really neat photograph along with her entry, "Uncle Sam Wants You". You'll find it at her attractive blog, All My Ancestors (http://allmyancestors.com/blog/).

I normally don't think it's appropos for the host to choose a favorite post, but I've been known to break a rule or two every once in a while. And to choose footnoteMaven's submission to the 75th Carnival of Genealogy as my favorite is saying a lot, because there are so many great posts here to choose from! What did she write to capture my fascination again? Check out her post, "The Visual Chronicles of One Who Fought" and see for yourself! She posted some exciting possessions at her blog, "Shades of the Departed" (http://www.shadesofthedeparted.com/).

Bill West, of West in New England (http://www.westinnewengland.blogspot.com/) wonders what our Revolutionary War veterans would think about today's celebrations in his post "West in New England: INDEPENDENCE DAY". Bill writes, "Studying my colonial ancestors who fought for independence has heightened my interest in the history of our nation as well!" As always, it's worth a read.

Cathy Palm traces the descendants of her Col. Miles Powell in her post Col. Miles Powell, Who Participated In This Country's Struggle For Independence. You'll find the story of Colonel Powell at her blog, Detour Through History at http://www.detourthroughhistory.blogspot.com/.

Jessica Oswalt focused on her European ancestors' fights for justice in her post "Justice and Independence: Ancestral Experiences ...". In this post at her blog "Jessica's Genejournal" (http://www.jessicagenejournal.blogspot.com/), the author takes "a look at a couple of my ancestors' experiences with independence movements and justice, or the opposite. ". Nice post that is certain to make the footnoteMaven proud!

“From Austin to Visscher - no matter what the surname – men in my family have been serving this country to ensure justice, choices and freedoms since it was founded. For that and for them I am grateful.” So writes Thomas MacEntee, who eloquently offers his gratitude for his relatives and everyone else who gave their lives for current and future generations. You can find his post, "Justice, Choices, and Freedom" at his "Destination Austin Family" blog at http://www.destinationaustinfamily.blogspot.com/".

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has two entries: one, an impressive list of his ancestors from the Revolutionary War at his post "My Revolutionary Roots". Complete with citations, of course! His second is entitled "Isaac Buck - Revolutionary Soldier" and can be found HERE.

My own submission, "Fighting for Justice and Celebrating Independence" has a little bit of everything all wrapped up in one slideshow, brought to you by Flickr and Paul McCartney! There's no link here for the exact post since the music won't play on the single-post page. But never fear, you can find te post and the blog, The Oracle of OMcHodoy, at http://www.omchodoy.blogspot.com/ .

Thanks to those who participated in this holiday edition of The Carnival of Genealogy!

Now it's time for a Call for Submissions! The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: How I spent my summer vacation... a favorite summer memory from your youth. Tell us what summers were like when you were a wee tad pole. Did you vacation with family? Go to a youth camp? Hang out at the local park? Watch fireworks? Catch fireflies? Share those lazy, hazy, crazy, days of summers past with us! Deadline for submissions is July 14, 2009.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blogcarnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Who is OMcHodoy?

OMcHodoy is a true pedigree name: A little bit of each grandparent that touched my life in some way.

O'ROURKE, represented by the top photo on the right sidebar, was my mother's maiden name, though I never met the man who gave it to her. James O'ROURKE died before I was born (1902-1963). Shown in the photo are my great-grandfather James O'ROURKE (1976-1944), his wife, Mary (KEARNS) and daughters Margaret "Nellie"(marrid McCARTHY), Mary "Mae"(married JORDAN), and Betty (married ROCHE). There were also two others in this line, a daughter Lucille and, of course, a son James.

McHugh is my surname, and obviously has great meaning to me. In the second picture on the sidebar my paternal grandparents, Mary (HODICK) and Joseph McHUGH hang out.

HODICK was my father's maternal line. The photo is a copy of a 1918 portrait sent to me by my cousin, Tom HODICK. My grandmother Mary is the girl on the left with the bow in her hair. The others in the picture are (not necesarrily in order): Joseph, Anthony, William, John, Susan, Thomas, Sylvestina, Edward Jr, and the parents, Edward and Justina (NAHADIL) HODICK.

And DOYLE was my mother's maternal line, and gave me one of the biggest influences of my life: My grandmother Regina "Jean" DOYLE (1905-1979). The woman pictured is either her mother Jane (McCUE) DOYLE or possibly Johanna (DOYLE) HORAN, my great-grandparents' daughter.

Now that you know "Who" OMcHodoy is, a little bit about "Why". Orations of OMcHodoy was borne out of my original blog, The Oracle of OMcHodoy. I started that blog at the urging of a friend of mine who'd created her blog, "Waiting for Lauren Elizabeth" when she and her husband began the process of adopting a girl from China. It turned out to be a good way to chronicle my research, flaws and all. I learned as I went and my feaux-pa were there in plain sight for the world to see. After "GeneaBloggers" began to take off and I began participating in the Carnival of Genealogy, I decided to split my focus: The Oracle of OMcHodoy would remain focused on my research efforts, while Orations of OMcHodoy would focus on stories, lore, carnivals and other geneablogger activities.

And speaking of Carnivals, the 75th edition of "The Carnival of Genealogy" will be held right here at Orations. The theme is "Justice and Independence". Here is a breakdown of the type of posts you might see here on July 4, 2009:

1). Stories of participants' ancestor(s) who fought for freedom.

2). Stories about how Independence Day was celebrated by participants' ancestors.

3). Lyrics of songs that exemplify how Justice and Independence have worked in the lives of participants' ancestors and/or family, including photos!

It's not to late to write a post on this topic and submit it for the COG. Deadline is July 1. Click HERE to submit your blog post (In the description, please type in a short blurb about your post to be included in the roundup for this edition!).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

All Truths are Marching On!

It was Bill West, of West in New England, who challenged geneabloggers to put their work to music! Here are the rules:

1. Set the names of your ancestors to the music of any song. It can be any number of names, any song. Just remember to mention what song you are using so we can all sing along as we read!

2. Publish your efforts on your blog and send Bill the link (Email:BillWest48@gmail.com). If you don't have a blog then leave them as a comment for Bill on his blog.

3. Deadline is June 30th. He'll publish the final list on his blog on the 4th of July!

I had fun with this one, as I do with most challenges (not sure about Randy's last one, though!). Since Bill will post the participants' entries on July 4, I chose "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" as the tune for my lyrics!

The Battle Hymn of The Hodicks, O'Rourkes and Doyles

Mine eyes have read the stories
Of many an ancestor
There were shopkeepers and railroaders
And coal miners galore
Oh, they kept this country moving
And they even kept it warm
Their truths are marching on!

Glory, Glory Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory Hallelujah!
Their truths are marching on!

Yes they worked hard for a living
Just to keep everyone fed
And they went to work each morning
Staying out ‘til almost bed
Coming home to eat and sleep so
They can do it all again
Their truths are marching on!

Glory, Glory Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory Hallelujah!
Their truths are marching on!

I wish that I knew more about
The fam’ from which I’m bred
But the ones that knew the answers
They have all so long been dead
So I blog and then I research
And I ask the few who're left
For truths that once marched on!

Glory, Glory Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory Hallelujah!
Their truths are marching on!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Night Geneablogger Fun

It is time for another "Seaver Saturday" activity! Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings posted yet another challenge to geneabloggers. I'm truly having a hard time participating in this one, and judging by his first four comments, I'm not the only one! The idea is to go to http://www.deathclock.com/ and answer a few questions about yourself and let it determine your death date. I truly do not wish to know! So I'll try it with other people ;).

I plugged in my mother's information (she'd died in 1988). Only for her I chose "non-smoker" since she did smoke, and died at the age of 50. I entered her BMI as <25 (she was tiny), and her mode as pessimistic, which she could be at times. Her time apparently expired on Sunday 9 Jan 1994. A bit shy of 6 years after her true death date. Changing her mode to "Optimistic" would have her death date in 20 years, at 6 May 2029 at 91 years of age. Putting her mode at "Normal" put her death date at 1 Apr 2017 (79 years). Claiming her as a smoker, which she was, and "normal" mode would have put her death date at 18 Jan 2013, her 75th birthday. Changing this window's "mode" status as "pessimistic" and it brings her death date (24 Nov 1990) to within 2 years and 11 days of her actual date of death: 13 Nov 1988.

Okay. So I still don't have the guts to put in my information, so I'll use dad instead (bwahahahaha).

When I plug in my father's information, it states something like "You've already expired". His death date was supposed to be Thursday, 12 Jul 2007. He's still alive, so take THAT, Death Clock.

Well that was a confidence builder, so here goes!

Entering my information, my death date will be 18 Jan 2018 (54 years old), or 1 Feb 2025 (61 years of age), depending on which result you choose. See, I wanted to double check the date after I'd closed the window so just hit "enter" again to see what it was and it came up with a different answer. Only bought me 7 years, but a different answer just the same! Bringing my BMI down to 24 (yeah, right) would put my death date at 23 Jan 2019; still only 55 years old! Changing my "Mode" from pessimistic (Murphy is my friend) to "Normal" puts my death date at 22 Mar 2043 (79 years), and changing it to "Optimistic" brings it to a final age of 103 with a death date of 1 May 2067!

So basically what I need to do is keep going to the gym, eat less, and stop being friends with Murphy!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Puckerbrush Award

Of all the awards I've received, this one has got to have the funniest name. It is also one that means a lot to me, because the award is named for the author of Cow Hampshire, Janice Brown. Janice has been MIA for a while now, and the Geneabloggers are certainly on the losing end of her absence. We all hope for the best for Janice. It appears her blog is also MIA, so I will quote the meaning of "Puckerbrush" as published on many sites, per Janice's own words:

Janice's definition of the puckerbrush is as follows: "On any land allowed to go fallow and left untended, a wild assortment of wild plants grow – in some areas, this wild growth results in such a thicket of plants that it is almost impossible to push your way through the growth."

I will follow in the footsteps of many, and carry on the tradition Janice set forth by identifying 10 blogs that have influenced me. Many if not all of these have already received this award. Thank you to Judith Richards Shubert for presenting the award to me.

Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family

Lisa of A Light That Shines Again and Small-Leaved Shamrock. I'm not convinced that Lisa and I don't have a connection in our McCue lines of Northeast Pennsylvania! Alas, I know just about nothing of this line of mine, so time will tell!

Charlene of Apple's Tree. I love reading about her research and family, but I also love reading about her home, as it reminds me of the Village that I grew up in.

Jasia of Creative Gene.

Denise Olson of Moultrie Creek.

Terry Thornton of Hill Country of Monroe County who is taking a bit of a break. Best wishes, Terry.

Bill West of West in New England

And of course, Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings.

Thanks to all the bloggers who've influenced me and for all my readers that stick with me, even during posting lulls.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Can't Go Home Again

Or can you? I was doing a Google Search on "1963 Obituaries Niagara Falls NY" in search of my maternal Grandfather James O'Rourke's date of death. I do not know when he died, just that he died the year before I was born (yes, I did just give away my age). As often happens when I research, I took a detour and clicked on my hometown newspaper to read the headlines, to see if any names I knew made the news.

I did not find the obituaries I was seeking, but did find an interesting article about an upcoming Niagara Falls Event "Niagara Homecoming 'Citybration". The event aims at bringing former residents home for at least a 4-day weekend if not to relocate "home". It is complete with tours, wine tastings, and job fairs. It is scheduled for the weekend of June 25.

From the article I learned that the Mayor of Niagara Falls, NY is Paul Dyster. I'd be willing to bet that he is a descendant of or collateral descendant of Melvin B. Dyster M.D., who was my and my brothers' pediatrician. Interesting. Also interesting was that the majority of Niagaran place names in the article are places/names I'd never heard of, making it obvious that places, as well as people, change.

One thing about Niagara Falls that will never change is the fact that it was the place of my birth and the site of a very happy childhood. I truly wish I could go to the "Citybration" next month. This city famous for such wonderful notions as honeymooners and such horror story truths as The Love Canal will always be "My Hometown".

(photo credit: http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/00/12/4b/fa/niagara-falls.jpg)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Night Fun: Bumper Stickers

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has another great edition of Saturday Night Fun going! Finally I have time to actually participate! Here are the rules:

1) Make up a/some Bumper Sticker(s) that describes your genealogy addicti.., er, passion in 12 words or less. You could recite some of your favorite tag lines like those found here or here. Or you could be very creative and make up your own!

2) Post them to your blog or to comments on this post.

3) Extra credit if you make them look like a real bumper sticker!

I had some fun with this one! If my house wasn't such a disaster area I'd make more, but here are the ones I came up with:
I hope I made footnoteMaven proud with that one! Finally, the motto on my genealogy blogs fits this bill quite nicely:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Award Time

Wow. Kathryn Doyle of The California Genealogical Society and Library Blog honored me with the One Lovely Blog Award! It's so nice to know that people still read my blogs even when I'm unable to post as often as I'd like. Including time to respond to her award :/. However, sometimes it really is better late than never, so Kathryn, I thank you and bequeath this award to the following:

Dana Huff at Our Family History
Brian at Zalewski Famiily Genealogy
Bob Franks at Itawamba History Review: The Itawamba Historical Society Web Log

Enjoy and thanks, Kathryn!

Monday, April 27, 2009

As If...

overhauling my genealogy database wasn't enough, (see The Oracle of OMcHodoy), my printer unit, which was also a scanner and copier, broke. Which translated into a new machine which translated into learning how to use that. Last night I downloaded a free trial of Photoshop Elements by Adobe and I spent part of this afternoon playing around with it. As if I had time to take on another major project.

Well, actually, I kind of do have time to take on another project, at least for now. I'm finishing up my last few days off work so I thought I'd try out this new photo editing program on a free trial basis. It will be a while before I can actually buy it if I decide to, but at least I'll have an idea on how use-able it is. After about 90 minutes of fussing with it, I think it's a great program. It doesn't look too incredibly user-friendly, but there is a lot you can do with it.

I do not like how it organizes photos it imports from your hard drive. It's rather Picasa-like and if you follow me at Facebook at all, you now know I hate Picasa's organization style. I do not, for the most part, like the "auto-fix" feature; it tends to change the original coloring of the photos as opposed to fine tune it. However, you'll see below a dramatic difference the auto-fix feature made on one photo, so it's not always bad.

Perhaps in a few months I'll splurge and buy this program. For now, I'll enjoy the 30 day trial and fight the impulse to buy now. Below, then are a few quick edits I'd made to two photos, the first using only the auto-fix feature on Adobe Photoshop Elements and the second using a touch of the "touch-up" tool and paintbrush.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

When it Rains...

It pours. I've been a bit off-kilter the past few weeks. Seems like everything goes at once. My body, the microwave, the printer/scanner. At least I can say they've all been fixed. I think.

This morning I did something I shouldn't have and purchased a new four-in-one printer/scanner/copier/fax. I'd done a little research and asked around a bit and finally decided on a Lexmark 9575, mainly because it was on sale for a really, really good price and had more features than the HP I was looking at. But nothing in life, I have learned, is easy. Well, setting up the unit was very easy, but getting it to actually print, well, not so much.

However, after having to damp-clean the brand new black cartridge (after wasting ink on three machine-cleanings and three alignment attempts), the print seems fixed. Now I get to play around a bit with the scanning feature so I can be prepared for tomorrow's Scanfest.

I scanned some images from my collection; three to be exact. It is automatically set to scan at 300 dpi (which can be changed) and once the scan is complete it offers the opportunity for some minor editing, which is good since I want three individual images, not one conglomerate. So I scan the tree images on the same scan and hit "Crop". I crop one of the photos and save.

YAYAY. Well, not quite. I can't find my way back to the scan image to crop the other two images. Not an option to be found. Nor can I find and automatically saved copy of the overall scan. I never needed that on the HP but it was always there. Now I need it with the Lexmark and can't find it! But I haven't given up yet.

I proceeded to rescan the images, this time trying to crop all three images at once. No go. Soon as I click on image number two to crop that one, the field to crop in image number one disappears. So I do what any intelligent woman would do: I open the user's guide and search for "Scan Multiple Images". There is such an option, so I read the instructions and find that on the "Simple Scan" Screen (not the default screen to which the program opens) you can select "Multiple Photos". So I did and repeated the editing process above to crop.

Only I still can't crop more than one of the images at a time and once I crop one I cannot get back to the screen that has all the images to crop the next one. I will have to explore this more after dinner.

In the meantime, here is a comparison for me and for you (for me as I haven't looked at the two images side-by-side yet either). The photo on the left is the image I have from my old HP scanner. The image on the right is the same image from the new Lexmark scanner.

The bottom image is the same photo scanned on the Lexmark unit with "Sepia" added on the advanced editing screen. The first one, scanned from the HP, is the coloring of the actual photo, and, oddly, was scanned at a dpi of 200 since I didn't know when I originally scanned it that I could change that. The Lexmark scans at a default of 300 dpi. I'm not liking that scanned image off the Lexmark has different coloring than the original.

I haven't played around much with the editing on the second scan, and there are settings available to change the saturation, so maybe that will help. Just seems to me that the image should be scanned and portrayed as is and leave the editing to the person doing the scanning.

Does anyone in Blogville own this unit? Any ideas? I hope to play around with it a lot tomorrow, as I may be able to exchange it if I don't like it.