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May 31, 2013

Update on HEADS UP ALL GENEALOGISTS re copyright issues

Here is the latest update regarding my earlier HEADS UP ALL GENEALOGISTS! blog post. Dozens of genealogists and bloggers have checked this Pinterest user's boards and filed DMCA complaints. (Please read the original blog post for full details on the issue and instructions on how to deal with the problem)

Update on HEADS UP ALL GENEALOGISTS re copyright issues
My Pinterest Boards

A Pinterest user is repinning photos from other genealogists' pins (absolutely ok) BUT the links to the original blog post or website are gone and have been replaced with a link to this person's own website (not ok)

Pinterest has acted quickly on all DMCA complaints and so far has removed every inappropriately linked pin once a complaint is filed. 
From one Pinterest board with over 4,000 inappropriate pins, it has diminished to 1,384 pins as of today. Unfortunately they are still being redirected to the user's own website instead of to the original owner and website.


We need to continue to spread the word and urge others to check his/her boards for their own photos. If found with the correct original link removed, please follow instructions given at HEADS UP ALL GENEALOGISTS! 
 Interestingly enough, shortly after I wrote my HEADS UP post, this user set up a third board called My Family Tree. It has over 800 pins but the majority have the original appropriate link. Many however do not.  This is puzzling to me but I am staying vigilant and checking every few days to see if the original links remain or if they have been magically replaced with links to this user's website. You may wish to also check periodically. 
I thought I would also fill you in on what I am doing to continue to fight this inappropriate pinning by this Pinterest user. Every morning I take a half hour and do a Google Image reverse search for the pins remaining on the one board with 1,384 pins.  What this search does is look for matching images. So if for example, image X is on his board without the original link, I can instruct Google to search for a match elsewhere. Any matches found will display on my browser. It is easy then for me to click through to the original site and notify the site owner. 
Here is the email I send to the actual photo owner:

I'm Lorine McGinnis Schulze of Olive Tree Genealogy. Recently I wrote a blog post about an issue with a Pinterest user. This user is using other genealogist's photos but instead of linking back to the owner and the website/blog where the photo is found, legitimate links have been replaced with links to his own website.

One of your photos is on his board but is not linked to your blog where it originated.

Here is the link to your photo on your website [insert link]

and here is the link to the same photo on his Pinterest board (linked to HIS website)
[insert link to pin]
Many of us have reported him to Pinterest and filed a DMCA complaint to have our pins removed from his board.

Please see my blog post HEADS UP ALL GENEALOGISTS at   for full details and complete instructions (with links) on how to report him and how to file that DMCA complaint.

I found 11 of my photos being misused on his boards and within 3 hours of my complaint Pinterest removed them all so we are getting rapid and positive response from Pinterest.

Thank you
I have had positive responses from everyone I have notified. So I suggest that we all pitch in and do this. Take a few minutes today and search for duplicate images, then notify the site owners. Here is how to do a reverse image search on Google
I chose to download the add-on for Firefox and I love it. All I need to do is  right click the image I wish to search for, and a drop down menu appears which includes the words "Search Google with this image" I choose this option and any duplicate images appear in the search results, with links to the originating website. 
 If we all work together as a team we can stop issues such as this one.

May 30, 2013

An Orphaned Antique Photo Album Comes Home With Me

An Orphaned Antique Photo Album Comes Home With Me
 Yesterday I stumbled on another orphaned antique Photo Album. The owner's name was inscribed inside the front cover

          Maude M. Kirby

Of course I couldn't leave it in the antique store so it came home with me. This morning I started documenting and archiving.

It's a large album, 8 1/2x12 inches. I haven't counted the pages or the photos yet but it's 2" thick.

Archiving and documenting takes me a long time. I start with taking camera photos of every page. Then I upload them to Dropbox (cloud storage) so I have an immediate backup.

An Orphaned Antique Photo Album Comes Home With Me
 This is the front inside cover and is representative of the photo pages inside. Not every page has such a beautiful coloured flower but there are at least 13 of them. They are all in excellent condition, brightly coloured and intact.

After I have taken pictures of all the pages as they are, I start to record each page. I do that by slowly and carefully removing the photo(s) on each page and writing down all the information found - photographer's name and location, type of photo (CDV, Cabinet Card, tintype, etc)  If there is any handwritten notation on the photo I record that too.

Then I assign a number to each photo. That goes along with whatever name I give the album, in this case, KIRBY. I shorten this to 3 letters for my inventory/naming system. So the first photo in this album will be KIR-1 and I record this lightly in pencil on the reverse of the photo.

This is another page in this lovely photo album.  I did manage to finish taking camera snaps of each page and have removed about twenty of the photos.

As an added surprise several of the photos had other photos tucked underneath. While I still have much to do on this album before the archiving and documentation is complete, I hope to find enough identifying information to research the individuals in the album.

This album appears to have been used by one family over more than one generation. Some of the Cartes de Visite are from the 1860s while other photos are dated 1920. 

After I remove all the photos from the album I take another camera picture of each one, front and verso (back). This allows me to easily and quickly zoom in on anything I wish to inspect for clues to the individuals or locations of each photo.

Then I use my wonderful Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner to create a quick but top quality scan of each photo.  I'll be documenting the album here on my Olive Tree Genealogy blog in hopes a descendant spots the names or photos and recognizes them.

 Meantime it seems many of the photos were taken in Yorkshire England but I did spot one that was from a Brantford Ontario Canada photographer. I am sure there are many more surprises to be found as I continue removing the photos and checking the backs.

May 29, 2013

National Genealogical Society Announces 2014 Family History Conference Richmond, Virginia, 7–10 May 2014 Virginia: The First Frontier

ARLINGTON, VA, 29 MAY 2013: The National Genealogical Society is pleased to announce the 2014 Family History Conference will be held 7–10 May 2014 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and Marriott Hotel located in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Conference highlights and contact information for conference hotels can be found in the Announcement Brochure, which can be downloaded at The conference theme, Virginia: The First Frontier, will explore the records and history that draw so many back to their roots in the Old Dominion. Lecture topics will also include migration into, within, and out of the region down the Great Wagon Road, over the Appalachian Mountains, and across the south to Texas and beyond.

Genealogy conferences in Richmond, Virginia, are always well attended, so plan to make your reservations early. The five conference hotels will accept reservations beginning 1 June 2013 and the special conference rates apply three days before and after the conference. The hotels offer a variety of amenities and dining options, so choose the one that best fits your needs. The convention and visitors bureau will be providing shuttle buses between the convention center and the Crowne Plaza, Omni, and Holiday Inn Express hotels, which are a few blocks away, while the conference is in session. For more details please see the NGS conference website at Consider arriving early to experience one or more historical tours in and around Richmond provided by Richmond Discoveries’ Tours on Monday afternoon 5 May 2014 and Tuesday morning and afternoon 6 May 2014. Details can be found at Tour reservations will be accepted beginning 1 December 2013.

The four-day conference will include more than 150 lectures by nationally known experts on topics including the history, records, repositories, and ethnic and religious groups in Virginia and the neighboring states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The program will also feature broader genealogical categories including military and other federal records, the law as it relates to genealogy, methodology, analysis, and problem solving. There will also be an emphasis on the use of technology (GenTech) in genealogical research including genetics, mobile devices, and apps.

An Exhibit Hall with more than 100 vendors will be free and open to the public from Wednesday through Saturday at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, directly across from the Marriott Hotel. Exhibitors will include genealogy database and software providers, booksellers, genealogy societies, providers of genetic testing, and much more.

Sign up for the NGS Conference Blog at so you do not miss any of the conference news or announcements. Conference registration opens 1 December 2013.

Founded in 1903, the NationalGenealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

May 28, 2013

Free Access on Fold3

Search Civil Military - Fold3
The 150th Anniversary of the United States Colored Troops

On May 22, 1863, the War Department issued General Orders 143, establishing a Bureau of Colored Troops in the Adjutant General’s Office to recruit and organize African American soldiers to fight for the Union Army. With this order, all African American regiments were designated as United States Colored Troops (USCT). 

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the USCT, and the National Archives is pleased to announce the completion of the USCT Service Records Digitization Project. In partnership with Fold3, the project provides online access to all service recordsmore than 3.8 million images—of Union volunteers in USCT units. 

From May 22 to 31, the digital collection will be free on Fold3. (All National Archives collections on can always be viewed for free at any National Archives facility nationwide.)

Compiled military service records (CMSRs) are part of Record Group 94, the Records of the Adjutant General’s Office. They contain card abstracts of entries related to an individual soldier such as muster rolls and regimental returns. 

Many CMSRs also contain original documents called “personal papers,” which are especially valuable to researchers looking for documentation on former slaves. These papers include enlistment papers, correspondence, orders, prisoner-of-war memorandums, casualty reports, or final statements. Unique to the records of the USCT are deeds of manumission, proofs of slave ownership, and bills of sale. 

Starting in October 1863, a slave owner could offer his slave for enlistment in military service and be entitled to compensation up to $300 upon filing a valid deed of manumission and release, and making satisfactory proof of title. These forms offer researchers rare information and document the life of a slave person in the absence of other vital records. 

Edmund Delaney was a slave who served in Company E of the 117th USCT Infantry. He was 25 years old when he enlisted in August 1864. Delaney’s owner, Harvey C. Graves of Georgetown, Kentucky, filed a compensation claim for his military service in December 1866. Graves stated that he “purchased [Delaney] at private sale when he was quite a small boy and owned him at the time of his enlistment.” 

The claim form was accompanied by a proof of ownership form to which Graves attached a rare “likeness,” or photo of Delaney, and several of Delaney’s letters written to him while serving in Brownsville, Texas. The letters offer us a rare glimpse into his lonely soldier’s life, especially when he laments that no friends have written back to him: 
“somehow most of them seem to be very much afraid of their pens and ink.”  
The USCT service records also reveal the social issues faced by free blacks, such as the story of Fortune Wright, a soldier of the 96th USCT Infantry. Wright was a free black man before the Civil War began, and he enlisted in Louisiana in July 1862.
On October 23, 1865, a white doctor and another man thought they observed Wright beating a black woman on a street in Jefferson, Louisiana. When they attempted to reprimand Wright, a fight ensued. Wright—fearing for his life—stabbed the doctor, who was beating him with a cane. The doctor died.    

Wright pleaded not guilty at his court-martial trial but was found guilty of murder and sentenced “to be hanged by the neck until dead” on January 5, 1866.

The accused offered his explanation while in prison in New Orleans. He stated that he was approached by an “immoral colored woman” who put her hand on his shoulder and was “acting her willingness to prostitute her person.” The woman told him to give her a dime. Wright said that he didn’t have a dime, and that if he did have a dime, he would give it to his wife. Wright stated that he was angry with the woman for her insulting conduct and language. If she repeated her language, Wright told her, he would slap her. She did repeat herself, and Wright slapped her. 

The two white men appeared on the scene at this point without knowing how the argument began. As Wright walked away, the doctor followed and struck Wright on the head with a walking cane. Wright reeled around and grabbed the stick while the doctor cursed at him to let go. The doctor grabbed Wright by the collar of his coat and then punched him in the face. The second white man yelled to “kill the damned black yankee [since] there is no law for him.” Wright warned that if they both jumped him, he would cut one with his knife. When he was attacked, Wright stabbed the doctor with his knife.

Wright’s captain and his attorney sent pleas for a postponement of the sentence to Maj. Gen. Edward Canby of the Department of the Gulf. They were hoping for time to appeal to President Andrew Johnson for a pardon based on self-defense. 

Several postponements were granted. The series of the documents leading to President Johnson’s final decision reads like the ultimate page-turner. On February 24, 1866, General Canby received a telegram from the War Department in Washington, DC, stating that President Johnson has ordered that “the [death] sentence be duly carried into execution.” A copy of this message on American Telegraph Company letterhead survives in the service record.
Wright was not notified of his fate until the evening before his hanging. A week earlier, Provost Marshal A.M. Jackson was warned in a letter from Eastern District headquarters in Louisiana that “Precaution must be taken that the office of hangman be confided to a capable person so that no disagreeable results may ensue, and that the body be not disturbed until the hangman has pronounced life to be entirely extinct.” 

Jackson’s report of the execution dated the next day describes quite a different scene.

The knot on the rope was not soaped properly and the knot slipped as Wright fell from the platform. Though he was suspended, his neck was not broken and he could still breathe. Wright was taken down and put on the platform a second time. It took fifteen more minutes of strangulation before death took Fortune Wright. Jackson claimed that though the circumstance was “unpleasant,” Wright did not suffer “as he remained insensible from the time of the first fall.”

The stories of the USCT soldiers will be available free to non-subscribers on Fold3 from May 22 to 31, and can be accessed for free at any time on computers at the National Archives.

May 27, 2013

WW 1 Photo Album Page 5

Continuing on with the WW1 Photo Album archive of my mother's cousin Doris's photographs that I inherited, here is the 5th page in the album. There were 5 photos all from WW1 era on this page

 Group of WW1 soldiers. No doubt Uncle Ern Simpson is in there!
I am not sure if this my aunt Lily born 1915 or Ern's daughter Doris born 1908 . I suspect it is Doris as a toddler
 Uncle Ern, Auntie Cordie and their daughter Doris in WW1
 Auntie Cordie knitting
I don't recognize these people but it could be Ern's brother Syd and his wife.

May 26, 2013

Huge cache of Canadian history hits U.K. auction block - How Will LAC Respond?

Huge cache of Canadian history hits U.K. auction block - How Will LAC Respond? Photo
A treasure trove of Canadian History is going on the auction block in England very soon. More than 200 years old, these historical documents have been stored in wooden chests owned by Sir John Sherbrooke.

An extensive collection of letters, maps and other original artifacts left to posterity by Sherbrooke,the Nova Scotia governor who conquered Maine during the War of 1812 and later served as Canada’s governor general, is to be sold on June 19, 2013 in a major Bonhams auction of rare books and manuscripts.

There is no question of the importance of these documents. The question is what will Library and Archives Canada (LAC) do now? LAC has been plagued by unrest, budget cuts and yes, even scandal. Chief Archivist Daniel Caron resigned suddenly after his exhorbitant personal expenditures on LAC money (including Spanish lessons) were discovered.

According to  "The estimated value of the Sherbrooke papers is between $160,000 and $230,000 — coincidentally close to the $170,000 spent by LAC’s recently resigned national archivist, Daniel Caron, in travel and other expenses over the past two years."

Caron is gone, LAC is in turmoil with staff cuts, budget cuts and pressure to find a new Archives head. Will they be able to step up to the plate and purchase this rare and important part of Canadian history? 

Read the story at

May 25, 2013

Woodville Victorian Photo Album Page 10

Woodville Victorian Photo Album

Here is  page 10 of the Victorian Photo Album called "The Army and Navy Album" with illustrations by R. Caton Woodville. To view all pages of this beautiful album as they are put online, please click on R. Caton Woodville

Woodville Victorian Photo Album Page 10

May 24, 2013

My Military Ancestors

Since this is Memorial Day Weekend in the USA I thought we should write about the soldiers in our family. Do you have any military personnel you want to thank for the sacrifices they make? Here are mine:

My son is a Sergeant the Canadian Military, and has been to Afghanistan several times. I worry about him but I'm proud of him too.

My father was a Lieutenant in the Canadian Military during World War II and served overseas. My Uncle Clare also joined the Canadian Army.

Word War I saw my maternal and paternal grandmother's brothers joining the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the Australian Army and the English Military.

The War of 1812 saw my 3rd great-grandfather's brother Stephen Peer join the Canadian Militia and die at the Battle of Chippewa in 1814.

My Loyalist ancestors, Isaac Van Valkenburg aka Vollick and Jacob Larroway fought in Butler's Rangers during the American Revolution

Lest We Forget - My Military Ancestors

These are a few of the military heroes in my family. Honouring them and all others who have fought and died for freedom. 

My dad WW2
My uncle WW2
My uncle WW2
Great Grandpa's brother, WW1
Uncle Syd WW1
My dad & uncle WW2
My grand-uncle pre WW1
Uncle Clare WW2

Uncle Ern, Stanley Barracks
My grandfather in The Buffs

Grandma's brother Philip Peer WW1
Grandma's brother George Peer WW1

Step Grandfather
Daddy Sam WW2
Dad & Mom

May 23, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are? is Back!!

Who Do You Think You Are? is Back!!
The following Press Release came to Olive Tree Genealogy yesterday. All I can say to add to it is "YAY!" and TLC Team Up for New Season of "Who Do You Think You Are?"

World's Largest Online Family History Resource Sponsors TV Series with Personal Look Inside the Ancestry of Beloved Celebrities

PROVO, Utah, May 21,, the world’s largest online family history resource, announces it has teamed up with TLC, Shed Media US and Is or Isn’t Entertainment as an integrated sponsor of the upcoming season of the “Who Do You Think You Are?” television series, premiering July 23.

“We are thrilled to be teaming up with TLC, Shed Media US and Is or Isn’t Entertainment to bring this entertaining and inspiring series back for another season,” said Rob Singer, Senior Vice President of Marketing for “Charting one’s family history helps each of us better understand who we are. Through the journeys of these celebrities, we hope millions of Americans will see just how life-changing and rewarding genealogy can be and begin researching their own family history to make discoveries that tell them who they are and where they came from.”

“Who Do You Think You Are?” explores the roots of celebrities who embark on an intense personal journey to discover their family’s past. Some of the celebrities to be featured in these all-new episodes include Christina Applegate, Cindy Crawford, and Zooey Deschanel. Each of the 8 hour-long episodes reveal the real person behind the celebrity as they come to understand the lives their ancestors lived that helped shape the person they are today. As part of the show sponsorship, provides important family history research on each of the featured celebrities, which is used to build out the story of each episode.

Produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, the show is based on an original format created by Wall to Wall Media. An earlier version of the series previously aired on NBC for three seasons.

For those interested to discover who they think they are, offers a 14-Day Free Trial for all new members.

Free Access to Mlitary Collections on Ancestry

Free Access to Mlitary Collections on AncestryThis just in! In honour of Memorial Day Weekend, a great freebie from

From Thursday May 23rd through Monday May 27th, is offering Free Access to the large collection of new military collections, draft, enlistment and service records.  Visit to start your search!  

What a great opportunity to find our more on your cherished military heroes.

May 21, 2013

More Issues With Passing on Family Heirlooms and Preserving Their Provenance

More Issues With Passing on Family Heirlooms and Preserving Their Provenance
Some of my family heirlooms
My blog post Documenting and Passing on Family Treasures generated a lot of discussion. Comments left made me think about other possible problems that might arise when trying to decide what to do with family heirlooms.

We genealogists have always been faced with the dilemma of what to do with our research, but for me an equally important (and perhaps urgent) question is - to whom do I give my family treasures for safekeeping and how do I ensure that any provenance is attached to each one.

One of my readers, Nicholas, made a good point when he stated that the person you choose to receive a specific heirloom should also know about and have an attachment to the ancestor who originally owned it.  Otherwise there is no guarantee they will cherish the item.

I agree with Nicholas but we also have to accept that there is no guarantee an item will be cherished and preserved no matter who we choose. For all we know our beloved heirloom will be put up for auction or as my friend and fellow blogger Midge stated sold on eBay.  I know - it's a terrible thought! But we do have to realize that could happen.

Another issue is what if none of our children are the least bit interested and our grandchildren are too young for any determination to be made. Do we just go ahead and assign specific family items to individual family members using our best judgement? Or should we assign them all to one person and request that they in turn pass on individual items as they become aware of interest from other family members?

Now for the most difficult determination - using my husband as an example. He has no children of his own. He has no nieces or nephews to leave his family heirlooms to. But he has an incredible wealth of family treasures and intimate knowledge of each ancestor who owned these treasures. He has a huge number of old family photos, all identified. So what happens to his heirlooms?

He could donate his photos to the St. Mary's Museum which is where his family lived for generations. That would be a very good repository.  But what about the physical objects? Would the Museum want his great-great grandfather's Baptismal Mug? Would they want his baby blanket crocheted by his great grandmother? Perhaps they would because all the ancestors who made or bought these items lived in St. Mary's their entire lives. But he also owns many items of furniture - a large pine hutch, parlour tables, paintings done by his grandmother and great-grandmother, his great-grandfather's handmade blanket box and so on.

His last recourse would be to leave the items to my children or my grandchildren. But would they really care about the items and their step-father or step-grandfather's ancestors who owned them? I'm sure my children would treasure the furniture as a lovely antique but whether or not the history of the item and the story of the person who owned it would be kept is doubtful. So perhaps that would have to be enough - that the item itself would be treasured as an antique and passed on to the next generation.

What are your thoughts on these issues?

May 20, 2013

23AndMe Special Offer on DNA Kits

Your DNA is a time machine. It could reveal an interesting ancestor. Start your Journey Here! 23AndMe now has an offer of 20% off on all additional kits. Explore your DNA with your family. Now 20% off on all additional kits.

The first kit in a purchase order is full price - $99. And every additional kit is 20% off - $79. This offer does not have an expiration date.

I've used 23AndMe and I love it! Here are a few of my earlier blog posts about my own experiences with 23AndMe DNA testing

A Suggestion for Genealogists Using 23andMe for DNA Testing

DNA Results Showing Native American and East Asian Heritage

23andMe DNA Results In!

May 19, 2013

Documenting and Passing on Family Treasures

Documenting and Passing on Family Treasures
Grandpa Fuller's engraved Gold Pocket Watch from 1914
Given by his parents on his 21st birthday
before leaving England to settle in Canada
My grandmother Ruth gave me many family treasures when I was a teenager. They mean the world to me and I spend a lot of time mulling over how best to get the next generation interested in them.

My hope is that one or more of my children or grandchildren will keep them safe and continue passing them down to the next generation. I've considered giving each family member one treasure to keep safe.

I've also mulled over passing all of the items on to one person for safekeeping. Dilemma #1 - who will get what treasure? And #2 - should I give them now or write out a note explaining who gets what after I'm gone?

The Provenance

And how do you pass on the knowledge that goes with each treasure? How do you make sure that the provenance - the information as to who the item belonged to, who gave it to you and when, is not lost?  The more details that go with the item, the more chance it will be treasured and preserved. If, for example, I give one of my sons my great-grandmother's toast rack, the chances are that at some point in the near future it will end up in a garage sale!

I can see a wife looking at it and asking why they are keeping it. Without some paper record, I suspect my sons would shrug a shoulder and say "Geez I dunno, Mom said it was one of her relatives but I don't remember who" Bingo - a label of 25 cents is put on it and it goes out to the front yard.

So I added another dilemma to the mix - #3 how to document the provenance of each family heirloom so that it stays with the specific item

The Dilemmas

That makes 3 dilemmas I need to solve:
  1. Who will get what treasure? Do I split them up or give them all to one person?
  2. Should I give them now or write out a note explaining who gets what after I'm gone?
  3. How do I document the provenance of each family heirloom so that it remains with the item
My Solutions

Here are some of my solutions. Nothing strikes me as the perfect answer but so far these are the best methods I've come up with

1. I've attached labels to many items. The labels indicate who is to have the item after my demise and there is a brief bio of who owned it. There is no info as to when and how I ended up with said item due to space limitations. Some items such as my Grandpa Fuller's gold pocket watch don't lend themselves to having a label affixed!

2. I've inventoried all my family treasures. I took photos then inserted them into WORD and then typed up an explanation of the item, the original owner (with some family tree info), who gave it to me and when. Beside each item I've put the name of who I want to have it (if I've decided!) I printed all the pages off and bound them as a coil bound booklet for my executors. My hope is that as an item is given, the page(s) that apply to it will be torn out and passed on with the item

3. I've tried some online methods including a nice little iPhone app called Heirlooms. But they aren't exactly what I am looking for

4. I've written blog posts about some of my family heirlooms and I am thinking about creating a Shutterfly book with each of these blog posts, then giving one copy to each of my children. So far this is the idea I'm liking the best! Here are a few of the heirlooms I've written about:
A 1913 Fireplace Screen's Long Journey

Great-Grandpa's Trunk

3 Generations of Baby Cups

Cabinet of Curiosities: A Christmas Toast!

Perhaps inside each book I could indicate which heirlooms each of my children or grandchildren is to receive at some point in the future. 

So far this seems like the best method as I believe a hard cover book will survive through the generations much better than pieces of paper or labels attached to the back or underside of objects.

 And of course, as always, I will continue to tell my children and grandchildren the stories behind each object every time we get together for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I figure repetition of family stories shouldn't be overlooked!    

So what are your plans for documenting and passing on your family heirlooms?

May 18, 2013

Woodville Victorian Photo Album Page 9

Woodville Victorian Photo Album

Here is  page 9 of the Victorian Photo Album called "The Army and Navy Album" with illustrations by R. Caton Woodville. To view all pages of this beautiful album as they are put online, please click on R. Caton Woodville

Woodville Victorian Photo Album Page 9

May 17, 2013

Don't Be an Egg (Twitter Tips)

   Twitter is a really great Social Media Tool. But it can also be an aggravation. There are ways to use Twitter and there are ways to not use Twitter!

So if you are a genealogist and you are on Twitter because you want to follow (and be followed) by others with similar interests, here are some tips to make your Twitter experience a positive one

Don't Be an Egg (Twitter Tips)
1. Don't be an egg! That is the faceless default profile picture that Twitter assigns every user until they upload their own photo. An egg is anonymous, faceless and doesn't fit with being social. Spammers often have an egg as their profile photo so it's a red flag to many of us. I don't follow eggs and I know many other genealogists pass them by too. My tip is to upload your profile photo before you start following others on Twitter.

2. Don't lock your account  Why make those you have followed jump through hoops to follow you back? To be very honest, I won't wait while you decide if I'm worthy of following you. Because if you followed me, I assume you'd like a follow in return. If I see that lock on your Profile Summary I'm not going to click the follow button .

3. Fill out your Twitter bio before you start following other Twitter users. It's important to let others see what your interests are so they know whether or not to follow you. My Profile Summary (bio) says "Genealogist, author, history buff, Creator of Olive Tree Genealogy website, antique collector" - just enough to let others know if there's something we have in common. When someone follows me I click on their name (which pops up their profile summary) to see what interests they have (i.e., do I want to follow them back) If all I see is "wife and mother" or "lives in xxx" or nothing but their name I don't follow back.

4. Set up your Twitter notifications so that you know whenever someone new follows you. The social convention is to return the follow if you have something in common with that person. But if you aren't getting notified when you get a new follower you won't be able to follow back. I get dozens of new followers daily. So every morning I check my email to go through the names, click on their Profile Summary and make a quick decision about following back. That is why the first 3 tips I've given you are most important for me and for other busy genealogists as well. 

5. Interact with your followers with tweets that are not just auto tweets from your blog. This is common sense advice (remember Twitter is a SOCIAL place!) and I need to do it more myself. I get busy and I neglect this for too long. Say good morning or share a link to a story you read that you found interesting or comment on someone else's tweet. 

If you want to follow me on Twitter you can do so at

If you want more tips on Twitter you might want to read my friend and fellow blogger Caroline Pointer's 4YourFamilyStory blog. I call Caroline the Queen of Social Media and I think you will find her Twitter articles very helpful. Here's one to get you started called New to Twitter?