Blog Design for 2013

When I was growing up, we changed residences all the time. I went to a different school every year until the 11th grade. And nope, we were not military. My mom just liked variety. And, I have inherited that particular trait. So… I’ve updated my blog design again. I typically do this once a year.. this year, it just took me a little longer to get to it. :-)

I really liked my last design. I liked the social media options along the sidebar, and I liked the blank space on the screen. So, nothing against in in particular except that I was ready for something different. It used the DailyPost WordPress theme.

I have now switched to a new WordPress theme called Infosource. I chose a theme with a strong social media element, so you can find me all over the internet by using the icons on the right-hand side of the page. The colors are crisp, the lines are clean. And, my various pages are across the top navigation.

Hope you like!

 

My Updated 23andMe Ancestry Painting

Back in December, 23andMe updated the algorithms behind their Ancestry Painting feature.  I posted my original results in October 2011.  Thanks to a comment from a blog reader, I’m going to share my updated results.

My original results had me as 84% African, 13% European and 3% Asian (likely Native-American).

My new results are now 85.9% Sub-Saharan African, 11% European and 0.8% Asian (most of this Native American).

Overall, not much different from what it was before :-)

Both of my parents have done the 23andMe test, so I’m able to get my Split View.  As I’d suspected previously, the Native American/Asian DNA comes from my father’s side of the family, as does most of the European-origin DNA I have.

My Chromosome View is also updated and what is so nice is that now, each of my parents’ strands are shown separately.  In the old version, I was able to approximate what half came from which parent, but now I don’t have to guess.  Just as I’d hypothesized, the bottom strand is my father (I know b/c the bottom strands have more European DNA than the top strands). 

And, to coincide with all of this, today I was contacted by someone who is a DNA match to both sides of my family AND he has identified common surnames from both sides that are in his tree, just as they are in mine. More as it develops!

(If you would like to read my other 23andMe posts, you can find them here.)

Doing My Part: Volunteering for the Nashville Chapter of the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society

A few years ago I posted my thoughts sharing frustrations I’ve had with genealogy societies, and since then, I continue to experience much of the same.  Not one to just complain though, I do try and do my part – which is why I am excited to now be a part of the Nashville Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society; I am the group’s Technology Director. :-)

I’ve been working with the group for the past few months and my primary tasks are developing the new website for the group, managing several online project databases, and our major task this year is hosting the AAHGS 34th National Conference here in Nashville Oct 10-13th, 2013. 

As can be expected from me, the backend of the site is done with WordPress. And, though we still have several tweaks to make,  you can check it out below. Our URL is http://www.aahgsnashville.org/

I feel positively that working together as a group, we will be able to help advance the Chapter forward and offer the very things I felt back then was greatly needed by societies.  I will be sharing more as we continue to grow the site and as I get more involved with the conference.  Until then, please stop by and check us out!

What’s in Store for 2013?

Well, that I don’t know! But, I do know that 2012 was full of great genealogy activities for me and I look forward to what this next year will bring.  I have not blogged as much as I’d like because I have been busy, yet, I hope that changes in 2013. Check out my wordle for my 2012 blog posts – I do find it particularly telling what I talked about :-)

What are some of my genealogy highlights from  2012?

What’s in store (that I know of) for 2013?

  • We are planning some great database additions for the TNGenWeb and have had a great group of volunteers helping out
  • I’ll be doing a webinar as part of the Southern California Genealogical Society’s Jamboree Extension Series
  • I am helping with Nashville’s chapter of the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society by building their new website, special projects and helping with the hosting of the national conference this year in Nashville

Along with these things, I continue to be very proud of my involvement with the USGenWeb project and our mission to bring free genealogy online for researchers.  I am State Coordinator for TNGenWeb,  Asst. State Coordinator and Webmaster for NCGenWeb, and Assistant State Coordinator for FLGenWeb, so when I’m not working on my own stuff, you can find me sharing happily for these groups.  :-)  

Bring it on 2013!

 

I’m a 2013 Jamboree Webinar Presenter!


A few weeks ago, I shared that I’d submitted a webinar presentation for the Jamboree Webinar Extension Series the Southern California Genealogical Society hosts. I am so pleased to share that my webinar was accepted!

On Saturday, October 5th, 2013 I will present “Genealogy News at Your Fingertips: From RSS Feeds to Digital Magazine Platforms.” Here is the description:

RSS feeds are powerful mechanisms for having online content delivered directly to you. With the plethora of genealogy sites available online, the information river can often seem overflowing. In this session, you will learn what RSS feeds are and how they are used, understand why they are beneficial to you as a web consumer and a web publisher, and survey the different types of RSS readers available – including the newest trends of magazine-style content delivery systems for aggregated news. Whether on your desktop or on-the-go, you can make online information work for you!

I am too thrilled!  I’ve done webinars this summer on WordPress, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to help others really leverage the power of RSS feeds.

Now, my webinar is only one of 25 webinars on the 2013 schedule, so you will definitely want to check the offerings and see which ones you can sign up for.  You can’t beat the price either – FREE! Archives of all the webinars will be made available to SCGS members.

Imagine the Possibilities

Over the weekend while catching up on some blog reading, I came across this post by Dave Evans on the Cisco Blog – How the Internet Will Change the World for the Better.  It is great reading. 

But, I was struck by this graphic – something I know conceptually to be true, but wow – imagine the day when this 90% is connected.  

Imagine the possibilities for genealogy! We are seeing more records come online but this is such a stark reminder of how much is not yet there. 

Come Browse My Genealogy Digital Bookshelf

Approximately two years ago, I created an online site to help me organize all the great books and resources I was finding on the Internet Archive’s website. I call it my Genealogy Digital Bookshelf. I have been posting to it sporadically, but have been using it pretty regularly as my genealogy research takes me from state to state. 

Recently, I decided to freshen-up the site and will start posting to it more regularly.   I updated the theme, and added several pictures of libraries – just to make it feel more “authentic.”    :-)

I encourage you to follow along – you never know what may turn out to be of interest.  There is an RSS Feed, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account.  Visit the site – look on the right sidebar and choose. 

 

 

Webinar Submitted to SCGS

This summer, I did my first webinar sessions  - they focused on WordPress and DearMyrtle was my lovely and gracious co-host.  I had a wonderful time doing them. 

More recently, I was given another opportunity – a chance to submit an webinar idea for the Southern California Genealogical Society.  Last year they started a webinar series that they refer to as their Jamboree Extension Series and I greatly enjoyed the few I had an opportunity to listen to.  I am hopeful that my idea gets accepted!  I may even submit a second idea.

Keep your fingers crossed for me :-) 

Note: image courtesy of the Citrix blog. 

Mocavo’s New Yearbook Collection Not All Really Theirs?

Yesterday, Mocavo.com released a new collection of yearbooks.  I was so ecstatic to see this!  

 I enjoy looking through old yearbooks.  A couple of years ago I created a yearbook index for the NCGenWeb Project.  To date, I’ve indexed more than 30,000 names from close to 500 yearbooks.  And where did those yearbooks come from that I’ve indexed? Mostly, yearbooks digitized by the NC Digital Heritage Center (NCDHC).  The group has been very active in the past couple of years digitizing yearbooks from across the state.  The digitized yearbooks are hosted on the Internet Archive, and then also viewable on the DigitalNC website.  The 500 I’ve indexed are only a part of what they’ve done –  so, I am quite familiar with their collection.   

Thus, naturally, as I started to explore Mocavo’s yearbook collection, I began by looking to see what they had available from North Carolina (well, yesterday you could filter by state — that feature is interestingly enough missing today).

 

But then, my “inner librarian” started to get suspicious.

 

I quickly realized that many of the titles I was seeing were the same ones put on the Internet Archive by the NCDHC.  I also searched yearbooks from other states that I have listed on my Genealogy Digital Bookshelf website, and see the same – -many on that list (which are all from the Internet Archive) were also in Mocavo’s database. 

Here are the problems…

  • You wouldn’t know that the Internet Archive is the source of these yearbooks.  Mocavo’s statement on the front page of the collection is that they  (as in Mocavo) “put” the yearbooks online. There is no mention that the IA is the source for the material.
  • Each yearbook has a watermark imprint in the bottom left corner that reads “Hosted by Mocavo.”  Does this mean that Mocavo took the file and placed it on their servers? They may not have the right to do that.
  • Some of the yearbooks are still under copyright.  Their placement in the Internet Archive does not necessarily bypass that – the 1953 yearbook of Wake Forest University is just one such example.  The 1936 Kent State yearbook is another. Their copyright statements state that images and texts cannot be used without permission and/or proper citation and acknowledgement is requested.  Did Mocavo seek permission from all copyright holders before putting yearbook digital files on the Mocavo servers? 
I do not doubt that Mocavo has added their own original  yearbooks to this collection.  And, their solicitation for people to send in their yearbooks is great. However, to claim that they put all of these online, when they did not, and w/o any attribution to the Internet Archive or to the organizations/libraries that digitized the yearbooks, is something that needs to be corrected.  At the minimum, I would encourage the company to be more transparent as to the sources of the yearbooks from the Internet Archive.  Especially given the very recent post on copyright infringement on the Mocavo blog. 
I have tried to get in touch with a Mocavo reprsentative, but my contact request, email, and twitter messages have not been answered as of yet. 
I would love to hear from someone at the company about this.  I am hopeful someone can clear this up.  Perhaps they do have an agreement of sorts? I would love to know!  If not, then I hope they make some adjustments. 
Oh, and please bring back the ability to filter by state and city.  Location is paramount for genealogical research! 
Update 11/10/12 — I finally had the opportunity to exchange some emails with Mocavo about their collection.  They informed me that the yearbooks were purchased from a 3rd-party who has license agreements to provide the images.  I hope that this third party does indeed.  However,  I do still feel that the partnership with this company could have been made more transparent.  

Photos of my Grandfather!

I am completely ecstatic tonight! Over the weekend, my father visited his stepmother (whom he had not seen in over 20 years) and got some pictures of his father!  My grandfather, William Koonce Sr.,  passed away in 1976 when I was six months old, so I never knew him.  And, until tonight, I’d only seen about 3-4 pictures of him. So, I was so happy to see this pictures tonight!!!  This has absolutely made my week. 

Granddaddy & M

Granddaddy & M.