Music Mondays: For the Beauty of the Earth

I’m starting a new blog meme for myself – Music Mondays.  Music is very important for me, so I thought it would be interesting to document various songs and their association with various events in the family through music. 

For my first music monday post, I’d like to share a song that was sung at my maternal grandmother’s high school graduation.  She graduated from the Plymouth Colored High School in Plymouth, NC in May of 1944.  I am fortunate to have her graduation program and listed on the program the song For the Beauty of the Earth.  I found this YouTube video of it being sung by children. It’s a pretty song.

Number 1000

On Saturday night, Randy shared on his blog his experience trying to locate the 1,000th person in his database, and invited us all to do the same. Well, I thought, this should be easy enough. Well, I found them, but it was not as straightfoward as I thought!  I use TNG: The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding as my software.  I have more than 3300 people in the gedcom associated with my name (i have several other gedcoms too for different research projects)

Attempt #1

TNG has a number of web-based forms that are used for data entry and reports. So, I went first to the webform for the administration of people.  The form has a field to enter search criteria, and beneath that is a table of results.

I use this form all the time. But, just now realized that the column headers are not sortable and the order which people are listed by default is not by ID, it is by name.

Attempt #2

Given the database backend of the software, the ID number of each person is included in the URL for that person’s page. For example, my great-grandfather, Barfield Koonce has a URL of http://www.taneya-kalonji.com/family/getperson.php?personID=I26&tree=1.  You see in the URL that personID=I26 refers to his ID number in the database. So, I thought, let me just change that to personID=1000 and after doing so I got a broken URL message.  Hmm… what’s up with that?

Attempt #3

Since TNG does use a database, I then decided to go look at the database tables themselves. I use phpMyAdmin to administer my MySQL databases on my website, so I have a lot of flexibility for querying fields, running SQL queries and sorting data.

I went specifically to the table of people, limited the results to those in my main gedcom (tree=1) and then sorted by ID number. This is when I realized that the personID numbers skip around, there is no personID=1000. It goes from 973 to 1003. I’m not sure why, but let’s try something else. Let’s look at the 1,000th record in the list, regardless of perosnID.

That person is Vincent Hutchinson. Vincent is my 2nd cousin and is related to me on my maternal grandfather’s side. I’ve never met him, but I do have a picture of him.  I don’t even have his birthdate/year. Looks like I need to contact his father again :-).  Last time I spoke to his father was about two years ago.

That was certainly an exercise.

Google Books On A Website Near You

Today Google announced on their Book Search Blog that they have developed a series of partnerships in order to more fully integrate Google Books into existing websites.  In the post, they highlight several advantages of this feature including

“For example, suppose you’ve turned to the Books-A-Millionsite to look for a book on the history of your hometown (say, Mountain View, California). When you see a book that looks promising, you can now click on “Google Preview” to browse through the book just as you might in the physical store, without ever having to leave Books-A-Million’s website. “

Whenever browsing participating websites, you just need to look for the Google Preview button and it will open up a window to preview the book online.  There are many different sites participating – bookstores, university libraries, publishers (even Arcadia Publishing – publisher of the Images of America Series), and social book sharing sites.  One of my favorite sites, WorldCat.org is also participating. 

I’ve blogged about Worldcat before: it allows you to locate books in libraries that may be close to you.  When you are looking at a record for a book, if you see the Google Preview button you can begin to browse what is available. 

You can read more about what WorldCat did here.  Right now, it looks like you need to use APIs in order to take advantage of the book preview.  I wonder if there would be any utility in them making an embed code of some type for an individual book-by-book basis?  One could always make a static link to a book, but I like the look of the embedded book. 

I find this particularly of interest as I’ve been spending some time exploring Google Books for my various genealogy interests.  Each month I choose a database to look at more in-depth and this month, Google Books was the one of choice.   During the Genea-Blogger games, my posts from this month on Google Books included:

I have more posts coming this Friday that are not up yet. I’ve written them and set them for pre-publish. I have the Genea-Blogger Games to thank for that!

Show & Tell

The call for submissions to the 55th Carnival of Genealogy has been announced and the topic is Show & Tell! Participants are charged with sharing an “…heirloom, a special photo, a valuable document, or a significant person that is a very special part of your family history.”

To this end, I’d like to share this picture of my grandmother, Alice Elizabeth McNair as part of her high school graduating class.  To accompany the picture, I also have her original commencement program as well! These two are part of my treasures because of the fact that I have a photo and the program.

My grandmother is pictured 2nd from the left in the front row of girls; as the picture shows, there were 13 graduating members.  Last year, I made contact with a distant cousin of my grandmother’s who is also related to one of the other girls graduating that year.  I’m not sure which one she is, but the cousin informed me that the girl had passed only a few months prior to us talking. I was able to send her copies of this photo and the commencement program for her to share with my grandmother’s deceased classmate’s children.

The high school my grandmother graduated from was Plymouth Colored High School in Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina.  I am pretty sure that somewhere, I have her diploma as well (or, my mother has it).

The Final Post

My final post for the GeneaBlogger Games. What a joy it has been! I’ve already posted what I’ve done, but let me do my final medal counts for the categories I was going to compete in.

  • Category 1: I did my 50 citations, so I earned a PLATINUM Medal for this one.
  • Category 3: a big fat 0! I knew this was the one least likely to get done because a) I’m fairly well organized anyway and b) it takes me a LONG time to do my organization. I cannot just file. I have to file, check records, review records, seek new info to fill in gaps, etc.  So, while I got a start and did a few of my loose files, I did not focus on this category.
  • Category 4: I did four of the five tasks, thus earning a DIAMOND medal. I enjoyed this category tremendously and it was the most important for me; particularly the pre-publish. I am beginning another Master’s program in September with a very heavy course load and will not be doing much genealogy.  With so many blogs, I took this on to create posts to last through the month. I only did enough posts for two of my blogs, but the remainder of the week, I will focus on getting the others. V
  • Category 5: DIAMOND medal here as well.  I just decided not to bother asking anyone to join Facebook. There are many great people signing up already!

I made a page to track my overall tasks that is here. Overall, I’m quite happy with this experience. I have learned a lot and gotten to read a lot of great blog posts from others about the process.  What an amazing network of genealogists there is online!

The End is Upon Us

So, today is the last day of the GeneaBlogger Games, I have to say this has been an excellent activity to participate in! I haven’t done as much as I’d liked, but I’ve had fun doing what I have done.

I’ve been very busy this past week with work and home life so haven’t done all that much, nor really felt like doing much genealogy actually. But, over this past week, I have completed the following tasks for the games.

  • Category 4: Write a brief biographical sketch of one of your ancestors — There is a new Heritage Series book being published for Edgecombe County. Since my ancestry goes back before 1855, I can submit up to 1,000 words. I have chosen to break this up into two 500 word entries – one for my ancestors Rufus & Mariah (Wimberly) McNair, and one for Mariah’s parents – Allen & Della (Battle) Wimberly.  Prior to the games I wrote my entry for Rufus & Mariah, but this morning I wrote my entry for Allen & Della.
  • Category 5: Participate in an indexing project – I currently am the county coordinator for Blount County, Tennesse’s UsGenweb page.  I recently compiled a bunch of obituary and funeral home records into a database for central searching.  A few weeks ago, a volunteer submitted some cemetery transcriptions, some of which I entered into the database.  I wrote a blog post about her submission and I’ve entered 72 of the 750 names she submitted into the Death Records Database. I do not plan to add any more for she has done the fabulous work of entering them all into FindAGrave.
  • Category 5: Assist another researcher with a research request or lookup – I’mnot exactly sure if this counts, but a few weeks ago, I was contacted by a distant relative of someone I’ve been researching – James Carrol Napier.  I happened to mention to him that I had a copy of the manumission papers for James Napier and his father, William Carroll Napier and he expressed interest. So, I scanned them and will send them to him today.   Hey – it was a request right? :-)
  • Category 5: Join a genealogical society - for awhile now, I’ve been wanting to join the Middle Tennessee Genealogy Society, so I finally did my application and put it in the mailbox today. Yeah!