Day 1 – Genea-Blogger Games

Here at the end of Day 1, I have accomplished two tasks so far. This is actually my Day 1 since I am a late entrant, but since I just did my entry post a few hours ago, I think this is good enough progress.

I have:

  • Re-written what this blog is about and posted it to the blog
  • Commented on a genealogy blog that is new to me.  In order to keep up with what everyone was doing, I added all the Genea-Blogger participants to my Google Reader. In the process of doing so, I found many that were new to me, but I commented on Sheri’s blog, The Educated Genealogist.  Sheri is new to the blogging world, but not new to genealogy.  How does she decide to get started? By creating a blog and in her very first post, declare her intent to participate in the Games.  Talk about jumping in!

To see my progress list, check out my checklist page. I’m off to figure out the next task to do….

UPDATE 8/10/08 11:24pm — I realized that August 9th was the 1st day of competition, thus, I’ve renamed this post from Day 2, to Day 1.

About This Blog

GBG logo For the games, I have re-written my page about this blog.  Originally titled, About Taneya, I decided to rename the page, About this Blog. You can find it at the top of the blog just under the graphic header.  Here is the content from the revised page:

I am a medical librarian by profession and have been interested in my family genealogy since about 1997, but did not begin actively working on it until February 2006.  At that time, I was searching for a way to put the information I did have to date online, found my application of choice, put my family info online, and there was no looking back. I found that my skills as a librarian come heavily into play with the genealogy as both fields encompass a lot of detective work and the analysis and synthesis of information. Sweet!

On this blog, you’ll find that I cover my own family tree, and that of my husband’s. I am interested in capturing as much as I can for our daughter and my stepsons, so my branches go out in many different directions.  I also work on the trees of friends and extended family members, so from time to time, I’ll post about them.

In addition to this blog, I also maintain others:

  • My primary blog – where I post information about our family life, and my cross-stitch when I get to it!
  • African-American Nashville History & Genealogy – I was looking for a way to give back to the genealogy of Nashville and found a niche with this one.
  • Blount County Blog — In October 2007 I volunteered to be the site coordinator for the Blount County, TN usgenweb site. Again, another way for me to give back to Tennessee genealogy. I re-designed the site and started a blog to further engage with those interested in that county.
  • Cross Stitch Magazine Database Blog – my original hobby of choice, cross-stitching, drove me to collect a LOT of magazines. So that I did not have to hunt for designs, I decided to index them. Then, I put the index online. I started this blog to accompany the index and share updates to the database.
  • Roanoke Beacon Blog — information from an old newspaper of Washington County, North Carolina.
  • Kinston Free Press Blog – information from an old newspaper of Lenior County, North Carolina
  • Talladega Daily Home Blog – information from newspaper of Talladega County, Alabama. This one is not going so well as I still don’t have good digital access to the newspaper. No promises on when I’ll pick it back up.
  • Vanderbilt Family Genealogy – because I have this weird obsession with the Vanderbilt family (I do work at Vanderbilt after all!), I decided to study their genealogy and created this blog to share and connect with other Vanderbilt researchers.

Through these blogs, I have made connections with many other researchers with areas of common interests and that has been just as satisfying as what I discover with our own trees.  Please feel free to comment if anything inspires you!

My Entry Post for the 2008 GeneaBlogger Games

I have decided to join the Summer 2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games since they are taking late entrants.  I havebeen a member of Facebook for awhile now and am already a  member of the GeneaBloggers FaceBook group, so that is out of the way.

My Flag

For my flag made at WeAreMulticolored, includes elements of the flags from the US, Germany & Egypt. US because that is where I am from. I chose Germany because my surname, Koonce, is of German origin. Despite the fact that I got it from slave owners, I do still identify strongly with it and embrace it (at times to the chagrin of my husband when I don’t use his surname (lol!).  And, I chose Egypt because we hope to visit there soon; it is within our 5 year plan.

Competition Categories

These are the categories I plan to compete in and my goals:

  • [1] Cite Your Sources – this will be a little tricky, so I hope I can carry this out. I use TNG: The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding as my primary genealogy software, and sources are created using an online form template.  Up until now, I have been entering source information pretty much haphazardly, so my goal is to learn how to use it correctly, and in such a way that when the information is converted to narrative format, the sources come out according to how they should be.  I have the 1997 version of Evidence Explained, so I’ll use that as a guide, as well as the How to Cite Sources guide by John Wiley.   I am going for PLATINUM.
  • [3] Organize Your Research — As a librarian, I agree that one can always be more organized! So, I take this challenge on to continue the work with my own files.  I may have to see how subject to interpretation Task F is, I have a few questions. But, at minimum, I am going for DIAMOND.
  • [4] Write, Write, Write – I think I can do this one easily enough except for the carnival hosting. I am going for DIAMOND.
  • [5] Reach Out & Perform Genealogy Acts of Kindness — Going for PLATINUM here too.  I do a lot of this anyway, so I look forward to expanding.

Are 4 categories too ambitious? I’ll have to look and see how many people are competing in all 5 categories.  But, I figure this is a chance for me to get a good genealogy push in before September, when I will be starting classes as I go back to school to pursue another Master’s degree, this time in Public Health w/ a focus in Biomedical Informatics (see my main blog for more details on that).

But, to get started, I have added the Games Badge to my sidebar, and I am about to start a new Google Reader label for all the participants, so I can keep up! I also created a special blog page for keeping track all in one place of what I do. I may not get any work accomplished towards the games themselves here at the end of Day 1.

I’m Going to Join the Genea-Blogger Games

Since I’ve been rather busy this past week (as well as in a little pain), I am just now catching up on most of my genealogy blog reading. Last night I was reading about the Genea-Blogger games and thought it would be neat to participate, but I’d missed the deadline. Well, apparently not!

So, I am going to participate. I’m going to be a little late starting as we have plans today, but I will get started this evening. I’m looking forward to participating as I think it will help me with my files. Here’s to the genea-blogger games!  More to come later…

Footnote Findings & Feature Friday

I haven’t been working on my own family genealogy much this past two weeks or so – we’ve been rather busy and I’ve been devoting quite a bit of time to a few other genealogy projects; but, tonight I took a few minutes to play around on Footnote’s website.  I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I have developed some blogging memes – one of them was to take a database a month and search/browse for content relative to my genealogy blogs. I call it “Feature Friday”.

  • Last week, I found something in Footnote for my Kinston Free Press blog of deceased soldiers from Kinston on the Vietnam Memorial
  • Tonight I found a UFO sighting that was reported in Plymouth, NC for my Roanoke Beacon Blog
  • And, I just blogged about a descendant of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt (namesake of my employing institution) who was approached to go in with a group of people to buy an island in France and make the American dollar the legal tender.

The time that I spend poking around gives me a better sense of the collections – as we know, much information continues to be frequently added.

For my own family tree however, back in May I found my grandmother’s brother listed on a crew list for the USS Neosho.  I already knew he was on this ship and let me tell you, that ship saw some crazy action – I leared a couple of years ago that about 80% of the crew was lost in action around the time of Pearl Harbor.  That is a story for another post – but my spotlight page is here.  I believe I have overcome my “battle with footnote”  🙂

No affiliation with

June’s Database of the Month

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I’d established a blogging schedule for myself in order to help me ensure that each of my blogs received at least a little bit of love throught the month.  I used this schedule all through the month of June and it has worked well for me.  I have not posted *every* time that I intended to, but regularly enough.

On of the topics that I started was “Feature Friday.”  Feature Friday posts examine a chosen database and I look for blog-specific content. In June, I made the following Feature Friday posts for which I searched in GenealogyBank.

What was most cool about doing this however was that Tom Kemp himself emailed me and commented favorably on my posts.  🙂

This was a great exercise for me.  I also wrote a contribution for the newsletter of the Heritage Genealogical Society. I am a new member of HGS and I thought this would be a valuable way to raise awareness of online resources.  The contribution I wrote was for the Genealogy OnLine column and should be out soon.

For the month of July I plan to do the same exercise. The database this time will be Footnote.

Princeville, NC – Wordless Wednesday Follow-up

Yesterday in my Wordless Wednesday post, I put up a picture of the historical marker of Freedom Hill, North Carolina.  Freedom Hill was an all African-American community established in Edgecombe County, North Carolina in 1865 by freed slaves. It is the oldest incorporated black town in the US, getting incorporated in 1885 as Princeville.  The community was named after Turner Richard Prince (1843-1912) who was a carpenter in the community.  In 1999, Princeville received nationwide attention after Hurricane Floyd hit the coast of NC as many of the town’s residents were displaced and there was extensive flood damage.

I first learned of Princeville when I purchased an Arcadia Publishing book on Edgecombe County last year.  At that time, I had no one in my family tree that I knew of that had any connections to Princeville, though my maternal grandmother’s McNair line started (as we know of) in Edgecombe County. When the Ancestry database of NC death certificates came out, one of the many discoveries I made was that there is indeed a connection.

My earliest known McNair ancestor, Rufus McNair (1823-1910) and his wife Mariah Wimberly (abt. 1843-1903) had at least 15 kids (in one census record, it is reported she had 22) that lived to adulthood. Two of their youngest, Susan & Sophia, both married a gentleman name Arthur Wooten.  Arthur married Susan first and together they had at least 8 children. Then, I believe Susan must have died and he then married her sister Sophia. With Sophia, he had at least 3 children.  Arthur Wooten Jr’s (son of Sophia) daughter Violet married George Mays and they for several years lived in Princeville.  Arthur & Susie were in Princeville in the 1910 census.

I discovered this after my mother, in going through some of her mother’s papers, found a double obituary for Violet and her husband George.  Since Princeville at that time was only a community of several hundred, I wonder if they knew Turner Prince? Possibly! Again, more flavor to add to the background context should I ever decide to do a formal write-up of my McNair ancestry.

Wordless Wednesday June 4, 2008 Follow-Up

This picture is one my mother recently sent me of her uncle Fred and Curtis – both brothers of my grandmother. This was taken in the 1940s-early 50s most likely. The reason I posted this picture is because of the tanks in the background. My mother was always telling me how close their building in Cooper Park Projects in Brooklyn, New York was to these tanks and this picture really shows that. Here is another picture that shows it too – my mother’s brother Calvin behind their building.

These tanks were a very vital part of my mother’s childhood landscape. She told me that the first time she ever experienced the feeling of nostalgia was when these tanks were destroyed. They were demolished in July 2001. They were the largest gas holders in the world at 400ft high and an ever-present part of the landscape for decades. They were apparently visible from all 5 boroughs.

Here is an article from the New York Times about them.