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Easter 1981

It’s late in the day, but I found one of my childhood Easter pictures to share of my brother and I. I think this was 1981; my mother will have to confirm.  I do remember that there was a cemetery behind this house – I’ll have to go see if I can figure out its name. 

Happy Easter everyone! This quickpage was designed by DigiScrapalicious

From My Digital Scrapbook Layouts

Weekly Prompt #14 – Genealogy Technology

I’m feeling particularly uninspired this week with my genealogy, so I was happy to see that this week’s Weekly Genealogy prompt was right up my alley.  Thanks to We Tree for creating the weekly prompts, and thanks to Thomas for keeping allo of our events organized and sending reminders via the Facebook Genea-Bloggers group.

This week’s prompt is to write about the technology we use for our genealogy.  I consider myself to be quite technologically adept and as much as I can, I try to utilize a cloud computing approach.  

-For organizing all of my family tree information, I use TNG: The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding for my Genealogy page.  The benefits of having my family trees online and accessible from any computer with an internet connection are numerous! 

-I use blogs extensively to communicate, share, and record my genealogy endeavors.  I started my first personal blog in 2003, and at that time, my hobby of choice was cross-stitching,  so I mostly shared my progress with the pieces I was working on.  In early 2006 I started this genealogy blog and over the past three years,  I’ve created 7 other genealogy-focused blogs since then.  I even have one more in progress that I expect to begin seriously working on this summer sometime.   I use WordPress for all my blogs, with about half of them being self-hosted.  I would love them all to be self-hosted, but for now, I can’t deal with the headache of moving them to my server right now while I’m still in school.  That will happen after I graduate in 2010. 

– In the social networking realm I belong to Facebook, MySpace (though I hardly use that anymore), and Twitter.  I have profiles that I maintain on Ancestry & Footnote.  I am on Geni & FamilyHistoryLink, and WeRelate, but for various reasons have not been impressed in the long-run with their offerings. 

– For my paperwork, I try as much as possible to stay digital and rarely print anything out. I also try to actively get my papers scanned into digital formats.  For most of my image editing, I use a free program, PhotoPlus, and if I’m at a computer where I don’t have it installed, I have been known to use PicNik and Adobe’s online editing platforms. 

-I use GoogleReader extensively to keep up with the latest news.  Not only for genealogy but for my professional and other interests as well.   RSS feeds are absolutely fantastic for me, truly like my own personal newspaper.  I even get upset when I visit a website these days and they don’t have an RSS feed!  Not only is Google Reader great for just staying aware, but I also use it quite a bit as my own personal search engine. 

Over the past few months, I’ve been increasingly contacted by people who find information I’ve put online and I enjoy corresponding with them and learning more about their backgrounds and their genealogical process.  I’ve found new distant relatives, made new friendships, and have had the opportunity to increase my own knowledge of different source materials as a result.    Technology is a very powerful medium and I will continue to maximize it as best I can.

My Dream Citation Tool – EasyBib + Genealogy

Some may know that I use EasyBib to format some of the citations I use in my genealogy work.  I posted about EasyBib last year (see post) and last night I had a thought — why not ask EasyBib to put their templates to use for genealogy work?

So, I sent them a tweet asking offering the suggestion and I’ve followed up with a more detailed email.  Wouldn’t you like to be able to use a web-based form to format your genealogy citations in the formats suggested by Elizabeth Shown Mills? Everything from Birth/Death Certificates to FHL Microfilm?  Mark posted on his ThinkGenealogy blog that Legacy 7 does this, but not everyone uses Legacy 7.   I myself am more of a cloud computer and the advantages inherent with that (see Eastman’s blog post) so I think this would be cool.    I think Thomas would agree with me too.

Happy Anniversary to My Parents and Step-Parents

The month of March brings wedding anniversaries for all of my parents. 🙂

March 17th is the anniversary date for my mother and step-father.  This year marks their 14th wedding anniversary.  

March 25th marked the anniversary date for my father and stepmother.  This year marks their 20th wedding anniversary. 

Happy Anniversary!

I was not present at my mother’s wedding, but for my father’s wedding me, my aunt and my grandmother were all dressed alike for the wedding.  We wore pink dresses with ruffles, pearls, had white handbags and white shoes.  I still rememer going shopping for my dress and a few years later, my aunt even wore my dress to an event she attended.  I was 13 years old.  I rediscovered the picture in my email files earlier this month and originally planned to post it yesterday, the actual anniversary date of daddy’s wedding but I was busy studying.  

From My Digital Scrapbook Layouts

Credits: Quick page template designed by Mandy

My New Found Cousin

The past couple of weeks I’ve been more focused on my Koonce genealogy work than anything else.  Ever since having that flurry of Koonce activity, I’ve just been caught up in it.  I have decided to do a new blog devoted to chronicling my quest to research and findings; not just of my own Koonce line, but for Koonce’s in general – my very own Koonce surname project I suppose.  Since I’ve been so busy with school and work however, I don’t expect to begin any real efforts towards it until late summer.

But, I did have a great week this week in that I was contacted by a new cousin! She commented on my Ancestry tree and we believe that our respective Robinson (of Columbus County, NC)  ancestors were brothers.  We don’t have any concrete proof yet, but are building up a theory based on several things such as proximity, shared names in the family, ages, etc.

My Robinson line stems from William Robinson, born about 1830  North Carolina.  William married Rebecca Toon and they would have at least 9 children, their youngest being my great-grandfather, Louis “Christopher Columbus” Robinson.

Yolanda’s line stems from John Robinson, born about 1842 who married Matilda Toon.  John and Matilda, or Tilly, would have at least 7 children. Their son Nathaniel is her great-grandfather.

We suspect that John & William’s parents were Bob (born about 1800) and Hagar (born about 1815).  John had a son named William and William had a son named John.  Both men had sons named Nathaniel.  In 1880, the two families are only a few households away from each other.

We are in the process of exchanging information and pictures, so I’m looking forward to learning more.

Wordless Wednesday: E.B. Koonce Mortuary

Postcard image sent to me by John P. Koonce of E.B. Koonce Morturary in St. Louis, Missouri.   The mortuary was owned by Ernest Benjamin Koonce and his wife Virginia from what I have been able to determine via some quick research.  This African-American Koonce family is not related to me, but as I’m now on a mission to collect Koonce families,  they will be added to my database.

Wordless Wednesday: Pearlie Mae and her Pearls

I have to preface this picture with a few comments. Yesterday, my cousin, the granddaughter of my great-grandmother Pearlie Mae “Julie” Kilpatrick sent me this picture and I am absolutely mesmerized by it.  I only have a few pictures of Pearlie Mae and this one is exquisite.  She was all dressed up, including a pearl necklace and pearl earrings.  My cousin took the picture of the picture w/ a digital camera, hence the glare, but we’ll be getting that edited out soon enough.

The picture was taken after she and my great-grandfather were married in 1931 as she is wearing a ring on her left hand (can’t see it in the photo), so we think the picture was taken soon thereafter.  I never knew her, she died when I was not even yet 2 years old, but I do have a memory of being at her house and seeing her in the bed, even though I was so young.  

This month’s Carnival of Genealogy topic is “A Tribute to Women;” my scrapbook page is my tribute to Pearlie Mae.

From My Digital Scrapbook Layouts

Music Monday: For Once In My Life

I’m writing this post as a pre-published post, but I was just flipping channels and ran across the movie The Temptations.  When I watch this movie, I think of my grandfather Herman.  My favorite scene from the movie is when actor Christian Payton (playing Paul), sings “For Once In My Life.”

At the time, I did not know the song, so asked my parents about it and my mother told me that this song as done by Stevie Wonder was one of her father’s absolute FAVORITES! He would play it repeatedly.  So, this post is for my grandfather Herman.

New Book about Wessyngton Plantation

A couple of weeks ago, when I bought In Search of Our Roots, I’d also seen a book by John F. Baker Jr. called The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation.  Tonight, I went ahead and purchased this book too.  I will probably not be able to start reading it right away, but I’m glad to own it now.   The Wessyngton Plantation was here in Tennessee and the author used their papers held on file at the Tennessee State Library & Archives for some of his research, so this is very close to home for me.   You can read more about the plantation in the online version of Profiles of African-Americans in Tennessee

In the book, the author accounts his family’s background, as well as information about other slave family descendants as he discovered them through his research. Again, this is another example of my previously expressed wish that books of this nature also do accompanying online family trees to faciliate later discovery by others and possible extended family members.  One of the main ancestors of the author is Granville Washington 1831-1898) of which I find no information in Ancestry Trees in a quick and dirty search.  

Biographies + Online gedcoms/family trees are my desire. Who will be the first author to do it?  I am encouraged though to see that on his website, Mr. Baker does have a few representative documents and some newspaper articles about his research.  He is on Facebook, on MySpace, and has a blog too where he continues to share his research.   This looks like a great start to my dream 🙂

And, unlike Gates’ book, his is searcheable over at Google Books.  Mr. Baker will be here in Nashville for a book signing in a week, I must try to go!

See below for a two mintue overview of the book

Wordless Wednesday: Basketball

My father in 1970 – point guard for the Newbold High School basketball team in Dover, North Carolina. Picture taken from his yearbook. 


Research tip for me: consult newspapers from the time period to see if his performance was mentioned 🙂