29 November 2009

SNGF - My Celebrity Look-alikes

Randy Seaver has come up with a quick and easy way to have some Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. Here are the directions to this week's mission:

1) Go to http://www.myheritage.com/ - you don't have to be a registered member to use this feature. Click on the "Celebrities and Fun" tab.

2) Click on the "Celebrity Collage" tab, and then on the "Create my Collage" button.

3) Upload a photograph with your face (or another person's face) to the site (the face must be at least 100 x 100 pixels) and click on the "Run face recognition" button.

4) Select a collage template, and the faces (up to 8) to go into the collage template. Click on "Next" and "Preview" your template, which should bring up the template for you to review. You could click on "Save" and it would go off to your selected social networking site.

Well I have to tell you that I have been told I look like Barbara Eden, Ashley Judd and Gidget but not the celebrities this program came up with. While I am pleased as punch and extremely flattered, I find it highly unlikely I'll ever be mistaken for Raquel Welch.

17 November 2009

Somebody Likes Me!

Julie Wingate author of the delightful blog "Banjos and Baby Dolls" thinks that I am worthy of the Kreativ Blogger Award that is being passed around Geneablogger land. Julie has now become my new BFF.

In return, the awardee must give back 7 and 7 - Reveal seven previously unknown things about yourself and then pass the award to seven other bloggers.

Seven things about me you may not know:

1. I do not like chinese food

2. When the last of my 3 sons moved out of the house I vacuumed naked just because I could. [youngest son has since moved back home so I don't vacuum anymore]

3. One of my mantras - "Never Pay Retail"

4. I am terrified of snakes

5. I am a firm believer in karma. Even if I don't live long enough to see it in action, I am confident that what goes around comes around (and usually bites you on the butt)

6. I am a night owl.

7. I hate to cook , I'd rather clean toilets than have to be in the kitchen

There, seven things I'd bet you never would have thought about me. I now pass the award on to the following blogs:

What's Past is Prologue

Life From The Roots

AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors

16 November 2009

The COG and Me

The 83rd Carnival of Genealogy

What the COG Means To Me

Dear COG,

I know that I haven't been as dedicated to you as I should have been. Writing an article for you twice a month really wasn't too much to ask. It was the least I could have done after all you have done for me. You held my hand when I was taking baby blogger steps giving me the strength and courage I needed when I decided to just jump in feet first. You continue to give me the opportunity to share my stories with others who actually read my posts and take time out of their lives to leave a comment or words of encouragement.

I promise to do better this coming new year. I promise to guest host a carnival next year to give your Hostess with the Mostess - Jasia - a much deserved break. And lastly I promise to spread the word and encourage others to participate.

Your GBFF (Genealogy Best Friend Forever)

Sheri Fenley

ps. enclosed please find a "Get Out of Hell Free" card, not that you'd need it or anything, but it adds a nice touch to the spectacular apology I just wrote to you don't you think?

The Educated Rabbit

OK , OK, so perhaps threatening to pull people out of hats wasn't the best way to draw attention to the Graveyard Rabbits. After some quiet time to reflect on this dilemma, I am ready to try a different approach:


That's right I'm over at the Graveyard Rabbit Association. I write a column (disguised as rabbit, of course) for the Graveyard Rabbit Journal where I educate you - in, uhmm , well, graveyardy- cemetery things.

Like for instance, I'll bet that you never, ever in your wildest dreams thought a headstone could be cleaned like THIS .

Oh yeah, I have you hooked now, don't I!

14 November 2009

A Nice Thing or Two - SNGF

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun came and went but I still want to play. This week Randy asks us to share something nice a fellow genealogist has done for us in the past week or the most recent we can recall.

There are two people that I am long overdue in thanking for going above and beyond the wild blue yonder.

Gary Deen in Des Moines County, Iowa is a shirttail relative of mine who has on numerous occasions gone to the State Library and obtained family records for me. He never asks for anything in return (although I have begged him to let me return the favors). Gary is the webmaster of the Des Moines County Genealogy Society website and has done a top notch job of redesigning the site recently.

Ginger Smith in Raleigh, North Carolina went way, way, far away out of her way to obtain estate files and wills for me at the North Carolina State Archives not too long ago. Knowing that I was practically salivating, waiting to see one in particular - she scanned and emailed it to me so I wouldn't have to wait for the mailman to deliver it with the rest of the papers. Ginger is the author of Genealogy By Ginger blog , GenealogybyGinger Weblog and The Smith and Fox Family Blog.

07 November 2009

Don't Make Me Have To Pull You Out Of A Hat!

That's my new line I give to people when I find out they aren't Graveyard Rabbits yet. I am truly surprised that some people still haven't heard about the Graveyard Rabbit Association. Are you one of them?
From the GYR website:

"The Graveyard Rabbit Association is an association dedicated to the academic promotion of the historical importance of cemeteries, grave markers, and the family history to be learned from a study of burial customs, burying grounds, and tombstones; and the social promotion of the study of cemeteries, the preservation of cemeteries, and the transcription of genealogical/historical information written in cemeteries. There are no dues or fees for becoming a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits. "

In plain English a rabbit is someone who has a blog devoted entirely to cemeteries, tombstones, burial customs, etc. Some Rabbits go out and take photos and upload them to their blogs, others do transcriptions of headstones. Some adopt one cemetery in particular while others cover an entire county or state. Bottom line - it's all about preserving and learning.

GYRabbit Membership Requirements

A. You must start a blog devoted exclusively to articles about cemeteries, grave markers, burial customs, the study of cemeteries, transcriptions of tombstones, or the preservation of cemeteries.

B. Your membership blog must include a statement in your banner that you are a member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits and display the association's logo.

C. The articles you post at your Graveyard Rabbit blog should be about cemeteries, grave markers, burial customs, and information relating to burying grounds or specific gravestones.

To join, simply click here and follow the directions - tell them that I sent you.

Once you are an official Rabbit, then I can feature you in the "Meet A Rabbit" column that spotlights new Rabbits as a way to introduce you to the world.

06 November 2009

Do You Know What Time It Is?

That's right it is time once again to take a walk on the wild side. Time to let your hair down and get your groove on. Time to. . . er, wait a minute. What day is today? Friday you say?

Well put your groove back in the box and save it for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

TODAY is a very special day! Follow me back in time to when "The Year Was 1867". HOWEVER get your shades on because when you see what we've done, you're going to be blinded by our BRILLIANCE!

Hint - My column begins on page 21

05 November 2009

The Grandmother I Never Knew

Myrtle Mae Borgstadter Beffort 1918 - 2009

I had some news a couple of days ago. My Grandmother, Myrtle Mae Borgstadter Beffort passed away in Salina, Kansas. She was 91 years old. She was the only grandparent on either side that was still living. Well , not really living - I was told that she had been in a nursing home for the last 10 years suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.

I never knew my Grandmother. She is my father's mother. Growing up, I know that we made a trip to Kansas to see them because I have photos. My mother says the last time we made the trip I was 6 years old.

My father and grandmother

My father never talked about his family, not really. I can only recall one thing that my dad said about his mother . After he had a few cocktails I remember him saying that he used to call her "Myrtle the Turtle." I do not remember why he called her that. I only remember him saying that he NEVER called her that to her face. My father died in 1988 at the age of 52. I was 19 years old. An age where I thought the world revolved around me and only me. I never got the chance to even get to really know my Daddy. At that time, it also never occurred to me that my Grandmother had lost her oldest son. Two weeks later, my grandfather dies. First her oldest child and then her husband. If she made any contact with my family during this time, I was not aware of it. I was in my own little world of shock and unbelievable sadness that my father had died. It was my first experience with death up close and personal. Here it is twenty years later and I still miss him. My grief is not over him dying. Not anymore. I grieve because I feel like a part of me is still missing. Not knowing about my father's life makes me feel like a part of me is missing.

As the years went by I began my journey researching my family history. I had always intended to make a trip to Kansas , knock on my grandmother's door and see if she would talk to me. Ask her if she could tell me why or what happened in the past that prevented us from having a relationship. Another couple of years came and went and I told myself "Next year, yes next year I will make the trip to Kansas."

My dad has 3 younger brothers. If any of them will talk with me, I still have a chance to begin to fill in the huge void. If I make that trip out to Kansas. I have, through my research, the basic vitals and information about my grandparents. I have some photographs of them. Through a couple of shirt tail cousins who found me a year or so ago I learned some basic biographical information. I was able to get a copy of my grandmother's obituary and it told me some things about her life that I can now add to her story.

I will find a way to honor my grandmother and her life. I need to straighten out my thoughts and feelings about this. I am feeling guilty for not having a meltdown when I heard she died. I have no memories of ever knowing her. I am saddened by the thought that I will never have an opportunity again to try and get to know her. Which in turn makes me mad because that is a very selfish thing to be thinking about.

02 November 2009

Family Tree Magazine's Top 40

The polls over at Family Tree Magazine are open 4 more days to vote for your favorite genealogy blogs. Your participation gives all genealogy blogs the recognition they deserve.
So take a few minutes and VOTE today, tomorrow - as many times as you want until November 5th .