31 January 2011

A Most Excellent Genea-Day Is Coming My Way!

The end of this week is FIELD TRIP FRIDAY for the Educated Genealogist.   I am headed to the Bay area to get me some genealogical education.  This event is such a wonderful learning opportunity, I just couldn't pass it up and the best part of all?  It is FREE!

9:30 am to 4:00 pm

Presented by
 The Santa Clara Historical and Genealogical Society
California State Genealogical Alliance

4 Wonderful Speakers

Melinda Kashuba, Ph.D Using Maps in Genealogical Research

Junel Davidson, CG Courthouse Records in Cyberspace

Peggy Rossi I wish I had asked: A guide to doing oral History interviews

Cat Nielsen Spreadsheets in Genealogy

Location:  Family History Center - 875 Quince Avenue, Santa Clara, California 
The seminar is FREE but you must register in advance at the Santa Clara Historical and Genealogical Society's website located HERE

An entire day to hang out with other genealogists, learn a thing or two and the icing on the cake - it is FREE!

Make no mistake about this - I have used this opportunity to turn a 1 day seminar into a 4 day holiday weekend so I won't be back until Monday.  See you then!

29 January 2011

Meet Max Marbles

A wonderful man named Max Marbles contacted me about an opportunity to be a guest poster for The Educated Genealogist. Max is a professional bookbinder from Salem, Oregon whose business is located at the Mission Hill Museum. The following article about family bibles is very interesting and informative.

It appears that Max is also entering the Wonderful World of Geneablogging so please welcome him by stopping by his place - Max Marbles Bookbinder.

Saving the Family Bible

Cherish your human connections. A family Bible is a valued volume handed down through a family, in which each successive generation records information about the family history, births, marriages and deaths.

Family Bibles, like everything else, suffer the passage of time. Many family heirloom Bibles and books are in extremely poor condition. The biggest threats to a Bible are heat, humidity and light. There are usually many other forensic signs of usage such as: food and debris in the gutters; ragged ear-marked pages from heavy use; hair braids to corsages stuffed between pages; pencil and pen notes in the margins; torn and bumped covers; papers and photographs spreading the pages; and the general rubs and abrasions. Some of these venerable giants have simply been worn-out by loving prolonged use.

Generally, family Bibles were bound with calfskin leather. Due to radical changes in book production techniques, earlier Bibles tend to have the longer-lasting leather, while later versions bound in more caustic and acidic leather can become powdery and tattered. Additionally, there are examples in the late Victorian era of cloth bindings with cheaper paper for Bibles purchased as a poor families' option.

The typical family Bible published between 1840 and 1900 was 12 x10 by 4 inches. In the early period, the family Bible covers were flat with little, if any, embossment. Family Bibles produced from 1870 are often deeply embossed and have panels stamped in gold.

Papers in earlier Bibles are made of cotton, linen or a mix of the two. These type fibers are very long lived. For example, a pure linen paper can last over 500 years. At the beginning of the industrial revolution, paper used for pages was mass-produced from pulps using tree fibers and harsh chemicals. That is why the quality of materials tends to preserve older paper in better condition and make later Bibles' paper more brittle.

Nineteenth century Bibles often use several different types of papers; such as one kind for illustrations and another for text. For example, the illustrations, the title page and interleafing tissue, text paper, family record pages, and the back, heavy paper lined board where photographs were inserted may all be different sorts of papers. Mid-1800's Bibles tend to be single columned content where the later Victorian volumes are double columned. Turn of the century Bibles often have glossaries, maps and illustrated sections in the front of the book.

Linen thread and hide glue were used to bind the Bibles. Hide glue is acidic and only good for about a hundred years before it becomes brittle. It is common to see the spine of an older Bible parting as the glue shrinks and separates from the paper. A leather cover, paper and glue materials bound together properly can last for centuries; however, if one element fails, the whole Bible will fall apart under the shear weight of itself.

With the ingredients of leather, cotton, hide glue and linen in its composition, the Bible is an interconnected organic system. The great enemies, heat, humidity and light, do more to age and breakdown the substances in Bibles than most anything else. However, there are ways to preserve and protect your family Bible.

How can one save and prolong the life of a precious heirloom Bible?

Put a Bible in the basement, garage or attic
Set a Bible upright without lateral support
Leave a Bible opened for prolonged periods
Let sunlight or harsh lighting contact the Bible
Keep a Bible in either a humid or dry environment
Expose a Bible in an extreme temperatures

Keep a Bible at room temperature 68 to 72 degrees
Store a Bible flat, but kept so that its form is not canted
Maintain humidity as close to 50 percent as possible
Preserve the Bible in an archival box
Store the Bible in the center of the closet (not the floor in case of flood and not on top in case of fire).
Keep the Bible family records updated with a note inside the front cover with recognizable names
Choose a responsible guardian to transfer the Bible to when you are ready
Invest in restoration and preservation by a professional bookbinder

Nothing lasts forever, at least in a physical form. Family Bibles, after 100 years, almost always need the preservative services of a professional bookbinder. With the proper restoration and conservation, this heirloom can reasonably last another 100 years. Select a good conservator and your family will enjoy and treasure your family Bible for many more generations.

Written by Max Marbles

13 January 2011

BBQ, Bonding and Cracking The Whip

Last month, Amy Coffin of WeTree and Denise Levenick, The Family Curator met for lunch while Amy was visiting Southern California for the holidays. I don't know how many adult beverages were consumed before they hatched a plan to set a few goals and a plan to complete them before the end of the year using the Buddy system. Next time I see them (most likely in June at Jamboree) I intend to buy them a round myself. Their plan is so simple, yet brilliant! Find a genealogy buddy who has no problem nagging and hounding you until you complete the goals that were set. Yeah, I know that encouraging and reminding are probably prettier and kinder words, but if truth be told, not very effective for me. I embrace the nag and hound as the motivators I know I need. I'll do anything, climb any mountain, swim any sea just to get the nag and hound to stop.

I also knew that I needed a "Buddy" who lived close enough so we can meet in person to check up on each other's goals. And most importantly I needed a Buddy who knew me, knew how important family history and genealogical research is to me and would not be afraid to crack that whip, so to speak. Cheryl Palmer over at Heritage Happens, fills all those requirements. She lives less than one hour from me and we were roommates at the 2009 Jamboree and heck, if you can share a room for 3 or 4 days without feeling the urge to stuff them into their suitcase and ship them home, then hey - BFF!

She posted her goals on her blog and thinking that Amy and Denise's plan would work for us, we made a date for lunch and met a couple of days ago to set some goals.

Cheryl discusses hers over on her blog, which you can see HERE. I came up with two things that I wanted to get done before the end of the year:

1. Write and submit a genealogical article to , well, anyplace that will take it.

2. For my educational goals for the year, I really wanted to do something different. After reading a post on Dear Myrtle's blog about a place called Second Life. Through the use of avatars, they get their genealogy groove-on. The group has recently been approved and is a bona fide chapter of the APG - Association of Professional Genealogists. I signed up on Second Life today. This goal is going to take me way longer than I had anticipated. I can't seem to even get my avatar dressed and when I tried to change the hair style and color of her hair - well it somehow got snatched off her head completely so now I have a naked and bald avatar prancing around make-believe land and have not a clue as how to save my avatar from certain destruction. At the very least a ticket for indecent exposure.

On a somewhat brighter note, I just made a commitment that will take care of that writing goal. Another old roommate of mine (this one from Samford) is a member of the Idaho State Genealogical Society. She contacted me and asked if I would please write up my story about Pauline and submit it for publication in their quarterly journal. When I did not give an answer to them right away, my husband looked me straight in the eye and said, "If not NOW, then WHEN?" So I replied that I would write the article for them.

They replied back with this: We need 15 pages and some photos and need it no later than February 28th. OMG ! Cheryl . . . start cracking that whip!

Me and Cheryl Palmer at Famous Dave's BBQ

11 January 2011

When Will It Happen To Me?

I am talking about Serendipity. Those special moments that every genealogist in the world has had. Except me.

So what started my whine? During my morning blog reading ritual (that is a whole 'nother topic) I came across a post over at FamHist who not only has his ancestors communicate with him on a semi-regular basis, but has people contacting him about the ghosts that occupy the land his ancestors used to own.

Sure I have had some of those "Aha" moments, but those are just moments my brain switches gears from blonde to brunette. Those are not serendipitous events. But it's not for lack of trying to have one.

I have photos of my ancestors all over my home. When I am working on one in particular I put their photo by my computer where I can see their smiling face. I figure that if I can stare them down, I'll get the answers I need from them. My family thinks that is just too damn creepy and give me lots of alone time until their "real Mom" comes back. Jeez, it's not like I have shrines or an altar and incense burning all the time.

I have tried sprinkling fairy dust and clapping my hands and clicking my heels together all in an attempt to strengthen my MoJo and be receptive in case an ancestor wants to make contact.  Not happening.

I think perhaps an Ancestor Whisperer might be the next step. 

05 January 2011

The 2011 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant

The 2011 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial

Student Genealogy Grant

Denise Levenick and her mother Suzanne Freeman at the 2009 Jamboree

Suzanne Freeman, mother of genealogy writer, Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, was an enthusiastic attendee at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree and a life-long supporter of youth activities and volunteerism. The 2011 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant pays tribute to these interests by offering a $500 grant to a young genealogist attending the 2011 SCGS Jamboree.

Any genealogist who is 18 to 25 years of age as of July 1, 2011 and a student within the last year is eligible to apply. Funds may be used for travel, lodging, and other conference-related expenses.

The SCGS Jamboree has become a premiere regional genealogy conference offering national speakers, workshops, and demonstrations. More than 1700 genealogists attended the 2010 event in Burbank, California.

Please help spread the word and encourage any young genealogists you know to apply for the 2011 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Grant.

The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Fund was established to honor Suzanne’s Freeman’s lifetime of service to young people and to assist young genealogists seeking to advance their genealogical education.

Suzanne Freeman was a life-long volunteer who worked with many youth organizations in the capacity of leader, organizer, and administrator. She also developed a strong interest in family history, and was delighted by the growing number of young student genealogists. She enjoyed attending the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree and at the time of her death in Tucson, Arizona August 28, 2010, was still searching for elusive Winsor cousins.

To honor her support of the SCGS Jamboree, the first Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant will be awarded to a young genealogist attending the 2011 Jamboree. The grant includes a check for $500 toward conference expenses.

Applicant Requirements –

  • Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 25 as of July 1, 2011.
  • Applicant must have been enrolled in a college, university, or secondary school within the last 12 months.
  • A completed Grant Application form must be received via email by 15 February 2011.
  • Applicant must attend the 2011 Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California.

Application Instructions –

Application materials should be sent by email to swfgrant@gmail.com with your last name in the subject line (Surname, SWF Grant Application).

  1. Complete and submit the Grant Application via email by 15 February 2011. Your application should be in .doc or .pdf format and submitted as an email attachment to swfgrant@gmail.com. An email receipt will verify successful receipt of your application.
  2. Optional, but strongly encouraged: Request a letter of recommendation from two individuals who can attest to your genealogy experience and interest. These may be letters of any length commenting on a specific research experience or academic accomplishment in the field of personal and family history observed by the individual.
    1. One letter of recommendation may be from a non-immediate family member, such as aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc.
    2. One or both letters may be from individuals active in the genealogy community.
    3. Letters should be emailed directly by the individual to swfgrant@gmail.com

The award recipient will be notified on or before 1 March 2011.

Only successfully received electronic submissions will be considered for the award. Recipient must attend the 2011 SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, California. The decision of the grant committee is final. Sponsor reserves the right to award more or less Grants, or not to award any Grant, if, in their sole discretion, a sufficient number of qualified applications is not received. Information provided in the application may be used for research, evaluation, and publicity purposes.