29 November 2011

I Am Just All Kinds of Festive!

Changing my blog design was the most scariest thing I have ever attempted tech-wise.  I hope I have done everything right so when the holidays are over, I can put things back the way they were.  If not, make friends with the peek-a-boo Santa above now.

It was actually pretty easy to do.  So easy that it makes me think I might have screwed something up. Ha Ha

Anywho, you can decorate your blog too!  If you are using the Blogger platform then I STRONGLY suggest you watch a couple of 3 minute videos by Thomas MacEntee.  Unless of course you are a tech geek, in which case never mind what I just said and get your blog all kinds of Festive!

If you are tech-challenged like me then head on over to Geneabloggers and read the post "Have You Decorated Your Blog For The Holidays?" and watch the 2 very short instructional videos.  Then take your new-found knowledge and head over to "Resources For Holiday Blog Decorating".  Plan on spending some time ogling the delicious holiday blog eye candy.  I changed my mind a hundred different times trying to decide on the decorations.

Once you have your blog decorated, shout it out loud so we can all come visit your place and be awed by your creative genius!

22 November 2011

From Me To You - A Thanksgiving Video


My gift to you.  You are welcome.


BILL WEST - West In New England

MARIAN PIERRE-LOUIS - Marian's Roots and Rambles

PAULA STUART WARREN - Paula's Genealogical Eclectica

RANDY SEAVER - GeneMusings

20 November 2011

What Do I Want From A Genealogy Society Website?

Did I happen to mention that I recently was appointed Secretary for the California State Genealogical Alliance?  No?  Well now you know.  I am so thrilled to be working with Alliance to further genealogical endeavors in the State of California.

The California State Genealogical Alliance Blog  is our current endeavor to reach out to not only the membership, but to the entire genealogical community.  Managed by Gena Ortega, there are currently four bloggers:  CSGA webmaster, Cat Nielsen will be posting about  CSGA webite news.  Special Projects Chair Cath Madden Trindle, CG will report on Alliance projects , the Online California Research Guide and give reviews of California resources.  Legislative Watch Chair Junel Davidsen, CG will keeps us updated on legislation that affects the genealogical community and present a "Find of the Month."  And me?   I will be contributing to the blog with a monthly spotlight on member societies and present a Volunteer of the Month.  Do you know of a volunteer that deserves special recognition for their efforts?  Please contact me by either leaving a comment or email me directly at  :   sherifenley at gmail dot com    so I can make them a rock star.

Writing the first post that spotlights a genealogical society got me to thinking - what do I want to see on a genealogy society website?  I am tech-challenged beyond mortal comprehension so I am not sure how difficult it is to make the items on my list happen, but for what it may be worth here is what I like to see on a genealogy society website:

I adore sites that have  a clean, sharp, uncluttered  look and are easy to navigate.

The landing page of a society's website should tell me exactly what I am going to find on the site and clearly labeled buttons for me to click and take me there.  Example:  Let's say I read somewhere that Our City Genealogical Society has an obituary index located on their website.  When I arrive at the website I do not want to have to spend time looking for it. There should be a button for me to click on and whisk me away to the index.

One of the first things I look for are PHOTOS - photos of special and even not so special events and meetings that include the membership.  Photos that show the benefits of membership.  Photos of smiling genealogists enjoying time spent with others who share the same interest and passion.  Photos that make me want to belong.

Another section I really enjoy is the History of the Society.  When was it established?  How many people are currently members?  Who was the first president?  Special achievements?

An important part that I see lacking on many websites is the Contact Page.  It does not please me when the only way to contact the society is to mail  a letter to a P.O. Box.   Who are the current board members and what is their email address?  I appreciate the convenience of  a contact form right there on the site to fill out.

One of the best ways to get the feel for a society and the way they run things is to read their Newsletters.  I understand that the most current newsletter is a benefit of membership and have no problem with that. However, a sample of a  newsletter from the last year is not an unreasonable request.   I have come across quite a few society websites that only have newsletters from 10 years ago.

And last, but certainly not least is the section about Membership.  In a perfect genealogy world, one could become a member simply by filling out an online form then click a button to pay the dues online.  Having to print an application form, fill it out by hand, write a check, buy a stamp and mail it practically guarantees that I won't be a member of that society anytime soon.  I am lazy that way.  Make it as easy as possible for people  and I'm going to bet that you will see membership numbers rise.

So there you have it.  My rants and raves.  What about you?  What do you want from a genealogy website?

16 November 2011

My Flip Pal Project

I had envisioned using the Flip Pal as the sharpest tool in my onsite research kit.  Totally for book nerdy geekoid uses, oh let me count the ways!

Wracking my brain to come up with something artsy-crafty has almost put me in a coma.  I did not inherit the Martha Stewart gene from my mother, much to her chagrin.  However -  I did have my mother in mind when I finally came up with this home made gift for her.

Lately, the first sentence out of my mother's mouth has been - "I don't see enough of you!"  Mother lives a mere 2 1/2 hours away from me and I really need to make an effort to spend more time with her.  So this is where my brilliant, oh so clever idea for a gift stems from.  My mother wants to see more of me.  Well, with the help of my little friend Flip Pal, I am going to create a one of a kind gift that I'll bet never, ever occurred to Martha Stewart.


1  legal size piece of paper, a paper doll figure pattern,  6 little photos of me ( I suppose you could substitute a different photo, but it wouldn't mean as much to my mother), a couple of festive-colored garments of your chosing - I chose a green velour jacket and a  red sweatshirt that my mother made me take home the last time I visited with her. ( Bonus points for  using something with  sentimental value.), red and green markers and glue.


Fold the paper in half lengthwise.  Then fold the paper accordian style 2 inches in width.

Trace the doll figure onto the folded paper.  Draw the lines for the hands and feet all the way to the edges of the paper.  Next cut out the doll through the whole thing taking care not to cut in the red "x" area as shown above.  When you are finished cutting, stretch out the paper.  Do you have something that resembles this? :

If you answered yes, then move along to the next part.  If what you have isn't even close, then talk to me after class - there are support groups to help you with this kind of thing.

OK, here is where the Flip Pal comes into play.  To make dresses for the me-dolls, I first scanned the red sweater and then the green jacket, printed the scans and then cut out hourglass shapes  for dresses.   


I am going to tie a ribbon to the donuts on the ends of the hands so Mother can hang me practically anywhere she choses.   I think this is a huge step up from the reindeer ornament, don't you?   

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Flip-Pal which means that when you click on a link, graphic or text, and then purchase from them, I receive a small referral commission. Flip-Pal provided me with an evaluation scanner to participate in the Simple Gifts Blog Hop, which I will not be required to return.

Be sure to visit the other participants in the Flip Pal Simple Gifts genealogy blog hop:

Drusilla Pair
Find Your Folks

Marian Pierre-Louis

          Marian's Roots and Rambles

Caroline Pointer

For Your Family Story

Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Nutfield Genealogy

Nancy Shively

Gathering Stories

Julie Cahill Tarr


09 November 2011

The Results From the APG Election Are In!

Association of Professional Genealogists Announces Election Results for Executive Committee, Regional Directors and Nominating Committee

Kenyatta D. Berry Elected APG President

WESTMINSTER, Colo., November 9, 2011−The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) today announced election results for its 2012–2014 executive committee, as well as for nine regional directors and two new nominating committee members. Kenyatta D. Berry of Santa Monica, Calif. was elected president. Berry, a genealogist, entrepreneur and lawyer with more than 15 years of experience in genealogy research and writing, served as APG vice president during the last term. She will succeed Laura G. Prescott of Brookline, New Hampshire.

“I am honored to be elected and excited at the depth and breadth of experience represented by our incoming officers, board and committee members,” said Berry. “APG made great strides during the last administration, growing to more than 2,400 members, adding new Chapters and expanding internationally. I look forward to continuing the important work of this organization.”

Kimberly D. Powell of Pennsylvania was elected APG vice president. Powell has been writing and blogging on genealogy for About.com since 2000. She is the author of several genealogy books and currently serves as a member on the APG board.

Janice S. Prater of Denver, Colo. will serve as secretary. Prater is the editor of the International Society of British Genealogy and Family History’s quarterly publication and is treasurer for the Colorado Chapter of APG. APG treasurer will be Joan Peake of West Virginia, a certified public accountant and the president of the Great Lakes Chapter of APG and the Fayette Ohio Genealogical Society.

APG members elected the following regional directors:

West region: Jean Wilcox Hibben, CG, is president of the Southern California Chapter of APG and the Corona (Calif.) Genealogical Society, secretary of the Genealogical Speakers Guild. Joan A. Hunter, MLS, CG, serves as Librarian General for the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and is a past president of the Oregon Chapter of APG.

Midwest region: Billie Stone Fogarty, M.Ed., fulltime genealogist and lecturer and president of the Genealogical Speakers Guild. Jay H. Fonkert, CG, is a fulltime genealogist, lecturer and writer and a founder of the Northland APG Chapter.

Southeast region: Alvie L. DavidsonCG, is a Florida-based private investigator and circuit court qualified expert, specializing in missing persons and genealogical applications of investigations. Michael Hait, CG, is a professional genealogy researcher, writer and lecturer who currently serves as vice president of the National Capital Area Chapter of APG.

Northeast region: Debra Braverman is a professional genealogist in New York City, specializing in due diligence for trust and estates matters, and 19th–21st century New York research. Michael Leclerc of Massachusetts is a genealogist who most recently served as director of special projects at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

International regions: Michael Goldstein of Israel, traces roots worldwide, specializing in family reunification, heir searches and Holocaust research.

Elected to one-year terms on the nominations committee are: Jana Sloan Broglin, CG, a director for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and Debby Horton, professional genealogist and web designer.

About APG
The Association of Professional Genealogists (www.apgen.org), established in 1979, represents more than 2,400 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter (www.twitter.com/apggenealogy) and FaceBook (www.facebook.com/AssociationofProfessionalGenealogists).

Media Contacts:
Kathleen W. Hinckley, CG, Executive Director,
Association of Professional Genealogists
P.O. Box 350998, Westminster, CO 80035-0998
Phone 303-422-9371, fax 303-456-8825, email 

Corey Oiesen, Communications Officer
Association of Professional Genealogists

APG is a registered trademark of the Association of Professional Genealogists. All other trade and service marks are property of their respective owners.

07 November 2011

Thank You Flip Pal Fairy Godmother and an Apology to the UPS Man

The fine people at Flip Pal have revealed the names of the genealogy bloggers selected to participate in SIMPLE GIFTS - A BLOG HOP that will run from November 4 to November 25, 2011 using the Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner.

There were 7 bloggers selected and they are all wonderful choices!

Drusilla Pair
Find Your Folks

I just love this photo of Professor Dru!

Marian Pierre-Louis

          Marian's Roots and Rambles

Caroline Pointer

For Your Family Story

Heather Wilkinson Rojo

Nutfield Genealogy

Nancy Shively

Gathering Stories

Julie Cahill Tarr


Each of these ladies has a style so uniquely their own and I can't wait to see what they bring to the gift creating table. I am so thrilled to have been chosen as one of seven genealogy bloggers to receive a Flip Pal for evaluation and to  take part in the challenge to create simple gifts and holiday decorations using the scanner.

One of the requirements of participating in this Blog-Hop is to document my adventures with the Flip Pal.  Well my adventure began even before it arrived at my house.  Here's the story: 

  My neighborhood has its own regular UPS Delivery Man or so I have been told by those who have actually seen him.  This guy is a Ninja and his usual M.O. is this:  He usually will show up before noon.  I can hear that truck when it's 3 blocks away and  I start to sprint down the hallway towards the front door.  I only make it halfway when I hear the doorbell ring - one long, two short and one long - that's the UPS Ninja's morse code notifying me that there is a package on my porch.  By the time I get to the door, all I can see is the white smoke blowing out the truck's tailpipe and the faint grinding of gears as the Ninja makes his getaway.  

So . . . after I was notified that my Flip Pal was on its way to me, I used my mathematical skills to calculate  the  ETA  of the UPS truck pulling up in front of my house.  I filled a thermos with coffee, grabbed my sleeping bag, my netbook and my camera and set up camp under the stairs of my front porch.  I was able to get one photo before I crawled out from under the stairs.  It seems that I scared the bejeesus out of the guy when I came our whooping and hollering with my camera.  He tossed me the box, got back in his truck, slammed the door shut AND locked it!  Some Ninja he turned out to be, scared of a crazy lady doing a happy dance on the porch.

I'll bet that his Fairy Godmother looks like this:

I'll be back to share more of my adventure later this week!