Find My Ancestor Blog
6Apr/110

Geni.com 12-Month Pro Account Winner

Last week I ran a contest on the Mobile Monday Series about using your mobile phone or any other device you have used to do your genealogy on. I received blog comments, emails and Twitter comments of people telling me what their favorite apps were, what they would like to see in mobile apps and various other ways they use their devices. In exchange for them telling me and all of you how they use their mobile device, one luck winner received a free 12-month Geni.com Pro Account.

I am happy to announce that Angie from Angie's Roots Are Showing blog! Although Angie does not have a smartphone with apps, she told us about another mobile device that has helped her learn more about her ancestor's place of residence. Below is what Angie had to say:
I have a pretty simple phone, and don’t really utilize apps. However, I recently received a nookcolor for my birthday, and made a fun discovery! I started doing searches for names, places, etc in my family history and found that people have put a great number of old documents in E-reader form, and many of them are free downloads. For example, I was able to find a program from the early 1900s, celebrating the Centennial of Guyandotte, WVa (the town where my ggg-grandparents settled after they married.) This gave a a great glimpse into life in the town they lived in! I’ve had a lot of fun browsing for hidden jewels!
Angie gave us a great example of implementing technology and mobile devices in our research. I have asked Angie to tell us a little more about her, how she got involved in genealogy and her great genealogy blog. If you have not yet been to Angie's blog, I highly recommend it! Thank you to everyone to contributed as well as to Geni.com for the great prize!

About Angie

I consider my grandfather to be the reason I became interested in family history. He has, over the years, carefully guarded old family photos and heirlooms. He keeps them hid away in his bedroom, and occasionally, if you ask nicely, he will bring out a sampling for you to see. (Now that I’ve been at genealogy as long as I have, I’ve worn him down some, and he is more willing to bring out large numbers of photos at a time for me to scan in, but there are still things hidden in that room that I’ve yet to see!)
I think the one thing he showed me that really infected me with the genealogy bug was a newspaper clipping from an unknown West Virginia newspaper. It recounted the story of my 3rd great grandparents, and how they came to settle in the Cabell County, West Virginia area. The article was written in the last years of my ggg-grandmother’s life, and I’ve later come to find that a lot of the information in the writing was romanticized, and not entirely accurate. However, I was hooked from that moment on!
I bought a copy of Family Tree Maker in either 1998 or 1999, and started digging away on the internet. Almost all of my research has been done online, and it took me along time, and much frustration, to learn the importance of verifying sources. I started my blog last year as a place to organize and share my findings, and to hopefully connect with others who a researching the same lines as me. Next week, I am planning my first ever hands on research experience, as I am traveling to Cabell County, West Virginia to see what I can dig up!
As for what I mentioned on [Find My Ancestor], my husband bought me a nook color for my birthday in February. For starters, it is an excellent way to keep up on blogs! The nook has built-in WiFi and I can log on google reader and check out blogs I’ve subscribed to at any time. The mobile formatting suits the layout of blogs very well, and I find them more easy and enjoyable to read on the nook.
You can also download PDFs to your nook, and I have taken advantage of this feature several times. For example, I recently downloaded the entire roster and history of the 54th North Carolina Infantry to learn more about my ancestor’s service in the Civil War. It’s easy to read and portable, so I can take it with me wherever I go.
There is a “shop” feature on the nook, where you can purchase ebooks and have them downloaded directly to your device. On a whim, I started searching for surnames, towns, etc that related to my family history, and I have found several interesting titles, most of them available for free download. For example, I found a copy of Guyandotte, West Virginia’s Centennial celebration from 1915. My ancestors lived in the Guyandotte area at the time, and I was able to read about the people, places, and events that were a part of their everyday life at that time.
 

4Apr/110

Weekly Genealogy Wallpaper – 4/4/2011

Here is your Weekly Genealogy Wallpaper! I am going to start including some more information along with these wallpapers from time to time. Whenever I create a historical wallpaper or a location based wallpaper I will include other blogs, websites, histories and other information. Also, many of you will notice the sizes of wallpaper has changed. After a couple months of making these wallpapers and monitoring the stats of the visitors of this blog and website I have decided to modify the wallpaper sizes to better fit your computer monitor. The new sizes are close if not exact sizes of the most common monitor resolutions of the visitors. I hope these sizes will work better for your computers. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Civil War Wallpaper  

1861–1865

The Civil War

Civil War Blogs

Civil War Records

Civil War Education

Civil War Photos

25Mar/111

Share the Genealogy Wallpapers with Others

Recently I have gotten quite a few emails from people saying how much they enjoy the Genealogy Wallpapers I post each week for you to download. First of all, let me say thank you to all of you who have left comments or sent me emails with the complements you have given me. I really enjoy creating these wallpapers and I'm glad you are enjoying them. I have had a few people ask me if they could post the wallpaper on their blog, email it to a friend or share it in other ways with their genealogy friends and family. I decided to create a "terms of use" page on the website. In general, this page talks about how much I enjoy making these wallpapers and how I want to continue to give them to you for free. I also talk about where I get the graphics/images for the wallpapers. I also specify where and how I would like you to share the Genealogy Wallpapers with others if you choose to do so. One of the ways you can help share the Genealogy Wallpapers with others is by placing the Wallpaper Widget I created in your own website or blog's sidebar. Below is the widget along with the HTML code you need to place in your sidebar. Again, this is not mandatory, but if you would like to help share these wallpapers with others it is a simple and easy way for others to find them.

If you are not sure how to add the HTML code above to your blog, instructions on how to add this for Blogger users are below: Once you log into your Blogger account, click on Design on your Blogger Dashboard. You will see that this is where you can add "Gadgets" to your sidebar. Click on "Add a Gadget" and scroll down until you find "HTML/Javascript". Click the little plus button to add it to your sidebar. After you click the plus button, the next window that pops up is where you will paste the HTML code from above. On this screen you can add a title to the Gadget if you want, but it isn't required. After you add the HTML code, simply click Save. Now the Genealogy Wallpapers Gadget will be on your blog's sidebar. Thanks again for all your compliments on the wallpapers and for those of you who add this Gadget to your sidebar to help share them with others! If you have any other questions, please read the Terms of Use or contact me!

14Mar/119

Mobile Monday – Making Your Blog Mobile Friendly Using WordPress

fma_blog_mobile_iphone_compareIn my last couple of Mobile Monday posts I have been talking about making your genealogy blog "mobile friendly" which means that you install a template or a plugin on your blog so that people who view your blog on their mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad, Android device or any other kind of smart phone or tablet visit your blog they see a mobile version that does not make it look so cluttered and confusing on the smaller screens. I don't know about you but I tend to read all of my blogs I follow either on my iPhone or iPad. They are both so convenient for me to catch up on what is going on in the genealogy community because I always have them with me. Sometimes when I view a blog that isn't "mobile friendly" is is hard to not get confused with all the other things that are on the screen. By making your blog "mobile friendly" readers and easily read your blog posts in a very simple interface. I am curious, how many of you out there use your mobile device regularly to read other genealogy bloggers posts? Leave a comment below and let us all know! I think the more of us that want blogs to be "mobile friendly" the more we will see them become that way! So, last post I had a video showing you Blogger users how to make your genealogy blog "mobile friendly". Today I am going to show you a video for you WordPress.org users. I am not sure if this same process works for those of you who have WordPress.com blogs. Please let us know if it does!
Be sure to also subscribe to my YouTube Channel for future videos I will be posting in the future!