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Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 09:00 am
( 49 / 49 )  
It’s 9:00am and I’m going to bed. :)

Thank for you helping me raise $200 for the Association for International Cancer Research. Thank you to all my sponsors, the people who left me comments and the people who helped to keep me awake all night. ♥ I met some great people this year.

Together we've raised over $97,000. Congratulations everyone! :)

From what I understand, sponsorships will be closed sometime this weekend/Monday-ish. If you’d still like to sponsor me and have a chance at winning the goodie box, HP hand-knit scarf or the hand-knit socks, please make sure to sponsor me by then. :) Winners will be contacted via email.

I can’t wait to do this again. See you all next year! :)

I’m going to bed. Good night/morning! *waves*
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 08:31 am
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This wraps up my genealogy posts for the night. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them... or at least didn’t hate reading them. *grin* I hope I didn’t scare any of you into never ever wanting to do family history research. *giggle* I’m sure the posts and information would have been much better had I not waited until the last minute to decide I was going to talk about genealogy.

Prepared? Me? :P

(Just half an hour to go!)
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 08:00 am
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I’d like to take a moment to talk about why I’m blogging for the Association for International Cancer Research.

My husband and I have lost many family members over the years to cancer, but it hit a little closer to home recently when my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. Fortunately it was caught early enough so there were plenty of treatment options available and it hadn’t had time to spread. There is an excellent cancer treatment facility here in town, so he was able to get the help he needed.

Without the research done by organizations like AICR, my father wouldn’t have been able to win his fight against cancer, nor would anyone else in his position. Cancer is a disease that most of us have had an experience with, in one form or another.

So far during this Blogathon I have raised $100 for this charity in addition to the $105 I raised for it last year. I am proud to do my small part in the fight against cancer. I believe cancer research is very important and I hope that through such research more people can win their fight against cancer, as my father has.

Please take a moment to sponsor me. Every dollar helps save lives.
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 07:30 am
( 46 / 49 )  
Sources are probably the most important part of family history research. Remember throughout school how you were always told to “cite your sources?” Well, it’s no different here.

“Genealogy without sources is mythology.”

I could write on a piece of paper that Elvis Presley and Cleopatra are my parents, but unless I have some sort of evidence to back that up, it’s not exactly credible, is it? The more sources you have to prove any particular piece of information, the more believable that piece of information is.

It’s also extremely embarrassing to have dates and other information recorded in your genealogy program and when someone asks you where you got this information.... you have to reply, “I don’t know.” If you cite your sources the first time around, you won’t have this problem. It’s probably the most common problem among genealogists, “I wish I would have started earlier.”

A good rule of thumb is if someone else is able to find the exact same bit of information from the sources you provided, you’ve done your job well. The idea is for someone to be able to pick up your notes and see exactly where you’ve been. If you gave all of your genealogy notes to someone else, would they be able to pick right up where you left off? Or would they throw the whole jumbled mess away?

Here are a couple of websites about citing your sources:

Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 06:59 am
( 45 / 49 )  
The hubby decided to wake up anyway. I told him he could go back to sleep, but he insists on staying up with me until 9:00am. :) ♥

My feet hurt. I think since he insists on staying awake I'll put him to good use by having him rub my feet. ;) Hey, I've been up all night blogging for charity, so I deserve it... right? *giggle*
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 06:29 am
( 44 / 49 )  
Most message boards are free for everyone to use. Posting a simple message lets you get your information out to a wide range of people and allows you to communicate with others easily.

Posting an effective message is key. You want it to be clean and concise and to clearly state exactly what it is you are looking for. If you post a query to a ‘Jones Family’ message board saying, “I’m looking for people researching the Jones family in New York State,” you probably won’t get many replies. However, if you give specific details (name, birth and death dates, spouse and family names) you will have a much better chance of getting a reply. If you don’t know what you are looking for, how is anyone else supposed to know?

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive a reply right away. Sometimes it takes a while. I’ve had people reply to posts I’ve made on message boards years after I posted them.

Be sure to keep your email addresses updated on forum message boards. It’s so annoying when I’ve found a connection with someone and I can’t get in touch with them because their email address is no longer in use.

Ancestry.com Message Boards
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 06:00 am
( 43 / 49 )  
It's starting to get light outside. The sun will be up pretty soon. And that means I'll be able to go to sleep. :D

How's everyone doing? Still hanging in there? Everyone has been doing such a great job. :) I've been having such a wonderful time tonight.

The hubby is supposed to be waking up in about a half hour to help keep me awake. I may not need his help after all, so I'll probably just let him sleep. He's been working so many hours lately and I know he is exhausted. He needs a vacation. Badly. :( I hope to have him take one of his weeks of vacation within the next month or so. Even if we just spend the time lounging around the house playing video games, it would still be great for him. (And me. *grin*)
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 05:28 am
( 42 / 49 )  
I have always loved cemeteries. Even when I was just a little kid, I used to beg my parents to take me to the cemeteries where their grandparents and other relatives were buried. (I wasn’t a very morbid child, was I? *grin*) I don’t know what caused my initial fixation with cemeteries, but it has stuck with me ever since.

Headstones amaze me. There are some that are just so beautiful, so delicately crafted and detailed. I’ve seen ones with multiple generations of family trees carved right into the stone and others that had pictures of the deceased right on the headstone itself. I’ve always seen cemeteries as lovely, peaceful places. They’ve always been very special to me, and I love to visit any cemetery I can.

Did you know that the symbols on gravestones often stand for something else? They’re not always there just to look pretty. ;) Here are a few websites that explain cemetery symbols:

Saving Graves
Victorian Cemetery Symbolism
Cemetery Symbols
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 05:00 am
( 41 / 49 )  
I'd like some more juice, but I don't feel like going downstairs to get it. I know I should probably get up and walk around, but... I don't want to now. :P The hubby is sleeping, and I don't want to wake him. I guess I'm just going to be juice-less and thirst to death for a few more hours.

(Okay, I'm not really that thirsty.)

Man, these Wheat Thins are really crunchy. I may just end up waking the hubby up by accident from munching on these.
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 04:29 am
( 40 / 49 )  
Newspapers can be a great source of information about your ancestor’s everyday lives. In addition to obituaries, they can provide us with a look at what it was like to have lived during their time.

If you’re ever searching through old newspapers for an obituary, or just reading one for the fun of it, take time to read the articles scattered through the paper. You’d be amazed by how different “every day life” was one hundred years ago… and how similar. One of my favorite things to read in old newspapers is the “gossip column.” I’ve found more than one extremely useful tidbit in those sections.

I’ve been able to do a lot of newspaper research online through my Ancestry.com subscription. There are quite a few newspapers available from the area of Ohio that my husband’s maternal family is from, and I have found several hundred articles about them. I’ve been able to organize the articles into a semi-timeline to get a better look at their lives. It makes these people seem more like people instead of just names and dates on a sheet of paper.
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 03:59 am
( 39 / 49 )  
Only five more hours! :D

Only. *grin*

When I was a kid, my grandmother used to get annoyed by me saying "only."

"But Grandma, it's only fifty dollars!"
"But Grandma... I've only had three popsicles."

I miss her. She passed away fifteen years ago. I'd give anything to have only one more day with her.
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 03:30 am
( 38 / 49 )  
There are many people who research their family history for medical purposes. Knowing if diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease run in your family can be immensely useful information to protect yourself.

There are even programs out there that will help you keep track of this information. GeneWeaver is a program made specifically for medical genealogy and creating a family health history.
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 03:00 am
( 37 / 49 )  
Only six hours left. :D

Number of blogs: 300      Total pledges: 92,073.68

The number of bloggers is still dropping, but the pledge amount is rapidly approaching 100,000. :D

This is probably the latest I've stayed up in a long time. Probably since last year's Blogathon, actually. I'm lame and usually go to bed around midnight every night. :P Aren't you envious of my ever-so-exciting life? :P
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 02:31 am
( 36 / 49 )  
People join genealogical societies for different reasons: the benefits they offer, the group projects, or that sense of being part of a group that understands your obsession with genealogy. ;) Most societies have a small membership fee to pay when you join, but it’s usually more than worth what you’ll get back from being part of the group. These people take part in group efforts to compile, transcribe, preserve, and make other genealogical documents available for research. Many societies offer quarterly newsletters, genealogical look-ups, guest speakers and classes on various topics, and they may also have access to local resources and records not found anywhere else.

A lot of people are members of more than one genealogical society, sometimes from different cities, counties, states, or even countries! Unless your family has lived in the same place for the past few hundred years, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check out what other societies have to offer. Even though you may live several states away, you never know what you’ll be able to find through the local society.

My husband’s mother’s side of the family is from the Northern Ohio area, so I have been looking into one of the genealogical societies there and I have been getting a ton of new information. The society there is much more active than the ones around here, and the website is so much better. It never hurts to look and see what other places have to offer. :)
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 02:00 am
( 35 / 49 )  
I think I may go take a quick cold shower in a little while to wake up a bit more. I'm feeling awfully stiff from sitting in this computer chair for all these hours. It's time like these I wish I had a laptop.

Or a lapdance. I guess that would be okay too.

It seems like things have grown much quieter in blogland. I'll have to start surfing the blogathon frame to see what everyone else is up to at this hour.
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 01:28 am
( 34 / 49 )  
Volunteers are a very large part of most people's genealogical research. As I’ve mentioned before, it is sometimes hard to physically go to the area where your ancestors lived. Fortunately, there are many, many volunteers around the world who are more than happy to assist you in your research, from looking up obituaries in local newspapers, to going to the courthouse and going through probate files to taking pictures of your great-great-grandfather’s headstone. There are many websites where you can find people to help you, although you should keep a few things in mind. First of all, remember that these are volunteers – people who are helping you during their own personal time. Mind your manners, and don’t ask for overwhelming types of information. (For example, “I need you to take pictures of everybody with the last name of Smith in the City Cemetery.” Or “I need an obituary for John Smith. He died in New York City sometime after 1906.”) Although many people will offer their services for free, in most cases it is expected they will be reimbursed for copies and postage. Whatever the cost, it is usually much, much cheaper than going through official government offices or hiring a professional researcher.

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness and Rootsweb’s Obituary Lookups are two of my favorite sites for finding volunteers.

Why not volunteer some time yourself? Whether it be looking up obituaries at your local library a few times a month or taking a picture of a long forgotten headstone in an old cemetery for somebody, every bit of information helps someone. Even if you are only able to help one person, that is still one person whose brick wall you may have helped to topple.
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 12:59 am
( 33 / 49 )  
It appears the severe weather alert has been called off for now. I don't hear thunder anymore and the lights have stopped flickering. I'm so very glad for that.

I'm sending the hubby to bed so he can get up extra early in the morning before he goes to work so he can help keep me awake. He doesn't mind. He said he wanted to stay up with me all night. lol If only he didn't have to work tomorrow. *sigh*

I've started in on the Hershey Kisses and m&ms. *shares*
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 @ 12:30 am
( 32 / 49 )  
Do you have home videos stored away in your house, but haven’t had a device that plays those formats in years? Maybe it’s time to transfer them over to DVDs. For the best quality it would be ideal to have them done by a professional, but you can certainly do it yourself with the right equipment. They now have DVD/VCR players where you can put a video cassette in one side and record directly onto a DVD on the other side. A lot of people prefer to transfer the movies to their computer (usually using some type of audio/video capture device) and edit the movies before burning them to DVDs.

A quick look in your local telephone directory will give you a list of places to have your family movies digitized. Technology is constantly changing – just think of the video types that have come and gone in your lifetime: Laser Disks, Betamax, and now even VHS to a certain extent. It’s always a good idea to update your precious movies to the latest technology, just in case. You never know when the next device will become obsolete and you won’t be able to play those types any longer.
Saturday, July 29th, 2006 @ 11:58 pm
( 31 / 49 )  
Eeep. I can hear thunder in the distance and our lights are starting to flicker a little bit. I hope we don't lose power. I just looked at the weather page and it says:

Tonight: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. Low 66F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 40%.

Ugh. I just refreshed the page and now there's a Severe Weather Alert.

What happens Blogathon-wise if the electric goes out here? :(
Saturday, July 29th, 2006 @ 11:29 pm
( 30 / 49 )  
There are several common genealogy myths that people are only too happy to believe and perpetuate. This is one of the aspects of genealogy that really gets on my nerves. Especially due to people on my husband's side of the family who insist that in their cases these "really are true!" *rolls eyes*

This is one of my favorite articles about genealogy myths. It’s a little long, but well worth the read for debunking these myths. Take a few minutes to read it before the next time you go around telling your friends that you are related to that famous guy on tv with the same last name as you.
Saturday, July 29th, 2006 @ 10:59 pm
( 29 / 49 )  
I didn't get any knitting done today like I had planned. It is too late for me to start now. Knitting totally relaxes me and makes me sort of sleepy and comfortable, so I don't dare start now. :P

Oh well. Most of my "good yarn" has already been packed anyway. My wool and alpaca and silk. I'm such a yarn snob. *grin*

I almost always have a pair of socks on my knitting needles because hand-knit socks are the most comfy thing in the world. I have several pairs, and I now only wear socks that I've knit myself. :)
Saturday, July 29th, 2006 @ 10:31 pm
( 28 / 49 )  
Census records are one of my favorite things to research. Besides the horde of information they contain, they also give an impression of the family’s life at a glance. By looking at the people living around your ancestors, you can in fact gain a lot of information about your ancestors themselves and even find additional family members. I have found several people in my family tree by looking “down the street” from the family I’m researching. You can learn a lot by looking at the people who live around your ancestors. Were they all immigrants from a particular country? Did they all work at the local mill? Were family members living right next door? Sometimes friends and family members lived right next door to each other over a period of years so it's important to track these people as well. I recently (as in, two days ago) found out that one of the families that lived next door for over 30 years to a family I was researching, that they were actually related to one another. The son from one family married the daughter of the other. As I started going back through my records I found that they were also buried quite close to this family in the cemetery.

Here is a picture of the binder of census records I have transcribed into my notes for both my family and my husband's.

I have over 300 pages in this folder (you wouldn’t believe how heavy this is) and I have several others that still need to be transcribed, filed and entered into my database. I did most of these over a period of just a few months. I love looking through census records. ♥
Saturday, July 29th, 2006 @ 10:01 pm
( 27 / 49 )  
Yum. The pizza is delicious. ♥

At least this room is starting to cool down a bit. It was too hot in here today. I think I'd rather it be too cold in here... it would definitely help keep me awake.

Man, this is some damn good pizza. *shares*
Saturday, July 29th, 2006 @ 09:30 pm
( 26 / 49 )  
The U.S. Federal Census is just one of many different census types. The first U.S. Federal Census was conducted in 1790 and has been taken every 10 years since then. Between 1790 and 1840, only the heads of households were listed, along with marks that indicated the number of persons living in each household (family members and slaves). The 1850 census was the first to list each individual living in the household along with their age, gender, race, occupation and birthplace. It even included columns to record people over the age of 20 who could not read or write, and members of the household who were “deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict.”

The 1930 census is the most recent one available to the public. Due to privacy issues, they are not released until 72 years after the enumeration date. (For example, the 1940 census will be available in 2012.) 1930 includes the name of each person in the household and their relationship to the head of the household, age at last birthday, age at first marriage, whether they are able to read and write, place of birth, parents’ place of birth, year of immigration, occupation, whether or not they are a veteran, as well as other information.

Unfortunately, the majority of the 1890 census was destroyed by a fire. Most people researching their family tree now have a 20 year gap between 1880 and 1900. A lot can happen in 20 years! I've "lost" plenty of people between those census years. Fortunately, there are other substitutes, and most states take State censuses every five years so it's not a total loss.
Saturday, July 29th, 2006 @ 09:01 pm
( 25 / 49 )  
It's 9:00. Twelve hours in. Officially half way. :D Remember, there's (at least) 49 posts - gotta make that one right there at the end. ;)

The hubby will be getting out of work soon and bringing home pizza for me us. I've always been a plain cheese and pepperoni type of girl, but tonight we're getting the meat lover's pizza from Pizza Hut. < insert obscene comments about 'meat lovers' here >

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Since another six hours have passed, I'm going to plug myself again. Wow, this post is just full of innuendos, isn't it? :P

If you'd like to win any of the goodies in this post, be sure to sponsor me. And once again, thank you to the wonderful people who have sponsored me already. ♥