Sunday, July 31, 2011

Raking The Ashes Second Edition

The California Genealogical Society (CGS) has announced this book, Raking The Ashes by Nancy Peterson, Second Edition, has been released! If you are researching San Francisco based ancestors, this book is a must have! It will assist you regarding the lost records in the 1906 earthquake and even assist you in working  around other areas where records may have been lost. 

The first book was published in 2006, this, the second edition has been substantially updated and expanded. This book has been published by the California Genealogical Society and retails for $25.00.

For further information please check out the Raking The Ashes Website, the California Genealogical Society, and /or the California Genealogical Society & Library Blog at California Ancestors.Com

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

#31WBGB: Analyze a Top Genealogy Blog ~ Week 4


Welcome to Week 4 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!  If you are just joining, you can read the kickoff post at the host's site for this series, Tonia's Roots! 
Week 4’s topic is analyzing a top genealogy blog.  The purpose Welcome to Week 4 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog, kindly hosted by Tonia at here is simply to observe and learn from others.  You probably already read a lot of genealogy blogs (we are a pretty close community), so pick one that you admire, dig in, and think about some of the following:
§                     What topics are they covering?
§                     What topics are they ignoring?
§                     How often do they post?
Reader Engagement
§                     What topics generate the most comments?
§                     What styles of posts seem to connect with readers the best?
§                     Are they using any tools to connect with their readers (i.e. forums, Twitter, newsletters, activities, etc.)
§                     What’s your first impression of their design?
§                     What have they done well?
§                     Is there anything that could be improved?
§                     Are they doing anything to make money from the blog?  Affiliate programs?  Google ads? Do they have sponsors?
§                     If yes, what kinds of advertisers are targeting this blog?
§                     How do they implement monetization efforts on their site?  Sidebar?  Footer?  Within the content?


1.                   Don’t spend so much time analyzing other blogs that you lose focus of your own.  This analysis is something to do from time to time.
2.                  Be unique.  Learn from others and be inspired by them, but don’t copy them.

It was more than difficult to pick one single blog to observe, it really was. I finally chose to observe DearMYRTLE'S Blog ~ hers is one of the first blogs I began to follow. Before I ever had a blog, she posted one of my pictures on her blog!

Content- One of my favorite things covered on this blog is her organization series! The blog also covers apps, education, announcements, podcasts, webinars, and even DearMYRTLE'S appearances. Any and everything genealogical is in this blog. She posts almost daily and many times more than once a day. This blog covers a lot of territory!

Reader Engagement- I don't know how anyone can not follow this blog. There may be posts that won't interest everyone, but I am sure in a day or two there is a post that will keep you coming back for more. With the wide variety of content, this blog is bound to catch the attention of many readers, as is shown by all of the blogs followers.

Design- I love the categories and organization of this blog. I am in the midst of several things, but eventually I would like to get my tabs at the top of my blog complete. I like that she has the "Subscribe," "Listen Now," "Search This Blog"  and the "Subscribe to Blog Podcast" buttons all in plain site and easy to get to. In the beginning I wasn't wild about the background of her blog, but over time it has grown on me and I truly recognize that this is in fact "DearMYRTLE'S Blog!"

Monetization- The couple of areas this blog features are links where she shares a few books. These are added at the very bottom of the blog, which in all honesty I wasn't even aware of! I am not sure how productive that is for her. I liked that they were not "in my face" but then I didn't even realize she had these options, maybe there could be a happy medium somewhere.

I enjoyed this exercise once I finally picked a single blog to observe. Most of the time we are all in such a hurry, trying to do to much, that we don't "stop to smell the roses" as they say. I learned a lot observing one blog, can you imagine if I took more time and observed even some of the hundreds of blogs I follow? How about you? How many blogs have you really observed lately?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

 Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Monday, July 25, 2011

#31WBGB ~ Week 3 ~ Promote a Blog Post

Welcome to Week 3 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!  If you are just joining us, you can read the kick-off post here at Tonia's Root's .

Nevertheless, Darren Rowse of Problogger offers us:

11 Ways to Promote a Blog Post

1.                   Pitch to other bloggers:  ask another blogger to consider linking to your post.  This gives me the heebie-jeebies.  Tonia says," I really don’t like asking people to do things for me." Neither can I Tonia!
2.                  Social Messaging: use Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks to promote your post.  Darren says “the key is not to incessantly spam your followers and your friends with your link.”
3.                  Social Bookmarking:  promote selective links on sites like Digg or StumbleUpon.
4.                  Internal Links:  what posts within your own site can you link to a given post?  Have you written on a topic before?  Are you writing a series?  Link them up.  Another way to do this is to use automatic apps, like a related-post plug-in if you are on WordPress, or a widget like LinkWithin, which I believe works on both WordPress and Blogger.  You can also add a section in your sidebar with “Latest posts,” “Popular posts,” “Featured posts,” etc.  WordPress makes this very easy to do; I’m not sure about Blogger.
5.                  Newsletters: shoot an email out to your newsletter list, if you have one.  (Tonia-Does anyone do a newsletter?  I’d like to hear more about how often you do that, what kind of content you include, etc.)
6.                  Other Blog’s Comments Sections and Forums: leaving good-quality comments can help drive traffic to your site and leaving a link can be appropriate if it is germane to the discussion.  (Tonia-Just a note here, I use a plug-in called CommentLuv that automatically inserts a link to each commenter’s last post, if they’ve signed up for the service. And since, I’m signed up, my links are left on other bloggers’ sites, if they use CommentLuv.)
7.                  Email signatures: Darren suggests including links to recent posts, instead of just your blog’s front page URL.
8.                  Follow-up posts:  write a new post that picks up where another left off, like a series, or adds new information to a previous post, then inter-link them.
9.                  Advertise Your post:  You might consider a small ad campaign for a post you are particularly proud of, using AdWords, StumbleUpon, or similar services.  This probably isn’t something most geneabloggers would consider, but it might be worthwhile for those who are professional genealogists.
10.              Pitch Mainstream Media:  You might want to do this for a really interesting post.  Again, I think this would be more suitable for the pros.

Article Marketing:  Rewrite some key articles and submit them to article marketing sites.

Action Items

1. Pick something from the above list that you’ve never done before and use it to promote one of your posts.
2. Share your thoughts on some of these items.  What social networking sites do you use for blog promotion?  Have you ever used Digg or StumbleUpon?  Have you used any of the other ideas?  How have they worked for you?  Leave an answer in the comments or, if you write a post about it, come back and leave us a link.
3. Lastly, don’t forget to come back and let us know which idea you tried for the first time and how it worked for you.

1. I plan to try adding links in my email for a specific blog post.
2. I use Facebook and Twitter generally to advertize my posts. I have never used Digg or StumbleUpon, I suppose they are things I should look into. I have been happy using Facebook and Twitter or I wouldn't have continued using them. I have had at one point some links in the side bar to my most popular posts, but I am not sure they were very successful in bringing people to those posts.
3. I will try to remember to so this! Thank you Tonya!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ My Great Grandmother ~ (Halvorsdatter) Westby

Date: Abt. 1941~1943
Kari (Halvorsdatter) Westby
Holding a great grandson.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Saturday, July 16, 2011

#31 WBGB ~ Week 2 ~ The Countdown

Welcome to Week 2 of Tonia's Roots Challenge ~ 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog! If you are just joining us, you can read the kick-off post here.
For week 2, we are focusing on list posts.  You are probably familiar with list posts; they have been a part of successful blog-writing for a long time.

I am going at this a little backwards maybe for this challenge, but this is how I'd like to do it! My mother always said I never did anything the normal way...but I think she was referring to when I was sick...but that is another story.

The top ten items currently on my to do list, genealogically speaking, to hopefully accomplish this week:

10. Print documents for my Westby family.

 9.  Take the stack of printed copies and load into archival safe pages.

 8.  Look through my CD's to see if I have a copy of the census records I accumulated as I can                    
       not find them on my computer at this point.

7.  Make a binder with sub divisions and cover labels for the Westby family, enter
       all documents.

6.  Do my class work. I am currently taking a free class from the National Institute for Genealogical
      Studies, which was a gift in the GeneaBlogger swag bags from Jamboree.

5.  Attending and doing Tonya's Roots Challenge ~ 31 Weeks to a better Genealogy Blog. 

4.  Enter Westby family information and sources into my new family tree.

3.  Learn  all I can about Google+.

2.  Update and post to my GYR blog.
                                              And, drum roll please ~

1. Move Heritage Happens to my own domain, which I purchased when I was at

This is an ambitious plan for me this week, especially when I throw in everything else I need to do. Wish me luck! I think I better get started.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Those Places Thursday ~ The Cuyama Buckhorn

One of the Harley runs we have been on a few times has been to New Cuyama. Haven't heard of it you say? Neither had I! It is in Santa Barbara County in the Cuyama Valley. If it weren't for me riding a Harley, there are many places I never would have seen, let alone heard of. "Cuyama" was named after an Indian word for "clams."

 New Cuyama was established in 1951. That makes it 60 years old now. I suppose I should have taken that into consideration whenever we were there as the Cuyama Buckhorn (restaurant, bar and motel) where we used to stay seemed especially old. In fact the whole town seems especially old, it really was a dying town.

 These pictures were taken in 2003. I looked online to see if I could find any information regarding the history of the Cuyama Buckhorn and what I found is that it is now closed down! I am really not surprised, but it is kind of sad to me. The Buckhorn is closed down. So final. This Harley destination is never to be again, except in my memories. I find it really hard to believe anyone would buy it, fix it up and keep the same name.

Right next to the Cuyama Buckhorn was this piece of old farming equipment. Intriguing indeed.

It was a nice ride to New Cuyama on the Harleys. Great bike roads indeed. The closure of the restaurant/bar/hotel, is really a closure for me also. Now when I talk about New Cuyama, the Cuyama Buckhorn and our Harley runs there I will start out with "Remember when..."  

The Cuyama Buckhorn, a true part of my history.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

 Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Unknown Child

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Sunday, July 10, 2011

#31WBGB ~ Week 1 ~ Write and Elevator Pitch For Your Blog

I am joining Tonia's Roots! She asks:
"join me as I spend the next 31 weeks putting into practice tips and tricks from ProBlogger, Darren Rowse.
This program is based on Darren’s highly popular challenge “31 Days to Build a Better Blog,” which he has made available as an e-book.  31 days does not work for my schedule (especially in the summer), so I’m switching it to a weekly challenge."
Week one's topic and action item is to write an elevator pitch for your blog,a short introduction to your blog that can be expressed in the space of an elevator ride. 

My Elevator Pitch:

my Heritage Happens, a family history blog, is my little niche in the world where I can sort, learn, share, discuss, and analyze my family's legacy, putting two and two together so to speak. At times, I may share a bit of what "will become" my heritage, which in turn, leaves "purposeful" documentation for my ancestors. With more than ten years of personal genealogy under my belt, I use this blog as a tool to help keep me a bit more organized. I hope you find Heritage Happens a place where you may obtain an idea or two, learn a thing or two or perhaps just enjoy a post or two!
My Tag Line:

my Heritage Happens, a place where you may obtain an idea or two, learn a thing or two, or perhaps just enjoy a post or two!

This was tougher than I expected. Earlier in the week I had some ideas, and promptly forgot them as I got busier during the week. For now anyway, I will be happy with this!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Friday, July 8, 2011

Got Sources? Was Great Grandma Born There, Or Not?

Recently a great dialogue developed between a Facebook friend and myself. I hadn't realized she lived in the city where one of my great grandmothers was born, or so I thought...

Allow me share a bit of background ~

Several years ago I was given contact information from my (step) aunt, for one of my mother's cousins whom I had never met. She shared his researched family tree chart with me, which I promptly entered into my genealogy program. After this, I wanted to know what other bits of treasure my cousin might have to share.

He lived only a few hours from me so it wasn't long before a date was set when I could meet him and his wife. They lived in the most unique, wonderful house I have ever seen, which was very intriguing on it's own. My cousin's (first cousin once removed) wife was very sweet and included me in their lunch plans. I may not have given her much choice about that though as I was at their home for several hours.

At that time my cousin wasn't currently working with his genealogy, but had been active with it in the past. I was so thankful he willingly dug out his genealogy research box of our family. I spent most of the day scanning photos, writing notes and taking lots of pictures. It was an amazing experience. I remember being very impressed with my cousin's research and all of the information he shared. 

 Back when I received the copy of his family tree chart, I wasn't aware I should verify the information in it! I loved his work and trusted that it was complete and correct. So, when I entered his family information into my tree, I never thought to source the information. If only we had been informed we needed these habits upon starting this hobby...I'd venture to guess most of us learned this the hard way. 

I remember the visit with this cousin and his wife vividly, their unique house and welcoming personalities. I remember emailing with another person, not related, regarding this family line also. Early on in my research, I  was changing information in my tree as soon as I heard or saw something new, never adding a source. 

Back to the present day and time ~

Today, I look at my family tree not knowing when, where, or who I received the information from that my great grandmother was born in Bergen, Norway. It just says so in my tree.

As I shared earlier, a couple of weeks ago my Facebook friend who lives in Bergen, Norway and I were chatting. She did some research on my great grandmother and forwarded it to me. In the database, from a census report, she learned that my great grandmother was born in Skein, Norway, not Bergen at all! 

Now, I am not sure where I originally received the information that great grandma was born in Bergen. I remember a lot, but certainly not this particular thing. We can't possibly remember every little detail. I need to pull out this family's binder and try to make heads or tails of the information in it! I remember that I have worked with at least two other people in this line, but where there more? Did these people have the same information that I entered in my tree, or did I change things on a whim? What did I have stating great grandma was born in Skein? Right now, I really don't know. Until I pull all of the paperwork and sort through things I won't have a clue. Maybe even after that I won't have a clue, I don't know. I do know there will be a lot of wasted time resolving this. The sad thing is, more than likely I will run across more of these types of issues over time. At least I am working to fix them now and not another 10 years from now.

You may remember that this year I started my brand new family tree on Roots Magic. This tree is going to have every single thing in it sourced! I have not worked on this line in my new tree yet, but surmise that will be happening very soon. 

In Conclusion ~

If you are new to genealogy let this be a lesson, start now! Make sure you have done your homework and verified any and all information you have have entered into your genealogy program. Do you have back up for this information? Can you prove it? Have you sourced everything you have entered? I know it seems like a lot of work to you now if you haven't done this, but I highly recommend making sure this has been completed. You don't want to have to go back and re-research your tree several years from now. By then you would have added a substantial amount of new family members to your tree, and you could be looking at an awful lot of updating! 

You can purchase this pin and many other great items at the GeneaBloggers Store!

My Facebook friend, Siri in Bergen, I thank you so much! 

We became friends because of genealogy and have since found a couple of genealogical similarities. I have learned several new things about my family from her. She has shared a couple of amazing stories with me regarding her fabulous life. I love having been privy to learning about my new friend and am very grateful she took the time she did researching MY family!

This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what I have learned. I will be sharing more in future posts.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Wishing you all a safe and sane Independence Day!

Disneyland, Anaheim, California. October 3, 2011. Digital image held by Cheryl [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE]California. 2011

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Saturday, July 2, 2011

SNGF ~ My Genea-Bucket List


On Bart, coming home from a great day in San Francisco I saw Randy Seaver's "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun" mission for this evening and I couldn't help but think I needed to do a post on this, plus I knew I had the time when I got home to do so. Here is his SNGF challenge for tonight.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

Knowing that a “Bucket List” is a wish list of things to do before death:

1) What is on your Genealogy Bucket List? What research locations do you want to visit? Are there genea-people that you want to meet and share with? What do you want to accomplish with your genealogy research? List a minimum of three items – more if you want!

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own (please give me a link in Comments), a comment to this post in Comments, or a status line or comment on Facebook.

Think big! Have fun! Life is short – do genealogy first!

I look at a bucket list as places I want to go.

 If you follow my blog at all, MANY of you should be able to guess where my first choice of  genealogy travel would take me.

Did you read my series, The Great Swedish Adventure? Then you guessed it!

1. Sweden! If you are unaware of that series, my biological paternal grandfather, Erik Hjalmer Lundberg was born in Viksjö, Sweden. A cousin who lives in Sweden, not far from there has found my blog and we have been communicating for almost a year. My cousin has been very enthusiastic and can show me a lot over there, plus I want to meet him and all of the rest of the family! I am planning a trip to Sweden next year.

2. My second choice is Norway. I have three different great grandparents who immigrated from Norway. They are: A maternal great grandfather, Paul Hardin Johansen (Harding) from Kragaro. His wife, my great grandmother, Dagny Dulin, from Bergen, and a paternal great grandfather, Halvor Torgelson Westby, from Trysil. I have information on a cousin in the Westby line, but haven't made any contact yet. It would be so ideal to add Norway to my Sweden trip next year don't you think?

3. I would also like to go to Minnesota, where my biological paternal grandparents settled upon immigration to this country. This would include the Wadena and Koochiching County areas. 

4. Visit all of the other places I have cousins and family living, so I can meet them! Also included here would be other areas family has come from. This is a constant upgraded list which right now includes, Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma, Montana, Texas, New York, California (different areas around the state) and Pennsylvania.

So for now I am really working on my first choice, not sure if I will be able to included anything from the second on my list or not, it would be a shame if I couldn't, after all I would be so close. There is a bit of a problem with that though as we have plans for another trip to another country next year also. As much as I would like to do it all, sometimes I just can't. I am going to push my limits though as far as I can!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved