Thursday, September 29, 2011

Classes and Education

During the last couple of months I have taken and completed three classes through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Receiving a gift certificate for a free class in my GeneaBlogger swag bag at Jamboree this past June, definitely played a part in my participation.

I have taken many online courses over the years through Family Tree and Gen Class. Lisa Alzo, and George Morgan are just a couple of names you may recognize that I have taken a class or two from. I also enrolled and attended a two part series of classes at our local college, taught by Sue Johnston. Sue is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies as well as a variety of other genealogical training courses. I enjoyed Sue's two series of classes very much and love to hear her speak at genealogy meetings and conferences when I can. Lisa and George are always wonderful to receive a lecture from also, please keep this in mind if you ever have an opportunity to attend one of their lectures!

I always enjoy learning. It doesn't matter what I am involved in, I like to take classes and learn to do whatever it is I am doing, the correct way. Several years ago I debated about taking the National Genealogy Society home course,  which I discussed with one of the current California Genealogical Society Board Directors, Jeffrey Vaillant, back at that time. I was trying to decide what course to take, but never figured out which was calling my name.

There are several avenues you can choose from to enrich and educate oneself in this field. I wish I had chosen one of the courses to attend back when I couldn't make a decision, because today I realize I can take just about any or all of the courses that are offered. I can learn different things from different courses.

Now that I am again thinking about taking more classes, I am not working. This is an ideal time actually to attend school or take classes, however, I don't have the money just sitting around to spend on a course such as this. If I intended to make a living as a professional genealogist I could look at the costs differently. If I was working, I could look at the costs differently. But neither of these facts are true.

I have enjoyed the classes at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies so much that I have checked into their certificate programs. I have come to the conclusion that I would like to work towards a certificate for my own personal satisfaction. Can you believe, I actually made a decision!

Lately though, I have been tied up with a few other important matters, so I have taken a month away from the classes. This has given me a bit of time also to think and analyze how I may want to pay for these courses. It may be a little drawn out and take me awhile to complete, but I will probably take classes as I can afford them. I am anxious for another class and hope to take a course or two in October, no later than November. Really, I am in no hurry, so working on the courses here and there is ok by me, I knowing I will eventually earn that certificate.

I think the National Institute of Genealogical Studies made a great decision when they gave certificates for a free class. It sold me, and I am sure I wasn't the only one! Taking a free class was just what I needed to convince me to keep going! Great marketing, I thank you for that!

I am thrilled I can finally say I am moving on and have a plan for my genealogy studies. Then, when this course is complete...well, I will have to pick and choose again. I wonder who will have the next marketing plan at that particular time?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Saturday, September 24, 2011

#31 WBGB ~ Week 12 ~ Editorial Calendars

I am following Tonia's Roots as she brings several GeneaBloggers through 31 weeks of working towards a better blog, prompts written by Darren Rowse. 

The following is an (altered) excerpt from the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook ~

Last week our challenge was to come up with a list of at least 10 post ideas for our blog. The idea was to
spend time, before you needed posts, coming up with ideas. Doing this can release you later on to just write instead of having to brainstorm ideas every day.

How to Develop a Weekly Editorial Calendar [or at least how I do it]
This weeks task is to take the list you created last week and to plan your posting schedule (or editorial calendar) for next week.
1. Calculate how many posts you want to post in the coming week on your blog.
2. Set up a spreadsheet or table in a word document that has a slot for each post and the date and time that the post needs to go live on the blog.
3. Take the list of ideas that you’ve previously brainstormed and begin to slot them into the empty slots in the table. As I do this I often get other ideas that I’d not previously thought of for posts that might make good followup posts to those I’m planning. I slot these into the schedule too.
4. For each post that you slot in write a sentence or two about what the post is about (so you’re able to remember later in the week). I often also take a moment or two at this point to brainstorm some main points for the post. If any examples, illustrations, pictures or related posts that I’ve previously written come to mind I make note of these too.
Let me say at this point that what I come up with after going through this process is not always the way that I roll out posts in reality. My blogging style is a little more fluid than this and I tend to add new posts into the mix, reorder posts and extend single posts into series.
However – going through this exercise is fantastic because it means I’ve got a week’s worth of post ideas at my finger tips. It also means that for each post I’ve got ideas that I can use when writing the post – this gives me a real head start and means that I can usually get right down to business and start writing on the days I need to do the writing of posts.

Another Editorial Calendar idea to Consider

Another way that some bloggers approach editorial calendars is to come up with a weekly rhythm for their blog. They assign a different type of post for each day of the week and stick to that rhythm over the long term.
For example Mondays might be ‘list post’ day, Tuesdays might be ‘link post’ day, Wednesdays might be ‘opinion/rant’ day, Thursdays might be ‘review’ day etc. In this way they know the style of post for each day and then just have to slot in topics that fit each style.
my Heritage Happens Editorial Calendar ~

I really like this idea of scheduling blog posts a head of time on a calendar. I love being prepared and I've actually been having a difficult time getting organized with blog posts for a couple of months. Like all of us, sometimes I feel pulled in many different directions and trying to do a post at any given time, without preparing, takes a lot of time. Usually, just trying to think of a topic to write about takes a lot of time. Then, writing and preparing the post, adding photos etc. takes a vast amount of time also. If I don't have as much time as I would like to prepare a post, I may actually feel stressed. If I haven't written a post for a few days I can start to feel stressed also. Being prepared and organized, with thoughts and ideas would actually be a major stress relief for me during those difficult times.  I am actually tied up for a few weeks and can not really participate with this idea yet, but I plan to implement it just as soon as possible! In fact, I am very anxious to do so!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

 Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Edison Electric Light

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Saturday, September 17, 2011

#31 WBGB ~ Week 11 ~ Come Up with 10 Post Ideas

I am following Tonia's Roots as she brings several GeneaBloggers through 31 weeks of working towards a better blog, prompts written by Darren Rowse. 

Here is this weeks challenge adapted from Darren Rowse's daily challenges which Tonia is doing as weekly challenges:

Ever run out of things to write about on your blog?

If your answer is yes – you’re not alone.

This weeks's task is to do an exercise that will identify a range of post ideas that you can use when stuck for an idea in future.

The key with this process is not to put yourself under pressure to come up with completely new and out of the blue ideas for every post you write. Instead – this process taps into what you’ve recently written on your blog and helps you to identify ways to extend those ideas. Here’s the mind mapping method that I’ve used (note: I’ve talked about this previously so it could be familiar to some).

1. The Set Up

Get a whiteboard, piece of paper, note book, tablet pc or something else to write on (there are also various mind mapping tools and software options out there – but I find a pen and paper can work just fine) and draw five circles across the middle of the page. In each circle write the titles of the last five posts on your blog.

2. Extend Your Previous Posts

Now take each post in turn and spend a few minutes brainstorming on ways that the post could be ‘extended’. Most posts that you write will be able to be ‘extended’ in any number of ways including:
  • picking up a question or idea that a reader asked in the comments on that post
  • exploring the opposite point of view from the post
  • taking a ‘news’ post and writing an ‘opinion’ piece about it
  • taking a ‘theoretical’ type posts and writing something that helps people to ‘DO’ it
  • expanding upon ideas glossed over in passing in the previous post
For each idea draw a line out from the circle, draw a square (or use a different color) and write the idea inside of it. The key at this point is to let yourself be as creative and outside the box as you want. Any idea is allowed at this point.
These ideas are logical next steps for readers wanting to explore this topic – some of them based upon actual questions by readers. Do this with the other four posts you’ve written and you’ll have plenty of ideas for new posts to cover in the coming week or two.

3. Extend Further
You might want to stop this exercise at this point if you feel you’ve got enough topics to keep you going – however while you’re in a brainstorming frame of mind – why not take it a step further and think about how you might extend the topics you’ve come up with. The beauty of thinking forward even further is that you could quickly come up with a further 10 or so posts and be able to map out the next few weeks of blogging. Some posts are easier to extend than others. This is OK as not every post is in need of a follow up one – while others will have multiple next steps (some will even have a longer series of posts that you could run).

You can take this exercise as far as you’d like into the future (you get the idea I’m sure so I won’t keep going).The key when you do it is to let your creativity run wild (because it can take you in some wonderful directions) but then to be ruthless in culling ideas that don’t actually add anything to your blog. Remember – everything that you post on your blog either adds to or takes away from your blog’s perceived value – so not everything that you come up with should make it through to the front page of your blog.

Your Task Today

Your Task Today is to come up with a list of at least 10 future topics to write about. At this point your list should be not much more than the topic or title of your post.

PS: Another Approach to this Exercise for New Blogs  ~ I know that some bloggers doing the 31 Day challenge have very new blogs and perhaps don’t have too many posts in their archives to base mind mapping upon. If this is you – you can take the same principle but instead of making your five starting circles previous posts – make them ‘categories’ that your blog might cover.

For example if your blog is about personal finance you could make your starting circles sub topics of that overarching topic. They might be ‘budgeting’, ‘saving’, ‘investing’, ‘credit’ and ‘Career’. Once you’ve got your categories or sub topics – you can then pick up the exercise at step #2 with extending those sub topics into post ideas or topics within the sub topic.

my Heritage Happens Task

I have to tell you, I LOVE this weeks task! It didn't take me long to come up with 18 different thoughts, just from one post! Of course, that one post had lots of ideas already there, listed for me. (You will catch on if you look at a few of my recent posts.) I imagine you are just dying to know what the ideas were that I came up with, but I am going to stay silent on that, for now anyway. I can see this idea REALLY working for me! Have you been following along with these challenges? Have you tried this particular challenge? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments section, or leave a link to your personal post!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wedding Wednesday

My paternal grandparents ~ Hjalmer Lundberg and Thina Westby. Married November 29, 1930. Scanned image 2010 by Cheryl Palmer. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

99 Things Revisited ~ Now 104 Genealogy Things

In January 2009, with the help of the genealogy blogging community, Becky Wiseman created The 99+ Genealogy Things Meme, which lists some things that you, as a genealogist, might have done or might like to do in/for/with your research. I added my own personal post here.
Now the list is going around again, and sometimes being adjusted a bit to suit an individuals preferences. I have chosen to play along again so I can see how much I can add to the list. In 2009 I completed 37 items. Let's see what 2011 brings!

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (color optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
  1. Belong to a genealogical society.
  2. Researched records onsite at a court house.
  3. Transcribed records.
  4. Uploaded tombstone pictures to Find-A-Grave.
  5. Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents).
  6. Joined Facebook.
  7. Helped to clean up a run-down cemetery.
  8. Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook.
  9. Attended a genealogy conference.
  10. Lectured at a genealogy conference.
  11. Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society.
  12. Been the editor of a genealogy society newsletter.
  13. Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
  14. Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
  15. Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
  16. Talked to dead ancestors.
  17. Researched outside the state in which I live.
  18. Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
  19. Cold called a distant relative.
  20. Posted messages on a surname message board.
  21. Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.
  22. Googled my name.
  23. Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
  24. Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
  25. Have been paid to do genealogical research.
  26. Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
  27. Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative.
  28. Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
  29. Responded to messages on a message board or forum.
  30. Was injured while on a genealogy excursion.
  31. Participated in a genealogy meme.
  32. Created family history gift items (calendars, cookbooks, etc.).
  33. Performed a record lookup for someone else.
  34. Went on a genealogy seminar cruise.
  35. Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
  36. Found a disturbing family secret.
  37. Told others about a disturbing family secret.
  38. Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
  39. Think genealogy is a passion not a hobby.
  40. Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person (Unclaimed Persons).
  41. Taught someone else how to find their roots.
  42. Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure.
  43. Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology.
  44. Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher.
  45. Disproved a family myth through research.
  46. Got a family member to let you copy photos.
  47. Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records.
  48. Translated a record from a foreign language.
  49. Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
  50. Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
  51. Used microfiche.
  52. Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
  53. Visited more than one LDS Family History Center.
  54. Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
  55. Taught a class in genealogy.
  56. Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
  57. Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century.
  58. Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.
  59. Can name all of your great-great-grandparents.
  60. Found an ancestor’s Social Security application.
  61. Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.
  62. Used Steve Morse’s One-Step searches.
  63. Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
  64. Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
  65. Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
  66. Visited the Library of Congress.
  67. Have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower.
  68. Have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.
  69. Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
  70. Became a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.
  71. Can read a church record in Latin.
  72. Have an ancestor who changed their name.
  73. Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
  74. Created a family website.
  75. Have more than one "genealogy" blog.
  76. Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
  77. Have broken through at least one brick wall.
  78. Visited the DAR Library in Washington D.C.
  79. Borrowed a microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center.
  80. Have done indexing for Family Search Indexing or another genealogy project.
  81. Visited the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  82. Had an amazing serendipitous find of the "Psychic Roots" variety.
  83. Have an ancestor who was a Patriot in the American Revolutionary War.
  84. Have an ancestor who was a Loyalist in the American Revolutionary War.
  85. Have both Patriot & Loyalist ancestors.
  86. Have used Border Crossing records to locate an ancestor.
  87. Use maps in my genealogy research.
  88. Have a convict ancestor who was transported from the UK.
  89. Found a bigamist amongst the ancestors.
  90. Visited the National Archives in Kew.
  91. Visited St. Catherine's House in London to find family records.
  92. Found a cousin in Australia (or other foreign country).
  93. Consistently cite my sources.
  94. Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don't live in) in search of ancestors.
  95. Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes.
  96. Have an ancestor who was married four times (or more).
  97. Made a rubbing of an ancestors gravestone.
  98. Organized a family reunion.
  99. Published a family history book (on one of my families).
  100. Learned of the death of a fairly close relative through research.
  101. Have done the genealogy happy dance.
  102. Sustained an injury doing the genealogy happy dance.
  103. Offended a family member with my research.
  104. Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts
This time I have completed 56 items. That is better than the last count of 37, so I will take it! How about you? Have you played along?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2001 ~ Ten Years Later

In three plus years of blogging I am surprised I haven't ever written a post in remembrance of that tragic day in September of 2001. There could be many reasons for this but I surmise one of the main reasons is because my mother passed away that year also. It was a very emotional year. I have found when the anniversary of this day comes around I have difficulty facing it. I never want to relive it or that year.

I was in bed, sleeping, when this tragic attack occurred. I awoke with the TV on. My husband had already left for work. When I first saw the devastation and heard the news, I was in denial. I could not, would not, believe it really happened to us, here in the United States. I do not wake bright eyed and bushy tailed, it takes awhile for the fog to leave my brain. I led myself to believe I was watching a movie. As time went on it became apparent I was not watching a movie, this was minute by minute coverage of a terrorist attack! I gasped. I went numb and couldn't move. I was mesmerized by the TV, as was the majority of Americans. 

With the 10th anniversary today, I decided  to acknowledge this event on my blog. I look at 9-11 now as the most horrific event in this country, that actually occurred in my lifetime. In my mind, this means our country will not live through anything even similar to this again, at least as long as I shall live. This event will go in MY timeline, if any of my descendants continue with the family genealogy.

I can not imagine how I would feel if I lost someone close to me because of this attack and it's events. My heart goes out to every single person who lost a family member, friend, co-worker or acquaintance. My heart feels ripped from my body when I think of this occurrence.

My daughter offered a free yoga class this morning in memory of 9/11. She suggested we make our "intention," compassion. My practice today, with her teaching and focus, gave me the strength to face this anniversary, and my emotions. I thank my daughter for introducing me to yoga. I have learned more about myself because of her and yoga. 



Compassion, Pain, Sacrifice, Resiliency, Bravery, Courage, Love...

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Patriot Day Clipart and Graphics

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 9, 2011

#31 WBGB ~ Week 10 ~ Set Up Monitoring Alerts


I am following Tonia's Roots as she brings several GeneaBloggers through 31 weeks of working towards a better blog, prompts written by Darren Rowse. 
Tonia's blog states~

"Welcome back to another week of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog!  Our topic for week 10 is setting up alerts to monitor what is happening in our areas of genealogy.  Alerts are useful for both blogging and for genealogy research, so they are a great addition to any geneablogger’s toolbox.

Reasons to Use Alerts

Alerts let you stay on top of what is being said in blogs and in the news about certain topics.  There are quite a few reasons that geneabloggers would want to do this:
  1. Ideas for posts – keeping abreast of what others are writing about can give you lots of ideas for topics.
  2. Tracking research interests – do you have time to read every blog post written to see if it mentions your surnames or locales?  Probably not.  Alerts will scour the internet for mentions of your keyword interests and deliver the results to you.
  3. Managing your reputation and connecting with others – knowing when others are writing about you or your blog can be valuable information.  You can build relationships with those who are saying positive things and also manage any negativity that may emerge."                                                                                                                           
Action Items

  1. Get started monitoring!  Make a list of search topics relevant to your blog and/or research.  Test them out in Google to make sure you get the results you want.  Remember, exact phrases can go in quotes to give you more targeted results.
  2. Set up some alerts.  Let us know what service(s) you used and some of the keywords you chose in the comments.
If you are just joining us, then “welcome.” You can read the kick-off post about 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog here.  Feel free to start with this week’s reading and action items – you are not behind!"

my Heritage Happens Action ~

- I have been using Google Alerts for a few years. I have several alerts set up which include areas where my ancestors were from or settled in. For instance, Sweden and Norway are a couple areas my family immigrated from so I use specific names along with the area in each country where they were from. An example is: "Dulin+Bergen" or "Dulin+Norway."

- I also have had an alert set using my blog name. "Heritage Happens." I realize now though, I need to go in and update that alert to include "my" for "my Heritage Happens."

-Family surnames with a "+ genealogy" is another alert term that I use.

-I have alerts set up for news, blog and cemeteries.

I use Twitter and Tweet Deck where I have columns of information I am interested in, by using Twitter Hashtags. Of course #genealogy and #family history are ones I follow. As conferences come around I try to follow the hashtag for that specific conference.  

I am sure I could, and or should, add more alerts. This prompt has actually given me some food for thought, and I already realize I need to add at least one new alert in particular. So, I am off to do that now!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

 Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Downward Facing Dog

                                           The Next Generations......


Yoga, Alameda County, California. Photo taken August 31, 2011 by Cheryl Palmer [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

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sentimental Sunday ~ Dad And His Sister

A couple weeks ago my aunt from Texas came to California to spend her 75th birthday with her brother, my dad. I thought it was pretty darn wonderful that she wanted to spend the time with her brother. I suppose she felt she could see her children at any time, but not her brother!

I drove the couple hours north to my father's "bed and breakfast" as I like to call his home. I looked forward to seeing my aunt and wanted to make sure to be at the house for her birthday. To me, this was the closest thing to a family reunion there is on this side of the family. I have no idea how long it has been since I have seen any of my cousins, but it has been years...back in the day, when they lived in California. We don't even know each other. It has been three years since the last time my aunt came to visit. That visit she brought her husband with her (the only time I met  him) but unfortunately, he has since passed away.

We shared many laughs, I took lots of pictures, and heard many family stories, most of which I'd never heard before. By the end of the visit I brought home 8 pages of notes. Because I hadn't thought to bring a tape recorder, I frantically scratched notes, as quickly as possible, while the reminiscing flowed between my dad and my aunt.

I came home realizing I needed to immediately transcribe my "chicken scratch" to my computer while I could still make heads and tales of it. Now, since that has been completed, I sit back and try to imagine what the consequences would have been had I not proceeded with those transcriptions. Most of those notes would never have made sense to me, or anyone else within a few weeks.

For some reason, ever since I learned my aunt was coming to visit, I have been super emotional and very sentimental. Maybe because it was a monumental birthday for her. Maybe because she had lost her husband. I think it is a little of each of these things, but the main reason is because I don't know if or when I may see her again.

I try to stay optimistic but I have come to a stage in life where I am learning to be a realist. We have lost family and friends much younger than my father and my aunt. Every moment spent with them is precious and special in my eyes. It was wonderful that I could really appreciate and soak up every second I spent with them. I appreciate the stories, the notes, and especially the pictures. I am extremely grateful they shared their special time with me.

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts! 

Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved