©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Saturday, October 30, 2010

SNGF - Halloween Personality

Saturday Night Fun from Randy Seaver:
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:
1)  Go take the Hallowe'en Personality quiz at http://www.blogthings.com/whatsyourhalloweenpersonalityquiz/ 
2)  Post it on your own blog, as a comment on this blog, or on your Facebook page.
3)  Tell us if this is "right on" or note.  Have fun with it! 

Here's my result:

You're a friendly person, but not the life of the party. You like making someone else's day - and you'll dress up if you think of a really fun costume.

You definitely think of yourself as someone who has a dark side. And part of having that dark side means not showing it.

Your inner child is open minded, playful, and adventurous.

You truly fear the dark side of humanity. You are a true misanthrope.

You're prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic. Deep down, you enjoy being scared out of your mind... even if you don't admit it.

You are a traditionalist with most aspects of your life. You like your Halloween costume to be basic, well made, and conventional enough to wear another year. 

I'd say this is pretty accurate. Most of it is right on, except I openly admit I "enjoy being scared out of my mind." Also, I really do like people for the most part...sometimes...at arm's length...in the sunlight...

Friday, October 29, 2010

52 Weeks Challenge Week 44 - Giving Back

Wow, it is hard to believe we're already in week 44 of the year 2010!!

Our challenge from Amy Coffin for this week:
Week 44: Research ways to give back to the genealogy community. A great deal of genealogy information on line was put there by volunteers. This week, your challenge is to examine some different ways genealogists can donate their time and effort in kind... 

There are some wonderful places on-line where we genealogists can give back to our time. Many of them were mentioned in the original challenge; like "Find-a-Grave (http://www.findagrave.com/), Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (http://www.raogk.org/), FamilySearch Indexing (http://www.familysearch.or
g/eng/indexing/frameset_indexing.asp), the World Archives Project (http://landing.ancestry.com/wap/learnmore.aspx), Unclaimed Persons (http://www.unclaimedpersons.org/) and the USGenWeb project (http://www.usgenweb.org/)." 

As much as possible we should contribute to these wonderful causes; however, there are also many non-online opportunities as well. Our local genealogy societies are in dire need of volunteers. These organizations continue to give back to the community through educational programs, personal help for new researchers, and digitizing and indexing local records.

The prevalence of internet use for genealogy education and research has brought about a reduction in attendance at meetings. Apparently, many researchers new to genealogy are of the impression that "everything is on the Web." What a shame!

Take, as example, my local genealogy society - The Elgin (IL) Genealogy Society (EGS). I joined in 1995 but  EGS had already been in existence for 23 years. By the time I came along they were already providing two meetings a month - one morning and one evening. In 1991, they published Kane County Illinois Early Families 1833-1835. An on-going project is the indexing of vital records from the Elgin newspapers. (In conjunction with the Gail Borden Public Library, the index is on-line through the library catalogue.) Many local records have been indexed and/or digitized and are available on the EGS website for free to Elgin area researchers. And, of course, we currently have an EGS blog:)

Now, for my point. None of the above items could have taken place without volunteers. The organization itself could not function without officers, committee chairs, committee members, project leaders and workers. Our local societies are still extremely important to the genealogy community and, I hope, we continue to support them by volunteering our time, effort, and expertise.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It Is Finished!

At last but ahead of schedule, my project on the Ruch family is finished!

I just completed the digital presentation and, except for actually burning the CDs, the project is done!!

This is the menu page for the presentation - prepared with Passage Express software:

Now, I'm going to take a bit of a break - not from genealogy or blogging - from anything with a deadline:) I'll be able to go the the Illinois State Genealogical Society Conference this weekend without feeling any guilt. Yay!!

I already have my next project in mine but I'll wait to share that news. If I tell you know, I'll probably start on it and then when would my break start?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

SNGF - Who or What Do I Blame?

Responding to Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Fun Challenge which is:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and we need more of you to do this, otherwise it may end...), is to:
1)  Read Brenda Joyce Jerome's post Who or What Do You Blame? on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog.  She asks these questions:
*  Can you identify person or event that started you on this search for family information? 
*  Did you pick up researching where a relative had left off? 
*  Did your interest stem from your child's school project on genealogy? 
*  If you have been researching many years, it may be hard to pinpoint one reason for this journey.

Well, this one is easy for me even though I've been researching our family's (mine & my husband's) for about fifteen years. I had just recently "retired"  - the company I worked for moved to California but I chose to stay in Illinois. One day my husband and I were visiting with his parents and the conversation went something like this:

Father-in-law (FIL):  "A long time ago someone told me that Higgins Road was named after my grandfather." (My FIL's name is Francis Higgins and Higgins Road is a main artery in the city of Chicago.)

Me (in ignorance):  "That should be easy to find out. I'll go to the library this week."

And I did go to the library that next week and I did find that Higgins Road is named for a man named - would you believe - Francis Higgins who had owned a farm in the Chicago area. Alas, I also learn that the two men are not related in any way.

Feeling somewhat deflated by this news, I decided I should see what I could learn about my FIL's real grandfather. It took some digging and certainly more than a week but I found the family. I was able to tell my FIL about relatives he barely, if at all, knew; even reuniting with a cousin whom he had not seen for seventy years. I was also able to tell time that Higgins Road in Hampshire, Illinois (just outside Chicago) got its name because it ran alongside his grandfather's dairy farm.

Of course, I couldn't stop there. I knew each family line had its own story and so the search goes on. At least it keeps me out of trouble, most of the time!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Not Fancy But It's Done!

For Almost Wordless Wednesday: The RUCH book is in print!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Could I Be Happier?

Okay, could I be happier than I am right now. Only if I had my Ruch digital presentation completed and on the CDs! Why? Because the book is being printed and bound as I write this!!

I decided since I am only printing a few paper copies I'd go for a hardbound cover. The proof looks great and I can't wait to see the final piece.

Thought I'd share with my blogging friends. Now, I have to get back to work on the digital version!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Almost There. Seven Smart Stories to Go!

I’m nearly finished with content for the digital edition of “The Life and Times of Charles and Salomé (Siegler) Ruch.” I’ve decided to create short, individual narratives for each of the children. Some I know more about than others but such is life. To do this, I’m using (a sneaky way to learn a new feature) Family Tree Maker 2011’s* new Smart Story feature.
There are a few things I don’t like about Smart Story but am not sure yet if it is the programming or just my inexperience and/or lack of knowledge about how to make some things happen. For example, when trying to put media into the “story”, I can’t figure out how to size it, align it or have text wrap around it.
Because I want to include footnotes – which thankfully I can do – I have to be very careful about how I pull “facts” into the writing. As you can see on the image below, (the birth fact is currently chosen) the bottom third of the right side provides options which can be dragged and dropped into the story. How I’m planning to use the fact will determine which I choose. Using the Insert button at the top right, you can choose to include footnotes or leave them off.

All in all, I think I like the Smart Story feature. One thing I like about it is that I don’t have to think about the wording for a fact until I use it in a narrative. Smart Story gives various options from a full sentence to various key words when using the “facts” option. It also has a “biography” option which basically pulls in all the facts, notes and such and creates a “story” for you. Personally, I don’t like that option but others might.
Now back to work, I have several Smart Stories to go, after which I’ll create the Menu for the CD and then I’ll be finished. Well, except I still need to print the hardcopy version and burn the CDs.

* I’m not associated with Family Tree Maker in any way other than a user. I’ve never received a free copy for review or been compensated in any way.