Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why do I join genealogical societies and why do you?

A number of my society memberships are coming due this summer and it made me reflect on why I join these societies.  One of my main reasons for joining societies is for the publications, blogs, and webinars.

I am a member of the Utah Genealogical Association. I have no ancestors from Utah. I enjoy my membership because of SLIG, their quarterly magazine Crossroads, and their webinars.

I'm a member of the Ohio Genealogical Society. My husband has ancestors from this area but I really like their publications the Ohio Genealogy News and Ohio Genealogical Quarterly.

I'm a member of the California State Genealogical Alliance.  I live and research in California so this is a big reason. I also like their California resources on their website and their blog.

I'm a member of the California Genealogical Society and Library. I joined because of my research in California and I also like their The California Nugget.

I'm a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society. I joined because of Jamboree.  I love their website and the information it provides. They have a great blog and webinars as well as their actual library. The Searcher is a great publication frequently focusing on Southern California research.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society was one one of the very first societies that I joined. Both my husband and I have ancestors from New England. I've been fortunate to be able to visit the library itself twice and it really started me on my husband's Mayhew research. At this point they have everything: the library, The American Ancestors website and databases, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, American Ancestors Journal, and American Ancestors.  So much for an unbelievable price.

Of course I'm a member of NGS.  The reasons? Too many to count but they include NGS Magazine and National Genealogical Society Quarterly,  UpFront with NGS blog, access to archived magazines, the NGS conference.

I'm a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and our local Southern California APG chapter.  For a number of years I was a "publications only" member subscribing to the APG Quarterly. As a member, I have access to the members only section of the website, I get to post my business,  to attend the Professional Management Conference, and I still receive the APG Quarterly.

I'm a member of the Genealogical Society of North Orange County California and the Orange County California Genealogical Society for the talks and for the camaraderie and because they are my local societies.

My question now is... Why do you join genealogical societies and which other ones should I consider joining? 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

FamilySearch WIKI-California

I was asked today why I was working on the Orange County and San Bernardino County, California Wikis. What was in it for me?

 That's a good question and my first thought was ...for fun. But as I thought about it I realized that I do get something else out of working on the FS Wiki. First, I like to learn new things, and I now know quite a bit about how a Wiki works. But, more than that, I am increasing my own knowledge about the State of California. I could just decide to read a few books but this way, I still read the books, but there is a product and I am contributing to a greater project as well. I grew up in California and learned about the state in 4th grade, in high school, and then again as a student in a state university. I've traveled extensively throughout the state so I think I'm pretty knowledgeable but, having a purpose always makes learning more successful. In education we called this project based learning. If the end product is actually useful then that's even better.

What this really says for everyone else is that you don't need to be an expert to work on the FamilySearch Wiki, you just need to find a county that no one is working on and start researching. A wiki is a community project so you don't need to know it all, you can work on the county by doing research on the Internet and at your local library. Pick an area in which you have a research interest and learn a little more.

Monday, March 12, 2012

1940s Technology for Women - Nylon Stockings - Soon to go the way of pantaloons and slips?

Nylon stockings are almost a thing of the past. Being of the "older" generation, I still wear them, but buying them is something else. Shelf space at the grocery store is shrinking daily. The younger generation, and by that I mean under 50, is hardly wearing them. Another technology soon to go the way of pantaloons and slips?

Women lined up to buy nylons in December 1945 (from the article "The Nylon Drama")
Nylon stockings were first invented by Charles Stine with Du Pont  in 1939. According to the Nylon Stocking Society nylon stockings were first offered for public sale in May 1940 at both The Expo on the West Coast and the World's Fair on the East Coast. Those first Nylons had a seam down the back and women were always checking to see if their seem was straight. During the war, Nylons were scarce and women would draw a seam down the back of their legs to simulate nylons. After the war, nylons were in such great demand that fights broke out in stores called the Nylon Riots. Unbelievable.

Get involved with Indexing the 1940 Census.  Sign up at

Thursday, March 08, 2012

A New Look for the Orange County, California FamilySearch Wiki

I finally put the Orange County, California Wiki sandbox I have been working on, into the live page on FamilySearch Wiki. It still needs some work but the concept seems to be "get-it-out-there" and let the community as a whole work on it. Afterwards, I was asked if I was going to do every county in California. Wow! Lots of work. I also feel that it would be somewhat presumptuous of me to do this to every county. Plus, this is not all my own work.  I was told that I could copy formatting from WikiPages I liked. That no one "owns" a WikiPage. This totally flies in the face of the APG Code of Ethics. To give proper credit, the basic design comes from the WikiProject Utah Experimental County. It's not that difficult to code but it was their idea and I liked it.
I'm now looking into a few of the terms that are used. GSNOCC adopted Orange County which is why I felt comfortable doing such a major overall. There is also a position called a moderator. I'm not sure at this time how adopting a page is different than being a moderator although I do know that one is a group and the other is an individual. I need to find out exactly what everyone does with a wiki. So that leads me to reading wikiHow.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My adventures with the Family Search Wiki - Orange County California

After attending RootsTech and several sessions on contributing to the FamilySearch Wiki, I have finally started working on redesigning the Orange County, California wiki page. There is a lot of information about contributing to the wiki on the FS Wiki site, in some ways, too much.  The Genealogical Society of North Orange County California, to which I belong, was very excited in the summer of 2010 when FamilySearch came out and asked societies to adopt pages. We quickly asked for Orange County, California. We were really early on in the process with no experience in wiki markup language. I was still working full time with not much time to devote to the Wiki.  I made some additions, some corrections, and that was the end of it until RootsTech.

It all started when I walked up to a Family Search representative and said that we wanted to add a map to our county site like I'd seen on other county sites. I was invited to a FamilySearch contributor's breakfast over at the Joseph Smith building where I met and talked with a number of other contributors and FamilySearch missionaries.  I watched a FS Wiki demonstration later that afternoon and was able to get into FamilySearch Wiki as Social Media, a hands-on class that gave me a different slant on the wiki. Through trial and error I have created an Orange County, California webpage in my sandbox. One thing I learned was that you can have a sandbox to play in and you don't have to potentially mess up the real thing. I also learned that copying is OK, even encouraged. I learned that most pictures on Wikipedia are part of the Creative Commons and free to use on the FamilySearch Wiki. Notice I said "most." You still have to submit them to Family Search for approval but it wasn't difficult to do.

I expect it will take me a few weeks to transfer the new site and replace the old one. If you want to learn more there are a number of tutorials, more than you could ever view, that will help you.  The wiki training sessions were also archived and have been very  helpful.