Saturday, July 26, 2008

Searching Through's FBI Files

When I first read in Randy's post that had made their FBI files free, I decided to look and see if any of my ancestors or family members were in the files. Even though I have several German ancestors that were living in the U. S. in that time period, I was not able to find anything on any of my ancestors. After being discouraged, I thought I would double-check to make sure I did not miss anything, and after searching again last night, I still could not find anything. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that my ancestors were not investigated by the FBI. Even though the results of my research are disappointing, I thought I would just share my results with everyone. Oh well. One of these days I'll uncover something ...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Here's An Interesting Article On Historical Research and the Civil War

I just happened to notice an interesting news article on the History News Network about a woman's discovery about her Civil War ancestor and his service. You can read the article here. Enjoy!

16th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted!

The 16th Shades of the Departed guest column has been posted! The other of this week's column is Janet Hovorka, and you can read the column here. Enjoy!

Oh, It Just Gets Better and Better ...

I realize this does not have anything to do with genealogy, but I can't resist posting on this one. I just heard on the news last night that the mayor of Detroit is being accused of assaulting a police officer. Of course, this man is just digging himself a bigger hole for himself. For those who don't know, the mayor is already facing charges of lying under oath about his affair with his chief of staff, and his text messages to her have been released to the public. Of course, what supposedly started the text message scandal was that the police were trying to investigate the murder of an exotic dancer. This dancer had apparently been at a party at the mayor's mansion, and was supposedly beaten up the mayor's wife. She, the dancer, filed a complaint with the police and was later found murdered. If I remember all of this correctly, the mayor somehow interfered with the investigation. (At least this is what I read. I'm not completely sure of the specifics.) Either way, the situation is pretty bad and the mayor refuses to resign from office. The city council is trying to impeach him (or remove him from office), and to make this situation even more interesting, this council is supposedly also under investigation as well but I forget what the reason is. In short, the government in Detroit is just full of corruption. (And nothing seems to get better in Detroit.)

Well, that is my little spiel about the situation in Detroit. I try to keep this blog free from my political thoughts, but I could not resist this time. I just find the whole, sad situation with Detroit sickening. I think the Detroit city government needs to be completely changed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another New Poll!

I have created another poll in order to determine what area I should first research on for a history post. Since the history of a locality was one of the top choices chosen by readers, I decided to include the categories:
  • Michigan
  • United States
  • Europe
  • Non-western Countries

I do not know when I will post an article, but I hope to do some research soon. I'm just having a difficult time trying to figure out the topic for a history post. Any suggestions are welcome.

Added A Few More Blogs ...

I've added a few more history and genealogy blogs this week. The blogs added are:
  • History Undressed (I learned about this blog from Elizabeth's post.)
  • Our Future Rooted in Our Past (I learned about this blog from Randy's post.)
  • Niwiska, Poland (I learned about this blog from Jasia's post.)

You can find the genealogy blogs on the lower left side of the page, and the history blogs on the lower right side of the page. Any suggestions for other history and genealogy blogs are welcome. Thanks!

My Brief Try-out of Ancestry's World Archives Program ...

Yesterday, I received an e-mail that I could participate in Ancestry's World Archives Indexing program. I originally signed up to be notified because I was curious, and I decided to download the program. After I downloaded the picture, I decided to index an image set.

After downloading the image set, I had to go through three steps to before I could even begin indexing the image. (And I had to do that for every image in the set.) One of the steps was in choosing the layout of the image, and another step was to set the boundaries for the highlighting. Only after those steps was I able to begin indexing.

Personally, I think FamilySearch's indexing program is easier to use and more user-friendly. When it comes to indexing the images, I only have to download it, and I can than start indexing the image. With Ancestry's program, I have to go through other steps before I can even get to the indexing. To be honest, I do not want spend the extra time setting up the image when I can just instantly download an image from another indexing program and start indexing. So, I just decided that using Ancestry's program was not worth my time and uninstalled the program. To be fair, though, Ancestry's program is much different from FamilySearch's program. I just happen to prefer FamilySearch's program over Ancestry's when it comes to indexing images.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Book On The History of Ireland: A Reader's Thoughts Partway Through The Book

Since this upcoming edition was announced back in June, I have been reading Modern Ireland, 1600-1972 by R. F. Foster (Penquin Books: London, 1989). I have not yet finished reading the book, but I can write about what I learned and about my observations of this book.

Obviously from the title, one can gather that this book is a survey of a history of Ireland from 1600 to 1972. So far, though, I have only read up to the Eighteenth Century in the book. Most of what I have been reading has been dealing with the Seventeenth Century. The prologue of the book deals with the different varieties of Irishness, and I wish I had read that part of the book earlier since it fit nicely with the previous edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture. The other chapters I have read deal with the events of the 1600s, from the politics and transplating of Protestant English and Scots to the uprising of 1641. For a survey of the history of modern Ireland, this book does get into detail about the events and major players of the events. My only problem with this book is that I feel as though one must have a general knowledge of Irish history to understand or get the feel of the book. Since I do not even have a general knowledge of Irish history, I do not have a context that I can put the details of this history in. I almost feel as though I have to be reading another, less detailed Irish history book for me to truly understand the book. The best way I can explain this is if a person happened to read a detailed history book on the history of the United States, but did not have any previous general knowledge of the history of the U. S. This is how I feel when I read this book, and I'm a history major! Aside from this criticism, I think this book would be good for a person who has a great interest in Ireland's history.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Genealogy and History Thoughts Column 16 - My Thoughts on the Ancestry-FamilySearch Partnership

Earlier today, I mentioned my shock at the Ancestry-FamilySearch partnership announcement, and as I promised, I'm posting my thoughts on this announcement.

Not only do I feel shocked, I'm also angry. As a person who has volunteered to index records through FamilySearch, I feel as though I have been cheated and misled. When I decided to help out, the information on the FamilySearch indexing website led me to believe to that the images indexed would be offered online for free. Now, FamilySearch is apparently willing to give transcribed indexes that volunteers like me, had worked on for free to, a subscription based site. I had not expected this to occur, and I'm upset since I put a lot of time into indexing images since I became a volunteer. Since I began volunteering in April of 2007, I have over 24,000 names/record columns. I realize that may not be a lot to other people, but one has to keep in mind that I am also a full-time college student.

Of course, I mostly feel betrayed because I had hoped that FamilySearch's posting of images online would be a competitor to I realize there are other subscription-based genealogy websites out on the internet, but Ancestry appears to pretty much have an almost monopoly of the genealogy market. I was just hoping that competition would lower some of the pricing of subscription prices for fee-based genealogy sites since there are some people who cannot afford to pay for a subscription to Ancestry. I'm a college student, so I truly cannot afford a subscription, and I'm trying to keep the price of my genealogy research fairly low, as much as I can at the moment. Now, I guess gotten my hopes up too much.

As to whether I will continue indexing images, I'm not sure. I like indexing records, and I'm not sure if I just want to quit completely. I think I need to think this over before I make a hasty decision, or for the moment, I could just index other records instead of the 1920 census. I might just do that. So, what do you think? As always, you can leave a comment with your thoughts. All comments are welcome.

Whoa! This Is A Bit Shocking ...

Did I read that right? I just happened to notice an article on Ancestry's blog about the agreement between Ancestry and Familysearch. You can read the announcement here. I did not expect this to happen, and at the moment I'm stunned. I will, though, post my thoughts later today in another post as this one announcement I cannot pass up.

On another note, this is my 619th post in less than a year-and-a-half. Since I started posting in Mid-March 2007, I have posted that many posts!

Interesting. Here Is An Interesting Article ...

I just happened to notice this article about Russia and China agreeing to a common boarder. The article says it is a 40 year old conflict, but if I remember correctly, the dispute over the boarder has been going on for centuries. I think that is my short, little history lesson for the day ...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Advice On Scanning Old Photographs ...

As I mentioned earlier in the summer, I'm scanning some old family photographs from my grandma's side of the family. I have not finished scanning all of the pictures, but I have been lucky that some of them were labeled. Unfortunately, there some that I do not know if there is a relationship to my family or not. In addition to the mystery photos, there are several photograph-sized negatives in the albums. Has anyone ever scanned in negatives before, and if so, are there any precautions I need to take, due to the fact that these negatives are from the '30s and '40s primarily? Any suggestions or advice are welcome. Thanks.