Saturday, August 9, 2008

Genea-Bloggers' Games - Day 1: My Progress

Every participant in the Genea-bloggers' Games is supposed to keep a daily record of his or her progress, and so, here is my progress report for today:
I did not attempt to do very much for the games today. All I really did was to write a post explaining what my blog was about, which was one of the tasks for the "Write, Write, Write" category. As for the other categories, I did not do anything. Yesterday, I did scan in a couple of old photographs and saved them onto my flash drive, but those really don't count because today was the official start of keeping score.

So, my progress so far has been extremely slow. Hopefully, in the next few days, I will be able to accomplish another task or two in the categories I chose to participate in.

What This Blog Is About ...

As one of the tasks in the "Write, Write, Write" category, I have to write a post explaining what my blog is about. I do not believe I have ever actually written a post explaining my blog, so here is what my blog is about:

Jessica's Genejournal is a blog that deals with genealogy and genealogical research, and history and historical research. Most of my posts will deal with my personal research, whether it is in history or genealogy (with most of the historical research intertwined with researching my ancestry), although I will post reviews on genealogy and history books that I have read. In addition, I also post links to news articles that deal with history, whether it be on historical research or an archaeological find. I also post on genealogy news, genealogy issues, and my thoughts about genealogy news. I also write the Genealogy and History Thoughts Columns where I try to deal with historical issues and problems, experiences in my research, and of course, my opinions on current events or issues in genealogy.

I also write entries for at least four carnivals. So far, most of those carnivals have been genealogy carnivals, but I intend to also write posts some day for one or two of the history carnivals. One of the genealogy carnivals that I frequently participate in is the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, which I also host on my blog.

In short, my blog deals mostly with genealogy and history.

Friday, August 8, 2008

18th Shades Of The Departed Guest Column Posted!

The eighteenth Shades of the Departed guest column has been posted! The author of this week's column is Thomas MacEntee, and you can read the column here. Enjoy!

The Genea-bloggers' Games: My Goals ...

The Genea-bloggers' Games officially start today, and I have decided to participate in the competition as much as I can. August is going to be a busy month for me for various reasons, but primarily because I am getting ready to go back up to school. Posts for this month will be fairly light, but I'll try my best.

So, here are the categories I am going to compete in:

Back up your data!

My primary goal for this category is to finish scanning documents and old photos, and to back those images already saved to my flash drive onto CDs. I do not know how much more I will be able to accomplish for this category, but I will do my best.

Write, Write, Write!

For this category, my goal is to accomplish as many of the tasks as I can. I do not know how many posts I'll be able to write and post, but I will try my best to do as much as I can.

Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!

For this category, my goal is to try to accomplish at least two or three of the tasks. Again, since my time is going to be fairly limited, I do not know how well I will be able to do, but I will do my best.

Well, I think those are the only categories I will be participating in. I do not intend to compete in the cite your sources and organize your research only because I do not know how much time I will be able to devote to the Genea-bloggers Games. I just hope to be able to accomplish at least one or two tasks in all of the categories.

On another note, here is the flag that I will be representing:

The three flags are of the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. The United States flag represents my home country, and the flags for Germany and the United Kingdom represent the known ancestry of my ancestors up to this point.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I've Decided to Extend the Deadline Again!

I've only received two submissions so far for this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, so I've decided to extend the deadline again. The new deadline for submissions is August 22. I will post the edition on the 23rd.

Genea-Bloggers' Picnic Posted!

The Genea-Bloggers' Picnic has been posted! You can read it here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Reading Challenge: A List of the Books I Read

As I promised yesterday, I am posting the links to the reviews of books I read for the Summer Reading Challenge. For this challenge, I had to read five books between the months of May and September, and one of the books had to be in a different category from the other four books. So, here is my list:

  1. Blood Struggle: The Rise of Modern Indian Nations by Charles Wilkinson
  2. Making Your Dreams Come True by Marcia Wieder
  3. Lincoln At Home: Two Glimpses of Abraham Lincoln's Domestic Life by David Herbert Donald
  4. From Front Porch To Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America by Beth L. Bailey
  5. A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein

I enjoyed taking part in this challenge, and I enjoyed reading all of these books, even though there is one that I would not highly recommend. I hope others enjoy these books as much as I did. Have fun reading!

Submissions Are Due Today!

Submissions for this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy are due today. I will post the edition tomorrow.

Also, on another note, I am looking for someone to host the eleventh edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy. If anyone is interested, please contact me at: jess_history at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Monday, August 4, 2008

My New Year's Resolutions: Eight Months Later

I happened to notice earlier that Jasia had created a poll on her blog, asking how far we have come to completing our New Year's resolutions, and I thought I would post on my progress again. As you may have remembered, I wrote a post answering that question back in May, and I think it would be a good idea for me to see if I have made any more progress. So, here is my progress so far:
  1. I hope to get a chance to go to the Grand Rapids Public Library this year. The main branch of the library has records of the Old Soldiers' Home where my ancestor spent the last two years of his life. I am hoping to find more information than I did at the state archive of Michigan. Results as of May: I have yet to visit the library and look up that record. (I have been to that library before, I just never thought to look up the record in the past.) I guess I can always send a letter requesting a copy of the records. I don't know if it will cost more to order it than to copy it myself, but it is an option. Results since I posted in May: I still have not visited the library or made a request for his papers. I'm still hoping that I might be able to get a chance to do so this year.
  2. Order more microfilms of probate records for Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Results as of May: I have not ordered any microfilms for Huntingdon County. Since I still have plenty of time, chances are that I will do so. Results since I posted in May: I did order two microfilms of Huntingdon County records this summer, but for one of the microfilms, I wrote down the wrong number. The other microfilm is of Orphan Court records for the county, and I am still waiting for that one to come.
  3. Look up and print other probate records of ancestors who lived and died in Saint Joseph County, Michigan. Results as of May: I have not done this yet. Also, I can't seem to find the call numbers for those microfilms anymore on the familySearch website. I think I wrote down the call numbers, so I'll look and see if I can still make a request. Results since I posted in May: I still have not got around to looking up more probate records for Saint Joseph county, Michigan, and I have not looked for the film numbers I might have copied from the site.
  4. Order birth, marriage and death records of ancestors from the United Kingdom. Results as of May: I have ordered a microfilm of baptismal records for the church that was closest to my ancestors' residence. Hopefully, I'll be able to find my ancestors and their siblings in these records. Results since I posted in May: I was able to able to find baptismal records for my ancestors and most of their siblings. I did also order another microfilm of church records, but I was not successful in finding a baptismal date for another ancestor.
  5. Order microfilms of Trippstadt, Germany's civil records. Results as of May: I have ordered one microfilm of death records for the time period that a known ancestor had died. Of course, I still plan to order some more microfilms, especially of birth records. Results since I posted in May: The microfilm of death records I ordered finally came in last week, but it turned out to be the wrong years for the person I was doing research on. Instead, I was able to find a death record for another of my ancestor's children.
  6. And last, but not least, I hope to make more connections and to find more ancestors and relatives. Results as of May: I have been contacted by two more distant cousins. I haven't yet been able to find more ancestors, but hopefully, I will have done so by the end of the year. Results since I posted in May: I did receive an e-mail from someone who was also researching a possible Householder ancestor, and I did send a response. Unfortunately, I have not heard back for that person since I sent my e-mail.

As you can see, I have made a little headway in completing my resolutions, but my level of progress has not really been any greater since I posted back in May. I still hope to make a little bit more progress, but I think most of my research is done until Christmas time.

I've Been Tagged!

I've just noticed that Wendy of All My Branches had awarded me a best blogging friend award. Thank you, Wendy!

So, here are the rules for this award meme:
  1. Only five people are allowed to receive the award.
  2. Four of them must be followers of your blog.
  3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
  4. You must link back to whoever gave you the award.

And now, here are the five people that I am passing on the award:

  1. Elizabeth of The Polish Genealogy Project
  2. Janice of Cow Hampshire
  3. Alex of Winging It (She is from New Zealand)
  4. Alwierz of Polish-American Genealogy Research
  5. Jmnlman of Strategist's Personal Library (A new, to me, blog.)

Thank you again, Wendy, for tagging me!

Summer Reading Challenge: Book Review 5

I have now finally finished reading the last book for the Summer Reading Challenge that I signed up for back in April. For my last book, I chose to read A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2008).

As the book title obviously makes clear, this book is on the history of trade in the world and how trade has affected world history. Although there is a little focus on economics, the book is primarily concerned with how trade has developed throughout history. From the ancient beginning of trade to the present day, this book covers what objects were traded and how they were traded. In addition, the movement and development of trade is tied into the context of the world events and how western and non-western countries interacted with each other. Another bonus for this book is that it is well written and that the author explains economic issues in terms that a lay person could understand. If you are looking for a general world history book that focuses on more than just Western world history, I believe this book would be a good place to start.

And since this is the last book for the summer reading challenge, I will be posting the links of all my reviews for this challenge in another post sometime later in this week.

So, I've Joined Facebook ...

I've finally decided to join facebook, and I just signed up earlier this morning. I've signed up for the Genea-bloggers group, and I think I am now officially a member. I don't know how much I'll use facebook in the future, but for now, I'm just going to work on familiarizing myself with the program.

Poll Results!

The poll is now closed, and the results are in! The question for this poll was, "Should I extend this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy? Two people voted, and the results are:
  • Yes - 1 vote
  • No - 1 vote

I think I'll extend the submission deadline until tomorrow, and I'll post the edition on the 6th.

53rd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Posted!

The fifty-third edition of the Carnival of Genealogy has been posted! You can read it here. The topic for the next edition is:

"The topic for the next edition of the COG is, The Family Language...Does your family use words and phrases that no one else knows or understands? Where did they come from? Did you ever try to explain your "family language" to outsiders? Tell a story about your family-coined words, phrases, or nicknames. This topic was chosen by Donna Pointkouski who will be hosting the next edition of the COG at What's Past is Prologue. Thanks Donna! The deadline for submissions is August 15th."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

To Join Or Not To Join? That is the Question ...

I've been debating for a while or whether or not I should join Facebook. Although most college students have a facebook account, I do not have one. Of course, when it comes to new things like this, I'm usually a bit slow to join. I haven't completely decided yet if it would be a good thing to join. My only concern is if having an account would distract me from my school work. Has anyone on facebook been distracted from doing their work? Any advise or comments are welcome. Thanks.