pen rainbow

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday—Good For You, Good For The Home

Where to begin?
Digging Up Your Roots


If you're already a family genealogist, you know two things:

  1. How time consuming it is, and 
  2. How addicting can be!

Depending on how long you've been at it, you might also know that uncovering the past can reveal amazing, and sometimes startling, answers to questions about your family and about yourself.

What separates good research from crappy research is accuracy and documentation.  Facts have to stand up to cross-referencing, and when it comes to family history, the documentation is often either incomplete or missing.  Actually, that is part of the fun, to separate facts from fiction and to shed light on events that may have been either forgotten or deliberately removed from the timeline.

With all of the great technology we have today, pictures and documents can be shared, reviewed and discussed online.  Free online genealogy research sites like, FamilySearch.org (a genealogical resource provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), the U.S. National Archives (a powerpoint tutorial and access to federal records of all kinds, e.g. census, military, immigration, naturalization, passport, land & bankruptcy), and the U.S. GenWeb Project (state-by-state research tools & state historical background info) are great places to start.

The largest and most well known of the paid subscription sites is Ancestry.com together with all of its associated properties, including RootsWeb (a user-contributed database).  The advantage to using Ancestry.com is the extensive database and the organized search tools.  I would recommend ancestry.com for experienced genealogists, but not for beginners.  It's too easy to get lost and overwhelmed if you don't already have some idea of how to look and where to go.  You can sign up for a free trial subscription, and if you decide to sign up for a paid subscription, the rates are as follows:  $89 for a 6-month subscription or $159 for a 1-year subscription for U.S. records and $169 for a 6-month subscription or $299 for a 1-year subscription for international records.

Cyndi's List has a good selection of genealogical websites to utilize, both paid and free.

Genealogical research takes years, and it is always a work-in-progress.  The nature of the work is start & stop, which makes good documentation a requirement if you don't want to keep retracing your steps.  Genealogy is also a shared hobby, and good documentation makes it possible for others to confirm and contribute to the database.

My rule of thumb is this:  Document sources (dates, names, contact info) or Die!  ;o)

Have fun & enjoy the treasure hunt!

Good for The Home—Reusing Eggshells
Real Simple magazine's April 2011 issue listed 28 Spring cleaning short-cuts, and I liked #5.  What a great way to recycle eggs shells!  The trick is to crunch them up evenly so that it doesn't look like you just threw your garbage into the garden.  

Thank you, chickens!  
#5.  New Uses for Eggshells—Pest Deterrent
"Sprinkle eggshell shards around the stems  of outdoor plants.  The shells will keep snails and slugs at bay."