Albany Awakens to the Benefits of Exploitation

Donna in Albany, NY, at the Clinton Theater – Sep 20-26, 1920

Albany Awakens to the Benefits of Exploitation

I was watching the live stream from RootsTech Friday.  Lisa Louise Cooke gave an awesome presentation on “Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy.” I use Google all the time and use many advanced techniques, but Lisa’s talk reminded me of some ways to use Google I haven’t used in ages, and should.
I went back to my current research topic, my grandmother’s vaudeville career. Based upon Lisa’s suggestions, I thought about Donna’s 1920 show,  “The California Bathing Girls in a Beach Promenade.” I searched using both phrases and the year of interest, 1920. Also, I eliminated my blog site from the results Googling this:
“California Bathing Girls” “beach promenade” 1920
-site:http://blog.dtaylorgenealogy.com
Amazingly, the search returned 5 results. Two of the results I had seen before. One was to a missing/parked domain. But two of them went to magazines that referenced Donna’s show. One of the articles was an absolute gem in the “Motion Picture News” about how Albany, NY was awakening to a multi-focused advertising campaign.[i] The movie “Up in Mary’s Attic” was the foundation of the advertising, which promoted the “California Bathing Girls.”  The ‘Girls were used to promote going to California. And a great way to get to California and see the girls was to enlist in the Army. They had large displays of the Attic with silhouettes of the girls in bathing suits, motor cycles cruising the streets advertising both the movie and joining the Army. Last, but not least, they used aeroplanes to drop advertisements of the show over the city. Say what?  Yes, the Army dropped flyers about the movie, the girls, and joining the Army. With Donna’s experience back in 1915 dropping flyers about “Birth of a Nation,” I wonder if she was involved with the idea of using air-drops as a means of advertising.  I would like to think she was.
Article: Albany Awakens to the Benefits of Exploitation - Not in Copyright.
Motion Picture News, October 2, 1920, Page 2601
Finally, I set up a Google Alert of that query to learn if anything new is added to the Internet in the future. Thanks again to Lisa Louise Cooke and RootsTech for reminding me of ways to better utilize Google and find genealogical gems. (pun intended).

Sources:

[i] Motion Picture News (Aug-Oct 1920)
Volume 22.2; October 2, 1920, Page 2601; Publisher Motion Picture News, Inc.; The Library of Congress has determined that this item is not in copyright.
https://archive.org/details/motionpicturenew222unse
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Genealogy Education & Training

Genealogy Training – Volunteering, Attending, Reading, Conferences, & Videos — oh my.

I was recently asked about what I do for Genealogical Training.  How do I keep up with things genealogical?  Of course, learning is an ongoing process, but the key to learning, in my opinion, it to provide an environment for learning.  I do that in several ways.

First of all, I volunteer at my local historical society and museum. There, I regularly answer questions from individuals who have questions regarding their genealogical searches. I have only been in Maine about a year and a half, so my volunteer work helps me really learn about the place where I am living and the ancestors of this place. I am also learning about the genealogical records available here. Not only does it help me help others but it also helps me understand what types of records are available at a historical society in general.  I am amazed at the kinds and types of materials that are possible. There are resources that I would never have thought of. By volunteering, I have the knowledge to ask other societies for specific types of materials or searches and hone in on specific possibilities.

Next, I attend my local chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society.  Every month they host a speaker who talks about various genealogical topics and I attend.  Not only does it give an hour of education it has the side benefit of meeting and conversing with individuals who actually care about my genealogical successes and brick walls as I care about theirs. Just those conversations can be motivating and inspiring.  I even gave one of the talks last summer regarding “Social Media and Genealogy.”  There is nothing that teaches you more than preparing to give a talk.

Next, I am particularly interested in genetic genealogy. There is a new Genealogical DIG (DNA Interest Group) here in Maine,  which I am now attending.  I also volunteered to help with a website for them. Not only do I learn about genetic genealogy through the meetings, I learn even more as I help with the content of the website.  And again, being able to chat with individuals with a similar interest in genetic genealogy can sometimes be inspiring. 
Next, I read. I subscribe to several magazines and the other societies I belong to send magazines focused upon their society. I also subscribe to several blogs of individuals that I know their writings will usually be interesting. Another thing I did was create a daily magazine at Paper.li. I am still using the free version and have the system create a Genealogical Daily.  I check it every day.  You can modify your paper to ignore some types of content and I’ve adjusted mine to eliminate some of the more flagrant sales pitches. Sure, it sometimes duplicates items I’ve already seen through my few blog subscriptions but I can quickly bypass the.  I think it is a great resource. If you are interested in seeing what I’ve done, see it at http://paper.li/DT_Genea/1445328221. Feel free to subscribe or favorite it. If I see enough users I might try to curate the postings.

Next, I plan to attend three, day-long genealogical focused seminars or conferences this year. All are sponsored by my state Genealogical Society.  

1.   2016 Maine Genealogical Society Spring Workshop – April 23, 2016. The keynote speaker is well-known genetic genealogist Blaine Bettinger

2.   2016 Southern Maine Genealogy Conference – May 21, 2016. The keynote Speaker is D. Joshua Taylor of “Genealogy Roadshow” fame.

3.   2016 Maine Genealogical Society and Annual Meeting – September 17, 2016. The keynote Speaker is Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGL

I think between the workshop, conference and meeting, I’ll pick up many new things.

Finally, I watch a one hour video every week.  I tend to miss watching a video on weeks that I’m attending a conference but I watch one most every week.  My favorites are usually RootsTech videos.  They never have a bad video. 

My plans include about ninety hours of semi-formal training, (50 hours of videos, at least 15 hours at conferences, and 24 hours of presentation at society chapter and DIG meetings. Add another 100+ hours of volunteer service at the Historical Society and Museum supporting genealogical activities and I figure I’ll be learning all year.

How many can you check off?

þ Volunteer at local historical or genealogical society.
þ Attend your local genealogical society’s chapter meetings.
þ Attend your local genealogical DIG meetings.
þ Attend local genealogical conferences.
þ Subscribe to and read genealogical magazines.
þ Subscribe and read genealogical blogs.
þ Watch genealogical educational videos.

Important Links:

Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society (Facebook)
   2016 Spring Workshop –  23 April 2016
GeneaBloggers has over 3000 genealogical blogs listed on their website. (Facebook)
Paper li and Don Taylor’s Genealogy Daily
RootsTech 2015 Video Archive (Note: RootsTech 2016 is in just a few weeks. Typically, these videos are unavailable when the new RootsTech takes place. There may be a couple weeks between when the video archive for 2015 is not available and the 2016 archive becomes available.
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Review: RootsTech – “What’s New at Family Search”


I try to watch at least one genealogical video every week just to keep up with what is going on. Of course, I get behind a lot, but it is a goal. I’ve been catching up with RootsTech 2015 videos.

They are always among the best genealogy videos out there. If you haven’t seen them, you should. This week I watched, Devin Ashby’s video regarding “What’s New at FamilySearch.” Family Search is my Number 1 free site — I use it regularly (at least weekly) and figured that Devin’s presentation could help me catch me up with new features at FamilySearch. Of course, I was right again – it was an excellent presentation and was able to learn some new things and able to solidify some other capabilities more clearly in my mind.

I felt that Devin started a little slow, but his content improved as the talk went on. Most of what he talked about I already knew or had seen before through other newsletters and blogs that I subscribe to. However, towards the end of the video he mentioned some software/online resources that I hadn’t seen before, most of which work with Family Search.

First was #MyToday which makes a journal of your Facebook top events, photos, and statuses. I set it up and tried it – Nothing. When I’d hit the start button, something that should “take about a minute” the icon just spin and spin as it was “Processing.” So, I guess the site is not working at this time. After several minutes, my browser (Chrome) goes to a blank screen.

Next was Puzzilla.com. It creates sort of a stick chart of your family tree. It has the ability to take you to other sites to see the information. I wasn’t impressed. Frankly, I felt the stick-chart tree was pretty lame. The chart has a number of features, but I think the fan chart and links within FamilySearch are better. Luckily, disabling the Puzzilla account is easy. Just log into Family Search, click on your name on the top right, then on settings. Click [Revoke Access] twice and you are done.

The next one was “Find a Record.” It looked cool in his presentation, so I was excited to take a closer look. Wow! I was impressed. You use your Family Search login and Find a Record suggests areas of research for you based upon what you have, or don’t have, on Family Search. It also provides immediate links to their partner sites: Ancestry.Com, Billion Graves, Family Search, Find-A-Grave, Find My Past, and My Heritage. Those links auto-fill your key data into the search parameters on those sites to keep you from having to reenter the same information on each site – Very useful. There is also a Chrome extension that is very handy. With the extension, when you view a person in Family Search, there is an icon in your browser address window that, when clicked, brings you to the Find a Record page for that person that provides suggestions for research.

In case you didn’t know, there is also an Ancestry Family Search Extension for Chrome that allows you to click once from an individual’s page on Ancestry and have your browser take you to Family Search with the parameters for the individual auto filled in. Anyway, I think Find a Record can be a really useful tool to facilitate researching an individual efficiently. If you have an Ancestry.Com subscription, find the individual on Ancestry, research the hints there, use the Family Search Chrome Extension to switch to Family Search, search there, then use the Find-a-Record extension to switch there and search Find my Past and My Heritage, etc. if you have accounts there. I like it because it focuses me on one individual and helps keep me from being distracted by BSOs (bright shiny objects).

Finally, Rootsmapper.com was mentioned in Devin’s talk. It is supposed to map out your ancestors and where they are from. I think it has possibilities, but I found the interface confusing and difficult to use. I’ll try it again when I have a better-defined family tree in Family Search.

That brings me to the last point.  In order to use any of these tools (except for #MyToday) you need a tree on Family Search. The better your tree is on Family Search, the better the results will be using these tools.  I currently keep my trees on Ancestry so I’ll need to improve my trees on Family Search in order to really see how useful Rootsmapper, and, possibly Puzzilla, are.

The bottom line:
10 – RootsTech: (In general)
 9 – Family Search (The best free site for research on the internet)

 8 – RootsTech: “What’s New at Family Search” (Slow start but great end.)

 8 – Find-a-Record (I’m planning to incorporate it into my workflow.)
 5 – Rootsmapper (I will revisit it when I have a more substantial tree on FamilySearch in a few weeks.)

 4 – Puzzilla (Family Search itself does a better job.)

 1 – #My Today (Site not working – Maybe I’ll revisit it in a few weeks.)

Future Actions

Revisit #MyToday
Revisit Rootsmapper

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RootsTech: YouTube Your Family History

It seems that I left the best for last of the RootsTech videos (of those I intend to watch).

YouTube Your Family History By Devin Ashby was extremely good.  He spent a short time with background information about You Tube and then gave three ideas for ways to use You Tube.  First was an Ancestor Video.  Creating a life story for an individual can be wonderful.  He does a great job of showing that a video might be much more interesting to family members than the boring trees and charts I love so much.  He suggests some possible software applications that can be used to produce your video.  He has great ideas, some of which will may the “Aunties Project” I’m working on much better.  I think I can also use some of his ideas on some church videos.  So his material was very useful.
He talks some about creating a website tour, where you provide sort of a guide to your website.  I don’t think that is useful to me right now, but I’ll keep the idea in the back of my mind in the event it does become necessary.
Finally, he talked about creating a channel.  He mentioned that having a channel can provide a way to make money from your videos. Of course, he mentions his channel, The Google Genealogist which looks very good.  I’ve subscribed and am looking forward to seeing more of his materials. 
As a side note, in the background portion of his talk he mentions the YouTube Symphony. I had vaguely heard of it but had never seen it. His mention spurred me to looking it up.  It is really good.  I’m playing it as background as I work and am enjoying it immensely.
  

Roots Tech: YDNA Solutions to Common Genealogical Problems

In keeping with my goal to watch all of the presentations from this past RootsTech conference I decided to watch GeneTech: YDNA Solutions to Common Genealogical Problems by Nathan Murphy.  The presentation was originally given at RootsTech but was re-recorded somewhere else (presumably at Family Search).

Because of my genetic history, I have a substancial interest in YDNA and using it as a tool for research.
Overall, the presentation had good material and was worth watching.  He provided good information about various tests and potential reasons to select between Family Tree, Ancestry DNA, and GeneTree.  
He also talked about places that allow for free uploads of your data, YSearchGeneTree and Ancestry.  

Nathan’s presentation style was quite stiff. He failed to engage the audience, and was quite apparently reading his material. 

That said, most importantly his talk and discussion really made me want to document my DNA experiences. I think they are interesting, so, I plan to document my findings and experiences with both my Y-DNA and my autosomal DNA tests and their results.  You will see the story of My DNA interspersed with my other posts.