Category Archives: My Favorite Things

My Tools: Windows Live Writer

The other day, I posted about the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. What you didn’t know was that I was playing with a blogging program while I was typing up that post. It was tons of fun, and I decided that I will use it more! I’ve had it on my computer ever since I tried it for Great Grandma’s Journal transcription. I forgot all about it until this weekend. Then I got curious about how it could work for what I blog about now. Well color me surprised! There’s a lot packed into this program! It’s called Windows Live Writer.

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I liked being able to see what it would look like with my layout. Depending on your blog layout, you will see more or less here. I just like seeing how it would look on my background.

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It’s as easy and point and click to insert images and links!

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Even entering tables is easy as pie! Tables aren’t exactly popular among coders anymore, but for beginning webmasters, they are a layout dream. I used tables on all my layouts up until the last year or so. In fact, I still use tables on my index page on Moore Mays. It is sometimes easier then making sure that each browser will interpret your code the same. Trust me, the more complicated the code, the more hassle it is. Tables are a nice simple layout option.

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I had the most fun playing with the image effects. You should have seen my face when I had instant rounded corners! I love rounded corners. I actually was trying to round the corners of everything in the beginning of this blog. However, to get the transparency I wanted, I had to save files as .png. That made the file size MUCH bigger than I liked.

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The watermark feature was interesting too! Yet another Photoshop shortcut. I love those by the way. I don’t usually put watermarks on anything, because I’m not real worried about photo theft. If they want to get it, they get it. If you get my drift. I like how I could just add a little MoaG watermark in the bottom corner though. It made the pictures a little more personal to me. I won’t be in the habit of doing that but maybe on pictures I take on trips and post here, I will make the effort. So they are a bit more special.

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Another favorite button of mine was the little Preview button at the bottom. This shows you EXACTLY what your post will look like once it’s posted. I like to use this often so I can make sure I have things laid out properly.

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There is also a Source button there to show the raw code if you like that kind of thing. Along with the Source option, there is spell check! I don’t know what I would do without spell check so thank god for that!

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You can do most everything in this program that you can do on your blog. Depending on the blogging program you use, maybe even more!

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Including opening posts from your online blog! You can make some minor changes, I haven’t completely tried it yet. You can’t add the effects to pictures already posted though. I tried to get my rounded corners back in my first post and it didn’t work!

Overall, I’m really enjoying playing with this program. I can’t wait to find out what else there is to it. Definitely worth a download at least!

My Tools: TNG Sitebuilding Software

Most times when I get questions or comments about my main site moore-mays.org, people want to know what I use to handle the large amount of information that is on my site. First thing I have to say, this method is not for people who don’t have a basic knowledge of how to work with MySQL databases. By that I mean, you must at least know how to create one, or have someone who can. Once that is done, I don’t think you need any advanced knowledge. That’s the beauty of this software.

The software is called The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding. It is written by a guy named Darrin Lythgoe. I have been using this software with little to no problems for at least a few years. Once you set up your database, there is a readme file that guides you through all the other installation steps. It’s very painless!

Once you have everything installed, this is what you are left with. Your canvas couldn’t be any blanker! What I love about this is it’s very easy to just take over from this point. I have always tried to customize straight from the beginning but I never took the time to make sure I had everything proportioned correctly, or that I was going CSS class by CSS class to make sure all my text was still visible.

If I just lost you with that last sentence, don’t be intimidated! You don’t have to know any of that if you just want a simple site but aren’t exactly sure how to go about it. There are 8 pre-built templates that are available for download at the site fore you to use.

In the course of this site, I have used template 2, template 4, and template 8. I always try to customize it to my own tastes, but like I said, you don’t have to if you don’t know how! These files are just quickly uploaded and ready to go on your site!

This is my first fully customized layout using the TNG software. To achieve this, I made my own images and only had to modify less than five pages. I only had to modify 1 CSS file, the index page, and the header and footer files. All I really had to do to the header and footer files was to copy and paste my “layout codes” into them. Then I was done. For anyone who does website coding but doesn’t know much about programming, this is perfect.

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding

Treasure Chest Thursday and My Favorite Things

Today’s blog can double for a GeneaBlogger topic and a My Favorite Things post! The “treasure” I’ll tell you about is my Great Grandmother Llewellyn’s journal. I’ve tried transcribing to the site a few times but nothing that has stuck. I’ll get that worked out soon.

As you can see the journal is quite old. It’s dated 1923, and I think she used it to cover a three year period.

It’s not exactly in the greatest shape on the outside but it’s definitely in great condition otherwise!

Every month has little birthday reminders at the beginning. Not only family birthdays but also friends. There is even a list of visited places written on one of the pages. What a diverse list it was too! I’m guessing that list would be the places I see in the many pictures I have of her traveling. My Aunt Lori says it’s most likely she was traveling with the church. I definitely concur with that!

In honor of Easter coming up, I turned to Easter. As you can see, she drew a line and added further down the page. Some pages have three sections. This is why I think the journal was used for a three year period. Not to mention the only way it makes sense is if you read it like they are separate years.

After reading Llewellyn’s journal and feeling closer to her, I couldn’t help but start my own. One day I hope my great-grandchildren will be able to get a glimpse of my life from my journal. I hope they treasure it as much as I treasure Llewellyn’s.

Treasure Chest Thursday is a Daily Blogging Topic that I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Treasure Chest Thursday simply create a post with the main focus being a family treasure, an heirloom or even an every-day item important to your family.

Favorite Things: Books, and more Books

I’m sure you’re all familiar with what we genealogists go through to find our family history. I was putting together a blog about a Duggar-sized family in my family tree, then I realized that it was going to take me longer than this afternoon to finish. So maybe by Monday, I’ll have my facts and funny repertoire together enough to actually finish that post. Now I’m going to talk to you about another favorite thing of mine. It just happens to be books.

When I say books, I of course mean all books. I read just about anything you put in front of me and I’ll devour it in one sitting if my family would let me. It’s just one of those things I can’t live without. I happen to have a small collection of genealogy books that I’ve been meaning to sit down and go through one by one. Some I’ve looked at and read, but didn’t really utilize what I’d learned. That’s a crying shame too, because these books are pretty awesome.

This is one I’ve really got to finish reading. It was actually this book that inspired me to make the blog! The book tells you to sit down and decide what type of family history you are trying to write. Do you want a collection of pure facts? Were you suckered in by the enjoyable, but not so well documented Roots? In the book there are 7 different types of family history genres they tell you to think about. When I thought about what type I would be interested in writing, I decided on number 5. It’s basically a Family History Memoir. Just the word memoir made me think how conceded I’d gotten, just by deciding to write a book! Who am I to have a memoir? Well, why shouldn’t I have a memoir! Thinking back to all the conversations I’ve ever had with relatives or even acquaintances I realized something big. More than the actual stories I was telling, I mostly enjoyed just sharing the experience. I also find that when I discuss the fun hijinks my research pushes me into, the people I am telling enjoy the story that much more. So that’s my goal for life. To write my Family History Memoir. I don’t know anything else about it, except I want to call it something that is a play on my last name. How can you have a last name like Moore and not use it for fun?

Oh how I wish I had the gusto and unlimited time to actually become an Accredited Genealogist. Someday I might even see about going back to school for History or even Family History. BYU offers that. I know because I looked. It’s just a thought. This book really outlines the process you should take if you are even thinking about becoming a professional genealogist. I know nothing about the professional side of things but I’m sure reading and following the advice in this book can’t hurt.

This book I have spent many an hour reading and pouring over the pages of pictures. If you know me, you know I have an unhealthy obsession with Ireland. If only my dream Irishman would come and sweep me off my feet already! In a close second to my Irish obsession is a love of all things Scottish. This is actually another one of the ‘coincidences’ that I don’t believe in. All my life I’ve been obsessed with Ireland, Scotland, and Brooklyn. Even before I knew where any of them (yes even Brooklyn) were on a map. When I started researching my Dad’s family, I found many ties to all the things I’d always loved and obsessed over. It’s scary sometimes with those ‘coincidences’!

This book feeds that love I have for all things Scotland. What I love about this book is it gives information about the clans in relation to Scottish historical events. I don’t know about you, but I certainly want to know when my ancestor’s clans were involved in history.

I won’t deny I got all kinds of excited to see Menzies in the book. Of course they were in the book as they are a clan, but for some reason I was worried I’d open it and they wouldn’t be there. I didn’t get a good picture of it, but it shows you all the different tartans of a lot of the clans. I was aware that there were different kinds of tartans for different reasons (Dress, War, Regular). What I wasn’t aware of was how different these tartans could look! It’s quite an experience to really delve deep into something you thought you understood.

Ahh, here are the MacKinnons! The Love family were a sept (basically another branch of the family) of the Clan MacKinnon. If you think I found that out, you’d be wrong. I did verify it later, but I actually learned that little nugget of information from my Aunt Lori. She was sitting on a bench in her hometown and a random stranger came up and gave her a family history lesson! That’s how we roll guys. Love it or hate it, we randomly collect relatives.

Yes please? I’d really love to break down my brick wall. William H. Moore left Ireland for America in the late 1850’s. He was a young man at the time, only a teenager if I have his age right. One day I will bridge that gap to Ireland, and then I will find an Irishman to sweep me off my feet. Sorry, it’s a sickness. It really is.

All joking aside, this book is going to be very helpful. This chart is great to show you how your Irish ancestors can be identified from Census information. Gosh do I love the Census. Thanks to the 1900 census I was able to find out William H Moore immigrated in 1857. Then in the 1910 census I discovered he was Naturalized in 1859. I really should start looking for that Naturalization record somewhere. I’ve been hoping to find his death record for a birth date though. It’s just the thought of finding William Moore, from Ireland, in Brooklyn… It doesn’t even need to be said, in fact I can’t even think about it right now. I was lucky to find him in all those census records so far!

This book is going to be so much fun to explore. In fact, if you don’t see me for 5 months it’s because I’ve devoured the book and my Irishman finally swept me off my feet.

Believe it or not this book was a gift. From my sister no less. I’m really proud that she would know that brick walls, burned courthouses, and those blasted same names (William Moore, William Mays, I’m looking at you), was something I would be in desperate need of. Maybe I’d actually have solved all those problems if I’d open this book! Why do I do that to my books?

Now this is just mean. All this time, I could have had organized research! The truth is, I read this book immediately and thoroughly. However when I thought about applying some of these methods, well it wasn’t pretty. They are quite helpful and I’m sure they’d work… If I had a complete office setup and a million dollars to devote to nothing but file cabinets and printer ink. The thought of printing out all the records I have saved on my computer makes me break out in hives. Eventually I’ll do it though. It’s going to be wonderful.

Favorite Things: Thorward Photos

There are many things that I love. Some of those things have nothing to do with genealogy. However, many of them have everything to do with genealogy! I was going through some of my picture files today and I decided to post some of my favorite Thorward Family photos.

William Lawrence Moore – My great grandfather. I never got to meet him. He passed away before I was born. When I started researching my Dad’s side of the family, I immediately felt connected to this man. I know that if I had met him, I probably would have wanted to move to Jersey to live with him and my Great Grandmother. :)

Llewellyn Thorward-Moore – My great grandmother. This is William’s wife. I have a picture of them together that I also love, but I just love love love this picture. In fact I loved it so much I’ve used it in almost all the layouts for this website. I have to say I knew next to nothing about my father’s family before I started this genealogy journey. I also never got to meet Llewellyn. I was a baby the last time we went to Jersey and she passed away in 1986. I was just 3 years old. I feel as if I know her though. While going through all these pictures and documents, I always come across Llewellyn’s handwritten comments and notes. She even left behind a journal that I’ll eventually be able to transcribe to the website. William and Llewellyn have to be two of my favorite people in the world.

Clifford Herbert Redford and friends. Clifford is sitting at the bottom left. What strikes me about this picture is not only did my Aunt send me a copy of it, but my great Aunt also sent me a copy. On the back of my Great Aunt’s copy, Clifford’s name was written as well as William Herbert Moore! Now I don’t know which of the men is William and I don’t know if this William is even related to the Moore branch of my tree. For all our family knows the Redford’s and the Moore’s didn’t mix until my Grandpa Moore married my Grandma (Florence Redford-Moore). So this is just one of those mysteries I can’t wait to solve!

William Moore, Llewellyn Thorward-Moore, Grandpa Moore, George W Thorward. What I love about this picture is everything! We won’t mention who the other three people in the picture are. I just can’t spend anymore time tonight trying to identify people! I just can’t! I love the houses in the background, I love how happy everyone looks. I love that my Great Grandma’s brother is pointing a toy gun (I hope!) at his nephew! Even in the 1930’s our family were jokesters!

Llewellyn Thorward-Moore and friends. I have a bunch of photos of Llewellyn traveling. I don’t know what she was traveling for. Most likely with the church, but she sure had a ton of fun! What I love about this picture isn’t even Llewellyn! It’s the girl front and center! How great is she. I love the glasses, I love the hate, I just love her character. When I first saw this picture I didn’t even notice Llewellyn. This goes to show, you don’t need to always think about your relatives. Sometimes there’s a gem, just sitting there on the sidelines!

So that’s 5 of my favorite photos that are linked to my Dad’s side of the family! I can’t wait to see what other treasures I find as I scan these pictures.

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