Format Changes

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season! Time seems to be moving so quickly, I’m sure that in no time it will be New Year’s Eve.

You are probably wondering what I mean by format changes. Though my blogging has been sporadic over the last couple of years, you might have noticed recently I started to make a small change to my posts.

Oh, just say what you mean Kathleen!

There! Did you see it? My bolded funny phrase above this sentence. Okay, so sometimes I think I’m funny when no one else does. That little phrase did something behind the scenes that really helps me to keep on track with my posts.

That’s right, I’m trying to improve my readability after all these years! Breaking my paragraphs up with headings turns that red “Needs Improvement” to a very pretty shade of green!

You know that I don’t show up without picture evidence!

I’ve tried to get the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to also go green, but I found myself getting really frustrated with it. Deciding not to be discouraged, I put it down for awhile. I promised myself that I would come back to it once I’d gotten back into the groove of my blogging life. Don’t worry, I will tell you how it goes.

How do you know what turns it green?

I’m so glad you asked because I have a picture for that!

This box is right below the one I write my entries in. I also like to call this box the “Yells at me for Passive Voice Box.” That’s right, I am in constant battle with a plugin/app about passive voice. The battle even sent me to YouTube to try and improve my writing style. That didn’t go as well as I’d like, but I think we’re still doing okay over here!

Now you know why those funny(?) subheadings started showing up in my posts! If you’d like to try out the Yoast plugin on a WordPress installation, you can find it in the directory: Yoast SEO.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Yoast or WordPress except that I use their free products. No one has asked me to write this post. I certainly didn’t ask to be yelled at for passive voice in my blog entries. That’s just where we all ended up, at the same place, at the same time, wondering if I’ll every understand the laws of literature.

Video: Using a Gaming Keyboard to Help my Genealogy

You aren’t imaging things! I did indeed say that I use a gaming keyboard to help me with my genealogy. If you have 10 minutes, then go ahead and look at my video and see how I do it.

Video: WordPress Editorial Calendar

If you are using WordPress and would like to use the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin, you can find it at this link.

Brief Website Makeover

Hello all, just dropping in quickly this morning to say I’ve refreshed my database website with a new look. I am recovering from a 3 day migraine and just could not take the bright colors I used to love.

websitescreenshotI made sure to leave in links to everything that had links before. Now I just need to keep updating it so it has more current research on it. The only major re-design that would happen to either this section or the database section is when I learn more coding. 🙂 That’s going to take a little time though, so this design will probably be around a while.

I will hopefully be back later today with an actual genealogy update or record at least. Then Friday, I will be posting another time. This time for William Richard Parkin.

What’s New in my Genealogy Database

I get a lot of e-mails about what kind of information I have about all the names I talk about here on the blog. My database website is pretty outdated with the information I currently have. So I wanted to show the easiest way to find out what is new on my database website.


If you go to my main website, there is a Database Additions link in the sidebar. I will be putting some serious time in over the next couple of weeks to try and get that as updated as possible with information and documents.

Site downtime and upgrades

codingMy website will have some scheduled downtime within the next two weeks. My webhost is moving to a shiny new data center. They will let me know when the move is done, then I will have to get on my brother’s case within seven days to change a few things on the domain backend. Then everything should be good again. The problem will come if I can’t get him to get on the ball. He is a system engineer at a Florida hospital, so I understand when he can’t jump to do these things for me. 🙂 It’s more important for him to be on the ball for them.

I’ve decided to not update until the move is finished. I am doing this for the main reason that I don’t know when the move will start. My webhost said they will notify me when the move is done, so I will just wait for the move before adding new content. This insures that I won’t lose any new data that I add. After the move, I plan to upgrade my TNG software, version 11 was just released!!, and work on getting my database website up to date. Like all my other electronic devices, my websites have a lot of clutter in their storage, so I will start cleaning up all those and organizing them as well.

I hope to have as little downtime as possible, because I am ready to get things rolling here again! It was always my best way to talk things out as I was working through data confusion. 😉

The Website

My website was down for about a week while it was moved to another server. I am fixing the broken images on the last few blog posts now. They should all work by tonight!

Source Cleanups and Using OneNote

Last Friday, my goal was to cleanup the 1880 US Census source citations in my family file. I accomplished that and more! I ended up cleaning up 1880 US, 1881 England and Scotland, 1892 New York and 1895 Kansas and New Jersey. Granted those other ones are smaller amounts in my file but progress to me is progress.

Unlike last week, I think this week’s goal will have to be done bits at a time throughout the week. This week’s goal is the 1900 census.

The 1900 US Census
The 1900 US Census

In my original file I only had 148 citations and in the new merged file there were over 600.

The other thing I’m exploring this week is using Microsoft OneNote as my main note-taking software. I’ve been wishy washy (technical term :p) on whether to use OneNote or Evernote. When my family decided to go in together on purchasing the subscription to Microsoft Office 365, my mind was finally made up. I have not only my Dropbox account now but also my Microsoft SkyDrive for backup purposes.

The biggest curve is just learning all that it can do. It’s really quite a powerful tool. I’ll try and get a more in depth entry up. My sister has completely mastered it and I’m trying to get her help in adapting her college notebooks for genealogy use. Basically I’m trying to pin her down for a tutorial!

My Moore Family OneNote Notebook
My Moore Family OneNote Notebook

So far, I have one notebook for my mother’s side and one for my father’s side. I’m still trying to work out exactly how I’m going to organize it but I’ve already learned about attaching links to files and creating checklists and things of that nature.

William H Moore's Page in OneNote
William H Moore’s Page in OneNote

This is the first thought pattern I had on how to organize my notebook. It drills down from the Moore Line main notebook to the Moore surname. Then from there I have pages setup for individuals. From there I’ve added sub-pages for each section that I might need.

I don’t know if this is going to be effective yet because I’ve just started. We’ll see what my sister thinks when I finally sit her down!

Do you use OneNote? How do you organize your research? I’d sure love to hear!

Hello Out There!

First of all if you’re reading this, back up your files…

It seems I’m always apologizing to my blog for being neglectful. Here I am again. I can’t tell a lie to my blog or what blog readers stumble across me here. These computer issues really threw me for a loop.

So to sum up,  in September I made an expensive decision to finally replace my aging desktop computer. At the time my computer was still limping along and I thought it was the perfect time to actually prepare for a computer swap before it needed to happen. Then the computer got delayed in production… Yikes.

About the time of the delay, my old computer did the unforgivable, it crashed unexpectedly and uncharacteristically, and it corrupted my working family file. I still cringe thinking about it. Luckily my new computer got here and I was able to start slowly working my way through getting things moved in an organized way.. Then….

If you’ve made it this far, back up your files…

My second hard drive corrupted itself. Luckily I had been scared enough by all my issues that I had been backing them up in various places and I was able to get all my files back onto my main computer, just with no extra hard drive to share the burden of a digital file hoarder.

I limped along again, downloading my synced tree from Ancestry, merging it with my working family file and now making one universal file. I’m not going to pretend that I was spending a ton of time on that, because I wasn’t. It’s very monotonous what I’m doing and I’ll get more into that another day.

If you’re still reading back up your files…

That’s right there’s still more to this story. Apparently my new Alienware computer was too much for my old battery back up because one night in stinky, smoky fashion, that too decided to take a permanent break.

So at this point I realized enough was enough. I was done limping along on my shiny new cluttered computer.

My new battery backup
My new battery backup

I got myself a new battery backup that self tests and lets me know all kinds of useful electricity information that I don’t know how to use.  The important part though is that it works and it works well. In fact, when there was a power surge, the backup immediately switched to battery for 1 second until it was over. I have no idea why we had a power surge but it’s good to know my battery backup has my back.

My new external hard drive
My new external hard drive

I also purchased myself a new external hard drive. This one is pure backup. In fact I have it set to automatically back up. It’s also connected to my Dropbox account which is going to be super handy.

The third thing I did was take the hard drive out of my old desktop and I formatted it. This one is now in my new computer as my “Genealogy Drive” and it is also set to back up to the external drive.

External Hard drive
External Hard drive

I’m still not completely comfortable using my old main hard drive as my genealogy drive but at least it is backed up onto my external every time there is a change made. This buys me more time until I’m able to purchase another internal hard drive that is the size and price I like.

So now after all this technology breakdown, I am back up and running, but very behind in emails and having to cancel most of my genealogy memberships due to the price of all the new equipment. I’ll get back up there though! Just slowly. 😉

How do you deal with full equipment breakdowns? Replace, repair, or give up completely?

Disclaimer: I am not connected to any of the companies I listed in this post. Just a paying customer and I didn’t receive any compensation to write this post.

Happy Almost November!

Wow guys! I sure didn’t expect to be down a whole month from the blog. I had told you about my ordering my new computer, and I was happily still working on my cleaned up files until about 2 weeks before the computer came. Then my old computer committed an unforgivable act. It corrupted my working file. Fortunately for me that was the day my computer was originally scheduled to be delivered. Unfortunately, the computer was delayed twice due to parts being out of stock. I was scared to use my old computer so I just put up my genealogy and worked on quilts. I was very lucky that I had just backed up, so I lost almost no progress. Phew!

Now I have the new computer and it’s wonderful! I didn’t realize how much my computer had slowed down and didn’t work until I had a working one again. The only problem is now I’m faced with the mess I left behind with the old computer. Good news being that I lost zero files.

The Tree Sync inssue
The Tree Sync issue

Being honest with myself tells me that no matter what happened, the second I bought my computer I was going to have to face this issue. No getting around it. After reading the FAQ on Ancestry and thinking out the situation I think I know how I’m going to proceed.

Bottom Line = New Computer means that my Online Tree and FTM file are no longer synced. There isn’t a way to connect the two again except for the options I’m about to outline.

Option 1: Upload FTM file to new tree

Option 1: Re-upload Family File
Option 1: Re-upload Family File

I can upload my current file to as a brand new tree. I have a few problems with this. #1 being that I’ve had a public tree and people have saved my pictures to their trees. I would like to keep these links between trees in tact. For the collaborators and myself. I like having the links, it’s partly why I went public. I like being able to easily share my images with my spread out extended family. A lot of times I can get the pictures to them faster by just putting them in the tree attached to who they belong to.

Option 2: Download from to new FTM file.

Option 2: Download from Ancestry
Option 2: Download from Ancestry

Option 2 leaves all the links in tact and the only drawback being that all my pretty sources are in a bit of trouble. Still I don’t think it would take much to get these in order. I’m still unsure on how to get the media files back into my organization method without breaking the link. I’ll probably try that a few times with a test tree before fully committing to option 2. This one seems like the most likely way to get back to business for me.

No matter which option I choose, I’ve still been working on my family file cleanup. I’m actually almost done with it. This also throws a kink into Option 2, but I’m debating fixing the 50+ person difference with a merged file.

Oy, tons and tons of decisions to make. I don’t regret the new computer and I can’t wait to be fully operational again.