29 January 2009

Creating Photo Books

One ultimate goal of many genealogists is to publish their work.  For me, I find writing a book to be beyond my abilities.  Instead, I find that creating a photo book that trace a branch of my family tree is much easier. 

I've tried a few different options over the last year or so.  Each one is unique, but also like the others.  I'll start with the one that I use the most: Blurb.com.

Unlike many other photo book creating sites, Blurb provides a downloaded software program that allows you to create your book off-line (available for Mac & PC).  Start by setting up an account, then download the BookSmart program.  The program is easy to use, helping you set up your book with step by step assistance.

1. Choose your book size.  One reason that I love Blurb is their prices.  A 7x7 paperback book is only $12.95 for 40 pages! There are a variety of other sizes as well, and their website details the options.

Picture 6

2.  Choose a book type.   You can choose from photo books, text books, cookbooks, journals, yearbooks and more.  But this is just a starting point!  Once you create your book, you can choose pages from any style to add you your book.

Picture 7

3.  Import your photos.  Before you start your book, you can import photos from your computer, iphoto, photobucket, flickr, and more.  You can also do this later in your book creating process.

Picture 8

4. Design your book.  There are a lot of different things going on once you've created your book.  Here's what the screen looks like:

Picture 9

The largest part of your screen is where you create your page.  Below, is a page by page navigation of your book.  Just click on a page to view it.  You can view single or double pages and you can zoom in.  At the top of the page is your tool bar, where you can adjust fonts, backgrounds and more.

On the left of the screen are your "elements."  At the top left, you choose what type of page you'd like: photos, text, cookbook, journal, etc.  Below that are your photos.  Just click and drag the photo to the page. Here you can also upload more photos.

Once you have a page how you'd like it, run the spell check and click "Preview Book"  When the book is done, it will be uploaded to blurb.com (it can take a little while). Once uploaded, you can preview the first 15 pages before purchasing.  You can make the book available for others to see an purchase, which could be very a very handy feature for sharing the book with your family. 

Blurb ships all around the world and will give you a price estimate for your order.  Their prices seem on par with other services.  The book arrive in good time and are well made.  The pages are glossy and I've never had a problem with their printing.  What you create is what you will receive.

There are two things that I don't like about blurb.com.  First, you're using a template for every page, which keeps you locked in.  To get around this: If you're handy with photoshop, you can always create your pages in that program and then load them into blurb on a "full bleed" page.  Another issue I have is that these books are shipped with an "easy peel" sticker on the back.  Ha!  These are not easy to peel.  I contacted blurb about these stickers and they recommend removing them with goo-gone or nail polish remover.  I recommended that they just not put this sticker on the book.

Regardless of these two issues, I highly recommend blurb as economical, well made and easy to create.

blurb.com books

27 January 2009

Visiting Libraries, Pt. 2

Today my mom and I visited the Decatur Library, located in Decatur, DeKalb, Georgia. The Library is a five story building, with the reference section located on the second floor. There is a two level parking deck located behind the library that provides parking for the library and the recreation center next door. The deck does not provide adequate parking and it was pure luck that we found a spot after circling the deck twice - along with about 20 other cars. When going back I might consider taking MARTA or finding a meter spot down the street.

decatur libraryThe second floor is the research floor, filled with non-circulating materials. There is a good amount of seating, with electrical plugs for computer chargers. There are two copy machines (15¢ a copy). There are two microfilm machines, though I did not try them today. There are about five rows of books that would be of interest to genealogy researchers. The collection includes a few Atlanta & Atlanta Suburb City Directories for the 1960s, GA County Histories, books of Vital Records for some counties, Census Indices, DAR books and more.

Some records that I found useful were "The Hart of Georgia: A History of Hart County" and the Atlanta Suburban Directories. I was really hoping to find Cobb County, Georgia marriage records, but the ones I found were from too early of a time period. I'm hoping to go back soon to look at the Hart County book again - it was thick and I hardly got started looking at it.

Tombstone Tuesday - Britt

Nathaniel Britt

My Great-Grandfather Nathaniel Britt was born and raised in Emanuel County, Georgia to William Britt and Amelia Parish. He married Ledora Barfield of the same location. Their children were Ollie, Evoid, Sarah, and Helen.

Nathaniel died of prostate cancer and is buried in Melwood Cemetery in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He is buried next to his daughter, Ollie.

26 January 2009

Monday Memories - Learning to make Biscuits

Mom: I was telling Valerie about, um, when my mom got married - um, really young - my mom got married real young. And so, she didn't know how to cook. So she had to teach herself how to cook. So, um, one day she was trying to teach me how to cook biscuits and I was not doing a very - I, I just couldn't understand it - I couldn't do it. And, the way your Grandmama would cook biscuits is she would take the flower, and she had it in a big bowl and then she'd make a little well with her hand. She's sorta stir it so you'd have this little impression there. And then she just put her ingredients in there and mix 'em up - with her hands. And with your Grandmama, whenever she was cooking, she didn't measure anything. It was just like she knew how much to put in there. And then she could feel when the biscuit dough was right. And so, whenever I tried to do it and she was trying to tell me, she just go so frustrated. And, um, because I was tryin' to do it and the dough was sticking to my hands. And she was tryin' to explain why. And so finally she just made the biscuits. And so, um - but she told me, uh I - I was frustrated and I said, "I'm never gonna learn how to make biscuits" - which I never did. But, um, she was saying how she had to teach herself how to make 'em. And I said, "Why didn't your, um, your mom teach you?" And she says, "Well one - one day my Grandmama was gonna teach me how to bake biscuits. And, uh, she - she told me to come home by a certain time 'cause she was teachin' me - gonna teach me how to bake biscuits. And she said, but, um, what happened was she come home and, uh, she washed her hands and she went to go help her make biscuits. And she had put on - she had been over at one of her girlfriends house and she'd put on finger nail polish. And when her grandmother saw that fingernail polish on her hands, she had a fit! And told her, "how dare she think she's gonna make biscuits in her kitchen with that stuff on her fingers. And just get outa there." And, uh, she never would teach my mom how to make biscuits after that, because she come home wearin' finger nail polish one day. She just thought that was shocking that she was gonna make biscuits with finger nail polish on.

Valerie: What about other food?

Mom: She, she didn't teacher her how to cook anything.

Valerie: What about her mom - did her mom teach her how to cook?

Mom: No, she didn't know how to cook anything when she got married.

Valerie: Not a single thing?

Mom: Not a single thing.

Valerie: Did she talk about what they ate when they first got married?

Mom: Your Grandaddy used to laugh and say she didn't even know how to boil water when they got married.

Valerie: So what did they eat?

Mom: I don't know! They didn't starve. I guess got - like I said she taught herself how to cook.
Well, you know, for a while - for a little while she lived with, um, they lived with Aunt Tootsie.
Daddy's sister in South Carolina. And so finally Mama got fed up with that. And one day she just told - she just packed up and moved back to her parent's house. And she told her Daddy - she told Daddy, um, my Daddy - that he could either find a home, provide her a home or, or do without her. 'Cause she wasn't livin' with people anymore unless it was her people. So, he got a job in Atlanta and, and they got a hou- an apartment. And that's when it started... [unintelligible] So, I don't know. She just - she just taught herself how to cook.

25 January 2009

Finding Photos on Flickr

I love flickr.com for photo sharing and storage.  It's a great place to find photos from others, including family history and genealogy photos.

Flickr has a section, called The Commons, where museums and archive can post their photos to share.  Institutions such as The Library of Congress, The State Library of South Wales, The National Galleries of Scotland, Imperial War Museum, The National Medium Museum, George Eastman House, and Nationaal Archief have posted part of their collections online.  In general, most of these photos have no copyright, due to expiration. 

These groups are great places to find photos because, just like the rest of the photos on flickr, you can search the tags, titles or descriptions to find photos.  When you find a photo, if you have a flickr/yahoo account you can comment on the photo - many people comment with wikipedia links to describe the person, place or thing in the photo.

But searchers shouldn't limit themselves to the commons when searching for family and genealogy photos.  Small museums and archive might not be connected with The Commons, but may still have a flickr account.  I found out that a local archive, the Kenan Research Center, has a flickr account.  Searching for "snow" and "atlanta" turned up a variety of photos that they have posted online.  I'm always looking for photos of atlanta to try and find photos of where my ancestors lived.  I was very happy to find these.


PS: If you have an unusual or not-so-popular surname make sure to search for it.  I just found senior portraits of my aunt and uncle from a fellow classmate who's scanned his yearbook into flickr!

23 January 2009

Desperately Seeking Identification

Who are you?  I really want to know! This photo is in my great-grandmother Ruby Waters' photo album.  Families in this album include Waters, Smith, Bouchillon, Huyler. In general, the photos are from Georgia and South Carolina.

I'd date this photo late 1920s (?).  The back says:

I've searched the 1930 census but can't seem to find a family that fits.  If anyone has any information, I'd love to hear from you!


Preserving Newspapers

I'm guilty of abuse toward my newspapers.  I had to run all over town the day after the election to get them, but I haven't taken any steps to preserve them.  Today, I made an effort to correct my laziness. 

Before getting started, I wanted to educate myself on preservation techniques.  It was actually a little frustrating to find this information.  Websites for the Library of Congress and International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions concentrate on preservation through microfilming.  Obviously, this isn't a viable option when looking at just a few newspapers. Otherwise, these groups give very little information on how to economically preserve a small number of newspapers.

I found two websites that did have pretty good information on how to preserve newspapers: the State Archives of Florida and HistoryBuff.com.  

After reading the advice on these sites, my preservation plans changed a bit.  I had been planning to store my newspapers folded, but I see that this is not recommended.  I decided to interspace my newspaper paged with acid free, archival safe tissue that I purchased at Archivers. I also placed an extra sheet of tissue behind the newspaper, just in case. I'm storing them, at least for now, in an archival safe art portfolio. This will allow me to store them partially sealed, but still able to breath.  They are protected from light and moisture.  They are stored extended, and not folded over, which would apparently concentrate the acid in the paper to those parts of the paper. Hopefully I've properly protected these newspapers.  


22 January 2009

Visiting Libraries, Pt. 1

I'm making an effort to get out from behind the computer and get out to the physical resources. I'm planning visits to multiple libraries, some that I've visited before and others that I haven't.

Today I visited two local libraries: Lawrenceville Public Library & Five Forks Public Library. Both are part of the Gwinnett County Public Library System. Gwinnett County Libraries, in general, offer HeritageQuest and Ancestry.com Library edition for their members.

The Five Forks branch has a microfilm readers and offers the AJC, Gwinnett Daily Post and NY Times on microfilm. They only have one reader, so I have had to wait to use it on occasion. The reader is brand new and now features a 'save to disk' option. I've yet to remember to bring my flash drive, so I haven't tried that function yet.

The genealogy section at the FF branch is rather small:

Collins Hill

It consists mainly of advice books, but does have some Gwinnett County Census Index records. I was unaware that this branch carried Everton's Genealogical Helper, which is chock-full of great information. It doesn't look like it's possible to reserve copies though, so it might be hard to get ahold of the new issues as they are released.

The Lawrenceville branch is the central branch for the county. It's older and doesn't have as much room. However, it does have a larger genealogy section than Five Forks. The selection seems somewhat random - there are a lot of books on Crawford County, which is 120 miles away. Many of the books have stickers or stamps that indicate that they were donated to the now defunct Lanier Library, just a little north of us.

There are a few really nice volumes, such as Georgia Interstate Records, Georgia Bible Records, and (for my research purposes) Hart County Marriage Records. Here's a look at their books:


I hope to visit the Decatur Public Library in neighboring DeKalb County tomorrow. From the look of their website, they have an even larger genealogy collection.

The First Happy Dance

 I got started in genealogy during a college geography project.  We had multiple options for the project and my mom encouraged me to pick the genealogy project. We set down at the computer and started trying to find information on her paternal grandparetns, Charles Vernon Albea & Auline (Witt) Albea Wilson.  

We didn't know much about the family and knew even less about genealogy!  We found our way to rootsweb.com and from there to ancestry.com.  We searched for CV & Auline, but came up empty.  They should have appeared on the 1930 census, but we couldn't find them.  We searched for their oldest child, Frances "Tootsie" Albea.  No go.  Finally, we searched for my grandfather, Roy.  Jackpot!


We were so excited!  There was my grandfather, as a four year old boy, listed on the 1930 census.  We didn't jump, but there was hugging involved.  I think I bugged all of my friends about the find for days!

And we also saw why we couldn't search out the other family members.  Charles Vernon was Verna, Auline was Aulin and Frances was Ninola.  We had just gotten started and didn't know how to use wildcards or search for middle names.  Needless to say, this find taught us a lot and started an obsession.

21 January 2009

the life & death of Mrs. Mary E. Whitlock

Considering that she's part of my Wat(t)ers brick wall, I should have sent off for the death certificate of Mary Elizabeth _?_ Waters Whitlock a long time ago.  I suppose that since I had her maiden name listed on her son Leverett's death certificate, I thought I knew who she was - Mary Elizabeth Harding.  I couldn't seem to find any information about her though.

Now I have an alternative name for her: Mary Pilgram. I'm inclined to believe that this name is correct, since it was listed by her son, instead of her granddaughter, as the first name was.

notes Here's what I know about Mary:
  • From my Grandmama, I know that she was married twice.  First to the husband of her two sons, Leverett & Millard Waters and second to John Whitlock. This fact is confirmed by the fact that Milton Waters, the son of Leverett, is buried along side his Whitlock cousins in Westview Cemetery.
  • According to my Grandamma, Mary and John had a son named John. He married Emma and their children included Martha and Betty. 
  • Mary and John appear together in the 1900 & 1910 Census of Marietta, Cobb, Georgia. They are in the 1920 Census of Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia.
  • Census records give their children as: Mary (b~ 1888), Lula (b~ 1891), John (b. 4 Mar 1896), and Martha Josephine (b~ 1898).  But John had been married before according to census records.  Perhaps these aren't all her children?
  • Each census record gives conflicting information on the years of her marriage.
  • They appear together in the 1925 &1927 Atlanta City Directories.  Mary appears alone in the 1928 Directory, her husband having died the prior year.
  • Mary Whitlock is listed as the wife of John Whitlock on his death certificate. He is listed as buried in Bascum Church.  I found this cemetery in Cherokee County, where a helpful volunteer at FindaGrave.com obtained tombstone photos for me.  Mary is buried next to John.
  • The birth date on her tombstone is 1855.  All census records seem to indicate that she was born in 1966.
This family is a jumbled mess! I need to figure them out.

Mary Whitlock

Wordless Wednesday -


20 January 2009

Who were Leverett's Parents?

Leverett Edley Waters is one of my brick walls.  I have his full name and birth and death dates from his wife's bible. I also ordered his death certificate, which was filled out by his daughter, Ethel Waters Bouchillon. I also have some information from my grandmother about him and his brother, Millard Waters, who had a son, Ben, and daughter, Ida.

Leverett was born in 1881 - which means that he wouldn't show up in a census until he was 19.  By this time he was already married, which makes it hard to track his parents.

On his death certificate, Leverett's parents are listed as John Franklin Waters and Mary Elizabeth Harding. I've taken this information as true, but have been unable to find a couple matching this description.  His mother, Mary, was married a second time to John B. Whitlock.  I've been able to trace this step family.  I need to send for a death certificate for Mary, who died in 1928. 

My mistake was to assume that Leverett's daughter knew her grandparent's names.  It appears that she didn't!  About a week ago, I applied to receive a copy of his Social Security Card Application (SS-5).  I expected that this record would simply confirm his parentage.  Boy, was I wrong!

Leverett Waters SSA

This application appears to have been filled out by Leverett himself.  The letters are very carefully and deliberately written, and I notice that he spelled his name with two 'T's in his surname and only one in his first name.

I also notice that he lists his parents as James Balis Watters and Mary Pilgram.  What!?  Time to start my Wat(t)ers research all over again.  I'm really glad that I sent for this document!

Tombstone Tuesday - Wilson

Yellow Roses

James L. Wilson was the second husband of my Great-Grandmother, Auline Witt. They were married around 1946 and owned and ran the Frederick Hotel in Atlanta (400 Whitehall St.). 

James thought that Auline wasn't a real name, so he called his wife Arlene. They are buried together at Westview Cemetery in Atlanta.

19 January 2009

Monday Memories - Betty the Artist

grandmama's awardsValerie: Ok, um, we're looking at a picture of Grandama. And she looks like she's at, um, some sort of, uh, ceramics show, and she's got a bunch of different pieces that she's done. She's got two blue ribbons and two white ribbons. And, um, I remember Grandmama always had all these different ceramic pieces all over the house that she had done - with their ribbons that she got awards for. So I was just wondering what you remember about Grandamma and her ceramics and that kind of thing.

Mom: Well, um, Grandmama really enjoyed doing ceramics. And that was somethin' that she started after I was grown. I had, uh, started goin' to ceramics with one of, uh, one of my friends. And I - I didn't go for a long time, but I did a couple of pieces and I really enjoyed doin' it. And then, um, I got Mama to go with me one day, and she really enjoyed it.
And ceramics, you would go into the shop and they would have the different pieces of greenware, where they had poured the molds. And then it had dried and you would decide what you were gonna do with the ceramic pieces. And most of your Grandmama's pieces, she would paint. So you - what you would do is you would take the piece and you would clean all the seams off of it. Because where they put the molds together and poured 'em, there would be little, like, crusty edges or seams that you would clean off. And your Grandmama really, um, took to ceramics. She like to do a lot - a wide range of different, um, crafts and hobbies and so on. And embroidery and she croqueted and she did a lot of different things. So, with her ceramics she was very, um - your Grandmama was very detailed oriented, so she always took a lot of, um, pride in her work. She worked really hard and, uh, when she'd clean her pieces you couldn't even tell where the seams were. And then they would fire 'em, and then she would paint 'em. And she, um, she kept goin' to ceramics long after I quit goin'. I just got to busy with Allen - he was just a baby and I got too busy, um, taking care of him. But your Grandmama kept goin'. And then she started goin' to ceramics with your Aunt Marie, who was my Daddy's sister. And, uh, they would go. And for a long time, Mama went to ceramics and she did a lot of beautiful pieces. And I've got, uh, some of the pieces that she did.
You could also do under-glazing, which you would paint the piece with a special paint and then you would put a glaze over it. And they would fire it and it would be, um, that would give it this look...

Valerie: Like these birds up here?

Mom: The chickens - and hens and biddies. And she also won a ribbon for those too. She did several different kind. And, uh, but she always did really beautiful work.
So the pictures in the ceramics [ceramics in the pictures], um, one of 'em is a book. And it's a biblical ceramic book, with a, uh, one of the three wise men on a camel. And you can see the other two in the background. And she put a lot of detail into all her work. And uh - but she eventually had to give up ceramics, because she developed an allergy to it. And it was, um, it was um, damaging - destroying her finger nails, so she had to give it up. So, she really missed it, but that was one of her hobbies. Um, whenever, um, you girls were - even, even after the girls were growing up, she would do pieces for 'em.

Valere: Um, what about this - the awards show. Did she go to a lot of those, or...

Mom: There were about three or four that she went to. And she always won a ribbon whenever she did that. And she - she would get really excited about it. And they would, um, sometimes the judges would write little notes on things she could improve on. But, she was very, uh, she was very detailed oriented and even finishing the inside seams and the bottoms of her pieces, making sure that they were cleaned really well. And, um, that was one of the things that she would just be so happy when they'd write somethin'. You know, she'd get these little notes, like, "beautiful piece" or "love the detail work." And she would paint her own eyes and, uh, just really studied a lot as far as how to get different techniques.

Valerie: And she did the, um, the women, with the dresses. How would she do that?

Mom: Oh, yeah! When she did the womens with the dresses. Um, my favorite one is the one with the lady and - the um, Southern lady in the black dress. And, uh, what you would do is, you would - she would paint it - the ceramic piece - and then you had fabric stiffener that you would add to the material - or the lace - and then you would add that on top of the ceramic piece. And then she also, um, would croquet little necklaces for chains and put little jewelry. And of the ladies had the little ring that she made, that she's looking at. So, um, those were, um, very beautiful pieces when she did that.
So she was always lookin' for different techniques and styles that she could do with her ceramics.

Valerie: And you said she went out. So she always did this outside of her house? She didn't have, like, supplies at home or anything?

Mom: Well she had all her own supplies, because she, she had her supplies. She had her paints and everything. And she would work on-at 'em at home, but I think they had like a regular night, it was prob'ly a tuesday night, that they would go to ceramics together.

Valerie: 'Cause I know whenever we were cleaning up - like in this picture, you've got this shelf back here, so... I remember when we were sorta cleaning out the house, that there was just a lot of pieces left over.

Mom: Yeah, they were. And, uh, your Aunt June took those and, um, we.... Because I don't do ceramics now. So we, uh, the pieces that, uh, the greenware and stuff was old and so it really couldn't be used. But there were some pieces that had been fired and, uh, those we put in a garage sale. But she's prob'ly got - still got some pieces over - and 'cause a lot of the stuff went over to your Aunt June's. And, uh, of course we could go over there at any time we wanted to and use it.
So, it was really hard for me to - for me when we lost your Grandmama and it was hard for me to go through her stuff. So a lot of the stuff just got moved over to your Aunt June's.
So, but I've got some pieces that she would give me. Um...

Valerie: Daddy said she made that box over there for 'im.

Mom: Yeah, there's a little ceramic box with a lid on it that has a piece - uh, uh winter scene with a deer on it. She also made, um, the steins that year. The Eagle stein that we have, your Grandmama made that. And it's probably, what, about 12 inches tall? It has an American Bald Eagle on it and - on the lid it's an eagle. And, uh, the handle is made out of - it made to look like drift wood.
And, uh, that was another, um, technique that she would do. And um, because in ceramics you paint, but you could also stain and you could do, um, dry brushing. Which is, you get your paint on your brush, but it's really dry, uh, it's almost dry. You just have a little bit on there and you just brush it over the highlights and the texture in the ceramics and it picks up the paints. And you can build layers of colors, so she was really good at that.
And then, um, she's also added some gold, that you fire on there, so there's like this liquid gold that you could paint on there. And then, and then it would be fired and then you would do your painting. So all the painting are really acrylic, um, paints and - they call 'em stains but they're really acrylic paints. But when you fire your ceramics if you're gonna stain it or paint it you fire it at a lower temperature than you do if you're going to glaze it. So it's, it um, so that the paint'll soak into the ceramics more, but it seals it.

Valerie: Did she deal directly with the firing or was that a service she had done?

Mom: That was a service she had done. She had talked about getting a kiln, she wanted to get a kiln, um, and she had actually bought a couple of molds, but she never got that far into it before it started hurtin' her hands.
Yeah, and ceramics was one of your Grandmama's many hobbies. She was just really good at a lot of different things. Whenever, when Allen was a baby, she was crocheting a lot. In the winter time she would croquet afghans - and we've all got our afghans that, um, she made. But she would, that was what she would do in the winter time. Um, but after a while, the arthritis made it hard for her to crochet.
Um she's - I remember, um, some of the projects she did when, um, I was a little girl. She sewed some pillows for the house and she made all these beautiful pillows. And she would get the patterns and, uh, but there was some where you could do smocking. Which is - it's where you make little pleats of material and sew 'em together in pieces so you can make a pattern out of it. And she had some pillows that she made that way, and she round pillows and square pillows and oblong pillows. And one time she re-apolstered a couch. Um, and uh, it looked just like somthin' you buy in the stores. She did an excellent job. Um, she um, embroideried and did some beautiful pieces with embroidery. Uh, she... She was just - you know, anything that um - she liked to do detailed stuff, things that you put a lot of detail into. And she really enjoyed doing different things. Um, just, um... created

Valerie: Where did she learn - where did she learn that stuff from?

Mom: She taught herself.

Valerie: All of it? The crochet and the sewing and everything?

Mom: Mm-hm, the uh... You know it's just like, even at ceramics, you go to ceramics and they get you started. You know, like they'll tell you, "This is what you do." But your Grandmama, um, when she started a new hobby, she would get - she would just get - she loved to read. And um, she would get all these instruction books and everything. And she taught herself.
Your Grandmama, she always felt like she wasn't very smart because she didn't graduate from High School, but your grandmother was just so intelligent. And, uh, she was very well read. Uh, she loved to read. Um, she loved to learn new things, um, and she was a great inspiration.

18 January 2009

Scrapbooking (non-digital)

There's a great article about Digital Scrapbooking over at the Shades of the Departed Blog.  It really hits on some really important points about the craft that can help folks get started.  

Personally, though I have done some digital scrapbooking (with ancestry.com's MyCanvas, for example), I mainly stick to traditional scrapbooking.  I love to use my hands to create scrapbook pages.  There are, just like digital scrapbooking, quite a few things to keep in mind. The first are the same as listed at Shades of the Departed (so if you haven't read it, do so now!).  There are some differences, however.
  • Although you can use a computer for certain elements (typing titles and journaling, printing embellishments) you are using physical craft supplies.  You'll need to purchase papers, adhesives, embellishments (flowers, ribbon, etc), cutting tools, paint, stamps etc.  If you plan ahead you can pick a color scheme and buy a pack of themed paper to save money. Go shopping at local scrapbooking stores or large chain stores, such as JoAnn, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc.
  • It's probably more expensive than digital scrapbooking.  As the previous blogger noted, you can buy a digi scrapbooking kit for about $15.  You can do this with traditional scrapbooking as well, but you'll only get one page out of each kit.  You can use a digi kit over and over again.  However, you will need the photo editing software to start with - which might even the price out if you don't have any.
  • The digi kits and software can be a bit confining. Unless you're experienced with graphic art, you'll need the kits and software to get started.  You can't always create what you want with those, whereas with traditional scrapbooking, you can create almost anything.
  • You don't have to get your pages printed. It can sometimes be a hassle to get 12x12 pages printed, but with traditional scrapbooking, you don't have to worry about it - you just created the finished page!
  • Don't use original photos. In general, all mainstream scrapbooking supplies are "archival safe" and your original will be safe, but you don't want to take the chance.

Overall, I personally think that there's more versatility with traditional scrapbooking.  There's a wide range of album sizes, from 6x6 to 12x12 and everywhere in between.  You can be simple or extravagant. You get to use your hands and create something.

If you're interested, you can check out online websites that will give you more information. I prefer Scrapbook.com.

17 January 2009

Things I want/need to do

  1. Go up to Elbert County and walk cemeteries
  2. Go to the Fulton County Library Central Branch and look at their books and city directories
  3. Check out a Family History Center
  4. Break down a brick wall - any of them!
  5. Organize loose family photos (Waters / Hyler)
  6. Print more books on blurb.com

16 January 2009

Playing with Word Clouds

I've seen word clouds on other blogs and wanted to try some myself.  The first word cloud I tried was the one recommended on the Facebook Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers site. I made this cloud at ZoomClouds:

 Picture 4

I can update the cloud by visiting their site and telling it to update. It doesn't pull from all of my blog posts  - just the most recent ones. 

I've seen another type of word cloud on the blogs of some authors.  They used Wordle. This cloud does not update automatically, but creates a static image.  To change the words, you have to create an entirely new image. I think this one is more accurate.


I've put both clouds on my blog's sidebar

Shoeless Country Kids

Barfield FamilyThis is a photo of William Barfield and his family: wife, S. Frances Boatright; baby, JB; daughters, Thelma and Ledora; son, Charles.  This photo was probably taken in late 1910. They were a farming family living out in Swainsboro, Emanuel, Georgia.

There are a few reason I really like this photo, one of which is that the children are barefoot.  This is a formal portrait - but the children aren't wearing shoes.  This tells me that they might not have had shoes - or at least, didn't have nice enough shoes for the photo session. Or maybe that was the style?  Who knows.  But for whatever reason, the lack of shoes catches my eye and makes me enjoy this photo even more.

15 January 2009

I ♥ Bible Records


My favorite record are probably Bible Records.  I'm lucky enough to have access to a family Bible on my direct maternal line.  I was also given a Bible with family information for a family that branches out to touch mine.

Why do I ♥ Bible records? For two reasons: they provide a lot of information but must also be puzzled out.  When you have Bible records, you have a list of names and dates, often jumbled together and lacking relationship information.  You could have a page that lists Grandchildren, Parents, Children, Grandchildren, Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, etc, all on the same page.  Now you have to figure out how these people relate to each other. It's a challenge, which can be both fun and frustrating.  But in the end, I'd much rather have the Bible and not be able to identify some people, than to not have the Bible at all!

powell 2 I also hope that by deciphering the Bible entries, that the Bible will be helpful to other researchers.  There might be someone else researching the same line, that would find the information extremely valuable.  It's always nice to be able to help someone else!

One thing that I would really love to have happen, is to make a connection to my Smith line, which is partly covered in my maternal line family Bible.  I've yet to connect with anyone who is researching my Smith line - which is brickwalled with Richard T. Smith (1829-1920).  I'm really hoping that putting the family Bible out there will help me connect with fellow researchers.  *fingers crossed*


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