14 April 2014

Twitter Coaching Available in 2014

I am so excited about the crowdsourcing that is available on Twitter, I will be offering FREE "how to" sessions via Google Hangouts in 2014! 

These will not be HOA's, so they will not be streamed on YouTube, and they will not be recorded. They are private, intimate sessions for you to ask any question you want. We can work through the process together, learn my best "tricks" on Twitter, and in an hour or less, get everyone comfortable enough with the platform to be able to participate in #genchat . Each session will be limited to ten people - including me! - so I'm asking you to RSVP either by posting to this message or by emailing me at ancestralbreezes at gmail dot com.

There is no fee. There never will be. I just want all of my geneabuddies to understand the impact that Twitter can make on their research. The next session will be held on Wednesday, April 23 at 9:30am Mountain. I will add more hangouts to the schedule very soon, and will try to accommodate all the time zones. If you need a special time to fit with YOUR schedule, please contact me, and we can work together to set something up.

Join me in learning all about Twitter and what it can do for you, your research and your genealogy education!

Connect with me on G+: google.com/+JenBaldwin

9:30am Mountain
8:30am Pacific
10:30am Central
11:30am Eastern

13 April 2014

Central City's Masonic Cemetery

My family recently visited Central City & Black Hawk, Colorado for a day of exploring and history. We enjoy these excursions, and are often guided by one of the many ghost town or Colorado guide books in our collection.

For this day of adventure, we started by veering off the highway just before Central City and went to the ghost town of Nevadaville. My husband had spotted a cemetery from the main road, so we headed there first. It turned out to be the Masonic Cemetery. We ended up visiting a few more cemeteries, and I will blog about those in the coming days, as well as the many fraternal buildings still standing in the two communities. Nevadaville featured the "Masonic Block" or Lodge, which was built in 1875. This, too, will be mentioned in a future post.

One thing we noticed immediately, and it was a theme that continued throughout the day, was the number of damaged markers, as well as those that have fallen victim to earth's natural movement. You could look in any direction and recognize a marker that had fallen off of its based, showed evidence of tampering, or in many cases, was leaning so dramatically, it was actually dependent on a nearby marker to keep it off the ground. Since we had our daughter with us, we had to be quite cautious; there were many headstones that I would consider a hazard to her, so didn't let her wander off much on her own, or touch many of the markers.

So far, I have been unable to locate any formal group online that is working to preserve these cemeteries beyond what the community has already done (fences, gates, etc.).

All images are ©Jen Baldwin, Ancestral Journeys, 2014. 

Note that Mr. Polglase has both the Masonic and I.O.O.F. symbols on his marker. 

An interesting example of a tree marker including the Masonic square and compass.

Jennie S. Potter, aged 43 ys, 7ms, 3d. Her Masonic square and compass also says, "Holy Bible" across the top.

Weidmann family plot. Look at how severely this is leaning to the right.

General landscape and view of the cemetery.

William Henry Harper. This headstone is new, but includes Masonic and GAR symbols, as well as his photo. 

Sadly damaged, the marker for bothers William and Freddie Faull is in two pieces.
The top piece is actually completely gone.

A white bronze marker, unusual for this area.
It also included GAR markings on another side. 

The view from the cemetery. Note the white building to right of center at the back of the property.
This was likely once a tool shed, but also has an outhouse built into the corner.
In the distant background, to the far right, is one of the casino's of modern day Central City/Black Hawk. 
The tool shed, with the Masonic square and compass at the top.
It is unlocked, but houses nothing more than a few random boards and graffiti. 

11 April 2014

#genchat CHALLENGE: Practice Makes Perfect!

"Citation is an art, not a science."

~ Elizabeth Shown Mills
Evidence Explained, Second Edition, p.41

©Ancestral Journeys, 2014

Our #genchat discussion tonight was all about citations. Yes, they can be confusing. Yes, they can be tedious. But they are also necessary. 

Tonight's challenge is to practice, practice, practice.

Select one record set you use often, for example the U.S. Federal Census', and go back through your research and ensure that each record you have is cited correctly. By repeating the same citation over and over, while changing the dates, locations, and names, you are well on your way to being able to create a citation by memory. Once you have the basics, it is much easier to apply the practice to all the records in your collection.

Resources for this challenge, and for citations moving forward in your genealogy:

  1. Elizabeth Show Mills, CG, CGL, FASG. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 2012. 
  2. Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG. QuickSheet: Citing Online HIstorical Resources Evidence! Style*.  Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 2012. 
  3. Evidence Explained Website, Blog, and Forums: https://www.evidenceexplained.com/
  4. Evidence Explained Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/evidenceexplained
  5. Evidence Explained on Twitter: @EvidenceExplnd
  6. The Chicago Manual of Style Online. University of Chicago Press, 2010 - 2014. http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html
  7. Chicago Manual of Style Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Chicago-Manual-of-Style/139396659150
  8. Chicago Manual of Style Twitter:  @ChicagoManual

Remember that the ultimate goal is not necessarily about how you cite your sources, just that you do cite your sources. 

So get in there! Practice on one record set that you have a lot of material from, and then move on to other parts of your genealogy. Find a system to methodically and habitually create citations every time you look at a new record. Build a place for citations into your research log, your notes, or other organizational system. Create a document of those "commonly used" citations, so you can copy/paste the basics and only adjust the details. Choose whatever works for you, but do it. And do it today! 

Share with us via social media, blog or other medium what you learned, what habits you are trying to develop, what system you set up. Tell us what worked for you and what didn't, and reach out to the #genchat community for guidance, support, and encouragement in establishing this process for yourself. This can be daunting to some, you do not have to do it alone.