Monday, April 4, 2016

Genealogy, Plagiarism, Ethics, and Belonging.......

A long time ago, when I was much younger, my mother gave me some sage advice.  She said keep company with the people you admire and want to be like.  It makes sense and perhaps that same advice should be used in our genealogy.

I wanted to become a better genealogist.  I enrolled in Boston University, NGS courses, ProGen and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.  I go to seminars, jamborees, conferences, SLIG and attend webinars.  I am picky about how, what, and with whom I study.  I pay for many of these opportunities and I want my dollars’ worth.  I talk to others about the events to find out if they are a worthwhile purchase.  I ran Boston University and National Institute through the BBB and read about them on the BCG Educational Preparation page    I check out who is speaking and what subjects were being offered.  I strike up conversations with conference attendees at events to find out who they liked and disliked.  I check out speakers prior to attending seminars.  You might be thinking sure you’re a private detective you do that for a living.  Hello, anyone can run a Google search, no excuses!

I always thought that RootsTech, NGS, SCGS Jamboree, and FGS vetted their speakers.  I was making assumptions, I was wrong.  RootsTech allowed Barry Ewell to lecture this past February.  I am so disappointed and so glad I did not attend.  A simple Google search on Barry brings numerous entries about plagiarism.  I think RootsTech needs to apologize and let all of us know they are rethinking their speaker selection.  My trust has been lost.

RootsTech brought innocent newbie genealogists to Barry.  Barry sold books with plagiarized content to his attendees who in turn told others about his book.  By not vetting there speakers they are allowing unethical behavior to continue.  What are we saying to new genealogists?  What are we teaching them?  We are teaching that stealing and unethical behavior is ok.  Is that what we want? 

Now we can’t all agree and we are all entitled to our opinions.  As genealogists we need to share opinions and thoughts, both negative and positive.  I recently removed myself from a genealogy blogging group that had an administrator that deleted comments of people that belonged to the group.  They were deleted because they spoke the truth.  I did however find a delightful replacement for the group called “We Are Genealogy Bloggers” .  Now folks you need to vet your Facebook groups.  Do not join just to join.  Make sure that the people in the group share your ethics and ideals.  Like mom said “be friends with the people you admire and want to be like”.  I encourage all of you to think about your decisions to belong to groups.  Belonging to a group that is unethical is not something I want to be a part of. 

What else can we do?  Lean forward during a lecture and let the person in front of you photographing slides know they are stealing from the speaker.  Educate fellow attendees, most do not know that what they are doing is wrong.  Be your own detective and make educated decisions regarding your education, money, and the people you hang out with.  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A little Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, the assignment from  Randy Seaver at are:

  • What four places did my ancestors live that are geographically the farthest from where I live today?
  • What are the four most unusual given names in my family tree?
  • What are the four most common given names in my family tree?
Four places farthest from where I live today:
  • Prussia [currently Poland] - Miottel family
  • Germany - Schuck and Skibbe family
  • England - Logue, Logsdon, and Durbin families
  •  Virginia - Poundstone family (I think they are German but have not found the proof as of yet)
Most unusual names in my family tree - not that they are so unusual: 

    • Ora Pearl Poundstone- My Great Grandfather
    • Ruby Pearl Poundstone - My Grandmother
    • Johana Schuck - My Great Grandmother
    • Mahala A. Adams - My Second Great Grandmother
Four most common names:

    • William
    • John
    • Richard
    • Mary

Sunday, March 27, 2016

March Finally Get Organized - Thanks Dear Myrtle!

It's never too late to join in!  Visit Dear Myrtle at to get organized!

March has been a good month to get all of the tasks completed.  I purposely set aside a minimum of twenty minutes a day to work on my organization and it worked well for me. I shared some photos on my blog, shared memories with family, and attempted to extract some memories from my mother.  I think my family enjoys my sharing of photos on Facebook and the blog the most.  I think the nieces, nephews and my children enjoy pictures of their grandparents, aunts and uncles when they were growing up.  I am thinking about adding some video of some old home movies that we had digitized for all to enjoy.

I spent some time photographing some family keepsakes and hope to share more information about them soon.

I have entered the wives of my first four generations (and a few other wives not in my direct line).  I have been working on entering the children.  I have had to be studious in some of my entries.  Before I had relied on several other's research when entering children.  I have come to believe that there are children that I can not absolutely place with that particular mother and father.  Additional research will be needed to verify family ties.  I wrote up a report on my paternal grandfather and the research I have done so far on his multiple marriages.  I will need to hit the courthouses in Illinois to retrieve documents to further my research.  Luckily, FGS is in Springfield ( this year and I will be visiting the area early so that I may conduct some needed research.

I gave a presentation at our local genealogy society, Pima County Genealogy Society, this month on beginning basics.  The second half of the meeting was how to get ready for a research trip by Jodi Strait.  Prior to the meeting we met for lunch in the cafeteria at the Banner University Medical Center.  There were about twenty five of us that showed up and shared our genea stories and troubles prior to the meeting.  I really enjoy this social time.   We share the latest news, research strategies, and stories of our quirky families.

Next I must try to find the time to attend a Dear Myrtle hangout.  It seems whenever there is a hangout I have work that I need to get done for a client.  Well, there's always next week!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Celebrate folks it's March 12th Genealogy Day!

The second Saturday of the month of March is Genealogy Day!  Celebrate by taking some time to find a new record, watch a webinar to learn new skills or take the time to catch up on your genealogy reading - books, magazines or blogs.   I am off to the Tucson Festival Books to see what interesting books I can find. 
Poundstone Family Tree - 1933 drawn by George C. Poundstone

There are free webinars and YouTube videos to learn more about research, organization, or a specific type of records.  I found a a video on YouTube that takes a ride through Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois where my Great Grandparents are buried.  I also found numerous videos on the Newberry Library in Chicago  - a place I am hoping to research at in August.

Are you attending the FGS Conference in Illinois?  You may want to check out what materials are available at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, the Illinois State Library or the Illinois State Archives .  It is never too early to plan a research trip!

Later in the day I will be celebrating the day by working on my Progen homework, a genealogy presentation I will be giving next Saturday and homework from my National Institute for Genealogical Studies class.