Tag Archives: blogging

Personal Genealogy Update: Week 38

19 Sep

I need to stop thinking about family history in terms of only adding things to my database. If I was to measure my family history activity in terms of just adding things to my database then I would have achieved nothing (or almost nothing) last week.

Instead if was to measure it in terms of what I have written about family history, the websites I have read, the files I have downloaded and the maps I have examined, then I would find I have had quite a productive week. That doesn’t include all the time spent just thinking about genealogy and adding things to my to-do list.

I had originally been planning to spend last Saturday at an archive, but the urge for a lazy weekend got the better of me, plus the lure of the second-hand bookshop meant I spent the day with my wife in Worthing, West Sussex doing very little. Sometimes family history does need to take a back seat!

Much of my work seems to have been focused on places rather than people at the moment, I spent a lot of my time looking at maps last week, both old and new, and the problem is that it is very hard to include them in my family history database.

I have also spent a fair amount of time thinking about this blog, it does seem to be taking up most to my family history time each week, so it is only right that I should consider it’s role. I won’t be giving up blogging anytime soon, if anything my blogging output will hopefully increase over the next few months.

I do feel that I need to getting back to looking specifically at people this week, I still have to pull together some material on Thomas KINGHORN’s mail coach accident, but this time next week I would like to be able to say that I had actually been adding more people and more details to my family tree.

I still need to get more organised if I am going to be able to spend more time on family history and blogging. I like to think that my family history is pretty well organised, but the rest of my life is in need of some attention, especially the pile of stuff on my computer desk which threatens to bury me every time I sit down to do some work.

The WDYTYA effect hits America

6 Mar

I had to smile when I read Thomas MacEntee’s post which mentioned his difficulty accessing the NEHGS and Ancestry.com websites after the transmission of the first episode of the US version of WDYTYA.

"Ahhh", I thought to myself, "the Who Do You Think You Are? effect has finally hit America".

If WDYTYA has the same impact over there as it did here you can expect more of the same in the coming weeks and months, as people see how ‘easy it is to do genealogy research.

So apart from slow and unavailable websites what else can you expect?

Queues and delays at archives, libraries and repositories, may take a while to manifest themselves whilst everyone spends their time ‘crashing’ the internet searching for their ancestors.

You can also expect delays ordering documents. Over in the UK the General Register Office had a real struggle meeting the demand for birth, marriage and death certificates.

It is not all bad news however, of course more genealogists has to be a good thing in the end, and for bloggers you can expect an increase in visitors (my own posts on the last series over here saw three or four times the average number of hits).

One year later….

1 Mar

Last night I realised that this blog would be one year old today, I knew it was coming up but forgot to let Geneabloggers know. So happy birthday The Wandering Genealogist.

Given I have just spent the last three days up at Olympia it is quite ironic that my first post, on the 1st March 2009, was about Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2009. I can see how my blog has changed over the year, and I am sure it will continue to change, evolve and perhaps expand over the forthcoming years.

When I started I decided that I would try and publish at least one post a day, and I am pleased to say that I did, my count for the last 12 months is 484 posts. I wouldn’t say it has always been easy, sometimes the words just kept flowing, but other times it was a real struggle and was glad that I have a postcard collection to fall-back on!

I would like to thank everyone who has visited my blog, especially to those of you who have left comments or emailed me, and if you haven’t there is still plenty of time left to do so!

Special mention should go to Alex at the Winging It blog, whose comments in the early days of my blog reassured me that people were reading my blog and inspired me to keep blogging (although I don’t think I have ever seriously thought about giving up).

Kreativ Blogger Award: Seven (and a bit) things about me

24 Nov

Let me start by saying thank you to Karen over at the Twigs to Roots blog for bestowing a Kreativ Blogger Award on me and my blog. It is great to have a new geneablogger with English ancestry, and more importantly with Sussex ancestry, so I am no longer alone blogging about my Sussex ancestors!

Apparently I have to pass this award on to seven other bloggers, which is not going to be easy. I never have been good at making decisions, so forgive me if I sit on the fence for a bit longer.

The other thing I am supposed to do is tell you seven things about me, preferably things that I haven’t told you about before. Whilst I am deciding who to give the award to (and never being one to stick to the rules!), I thought I would give you something to think about. So instead of seven facts about me I am going to give you eight, but only seven of them are true.

  1. I have only left England six times in my life.
  2. My favourite band is the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.
  3. In my final years at school I excelled in maths, but failed in history.
  4. I have not had a day off work sick for over seven years.
  5. My favourite food is a crispy bacon sandwich with tomato ketchup.
  6. I once owned a pair of fluorescent yellow socks.
  7. I can’t drive a car, but was once trained to drive a forklift truck.
  8. I have more books than I will probably ever have time to read.

So which one of these do you think is false? Can I lie convincing in a blog post? Let me know in the comments and I will give you the answer in a few days.

Could Texter make your data entry quicker and easier?

29 Oct

Last night as I entered the phrase “agricultural labourer” for the umpteenth time I decided I need to find a short-cut to save having to keep entering it over and over. The majority of my relations were agricultural labourers, and I don’t like using the phrase “ag lab” preferring to spell it out in full.

I turned to a little application, that I had played with briefly before, called Texter. There is nothing new or revolutionary about this program, but it is quite powerful, and I have only used it at its most basic level.

What it does is watch what you type for “hotstrings”, which are certain combinations of letters, and when you type the correct combination, it converts them into something else. A bit like using find and replace, but it happens as you go along.

In my case I set it up so that when I type the word “aglab” it replaces it with the phrase “agricultural labourer”. It is pretty simple to install and set-up. All it takes is a little bit of thought in selecting the hotstrings and a few minutes to set it up. I set up two hotstrings, “aglab” and “Aglab”, for the second one the word agricultural is capitalised.

The great thing is that it appears to work in almost any Windows program, such as Family Historian, my family history software. The best thing of all is that it is free, so if it doesn’t work you haven’t lost anything.

I have previously used it to speed up the entry of several family surnames, but there is probably no limit to what you could set it up to do, such as surnames, place names, addresses, occupations, in fact anything that you find yourself have to type repeatedly.

There are a couple of videos on the Lifehacker page, showing the basic use of Texter, plus some of the more advanced techniques.

I think this is going to save me a serious amount of typing in the future, I don’t know why I didn’t start using it sooner. Make sure you have a look and see if it could make your life easier, whether it is for family history, blogging or elsewhere.

Is too much organising sapping my creativity

8 Sep

I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks that I have been finding it harder and harder to blog. It is not that I don’t have the time, it is just that the ideas don’t seem to come so easy and writing posts is more of an effort.

Perhaps after six months of daily posting the novelty and excitement of being a genealogy blogger is wearing off, or maybe it is just fatigue. However, it struck me today that there could be another reason. It occurred to me that this blogging “slump” has coincided with my switch from mainly researching to mainly organising.

Theoretically I can see that my creativity might be greater whilst I am actually researching and my brain is firing on all cylinders, rather than during the mundane tasks of sorting, scanning and filing, but could this actually be the reason?

I think I need to hurry up and get this filing sorted out, just in case my brain seizes up altogether!

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