Another Copyright Issue

Copyright. Yes, it’s that word again. The word few like the hear. The word that gets me kicked out of Facebook groups. But the word copyright is an important one. Copyright is there for a reason. Copyight is a law that is there to protect the work of the author or compiler. But before I get into that, let me just say that there’s no doubt that genealogists for the most part, are a wonderful bunch of generous people who love to help each other out. Be it on research advice, cemetery visits, or lookups. Research advice, fine. Cemetery visits, transcriptions or headstone photos fine. But lookups can be an issue. The issue of doing lookups from big-pay-sites has been mentioned before, and you can read all about that here, as has the general copyright issue before which you can read here. But another copyright issue has come up that needs to be addressed, and that is offering lookups from books. In theory doing a lookup from a book sounds fine. You have a book, you offer to do lookups, and respond back to those who ask with details of yes/no they’re in there. But this is the digital age, and what I saw on Facebook was someone offering to do lookups from a number of books (probably all out of print, but all still in copyright). But to help out fellow researchers, the person had kindly photographed the entire index of each book and pasted it online. Like it or not, that breaches copyright law. Several in fact. But not only that, the person then posted photographs of EVERY page that anyone was interested in. Again. That breaches copyright. Copyright is there for a reason. It is to protect...

1 Name. 61 Variants

Anyone who’s been researching been researching for longer than a week will know that name variants play a big HUGE part in research. Both with first names, and surnames. Figuring out how names were potentially spelt (or ‘spelled’ for my North American readers) can be the difference between finding them or not. I’m not going to go into the in’s and out’s of name variants, but rather I wanted to highlight two particular surnames, and all the variants that I’ve found for them so far. There’s 61 of them for one, and 31 for the other. And truth is, I really wouldn’t be surprised if more show up. So let’s start with ELLIOT. This is one of Mr Lonetester’s branches, while ELLIOTT (with two “Ts”) is one of mine, with no connection that I know of between them at this stage. We all know that there are numerous variants of Elliott: one “L”, two “Ls”, one “T”, two “Ts”, but what I didn’t realise is just how many more there really are. One thing I like to do when beginning searching a new surname is to note down all the variants. That way when I’m searching, be it a website, a book or records, I can look for them all, and see what I come up with. Mr Lonetester’s ELLIOT family possibly came from Sussex (that’s still to be verified), but I headed (online) to the Sussex Family History Society to browse around and see what they had. Now they have the coolest thing on their website, and that’s the Sussex People Index.  In their words … The Sussex People Index consists of any names that anyone can submit from anywhere – the only condition is that the event reported must...

Are You a Genealogist or a Family Historian?...

Are you a genealogist or a family historian? What is the right term? What is the difference? And what is the definition? Let’s take a look a the term “genealogist” first, you’ll see that it is defined as: – A person who studies, professes or practices genealogy. (www.yourdictionary.com) – An expert in genealogy. A person with special knowledge or ability who performs skillfully. (https://www.vocabulary.com) While the term “family historian” is said to be: – A family historian is person who has the most accurate information knowledge passed down to them by one of the oldest members, a patriarch or matriarch of their particular branch of the family. (http://www.yourdictionary.com) While I could leave it at that, I realised that everyone has their own way of approaching things, and family history, just like any activity is no different. Some go gung-ho, others take the cautious step-by-step, others like to just dip their toe in. So apart from the terms genealogist and family historian, here are some others that you may have come across: The Bragger The Bragger isn’t one that actually researches their family history, but they have a family member who does. The Bragger is one who grabs hold of the juicy stories (you know the criminals, the royalty, the explorers, and the heroes), and lets everyone know that they are connected to them. The BSO (Bright Shiny Object) Researcher The BSO Researcher is one that gets easily excited, and easily distracted. They are known to be researching one line, only to be totally distracted by a new and more interesting ancestor that they’ve just discovered. The BSO Researcher does tend to have fascinating stories on their family members. The Cemetery Traipser Also sometimes known as the Grave Walker, the Cemetery Traipser...

Leaving Comments on a Blogger Blog...

Has anyone else had issues leaving comments on someone’s Blogger blog, or is just me? I’m of the opinion that blogging is a two way thing. Someone writes something cool and interesting, you read it, and if you like you should leave a comment acknowledging it, or share it on social media.  So when I read blogs, I do like to comment. However some people who use Blogger have theirs set up differently, so that unfortunately won’t allow me to do so. As these bloggers probably aren’t aware that they’re missing out on potential comments, I thought I would highlight it here. Example 1. This seems to be the standard set of options which it allows you to sign into to leave a comment. However I don’t use LiveJournal, TypePad or OpenID. I have no idea what AIM is, but it doesn’t seem to be anything I can use. And yes, I do have a WordPress blog, but I have a WordPress.org not a WordPress.com one, so I don’t have a WordPress account. So none of these options work for me. I will admit that on rare occasions I have used ‘Unknown’ and just typed my name in as part of the comment, but it’s not ideal by any means. Example 2. This is actually a different issue I have with some Blogger blogs. you’ll see that there is no dropdown list, but rather simply a box to type. However comments based on your Google+ account. Now I manage four Google+ accounts, and it seems to be permanently preferrenced to my work ones. As yet I haven’t yet figured out how to change it, although I’m familiar enough with swapping between accounts themselves on Google+. So again, I don’t...

The Intriguing Story Behind Barber Poles...

It’s become universal. A red, white and blue striped pole means barber shop. But why and when did it become a thing? Let’s me start by saying I work in a shop that has a barber shop next door. Being a good barber (and a Greek one at that), he loves to talk, so it was only natural that one day we got on to the topic of barber poles, and significance of the stripes. So I gave him a little history lesson! Way back … and we’re talking back in medieval times here, barber’s didn’t just cut hair and offer shaves. No, no, no. They were also the local dentist, doctor and surgeon as well, and they were known as barber-surgeons. Elizabeth Roberts writes it well … “Up until the 19th century barbers were generally referred to as barber-surgeons, and they were called upon to perform a wide variety of tasks. They treated and extracted teeth, branded slaves, created ritual tattoos or scars, cut out gallstones and hangnails, set fractures, gave enemas, and lanced abscesses. Whereas physicians of their age examined urine or studied the stars to determine a patient’s diagnosis, barber-surgeons experienced their patients up close and personal. Many patients would go to their local barber for semi-annual bloodletting, much like you take your car in for a periodic oil change.” Just to clarify things, physicians were the academics, who tended to work in universities, and mostly dealt with patients as an observer or a consultant, and considered surgery to be beneath them. I sure can’t imagine my shop neighbour doing anything of the like. In fact I think he’d faint at the sight of blood. Anyway back to the significance of the barber poles. Dr Lindsey Fitzharris,...

Well, That Was Disappointing: The Value of “Negative Evidence”...

We’ve all been there. We’ve done searches looking for an ancestor, and simply came up with nothing. We’ve tried numerous alternate spellings. Eliminated the date. And even omitted the parents names. And still Zip. Zilch. Nada. In fact the name you were searching doesn’t even appear. Or anything even remotely like it. So what now? Some would say that they’ve wasted time, effort and money, but in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth. What you’ve done is find “negative evidence”. In effect you are eliminating sources. So then narrowing down your search list. Negative Evidence is far more valuable that most give credit for, so don’t ever discard this information. Record it in a research log, noting down your search term, what (book, website, journal, archive etc) you searched, what you found (or not), and the date. If is is a website, you might want to note to recheck it later, as we all know new records do get added online regularly. An added bonus with a Research Log is that you can see exactly what you found (or didn’t find) when. So when you pick up that line a couple of years later, you don’t have to repeat all the same searches (unless they’re websites of course). And if you don’t have a Research Log as yet, you’ll find some great Research Log Templates over on Cyndi’s List which you can download and printout for free. So while it’s not as exciting as finding your ancestor, NEGATIVE EVIDENCE really is a GOOD thing. Try it. You’ll be amazed at how much time it can actually save...

RootsTech 2017 – The People You Meet...

For me the best part of RootsTech is the people. Yes, were are many, many, MANY thousands of people who attended (around 30,000 they say), and no, I didn’t meet them all … but I did get to catch up with quite a number of friends, as well as meeting a bunch of wonderful people for the first time. This is a collection of photos of some of the people I met. Some were were taken at lunches, others at dinner, a number at RootsTech itself, and a few at after parties. Please note they’re in no particular order. Enjoy! As someone told me, “RootsTech brings us together from around the world”, and it’s true, with people from around 40 different countries attending this year. The geneablogger community, as well as the wider genealogy community is such a wonderful group to be a part of. So friendly and so welcoming. And thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. Well that’s all for RootsTech 2017 from me. But for a whole heap more reports, be sure to check out Randy Seaver’s compilation of other bloggers reports...

RootsTech 2017 – A Few Words From the Autograph Book...

Wherever I went during RootsTech 2017 (and even the few days prior), I made sure I had my autograph book with me. Putting it simply you just never know who you’ll meet, where. And that proved very true. I tried to make the most of my opportunities. I had such fun meeting people and asking if they’d like to sign my book. And surprisingly not a single person refused. All up I had 95 people from 11 different countries sign my book (Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Israel, Norway, France, Germany and Poland) which is awesome. And there’s so many beautiful comments that people have written, I wanted to share a few of them with you. Note for privacy reasons I have chosen not to include the names of those who wrote them. Thankyou for your wonderful friendship. Hope you are enjoying America and Utah. have fun hunting for your ancestors. Thrilled to have a visitor from so far. Thanks for making our day brighter. I always enjoy spending time with you, so this is a bonus. Have a wonderful RootsTech. Do you know the difference between inlaws and outlaws? Outlaws are wanted! We live as long as long as we are remembered – keep on remembering those ancestors! We’ll have to stop meeting like this – people will talk! Alona, so great to meet you. Looking forward to many more fun adventures here @ RootsTech 2017. To my genimate, Alona. So thrilled to be sharing the RootsTech experience with you once more. Happy ancestor hunting. I wish you the very best in your genealogy work – you’re quite the beautiful, energetic, friendly & vivacious personality. It’s so great that RootsTech brings us together from all over the...

RootsTech 2017 – An Overview...

RootsTech came, and RootsTech went. And that’s it for another year. It kind of reminds me of Christmas. There is so much excitement and buildup to it, then the crazyness of it all while it’s on, and suddenly it’s all over, and everyone heads on home, back to their own part of the world. And then the post-RootsTech blues set in. So while I can’t convey the whole vibe that RootsTech has, I’ll do my best by sharing a few pictures with you of my experience there. I’ll be honest I can’t give you any report on the keynote sessions, or even a single talk as I didn’t get to any. My RootsTech experience was in the Expo Hall. Since I went as an exhibitor, that’s where I hung out. Everything about RootsTech is BIG. Actually it would be more technically correct to GIANT. The venue (the Salt Palace Convention Centre) itself is massive. The banners were massive, the room the keynote talks were in is big enough to hold 10,000 people. The Expo Hall is the size of several football fields, with hundreds of exhibitors. It’s a massive event, unlike any other genealogy event in the world … and I know I’ve said it before, but if you EVER get the opportunity to go, DO IT! This quote did the rounds on Twitter, and it most certainly is true. “RootsTech is Disneyland for Genealogists!” The Expo hall not only had hundreds of exhibitors, big and small, there were also places to get one-on-one research, the comfy lounge chair area for the demo theatre, numerous mini-theatres within stands to learn more about something specific. You could get heirlooms valued, tell a family story in the ‘story booth’, get photos...

RootsTech 2017 – Behind the Scenes Set-up...

For most who attend RootsTech, they arrive, go to talks, and wander around the Expo Hall, but they may not realise just HOW MUCH effort goes into the event. As I work for a company that does organise genealogy events, I know that months of planning is required to make it happen. I also know that our events are not even comparable in any sense of the word to RootsTech, so I imagine that years of planning is what’s required for even just one of these. Just setting up the RootsTech Expo Hall is a mammoth task. With hundreds of exhibitors, there were probably over a thousand people who were busy for several days getting set up. And as an exhibitor (this time with Unlock the Past/Unlock the Past Cruises), this is a sight I’m familiar with, but figured most wouldn’t be, so I thought I’d share a few pics of the set-up. You’ll see crates, cases and pallets of supplies delivered, as well as forklifts, cherrypickers, and giant ladders everywhere. Not to mention the big team of people from the convention centre itself who have been busy laying carpet and making sure each booth has the right tables and chairs, as well as power. That’s an incredible job in itself! So for those who attend RootsTech, or even those who see photos of it from afar, you’ll see how lovely they all look (and they really do). Just take a moment to think of the exhausting amount of work that went into the set up, even before the exhibition opened! Next up three crazy days of...