google-site-verification: google65e716d80989ba07.html The Armchair Genealogist: September 2012

Want to Build a Family History Legacy Book

Monday Morning Mentions

 Monday Morning Mentions is an opportunity to reflect on the events of the week at the Armchair  Genealogist and in the blogging and book community. Over my morning cappuccino, I will take the opportunity to share with you some of my favourite blogs posts this week and give a nod to my peers.


You can also find me on Facebook. Stop by and leave a message. I often will link some great finds there as well. You can also follow me on twitter at @LynnPal or my twitter paper The Armchair Genealogist Journal.


At the Armchair Genealogist this week, posts included the following:

Monday Morning Mentions
Finding Your Writing Routine - this post caught the attention of a very wide audience this week, thanks to all who tweeted and shared it. 
8 Steps to a Writing Routine - Once you've declared it, it's time to plan it. 

Internet Genealogy – a great genealogy or internet tip that will benefit any armchair genealogist.
This week's mention:

Kathleen Brandt from A3Genealogy wrote a very noteworthy post this week entitled Saving Libraries One Genealogist at a Time. Kathleen sends out a call to libraries to reach out to genealogists as a means of keeping their doors open. Read her list of ideas. Feeding on Kathleen's idea, I would encourage family historians to seek out their local library for all the research options on Kathleen's list. If we create a market need, the libraries will rise to the occasion, I hope! 

And in keeping with the theme, keeping up with the times here's a fabulous idea. While I've heard of the idea, here's a company putting it into practice, QR Codes for Headstones Keep Dearly Departed Close by Elizabeth Fielder on npr.org. This post is on a non-genealogy site and therefore the comments that ensue are quite interesting, check it out.

If your thinking about venturing into the blogging waters with your family history 10 Reasons to Blog About Your Ancestors by Terri O'Connell of Finding Our Ancestors should give you just the push you need. 

And once your in those waters, you'll want to find your blogging voice. Jacqui Stevens at  Family Tapestry shares some insights in this week's post , A Blog Needs A Voice


Writing Family History - great advice or information on writing your family history.
This week’s mention:

This is a great read about one woman's journey to becoming an author and her 5 lessons learned. Be sure to read How to Become a Writer by Mary Jaksch of Write to Done. Left me feeling very encouraged. 

This week one of my writing inspirations that regularly makes it into Monday Morning Mentions is Jeff Goins. This week Jeff wrote a post Why We All Need Journeys. Since I always believed that family history has been a journey for me, this post resonated. I hope it will with you. Oh and did I mention that Jeff dropped by The Armchair Genealogist this week and left a comment. Can't tell you how excited I was that Finding Your Writing Routine caught his attention. Thanks Jeff.  


Social Media for the Genealogist - this will include social media advice and learning opportunities from experts both inside and outside of the genealogy industry.
This week's mentions: 

I admit it, Instagram is one social media outlet I haven't fully embraced yet. A couple reasons, partially time and mostly I'm not sure how I plan to use it. So when this article came along this week, my interest peaked. Check out Using Instagram for Brands from Social Media Today. 


Joe Pawlikowski on Famous Bloggers asks, Are You Suffering From a Bloggers No.1 Problem? This post has some wonderful ideas if your blog content is falling flat. 


New Genealogy Blog – we will tip our hat to a newcomer who impresses us right out of the box

This week's mention: 

This week, I stumbled across a blog I think is fantastic, Freud's Butcher. An exciting new genealogy blog by Edie Jarolim, a freelance writer and editor. Edie says her blog is about genealogy, psychology and meat. Interesting huh? Her tagline "Sometimes a sausage is just a sausage but sometimes it's a link to the past." That should peak your interest enough to go check out this blog. 


Books that Move and Matter - each week we will feature an ebook or print book with the family historian in mind. It may come as a great source of information, for research or writing or playing to our historical interests, or may just be a great read I think genealogists will love.
 
This week's book selection comes by way of a reader and family historian Ellen Taylor. Ellen is a Moment I Knew alumni. Ellen knows my love of finding and sharing family history memoir books. Ellen brought to my attention this week

Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA by Richard Hill. Just released this August, Finding Family is available in paperback and Kindle. 

"This highly suspenseful book is a page-turning saga of personal detective work that will appeal to anyone who loves a good mystery. But this isn't fiction. It's an engrossing account of an adoptee trying to reclaim the biological family denied him by sealed birth records. This fascinating quest, including the author's landmark use of DNA testing, takes readers on an exhilarating roller-coaster ride and concludes with a twist that rivals anything Hollywood has to offer." 

Sounds like one for my reading list how about yours? 

The Webinar Watch - Each week we will list upcoming webinars mostly in genealogy, but occasionally I come across one for writing or social media I think is beneficial,  I'll be sure to share it here. 

This week's webinars: 

Online Photo Editing Workshop presented by Dear Myrtle on Monday Oct 1. FREE

Privacy and Our Ancestors presented by Thomas MacEntee hosted by Legacy Family Tree, Wednesday Oct 3rd. FREE 

Introducing Record Matches presented by My Heritage on Wednesday Oct 3rd, FREE 

Hark! That Tombstone is Talking presented by Linda Woodward Gieger hosted by Southern California Genealogical Society, Saturday Oct 6th. FREE. 


You can find more new genealogy bloggers at Thomas' list of New Genealogy Blogs at Geneabloggers.

For other great reads, Randy at Genea-Musings offers the Best of the Genea-Blogs

Read Friday Finds by Julie Cahill at GenBlog 

Dan Curtis, Professional Personal Historian always puts together some interesting selections in Monday's Link Round-Up.

British and Irish Genealogy blog offers lots of goodies, This week brings Genealogy News for Sept 28th

And Jana Last lists some favorites on Follow Friday -- Fab Finds for Sept 28th, 2012 by Jana Last on Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog. 

Michael Leclerc writes From the Blogs, on the Mocavo Genealogy Blog.  

Have a great genealogy week, keep researching and writing!

Blog to Book: 8 Steps to a Writing Routine


Now that we got that out of the way, and you have declared yourself a writer, it’s time to get on with the business of creating a writing routine that ensures you maximum success as a family history blogger.

I want you up to create a routine that will produce regular blog posts, that will work with your schedule and will ensure consistency. Once you become a more consistent writer, you'll establish a rhythm which helps trigger an on going supply of writing ideas. Becoming consistent will also establish a strong readership. Because your writing more consistently your writing will improve. Quite simply the more you write the better you get, the more ideas you generate and the bigger your audience will become. Sounds simple right.

Let's Take a look at 8 Steps to a Writing Routine 


1. Create an editorial calendar for your family history blog.

This essentially is a long-term plan for your blog with goals and deadlines. I like to create a month by month outline of blog posts. You can do this on whatever calendar program you like. I prefer Outlook, I have a separate blogging calendar where I schedule my blog posts. By the last week of each month I’m identifying a calendar for the next month. Magazines use this technique to plan their issues months ahead of time. I don’t believe blogging should have the same long-term planning strategies that magazines employ. However, I do feel for the purposes of a family history blog an editorial calendar in conjunction with your book outline can be a great planning tool.

2. Create a regular schedule for posting.

By using the editorial calendar you'll identify your posting days. I try to post 3 times a week. I try to push out posts on the same day and at the same time every day. Some weeks I deviate from this, I'll experiment with a different day or just plain need a little more time for a more involved post. But for the most part I post regularly 3 days a week.

You can post more often in the beginning, this will help you to establish a regular group of readers especially if your blog is new and you want to grab a lot of attention early on.

Try having some blog posts ready ahead of time. I try to write a week in advance with the exception of time sensitive posts like Monday Morning Mentions. However, remember to be flexible, sometimes inspiration hits, and you may want to adjust your schedule. If you feel a calling to write something follow your instincts don’t be a slave to the schedule. If you miss a day cut yourself some slack. Shit happens. Posting quality over quantity is key.

For the weeks when I'm traveling or on holidays I try to have posts ready ahead of time or I plan reposts of some of my more popular articles. Your readers will cut you some slack during these times but they won’t wait around for long so don't lean on this too often.

3. Keep an ongoing list of blog content ideas

While your writing this month’s family history blog posts, keep a running lists of content ideas for next month.  This way you’ll establish a good habit of continually thinking ahead never feeling at a loss for something to write. There should always be an ongoing plan.

I keep a file in Evernote with my ongoing ideas, they are tagged by topic. When I’m ready to develop them further they move to my mindmapping software where I brainstorm ideas and flush out an outline. I rely on  this particularly for my series articles which I do a lot of on the AG. Sometimes they'll just be a quick outline to sort out my thoughts and I begin to write. It all depends on the topic and the amount of information I'm covering. From there they move to my editorial calendar. They get scheduled for a posting deadline.

4. Create a task list and a timeline.

Once they hit my editorial calendar, I identify the tasks required to write a particular blog post. Some may require more research then others. I also allow time for revisions and editing. Sometimes that can all happen in a day sometimes it may require a couple of weeks. Create a task list, then working backwards from your deadline schedule those tasks into your calendar. Most writer’s rely heavily on deadlines to complete writing assignments, blogging shouldn’t be any different especially if you want to produce quality content on a regular basis.

5. Identify writing time in your schedule and plan.

Remember you are a writer you are entitled to this time. Choose a time in your day that suits your schedule and lifestyle. Morning, evening, lunch breaks and plan your necessary tasks into your schedule. If you are not scheduling serious time to write your family history blog posts you'll always feel like your rushed and scraping by. You'll eventually tire of this, feel out of control and give up.

6. Identify your most creative hours of the day.

How do you do that? Believe or not there’s an app for that. Check out toggl.com. If you have the flexibility in your schedule, you may want to monitor your peak creative times through this app and then if your schedule is flexible enough you can plan your time accordingly.

You have to know yourself and under what conditions you do your best work and then don't be afraid to ask your family to accommodate your requests. It goes back to owning what you're doing here!

7. Create a writing ritual. 

Develop some triggers that send a signal your mind that it’s time to write. Maybe those rituals include sitting in the same chair every day with a coffee or cup of tea in hand, a particular pen and notebook by your side, and even a favourite blanket on your lap. Do you require some background music or complete silence? These cues when used regularly can trigger you into a readiness to write.

Removing distractions can all also trigger your readiness to write. Turning off the cellphone, email and social media can settle your mind giving yourself permission to write uninterrupted.

Here's what I liked to do when I needed to get serious about writing. I turned off all social media, and phones. I set my timer (a kitchen egg timer- I set for 30 minutes) and I begin. Even if the telephone rings I do not stop to answer it. It's about stating this is a priority! When the timer goes off, I take a 5 minutes break, get a drink, stretch, check who called. I set the timer and repeat. I used this regularly when I first started writing. I can now write in 5-6 hour stretches in the right conditions with little more then a few breaks. I can get a lot accomplished using this method. If you have kids it's also a cue to them, when the timer goes off Mommy's available.

I don't use the timer too often anymore, you're needs will change as you begin to develop good habits and it will all begin to come quite naturally.

8. Adjust.

If something isn’t working with your schedule be flexible and adjust accordingly. No one figures it out immediately right out of the gate. It might require some trial and error but eventually you’ll find the time and space that works for you.

Writing just doesn't happen. At the end of the day, the difference between a writer who produces and a writer who doesn't is the commitment to the work! That work only happens when you plan your projects and schedule your butt in the chair.

How do you ensure a time and space to write your family history blog? 
Love to hear from you! 


Blog to Book: Finding Your Writing Routine



Many family history bloggers create blogs with big intentions. They're excited and ready to write up those family history stories. But after the excitement has waned their writing becomes sporadic, they become discouraged and their blogs go delinquent.  Their struggling to find the time to write, to establish a readership and stick to the challenge of keeping a regular writing routine in amongst all of life's other challenges.

Belief it or not it has little to do with your calendar and your time (while maybe a little) but mostly it has more to do with declaring yourself a writer.

You see, we all started out as family historians and somewhere along the way we became writers. Only thing is we forgot to declare ourselves as writers, and to announce it to our family and friends.

When I first decided that I was going to pursue writing, I kept it to myself. What if I fail. When I submitted my first article to a genealogy magazine and it was accepted within 60 minutes after hitting send, I was ecstatic. Yet, I still did not give myself permission to think of myself as a writer. Must be a fluke.

And even though I had dedicated three years of my life to writing a family history book, I still refused to refer to myself as an author.

Then came blogging, it started out as this thing I did for fun, to keep my mind active, something for myself beyond laundry and mom's taxi service. But that soon changed and as my readership grew I could no longer deny that I indeed had a presence online. People were actually reading my blog, they found value in my words and I still didn’t value myself enough to call myself a writer.

For the longest time when I would run into old friends, or acquaintances from my days as a manager and they would ask me what I’m doing now I would declare, “I’m at stay-at-home Mom.”  on occasion, I would state, “I do some writing.” I wouldn’t even mention the blog. It almost seemed like I needed it to remain two separate worlds. And  after all blogging wasn’t really writing…was it? 

One day I owned it. I ran into an old friend, this time I declared, "I’m a writer and a family historian and I have a blog." That’s when I learned that owning up to being a writer was the first step to establishing a writing routine.

By owning and declaring that I was a writer and a family history blogger, I gave myself permission to sit down in the chair everyday and make the time to write. By declaring to the world that I was a writer, I was expecting my friends and family to honour that declaration and grant me that time to create.

There is no magic formula or line in the sand that makes you a writer or for that matter a family historian. Create your own moment, declare yourself a writer and become a member of the club. I know somedays, I feel like I snuck in the back door too. Regardless, whether you write family history stories, or a journal or a genealogy blog, or magazine articles or books, you are a writer. Once you own it, then everyone else will. And that is the first step to opening the door to a writing routine.

Publishing a book on Amazon is not the epitome of an author. Every time you write a blog post and hit publish you are an author. Now, your only responsibility is to continue to develop your skills for yourself and your readers.

Declare it. I am a writer! (Tweet this)

Now that you’ve declared it, you can create that writing routine necessary for a successful family history blog. You can now write that family history book you thought you never would have time for. Blogging is no longer just this thing you do, you're a writer.

When you're up at the crack of dawn with your extra large coffee in hand pounding away on the keyboard while everyone in the house is still cosy in their bed or your the last one up at night masterfully writing your next family history blog post while the rest of the house has fallen silent ….know you are a writer.

Welcome to the club.

Now it's time to create a serious writing routine, one that supports your art. Join me for tomorrow’s post, I'll share the steps I use to maintaining my blogging routine. 8 Steps to a Writing Routine

Monday Morning Mentions


Monday Morning Mentions is an opportunity to reflect on the events of the week at the Armchair Genealogist and in the blogging and book community. Over my morning cappuccino, I will take the opportunity to share with you some of my favourite blogs posts this week and give a nod to my peers.


You can also find me on Facebook. Stop by and leave a message. I often will link some great finds there as well. You can also follow me on twitter at @LynnPal or my twitter paper The Armchair Genealogist Journal.



At the Armchair Genealogist this week, posts included the following:

Monday Morning Mentions
A Writing Tool that Adapts to Every Kind of Genealogist (On-Demand Mini-Webinar) 
Fall Into a Couple of Great Deals 


 Internet Genealogy – a great genealogy or internet tip that will benefit any armchair genealogist.

This week's mention:

New blog Genealogy Decoded is not wasting any time in offer up some very helpful posts, this week How to Know What Genealogy Records Are Available at the County Level and Creating Timelines to Make Sense of Genealogy Records are both worth a read if your a beginner genealogist. 

Thanks to Upfront with NGS blog for sharing this infographic from Kate Hart, check out Citing Sources, A Quick and Graphic Guide ala Harry Potter written by Diane L. Richard. Great tool for getting the point across with young genealogists.


Writing Family History - great advice or information on writing your family history.This week’s mention:

Writing Your Family Memoir: How to Begin by Ruth Folit at The Journal Writing Blog for the International Association of Journal Writing.


Are Blogs the New Journals? a guest post by Nicole Bernier on the blog Beth Fish Reads brings an interesting perspective on blogs vs. journals. 



Social Media for the Genealogist - this will include social media advice and learning opportunities from experts both inside and outside of the genealogy industry.

This week's mentions: 


Allison Boyer at Blog World introduced a new ebook you may want to grab, it's free, The Ultimate Guide to Blog and Podcast Sponsorship. 


How to Use Google Drive Forms (video)  from Lifehack, great simple tutorial on a fantastic tool. 


New Genealogy Blog – we will tip our hat to a newcomer who impresses us right out of the box

This week's mention: 

This week check out Amy's Gene-Journal. Amy is a young mother who turns to genealogy to as she puts it "to use my brain" as she is currently bombarded with children's TV. This is a great example of a family history blog/journal and I love her tag line, "the garbled thoughts of an amateur family genealogist." Love her honesty. 


Books that Move and Matter - each week we will feature an ebook or print book with the family historian in mind. It may come as a great source of information, for research or writing or playing to our historical interests, or may just be a great read I think genealogists will love.
 
This week I've been reading a great book, Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, edited by William Zinsser.This book is a collection of thoughts and wisdom from nine memoirists, they all tackle the questions of why they wrote a memoir and their individual process of bringing their life to the page.  


The Webinar Watch - Each week we will list upcoming webinars mostly in genealogy, but occasionally I come across one for writing or social media I think is beneficial,  I'll be sure to share it here. 

This week's webinars: 

Avoiding Misunderstandings,Part 2: Communication Skills for Professional Genealogists, presented by Jean Wilcox Hibben hosted by APG Mon Sept 24th, FREE.

Family Tree Maker 2012, Reports presented by Crista Cowan hosted by Ancestry.com Live Stream on Tuesday Sept 25th, FREE

Digital Research Guidance, Research Logs and To-Do Lists: Family Search, Research Wiki and Legacy Family Tree presented by Geoff Rasmussen hosted by Legacy Family Tree. Wednesday Sept.26th, FREE 

Family Tree Maker 2012, Places presented by Crista Cowan hosted by Ancestry.com Live Stream on  Thursday Sept 27th. FREE 

Getting Started with Heritage Collector Software (last installment)  presented by Kathleen Bittner hosted by Legacy Family Tree Friday Sept 28th. FREE 


 

You can find more new genealogy bloggers at Thomas' list of New Genealogy Blogs at Geneabloggers.

For other great reads, Randy at Genea-Musings offers the Best of the Genea-Blogs

Read Friday Finds by Julie Cahill at GenBlog 

Dan Curtis, Professional Personal Historian always puts together some interesting selections in Monday's Link Round-Up.

British and Irish Genealogy blog offers lots of goodies, This week brings Genealogy News for Sept 21st

And Jana Last lists some favorites on Follow Friday -- Fab Finds for Sept 21st, 2012 by Jana Last on Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog. 

Michael Leclerc writes From the Blogs, on the Mocavo Genealogy Blog.  

Have a great genealogy week, keep researching and writing!

Fall Into a Couple of Great Deals


With Fall we begin to think about the upcoming family gatherings and that means you should consider having the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner to take along for the ride. It will be your new best friend at family gatherings such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Snatch a scan of some precious photos when your visiting the relatives, return them before you even leave.

Flip-Pal has some great coupons going on at the moment, so if you been hesitating about scooping up one these guys you may want to think twice.

The following promotion codes are valid 12:00 a.m.–11:59 p.m. Mountain Time (-6 GMT) on their respective dates when ordered on our shop page.

Please place all items in your shopping cart first, before entering the promotion code!

September 21-23
Save $15 when you purchase a Flip-Pal mobile scanner!
Promotion Code: 921fall



Secondly there is a 10% discount going on at Buzan for iMindMap software program. You've seen me use it before in Map Your Family History Like a Best selling Novel and Structuring Your Family History Blog to Book. 


iMindMap Basic 
A great product on so many levels and a fantastic asset to your genealogy business particularly if your a genealogy speaker. This software program can add some major pizzazz to your presentations. The following programs are available for the 10% Discount, iMindMap Home and Student, as well as iMindMap Ultimate and iMindMap Resource Pack. The sale is on now until Thursday Sept 23rd at 23:59 (BST)

Click on the affiliate link above and shop and then enter the code inspire in the shopping cart upon checking out.

A Writing Tool that Adapts to Every Kind of Genealogist

Rarely do I sing the praises of a program as loudly as I sing for the writing software program Scrivener. I have written about Scrivener in the past, Can A Writing Tool Really Help Your Story-This One Can!  where I praised its virtues. But I felt it was time to really introduce you to Scrivener up close and personal. And to demonstrate how you can use Scrivener in writing any one of a number of genealogy writing projects.

I believe Scrivener is the ideal writing tool for genealogists, no matter your style of writing or the format of your writing project. Here's a few reasons why!


  • If  you're blogging your family history and plan on turning it into a book, Scrivener can help you plan and execute your blog to book project.
  • If you're writing a family narrative for a small family book in a simple PDF document or writing a  family history memoir to sell across all the ebook formats Scrivener is your tool.
  • If you're a genealogist looking to publish a non-fiction book Scrivener will handle that for you.
  • If you write magazine articles, or write for genealogy societies, Scrivener will most definitely be the ideal tool for you. If you write newsletter whether they are family newsletter or blog newsletter Scrivener is your tool. 


Not all writers write the same, Scrivener understands this concept. Each of our creative processes are different and we love to create various writing environments. Scrivener gets that.

You the writer don't adapt to Scrivener, Scrivener adapts to you. (Tweet this!)

You create the writing environment and the writing format that meets your specific needs. This is the heart of Scrivener.

So if your intrigued or even in disbelief, let me demonstrate the beauty of this program. Watch the 15 minute mini-webinar below and get acquainted with how Scrivener can meet the needs of the family history writer.


If you would love to give Scrivener a try then please  Download Scrivener Now.(affiliate link) A free trial is available.

Watch for future videos in this series Scrivener for the Family History Writer. We will take apart Scrivener piece by piece and show you how to make the most of this project management writing tool for your family history needs.

Monday Morning Mentions



Monday Morning Mentions is an opportunity to reflect on the events of the week at the Armchair Genealogist and in the blogging and book community. Over my morning cappuccino, I will take the opportunity to share with you some of my favourite blogs posts this week and give a nod to my peers.


You can also find me on Facebook. Stop by and leave a message. I often will link some great finds there as well. You can also follow me on twitter at @LynnPal or my twitter paper The Armchair Genealogist Journal.



At the Armchair Genealogist this week, posts included the following:

Monday Morning Mentions
The Moment I Knew - Phyllis' Story  




 Internet Genealogy – a great genealogy or internet tip that will benefit any armchair genealogist.

This week's mention:

Judy at the Legal Genealogist gives us a lesson in Copyright and the Obit

Sticking with the obit theme, take a look at Genealogy Tip of the Day - Read Your Ancestor's Paper by Michael John Neil. Great tip to put your ancestor's life and death into historical context.


The most brilliant tip of the week goes to Caroline Pointer at 4YourFamilyStory.com  Start by reading about this bright idea she had for recording our online searches -The easiest search log we may ever use. Then be sure to follow it up by watching the video Caroline created demonstrating how to record your search logs into OneNote or Evernote -How to easily record a log of your online searches


Writing Family History - great advice or information on writing your family history.
This week’s mention:

Lisa Cron shares her views on how a story is created in  The Biggest Mistakes Writers Make and How to Avoid Them at Writer Unboxed.


Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn shares her thoughts on getting reviews for your book on Amazon. Read How to Get Amazon's Top Customer Reviewers To Review Your Book


Social Media for the Genealogist - this will include social media advice and learning opportunities from experts both inside and outside of the genealogy industry.

This week's mentions: 


Nina Anthony at wesst.org shares a whole lot of tools in 88 Free Small Business Tools to Help Entrepreneurs Wear Fewer Hats - this article is loaded with Apps! 

3 Essential Twitter Lists for Any Entrepreneur by Tara Gentile at Think Traffic, this is all about organizing your Twitter stream- makes sense to me! 

What is the best time to post on the social media sites? Here's a great infographic from Markus Allen at Social Engine Marketing Round-Up, The Best and Worst Times to Post on Social Media. 


New Genealogy Blog – we will tip our hat to a newcomer who impresses us right out of the box

This week's mention: 

Be sure to welcome Genealogy Decoded to the community. Beth Foulk shares her knowledge through lectures, articles and one-on-one assistance. She has just recently joined the Geneabloggers community. Her website and blog are chock full of great resources, be sure to stop by.  


Books that Move and Matter - each week we will feature an ebook or print book with the family historian in mind. It may come as a great source of information, for research or writing or playing to our historical interests, or may just be a great read I think genealogists will love.
 
Putting Flesh on the Bones: Bringing Your Ancestors to Life is our featured book this week, written by Mark W. Swarthout and released this August. While I haven't read this book (as of yet) I did down load it this week, it is currently free on Amazon. 

Amazon Description: 
How do you make the hundreds of dates and places in your family tree come alive? The purpose of this article is to spark your interest in finding out the things that will make your ancestors become real people in your mind. It will provide thought starters and ideas to help in tracking down the information that can convert those names and dates on the genealogy chart into a real flesh and blood person, someone you can picture in your mind.

The Webinar Watch - Each week we will list upcoming webinars mostly in genealogy, but occasionally I come across one for writing or social media I think is beneficial,  I'll be sure to share it here. 

This week's webinars: 

Share a Memory Workshop with Dear Myrtle, Monday Sept 17th. FREE. 

Use Your Digital Camera to Copy Records presenter is Mary Hill, hosted by Legacy Family Tree. Wed Sept.19th.FREE

Playground Rules for the Internet presenter is Janet Horvoka, hosted Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree Extension Series. Wed Sept.19th. FREE

City Directories; More Than Names and Addresses presenter is Jason Harrison hosted by the Utah Genealogical Association, Thurs Sept 20th. FREE and you don't have to be a member. 

Getting Started with Heritage Collector presenter Kathleen Bittner hosted by Legacy Family Tee on Friday Sept 21st. FREE.



You can find more new genealogy bloggers at Thomas' list of New Genealogy Blogs at Geneabloggers.

For other great reads, Randy at Genea-Musings offers the Best of the Genea-Blogs

Read Friday Finds by Julie Cahill at GenBlog 

Dan Curtis, Professional Personal Historian always puts together some interesting selections in Monday's Link Round-Up.

British and Irish Genealogy blog offers lots of goodies, This week brings Genealogy News for Sept 14th

And Jana Last lists some favorites on Follow Friday -- Fab Finds for Sept 14th, 2012 by Jana Last on Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog. 

Michael Leclerc writes From the Blogs, on the Mocavo Genealogy Blog.  

Have a great genealogy week, keep researching and writing!


The Moment I Knew - Phyllis' Story


My Italian Family 
I always had an interest in our family genealogy. I am part of large Italian family and my siblings and I are very close. My parents moved out of the Chicago suburbs in 1958 and had their dream home built. My grandfather, who was by then a widower, moved in with us and lived in our home for the rest of his life. In the mid 1960’s my family converted the upstairs bedrooms into an apartment and my father’s parents moved in upstairs. How lucky were we kids, to have two grandfathers and one grandmother live with us? 

In 2000 my husband, daughter, sister and I spent two weeks in Italy. It was my dream to visit the town where my ancestors came from. My mother thought our ancestors were from a town called L’Aquila so that is the town we toured on our vacation. We climbed the hills and reveled in the beauty. 

Visiting Italy
We purchased souvenirs from L’Aquila and took hundreds of pictures. At the end of the day my sister and I sat on a bench in the town square and talked of our ancestors walking across these same brick pathways to do their shopping. What a sense of familiarity we felt sharing the same space, but different time, with our ancestors!

This was the moment I knew. I just had to make time to research our family history.  




Grandfather Gilberto
1910 
My mother and sister lived in Illinois, so each time I went to visit I would pull out old boxes and sit with my mother and ask her for names and details of the people in the photos. My mother’s father Gilberto was born in 1903, ten years after his mother and three older brothers arrived at Ellis Island. Grandpa was no longer alive so mom and I could not ask him questions about the photos.  Lesson learned, interview your ancestors before you no longer have a chance to do it.

I have 7 siblings. My grandfather Gilberto had 14 siblings. Grandpas mother Elvira had 11 siblings and his father Pietro had 8 siblings. We had so many family members through out the world and I wanted a way to reach out to them. I knew my connection would be made via the internet.

In 2010 my husband and I took a trip to Utah stopping at Salt Lake City and we went into the Family History Library. I spent a few hours researching and my head was swimming with ideas about creating a website and building a family tree. When we returned home I signed up for an account at Ancestry.com.  I made my first entries with my family names. Soon I had little leaves shaking at me, enticing me to “click here”. When my family tree reached about 300 members I purchased the Family Treemaker software so I could print out reports and get a visual image of how all these people were connected to me.

Next I set up a WordPress account and started my blog at www.delprincipefamilytree.com. It was so much fun picking a template, designing the site, and writing my first story. It’s been almost two years since my first blog post.  Connecting with new family members has far exceeded my expectations. I love it when I get a new email declaring “I’m a Del Principe too!” I have discovered relatives all across the world that I never knew I had. 

In 2011 I returned to Illinois for a visit. New family members and I arranged to meet for the very first time.   We shared photos, documents, and stories. What an amazing day that was. Some of my new cousins and I decided to hire a researcher to trace our Italian ancestors through Italian documents, a task I was unable to accomplish since I couldn’t read or speak Italian. I posted the documents and translations on my website so all our relatives could share in the thrill of the new discoveries.

And the surprises just kept coming. I discovered family members who live in Pescasseroli, Italy. It turns out that my great grandparents were born in Pescasseroli, not in L’Aquila. Darn, this could only mean one thing.  A return trip to Italy would have to be scheduled.  


Meet the Storyteller - Phyllis Zeck 




Phyllis retired from her customer service job in 2006 after 28 years of service, and like other retirees she is busier than ever. She lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon. They have three children who live close by and they are expecting their second grandchild next March. Phyllis has always loved writing. When the world of blogging started to blossom her eyes lit up and she knew right where she was headed! In addition to her obsession with genealogy, Phyllis enjoys reading, scrapbooking, and traveling. You can follow Phyllis on her blog at www.delprincipefamilytree.com and you can find her on Facebook by searching for Phyllis Winike Zeck.