Archive for ‘Technology’

November 25, 2011

Books, eBooks, and More Books – Bibliophiles/Bibliophages Beware !!! #Books

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is very old … My portrait by Jan Matejko dates back to 1862 alone. So perhaps you can forgive me if I blog about an antiquarian notion today … BOOKS. First off, I hope everyone had a Blessed and Family/Food Filled Thanksgiving Holiday (4th Thursday in November in the USA).

As I was saying I want to write about books today. I provided a handy photo for the reference of my younger readers who may need a refresher on the concept. Before you run off … Here’s my list:

No Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble today, although they are worthy purveyors — nor will I speak of Antiquarian Books, though I reserve that topic for another day.

Google Books (books.google.com/books) – I adore to find public domain books or snippets of books under copyright that I can search and perhaps get at least a snippet view of my search topic. Google now lets you keep the public domain books on their “Cloud” (no space on your hard disk). At present, my Google eBooks include:

Historya Polska w Ameryce by Wacław Kruszka. So you can find resources that are valuable to your genealogical or history research. Although you cannot download them to your iPhone, it is still portable since it is in the “Cloud” (enough with that Internet meme). So as long you can surf the web with your iPhone (or other smartphone) your genealogical resources are portable.
Google Books will also help you locate the book in a local library (or the closest library) or help you locate it via their cadre of booksellers in case you still need that tactile sense of holding a book or where an eBook is not an option.
They also have magazines too! Feel free to browse (get some good Sumatra coffee ready).
 
The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/details/texts) is more than just books. It also about the Web, Moving Images, Texts (books), and Audio. All intriguing in their own right. In fact, the Web portion has the infamous Wayback Machine for viewing websites as they used to be. As I read somewhere this month, the average website changes about every 28 days. Obviously, blogs skew that average. So in a sense, the Wayback Machine backs up the Internet or should I say the “Cloud”. Oops, I did promise to stop dropping that meme today. But books are what we are about today. Obviously, they get their books from Libraries and also Project Gutenberg. Also it should be obvious that these are public domain books. They store each book in a variety of formats (HTML, PDF, and various ebook formats). So you can download a book to your laptop and import that into your iBooks App (or whatever smartphone App you use) for true portability. Classics .. check, Genealogy/History .. check, Children’s Books .. double check, and Foreign Language Books too. What eBooks are on your smartphone? Perhaps we should ask that question to the famous (instead of what music is on your iPhone). Don’t be embarrassed .. go to the Internet Archive or the Next Topic (Project Gutenberg).
 
Project Gutenberg – has been around a long time. But it has taken eBook formats, eBook readers and smartphones to bring this valuable resource to major relevance. I daresay that most smartphone Apps that have free books, probably use this website. Project Gutenberg has 36,000 books to download. Skip those Apps, use the free iBooks App that came with your iPhone, Project Gutenberg to locate the books YOU care about, download the eBook format (epub or pdf work), import the book into iTunes, find some book cover art, and synch the whole package to your iPhone/iPad for true portability and reading on the beach or in that research archive or at the museum or that archaeology dig you have been promising yourself.
 
LibraryThing (www.librarything.com) –  You must be a bibliophile or bibliophage or why else are you reading this post. Well here is a website that is a bit different. LibraryThing will allow you to upload your library (200 books for free). Now you are not uploading books, but the data about the books or possibly its cover. You can enter the data or specify the ISBN and allow the website to locate the metadata that describes the book in your collection. If that is all it did, it would be mostly useful to libraries and librarians — which it is useful for and they provide a way to bulk load their entire catalogs. But it is a kind of social-network for bibliophiles or for authors trying to sell books to readers of their genre. I like the Zeitgeist feature for understanding what is out there. I also like to compare my books to others and wonder about what others users whose books overlap with my book collection are like and what that says about me. There are also book groups and local ties to bookstores, libraries, museums and other book events. There are so many ways to use this website collaboratively.  Take a peak.
 
Enjoy the books and the other book readers too!
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November 23, 2011

Stanislaw Lem – Google Doodle

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has written about Stanislaw Lem before (https://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/thingsifind-when-looking-up-other-things-stanislaw-lem-1956-przekroj/). So in another bit of cognitive resonance, I find that Google has a Stanislaw Lem Doodle (a rather complex Google Doodle). Now before you scurry off to verify this factoid, be forewarned that here in the USA, we only see a Turkey Doodle. Here is the UK Google Doodle (http://www.google.co.uk/)  for Stanislaw Lem.

A Few Articles on the Lem Google Doodle:

The last two are European newspapers, as it is not readily apparent in the USA that Goggle has done this tribute. You need to visit a Google mirror in Europe to see the Stanislaw Lem Doodle (or click on the first link above). The doodle ends with the message that the art was inspired by the drawings of Daniel Mroz for Lem’s short story collection The Cyberiad, published in 1965. This Google Doodle is interactive, allowing users to participate in a series of games. This doodle marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of his Stanislaw Lem’s first book, The Astronauts in 1951.

Since he is Polish son, go Googling in the UK today.

November 21, 2011

Roots Tech – Ancestry App v 3.0.1 – #Genealogy, #Technology, #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Yesterday (20th-November-2011), Stanczyk’s iPhone flagged his attention that his Ancestry.com App had an update available (Version 3.0.1).

What’s New in Version 3.0.1

  • Now the App has Shaky Leaves! The “Shaky Leaf” hints point you at possible new discoveries.
  • A simple merge tool helps toadd new relatives & info to your family tree
  • A new in-app purchase option with special  pricing  for Ancestry.com.
  • This new version also automatically adds information to photos
  • It allows you to change your tree privacy settings in the App
  • Adds an integrated user feedback & support feature
  • Its faster and more stable (Time will tell)

I tried it on a new tree with a few people. When I download the tree and used Roots Magic 4.x to display the Gedcom, I still get a tree without the proper family linkages. This bug appeared before iOS5 and still persists. I do not get it on my older pre-iOS5 trees that existed on Ancestry.com (before the bug). This bug is not an Ancestry App bug. So early adopters will not see this bug unless you create a new tree and download the Gedcom file for use in another family tree program. The tree appears just fine on Ancestry.com and also in the Ancestry App. I am not certain what is happening in the GEDCOM format of the file. I can use Roots Magic 4.x on older Ancestry.com trees (downloaded Gedcoms) and the family relationships are fine.

So I am leaning towards this being an Ancestry.com bug (not a Roots Magic bug).

There was NO mention of whether this makes the Ancestry App iOS5 compatible. It says, it requires iOS4 or later to run the App. It is a 15.9MB download so it takes a bit of time and bandwidth to download. Still it is under the 20MB that forces an iTunes on the computer download. Synching works fine in both directions, so you can create or modify your family tree on the web or in the smartphone App and both sides stay in synch. Because you update to 3.0.1, your entire tree will need to be downloaded. If you get to be about 1,000 people this does take a noticeable amount of time. For 100 people trees or less the delay is miniscule.

Download the new version. Portable Genealogy is back. But please Ancestry, can you fix the Gedcom issue, so I do not need to see people complaining on the Ancestry-app-mailing-list any more? Your website should work interoperable with other genealogy programs that support the GEDCOM standard or Ancestry should remove the feature “Supports GEDCOM”.

October 31, 2011

iOS5 More Bad News – A Blow To Portable Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Besides all the issues I have previously detailed in my last article (iOS5 First Impressions), I have a new issue. This is my sternest recommendation:

DO NOT UPDATE to iOS5 if you use Ancestry APP or CAMERA APP !

On the Mailing List:  ANCESTRY-TREE-TO-GO-APP , people have been complaining that Ancestry APP does not work. Now Stanczyk knew it worked and it worked well … But that was BEFORE iOS5 came out.

I confirmed the problem exists on iOS5. It does not download the tree / GEDCOM properly (you get a synch error). If you had a previously downloaded a tree (before iOS5) then you can use that tree. Obviously any changes made on ANCESTRY.com will not be able to synched to your iPhone/iPad.

HOWEVER, if you update your family tree on the iOS5 device, then your changes can be synched in that direction and saved on the Internet and accessed at Ancestry.com.   In fact, after you do that you can then get around the above problem. But you had to have a tree on your iOS device BEFORE you upgraded to do this work-around. After synching from iPhone to web. I am NOW able to synch in both directions again.

I suspect this is an Ancestry problem and not an Apple problem. However for portable genealogy this is a PROBLEM. This is a case where an early adopter is fine and the person who just got his/her first iOS device and it came with iOS5 is not able to participate in the portable genealogy revolution.

ANCESTRY.com when will you update your APP for iOS5 ?

–Stanczyk

October 28, 2011

Minutia

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

mi·nu·ti·a(e) –

a minor or trivial detail(s,  trifles)

Stanczyk has been mired in minutia or since it is a plethora of minutia, then perhaps minutiae is appropriate. However, I like the sound of minutia, while  minutiae sounds like a Japanese anime character. You see, I am mired in a mountain of minutia — even my writing has been infected by the minutia.

I Tweaked the Blog Again …

  1. I deleted a redundant page and now have the TABs (really menus, although not properly used that way) at the top. Down the side I now have: About StanczykGazetteers, &  Maps
  2. Gazetteers is now complete (or at least no longer under construction) and is a credible resource to start your work on gazetteers.
  3. The other two pages had slight tweaks to them.
  4. I am evolving the top TABs (Dziennik Polski, Biechow, Pacanow, etc.) in true menus, with menu items. I hope this will organize my materials for faster finding and utilization and to provide for more content, easily found and to make better use of that scarce real estate at the top.

Keep your eyes peeled.

Roots Technology …

Stanczyk has been trying to get his Roots Tech organized and ready to be deployed. As you know technology is slippery as an eel and hard to master/muster into a kind of electronic Swiss knife. My focus is portable genealogy — taking my research & tools with me into the field (uh, libraries, archives, churches/synagogues, courthouses, vital records offices, and cemeteries). So the smartphone and the cloud have been an emphasis. My latest tool in my bag of tricks is the iPhone app: ImageToText . This little application allows you to take a picture of a page of text, it recognizes the text (in the picture just taken), and then you can email that text to yourself (or anyone else really). So now you do not have to scribble down that paragraph of text or that page from a city directory. Just (1) start ImageToText, (2) Take a picture, (3) Send an email. What comes to your mailbox is NOT the image but OCR’ed (OCR is optical character recognition) text in the body of the email message. I like that a lot.

LDS Films Online …

I have mentioned this a couple of times before. It was a concept that was coming. It came. OK I tried it, but I could not use the first implementation because they could NOT return a list of MY Family History Centers (why would I want to order a microfilm that was only for other states, i. e. UT). Ok ,they have finally fixed their problems and I can now report that My Account is working. So go to familysearch.org/film  and create an account, set it up and start ordering microfilm.

https://www.familysearch.org/films/customer/account/ – Keep this handy (Bookmark it / Make it a Favorite). This is the link to your Microfilm/Account Dashboard.

read more »

October 13, 2011

First Impressions of iOS-5

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am hoping for quick improvement. If you read nothing else then you have the gist of it.

Here is the situation for iPhone4 owners thinking about upgrading to iOS-5:

  • Nice Twitter Integration
  • Where’s the Locked iPhone Photo Taking Ability?
  • Issues with chargers
  • Issues with network connections (Verizon) to Email Provider slow / inconsistent (Is this a BlackBerry)
  • LONG download of 768MB (about 3.5+ hours). Perhaps it will be less in a few days after all early adopters have had their chance at downloads.
  • Camera APP loses zoom feature that was there in iOS-4 ??? If you had the 8MP new camera in iPhone5 perhaps it would not be so awful
  • The notifications on the locked screen are more configurable and therefore better
  • More features and Apps to learn (is that a plus or a negative or neither?)
  • new Music App found my lost purchased iPhone songs that was HUGE plus
  • It took a LONG time to copy all of my existing photos (1800+)
  • It did NOT lose my emails, books, songs, but I was uncertain for a while – unnecessary fear
  • My contacts came over OK, even ones I had done recently.
  • Better contact synching overall
  • Slight re-arrangement of my Apps (due to the new Apps from Apple)
  • I thought UPDATE had failed (due to odd error message)
  • You must be there at the iTunes App and with iPhone to handle initial configs and ok licenses. This is a hardship when it takes 3.5+ hours to download and more time to update the iOS. Do not walk away.
  • I do not KNOW what would happen if you lost connection during the 3.5+ hours of download or during the time updating the iOS and configuration. You may need to do a restore or possibly re-start download ???

I am NOT updating my wife’s iPhone because she is less willing to be an early adopter and fight through the issues. I would NOT hurry to update if you have iPhone4. There is not enough value and too many issues, plus you lose zoom on camera APP.

The Email issue reminds me of the BlackBerry woes. My email still comes/goes, but it is slow and the connection tom Email provider is inconsistent. Sometimes, the first two lines do not fully appear on all messages. What gives? This all worked perfectly in iPhone4. The EMAIL app issues is what gets me to recommend that you DO NOT UPGRADE yet on iPhone4. Also if you need zoom on the Camera APP then do NOT upgrade. The niceties are too little to be worth the issues.

October 4, 2011

#Genealogy & #Technology – Google News

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk, likes using Goggle technology for genealogy. I use Google’s Translator to translate  Russian/Polish/German/Latin to/from English. I use Google Books for hard to find reference materials. I use iGoogle to create a personal “Genealogy-Newspaper” to read every day and also add a few genealogy widgets too. I use Google Maps to create cemetery maps with data. Obviously, I use Google as a search engine. Now I use all of these tools on my smartphone.

Now You can be a Genealogy News Aggregator (using  Google News) …

Louisville Courier-Journal – ‎2 hours ago‎

6:20 pm Jeffersonville Township Public Library will hold two genealogy classes in October in the library’s Gates Computer Lab, 211 E. Court Ave.
ABC News – ‎8 minutes ago‎

and PBS’ “Faces of America are helping fueling the trend in genealogy. But for many Hispanics, tracing the family tree hasn’t been so easy.
StandardNet – ‎Oct 2, 2011‎

When they run into those inevitable brick walls in search of their ancestors, more and more genealogists are turning not to census data, military logs or death notices.
Iron County Reporter – ‎7 hours ago‎

IRON RIVER—On Thursday, Oct. 6, the Iron County Genealogical Society will meet at 1 pm in the J. Patrick White Conference Room at the West Iron District Library.
Mail Tribune – ‎1 hour ago‎

A five-part series of beginning genealogy  starts Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Jackson County Genealogy Library, Phoenix.
Green Valley News – ‎Oct 3, 2011‎

Virginia and Pennsylvania are considering easing restrictions on vital records in response to pressure from genealogists, and are soliciting comments from researchers.
Carmi Times – ‎17 hours ago‎

By Anonymous The annual noon luncheon meeting of The Genealogy Society of White County, Illinois will be held Oct. 29 at the American Legion Hall in Carmi.
MarketWatch (press release) – ‎Sep 29, 2011‎

Traditionally, genealogists have been forced to manually re-enter vital information, such as names, dates and locations, on every site they visit for every person in their family tree.
ABC News – ‎3 minutes ago‎

and PBS’ “Faces of America are helping fueling the trend in genealogy. But for many Hispanics, tracing the family tree hasn’t been so easy.

The Jersey Journal – NJ.com (blog)
LubbockOnline.com – ‎Sep 29, 2011‎

The South Plains Genealogical Society will feature George Schweitzer as speaker for its Fall Seminar from 9:30 am to 1:20 pm Oct. 8 at First United Methodist Church.
Appeal-Democrat – ‎Oct 2, 2011‎

A free basic genealogy workshop is scheduled at the Yuba County Library, 303 Second St., Marysville. The program is slated from 2-5 pm Saturday.
TCPalm – ‎Oct 3, 2011‎

FORT PIERCE – Local historian and genealogist Patti Kirk is returning to the Morningside Branch Library with her genealogy series for October.
Tbo.com – ‎Oct 2, 2011‎

Genealogy is so simple and easy to do that it can be done in five minutes.” That’s the very misleading introductory remark on a video on the popular Mormon Church website, FamilySearch.
FOX19 – ‎Oct 3, 2011‎

In addition to running her own business, Key Genealogy, and volunteering with the Butler County Records Center & Archives, she is also a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and holds a Professional Learning Certificate in
Chicago Daily Herald – ‎Oct 2, 2011‎

He started out with a modest interest in his own family genealogy, but when Jerry Becker was done, he had more than 800 names on the family tree and relatives from around the world meeting each other for the first time.
Wired (blog) – ‎Oct 2, 2011‎

But without a lot of experience, those new to genealogy might not be sure what materials exist, or how or where to find them.
TCPalm – ‎8 hours ago‎

Genealogy Dept. Tours: Learn what is available for family history research. IRC Main Library, 1600 21st St., Vero Beach. Tuesdays and Oct. 15.
The Republic – ‎Sep 30, 2011‎

When they run into those inevitable brick walls in search of their ancestors, more and more genealogists are turning not to census data, military logs or death notices.
Patch.com – ‎Sep 30, 2011‎

Tracing her history is hard work, so she is attending meetings of the recently formed East Greenwich Genealogy Society. During the Society’s recent meeting at the East Greenwich Free Library, the library’s Diane Hogan showed members how to find and use
September 25, 2011

#Genealogy #Polish – Searching ELA database, State Archives (Poland)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was visiting the State Archives in Poland website and he explained about the four databases:

  • PRADZIAD – For vital records, both civil and religious. Birth,  Marriage, Death and Alegata records.
  • SEZAM – A database containing  detailed descriptions of archival holdings preserved by the State Archives and a few related repositories. Some entries are rather lengthy.
  • IZA – A catalog of all (really slightly more than a quarter of all) fonds, by archive that holds them and indexed by Key Words. It includes the Archive’s contact info (for each fond). I hope they get around to indexing the other 3/4 of fonds.
  • ELA – A database of all population registers (Censuses, Lists, Indexes, etc.) in Poland’s State Archives.

When I wrote about ELA, I said it was not very useful. But I  wanted to correct my errant statement (due to my own misconception about what data they had available). By the descriptions, you can see that PRADZIAD is the most important to a genealogist, but that the ELA database with its population lists can provide additional opportunities to find an ancestor and in some context (a list of soldiers, those being deported, a census, eligible voters list, etc.) for some timeframe. Now let me hasten to add that in the Russian Partition of Poland you are not going to find much in the way of censuses — it seems you can find Russian Empire censuses in all Russian Gubernias, but the ten gubernias in the Polish Kingdom (of the Russian Empire, aka Congress Poland).

Using ELA

This is the English language version of the ELA database (click on link to go to ELA) search form.

You can leave “Town” empty and just search on the “Register’s title” field. Here are some possible search strings (enter Polish words):

  1. Listy osób
  2. Listy osób uprawnionych do głosowania w guberni kieleckiej
  3. listy osób deportowanych z Cesarstwa Rosyjskiego

The first is just the generic, “Lists of People”. All strings must be in Polish (get your Google Translator out). The diacriticals (accents) are not required. The second is the list of eligible voters (in Kielce Gubernia).  The third one is a list of people deported from the Russian Empire.

Leave town blank if you want to search all towns. Fill in town or gmina or powiat (if these are also town names) if you want to limit yourself to an area where you know your ancestors were from. You can also use “Register’s title” if you want to search a whole wojewodztwo (gubernia) and not just the town Kielce.

I have family from the Kielce Gubernia, so I clicked on “more” to find out what FOND and Archive has this data of interest to me (#2 of the list above).

So I should use the contact info to go to the Kielce State Archive and ask for FOND # 59 to see the list of eligible voters in Kielce Gubernia in 1906.

Perhaps I’ll find Elijasz, Leszczynski, Wlecial, and Kedzierski families listed among the eligible voters. From that era, my paternal grandparents are still there  and I expect  that I’d find my great-grandparents too. Now I do not know that I will find more than their names. But perhaps, I’ll get ages and addresses too. Who knows what else (military service, occupation, date of prior elections or number of elections voted — who knows).

There is no actual data or images online. It just a big library catalog file of what you can expect to find, if you visit or hire a genealogist to visit the State Archives.

September 24, 2011

Technology in #Genealogy – Google Books, iPhone/iPad

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk wanted to elaborate on a few new ideas for incorporating Technology into your genealogy:

  • Roots Tech 2012 – registration is open. Get all your tech on Feb 2-4, 2012 in Salt Lake City
  • Google Books – Many good books are in the public domain, road map to the rest
  • iPhone/iPad – genealogy on the go
  • Hash Tags in your blog, blog title and link your blog to Twitter

The second Roots Tech 2012 conference is coming up soon. If you are trying to make better use of your scant genealogy time, then perhaps using more technology to organize, find, backup or present your research may be the order of the day. This year many big tech companies will be there, as well as genealogy software vendors. Here is your chance to learn and to try out new ideas.

Google Books may help you locate material specific to genealogy, such as a gazetteer or a heritage book like the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). It can also help you with reference materials, such as Latin. Look for “Free Books” (i.e. public domain), such as, “The Poles in America” By Paul Fox. If you are looking for a book that is in copyright, Google Books can help you locate the book in the nearest library/archive or a vendor who sells it.

iPhone/iPad – Genealogy has gone portable with the advent of smart phones. Laptops were fine but smart phones are now better. I have grown fond of the Ancestry app for iPhone. It keeps getting better. I use it to shoot an image of a document and then attach it to a person in the tree. So now you can take pictures of the microfilm and attach the document in the tree. It synchs virtually immediately so you can see in on the web at Ancestry.com as soon as the upload from the phone has finished. I have one of those public domain Latin books from Google or the Gutenberg Project on my iPhone in iBooks app. So you have your family tree software, digital camera, and reference materials all in one device —  your phone.

#HashTags – You see them in twitter all of the time. They are like Key Words in a library catalog. Twitter can produce “What’s Trending” from these hash tags. But you can hook up your blog to twitter and so you should put Hash Tags in your Posting’s title to help people find it on Twitter or in Google. I even use them in Facebook.

September 20, 2011

#Genealogy #Polish – Notes & Notices; Searching IZA

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk was visiting the State Archives in Poland and he saw the news…

The State Archive in Wroclaw is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its opening. They published a monograph, “The State Archive in Wrocław 1811-2011. Past and Present “, The main celebration  will take place on 28th of September. If the Archive is 200 years old, then I wonder how old its oldest documents are? Please note if you click on the Union Jack flag (for English) you will miss this announcement which only listed on the Polish language version of the page.

Shoemaker’s Guild

I wanted to search their IZA database to do a “Key Word” search across all State Archive Offices on the topic of Guilds, in particular Shoemaker’s Guild (cechu szewskiego). I have previously written about these guilds before in this blog. I used the ‘cechu’ AND ‘szewc’ as my keywords and I got back seven results:

I circled the Catalog Number (sygnatura) which is a link that can be clicked. When you click on it, you are taken to the specific page for the archive that has the material you need.

The first part of the four parts indicates the archive office (see drop down below). The second is “series”, the third is “sub-series” and the fourth part is file number. Now the material retrieved from the IZA database is in Polish, so if you are not fluent in Polish, you will need your Google Translate webpage.

So when you click on the Catalog number the top of the page should look like …

The address and phone number at the top left. Further down the page it describes the archival file(s) from your search — in Polish!

The initial database search screen also has a drop-down field that maps the State Archive Offices to the number (the first part of the Catalog Number). You may want to limit results to a specific office if you are only searching in a specific archive office when you visit Poland.

So you see at the bottom of my drop down that 32 = Krakow State Archive in the Nowy Targ office. The 32 was the first part of my catalog number: 32/1/0/64 .

You can click these images at the left to see a large size image that will be easier to read.

In terms of vocabulary, the series + the sub-series (parts 2 & 3) are the FOND. The fourth part, the file number, is also called ‘OPIS‘.

You will see these words used with the other databases, in particular, the PRADZIAD database that has the vital records (church registers -or- civil office records).

It is this jester’s hope that this info can help you navigate the State Archives of Poland’s three databases (also a fourth database, ELA which is not very useful):

  • PRADZIAD
  • SEZAM
  • IZA
September 12, 2011

#Genealogy #Website #Rankings – Revisited With A Documented Methodology

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk got one comment recently. It was the first one I ever deleted. It was rude and was in reference to my rant at Genealogy Rankings posted by EOGN. Eastman, had just reposted some blogger’s effort without checking the results (a genealogical mistake — which we all make at some time or other).

Stanczyk, however is a natural skeptic. So when I looked at the results and they differed from my experience … WILDLY. I knew they were wrong or at least that the methodology employed was flawed and the info was misinformation. So I searched for another more credible ranking — which I did find and repost myself. This info was more representative of the real world and while a methodology was also not documented for this, I did cite my source of data.

However, bothered I was by my comment that I deleted for its obvious bias and rudeness, I had to admit I needed to study this and document my methodology. The commenter proffered that ALEXA.com be the source. So I obliged. I used Alexa.com and made the following search for data:

  • All countries (hint hint)
  • Society->Genealogy [the topic]
  • All languages (although come on, Genealogy is only genealogy in English)
  • All rankings
  • No filter
  • I eliminated results without any numbers (how could they be ranked)
  • I added a handful off the top of my head to see where they fit
  • I used Global Ranking (since I wanted all countries/languages)

My Additions

I added FamilySearch.org,  I knew this must be big! I added Genealodzy.pl which most people probably do not know (unless they read my blog), because it was a credible Genealogical Society Website (and probably not the most popular genealogy website in Poland). I added Footnote (now Fold3) — I was sure this was huge too. I also added CastelGarden, SteveMorse, and my own humble blog for reference — I am sure many other Polish Genealogy blogs are higher ranked. My additions are  bolded and in RED.

I could not compare my results to his results because he used the URL instead of the name so I am not certain which of mine are his and vice-versa. Also since we did these studies at different times, our results differ slightly in numbers. I am also puzzled as to how he got so many .UK or .CA websites. These did not get returned by my Alexa.com search — perhaps he limited his methodology  or added in many websites that he knew. I think Alexa.com needs to return a consistent set of websites so rankings can be compared. I also think that some websites need to describe or META tag their website better so sites like Alexa.com and its competitors can do a better job of collecting statistics. I think GENEALOGY as a topic is MUCH more popular than Alexa.com shows. Also, perhaps Alexa.com data is NOT reproducible.  So maybe my critique of EOGN is unwarranted and the Anglo-Celtic blog is also correct (as I am too). That would not be a good thing for Alexa.com. I wish other competitors in Web Analytics would publish a Genealogy/Family History Ranking study. I hope they include genealogia or other foreign renditions of the English ‘Genealogy’ so we can get a true World-Wide study. I also question whether Ancestry.com (and Ancestry.ca, Ancestry.uk, Ancestry.de, etc) should be separate or combined.

When you view the rankings, the lower the number, the better. It means there are that many websites (-1) that are more popular. So for example, my blog that you are reading has 12.8 Million other websites (like Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.) ahead of me in popularity in the WORLD. Pay close attention to my additions, they are in bold/red and for the most part are near to the top.

Genealogy Websites top 113 (I am number 106 — come-on readers)

# Website Ranking
1 Ancestry.com 1,073
2    Familysearch.org 8,331
3 Genealogy.com 11,875
4 GeneaNet 13,684
5 The British Monarchy 53,320
6 Family Tree DNA 57,911
7 RootsWeb  62,662
8   Footnote.org (now fold3) 76,309
9 JewishGen 85,873
10 What’s New in Genealogy Today  116,942
11 Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Resources on the Internet 124,819
12 TribalPages 125,404
13    Stevemorse.org 137,026
14 Eastman’s Online Genealogy News  138,037
15 Access Genealogy  140,165
16 GenoPro 164,723
17 World Vital Records 186,504
18   Genealodzy.pl 187,329
19 One Great Family 203,284
20 Polish Genealogical Society of America 203,550
21 ProGenealogists, Inc. 230,037
22 Genealogy and Family History Data at DistantCousin.com 240,451
23 AncientFaces 271,220
24 Kindred Konnections 273,644
25 National Genealogical Society 300,259
26 Family Tree Magazine 304,602
27 Family Research 317,401
28 Legacy Family Tree 334,708
29 British Royal Family History 337,957
30 Curious Fox 450,455
31 museumsusa.org 478,027
32 Olive Tree Genealogy 478,202
33 GenealogyLinks.net 526,395
34 NCGenWeb 529,784
35 Family Tree Guide 540,734
36 Oxford Ancestors 540,969
37 Irish Genealogy 542,221
38 RootsMagic 546,245
39 CousinConnect.com 556,154
40 Family Tree Circles 560,472
41 Monmouth County Library 664,876
42    Castlegarden.org 736,651
43 Avotaynu 790,666
44 Genealogy Search Engine 794,553
45 Genealogy Search Engine 794,553
46 Genealogy Articles, Tips & Research Guides 867,921
47 CensusDiggins.com  903,350
48 Genealogy Blog 981,796
49 Reunion 988,538
50 Obituary Links Page  1,080,372
51 Dear Myrtle 1,084,424
52 Dead Fred’s Photo Genealogy Archive 1,149,953
53 GeneaLinks 1,168,516
54 Ultimate Family Tree 1,527,831
55 Holmes, Doug 1,569,874
56 RoyaList Online 1,608,515
57 Kerchner 1,624,302
58 phpmyfamily – Genealogical website builder 1,635,669
59 Jewish Web Index 1,713,993
60 Couch: USA 1,766,283
61 The Ohio Genealogical Society 1,792,377
62 Board for Certification of Genealogists 1,854,544
63 Ancestral Quest 1,856,546
64 GenealogyPro.com 1,892,255
65 Scot Roots 2,170,754
66 Genealogy Magazine 2,175,330
67 Black Sheep Ancestors 2,243,157
68 Eneclann 2,298,226
69 Sephardim.com 2,456,171
70 Odessa German-Russian Genealogical Library 2,531,031
71 Journal of Genetic Genealogy 2,585,838
72 Genealogical Journeys In Time 2,780,736
73 Colonial Ancestors 2,932,587
74 Genealogy Register 3,016,245
75 The Genealogue 3,033,136
76 Winslow 3,189,607
77 Family Chronicle Magazine 3,248,384
78 GEDitCOM 3,527,586
79 Gen Source 3,718,359
80 Brother’s Keeper 3,788,856
81 Surname Site  3,854,351
82 GenealogySpot.com 4,028,763
83 GenSmarts 4,070,308
84 Palatines to America 4,161,788
85 Looking 4 Kin Genealogy Links and Chat 4,650,889
86 Genealogical Forum of Oregon 5,079,038
87 Helm’s Genealogy Toolbox  5,229,636
88 Family Origins 5,240,600
89 Genealogy Research Associates, Inc 5,416,307
90 Surname Genealogy Archive 5,462,264
91 Spansoft – Kith and Kin Genealogy Software 5,477,484
92 Historic Genealogy in New England 5,550,789
93 Ancestor Genealogy Photo Archive 5,999,968
94 Genealogy Roots Blog 6,048,790
95 Lineages, Inc 6,852,004
96 Surname Guide 7,252,646
97 Debrett Ancestry Research 8,431,123
98 Geneabios 8,649,736
99 MudCreek Software 9,461,331
100 Family Tree Connection 9,693,244
101 Association of Scottish Genealogists and Record Agents 9,785,665
102 nbgs.ca 10,632,352
103 Scottish Roots 10,912,588
104 Georgia Genealogical Society 11,944,069
105 Rogue Valley Genealogical Society 12,287,030
106   mikeeliasz.wordpress.com (Stanczyk) 12,805,138
107 Genealogy Software News 15,592,001
108 Wheelock 20,518,710
109 FamilyWebHost 20,769,903
110 Genealogy Home Page 23,241,140
111 Root Cellar – Sacramento Genealogical Society 25,363,263
112 Upper Canada Genealogy 26,691,115
113 GenDesigner 26,900,547

It is clear that Great Britain is much more genealogy crazy than the USA. If I were to do this again, I would probably go through my favorites/bookmarks and add in a few blogs (Polish Genealogy), Polish Genealogical Societies (US & Poland), FindAGrave.com, Interment.net, and Everett Genealogy Magazine. What would you add?

–Stanczyk

September 3, 2011

Post Office Department – Stanczyk’s Mailbag

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

From the Post Office Department

From my Mail Bag

 

FROM:   MaryAnne
MaryAnne asked about “readability” of the blog,

REPLY:

The format of the blog/website is due to wordpress (my blogging software and website provider). Their programs/widgets dictate the “style” which I have very little control over. I will try and write using a bigger “format” (ex. Heading 4 instead of paragraph). I cannot write in all bold as that will actually make things harder to read for more people.

But I suspect the problem is really your browser. Fortunately, most browsers now allow a “zoom” feature. I can give you help with either Internet Explorer or Firefox(Mozilla) browsers.

In Internet Explorer (popular in Windows computers), you would hit ‘Alt-X’. That is press and hold the ‘Alt’ key next to spacebar, and while still holding down the ‘Alt’ key press ‘x’. Hence Alt-x. This will bring up a “contextual” menu near the top of your browser window. “Zoom” is the third choice. It will bring up a list of zoom-levels. I recommend 125% or 150% for you. That should improve the readability for you.

In Firefox, you press “Ctrl-Shift-+” to zoom in and “Ctrl–” That is Control-plus to zoom in and Control-minus to zoom out. As with the “Alt” key, the “Ctrl” key must be pressed and held down while you type the other key(s).

Let me know if you use another browser. I do have Safari for Windows (sadly Stanczyk is making do with a Windows computer instead of his beloved MAC).

If the “zoom” feature improves your ability to read my blog, then I will not make any changes. You may also want to have someone to adjust the contrast/color on your monitor for you too. I know I had to really tinker with these Windows computers to get the colors to give me the proper contrast. This was something I took for granted in the MAC world.

Stanczyk too has “very aged” eyes from years of working on computers. Thanks MaryAnne!

 

—————————-

FROM: Jonathan

Jonathan asked about Pacanów and Kłoda, his Pytko family,  and how hard it is to read “Old Russian”.

REPLY:

Jonathan, thanks for writing. As for emails – you can send me A church record and I will be happy to read it for you and send you a translation of the “Old Russian” (pre-1918 reforms). You can write to me at: Stanczyk@eliasz.com . OK?  Any pictures you send me via email may or may not be used in the blog as part of the answer [fair use].

As for Pacanów, the LDS have four microfilm of the Pacanów(Busko-Zdroj) in Kielce(old woj.). There are a few Kłoda villages. Is yours the one near Radom? That Kłoda has parish of Magnuszew (no microfilm for this parish). Here are the four microfilm (1875-1884) for Pacanów(Busko-Zdroj):

Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1875 – FHL INTL Film [ 1192351 Item 10 ]
Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1876-1877 – FHL INTL Film [ 1192352 Items 1-2 ]
Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1878-1881 – FHL INTL Film [ 1807621 Items 8-11 ]
Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów 1882-1884 – FHL INTL Film [ 1807622 Items 1-3 ]

Akta urodzeń, małżeństw, zgonów = Birth, Marriage, Death records.

I have seen Pytko/Pytka in Pacanów and Świniary parishes.

–Stanczyk

August 25, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Tech Notes & Ideas

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

You may have noticed that Stanczyk’s Blog Roll is heavily Polish Genealogy Blogs. That is because we should try to keep the pulse on news and ideas that other Polish Genealogists know or are struggling with. Polish Genealogy Blogs can be a valuable Reference Source for beginning Slavic genealogists as they struggle to come up the learning curve of dealing with Central/European branches in their family tree.

How can you Find  Blogs of Interest to Your Research?

  • Use search engines like Google or Bing – try searching on ‘Polish, Genealogy, Blog’
  • Word Press has a tool called Tag Surfer – try using the tags: ‘Polish, Genealogy’ or use ancestral village
  • Use Genealogy Blog Finder 
  • Use Yahoo Groups and visit ‘Polish Geniuses‘ [recently(August 2011) celebrated 10 year anniversary]
  • Save the links to these Blogs in your Favorites or Bookmarks or at  Delicio.us
July 14, 2011

#Genealogy – #Historical #Newspapers : Library of Congress

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

       Stanczyk just loves books and if you are like me, then there is no greater place to go and see books, periodicals, or microfilm, than the Library of Congress (LOC). The Library of Congress is in Washington D.C. and is really a complex of three buildings  just off the National Mall.  When I visited the LOC, I was struck by the magnificent edifice that we hold the nation’s books in. Truly it is a Palace of Books. It has come a long way since it was just President Jefferson’s bequeathed book collection.

The LOC has some interesting online resources: reading rooms (genealogy), Chronicling America (previously written about), National Digital Newspaper Program, and Flickr Photo Stream. The newspaper & periodical reading room is in the Madison Building. Thankfully the LOC is tech savvy and so much material is available online.

I like it for its microfilm of historical newspapers or historical phone books — good genealogical sources. They do have my favorite Dziennik Polski (Detroit) newspaper – their holdings:

SUMMARY Dziennik Polski (Detroit) LOC HOLDINGS:

View more Polish ethnic language titles from this institution

Dates Available:

  • 1941-

Available as: Microfilm  – Dates:

  • <1941:4:14- >

Available as: Original – Dates:

  • <1981:1:2- >

Make the most of your summer combine your research with your vacation (or vice versa). Oh, just prepare for your research (which you should always do) before you go.

July 9, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Odds & Ends, New Data

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Bronislawa Eliasz Born 19030427

from LDS Microfilm #1898357

Stanczyk wants to write about databases of data for Polish Genealogists. But that is a large topic and requires some gathering of data and links (URLs). SO instead here are a few teasers (odds & ends):

  1.  From my Rootsweb NYErie Message Board/Mailing List, I found a New Poznan Research Database (posted by Ruth Susmarski). This is an excellent effort and a worthy candidate for that iGoogle Genealogy page (see yesterday’s posting) that I hope you are building. This comes from the Greater Poland Genealogical Society of Gniazdo . So if you have ancestors from Western Prussian-Poland partition this should be helpful resource. They have an RSS feed too. Link: http://www.basia.famula.pl/en/
  2. I see that on June 28th, 2011, the FamilySearch.org website added a new Polish database of  2,204,751 images. This is data for: the parishes in the Częstochowa, Gliwice, Lublin, and Radom Roman Catholic Dioceses of Poland  (Russian-Poland, Austrian-Poland partitions).  [see sample image above] Link: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/show#uri=http://hr-search-api:8080/searchapi/search/collection/1867931

I did a quick check of the FamilySearch database (#2 above) and found 31 exact or close matches to Eliasz. When I clicked through the list I found they had data from Szczucin parish (which is Austria-Poland) partition. In fact I am fairly certain the Szczucin Eliasz are distant cousins as this is just across the bridge (over the Vistula river) from my other Eliasz / Elijasz / Heliasz. I looked up the microfilm for Szczucin for 1867-1903 it is LDS Microfilm # 1898357. This matches the Szczucin in Brian Lenius’s gazetteer: “Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia“.

July 8, 2011

#Genealogy & #Technology – #1: iGoogle To Keep Tabs On Genealogy –

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

How do you keep the pulse of the Internet? At present (and for a good while now), there are over a billion websites. You can Google/Bing searches and possibly save the searches for future use or make them a Bookmark/Favorite. That is ok. But I want to go somewhere and see what my agents dug up for me to look at and examine. It is almost a Genealogy Newsletter (ok, but I want more than Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter). But I want it is tailored to my needs and interests. Eastman is broad,  but seldom specific to Slavic (Polish, Russian, Czech, Ukraine, Belarus, etc.) research, or to a specific locale: Detroit, Toledo, Buffalo, Philadelphia, etc.

Enter iGoogle. I have been using it for a year or two now and  have steadily tweaked it to my purpose and tastes. iGoogle is what we techies call a customized portal (similar to Yahoo or AOL, but more like My-Yahoo). People may be vaguely aware that Google has more software available than its iconic Search Engine. But where is this software? The Google products are located:

http://www.google.com/intl/en/about/products/index.html

iGoogle is near the top (presently second). Ok, so now you register for an account and login to Google and igoogle.com instead of google.com (for both search and portal capabilities). You can use Classic Google or iGoogle (so you are not locked in to the new search portal) and go back and forth. Now you need to add TABs (I pick one per subject: Genealogy, Science, Financial, etc.). So create a “Genealogy” Tab.  Now you can add gadgets or feeds. I have a mix of some of each on my Genealogy TAB. I like to have Google’s Translator gadget and Sirius Genealogy Date Calculator as handy gadgets. Useful tools to my research right at hand.

Next we need to define the blogs or RSS feeds of websites that we need to cull information from on a “regular” basis. Now a blog is just an article (or web log) that an author creates with useful info/data. The RSS thingys are just the Internet’s way of broadcasting to you what has changed at a website, but you must subscribe (no fee). This is how I can stay on top of what is happening elsewhere on the Internet (without intensive googling, web surfing or reading many emails/newsletters or magazines).   HINT: you may want to subscribe to this blog if you are a Polish Genealogist or a genealogist with some Polish ancestors.

OK, I did add Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter to my Genealogy Tab as he does one of the finest newsletters on genealogy. I also subscribe to Tracing The Tribe and many other Polish genealogy websites. Libraries, Genealogy/Historical Societies,  and Archives specific to locations where my ancestors lived are excellent candidates for my Genealogy Portal that I am creating in iGoogle.  Here’s a winning tip, I use what’s changed in Ancestry.com (in my shared area) as a feed. That is the essence. Tailored like a nice suit.

Now left-brain people will thrill that you can arrange your page and set how many lines each feed gets or how many columns you can have (1,2,3 or 4). You can even “skin” your page to improve the esthetics (eye of the beholder). Now I put my feeds up near the top and the gadgets near the bottom, so I do not have to scroll to see info. I do in fact tweak my page periodically to get the most useful feeds near the top or to get rid of feeds that are not useful or are too static (unchanging). Since I am researching ancestors across the ocean, I do have foreign-language websites too (hence Google Translator). Here’s what a finished product looks like ( a partial screenshot) …

So now iGoogle is my Hubble-Space-Telescope into the vastness of the Internet taking snapshots and presenting me a daily synopsis of what is going on far and wide that I may want to apprise myself of. That’s it,  a technological solution to information overload and time management — as this is my window and I make it a discipline to make a quick daily check of what is going on.

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