Monday, May 31, 2010

Madness Monday - In Memoriam

For Memorial Day I pay homage to all those brave men and women who fought and oftentimes died in the madness of war.

This sheet of soldiers dates from World War 2. My father was an officer and I am not sure, but these may be photos of men under his command.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Vidstone

I thought this would be a great entry for Tombstone Tuesday. I cut this out of a newspaper 5 years ago. You can go to the company's website here.

I remember the first time I was introduced to photographs on headstones. It was years ago in South America. I thought it was not only tasteless, but spooky. I no longer hold that opinion. Chalk it up to youth and ignorance.

But I think these video memorials are the up and coming thing and are a wonderful innovation. What a great way to show the world your loved one's life. I often think that when youth visit graveyards, they look at it as well - a graveyard - people they don't know and don't care about. I don't look at it that way. I look at it like a city - a city of the departed where you can visit those who walked your way before you. In Cairo, Egypt is a famous graveyard called the City of the Dead. This place is huge and probably contains more people than Cairo itself. I remember seeing this City of the Dead while passing by on a bus. I was amazed at the size. "City of the Dead" for that graveyard or any is apropos.

When Vidstone becomes popular enough maybe we should start calling the graveyards - Cities of the living dead - all right, I concede. I'm just getting weird here. It sounds like a horror flick. But all jokes aside, I like vidstones. I hope someday I can share in the joy of someone else's loved one's life by seeing their video tribute on the stone.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Surname Saturday - Breedlove

I do not have the Breedlove surname in my pedigree, but I bring up the name today, because I just like the name. I was first introduced to it when I made many a trip through Marion, Indiana and saw the name posted on a business sign. I always knew I was in Marion when I saw that sign ahead of me along the road.

I looked up the history of the name and it is different from the modern English connotation. If you have Breedloves in your family history, more likely they were wolf hunters, rather than great lovers.

Go here for Breedlove Family History.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Follow Friday - RootsMagic

I have been looking for a new genealogy program for a while. Not actively seeking, but keeping it in mind as I have looked at different ones. I even received some free trial software from some companies, but I have always hesitated buying new because the genealogy program I had been using has a great price - free. I couldn't beat that, but it is no longer being updated and over the years has not kept pace with new innovations in genealogy software out there.

So after RootsMagic started sponsoring Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems podcast, she said you could download a full version of it for free with unlimited time use, (just a few things missing from the full version). So I did, plus their 30-day trial of Personal Historian.

It only took me about a day of using both that I realized here was the genealogy software program that I was looking for. So I bought it, plus Personal Historian, plus GenSmarts. I don't have GenSmarts yet. It comes on a cd. There is no online download for it.

So far I am quite pleased with both RootsMagic and Personal Historian. They are not too expensive - $30 each which I thought fairly reasonable.

I haven't tried everything on them yet, but the thing I am enjoying most about RootsMagic is the abiity to document and make notes for everything. I missed that in my other online program.

What I like about Personal Historian is the ability to make timelines from downloaded historical events and to add my own. This helps me flesh out a person and their life. I have been looking for such a program for a long time online. The only one I ever found was Our TimeLines and although it is free, I wasn't too fond of it. You have very little control over what events show and many of their events were not relevant to the life of the individual I was researching. With Personal Historian I can decide what events to show or not. Also the timeline events with Personal Historian come in what are called "LifeCapsules" and are categorized according to the types of events you want to show such as "Industrial Revolution", "British History", "Epidemics", "Inventions", etc.

I read some of the reviews at of RootsMagic and some people complained that the program was not "intuitive", in other words they found it difficult to use without instructions. I don't know what those people had been using before, but I jumped right into it and so far have had very little problem. If I do have a problem I just look up the instructions included in the program.

The only thing I haven't tried to use yet is the RootsMagic Chart. This program allows you to make your own customized genealogy charts. It looks like a drawing program and I haven't tackled it yet.

I am happy with what I have tried so far with the program and recommend it to others.