Aloha Friday: Tracing Your Family’s History

Yesterday, I wrote about my budding interest in genealogy. I’ve begun the process of tracing both my and B’s family trees. One of my mother’s family members traced their ancestry awhile back. (I plan on incorporating this into my tree.) He uncovered quite a few interesting stories including an ancestor of mine who had a ticket to go on the Titanic. Fortunately, he missed the boat (though I’m sure it didn’t seem like a good thing when it happened).

My Aloha Friday question for this week is: Have you traced your family tree? If so, have you come upon any interesting stories about your ancestors?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the MckLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #34

Keeping History Alive, Part 2: GRAMPS and the Family Tree

In Part 1, I explored how I scanned in my family’s old photos. After doing this, my "Preserve Family History" initiative languished for awhile. Then two things happened. First of all, I started watching "Who Do You Think You Are?" For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a wonderful show that takes a celebrity and traces their family’s history. It’s amazing to see Sarah Jessica Parker anguish over the fate of an ancestor charged with being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. Or marveling with Emmit Smith over the cold calculations that went into the slave trade. While there are parts of the show I could do without (the "coming up next" clips that give away major surprises and the musical segment at the end), overall I really like the show.

The other thing that happened was that B’s grandmother had a fall about a month ago. I realized that her grandmother’s not going to live forever. I’ve already lost a huge family history resource on my side. With my grandmother’s passing last year, all of my grandparents are dead. On B’s side, her grandmother is the last one still living. I wanted to preserve as much family history as possible.

I began looking into programs to help me organize my geneological pursuits. I came upon a nice piece of free (and open source) software called GRAMPS. The interface took a little getting used to. I’ll admit that I came pretty close to deleting the whole deal a few times. Once I worked out how to operate it, though, I was amazed by how much information I could input into it. What really sealed the deal, though, was the portable version. Pop that onto a USB drive and you can tote your entire family tree around and work on it on any computer.

The fun doesn’t stop at inputting data, however. You can add plugins for GRAMPS that allow it to easily output the data to web pages, family trees, etc. Pretty much anything you want to do with your family history, you can do with GRAMPS. This is definitely a tool I’d recommend for people who want to keep a local family history.

Next week, I’ll expand my search beyond your PC to the World Wide Web and the various resources that are available there.

Aloha Friday: Photo Preservation

In my post yesterday (Keeping History Alive, Part 1: Family Photos), I described how I scanned my grandmother’s photos to preserve them and share them with all of my family members.

My Aloha Friday question for this week is: What have you done to preserve your old family photos? Have you scanned them? Have you cataloged who is in them?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the MckLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #33

Keeping History Alive, Part 1: Family Photos

When it became apparent that my grandmother was going to pass away soon, my mother asked me what items of hers I wanted. I honestly couldn’t think of anything. There wasn’t a single item that I wanted to hold onto to remember her. This wasn’t because I didn’t want to remember her, mind you. It was because no vase, necklace or other bauble seemed to readily bring her to mind.

Instead, an idea popped into my head. Her photos. I wanted her photos. Of course, it would be unfair of me to get all of her photos. However, it seemed equally unfair for the photos to be divided amongst her 2 children and 5 grandchildren. Everyone would get a piece of our history, but not the whole thing. I decided to take it upon myself to scan her photo collection. This way, everyone could get a complete set of photos (scanned) and could get a few originals as well. The collection would be both divided and stay complete at the same time.

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Our Week In Disney World – Part 10 – JSL’s Pooh-rific Birthday

After our late night out the previous day, we decided to take Thursday, May 14th as a day off. After the boys woke up, we gave JSL some of his B-Day presents. These included a set of Sesame Street toys and a Pluto hat from one of the Disney World shops. (He called it his “Pup Pup hat.”) Then, we ate breakfast at Pop Century. Yes, we had tie dye cheesecake for breakfast. We were on vacation! JSL also received his gift from B’s parents, a Stitch backpack.

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