Monday, March 23, 2015

Tika & Taiwan Cemeteries

"Handy Man" and I were lucky enough to be able to spend ten days touring Taiwan in March 2015. We missed our Tika but we had a wonderful learning experience.

In an island country the size of Connecticut with a population matching that of Australia, you'd expect to see many cemeteries and we surely did! Weedy-overgrown ones, tidy-tended ones, hillside ones...coming right down to the highway.... Buddhist ones and a few Christian ones.... and one all by itself in a plowed field.

April 5th is the Chinese New Year and on that date families will come to their ancestral graves to clean them up......... as this man is getting a head start on doing.

Loved ones are buried facing west because, I was told, they are "facing the life to come."

Thought you might enjoy these photos I took since all genealogists are interested in cemeteries.

Tika is not a bit interested in cemeteries unless she can wander around (on leash) in one while I take photos.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tika & Hair Styles

When I travel my attention is always grabbed by the wonderful and different hairstyles that I spot on folks.......... and Tika enjoys my telling her about them all when I return. Here are some recent pix:

Very lovely and pretty fun, eh?  Tika did whisper in my ear that "my hair is prettier than those!" For a dachshund, yes, but for a person??  Silly Tika.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Tika & Serendipity Friday Genealogy

Tika quite enjoys it when we snuggle into our blue chair and I read to her. Recently I was reading some of the copies and information that I brought home from RootsTech. She smiled when I read this first bit.......... but I really think she was saying, "So what? Come play with me!"

Here are some odd cause of death notes that I found quoted from the New Athens Journal for 19 July 1940, and found in the St. Clair Genealogical Society Quarterly in 1995. These were "real" quotes from "real" records:

  • "nervousness from gunshot"
  • "auto accident, complicated by hookworm"
  • "fractured skull - contributory was mule"
  • "auto wreck started it; pneumonia ended it"
  • "stab wound of chest inflicted by lady friend"
  • "hit over the head with slop jar"
  • "leakage of head"
  • "frightened to death by deputy sheriff"
  • "rubbed to death by chiropractor"

Did you know that you can sign up for a free electronic monthly newsletter from the History & Genealogy Department of the St.Louis County Library? Log on to  (Note: PASTport not PASSport.) Having news and notes about this great mid-western library would be good if you have ancestor hunting to do in Missouri (or environs) and especially if you plan to attend the NGS conference in St.Charles in May and to do some local research while you're there.  When you click to, scroll down to the green box labeled "get library updates to your email." Click the envelope icon and follow the directions. You can access past issues too.


Not living in Texas, or other Southern states, where fire ants are known and feared, I never thought much about these little pests. And they are little. Even their ant hills look rather innocent. But look closely at my foot after ten days and you can still see the itchy red bumps. They are obviously no joke!  Now I understand why my friends in Florida warned me not to go barefoot!


Everybody's talking and touting Google as well they should for it's a wonderful tool. And we keep being told that Google is adding new tools all the time. How to stay updated? One way is to click to Wikipedia and type in "list of Google products." Since Google Search is a web search engine it receives over 3 billion search queries per day. We ought to learn how to best do that searching.

A Google tip that I learned at RootsTech:  "Post the physical address of an ancestor's home and when the house goes up for sale, you can take a virtual tour."  What a cool idea. 


Do you think history matters?  I think so and I'll bet you do too. From the Historical Society of Baltimore County I read a post about this very topic. Posted back in October 2014, Justin Albright traveled around Baltimore County asking locals in the community is they think history matters. The purpose of this exercise was to allow the organization (HSBC) the opportunity to gauge public interest. Not surprising that the great majority of answers was positive; yes, history does matter. What would you have answered if these questions had been put to you:  "Do you think history matters? In your opinion, why does history matter? 


Jim Andrews lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and recently shared information about his specialty services:  He repairs old Bibles and other precious books from all over the U.S. and Canada. His website shows examples of some of his work. If you're needing this kind of service, click to  Or email a question to  If you do use his service, please give us some feedback. 


In the Jan-Mar 2015 issue of the NGS Magazine, James Ison, AG, CG,  shared an article on "Using FamilySearch to Solve Genealogical Problems: 15 Tips." You might want to access this publication (which you receive with NGS membership) for yourself but the titles of his tips were: (1) Use Life Event & Relationship Filters;  (2)  Use Residence & Restrict by Records;  (3) Use Wild Cards *;  (4) Use Wild Cards ?;  (5) Search by first name only;  (6) Use parent-only searching;  (7) Finding married names;  (8) Use the source film number;  (9)  Know the online collections that relate specifically to your research;  (10)  Browsing can be a blast; (11) Using partner sites;  (12)  Sign in, no tricks;  (13)  Find, Search, & Source from the Family Tree;  (14)  Give back, be an indexer;  (15)  Give feedback.

FamilySearch has been, is and will continue to be one of the major players in genealogical research. Family Tree, part of FamilySearch, is aiming to connect everybody's family into one big tree. Whether you like that idea or not, the idea of sharing and collaborating will bring answers to our brickwalls. The better we understand FamilySearch the better the results will be for us.


I'll finish today with something fun to perhaps try for your Easter dinner:  Arroz Con Coco, or Rice with Coconut. You can Google all sorts of recipes but cook white rice in coconut milk, add sugar (brown or white) to taste, raisins optional , and top with toasted coconut. We enjoyed this in Puerto Rico and as it's soooooo easy to make, it's become a favorite.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tika & Conference Tags & More

I love collecting all the stick-ons to my official name tag at a conference but what to do with those long tags once home? Not to mention my Bloggers' Beads from dearMyrt and Thomas MacEntee. Solution? A nice piece of 1-by-1, with cuphooks screwed into it every 2-3 inches, and then screwed into the wall. Actually, my office wall is an A-frame so the hanging is easier. But there they are and now both Tika and I can see them and remember.

Tika does love to sit on my lap when I'm catching up on my magazine reading. I was teaching her from this issue of Internet Genealogy when she fell asleep, as dogs will. I always read my magazines cover-to-cover; why else pay the subscription price? 

Internet Genealogy, and its companion, Your Genealogy Today (which used to be Family Chronicle) are great magazines containing articles of timely interest, how-to articles and background case-study articles. Good reads all around. Click to or or call toll free 1-8888-326-2476 for subscription information. 


Tika and I never missed an episode (new, old, rerun, no matter) of Star Trek. We will miss knowing that Leonard Nimoy is no longer walking this earth but is surely out in space somewhere. A favorite quote of Spock's that I jotted down years ago was this:  "The miracle is this...the more we share, the more we have." Rest in peace, Captain Spock. You were a big part of my life. Tika's too.