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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

One of my “retirement” activities has been to assist with the Warren County Genealogical Society’s new website. Since I thrive on figuring out new technology, this is fun for me.

Recently, while continuing with my ongoing sorting project, I discovered that Dave and I had taken pictures of Lacey Cemetery in 1979. This is particularly significant because the cemetery, according to one of the Belmont Township Trustees, is being allowed to “return to nature.” In other words, they are not maintaining it.

The township has many cemeteries to maintain and this one has a less than stellar historical event associated with it. However, to Dave and me this is a moral and ethical issue about respecting the memory of the people who are buried there. It should be maintained!!!

We had the negatives for our pictures, so we scanned them. Then, we returned to the cemetery and took current pictures of as many of the stones as we could find. In fact, we have made two cemetery visits, just to verify that we had all the correct information.

Then, I scanned the page from the Cemetery and Death Records of Warren County, Iowa, that the genealogical society published in 1980. I have software that allows me to convert my scanned PDF file to a WORD document, and then I was able to copy it into the web page.

To get the photos all lined up and looking pretty, I learned how to use Table Press.

I am thrilled with the results (and with all the things I’ve learned) from continuing my sorting projects!

The link for the site is: (you may have to register to access it, but this part of our website is FREE to use, just register)

http://www.warrencountygenes.com/home-2/cemeteries/lacey-cemetery/

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Still another learning opportunity! The Iowa Genealogical Society’s 2013 Spring Technology Workshop – today!

I came home all excited… but, I like technology, so my enthusiasm shouldn’t be too surprising!

“The Ins and Outs of GEDCOM Files”
“Websites”
“All About Scanners”
“Publishing with Lulu.com”

These were the four conference sessions and I can truly say that I learned several things in each session. I often feel that IF I learn one thing in an entire day, the day has been worthwhile!

I didn’t know anything about GEDCOMs before going today; now I can use them. Previously, I’ve gotten my feet wet in the other three topics; in fact, in scanning and publishing I’ve been knee deep! But, I was ready to expand on my knowledge in those areas and all three hit me with just what I needed.

In addition, the food was delicious and I talked with friends and renewed some other acquaintances.

It was a good day!

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At Vintage Hills

Since receiving both of Mom’s books from the publishers, I have arranged “book presentations” for her to give copies to select repositories. Since most places publish newsletters, this photo op makes a good item to fill space. So far, we have given books to the Vintage Hills Assisted-Living facility library, the Warren County Historical Library, the Genealogy section at the Indianola Public Library and the Trinity United Presbyterian Church library.

Reaction has been interesting. One lady commented that she is almost 90 and she wishes her family would do something like this. Another person said that she would like to do this for her grandmother. One person apparently thought I simply provided text and pictures to someone and the book magically happened. But, other people have asked for more detail about how it was created.

Prior to me completing the project, Mom expressed concern whether she would ever see the book; would she live long enough and if she did, would she be so blind that she literally wouldn’t be able to see it? Now that she has the book in her hands, she seems very appreciative and commented that probably not everyone has family members with skills to create books like these.

At any rate, people seem impressed with the memoirs in 8 1/2 x 11 format and the 248 pages filled with stories and 785 photos. They also like the idea of creating the photo book featuring 55 pieces of her artwork. People have also commented on the appearance, hard cover and binding of both books.

In general, however, I think many people don’t know how to react to this kind of project.

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With Cynthia Moffitt, the activities director at Vintage Hills

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With members of the Warren County Historical Society

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With Alice Gaumer at the Indianola Public Library

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With Susan Tinder and Rev. David Endriss at Trinity United Presbyterian Church

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This “old, retired” person keeps learning! Last October our niece helped me with the initial set up for this blog. I showed her some examples of blog formats I liked and ones I didn’t like so well. She used these examples as a guide to determine which company and format to use. We selected Word Press. Good choice, so far I’ve found it very easy to use.

I didn’t get going on my blog very quickly, as I was winding down, preparing to retire from my day job. Then I was ill over the holidays, but I now have it going and am having fun with it.

A few things I’ve learned so far:
1) Don’t make a spelling error in the heading, as it will forever be out on the internet for all the world to see. Thankfully, I had written only a few posts when I discovered the error, but one was too many.
2) Shorter posts can be better than long ones. But if the post is going to run long, I find it easier to read if some words are in bold or if the text is broken up with paragraph headings.
3) Draft the blog post then let it rest for a day or two before publishing. (I wish some people would do this with their Facebook posts. Sometimes spontaneity is not so wise.)
4) Give the post a descriptive title so readers can scan titles to determine which posts they want to read.

Most of what I’ve done with the blog has been intuitive. I purchased WordPress for Dummies[1]. The book has answered a few questions, but mostly I’ve experimented and learned.
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Reference:

[1] Sabin-Wilson, Lisa, WordPress for Dummies, 5th edition, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013.

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