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July 31, 2006

Getting Those Temple Cards Done

After I've worked on my genealogy for a few months, I usually run my PAF file through TempleReady and generate some cards for the temple. Sometimes I get 15 cards, sometimes I get over a hundred. When I get 15 cards, I know it won't be a problem to get them done relatively quickly since I have other family members to help me. But when I start generating 100+ names, I know it will be much more difficult. Sometimes I send a big file to the temple to do, but a better idea was published in the July 2006 Ensign.

A ward in Cincinnati, Ohio has found a new way to get those temple cards done. They have decided to share their efforts with the whole ward. The Family History Coordinator has everyone give their cards to him/her. The ward members are then supposed to contact the Coordinator before they go to the temple and get a card from the ward pile. This sounds like a pretty good idea and the ward seems to have united together in this effort. Here is an overview of their plan.


To read the full article by Rebecca M. Taylor, Finding Ancestors, Uniting a Ward, click here.

July 28, 2006


Paul Allen, the founder of Ancestry.com, has a new website out called WorldVitalRecords.com. The company's main slogan is to become the #2 player in the genealogy industry. Their home page says this about their site:

World Vital Records exists to create a place where people can connect with one another, share memories, and discover more about who they are and their roots.

At World Vital Records we will utilize the latest web 2.0 technologies and best practices to provide services and products that will transform genealogy and historical research to be a comfortable, intuitive, and personally rewarding experience.

I think this is a good mission statement and I hope to see great things from the site. Right now they are offering a contest called Pioneering Into The Future. Here are the details:

Show your pioneer spirit and break new ground by uploading a photo at WorldVitalRecords.com. You will receive one entry for every old photo (taken before 1950) you upload to WorldVitalRecords from July 24- until midnight on August 25. (There is no limitation on the number of photos an individual can submit.) The winner (from a random drawing) will receive a gift certificate to have 25 photos professionally scanned and will be notified on August 26. The photos will be added to our ALWAYS FREE WVR Family Collection database .

July 27, 2006

Free Photo Editing Software

Last month Dick Eastman wrote an article titled, Free Image and Photo Editing Software for Windows. In it he talks about one of the free software items available at SerifSoftware.com. The software is called PhotoPlus 6.0.

Eastman previously used photo editing software called The Gimp. This is the software I use as well, since my husband told me it was free. The review by Mr. Eastman says that PhotoPlus 6.0 is much easier to use than The Gimp, so I look forward to giving it a try. I have also thought that GIMP wasn't very user-friendly. I can never seem to rotate a picture without messing it up.

PhotoPlus is only available for Windows users though, while GIMP is available for Unix, Windows, or MacOSX.

July 26, 2006

Maine Genealogy

I posted about a humorous genealogy blog a while ago titled, The Genealogue. Just to give you an idea of what Chris posts about, today he wrote about nude genealogists. :) It is a very interesting blog, to say the least.

I just found out that the webmaster, Christopher Dunham, also has another website called Maine Genealogy. Here you can find Maine Marriages, 1892-1996, Maine Deaths, 1960-1996, World War II Enlistment Records, passenger lists, divorce records, and wills recorded between 1640 and 1760. I have searched for some of my ancestors from Maine and it appears to be rather helpful.

Other websites by Chris Dunham include:

All Things Maine

Strange Maine

Oxford County Genealogy Notebook

Genealogy Websites I Don't Hate

I'm not sure, but I think his research might focus in Maine. :)

July 25, 2006


I posted about the top 14 websites preferred by professional genealogists over a year ago, and I am just now beginning to use and appreciate the website ranked 3rd, RootsWeb. I don't know why I haven't tried it out sooner, since it is free, but at long last I am making good use of it. The original article about these websites, written by Kory L. Meyerink, said this about RootsWeb, "Free data makes RootsWeb a great place for hobbyist genealogists to publish their work and for others to find it."

I wish I had realized the option of sharing my work with others by using RootsWeb's offer of free web space. I have uploaded my gedcom file to Tribal Pages, but others need a password to access it and no one has actually found me and contacted me through their site. RootsWeb, on the other hand, files your website under their surnames list and any other genealogists searching for information on that surname can contact you and see what you have displaying on your site.

I am currently concentrating on one of my lines from New England, the Hersams, and I found one link to a common variation of Hersom. The website didn't actually have any information on the Hersoms, but it did have an email address to another lady studying the same line in Maine. We are now sharing information.

I plan to start my own web page with RootsWeb in order to share my information and be a reference for others. It takes 3-5 days after you apply for RootsWeb to approve you and get things ready. I will post again to let you know how easy or hard it is to make a website. Here are a few examples of sites I've found matching surnames in my file: Chapman and Mullins

If you don't feel up to making your own web page on their site, you can easily take advantage of their message boards and mailing lists. You can sign up for specific surname mailing lists or check surname message boards.

This truly is a great reference to check when working on your family history. It's supported by Ancestry.com, but there is no fee to use it.

July 24, 2006

Looking for Hersams

I was recently reading an article in Dick Eastman's Newsletter about a site called Linkpendium. I decided to visit the site and immediately searched the surname list for mine. The only obituary it pulled up was this one:

Ernest Albion Hersam, Mining and Metallurgy: Berkeley

Professor of Metallurgy, Emeritus

Ernest Albion Hersam was born March 9, 1868, in Stoneham, Massachusetts. After his early and preparatory education in the schools of Massachusetts, he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was granted the B.S. degree in 1891. During the year 1891-1892 he served his alma mater as Assistant in Chemistry. The following year he went to the University of California as Analytical Assistant in the Mining Department and was given the added title of Instructor in Metallurgy in 1894. He became Assistant Professor of Metallurgy in 1897, Associate Professor in 1903, Professor in 1923, and retired in 1938 as Professor Emeritus.

Grace Evelyn Danforth, whom he married at Stoneham, Massachusetts, in 1892, passed away in 1901. His only son died in infancy. In 1910 he married Ida Louise Downing at Stockton, California, but lost her by death the year he retired. He enjoyed home life, and both of his marriages were happy ones.

Ernest Hersam died in Berkeley, California, June 24, 1950, and in accordance with his wishes was buried in the family plot at Stoneham, Massachusetts, the town where he was born.

(click here to read the entire obituary)

Since I know my father-n-law was born in Stoneham, Massachusetts, as well as both his father and grandfather, I started trying to find a connection. My husband also got quite interested since he was impressed with this Ernest Hersam's accomplishments.

So this is a post for any Hersams out there who can help us figure it out. What I've found so far:

Ernest's parents were Isaac F. Hersam (born Apr 1827 in Maine) and Mary O. Hersam (born Aug 1831 in New Hampshire). All of Ernest's siblings were born in Massachusetts and they include: Ida E. (abt 1851), Lizzie M. (Nov 1855), and Harry E. (abt 1860).

My known ancestors include:
Richard Horne Hersam - born 9 Dec 1906 in Stoneham, MA
George Alexander Hersam - born 16 Oct 1878 in Stoneham, MA
Reuben Morrell Hersam - born 7 Aug 1832 in Waterville, ME
Daniel Hersom - born 16 Oct 1802 in Lebanon, ME
Samuel Hersom - born abt 1763 in Lebanon, ME

It looks like the Hersams originally started in Lebanon, Maine and then moved down to Stoneham, Massachusetts. Hopefully I can connect these 2 different lines.

July 19, 2006

$1000 Reward for finding Annie Moore

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, a well-known genealogist, is offering a $1000 reward for help in finding any information on the first immigrant who landed on Ellis Island, Annie Moore. To find out more about this, please check out Megan's site.

July 18, 2006

Sacramento Temple Open House

I recently moved to the Sacramento area just in time for the opening of the new LDS temple in Rancho Cordova. For those of you who don't know the purpose of LDS temples and how it relates to Family History work, please check out this link at lds.org.

There will be an open house for the temple through most of August. It will start Saturday, July 29, 2006 and go until Saturday, August 26, 2006 (excluding Sundays). Everyone is welcome to attend the open house and take a 45 minute tour through the temple, even if you are not a member of the LDS faith. Once the temple is dedicated September 3rd, only members of the LDS faith may enter.

To order tickets to the open house, click here. The temple is located at:
2100 California Cir
Rancho Cordova, CA


This is what the temple will look like when completed (provided by the lds.org website). You can also see the curent status of the temple with the minute-by-minute Sacramento TEMPLECAM.

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