December Technology SIG Meeting

I hope that many of you are putting the finishing touches on your “Show ‘N Tell” project for this month’s  meeting. The $25 Fry’s Gift Card is eagerly waiting to meet its new owner… the runner up will receive a 8G Jump Drive and the consolation prize is a Digital Camera for a laptop PC.

Presentations are a lot more fun if there is somebody to present to, so please plan to attend even if you do not intend to present anything yourself. I’m certain that we will all be greatly impressed by each presentation and will all end the evening better informed and more motivated!

  • When: Thursday, December 1 starting at 6:30 pm
  • Where: Dallas Public Library (Directions) 3rd Floor Studio

If your plans won’t allow you to join us this month I sincerely hope that you and your families have a peaceful and joyous holiday, and that you will be able to meet with us on January 5 when 2011 & 2012 RootsTech presenter  Kathleen Murray will be discussing Optical Character Recognition.

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December eBlast Available

If you are not a member of the DGS then you are probably not aware that one of the benefits of membership is receiving this informative bi-weekly update. It is a great way to stay informed about local and regional activities. Recent examples can be viewed by anybody simply by going to Resources and selecting the eBlast link from the menu.

Of course, for as little as $35 a year you could have these sent directly to you as email… why not go to the Membership page and  join today to support this web site and all of the other activities of the DGS?

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November 2011 DGS Newsletter Available

The latest edition of the DGS Newsletter has been published… Current DGS members can view it on-line by going to the Resources page, selecting the Members Only menu option and logging in.

Not a member? You can view older versions by going to the Resources page and selecting the Newsletters link, and you can read copies of our annual Journal on the Portal to Texas History web site.

Why not consider becoming a DGS member and supporting our publication efforts? See our Membership page for details.

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My Society

I would like to recommend “My Society” – a weekly internet radio show sponsored by the Federation of Genealogical Societies.  It is broadcast each Saturday afternoon live on the Internet at 1:00 pm Central time and focuses on the issues that confront genealogical societies.  The topic today was “Genealogy and the Vital Records Access Crisis”, presented by Fred Moss.

Recent episodes have included:  (1)How Special Interest Groups Can Add to Your Society,(2)If Your Society Folded Today, Would Anyone Care?, (3)Focus on Genealogy Society ByLaws, and (4)Your Society’s Facebook Presence.

In addition to the audio presentation by the speaker, listeners can type questions and add comments on a live chat board.  This often adds additional value to the speaker’s material.

Each episode is archived and can be played back at a later date.  “My Society” is available as a podcast via  iTunes, as well.

How to listen to FGS Radio

 

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Social Media and Genealogy

I posed this question at our November Tech SIG meeting and would like to pursue it further.  So far I have been doing my family history research pretty much as a loner; my immediate family is small and I have exhausted them as a resource.

I have not yet tried to find extended family members who can to add to my findings, used internet sites to find others who are researching the same family names, or posted my tree to public sites to see who responds, for example.

Rootsweb.com and the public trees on ancestry.com were suggested as resources.  I would like to hear about your success stories/experiences using these two sites and learn about others that I don’t know about.

What techniques have been successful for you as you have tried to find family connections on the internet?

Do any of you use Facebook to find family connections or is it more helpful for keeping in contact once you have names from other sources?

I guess that I am hesitant to dip my toes in the water and would like to hear how social media has worked for others.  Many thanks for your contributions.

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General Meeting Minutes Available

DGS members can view minutes from recent General Meetings in PDF format. Go to Resources, select Members Only and log in.

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Receiving Posts and Comments via RSS

For the benefit of those of you who were not at the November 3 Technology SIG meeting…

  • I announced that it is my hope that we will be able to figure out how to utilize the capabilities of the Blog to distribute information about the Technology SIG.
  • Until we get all of the kinks works out to everybody’s satisfaction I will continue to send everything in email.
  • I did demonstrate how to ‘subscribe’ to a RSS feed in Microsoft Outlook… this allows you to receive posts to the Blog as email.
  • We discussed the pro’s and con’s at the meeting.
    • One excellent comment was made about the desirability of being able to limit the feed of information from the blog to a specific category so you are not overwhelmed with posts on topics you do not care to receive.
    • We need to figure out how to get blog postings in the form of email for all of the other email packages in use

There have been a few developments since the meeting (thanks to Carolyn Davis and Barbara Ware)

  • I found a way to allow you to receive only the category or categories you want to receive.
  • It was pointed out to me that the URL I had provided was not providing feeds from comments… I have a partial solution for that below as well.

To receive every post from every category (but no comments) use this URL:

To receive every comment from every category use this URL:

So to receive all posts and comments from the blog you would need to add both URL’s to your list of RSS feeds.

I loaded a tool that allows you to subscribe to posts by category (see Category Specific RSS in the lower right hand part of the Blog home page). Clicking on the category displays all of the posts. Clicking on the RSS symbol to the left displays the URL and the articles using the RSS component of your browser.

So, for example, to receive all posts made in the Technology SIG category use this URL:

To subscribe to the Macintosh OS & Genealogy feed use this URL:

Unfortunately there does not appear to be a way to get the comments made to posts for a specific category.

I will be putting together a presentation showing how all this works as soon as I get more of it figured out… Please let me know if you figure out how do so something in your environment!

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A Dallas-New Zealand WWII Connection

The secretary of the Hutt Valley Branch of the New Zealand Genealogy Society has asked for our help.  He writes:

“During World War 2, the US Marines were based near Wellington, New Zealand, in preparation for the battles, and in recuperation from, those battles with the Japanese in the Pacific.  One of those Marines was befriended by my friend’s family.  They have ever since regarded the memory of that Marine with affection but they never heard of him after the war.  They would like to know what became of him.

“The information I have is: 
Robert Marvin McElvane, 
239 New Orleans Drive, Dallas, Texas.  He was with the “8th Marines”.  They were based at McKays Crossing and Camp Russell near Paekakariki, about 25 miles north of Wellington, the capital city.

“Marines’ camp sign returns home:  http://marinenz.com/Marines’+camp+sign+returns+home.  There is talk of marking the 70 years somehow next year.”

I’m posting this request to our blog in the hopes that readers can suggest resources/a method of attack that I can use to help fulfill his request.

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DGS Web Site Recognized by the TSGS

I am very pleased to announce that the DGS web site has been awarded First Place in the 2011 Texas State Genealogical Society’s ‘Partner Society Website Design’ competition. I believe that this is a great tribute to all of the members who have spent countless hours providing the great collection of material that we are able to offer, and to Barbara Ware who is responsible for the ‘back end’ of our web presence that manages our memberships, handles event registrations and the DGS store. Well done us!

I would also like to extend my congratulations to the other societies who were recognized by the TSGS: The Franklin County Genealogical Society (2nd place) and the Grand Prairie Genealogical Society (3rd place)!

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November Technology SIG Meeting

The November Technology SIG meeting will be an open discussion loosely focused on the December “Show Your Project” competition. We discuss ideas for projects you might consider and will answer any questions you have on this or any other topic.

I’d also like to discuss ideas for topics (and speakers) for next year’s meetings.

  • When: Thursday, November 3 starting at 6:30 PM
  • Where: Downtown Dallas Public Library 3rd Floor – Studio (Directions)
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