At Arlington: A Desecration

There are few things as sacred to any nation than the memory of its military dead. For the US, one of the most sacred places is Arlington Cemetery, which almost exclusively contains the memorials of our military and high-ranking political leaders.

This site has been desecrated, that it, it has been shorn of its sacred nature by incompetence, mis-management.

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Evernote: There’s a Trunk for That

Evernote, the note-taking and “elephant-memory” website has added a feature they call The Trunk. Behind the Trunk link at the Evernote website is a a list of tools and vendors that work with Evernote.

Evernote sports desktop applications for the Mac and for PCs. Additionally, when you install the Mac or PC version, you automatically get clippers for Safari and Internet Exporer, respectively. Other browser extensions include:

But The Trunk goes way beyond simply standard browser plugins and desktop apps. The Trunk includes links to mobile apps (Seesmic for iPhone and Android, apps for note taking, and many others), hardware (scanners, wireless SD photo cards), and gear (t-shirts, books, actual physical notebooks).

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Review: “Annie’s Ghosts” by Steve Luxenberg

Book Cover: Annie's Ghosts

Annie’s Ghosts

Steve Luxenberg’s Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into A Family Secret will remain with me for some time.

The book details journalist Luxenberg’s investigation of the pained life of an aunt he had never known. Toward the end of his mother Beth’s life, and then more pointedly just afterwards, it became clear to Luxenberg that his mother had not been “an only child” as she long contended, but one of two children.

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The Library of Congress Web Archive

This site, and more particularly the “History of the Graham Family” (1899) by David Graham, which is transcribed here, is being archived at the Library of Congress.

About the Library of Congress Web Archiving program, the LOC writes: “The Library’s traditional functions of acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to the Congress and the American people to foster education and scholarship extend to digital materials, including Web sites.” They will be archiving portions of this site for online (web) as well as offline (intranet) use.

We are pleased to be able to offer this content to researchers free of cost, and to allow the information to be disseminated by a public institution as respected and far reaching as the Library of Congress.

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Review: Family Bee for Android

Family Bee LogoI have been using PDAs for years, and was an early adopter of the Handspring product that started the integration of PDAs and cell phones back in about 2002.

As a genealogist, I have used several products that have allowed for displaying a genealogy database on my PDA/cell phone, and was quite happy with GedStar Pro, which could read my database directly from The Master Genealogist and display it on my PalmOS device.

But, folks, the PalmOS is dead. Long live WebOS, iOS, and Android!

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Happy 4th of July

I hope everyone had a happy 4th of July, and that they spent some of the day honoring those who came before and made our freedoms possible.

I am thinking especially of a set of military brothers tonight:

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A Marriage Certificate from 1924 Leads to a Birth Record from 1864

Baptismal Record of Alvin Leslie Hill, 1864A while back, I created a Vital Records Checklist to catalog all the obvious records I had, and the ones I needed, to flesh out the most rudimentary data, the births, marriages, and deaths of my ancestors.

This led to my sending out a request to the Clerk of the Valley County, Nebraska Court ( has sent my the marriage certificate for my grandparents, Helen Kjerstine JOHNSON and Ernest Melvin HILL.

The document confirms the relationship of Ernest Melvin HILL with Mary Jane SCOTT (his mother) and Alvin Leslie HILL (his father), and outside of census records, is the earliest document I have found that does this. (My grandfather was born in 1895, which was prior to birth registration in Nebraska, and he died in 1933, before Social Security Registration required folks to get delayed birth certificates.

Witnesses at the wedding included Helen’s maternal uncle, “W. B. Gregg” (William Blakeway GREGG) and Ernest’s brother Alfred L. HILL.

It’s curious to me if there was a reason that none of the three living parents of the couple (Nels JOHNSON, father of Helen, and Mary Jane and Alvin) were listed as witnesses. Of course, the form only asks for two witnesses. And these were an older couple (Helen was 30 and Ernest 29) at their first marriage, but one wonders.

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