Friday, June 21, 2013

Questions... I have Questions!

I realize that I am publicly displaying by ignorance, but I'm pretty sure other people have encountered these situations, and I'd like to know... How Do You Handle Sources...

1. When a company changes the name of a database, do you add a new source using the new name or just change the name of the existing source?
  • has recently changed the name of the "U.S., Social Security Death Index" to "U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current" but can be found at the same URL
  • In July 2012, the FamilySearch "Ohio, County Marriages 1790-1950" database was changed to "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994" but can be found at the same URL
In both of these cases I don't think there was any change to the database other than the (ongoing) addition of new records. I'm fairly certain that the "Ohio, County Marriages 1790-1950" database contained images when it was first published.
2. How about when a database no longer exists on one site but is available on multiple other sites, such as the Social Security Death Index?
The SSDI is no longer available at RootsWeb, but I have about 900 individuals in my genealogy program with citations to that database. Do I still cite them as a RootsWeb source since that is where I got the data from? Or, do I cite one of the other sites?
3. What about when a website changes hosting services and the URL changes?
Do you simply update the master source with the new URL? Do you reference the "old" URL in comments about the source?
4. Or, similar to #3, if a volunteer provides data to one website then, for whatever reason, moves that data to another site... several times over a period of three years?
Do you create a new master source each time the URL changes? Do you cite the most recent location of the data or the URL at the time you obtained the data? Do you document all of the URL changes?
5. What if you got information from a website a few years ago and that website no longer exists and the data can't be located elsewhere?
Do you still include the URL of the website in your citation? Do you even used the information?
Is there a "standard procedure" for these kinds of cases? All ideas, suggestions, or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Questions... I have Questions!," Kinexxions, posted June 21, 2013 ( : accessed [access date])

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You can call me Crazy

I've been called that as well as many other things in the past! This time, it is well-deserved. And if you've been wondering why there haven't been any posts here on Kinexxions since the first of June, read on...

If you recall, back in December of last year, I began "cleaning up" my Legacy database. By the time I left on my travels at the end of January, some progress had been made but not much was done on it again until I returned to Indiana five weeks ago.

In the process of moving information from notes into events and sourcing it, I came to the disturbing realization that my sources were an absolute mess! There was no consistency in how the citations were entered and none are even close to "the standard" or any standard for that matter. I could come up with several excuses for this sad state of affairs, but what good would that do?

I have so many documents from my several visits in the last two years to Salt Lake City that need to be reviewed, analyzed and entered... but I made the difficult decision to not enter any new data until the "old" source citations were reviewed and standardized. All of them. So, yes, I must be crazy. Especially after I found out how many sources I have entered and how many individuals use those sources. Rather mind-boggling actually.

The other "big" decision made on the first of June was to begin using Legacy's SourceWriter. I understand there may be some issues with transferring sources via GedCom but using that feature would (hopefully) force me into a standardized format. That and I finally purchased the digital version of Evidence Explained. I figured it might help me to understand why a source had to be cited in a certain way ;-)

As might be expected, I had a few questions. I had recently joined the Legacy Virtual User's Group Community (LVUG) on Google+ (G+) so posted a question there. You can find it as well as the responses by clicking on the "Sources" link on the left hand side of the G+ LVUG Community landing page.

Some good ideas and information was offered by JL Beeken, Tessa Keogh, Monique Riley, Marla Larson, Richard Hallford, Melanie Armstrong, and Linda McCauley, all of whom I would like to thank for their ideas, suggestions, and input. It really helped me make a few decisions as to how I wanted to do the sources.

With over 7200 people and more than 700 sources in the database this is a monumental undertaking. But it really needs to be done. The number of individuals using a source varies considerably. Quite a few (probably more than half of the sources) are used by under 10 people while about 35 are used by more than 200. The source used by the most people is the Social Security Death Index with close to 1500 people - and each of those individuals has 2-3 citations for the SSDI (birth, death, and the event). Thank goodness for the source clipboard and Legacy's tagging feature! It would be an impossible task without those features.

On June 1st I started working with the source citations from and FamilySearch databases and have gotten about 2/3 of the way through that list, eliminating about 15 duplicate sources. I've been working on the SSDI source citations for most of two days and am about half-way through with it.

I will be holding off on updating sources for census records until the Legacy team releases version 8 sometime later this year. It seems they may be implementing a feature for "shared" events such as census records that sounds rather intriguing. I sure am looking forward to the new version of Legacy!

Blog posts will be few and far between for the next month or two, as if they haven't been already this year! Most of my time for the next month will be devoted to this project. I will be attending G.R.I.P. the week of July 21st and (very optimistically) hope to have much of it completed by then. And, sometime the end of July or first part of August I'll be moving into my new apartment! And then there is the FGS Conference in August, which I am also looking forward to attending.

I hope that when this project is completed (or as complete as it can be) that I will still have a few faithful readers left. Thanks in advance for sticking around... and wish me luck!

At the end of the day, what's done is done.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "You can call me Crazy," Kinexxions, posted June 18, 2013 ( : accessed [access date])

Saturday, June 01, 2013

There Were Flowers Along the Way

This post showed some of the beautiful Central Coast along California Highway One. What was missing were photos of the flowers seen along the roadside... all taken on May 1st.

Wildflowers with a bee, just doing what a bee does.

This hillside, covered with creeping phlox and and California Poppy (the state flower of California) was beside a long drive up to someone's home - a home unseen from the road.

The sun was so bright, and the phlox was so bright, it seemed to be glowing.

On the other side of the highway were patches of more California Poppies. I don't think I had ever seen red ones before.

They were so fine and delicate looking.

I don't know what the pale purple flowers are that were growing on the fence row but they went for quite a long ways.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "There Were Flowers Along the Way," Kinexxions, posted June 1, 2013 ( : accessed [access date])

Friday, May 31, 2013

One More Time :: The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals

Wednesday, May 1st - - A drive along the central Coast of California is not complete without a stop to see the Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas, a few miles north of San Simeon. It is just plain fun to watch them interacting, getting annoyed with each other, and playing. If it is a warm day and the breeze is coming in off the ocean you may not want to stay long (the smell can be a bit overwhelming at times) but it is definitely worth a visit.

Carol has some cute pictures of the seals that she took in April of this year.  And here are some photos from my visit in April 2010. There was far more activity and movement amongst the seals today than on past visits.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "One More Time :: The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals," Kinexxions, posted May 31, 2013 ( : accessed [access date])

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Along The Central Coast of California

Wednesday, May 1st - - No matter how many times I take this route, it never ceases to amaze me. This stretch of highway has got to be one of the prettiest (and most challenging) drives in our beautiful country! It doesn't hurt that I had an absolutely gorgeous day for my drive north along the Coast Highway with lots of  sunshine and temperatures in the upper 60s.

I didn't take a lot of photos - my goal for today was simply to relax, enjoy myself and the scenery, and to get to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (26 miles south of Carmel and about 90 miles north of Morro Bay) before nightfall. That 90 mile drive took me nearly five hours. Yes, I stopped. A lot. It was fantastic!

Along the southern section of the Central Coast, a "few" miles north of Morro Bay - the hills and mountains are still some distance from the coastline but there are still cliffs to navigate to get down to the water. This wasn't one of them but there were a few places where you could actually get to the beach.

Occasionally, the highway weaved inland through canyons and around hills. You can see a small stretch of the road in the upper right corner.

Guardrails along the highway are present only in some areas, particularly where there is a distinct drop-off or very sharp curve.

There were a few delays along the way for road construction, but no long waits. I would imagine there are longer waits on the weekends when there is more traffic.

Yeah, it was a gorgeous day!

You can just barely see it, but to the right of the "big rock" in the water is one of the many bridges, engineering marvels, really.

A close-up of the bridge in the previous photo.

I arrived safely at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park in plenty of time to admire the big trees and take a walk around the campground.  My site was next to a little stream and the sound of the water flowing by was very relaxing. I didn't see the sunset over the ocean but the sky above the trees surrounding the campground was filled with many shades of pink and pale orange. It was a fitting end to a great day.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Along The Central Coast of California," Kinexxions, posted May 30, 2013 ( : accessed [access date])

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Montaña De Oro

Wednesday, May 29th - - I have been back in Indiana for two weeks and am staying with some friends. I've found an apartment but it won't be available until the end of July and I'm still waiting for the final approval.  However, it will be worth waiting for - it has a garage! And I'm looking forward to "settling down" again. Thankfully my friends are very good ones and are willing to put me up and put up with me for a while.

Tuesday, April 30th - - In early afternoon I left Yosemite National Park and continued on to the coast arriving at Montaña De Oro State Park, a few miles southwest of Morro Bay. I fell in love with that area when I was stationed at Point Mugu (near Oxnard) in the mid-1970s.

The website for the park states that Montaña De Oro is one of the largest state parks in California and features over 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, and hills. I've stayed here before and enjoyed it very much. As you can see in the photos, it was rather cloudy and overcast - it was rather chilly too!

One of many flowers in the Ice Plant that was growing alongside the road.

A close-up view of the inside of the flower.

Looking toward the south.

Details that were hidden in the dark original photograph show up a little better after it was converted to a pencil sketch.

Looking toward the north.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Montaña De Oro," Kinexxions, posted May 29, 2013 ( : accessed [access date])