I abandoned this blog for awhile and tried blogging at Blogger instead. I wanted to try a different platform. I discovered that I get more engagement and activity at WordPress, even when I’m not actively updating.
Ancestry has their Sticky Notes blog on Tumblr, but microblogging just didn’t seem to fit with genealogy blogging for me. In my head, my blog is the chatty current front matter to the family history information I put on separate pages. Tumblr has pages but the blogstream is completely separate from them; no one even sees your pages unless they leave the Tumblr stream and go directly to your blog. It’s easy to forget that Tumblr pages exist. Tumblr also has complicated and confusing commenting.
So I’ve returned to Blogger.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,500 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.
I updated the Hegarty page to incorporate sources. I removed some more speculative aspects so that what’s there is more likely to be accurate now. (No guarantees!)
Eventually I hope to work through the rest of my pages in the same fashion, but semester/holiday crunch time is upon us, so don’t hold your breath.
Also, I nested the pages and surname list to group related families.
I’ve been very busy with professional responsibilities lately, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but is why this blog has been quiet.
My eventual plans for this site are:
- rewrite the family pages to incorporate better sourcing, which will force me to analyze the material I have and hopefully clarify my next research steps
- scan some more photos
- read more relevant history
I am not really pleased with Ancestry.com’s new Irish databases, since they are mostly barebones indices. Many of them replicate information I already had from FamilySearch.org (because it’s the same info being indexed). I think I’m eventually going to have to join one of the Irish-specific sites, and probably also seek professional guidance, but that’s further down the road.
Today I just went through my “people with hints” list on ancestry.com, and discovered that some Deasy ancestors lived right here in Brooklyn! I love it when things get local!
The latest Ancestry.com newsletter featured a great article by Juliana Smith on their new collection of Irish Catholic parish registers, which are said to be digitized versions of holdings at the National Library of Ireland. I am pleased to have these records as an integrated database and have already located a great-grandfather in them, but the fact is that I had already found the identical record at the Irish government’s free Irish Genealogy site.
I would love to see a clarification of the relationship between these two sets of records, both apparently emerging in digital format under the aegis of a government initiative. Are they the same collection? Or do they just overlap? I thought the Irish Genealogy site was stalled in its digitization project due to the economic problems in Ireland. The site says it anticipates adding more records on October 4th, which is almost as exciting to me as the new iPhone release :)
In a related point of interest, the Irish Times reports that the National Library of Ireland is making legal inquiries into the release of these Irish records on the UK branch of Ancestry.com, with concerns that there are copyright violations. The report says that a private company digitized the records on behalf of the library. Is this private company by any chance the company Irish Genealogy Ltd. that is mentioned on the government’s Irish Genealogy site? Because that would imply that these are the same set of digitized records, wouldn’t it?
I don’t know if these are good questions or stupid questions, because I feel like I am just beginning to learn how to research Irish ancestors. Smith’s article links to the Irish Ancestors site sponsored by the Irish Times newspaper. She was linking specifically because the site reflects John Grenham’s work on civil parishes versus Catholic parishes. But the site also features a surname search, with links to surname histories, bibliographies, and link lists.
Naturally I typed my surnames Hegarty and Costigan into the little search box. Imagine my surprise when I found the Irish Times site linking to me! And not even to this site but to my now defunct Earthlink site. I was so disheartened; it is like when Ancestry.com tells you there are new hints but the hints are only people who have linked back to you. I don’t know whether to email the Irish Times and give them my new URL or not. I don’t feel I am an expert, but apparently no one else is researching these names — or if they are, they’re not doing it online. (N.B.: There is another Costigan researcher listed — she is my 3rd cousin with whom I traveled to Newfoundland. The other Hegarty researcher is working on the Donegal branch, not only not mine, but a whole different region.)
An unrelated linkage note: Now that Google+ is open to everyone, I am there. There are a lot of genealogists networking on Google+, though I also use it for academic stuff. Feel free to follow me!
Made a small change to the early Coombs generations based on what I feel is right given the information that I currently have. Also added a tiny shred of immigration information to the Murphy page.
I joined Footnote.com and so far have found it useful for nailing down elusive military details for my Murphy branch, as well as for having some (but not all!) of the naturalization petitions I need. I find the search process a little cumbersome.
I am trying to update the organization of the family pages. It’s an ongoing project. If there were important comments you wanted on the old pages, copy them now.
I put the photos back on the Costigan page, and I added the Deasy page. I’ve also learned that I’m terrible at figuring out military records. The more I work on this, the more gaps in knowledge are revealed.