Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kobo eReaders overlooked in review

     I no more than published the article on eReader/Tablet Computer selection than I received a request for information on the Kobo. I had never heard of it but have learned a lot in a short time. There is an article in The Beacon (3-5 Dec 2012 pg 2A) about the Kobo being the savior of local book shops. I'm not sure how that applies when all of the usual sources are selling the Kobo.


NOTE:  DRM is "Digital Rights Management" which requires a license to use content.  Adobe DRM provides, free,  a program for your computer that manages your DRM files. Example: eBooks you borrow from the public library.

"Family Book Shop" DeLand
1301 N Woodland Blvd
Deland, FL 32720
(386) 736-6501

Kobo is a Canadian Company.  Learn more about them and their products:  Kobo - about us

Presently there are four models of the Kobo, Mini, Glo, Touch and Arc. Kobo eReaders Here are the specs for those and for the original models as well, with links to the reviews of each model:

Mini 5" e-Ink (b/w) 2GB memory, micro SD slot (32gb max); WiFi 802.11 b/g/n; wt 4.7oz White, USB Cable, WiFi 2GB Battery life over 2 weeks w/wi-fi off; $80 @ Best Buy

Glo 6" e-Ink, Card slot, ePub and all Adobe DRM; WiFi; USB; no headphone jack (no audio capability) wt: 6.52 oz $130 @ Best Buy, $120 @ Amazon

Touch , 6" e-Ink (b/w); 600x800 dpi max, USB & Card Slot, Browser, WiFi wt: 200gr supports ePub, PNG CBZ PDF JPEG HTML GIF CBR; 2GB built in memory;  $113 @ Amazon

Arc Android 4.0 ICS (UPGRADE TO JELLY BEAN WHEN AVAILABLE), 1GB RAM, 7" color, wt 364g; available in 8 or 16GB  [Kobo just announced that it will now be available in 16, 32 and 64 GB]; Micro USB connection, "Wi-Fi Direct"; 1.3 mp forward looking camera; 10hr reading w/WiFi off; Black or white w/ available blue or purple back. NO MICRO SD CARD SLOT; 


N647-KBU-B  6" b/w 1GB expandable to 32GB in card slot wt: 8oz (1st gen Kobo) Supports ePub & pdf  $70 @ Target

WiFi eReader 6" eInk (16 levels of grey)  6" 1GB (as N647 w/Wi-Fi to Kobo store) supports ePub, PDF (Adobe DRM and non DRM) and TXT $85 @ Amazon

Vox (K080-Kbo-B) 7" Color 1024x600 7" Vivid Color, 8GB internal memory, Mini SD card, slot 32GB max, not included; micro USB port 802.11b/g/n; wireless; wt:14.2oz; up to 7 hrs battery life. Now Google certified with access to the Google Play Store apps. Headphone jack, no camera. $180 @ Amazon 

Ancestry launches "Newspapers.com"

Ancestry has launched a new newspaper site.  It is just getting started but expect them to add papers quickly in the next 2 or 3 months.  Some of the content overlaps with what Ancestry has available through their regular subscription site.

Kimberly Powell has written a great review of what is available and what is planned.

Find it here


Monday, December 3, 2012

by Jerry Hale
December 3, 2012

First, let me say that I am NOT an expert. My experience has been with the Nook Color and a little with the Kindle. I've only read about the others. For my money the Apples are not a consideration. Although they are very popular everything Apple does is especially proprietary and expensive. Except for the Apples the whole world is using the Android system so there are plenty of free apps (applications) and third party accessories for the Android devices, you don't have to go to the Apple Store to get them.  Android is the most popular operating system (OS), it is being used in everything from eReaders to autos. Ford announced it was putting the Android OS into it's new cars.

When people see me using my tablet computer they often want to know more about the choices they have when considering acquiring one.

It depends upon what you want to do with the device, use it as an eReader only or use it as a full blown tablet computer?

Do you want to pay the extra money to get one of the top of the line tablets, Apple or Samsung Galaxy, with a camera (or even two) or can you buy an eReader (Nook or Kindle) and convert it to a tablet computer as I have?

Other considerations are memory size, battery life, whether or not the battery is replaceable? On the Nook Color the battery is not made to be replaced by the user but many who are technically oriented have opened it up and replaced the battery themselves. I haven't heard whether Barnes and Noble will replace the battery if you send it back. One thing I know about the Nook is that the power cable is fragile. I've broken two of them even while being careful. Fortunately Barnes and Noble seems to be aware that they have a problem and have sent replacement cables for no charge. One disadvantage of hacking a Nook is that there is no camera on it.

Battery life varies quite a bit, the iPad claims "up to 10 hours", hmmm the problem is that 4 hours qualifies in that statement. Manufacturers of notebook computers are notorious for claiming longer battery life that they ever produce. The other ads do not specify battery life.

From the web site Squidoo http://www.squidoo.com/tablet-vs-ereader

"The battery life of e-readers is significantly better than that of tablet computers. e-Readers can typically go for a month or more of regular use without having to be charged. Tablets run out of battery life within a few hours or so. This is mostly due to the screen type (discussed above) and the fact that they do a lot more internal processing."

I maximize the battery life between recharges by turning off the screen of my Nook and my Droid X smart phone whenever I'm not using them.

Purusing the ads in this Sunday's newspaper I find that there are 17 choices. The Samsung "Transformer" is the most expensive at $750. Transformer means it has a keyboard that the tablet fits into and it then becomes a notebook computer.

On the other end of the spectrum, at $70 is the Kindle eReader (black and white) only for reading electronic books. See the lists at the end of this article.

Other considerations are screen size, memory and operating system. Except for the iPads the operating system is some version of the Android. Android (Google) gives their operating systems colorfull names to distinguish them apart. Version 3.2 was called "Gingerbread," version 4.0 is called Ice Cream Sandwich (or ICS) and version 4.2 is called "Jelly Bean".

The Nook and the Kindle use a proprietary version of the Android operating system but can be "hacked" and turned into a full tablet computer. The SD memory card is replaceable, I use a 16gb card but have a 32gb card I can use if 16gb ever proves to be inadequate.

I "liberated" my Nook Color and it is now running a hacked version of Android called "Cyanogen 7". Hacking or "jail breaking" the Nook is very easy, I have no experience with the Kindle. A step by step procedure can be found on the www with video tutorials on YouTube to help you through the job. I missed something the first and second time I tried and turned my Nook into a "glass brick." After I realized I wasn't going to have a heart attack I went back to the www and Googled "Nook glass brick" and learned how to rescue the device. The third time worked as advertised and I've been very pleased with the result. I bought the Color Nook reconditioned, from Barnes & Noble, for $150. I'm sure it doesn't work as well as an iPad or a Galaxy but it is adequate to my needs for now. I will help anyone who wants to go that route, it is easy once you know how ;-)

The nurse at my podiatrist's office said she had the iPad with a 10" screen and found it too large and too heavy to hold comfortably. It was especially difficult if she tried to read in bed. She was going to buy a 7" model instead.

The best part of these new devices is the world of books it opens up. I have purchased one book but have downloaded a couple of hundred from the free sites like The Gutenburg Project. At present I'm reading "The History of the Inquisition" in three volumes. It is more interesting than any modern book I've read. My next assignment is "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire". All free.

Screen sizes vary, here are the sizes:

5" [Intuos5],

7" [Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Nook Color HD, ASUS Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, & Polaroid],

7.9/8" [Apple iPad Mini & Coby],

9" [Nook Color HD, Galaxy S III, Leap Pad 2 Explorer, Nabi 2 Kid's Tablet & Lenovo Idea tab]

9.7" iPad ith Retina display

10/10.1" Samsung Galaxy 2, ASUS TF700 Infinity and TF300T Transformer

11.6" Samsung Series 5 Slate (transformer)

Here's how the choices line up by price:

$ 70 Kindle B&W ??GB ??" (Kindle modified Android)
$100 LeapPad 2 ??GB??" ??OS
$100 Polaroid Tablet 4GB 7" (Android ICS)
$120 COBY 4GB 8" (Android ICS)
$160 Kindle Fire 16GB 7" (Kindle modified Android)
$200 Nook HD 8GB 7" (Barnes & Noble modified Android)
$200 Kindle Fire HD16 GB 7" (Kindle modified Android)
$200 Galaxy Tab 2 8GB 7" (Android ICS)
$200 nabi Kids Tablet (Android ___)
$230 Lenovo Idea Tab 16GB 9" (Android ICS)
$230 Intuos5 Small ??GB ??OS
$250 ASUS Nexus 32GB 7"(Android Jelly Bean)
$270 Nook HD+ 16 GB 9" (Barnes & Noble modified Android)
$330 iPad mini 16GB 7.9"
$350 Galaxy Tab 2 16 GB 10.1" (Android ICS)
$430 iPad mini 32GB 7.9"
$450 Galaxy Tablet 16GB 10.1" (Android ICS)
$500 iPad Retina16GB 9.7"
$500 ASUS Transformer 32GB10.1" (Android ICS)
$600 iPad Retina 32GB 9.7"
$750 Samsung Series 5 Slate 64GB SSD & dock (Android ___)

Here are this Sunday's ads:

Here are some web sites that will help you decide or confuse you further.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hello all,

Last Thursday I was working in the Genealogy Room and an old man came in. He wanted a history of Volusia County. I guided him to the shelf where he found the book he wanted. He sat down at a table and took out a magnifying glass. After a while he called me over and asked whether that book was available in large print. I said that I was sorry but it wasn't.

I sat back down at the desk and looked over to the old card catalog file. On top is the old magnifying glass which is lighted. I drew his attention to it. He went over and used the glass but I could see he was uncomfortable standing up for very long.

Suddenly I remembered what I call the "Big Eye". It is a home made device that we used to have on a desk over by the off-line computer. When Louise donated the microfiche reader we decided that there had been little or no use of the "Big Eye" and so removed it and put in the microfiche reader.

I thought that the "Big Eye" had been disposed of but when I looked in the back corner there it was. I didn't know whether it still worked, as a matter of fact I have never seen it work. Nonetheless I decided that it would fit nicely on the book cart. I rolled the cart to the back of the room and picked up the TV and it did fit on the cart. I wheeled it to the front of the room then realized that all of the device had not come with the TV. The "Big Eye" is actually two separate devices, the TV and the projector. I brought the projector up and slid it in place under the TV then plugged both units into the power block.

There was one cable coming from the projector that obviously should plug into the TV. It turns out the yellow, video, input on the TV is where the projector connects. I plugged it in and turned everything on and sure enough, when I placed a book on the tray under the projector the TV showed the page in very large and easy to read form on the screen.. The tray moves right and left and in and out. The only problem is that the magnification does not allow a small enough setting to show the whole page without scrolling.

I drew up a chair in front of the TV and showed the man how to use “Big Eye.” He sat down and began to use it to easily read the Volusia History he was interested in. He seemed to like it although he didn't say anything at all.

I went about my business and was at the off-line computer when I saw him walk by the window on his way out! No thanks, no goodbye, nothing ;-) Such is the life of a public servant I guess, he probably had a back ache.

Anyway I thought I'd write up what I learned in case anyone else is asked for help with a visually impaired customer. I don't know who built and donated the "Big Eye", probably someone like one of our departed members, Herbert Price.

I worked with Herb near the end of his life. He was nearly blind from macro degeneration and had torticollis which caused his neck to be bent forward to where he had a hard time raising his head to look at the computer screen. He had a braille-like overlay for his keyboard. I was impressed with his tenacity in pursuing his genealogy although he was suffering greatly and kept messing up his FTW database.

Herb could have used this device.


Friday, November 2, 2012

State of the Society

In going over the web site and reviewing the list of officers I am reminded that we have vacancies our ranks. I am filling the position of Recording Secretary for the time being, won't someone step up and take that position please?

I would be happy to relinquish the Web Master position, I'm not very good at it and struggle to keep the site working at all.

Newsletter Editor is another spot that is ripe for a change.  I'm doing the job for now but would like to be rid of it.  I would still contribute but would as soon not be the editor.  It really isn't very difficult, you have three months to prepare each newsletter.  I begin the next issue as soon as the present one has been distributed.  You don't need any special software, I use Open Office Writer, a free text processor.  I'll be glad to show you how I do it.  

We could use a person to arrange trips to various other libraries or archives in surrounding states. The St Augustine Society does it and we can piggy back on their trips by signing up for a trip and driving to St Augustine to join them.

Bob Weaver did a great job of "outreach" to the people at Victoria Gardens who were interested in genealogy.  It would be great if we had a person who could arrange to teach people in other communities or the Girl and Boy Scout troops.  Many of our members would pitch in if asked.

Our Cemetery Project was never completed.  Is there someone out there interested in cemeteries?  Bill Morgan sent a link to a very interesting article at LegalGenealogist.com read the article at  http://tinyurl.com/ajr5664 it discusses the legal ramifications of taking pictures of headstones.  Read this article if you submit photos to Find A Grave or post them on your online genealogy site.  In this litigious society you should know where you stand with the law.  

[I don't know why the background turned from tan to white on that last paragraph and can't seem to correct it. /H/]

What other projects could we consider?  Jump in.

Please respond with comments.

I've been working on the web site.  What's new?

The volunteer calendar is now on the site under "HANDOUTS", toward the bottom of the page under a green banner.  You can check to see where we need help. Check out the vacancies and see where you can lend a hand.  Send an email to us at  Roots.Branches.Volusia@gmail.com and let us know that you are interested.

Bob Weaver is leading a new project we call THE BRICK WALL PROJECT.  Check out the request forms which you will find the forms on the HANDOUTS page of the web site, just above the green banner toward the bottom. Fill one out and send it in if there is anything you think we can help you with.

I'm working on posting board and general meeting minutes, beginning from this month's minutes and working back to the beginning of the Society.   It is interesting to read those minutes to see some of the projects and problems the Society has had through the years.

Also posted is the flyer for the Florida Historical Society, 2013 Annual Meeting and Symposium.  This year they will cruise on the Carnival Sensation.  The cruise is called "500 Years of La Florida:Sailing in the path of Discovery!" The cost is relatively cheap, $500 per person, double occupancy, includes cruise, food, featured tours and symposium registration, no taxes, fees or port charges. The Symposium will consist of Paper Presentations, Round Table Discussions, Historic Tours in Nassau, FHS Awards Luncheon and more.  The return from the Bahamas will follow the path taken by Ponce de Leon to Florida.

Friday, October 12, 2012

CamScan of microfilm articles

Today I had an opportunity to use the CamSpan app on my Droid X to copy directly from the microfilm reader screen.  Once captured the app takes over, enhances the scan.  You can same the scan in jpg or pdf  and immediately attach it to an email and deliver it to the person who requested it.

Here are some samples of the output quality:

 This scanner app makes the camera a good scanner just what a good genealogist needs.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Web Master Problems

Are there any accomplished Web Masters out there?  Here's an example of why our web site is a mess with various browsers.  I need help.    Jerry

Historical Newspapers

Has anyone else been using the VCPL Historical Newspapers database.  I have found it to be a gold mine.

Looking for my Tolles/Toles family in CT I selected all the CT newspapers and searched on TOLLES OR TOLLS.  This morning I just downloaded article # 114.  I have found obits and/or estate settlement notices beginning in January 1775.

There are a few tricks that might be of interest.

If you don't find your search term highlighted in the article that comes up notice that at the top right is a message .  Click the arrow at the right side of that message and the second page will appear.

The news print from the 1700s and 1800s is seldom crisp and so there are many false returns. For the most part the "hits" can be examined in the small box that is displayed for the hit but sometimes you have to open the article and look for the yellow highlighted word that was hit upon.  For TOLLES OR TOLES there were hits on 'boxes', 'tolerate' etc.  Remember, the character that looks like an 'f' is actually an 's'.

There are several ways to capture the article you have found.  The method that works for me is to first open a MS Notepad screen, type the information that identifies the clipping, highlight and copy it (CTRL-C).  Go back to the article, hoover your mouse over the PDF icon at the top right of the screen.  Wait for the very long URL Newsbank identifier for the article to appear at the bottom of the screen.  Now click the PDF icon.  The article appears my itself, right click and save it.  Before you actually save the file paste (CTRL-V) the identifying information you copied from Notepad in front of the Newsbank file name.  Save the file with the very long but necessary file name.

If you click the PDF icon before the Newsbank URL is finished coming in you will get an error message saying "no data received."

Here is an example of the file name that results:
1775 Jan 18 CT Journal New Haven Thomas Tolles drowned pl_009242012_0826_16011_553.pdf

Here is a screen shot that explains it better:


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Use your camera as a scanner

     I just downloaded a great new app (Android) which turns the smart phone into a scanner!  I've been testing it and WOW, it works GREAT!!  It is a free app named "CamScanner".

     Once downloaded and installed you tap the icon for CamScan the app comes up with a row of icons at the bottom and a list of folders on the left.

     To begin tap the camera icon at the bottom left.  The phone's camera turns on with a row of icons on the bottom, SETTINGS, SHUTTER, GALLERY, SINGLE SCAN  point the camera to the page of writing and press the shutter control.  The scan is made and the photo presented.   Touch the CHECK MARK at the bottom right to move to the next step or click the 'X' to discard or the CURVED ARROW to take you back a step.

     Now the text photo is presented with a frame that has buttons on the corners and in the middle of each side.  It is a simple matter to adjust the frame to correctly encompass the text you wish to capture.

     When you have it correctly framed touch the CHECK MARK.  The image is automatically trimmed and you are given controls to adjust the image.  CONTRAST, BRIGHTNESS and GAMMA can be adjusted.

     Again touch the CHECK MARK.  The Image is saved into the folder of your choice.  Click the SHARE button and a pdf file is created and you are presented with an array of choices (ten locations on my phone; Upload, FAX, Print, Bluetooth, Dropbox, Email, Picassa, Gmail, Bump, Google Drive) where you would like to send the finished pdf.

     OCR (optical character reader) is performed on the file so when you open it with Acrobat it is searchable.

     This app works smoothly and, although I've only had it for a short while, I think it promises to be a great help to researchers, especially in libraries where copies are 25 or 50 cents or it is not possible to make copies at all.

     I am anxious to try this app on the microfilm reader in the library.  When I get a request for an obituary and find it on the microfilm I usually photograph the screen with my digital camera but that then requires several editing steps before the obit is ready to send to the person requesting it.  This app promises to make that procedure very much easier, allowing me to immediately send the document by email.

     I don't know whether Apple has a similar app for the iPhone, they probably do.

     Give it a try and let us know what you think.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Track Down Living People Online

About Genealogy: Newsletter by Kimberly Powell

Tracing living people online presents a unique challenge as privacy laws often protect the records genealogists generally use the most. However, current public records, newspapers, yearbooks, and other resources offer their own assistance with tracking down living cousins, classmates, or birth parents -- even for those tough cases where you may not have a name!

See More About:  people search  finding living people  phone directories



- How to Research Methodist Ancestors

- Historical Methodist Church Records & Archives Online

Monday, September 17, 2012

iArchives, FGS & NARA collaborate to digitize 1812 Pension Applications

iArchives to Collaborate with FGS to Digitize War of 1812 Pension Applications

The following announcement was written by iArchives, a subsidiary of Ancestry.com. It is the division that operates Fold3.com (formerly Footnote.com): Fold3 will be the first online home of the digital pension applications

Lindon, UT – iArchives today announced a collaboration with the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) to digitize 180,000 pension applications, or an estimated 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files. The collection will be available on iArchives’ military records website, Fold3.com, home of more than 94 million historical records.

The multi-year project will consist of scanning the pension files at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and creating a searchable index to the digital images. FGS has targeted the War of 1812 Pension Applications as a high priority project based on the value of the content for genealogists as well as the importance of preserving the fragile records.

“Our goal with any collaboration is to honor our nation’s heritage by preserving the records of our past,” said Patricia Oxley, President of FGS. “In the specific case of the War of 1812 pension records, there is an added priority due to their frail state where not acting may mean sacrificing these for future generations.”

With the burden of proof on the applicant to qualify for a pension, those applying proved participation in the war by including dozens of vividly descriptive pages. Details recorded include military battle stories, service dates, mentions of fellow soldiers, family relations, marriages, widows’ maiden names and many other clues significant to researchers. The breadth of information allows the pension files to tell the richest story of that time period.

“The most popular database on Fold3 today is the Revolutionary War Pensions which is very similar content,” said Brian Hansen, General Manager at Fold3. “Our users have been asking for the War of 1812 pension records for some time, and I expect this collection to be very popular based on the rich war time detail it contains. We are pleased to make these records available for free on Fold3 as a result of FGS fundraising efforts to subsidize the production cost.”

FGS is proud to be leading the national fundraising to support this project and is actively seeking donations from genealogical and historical societies, patriotic and military heritage societies, as well as interested corporations and individuals. iArchives is providing a dollar-for-dollar match of each donation through a provision of services. To learn more and contribute to the Preserve the Pensions project, visit www.fgs.org/1812.

About iArchives

iArchives is a leading digitization service provider and subsidiary of Ancestry.com (NASDAQ: ACOM). The company operates Fold3, the leading U.S. military record resource on the web with more than 94 million records online. The site provides searchable original documents, providing subscribers with a view of the events, places and people in the conflicts that shaped the American nation and the world. For more information, visit www.fold3.com.

About FGS

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), founded in 1976, links the genealogical community by serving the needs of its member societies, providing products and services needed by member societies, and marshaling the resources of its member organizations. FGS represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies and engages in projects that help genealogical societies strengthen and grow as well as call attention to records preservation and access issues. FGS can be found on the web at www.FGS.org.

Created by fold3_catalog 30 Apr 2011

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

The 'Brick Wall Box'

Today at our Sept meeting Bob Weaver started a project called "The Brick Wall Box."  Anyone who is "stuck" whether it is a real brick wall or you just need some help and advice.  Look for this little red box on top of the file cabinet behind the Gen Room desk.  Take a form, fill it out with your problem.  Give us enough information to identify the person you're stuck on.  Give full names, years of birth and death and dates and places where they lived and as much additional information as you have.  One of our volunteers will take your request, investigate it and let you know what we recommend as a course of action.

You can also eMail your brick wall to roots.branches.volusia@gmail.com

Be sure to leave your contact information, preferably an email address.  We'll do everything we can.


September meeting

We had a great meeting yesterday.  The lesson by Rosemary Sutton was standing room only and the general meeting was packed.  Kim Dolce gave a good presentation about the newspapers available on the VCPL web site.  She had a handout for everyone which I will put on our web site as soon as I can.  The minutes of the board meeting and minutes of the general meeting will also be posted ASAP.

The Fall 2012 newsletter is finished.  Linda Williamson has proof read it and I have some corrections to make then we'll get it out.

There were several visitors present and several took membership applications.

There was hesitation to pay a years dues when we're nearly in the fourth quarter.  Perhaps we should allow new members to have their membership begin in the new year after a certain date.  What do you think?

                                                                   Kim Dolce

                                                                The general meeting.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Most Esteemed Ancestor Contest

R&B Members;

I just received a message from Howard Fisher.  So far he has received NO entries to this contest.  We asked Howard to take this on, now it is our responsibility to participate in this contest.

Please sit down and write up an entry.  Tell us who your most esteemed ancestor is in 500 words or less.

You can bring it to the meeting on the 16th or eMail it to Howard (Esteemed Ancestor@howardfisher.com) or bring it in or mail it to the Gen Room (131 East Howry Ave, DeLand 32724-0612 Attn: R&B Gen Soc.)

The prizes are $100 first place, $50 second place and $25 third place.  It's really pretty easy money and will be fun.

The deadline for submission is November 15th, plenty of time to write an entry.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

FOLD3 from Kim Dolce

Fm: Kim Dolce
5 Sept 2012
You may or may know that Volusia County Public Libraries recently added Fold3 to its list of databases.  Fold3, formerly Footnote, is a combination of genealogy and history sources, and it can be accessed from home as well as in the library.  I'm attaching the press release here and hoping you can share it with your genealogy societies.
Kim E. Dolce
Genealogy/Reference Librarian
Daytona Beach Regional Library
105 E. Magnolia Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL
386-257-6036 ext. 16315

New historical and genealogical databases available at
Volusia County public libraries

The Volusia County Public Library has added Fold3 History and Genealogy Archives Plus and The Holocaust Archives to its online eResources.

Fold3 combines an unprecedented collection of original historical documents and personal histories including convenient access to US military records. Included is access to several special collections, including the African American Archives, American Revolution Archives, Native American Archives, US Bureau of Investigation Case File Archives, and World War II Archives.  Another addition is the Holocaust Collection. Through their partnership with the National Archives, Fold3 has scanned and indexed valuable records that tell the story of the Holocaust. Patrons can explore everything from Holocaust assets to death camp records to interrogation reports to the Nuremburg trials.

Library card holders can access these and other databases at: www.volusialibrary.org/VCPLeresources.html Learn more about the library system at www.volusialibrary.org, or by contacting your local branch.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2013 Speakers


It will be a great year, here are some of the great speakers Bob & Carol have scheduled
This schedule may change, we'll keep you updated.

Here is the present listing of speakers and topics for the Jan thru April meetings for 2013.

Date               Speaker                      Topic
1-20-13    Louise Caccamise          History of DeLand Street Names

2-17-13    Ann Staley                        Overlooked Research Sources:
                                                                   A Gold Mine To be Discovered

3-17-13    George Morgan               Alternate Records You May
                                                                   Never Have Considered

4-21-13    Barbara Costello              Historical and Genealogical
                                                                   Treasures in the Government
                                                                   Documents at the Stetson
                                                                   DuPont-Ball Library.

                                                                   Note: Barbara is the Government
                                                                   Documents/Research Librarian at
                                                                   Stetson University.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Online Census

Once again I've learned not to stop with a census search on Ancestry.  I was looking for the Roger Tolles family.   Roger appears in the 1820 Census in Phelps Twp., Ontario County, New York.  He is said to have died "when Charles was only 7" so about 1830.

Ancestry doesn't find him in any other census.  His wife was Mariah Dean so, if Roger died  before the 1830 census she should appear with the children, probaly near by.  

Searching for Mariah Tolles with every imaginable variation of the spelling of Tolles doesn't get a hit at all on Ancestry and Heritage Quest has no index for 1830 but I know she must have been there.

Going to the printed index for the 1830 New York Census (available in the Gen Room) I find a Mariah Toles with this listing in the index:  TOLES, MARIAH   YA_ES  314   BENTON.  I remember that her son Henry had married in Penn Yan, Yates County, New York in 1848.  This must surely be her.

So, how to get to the actual census page?  Heritage Quest Online has the entire census from 1790 to 1930.  It is much like microfilm, no index, just crank through and hope you find something before your eyes blur over.  There is, however an option to SEARCH BY PAGE NUMBER.  Great, page 314.

Big snag, they want a roll number before you can enter the page.  Roll number is not provided by the printed index.

Here's how to get around the problem:  Selecting BROWSE and filling in the date, 1830, state, New York, County, Yates and location, Benton takes you to the first page of the Benton census and provides this: Series: M19 Roll 117 Page 291. Now, with the roll number go back to SEARCH BY PAGE NUMBER.  Enter the date, the roll number and page 314 from the printed index.

There it is.  One more clue to the Tolles family.  She is shown age 30-40 with six children, 3 girls and 3 boys.  This pretty much confirms Roger's death as before 1830.   The question, what happened to the 6 children from Roger's first marriage?

I pick Mariah (aka Ara Mariah) up again in the 1850 Census living with her daughter Harriet (Tolles) Morrow in Pulteney, Steuben County, NY then the whole family moves to Indiana.

Big surprise.  Both Mariah and Roger are listed in the  "Cemeteries of Steuben County Indiana" as being buried in the Circle Hill Cemetery, Angola, Indiana, Sec 7 Lot 14.

How this is possible I do not know.

On to the next hill ;-)   If this was easy it wouldn't be any fun.


Western New York old newspapers

You may have seen the information about the Fulton NY web site that has old newspapers.  There are over 19,648,000 pages in their collection.   Both Esther Gould and Pete Harrington have mentioned it and I put it in the news letter a while back.  I myself didn't pay much attention until last night.

I'm researching Dr. Roger B. Tolles, trying to find who his father was so I can link him to all of the Tolles mentioned in Donald Lines Jacobus' "Families of Ancient New Haven".  It as been an impossible task so far. Many people have entered information on the www that is undocumented and much of it demonstrably false.

To facilitate my search I drew up a time line then went to Google Maps and cut and pasted until I had a map that showed all of the places I knew Roger and his family had been.   Those places included the Western NY counties of Genessee, Ontario, Yates and Steuben.

Nearby Oswego county caught my eye as one of my own lines lived there before they migrated west.  My eye wandered over the map of Oswego and there was Fulton!  Hmmmm, not far from the area I am searching, I remembered the Fulton site that Esther talked about.

How fortunate that I remembered that site.  It is a wonderful resource.  I found small mentions of my Dr. Roger B. Tolles in Geneva NY Gazette 1818-1823 and Geneva NY Gazette Advertiser 1829-1832. Nothing that broke down the wall but additional clues to establish that this man actually lived and worked in the area.  I was afraid, until now, that he was a ghost.  I would have loved to have found an obituary but haven't given up hope.

I was impressed enough with the site that I made a small donation via Pay Pal and have left a note for my daughter to donate some of my many external hard drives for their use "when I don't need them any more" (as my Grandmother used to say.)

Newspapers are becoming more and more available.  Most are on subscriptions sites but every now and then one encounters an obscure site like this that provides the service FREE.

Hopefully, as time goes on, the subscription sites will "merge" until we have just one or two sites and only one subscription fee with access to all digital newspapers.  It is beginning with Ancestry's purchase of Archives.com.  Some see this as ominous, I think it is inevitable and will benefit researchers.

So don't overlook old newspapers, Google has many, Chronicling America (Library of Congress) has many, including many of the DeLand papers.  

Florida Online Historical Newspapers lists all FL papers available from various  sources.

And, if you have family in Western New York go to Old Fulton NY Post Cards http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html  and search their collection.


Friday, August 31, 2012


Today I received this note:

I notice that the library has the Fold 3 site up and running. I had some trouble working with it the other day;

Is there a possibility that someone with skill would be willing to teach those of us with no skill how to use it efficiently?


I have used FOOTNOTE and now have subscribed to FOLD3 (just before learning that it would be on the library computer :-(

Although I had great expectations when I heard that they had most pension records and were putting War of 1812 records in their database    Unfortunately I have NEVER had much success using their site.

Last week I was working on a Civil War Veteran whose file card is shown on Ancestry.  Using his name, unit, dates of service, pension application file number and certificate number.

I could not find ANYTHING on FOLD3 and so sent them a message asking why their search system doesn't locate the files for this veteran.  I said that I had NEVER been successful in searching FOOTNOTE/FOLD3 and considered it a waste of time and money.

Here is the response I received:
"Thank you for trying our new search. We appreciate your feedback.
Please send us any further suggestions, concerns, or questions you may have.


Fold3 Support

Fold3's Online Help Page: www.fold3.com/help.php"


Watch the "New Search" Tutorial

Report to the Fold3 Training Center to learn how to make the most of your membership. There you will find links to one-page explanations of the most common how-to topics. Look for Uncle Sam on the lower right of the home page, or start directly from http://www.fold3.com/tour. Keep checking back as we add more video tutorials and help topics.

The Fold3 Team

Thank you for contacting Fold3. We have received your message and will make every effort to respond within 1 - 2 business days.

We are available from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Mountain Time, Monday through Friday; we are closed Saturdays and Sundays.

Please note that submitting another message on the same issue will not expedite service.
In the meantime, you may wish to visit our Help page at http://www.fold3.com/help/
If you have questions regarding your account please go to:  http://www.fold3.com/account.php

Thanks again,   Fold3 Support


I agree that it would be great to have some knowledgeable person who is expert at using FOLD3 write a tutorial or offer to tutor people in the Gen Room.  Is there such a person out there?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cemetery Project

Find A Grave is the best thing to come along in a long time.  The database is growing by leaps and bounds.  Are you a member?  I get requests for headstone photos about once a week.

Is anyone interested in a cemetery project?  We would photograph all the headstones in a local cemetery and submit all of them to FAG ?

A couple of years ago I spent one afternoon and photographed all the headstones in the Lincoln Cemetery (behind Hollywood) in Orange City.  I also have miscellaneous individual headstone photos including a few from East Volusia.

If you'd like to help in such a project it would be a great contribution to the "body of knowledge" that is available free of charge on the internet.

Any takers?

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Theory of Shakers and Movers


All groups, clubs, crews, consist of 10% "Shakers and Movers" who do all of the work of the group. Every improvement to the community welfare is instigated and carried out by this group.

Then there are the "Hangers On" which consists of 80% of the membership of the group. The Hangers On benefit from and enjoy the efforts of the Shakers and Movers. They often carp and complain and at times succeed in discouraging some of the Shakers and Movers who quit their efforts and join the Hangers On.

Finally there are 10% at the bottom, the "Anarchists." This group is REALLY negative; they say unkind things about the Shakers and Movers and their motives. They actually do things to tear down the organization. They recruit people from the Hangers On to join them. They believe in conspiracy theories and listen to every rumor and lie. They believe everything they take in. God has created them without the ability to do logical reasoning, analyze facts and make their own decisions.

For the most part the Shakers and Movers ignore the other two groups and keep Shaking and Moving because it is their (type A) nature. Occassionally you will run into an organization where all of the Shakers and Movers have been discouraged and have joined the Hangers On. That organization is then dead. There is nothing of interest going on and unless some new Shakers and Movers arise or come in from the outside the organization will cease to exist.

If you are one of the Shakers and Movers don't give up, you are working to satisfy your own sense of what improves the life of all.  If you give up you will be unhappy, you're doing it for yourself, not for them.


The VFCGS Seminar 2012 is fast approaching. (Volusia Flagler Council of Genealogical Societies)

The Flagler Society is the host this year, Roots and Branches is obligated to assist them.  They have asked for two volunteers who would be present at their meetings and also provide assistance on the day of the Seminar.  Our president has asked for two members to volunteer for this duty but nobody has spoken up.  We will be the host for the seminar in 2014.  If we do not assist the Flagler group then we cannot expect the other societies to come and help us.

This lack of volunteering is a plague on all clubs these days, several large genealogical societies have stopped publishing their newsletters, have shut down their web sites and some have disbanded because of this lack of participation.  R&B can barely man the volunteer desk at the library.  A large part, as far as genealogy is concerned, is the internet.  Now that library systems are making various services such as Heritage Quest and Fold3 available for free access from home we get fewer and fewer "customers" in the Gen Room.  On many Thursday afternoons there will not be one visitor.

What to do?  We have nearly exhausted efforts to get people to step up.  It boils down to a question of  how important do you think a genealogical society is?  Is it important to you?  Is it important enough to make a special effort to volunteer?  Unless enough people think it is the club will stagnate and cease to exist.

Now to the specific problem we face with the Flagler seminar.  The trip is a long one, 54 miles from Deltona. At nearly $4/gallon for gasoline my little Saturn, at 20 MPG, would cost me nearly $20 for each round trip, not to mention the wear and tear.  Multiple trips would be required for the meetings leading up to the seminar and again on the day of the event.  This is not a very appealing thought.

Perhaps we should offer someone an amount, say $30 per trip?   Or perhaps we should admit that we cannot provide volunteers and withdraw from the VFCGS?   Are we getting any benefit from our association with VGCGS?  Can we hope to hold up our end of the association?

What do YOU think?  Let's talk about it.