Hello there. Welcome to my genealogy den! I've just recently acquired the genealogy bug after a brief flirtation eight years ago. I'm really into it. This isn't my first blog - it's my fourth. Maybe you've seen my Tech Ronin blog.
This whole new bout of genealogy passion started shortly after I bought my Zire 72 in May. I was looking around for cool software to put on my Zire and found a little program called MyRoots. I promptly downloaded the demo, tried it and then bought the full version. I have never had my genealogy data in my hand - always with me - before. How fun!
I dug out some of my old files and entered a lot of my genealogy data into my Zire, person by person. I probably entered 50 people over the next few days. I could enter a lot of it by memory whenever I had a few minutes here and there waiting for something else to happen.
I started searching the Net for family members and information and hit upon a Frakes (my Mom's maiden name) who is a major Frakes researcher and had posted 5000 Frakes census records online. Well, being a database expert, I couldn't resist copying the text file, massaging it and importing it into FileMaker. What a bonanza of information!!! I'll be writing soon about the little FileMaker database I made out of it to help me browse through the data quickly. But I digress...
Getting the 5000 Frakes census records and connecting with George Frakes was just the shot in the arm I needed to take things to the next level with my budding genealogy hobby. George subsequently sent me a great big family tree print out showing me what he knew about my Frakes ancestors.
Entering this abundance of data on my Zire wasn't going to work and I wanted to work with photos. I needed to buy a desktop genealogy program. I had used Reunion 4 and 5 back in the 90's, so upgraded to Reunion 8 which runs on OS X for about $70. I downloaded a free utility for MyRoots that let me export the data in MyRoots into a GED file - the standard data format for genealogy programs. I imported my existing data and have been entering data like crazy since then. Right now I have a total of 289 people in there.
I got my old photos out and started scanning and putting some of them into Reunion. I printed some family trees and sent one plus some scanned photos to my 82-year-old uncle, Roy Frakes whose already told me a juicy story about my great grandmother. I've bought about 5 books on genealogy and am generally having a great time. This hobby is a great one to share with my 88-year-old father who loves to look at old family photos and reminisce about herding cattle while riding his horse Rex on his family farm in Montana.
Here's what I think about genealogy so far. For someone like me who likes to learn, *collect* things and play with computers, it's awesome. To do genealogy *right*, you've got to learn a lot of geography and history. I'm collecting maps and local histories of the various places my ancestors have lived. That's a lot of places when you've got 289 and counting spread over three centuries.
If that weren't enough, this all ties in with my interest in social networking. This hobby gives me instant and very interesting conversation material for all my living relatives plus every amateur and professional genealogist out there. I'm hoping you'll join me and start by writing a little comment to say hi, ask a question or express your thoughts.