Genealogy Round Up, September 15

9 Foreign Words the English Language Desperately Needs

Earlier this week, I shared my first video in a long time - a very unexpected story I found hiding in the branches of the family tree of Pharrell Williams. For those who are a little old school and prefer to actually read(!), I've got an article about the sleuthing involved.

Fun to be bronze to Roberta Estes's silver in US results for John Reid's Rockstar Genealogist poll! We're in excellent company across the globe! Thanks to all who voted!


As if authors don't have enough to deal with given the changing landscape of the publishing industry, there's a new scam afoot. I went to Amazon last evening to check on something and was startled to learn that I had supposedly published a new book two days earlier. 

Someone has used Amazon Digital Services to publish a 37-page Kindle book with my name and part of the title of my actual "Who Do You Think You Are?" companion book. I don't know how this was permitted to happen since I have a long-established author's page at Amazon, but I'm currently using the copyright infringement process (there is no option to cover exactly this situation!) to lodge a complaint and have it removed. 

I've also posted a review to warn folks in the interim.

I count my lucky stars that I am literally the only person in the world with my name, and pity authors with common names who might have more difficulty proving that such a faux-book is an attempt to profit off of them. 

* sigh * If these scammers would use a fraction of their ingenuity doing something useful instead of ripping off hard-working writers, they might actually accomplish something!

Genealogy Round Up, September 8

Hey, y'all, I revised my main website - Any feedback??

Well, I'm pretty excited because this is my first new video in several years. It's about an unexpected tale I found in the family history of Pharrell Williams. If you enjoy it, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd share it with others! Thanks!

July 2014 Seton Shields Genealogy Grant

The ASK GRANNY program provides free genealogical session and materials to senior citizen groups. In 2011 they were awarded the "Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Genealogy" by the Georgia Genealogical Society. The Ask Granny authors have distributed free session materials to civic organizations, librarians, and genealogical societies in 48 states as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, and have held more than 50 seminars, helping more than 700 senior citizens in the process. The grant will allow them to supply free materials to still more ASK GRANNY students.

June 2014 Seton Shields Genealogy Grant

Normally, I summarize applications when sharing grant awards, but I've decided to let this month's for the El Monte Cemetery Association in California speak for itself. I only hope that a few other cemeteries will take their lead and borrow a few of these ideas!  So here goes . . .

"Savannah Memorial Park, a pioneer cemetery, recently received historical landmark, number 1046. We serve the genealogical and local community as the historical representation of the collective memories of the pioneers, veterans, infants and families who settled in the San Gabriel Valley during the early 1800s and continues to date. Savannah is open every day to descendants, visitors, students and scholars. We are making changes to the property that will make the cemetery a multi-cultural repository and community asset. Savannah hosts Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies, "Retiring of the Colors" events and are part of Rosemead's 4th of July Parade. We are partners with the El Monte Historical Museum and Society, as the two cities have a shared and rich historical past. Savannah has self-guided tours made possible by placards next to more than 40 of our founding fathers (and mothers) so that individuals can learn about the people who settled in Rosemead and El Monte, CA. Girl and Boy Scout troops from our area come to help clean the cemetery, work on badges and on special occasions, Savannah hosts "Probing Days" where the kids can come and probe for sunken grave markers. In the near future the Boy Scouts and their fathers will be coming to raise all of our markers so that they are all level in regards to our drought-tolerant landscaping redesign (we are in a severe drought). We want the cemetery to reflect our city's pride, not a neglected dried up weed patch."