Sunday, November 1, 2009

RJFN: 25 Oct to 1 Nov

Again, not much research happened this week. I puttered around on my computer once and found one or two little things but nothing really worth blogging about.  School kept me pretty busy this week and will probably also keep me pretty busy next week which is fine with me actually, because I'm going through a bit of a "research burn-out" at the moment. Even though I didn't do any research this week, I did do some genealogy related things:
  • I'm finally going to do something I've been wanting to do for a really long time: join a society! The one society which is at the top of my list will be only $10 to join so I've printed off the form and will be putting it in the mail soon. I'd also like to join one of the "biggies" and have it narrowed down to three: the CGSL, NEHGS, and Southern California Genealogical Society. I don't really have the funds to join all three but in looking at the fees for each, I could join NEHGS or both the California societies and still have about ten dollars left over. I'm really weighing the pros and cons of all three right now. For the Southern California Genealogical Society, the pros would be the discounts and information on the Jamboree as well as their publication, The Searcher and it would also save me on a subscription to NewspaperArchive. I'm also a big fan of the fact that they offer a student membership (all other big societies out there need to take note!). Cons would be the fact that I'm not in or from Southern California, I have no family from there and I still don't know if I'll make it to Jamboree next year (I'm thinking that I'll do summer school next year and not go). For the CGSL, the pros would be the fact that there always seems to be something fantastic going on with them (like the talks that they host- including the recent genealogy and blogging one).  Cons? The big one is the fact that they are in Oakland which is a two hour drive for me so I really doubt I could attend any of their talks or activities. As for NEHGS, I've REALLY wanted to join them for a long time. But I took a look at my tree the other day and really, the only New England ancestors I've got were back in Colonial days and Colonial genealogy isn't something I concentrate on too much. The $75 really gets me too but they have a ton of really nice offerings so it is probably well worth the cost. I really don't know at this point about NEHGS and the only reason, I can see, for joining would be to do Colonial research and maybe get a better grasp of that type of research.  I know that if I ever pursue membership in any Mayflower societies, I'll be joining NEGHS right away.
  • I've also started looking at societies in the Rust Belt (where my paternal ancestors are from) but I've really only scratched the surface with that. I would like to join a Michigan society, perhaps one based in Jackson or Manistee (where I have a lot of family from and am interested in). I did find out that I have a branch or two that qualifies as "first families" for Isabella Co. so perhaps I'll pursue a membership with them. Trumbull Co., Ohio and Lawrence Co., Pennsylvania are other places I'm going to look at and the Ohio Genealogical Society is an option I plan on looking into.
  • Somewhere down the line I'd also like to join NGS and maybe one of my local societies.  My hometown society is actually within walking distance from where I live but they hold their meetings at times during the week in which only pre-school age children and the retired can attend.  Another local-ish society would be the group in Sacramento which I as yet need to look into.
  • I've started the process of ordering some military files from NARA. I'm ordering the pension file and service record on my only Civil War veteran ancestor, John Berger. I'm also going to order (at a later date) the pension record for John Clements, the brother of one of my biggest brick walls, Elizabeth Clemens/Clements. I was going to make the John Berger records a birthday present for my grandmother (his granddaughter), but I think I got to ordering them too late since her birthday is in early December. I'd be shocked if the records came before February 2010 to be completely honest.
  • Is it just me (which is entirely possible) or is the NARA online ordering process totally confusing? It took me a good ten minutes to find my way to the ordering page and even then they didn't make it easy. I think the site could do with some streamlining and reorganizing, especially the eServices portion.
  • Went throught my GoogleReader and "trimmed" some of the dead wood off.  Once or twice a year I'll go through and see which blogs haven't been updated in a long and probably won't be again.  This time, I took off blogs that haven't been updated since August 31st.  All in all, I think I cut about twenty or thirty blogs... but then I went through the GeneaBloggers blog roll and added about fifty (including the new ones). 
Non-Genealogy Stuff:
  • This is the first year I didn't do anything for Halloween.  This was mostly out of choice on my part mainly because I don't eat sweets since last summer (dieting) and I really didn't feel like getting or wearing a costume.  Ever since I was little though, my favorite part of Hallowe'en has been the movies that come on this time of year. This year was fantastic because I got to curl up and enjoy them uninterupted all night!  So, I thnk I had the perfect Hallowe'en because I spent it with Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and some contemporary favorites- something I've been wanting to do for awhile.
(Note: RJFN=Research Journal and Family Newsletter)

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