October 2008 Scanfest to be Held this Sunday

Things have been awfully quiet on my blog lately, due to a variety of circumstances that have kept me from posting regularly (in fact, I’m blogging for the first time ever on my work lunch break via a widget on my iGoogle page). However, I did want to let everyone know that Scanfest will be held as usual on Sunday, October 26th from 11 AM to 2 PM, PDT. If you would like to know more about Scanfest and how you can participate, click on the Scanfest label below to check out other posts with detailed information and instructions.

This may be the last Scanfest for me for a while, since I will be having shoulder surgery November 14th. We also normally take a break in November and December, due to the holidays around the last weekend of those months.

Hope to “see” you Sunday!

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Join Us for Scanfest Tomorrow!

The September 2008 Scanfest will be held tomorrow, Sunday, September 28th from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time. Thomas MacEntee and I have agreed to change things up a bit, but don’t worry: whether you’re a die-hard Scanfester OR new to Scanfest, we are offering several options for you to enjoy your scanning and connecting experience!

Here are the choices we are offering:

A. You can chat using Windows Live Messenger. I’ll be coordinating this side of the event.

B. You can voice chat using Skype. Please see the post Thomas wrote entitled “Scanfest Speaks – Scanfest and Skype” at Destination: Austin Family.

C. You can conference call with your telephone. Again, see Thomas’ post. Thomas will host the Skype/conference calling side of Scanfest.

D. You can choose to do both chatting and calling (using either Skype or your telephone).

Following are basic steps to prepare for the regular Scanfest, using Windows Live Messenger for chatting. Steps Four and Five are important, no matter which media you choose to use to connect.

Please follow these steps for a smooth start-up and an enjoyable time getting to know others. You will want to do this BEFORE tomorrow’s session to make your experience go more smoothly, and so that I will not be spending the first hour or so getting everyone set up, and can do some scanning myself!

1. You need to have Windows Live Messenger downloaded to your computer. Mac users, use this link.

2. Windows Live Messenger works best with Hotmail or Gmail accounts. I don’t know why, it just does. I recommend Gmail, because it has such good spam filters.

3. Send me an e-mail to let me know you’ve gotten all set up with Windows Live Messenger, so I can add you to my list of contacts. Check your e-mail account (the one that you will be using as a sign-in for Windows Live Messenger) to see if I have verified you and invited you to Scanfest. PLEASE NOTE: I’ll be away from my computer a lot this coming week as my husband is taking some time off from work and we have a couple of houseguests. Please be patient if I do not respond to your e-mails for a few days.

4. Go to Sally Jacob’s website here to sign up for her free newsletter. It will enable you to download her helpful information called 8 Blunders People Make When They Scan Photographs…and How You Can Avoid Them All. You do not want to be scanning photos as .jpg files or at 150 dpi (dots per inch)! Sally’s pamphlet will explain all!

5. Take some time to figure out what you want to scan before Sunday. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time sorting and not scanning.

6. On Sunday at 11 AM, PDT, or whenever you plan to join the chat (you don’t have to be present the entire three hours), sign in to Windows Live Messenger, and if you’ve done Step 3, you’ll see my icon lit up on your list of contacts. Click on my icon and send me a message. I’ll add you to our group conversation.

No matter which option you choose, I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting to know other family historians and archivists, as well as getting your precious family photos and documents scanned and preserved for future generations!

Scanfest is Coming…

…this Sunday, September 28th from 11 AM to 2 PM, PDT. Stay tuned for more info and details.

Thomas and I are cranking it up to a new level!

August 2008 Scanfest isComing!

This coming Sunday, August 24th, from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time will be our next Scanfest event. Scanfest is a time when family historians, family archivists (you know, the ones that inherit all the “stuff” when Great-aunt Mildred dies!), antique photo collectors, and genea-bloggers sit down with their scanners and scan their precious photos and documents, which of course, can be very monotonous. So we jazzed it up a bit by adding chatting using Windows Live Messenger!

If you would like to join us, please follow these steps for a smooth start-up and an enjoyable time getting to know others. You will want to do this BEFORE Sunday to make your experience go more smoothly, and so that I will not be spending the first hour or so getting everyone set up, and can do some scanning myself!

1. You need to have Windows Live Messenger downloaded to your computer. Mac users, use this link.

2. Windows Live Messenger works best with Hotmail or Gmail accounts. I don’t know why, it just does. I recommend Gmail, because it has such good spam filters.

3. Send me an e-mail to let me know you’ve gotten all set up with Windows Live Messenger, so I can add you to my list of contacts. Check your e-mail account (the one that you will be using as a sign-in for Windows Live Messenger) to see if I have verified you and invited you to Scanfest. PLEASE NOTE: I’ll be away from my computer a lot this coming week as my husband is taking some time off from work and we have a couple of houseguests. Please be patient if I do not respond to your e-mails for a few days.

4. Go to Sally Jacob’s website here to sign up for her free newsletter. It will enable you to download her helpful information called 8 Blunders People Make When They Scan Photographs…and How You Can Avoid Them All. You do not want to be scanning photos as .jpeg files or at 150 dpi (dots per inch)! Sally’s pamphlet will explain all!

5. Take some time to figure out what you want to scan before Sunday. Otherwise, you’ll spend your time sorting and not scanning.

6. On Sunday at 11 AM, PDT, or whenever you plan to join the chat (you don’t have to be present the entire three hours), sign in to Windows Live Messenger, and if you’ve done Step 3, you’ll see my icon lit up on your list of contacts. Click on my icon and send me a message. I’ll add you to our group conversation.

This and That

Scanfest
WOW! Thanks to the great publicity over at facebook’s Genea-Bloggers Group, we had the Best Scanfest Ever. We had three records broken! The first was a total attendance of 20, which means that in all, 20 Scanfesters participated at some point between 11 AM and 2 PM, PDT, but not all at the same time. The second was the highest number of Scanfesters in the chat conversation at once, at 18. The third record was the highest number of first-time Scanfesters in attendance: 11! My only regret was that I did not get as much scanned as anticipated because my hard drive was filling up (I’ve since been working on remedying that problem by deleting unnecessary files and programs). So who were our participants? Besides your humble hostess, we had Colleen, Diana, Diane, Elizabeth, footnoteMaven, George, George, Jasia, Kathryn, Kathryn, Kathy, Laura, Lori, Lorine, Michelle, Randy, Renee, Sheri, and Thomas! Too bad Craig couldn’t make it! Thanks to Diane, Thomas, Randy, Kathy, and George for your announcements or follow-up posts on Scanfest, too.

Online Photo Storage
Speaking of scanning, Lee at the Footnote Blog shares how you can store your photos online for free at Footnote…and do a whole lot more with them, too!

Find A Grave now has 25 million grave records in the non-famous side of their website! Take a look…you might find an ancestor or two.

Facebook
The Facebook craze has hit the genealogy community, thanks to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s Unclaimed Persons project. A side effect of this is a new Facebook group, the Genea-Bloggers, started by Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family. This group is for those who either blog about genealogy, or are fans of genealogy blogs. Genealogy bloggers have been learning more about each other in this terrific social networking community, and thanks to Thomas’ great administrative skills, we’re kept up-to-date on all sorts of blogging and other events, such as carnivals and Scanfest. Thomas recently started the Facebook® Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers blog to help out those genea-bloggers learn how to navigate and use Facebook. I encourage you to join Facebook (a social networking site, similar to MySpace, but a little more “grown up”) and add me as your Friend (contact) by searching for “Miriam Robbins Midkiff.” (Don’t be afraid to challenge me to a round or two of Scramble!) Besides adding genealogy community contacts, I’ve added real-life friends, family members, members of my local genealogical society and acquaintances from church and schools I’ve attended. I also recently searched for and found some cousins I’ve been out of touch with for years.

And if you’re already a member of the Genea-Bloggers Group, stay tuned to the FB for GB blog to hear of an exciting new event coming in August!

An Award

Fellow Washington State genea-blogger Carol Wilkerson of iPentimento honored me with a BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) Award. The rules for passing on the award are:

1. Only five people are allowed to receive this award
2. Four of them must followers of your blog.
3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to who ever gave you the award.

I hereby pass this on to Jasia, footnoteMaven, Apple, Renee, and Diane (the newbie to my blog, who technically doesn’t live that far away – British Columbia – but it is another country, after all!)

Photos of Ancestors’ Ports of Emigration
My primary heritages are Dutch and Frisian, and thus I’ve been a fan of Henk van Kampen’s Trace Your Dutch Roots. Lately, he’s been featuring photographs of Dutch ports. Do you have Mayflower ancestors? Take a look at the Delfshaven pictures. Did your ancestors (Dutch or not) traverse the Atlantic on one of the Holland-American Line ships? See the Wilhelminakade.

North Frisian Resource
The Frisians are an ethnic minority who live in present-day Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, whose language, customs, and ethnicity are more closely related to the English than the Germanic peoples of the countries wherein they reside. I blog often about my Frisian ancestors from the Netherlands, and if you’re a fan of Michael John Neill’s RootDig, you’ll hear about his Ostfrisians (West Frisians from Germany). Recently, Jennifer of Our Future Rooted in Our Past blogged about the North Frisian Emigrant – Archive of the Nordfriisk Institute in Denmark. Thanks for sharing this great resource, Jennifer!

Family Ties
My parents returned home in the wee hours of this morning after a trip back to Michigan to visit my paternal grandmother, who was diagnosed about a year or so ago with Alzheimer’s. As well, they enjoyed visiting the families of their respective brothers and one of Dad’s sisters. I was relieved to hear that Grandma recognized Dad and Mom and that they had an enjoyable time together. My parents have made similar trips in the past to say their last goodbyes to their parents. Grandma is my last biological grandparent, although my mother’s step-mother is still in good health. They also got to see one of the newest members of the family. I know this was a bittersweet time for the folks…a part of the circle of life.

Internet Genealogy
And finally! I received the latest issue of Internet Genealogy magazine today (I think I was the last person on the planet to do so!). One of the many reasons I love this publication is that I see so many familiar names, sites, and blogs mentioned. footnoteMaven’s Shades of the Departed blog was featured in the Net Notes column by Donna Pointkouski. If you’re interested in the photography side of genealogy (and who isn’t?), be sure to read this article, then drop by Maven’s blog.

Donna Potter Phillips of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society has two articles. One is “E.W.G.S. at 75: Thriving’ and Survivin'” and highlights the many ways our terrific society has kept up with the times and has stayed growing and vibrant in an age when we’re seeing a demise of many societies. Her “Cold Case Research: Genealogy Style” reminds me of the Campbell House and Unclaimed Persons projects, and explains how doing family tree research on strangers from history is not only fun, but educational! If you’re stuck or tired of your own family lines, why don’t you and some genealogy friends or fellow society members do a similar project?

And that’s a wrap!

This and That

Scanfest
WOW! Thanks to the great publicity over at facebook’s Genea-Bloggers Group, we had the Best Scanfest Ever. We had three records broken! The first was a total attendance of 20, which means that in all, 20 Scanfesters participated at some point between 11 AM and 2 PM, PDT, but not all at the same time. The second was the highest number of Scanfesters in the chat conversation at once, at 18. The third record was the highest number of first-time Scanfesters in attendance: 11! My only regret was that I did not get as much scanned as anticipated because my hard drive was filling up (I’ve since been working on remedying that problem by deleting unnecessary files and programs). So who were our participants? Besides your humble hostess, we had Colleen, Diana, Diane, Elizabeth, footnoteMaven, George, George, Jasia, Kathryn, Kathryn, Kathy, Laura, Lori, Lorine, Michelle, Randy, Renee, Sheri, and Thomas! Too bad Craig couldn’t make it! Thanks to Diane, Thomas, Randy, Kathy, and George for your announcements or follow-up posts on Scanfest, too.

Online Photo Storage
Speaking of scanning, Lee at the Footnote Blog shares how you can store your photos online for free at Footnote…and do a whole lot more with them, too!

Find A Grave now has 25 million grave records in the non-famous side of their website! Take a look…you might find an ancestor or two.

Facebook
The Facebook craze has hit the genealogy community, thanks to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s Unclaimed Persons project. A side effect of this is a new Facebook group, the Genea-Bloggers, started by Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family. This group is for those who either blog about genealogy, or are fans of genealogy blogs. Genealogy bloggers have been learning more about each other in this terrific social networking community, and thanks to Thomas’ great administrative skills, we’re kept up-to-date on all sorts of blogging and other events, such as carnivals and Scanfest. Thomas recently started the Facebook® Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers blog to help out those genea-bloggers learn how to navigate and use Facebook. I encourage you to join Facebook (a social networking site, similar to MySpace, but a little more “grown up”) and add me as your Friend (contact) by searching for “Miriam Robbins Midkiff.” (Don’t be afraid to challenge me to a round or two of Scramble!) Besides adding genealogy community contacts, I’ve added real-life friends, family members, members of my local genealogical society and acquaintances from church and schools I’ve attended. I also recently searched for and found some cousins I’ve been out of touch with for years.

And if you’re already a member of the Genea-Bloggers Group, stay tuned to the FB for GB blog to hear of an exciting new event coming in August!

An Award

Fellow Washington State genea-blogger Carol Wilkerson of iPentimento honored me with a BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) Award. The rules for passing on the award are:

1. Only five people are allowed to receive this award
2. Four of them must followers of your blog.
3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to who ever gave you the award.

I hereby pass this on to Jasia, footnoteMaven, Apple, Renee, and Diane (the newbie to my blog, who technically doesn’t live that far away – British Columbia – but it is another country, after all!)

Photos of Ancestors’ Ports of Emigration
My primary heritages are Dutch and Frisian, and thus I’ve been a fan of Henk van Kampen’s Trace Your Dutch Roots. Lately, he’s been featuring photographs of Dutch ports. Do you have Mayflower ancestors? Take a look at the Delfshaven pictures. Did your ancestors (Dutch or not) traverse the Atlantic on one of the Holland-American Line ships? See the Wilhelminakade.

North Frisian Resource
The Frisians are an ethnic minority who live in present-day Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, whose language, customs, and ethnicity are more closely related to the English than the Germanic peoples of the countries wherein they reside. I blog often about my Frisian ancestors from the Netherlands, and if you’re a fan of Michael John Neill’s RootDig, you’ll hear about his Ostfrisians (West Frisians from Germany). Recently, Jennifer of Our Future Rooted in Our Past blogged about the North Frisian Emigrant – Archive of the Nordfriisk Institute in Denmark. Thanks for sharing this great resource, Jennifer!

Family Ties
My parents returned home in the wee hours of this morning after a trip back to Michigan to visit my paternal grandmother, who was diagnosed about a year or so ago with Alzheimer’s. As well, they enjoyed visiting the families of their respective brothers and one of Dad’s sisters. I was relieved to hear that Grandma recognized Dad and Mom and that they had an enjoyable time together. My parents have made similar trips in the past to say their last goodbyes to their parents. Grandma is my last biological grandparent, although my mother’s step-mother is still in good health. They also got to see one of the newest members of the family. I know this was a bittersweet time for the folks…a part of the circle of life.

Internet Genealogy
And finally! I received the latest issue of Internet Genealogy magazine today (I think I was the last person on the planet to do so!). One of the many reasons I love this publication is that I see so many familiar names, sites, and blogs mentioned. footnoteMaven’s Shades of the Departed blog was featured in the Net Notes column by Donna Pointkouski. If you’re interested in the photography side of genealogy (and who isn’t?), be sure to read this article, then drop by Maven’s blog.

Donna Potter Phillips of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society has two articles. One is “E.W.G.S. at 75: Thriving’ and Survivin'” and highlights the many ways our terrific society has kept up with the times and has stayed growing and vibrant in an age when we’re seeing a demise of many societies. Her “Cold Case Research: Genealogy Style” reminds me of the Campbell House and Unclaimed Persons projects, and explains how doing family tree research on strangers from history is not only fun, but educational! If you’re stuck or tired of your own family lines, why don’t you and some genealogy friends or fellow society members do a similar project?

And that’s a wrap!

Scanfest Reminder and Tips

Thanks to the social networking on Facebook, as well as word-of-mouth, it looks like this Sunday’s Scanfest could be the biggest yet!

If you are planning to attend Scanfest for the first time, please follow these steps BEFORE Sunday to make your experience go more smoothly, and so that I will not be spending the first hour or so getting everyone set up, and can do some scanning myself!

1. You need to have Windows Live Messenger downloaded to your computer. Mac users, use this link.

2. Windows Live Messenger works best with Hotmail or Gmail accounts. I don’t know why, it just does. I recommend Gmail, because it has such good spam filters.

3. Send me an e-mail (kidmiffATgmailDOTcom) to let me know you’ve gotten all set up with Windows Live Messenger, so I can add you to my list of contacts. Check your e-mail account (the one that you will be using as a sign-in for Windows Live Messenger) to see if I have verified you and invited you to Scanfest.

4. Go to Sally Jacob’s website here to sign up for her free newsletter. It will enable you to download her helpful information called 8 Blunders People Make When They Scan Photographs…and How You Can Avoid Them All. You do not want to be scanning photos as .jpeg files or at 150 dpi (dots per inch)! Sally’s pamphlet will explain all!

5. Take some time to figure out what you want to scan before Sunday. Otherwise, you’ll spend your time sorting and not scanning.

UPDATE: On Sunday, sign in to Windows Live Messenger, and if you’ve done Step 3, you’ll see my icon lit up on your list of contacts. Click on my icon and send me a message. I’ll add you to our group conversation.

We really look forward to meeting all the new Scanfesters, and hope your time will be used well, both in accomplishing some much-needed tasks, and getting to know other family historians! See you Sunday (11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Pacific Daylight Time – you can attend at any time during these three hours).