Everyone in the Geneablogging community is all abuzz
about Google+ these days and how it compares to Twitter and Facebook. As Banai
says in her post Google+ vs
Facebook vs Twitter - 10 Things: “People are flocking to Google+.” Several
bloggers have written about the similarities and differences between the 3 and I
have included their posts below, with highlights and my thoughts about them.
Please feel free to weigh in and if you’ve tried Google+ let us know what your
experience has been like thus far.
# 3 Better Mobile App - Integration with Android Phones -
I forgot that Google runs the Android system. So of course it will be a
superior product. I can't wait to try this!
# 5: Can you get your data back: This was a huge concern
for me, especially around sharing genealogy information with cousins or other
researchers. The new FB group features makes this easier because you can now
get notifications via email which I can save. But prior to that, this was not
an option and things posted were lost in the feed down below. Well this was not
really the point about Google+; the point was that you can walk away from it
and take your information with you.
# 6: Better photo tagging - Google+ displays a warning to
you that the person you are tagging will be notified that they are being
tagged. Facebook does not do this, allowing for the possibility of unflattering
photos to be posted without knowledge or consent.
#7: ad hoc group VIDEO chats using the Hangouts feature
and the group text feature called Huddle on the Android sound really cool! I
can't wait to try them!
So…thoughts from some actual geneablogging users…
Tamura Jones' post Double-Plus Good, from June
10, 2011, emphasizes that Google+ will become a non-desktop Cloud environment where
everything can be controlled by Google services without leaving Google.
So far you may have noticed that Google Photos has taken
over Picasa Web Albums and Google Blogger has taken over Blogger. Has your Blog
URL switched over to the new Google one yet? Tamura also comments that he
wouldn't be surprised if the commenting function on blogs is replaced with the
one in Google+.
Google+ has “Hangouts” which is an ad-hoc video group
Everyone in the geneablogging community has been
wondering what the Google +1 is. We’ve had it sitting at the bottom of our blog
posts for months now, not really sure what its purpose was. Well it was a kind
of like a “see how this feels” button and precursor to Google+’s Facebook “Like”
With regard to Google+ circles versus Facebook friends
lists, Banai says that Facebook friends lists have been around for a while, but
they are difficult to find and maintain.
I agree. I have
friends lists in Facebook as well, but I don't use them to be selective about
who I sent posts to. I use them to be selective about who I READ posts from.
And yes, Banai is
right, you used to be able to see what list your friends were in in FB, but now
you can't do that anymore. It's difficult to do now.
Banai tried the Hangout and thought it was totally cool.
Google's help page, you should be able to start a hangout by clicking on the
"Start a Hangout" link on the left of your stream, however I do not
see mention of this anywhere on my stream or profile. They also provide a link
to click on, however that sent me to a page that said the information requested
could not be found.
Update - I found the hangout link on the RIGHT side of my stream page. I will try this at home tonight when I have my camera hooked up. Is anyone game?
Banai goes on to say that one big difference between
Facebook and Google+ is that there are no walls in Google+. You interact with
your friends by leaving comments on each others' posts. Another thing that
makes Google+ superior over Facebook is that you can edit your posts which you
cannot do in Facebook.
Another difference has to do with how your friends are
organized and how you interact with them which is a combination of Facebook and
Twitter. With Google+, you can add someone to your circle and not be in theirs
and vice versa. If someone has you in their circle, their posts will show up in
By the way, did you know that TwitPic changed their terms
of service recently and now they are claiming ownership of all your pictures?
Thanks Banai for
reminding us of this!
Randy Seaver talks about his experience on his blog, Genea-Musings
and has a fun little graphic about Google+. He also notes that there is not a
character limit on posts and there seems to be a lot more genealogy content!
Lorine McGinnis Schulze talks about her experience in her
on the Google+ Bandwagon where she has some tips for all the Google+
newbies to make the transition smoother, including to fill out your profile
completely and with a photo of yourself, and how to add your blog posts updates
to Google Buzz, and how to see your Google+ notifications right from your gMail
If you have any
tips and tricks to share or thoughts on your experience, feel free to share
them in the comments below.
My biggest fear
with Google+ is that things won't work the way they say they will, the features
won't be as powerful as they claim, and there will not be enough, if any at
all, support documentation and available technical support staff to contact.
But I am certainly willing to give it a try.
This photo was copied from
York Computer Help Blog, 11 July 2011. I chose this photo because it has a hockey circle. And yes, I have one hockey friend so far in Google+. And the crazy circle...well if you are friends with Greta, then you are already part of her Crazy house (see her elevator speech).
last week’s Follow-up
Friday post, I mentioned that I ordered 5 death certificates from the State
of Arkansas Department of Health Vital Records Section in Little Rock. I received the first 2 of those death
certificates in the mail this week. I scanned, transcribed them, and entered
them into my notes and as new sources in my RootsMagic database.
received the death certificate of my 2nd great-grandfather, William
Edward Peters from Pocahontas, AR. He died in 1948. Unfortunately it did not
list his parents’ names, however it did list his date of birth as March 10,
1874 and place of birth has Thomasville, Missouri. This information correlated
with his obituary; however, most of his census records said he was born in
Illinois. Click here to view his death certificate.
Follow up: I feel more
comfortable going back and combing the census files again for Peters families
in Thomasville (also Moore Township), Oregon County, Missouri now.
also received the death certificate of my 2nd great-grandfather,
James Franklin Lasiter from Fort Smith, AR. He died in 1968 at the age of 92. I
found a photo in my grandmother’s collection of him and someone called “John
Riley Lasiter,” presumably his father. The death certificate stated his
father’s name was John R. Lasiter and his mother’s name was Emily Jones. His
mother’s name was new information to me.
Follow up: I can now start
looking for records for Emily Jones Lasiter and John Riley Lasiter including
census records, death records, and marriage records.
Richard Smith’s Confederate Service Records:
also mentioned in last week’s Follow-up
Friday post, I located the Confederate service records of my ancestor,
Richard Smith. I posted the muster roll
cards to my Smith and Fox family Blog here.
And I set some new goals and things to follow
up on for next time, including to continue looking for his original
enlistment muster roll and to see if I can find the Confederate records of
Richard’s brothers John and Claiborn Smith who supposedly joined at the same
time as Richard.
of my Family Finder matches indicated that we might have a connection via the
Fox family in Indiana. My Fox family is concentrated in Arkansas and Oklahoma,
however, for some reason, my 3rd Great-Grandfather, John A. Fox,
moved to Indianapolis after his wife, Sophronia Maynard died in 1917. I guess
his son Dillard Fox lived up there, so he went up there to be with him.
Anyways, he was only there for 3 years before he died in Indianapolis. My
grandfather had given me a copy of John’s death certificate, which is how we
were able to locate him in Indiana.
So I went into my RootsMagic
database and “touched” it up a bit by adding my sources and updating my notes
in both John and his son Fred Fox’s files. Fred Fox was my 2nd
great-grandfather. I did things a little bit differently this time: I added the
notes about each source to the individual notes section for each fact. Normally
I just add everything to the main notes section under the name fact. I then
added my commentary on the source.
I also updated my sources to
Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained
standards. Boy was that complicated! I encountered several problems with doing
this, one of which was that Rootsmagic has several template options to choose
from which may or may not follow EE.
As it turned out, my match
mentioned Parke, Vigo, and Putnam counties, Indiana and I immediately knew right
off the bat that it was NOT the Fox family that we connected on. This location
would be my Godwin family that moved from North Carolina to Putnam County,
Indiana in 1828. This is the first connection I’ve made with someone on my
Mother’s side of the family!
Follow up: I am still waiting to hear back from him to see
if he recognized any of the surname I sent to him.
Update ** October 5th, 2011 ** I have heard back from this Family Finder match and he said that he did not recognize any of the Godwin collateral line surnames that I sent to him from Parke, Vigo, Putnam and Clay Counties, Indiana, so we are back to square one!
This week I sent off for five death certificates – my 2nd great-grandfathers, James Franklin Lasiter and William Edward Peters, my great-grandparents, Reba Fox Smith and Claude Rual Smith, Jr, and Melvina West Fox, my 2nd great-grandmother.
I was prompted to order the death certificate of William Peters because he was the connection I had to the first person I matched to and talked to via my ftDNA Family Finder DNA results!! I was somewhat embarrassed that I couldn’t provide more information on my Peters line to my match who believed we were close cousins through our Peters line. And even more embarrassed when I realized I had never ordered William’s death certificate which can oftentimes provide you with the names of your ancestor’s parents. There has been a lot of discrepancy about William Peter’s place of birth as well, so even if his death certificate does not provide me with his parents’ names, I am hoping to get a place of birth at least.
James Franklin Lasiter is one of those so-called “elusive” ancestors. You know, one of those that you know existed but you just can’t seem to find him on those certain records you expect to find him on. I have a photo of him and someone I believe to be his father, John Riley Lasiter, according to the information written on the photo, and I would like to see if the names of the parents are listed on his death certificate and if so, if they match up with what the photograph says.
Back in 2009 I wrote a post challenging myself to see if had copies of the obituaries and death certificates of all 8 of my great-grandparents. Since Claude and Reba Smith were the last of them to pass away, I just never thought to obtain them. And actually I figured my Grandfather had copies of their death certificates already. Since I’m already sending off requests for these other death certificates, I might as well toss two more into the mix…
I was prompted to order the death certificate of my 2nd great-grandmother Melvina Fox from my Family Finder test as well. I matched to a close cousin on my West and Criscillus lines. Melvina Fox was the daughter of Calvin West and Elizabeth Jane Roberts. My match is a descendant of Calvin’s sister, Serepta West. We compared family trees and they were identical. We compared brick walls and they were identical. I did learn that our West family descends from one Robert West b. 1612 in England thanks to her cousin who submitted to a Y-DNA test.
Richard Smith’s Confederate Service Records:
I finally located my ancestor, Richard Smith’s Confederate Service Records on Footnote.com. I have a copy of his pension records and notes from my Grandfather that mentioned Richard’s Confederate service prior to his service in the Union Army. I had trouble locating his records at first because all I knew was that it was Clarkson’s Battalion, Ark and Mo., however when I looked up the records in Footnote, the collection titles went by State first and then by Regiment number. Not having a regiment number threw me off. I finally found one collection title called “Confederate Soldiers – CSA” and that was the correct one. My persistence paid off.
Of course my grandfather’s notes also said that Richard Smith’s Confederate Enlistment papers listed his parents as David and Sarah Smith. I can’t find a copy of his enlistment papers in any of my files. Does anyone know how to order Civil War enlistment files? And is it common for them to list the soldiers’ parents’ names?
Contact Me: Ginger R. Smith I am an avid genealogist and librarian living in Durham, NC. I do extensive research at the North Carolina State Archives for my Brooks and Godwin families. If you would like assistance locating records at the Archives, please feel free to email me. This blog highlights my research and DNA testing updates. Please check out my Surname Page to see if we have any relatives in common!