Monthly Archives: November 2005

Firefox 1.5 and Scrapbook

If you are tired of your current web browser, or you tend to have a lot of websites open at once, you might want to try out the new Firefox 1.5 browser (for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux). Version 1.5 was officialy released yesterday. If you haven’t used tabbed browsing, it’ll change the way you browse the web – imagine having all of the websites you have open listed as tabs across the top of your window, rather than a bunch of windows, and being able to easily navigate between them using either keyboard or mouse. It also has a built-in search function, pop-up blocking, quick load-times, and drag-and-drop tab reordering (yes, you can move the tabs around on the tab-bar).

This explains tabbed browsing.
This integrated searching.
And this live search.

While your at it, you might want to install one extension that has been mentioned on a few genealogy sites – Scrapbook:

ScrapBook is a Firefox extension, which helps you to save Web pages and easily manage collections. Key features are lightness, speed, accuracy and multi-language support. Major features are: Save Web page; Save snippet of Web page; Save Web site; Organize the collection in the same way as Bookmarks tree; Full text search and quick filtering search of the collection; Editing of the collected Web page; Text/HTML edit feature resembling Opera’s Notes.

I know I’ve saved a lot of information off of the internet, and this is a much more elegant way of doing so.

I should mention that I haven’t come across any genealogy sites that don’t work with Firefox – all work as good or better than Internet Explorer for Windows (and/or Safari on Mac OS X). Firefox has come a long way, and the next major version of Internet Explorer (sometime later next year, and possibly only for Windows XP/Vista) is going to add some of Firefox’s features – that tells you how advanced Firefox is.

86-Year Old Computer-Using Genealogist

The News Journal (, has a pretty interesting article, The Grandparent, about an 86-year-old Grandma who likes to use computers (which is an understatement):

Nora Taylor is pretty computer-literate for a grandma. She’s on her fifth or sixth computer, and few 86-year-olds keep back copies of Wired magazine in their living rooms.

Though she likes to read about the cutting edge, Taylor doesn’t spend money for the latest gadget. Her 7-year-old Compaq computer runs Windows 98, and she uses a $10-a-month dial-up connection service called BlueLight to connect to the Web.

She uses the Web to stay in touch with family members in Florida and Arizona, to run genealogy software programs….

I’m hoping to be doing the same when I’m 86, and I expect I will be, as will many of you – now that home computers have been around for 20 years or so, I expect more and more older folks will be using them, and not just for genealogy or emailing the grandkids. I’m sure somebody that tracks trends on the internet will start seeing more and more 65-year-olds and on up using the internet.

Scrapbooking is popular way to preserve family history

Jean McClelland has written an article in the Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, West Virginia), Scrapbooking is popular way to preserve family history, about combining two very popular hobbies: genealogy and scrapbooking.


Once she took up the hobby, she wanted to document her father’s life. Her father, Kermit Rice, shared stories of his childhood, the lives of his parents and their parents.

Before she knew it, she was compiling a living memory of her father’s family. Now, she is combining genealogical records with the scrapbooking.

“I made a connection between genealogy and visual representation,” she said.

I’ve known more than one genealogist who was using major aspects of scrapbooking when putting together a presentation for a family reunion.

Genealogist tries to solve Eagle head mystery

There is a rather unique article in the Morning Sentinel (, Genealogist tries to solve Eagle head mystery, by Colin Hickey, about the head of the Maine Genealogical Society’s Taconnett Falls Chapter helping a man track down an artist from over a century ago. The hope is to build a biography of the artist, as well as the intended home of a carved eagle’s head (which originally kicked off the mystery).

Excerpts from the article:

WINSLOW — Call it the mystery of the Eagle head.

Thelma Brooks, who heads the Taconnett Falls Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society, said the mystery started with a phone query from a Florida man.

James H. Heyer of Clearwater, Fla. had purchased a wooden Eagle head, apparently carved by Fred Eaton Southard, who was born in Winslow in 1861, according to Heyer’s research….

Now Heyer wants to find the Winslow home that Southard did the commission work for more than a century ago. He also wants to get any information about Southard’s life as an artisan.

Old Cemeteries – Finding and Maintaining them

The Repository, Canton Ohio, has an article by Eddie Pritchard about efforts being made to track down and clean up Stark County’s cemeteries, as well as establishing contacts for each one. If you are from that area and want to help, you may want to read the article and get in touch with some of those mentioned.

Excerpt from the article:

Cemeteries are of great interest to people for whom genealogy is a hobby. They use cemetery records to find great-grandparents and long-lost aunts and uncles.

Questions from people searching for ancestors convinced employees of the Genealogy Services Department at the Stark County Public Library to start tracking down some of the area’s out-of-the-way cemeteries.

Debbie Pfendler hoped to find a contact person for each cemetery. But many folks ask for directions to cemeteries, so she decided to spend Sunday afternoons tracking down the locations. It didn’t take long for Lauren Landis, the department’s manager, and Marianne Marcussen to join on the searches.

“A lot of this is detective work,” Marcussen said of the cemetery searches.

“It’s like putting a puzzle together,” Pfendler said.