Category Archives: Structural Genealogy

Genealogy – it’s not just for people

Clooz 2.0 Is Out

I haven’t been paying attention – one of my favorite genealogy applications, Clooz, has left it’s 2.0 beta testing and has now been formally released. The author refers to it as an “electronic filing cabinet ” for genealogy documents and files, and that’s pretty much an apt description.

The 2.0 series had a complete rewrite – in “.Net”, meaning it requires Windows XP unfortunately. Among the significant updates – new templates, census substitutions (for those times you can’t find somebody in the census, this is a good way to document where they were around then), and map tracking/information/storage, and most importantly, GEDCOM importing.

One thing I thought was pretty cool, they’ve added what is basically a building history area to track buildings and land that were important to your ancestors – I’ve mentioned before that people are starting to get into doing research on places and structures.

Experts to Offer Free Appraisals of Attic Treasures (Pittsburgh)

Bethany Hoffstetter has an article, Experts to offer free appraisals of attic ‘treasures’, in the Pittsburg Tribune-Review, about the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center hosting an interesting event, “Fling or Keep? What to Do with Your Attic Treasures”, this weekened (saturday to be precise). Hopefully it won’t cause people to go out and sell family heirlooms.

With the rising popularity of appraisal shows and interest in genealogy, collecting and researching family history has become the new craze. The history center hopes to provide Pittsburghers with the resources to discover more about the treasures around their homes.

Some of these shows drive me nuts as you’ll see conversations likes this:

Person: “Well my great-great-grandmother bought this when she was 15 – she saved up for six months, and it’s been in the family every since”
Host: “You’ll be glad to know, that this is actually over two hundred years old, and worth $5,000!”
Person: “Where can I sell it?”

For more information: Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center

Most-Wanted Time Capsules

The International Time Capsule Society has listed their most-wanted time capsules. They list nine time capsules that go back to the 1790s (including one involving George Washington as well as one that concerns the MASH TV series) that are missing, and that they hope to recover or at least document.

Time capsules usually are lost due to thievery, secrecy or poor planning. Finding them will enrich posterity by assuring that independent voices are heard in the future. The International Time Capsule Society, which has formed with the mission to record the burial of all time capsules, is still in search of nine time capsules of which little is known.

They request that information concerning the whereabouts of any of the lost capsules be reported to ITCS The society was formed in 1990 at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, where a world record time capsule is located. Its purpose is to maintain a registry of time capsules, study them and provide information on the subject. Paul Hudson is the contact person.

International Time Capsule Society

Clooz Beta, House History, and Genealogy

I see that Clooz 2.0 is undergoing beta testing. Clooz is billed as a “electronic filing cabinet that assists you with search and retrieval of important facts you have found during the ancestor hunt” by its developers, and they’ve certainly added a few interesting things.

Three things about this new version of Clooz caught my eye (and they certainly helped me decide to add this to my collection of genealogy software):

1)Mapping. I think that within a few years, all major genealogy applications should have some kind of mapping features, or at least the ability to interact with the various online mapping resources. While I use now use a Mac most of the time, I have Windows-based genealogy software that I can’t let go of. I was at a “gathering”, if you will, of Mac users, and one was showing me MacFamilyTree ( and specifically they were showing me the map feature. I was very impressed. I’ve talked about this before, and I’ve seen an online demonstration of somebody using Google Maps with their website (they were using The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding) and in addition had the Google Maps thing somewhat integrated with their site – very neat).

2)Business/Business history related records. I think that as people dig up more information, they are going to want to keep more of that information, and Clooz has specific features to track business histories, or employment, and this could be a nice feature if you have a family-owned business.

3)House/Structural genealogy and history. This could also tie into the mapping I mentioned above, as people do like to go and look and see where their ancestors lived.

I’m very interested in mapping software for many reasons:

    * Cemeteries – tracking which one is where
    * Homesteads – where people settle
    * Migrations – how far people moved

It’s one thing to see a list of locations that somebody lived in. It’s quite another to see, on a map, that between 1805 and 1830 they moved from Virginia to Tennessee to Arkansas to Texas. You don’t think about the distances involved and the territory and terain until you see on a map, an approximation of where they lived.

Clooz is shaping up to be pretty cool, and once 2.0 comes out I hope to give a try and do a review. The beta is free and open to anybody right now, and stops functioning around the middle of April.

From: Genealogy Software News

Historic Preservation 101: Tips to Improve the Odds

Great article at the Grand Forks Herald (ND), Historic Preservation 101: Tips to improve the odds, about a topic that doesn’t get covered enough – preserving old buildings. Peg O’Leary, the Grand Forks Historic Preservation Commission coordinator, and Dale Bentley, who is the executive director of Preservation North Dakota, mention some good ideas and information if you want to get involved with preserving an old building that you are interested in.

Excerpt from the article:

“There is no other building that people have more connections to than a church,” Bentley said. “It connects people to the land, the traditions, the place where they celebrated births, baptisms, weddings, anniversaries and funerals. It holds the genealogy, often displayed on their walls.

They mention checking with the National Register of Historic Places, and if you are curious about what the National Register is, you can check with Wikipedia.