An App App Here, and an App App There

   Posted by: HystoryByts   in Genealogy

Apps are everywhere these days! Not just apps as we’ve been using them, on smart phone and tablets, but Windows 8 calls programs “apps” now! Where apps originally started as being small programs, designed for use on mobile devices, it looks like Windows is now starting to segue the term from that small program into a larger one!

And aren’t we getting just loads of useful apps for use on our mobile devices? Evernote and Ancestry and other commonly used apps are showing up more and more on those convenient hand-held devices. What will they think of next?

Oh – “they” already have. Viruses. Rootkits. All the nasty things we’ve been warned about for years on our desktop and laptop computers are now available to us on our hand held devices. Do you have any form of protection on your cell phone? What about your tablet? Do you think about what information you are sending when you use a public wi-fi spot? You should be aware of all of these things and more.

Research shows that not only are anti-virus protections out there, but other items that our digital reliance demands we think about: data backups, remote wipe if the cell is lost, and general anti-theft measures. No operating system is completely safe!

The majority of malware for Android and IOS focuses on stealing your personal information: address, passwords, etc. But some malware takes over your cell phone and sends hundreds of text messages which you have to pay for! Your cell phone has become your wallet, your date book, your electronic lifeline. You wouldn’t leave your bank account open to everyone, so don’t take those kinds of chances with your phone!

Here are some security and antivirus programs for you to consider. You’ll want to find one which matches your style and protection requirements. And yes, many of these should be familiar to you from your desktop system.

Lookout Security
Norton Security
Trend Micro

The BEST place to find these programs will be on Google Play for Android, and the Apple app store.


Hack Genealogy: A New Genealogy and Technology Resource

   Posted by: HystoryByts   in Genealogy

I have to admit I am very excited about this information! It’s right up my alley and I hope it does well. The following is a press release by Thomas MacEntee:

Repurposing today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy

17 July 2013 – Chicago, IL. Genealogy educator and author Thomas MacEntee announces the debut of Hack Genealogy, a new resource for the genealogy industry and the growing community of genealogy and family history enthusiasts.

Hack Genealogy is about “repurposing today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy” and a little bit more. Hack Genealogy is more than just a list of resources: It provides information on emerging technology inside and outside the genealogy industry.

Hack Genealogy is not merely about surviving the overwhelming presence of new and emerging technologies . . . Hack Genealogy is about genealogy and technology success in its many facets.

What Will You Find at Hack Genealogy?

Here are the features to be offered at Hack Genealogy over the coming months:

  • Cool GenStuff: Each day we’ll provide a curated list of the latest information about genealogy that deserve your attention.
  • Discussions and Issues: We’ll discuss issues important to the genealogy community including education, self-publishing, sharing research and more.
  • Education and E-Guides: Through the use of webinars, e-guides, Google+ hangouts and other innovative educational technologies, Hack Genealogy seeks to educate genealogists on the latest technologies.
  • GenBiz Buzz: Learn how others have succeeded with their genealogy and family history-related business and the tools they used to succeed.
  • Interviews: We’ll ask a variety of players in the genealogy landscape this question: How Do You Hack Genealogy? to learn more about how technology is being repurposed to expand the family history experience.
  • Product Reviews: Reviews of the latest products and services including software, mobile apps and more.
  • Resources: A listing of the best tools for every aspect of genealogy from research to sharing photos to writing and publishing your family history.

How Hack Genealogy Got Started

Hack Genealogy takes its inspiration from the Technology and Genealogy group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/techgen/) started by Susan Petersen in late 2012. As an administrator of the group, Thomas MacEntee – creator of GeneaBloggers and High-Definition Genealogy – realized that the questions asked by group members and the great content shared was reaching only the Facebook audience. Hack Genealogy is a way to get more genealogists and family historians to discuss the use of technology in a non-threatening, easy-to-understand environment.

We hope you’ll travel along with us on this journey of discovery in the genealogy and technology fields.

About Hack Genealogy

Hack Genealogy (http://hackgenealogy.com) is a technology resource for the genealogy community with a focus on “repurposing today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas MacEntee is the driving force between Hack Genealogy whose goal is to provide information on emerging technology inside and outside the genealogy industry.

Follow Hack Genealogy on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/HackGenealogy), Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/hackgenealogy) and at http://hackgenealogy.com.

About Thomas MacEntee

Thomas MacEntee is a genealogy professional specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogy research and as a way to connect with others in the family history community. When he’s not busy writing blog posts, organizing the 3,000+ members of GeneaBloggers, teaching online genealogy webinars and more, Thomas MacEntee is busy in his role as “genealogy ninja.” Stealth is not easy, but he manages to get the inside track on emerging technologies and vendors as they relate to the genealogy industry. After being laid off from a 25-year career in the tech industry in 2008, Thomas has been able to “repurpose” his skill set for the genealogy community and loves to see other genealogists succeed, whether it is with their own research or building their own careers in the field.


Rowan County,North Carolina Resources

   Posted by: HystoryByts   in Genealogy, History, Research, Vital Records

I’ve spent a lot of time researching in Rowan County. I’ve found people there to generally be friendly, patient, and willing to help. Much of my research has focused on a specific line, and how that line moved from Maryland around 1776, into Rowan County, by 1800. There are a number of fabulous resources online, and I thought I’d make a list from my collection.

So here goes:


Double Dating, Genealogy Style

   Posted by: HystoryByts   in Education, Events, Genealogy, History, Research

Genealogists who research far enough back – and it’s not really that far in genealogical terms – will have to learn about the Julian and Gregorian calendars, and how each one affects dates that we recognize today.

“New Years Day” has not always been celebrated on the first of January. Calendars were developed to make sense of the natural cycles of time: days and years are derived from the solar cycle, while months come from the lunar cycle. There are many calendars, as it took some experimentation before we finally settled on the current system of leap years. For our purposes, we’re only concerned with the Julian and Gregorian calendars.

The Julian calendar resulted from Julius Caesar’s changes to conform more closely to the seasons within a year. Started in 45 BC, the Julian calendar held March 25th as the first day of the year, and every year was 365 days and 6 hours long. Pope Gregory XIII determined in 1582 the gradual problem that had developed when using the Julian calendar: over time the calendar was 10 days off the natural solar cycle. So Pope Gregory XIII created the Gregorian calendar, which is the one we use today. To compensate for the days which were out of sync, the Gregorian calendar dropped 10 days from October in 1582. The Pope also had everyone jump ahead by 10 days to make up for the lost days due to the earlier erroneous calendar.

Because of the calendar change in 1752 the calendar changed to a January 1st new year, and accommodations had to be made in the way dates were written to avoid confusion. Dates were designated O.S. (old style) and N.S. (new style). Such dates are usually identified by a slash mark [/] breaking the “Old Style” and “New Style” year, for example, March 19, 1631/2. Occasionally, writers would express the double date with a hyphen, for example, March 19, 1631-32. In general, double dating was more common in civil than church and ecclesiastical records.

Although current genealogical standards have us retain Old Style dates in transcriptions, historians and genealogists need to be aware that some people living at the time converted the date of an event, such as a birthday, from Old Style to New Style. George Washington, for example, was born on February 11, 1731 under the Julian Calendar, but changed the date to February 22, 1732 to reflect the Gregorian Calendar.

There are many pages online with more in depth explanations of the Julian and Gregorian Calendars. Simply search on Julian and Gregorian Calendars, or genealogy double dating.

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I am my own cousin

   Posted by: HystoryByts   in Education, Genealogy, History, Research

No, it’s not some sort of kinky inbreeding – at least, not deliberately. We don’t think!

Pedigree collapse happens when there are shared ancestors in a pedigree. In some locations, cousins would marry as there were not many people to choose from. The days when families had 8 or 10 or more children meant that lots of the Jones family was available to marry the Smith family, and if the Brown family had plenty, that was all you needed! Bobby Jones married Susan Smith, and Bobby’s brother John Johns married Susan’s sister Sally. Parallel families who eventually re-intermarried cause some pedigrees to show the same ancestors two, three or more times.

You end up being descended from the same person or parents multiple times. Royal families do it all the time, and it turns out that “commoners” do it as well. Some people find it outrageous, while others are fascinated.

Isn’t genealogy fun?

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