Monday, April 09, 2012

Our Philip Rutherford, where art thou?

Genealogy and the search for the history of all family lines our tree has branched out to, has been a life-long passion. Lately with all the hype surrounding Genealogy, from recent TV shows like NBC's WDYTYR, Who Do You Think You Are, co-produced by Lisa Kudrow and sponsored by, and the PBS show, Finding Your Roots, with Henry Louis Gates, © 2012 WNET. I am torn between wanting to praise and complain about the increased interest by celebrities who have moved on from designer dogs carried in purses to wanting designer family trees that include important statesmen or distant connections to the Mayflower voyagers.

The increased attention has brought more people to my own family history website, and that is definitely a good thing as the more contacts we have the more we learn, but what the TV shows do not make as clear as they should, is that the discoveries made and documents viewed took many weeks or months to find, by the work of professional genealogists with a specific family search as their paid task, and that more often than not the results have lead only to more questions or nothing at all. There are also quick trips to foreign lands, meetings with just the right contact in just the right place to see specific entries in obscure town registries, that appear to take just a day or two, when this had to take a full staff of people to arrange and the resources of paid sponsorship to pay for this to happen.

Do I sound jealous?  You bet I am. I'm no celebrity that will ever have this opportunity offered to me. I am just one person trying to solve the mysteries of our families and prove one very solid brick wall named Philip Rutherford, who appears in the family tree without known parents or a place or even specific year of birth, that a number of descendants researching for 40+ years have been unable to prove is even a Rutherford. Once we know his history we will have that one elusive link to the Scotland borderlands, and the rich history we know is there.

I watch these shows, hoping to learn one new thing, one new method or hear of a new place to look that will help in my search. Serendipity has a solid place in Genealogy, as all who do this as a passionate hobby or career know, so I watch and hope my one piece of needed information may come from someone else's research, since it hasn't yet come via mine. Because of one show, I was able to find a family connection to Mr. McGraw which was fun, but it just wasn't for the line I most want to prove, so for now that's on my plan, task list for when I can find the time to go back to it.

Ah Philip...where art thou?  


Monday, April 02, 2012

The 1940 Federal Census Has Arrived

What is obvious is that I’ve put off blogging for as long as I could, but today is one of those #Genealogy days that needs to go down in my research logs and be remembered in a special way. Today is the day that they are releasing the 1940 US Federal Census records. So what’s the big deal and why is this special?

What is special is that it is being released on the internet, so will be available to the entire world of genealogists both amateur and professional alike, at the same moment. The only real barriers are the stability of your internet connection and having enough technical knowledge to find and use the actual NARA site it will be hosted on, and/or wading through the hundreds - maybe thousands - of new how-to blogs, videos and articles that have been published to “help” you. I promise not to add to that number here, as I am not an expert and would rather get to my own research rather than try to lead others today.

Do you remember the release of the 1930 census? Neither do I. There’s no doubt that I was just as personally involved in Genealogy back then as I am now, but what has changed is not only the online release, but the hype and broadcast nature of social media now a part of our daily lives.

Have you been watching your Twitter or your #Genealogy RSS feed this past week – month – year? What about Facebook®? How many people are your friends there because you are related but never heard of each other until they asked to “Friend” you? Are you on LinkedIn® and now come up when someone “Googles” your name to find out more about you? Ten years ago, would you have even known what I just said? When and why did Friend and Google become verbs anyway?

All of this has come to a head today; The internet access that’s a utility and must-have in homes now. The Twitter® feed. The Facebook® page. The search engine of choice, (mine is still AltaVista, now absorbed by Yahoo but still better), and of course and Family Tree Maker. I tried to avoid Facebook® and Twitter® for a while – but then decided to stop fighting and joined the social media madness, first because it became part of my day-job, and then because I found real people who were interesting to follow. Since I had to use it every day, I learned how to use social media as a tool rather than see it as an intrusion.

So today the 1940 Census has been released. I am marking this day so I remember it. I’m not sure I’ll be around for the 1950 census release. I hope to be – and maybe that will be my next day to blog.

Now that I’ve actually “blogged” on my blog – do I need to continue this too and write some of what I’ve learned every once in a while, or is this all just so boring that I can stop here? Tweet me your thoughts.!/CMR_Gen

Monday, December 27, 2004

Rutherford Genealogy Open House !

Hello to all who are researching the Rutherford lines!

I have set up this blog to make communications among us easier and to have interesting posts available on what I hope will be a regular basis. It's a way to continue conversations semi-offline from the general posting sites like Rootsweb Lists etc.. It is a place for anyone with a thought to opine and not feel the need to phrase as a query.

This site is for all your thoughts, queries, wishes and stories that you'd like to share with other Rutherford (and associated) family historians. Family stories, especially those that are funny or unusual happenings, would really be a great start to sharing our family line information.

You can also include pictures! See the little icon in the toolbar for uploading images.
Spell check and read what you wrote before posting to prevent some embarrassment, but the only limits I expect are to remain civil, polite and not post anything that might be considered inappropriate about living relatives. (If in doubt, follow the "Golden Rule"...)

If you arrived here from somewhere besides our website, please visit there sometime also: