CELL PHONE IDEAL FOR GENEALOGISTS
July 29, 2012
In a recent article, I wrote about all the useful ways I am using for my genealogical pursuit. I want to thank the readers who contacted me to report other uses. I mentioned that I was using the cell phone for pictures, but did not explain other uses as well as how to get those pictures onto your PC.
These are a few tips we all can use concerning the handy cell phone. Use your cell phone camera to take pictures of photos but place it on a black background and with a piece of paper with their names and snap the picture. Photograph letters and newspaper clippings with the phone camera and use the free Picasa tools to sharpen the lettering. In Picasa, type the names, year taken if known, and other information and drag it to a place on the picture/clipping that does not cover the faces. If you need to show a longer version, all you have to do is make the sentence into paragraphs by typing enter to make it fit the narrow space.
Take pictures of book pages while in the archives or library, archives or courthouse rather than standing in line to use the photocopier and paying for the copies. I photographed the sheets in a church session book and then I photographed the front of the book with the church name and date. I also photographed the sign-in sheet at church for a committee chair and immediately emailed the photograph to her email address.
Transfer the pictures from the mobile phone to your desktop computer simply and easily using a photo transfer app. Some of the apps are so simple a monkey could do it. I bought that kind of course.
For more tips, visit the articles on Picasa tutorials at http://picasatutorials.com/all-articles/.
QR MARKER FOR TOMBSTONES: The LifeMarker.com Company makes it possible to place a QR code on a tombstone that links to a webpage with the family information and photographs. The idea is that future generations have access to this information by simple scanning the code that is on the stone. Since LifeMarker maintains the website, who also replaces lost or damaged QR chips, this gadget is for those with a stuffed wallet. Their site is at http://www.lifemarker.com/.
RESEARCHING STONE COMPANIES: McKinney and Fort Worth had McKinney Marble Works owned by W. A. Wolcott & Brother in the latter 1800s and early 1900s and Sherman had Quesenberry & Hilge. Historians have found a few stones in Collin County marked with the name of the McKinney company and one headstone in the Burns City cemetery marked with the Sherman company’s name. Finding the location of these companies’ records has the potential of having family history information. Have you checked at the bottom of your ancestors’ stones for the company’s name? I had to remove about seven inches of dirt below the inscription to find it. Unfortunately, I have not found the records of Quesenberry & Hilge. Ted Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org, of the Collin County Historic Group may know something about existing records for the McKinney Marble Works. Do not forget to look for these markings. Some of the companies advertised in newspapers. If anyone knows the location of the Quesenberry & Hilge records for 1877, please contact me.
MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR OF 1846: Is there a lineage society or group marking the graves of men who fought in the Mexican American War of 1846 in the area? If you know of such a group please contact me.
SPANISH AMERICAN WAR, 1898: Company C, Fourth Texas Volunteer Infantry was organized in McKinney and the commander was Captain James F. Rhea of McKinney. John Greer found this information when he was searching his great uncle Judson Wilbanks’ family history. Wilbanks worked in the circulation department of the McKinney Daily and Weekly Gazette. His obituary says he was “accidently killed in Oklahoma from a gunshot wound.”
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.