PRIVACY TODAY AND YESTERDAY
October 28, 2012
Webinars can become addictive. Some of the best are on the www.LegacyFamilyTree.com site. All the webinars are free and are mostly on Wednesdays about 1:00 p.m. You must sign up to listen to these. Some remain online for about six days if you miss the one on Wednesday. Others stay online indefinitely.
I just finished watching an excellent webinar on Privacy and Our Ancestors by Thomas MacEntee. He gave a comparative study on the privacy we have in today’s electronic times and the amount of privacy our ancestors had. In the live talk, he asked the registered listeners their opinions on who had more privacy. What do you think? In addition, do you think we have less privacy with the internet?
Chances are if your ancestor lived in a small town as many of mine did, they knew just about everything going on with everyone in the community. The conscience of opinion is that our ancestors may not have had as much privacy as we do today. Do you know all your neighbors? I don’t and I have lived here for seven years.
I grew up in Plano. When my friend Adrienne Miller brought her cousin Gene Lynge over to play one long hot summer day, I remember asking him all kinds of questions. I wanted to know him. After all, Plano was a small town and our class was very small. If kids, or adults, did that today, we would be told it is none of our business.
In the webinar, MacEntee also gave many sites for researching particular topics. Some were subscription and others were free sites. For instance, those searching city directories should use Google Books and Genealogy Bank. For obituaries, look at http://obits.rootsweb.ancestry.com or http://sites.google.com/site/onlinenewspapersite/. I found the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, www.eff.org, interesting because it is the first line of defense when we are under attack by the networked world. It also stays on top of the social media changes such as Facebook.
I have mentioned Google Alerts, www.google.com/alerts, and exclaimed how much I like that feature. Type in the name of the person you want Google to search for you and tell them whether you want to be notified every day, and what time, or maybe just on a weekly basis.
Thomas MacEntee has a PDF titled “The (Not Do) Private Lives of Our Ancestors at www.archives.com/experts/macentee-thomas/private-lives-of-our-ancestors.html. It is an interesting read and worth spending a few minutes reading it.
It seems that we have more privacy today, but actually the easy access of records on the internet make records easier to find. I wager that in small towns people still know everyone, where they live and most everything about them.
SAMFORD UNIVERSITY GENEALOGY COURSES: The registration for the weeklong genealogy courses at Samford University Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) in Birmingham, Alabama, opens January 22, 2013 at 10:00 p.m. Central time. At that time, a special link will connect you to the registration. The institute begins at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 and concludes at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, June 14. Once you enter the website, http://www4.samford.edu/schools/ighr/, click on the top link on your left for the courses offered, and http://www4.samford.edu/schools/ighr/IGHR_courses.html. The address for IGHR is, Samford University IGHR, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229. I consider this topmost in genealogical education. I have attended seven IGHR weekly courses.
FAMILY HISTORY INFORMATION STANDARDS ORGANIZATION: An interesting site, whose goal is to establish new standards for sharing family history online, is the Family History Information Standards Organization. It is working to replace GEDCOM with new standards for sharing family history online. This is in its infancy, but worthwhile to examine. Look at their site, www.Fhiso.org. The PDF on the GEDCOM replacement is online at http://fhiso.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Why-FHISO-v01-04.pdf.
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.