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Category Archives: General Genealogy

Genealogy makes your computer run slower

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You think it doesn’t?  It can build up after a while! The files are sneaking up on me!

I currently have one client, and I’ve been working on 5 trees (1 for me, 2 for friends, and 2 for the Daughters of the American Revolution).  The DAR and Daughters of the Confederacy registrars have also been using me as a sort of go-to-gal for documents that they’re having trouble finding, or for transcriptions (10 years of reading physician handwriting have paid off).

In the last month, I have downloaded 846 photo files and scanned documents, 76 pdf’s, 22 Word documents (four of them were books of 100+ pages).  When you save a photo or media file to Family Tree Maker, you end up with at least 6 copies of it (the one I saved to my hard drive, the one on the current tree, and the 4 backups I made throughout the month).  I know better on the backups – ultimately, they get stored in an encrypted folder on the cloud drive, with only the most recent on my laptop – but I got really lazy on the original ones that I saved to add to FTM, and hadn’t cleaned out my temp folder this month.

All told, when I cleaned out my genealogy storage this afternoon, and emptied my Recycle Bin, it was 12.6 gig of data.  And I’m not even a full time genealogist.

My computer is not even a year old, so I don’t have any appreciable increase in speed from my monthly cleaning, but anyone with an older computer should take note and clean out your files every once in a while.  I think I will move my schedule up to every two weeks, while I’m in the busy season.


Things I didn’t know: An awesome Erie County, PA source

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I found out this handy thing today, and just had to share…

Do you have family from Erie County, Pennsylvania?  I do.  So here’s a handy source if you do:

The Erie County Public Library has an index of all the folks that have had an obituary in an Erie County newspapers, from 1822 to the present.  Yes, that’s 189 years of names, usually broken up into decade increments.

After you snag the name and date, there’s a handy form that you can email, fax, or mail into the library and the staff there will pull the obituary, copy it, and mail it to you.  The fees are very inexpensive, and you can request up to 10 names at a time.

My first pass through pulled up nine names, so I’ll let you know how much they charged and how fast they are.  I did get an email confirmation of my request within a few hours, so I’m hopeful that its going to be super fast.

If you’re doubting the usefulness of an obituary, let me assure you that one I pulled out of the Times Picayune for one of my NOLA relatives the other day had 36 different individuals named in it, each with their relationship to the deceased clearly stated.   The problem with obituaries is that you usually go to the city, they usually aren’t indexed, and you can sometimes end up paying large fees to pull them…If the local library even has the record!

Enjoy the link!!!Wicked cool library!!!

A little movement…

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If you look up the top of this lovely theme, you’ll see that I’m finally starting to build out this blog a little bit. I’ve added an ‘About’ page and one for my family (the Mullenwegs). Keep your eye on this spot for more updates…I don’t know when. I’m working on several projects at once, so that’s slowing me up, but I plan to have a scan-a-palooza this weekend, and maybe I’ll start to get some of those pictures and artifacts up here.
Do you have any suggestions, comments, or questions? Then email me for goodness sake! 🙂

Yours, CM

What on earth is this???

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Howdy, folks!

Trudy, Charlie and Bill Mullenweg

I had an epiphany in the car this morning: I decided that having a surname blog isn’t enough. I must have a place to vent about my general trials and tribulations as well as my victories in genealogy. A place where I can have side pages for my various surname projects as they come up, and where I can provide protected access (probably via a mixture of jpgs and Google documents) to those that I am doing projects for. This may take some crazy shapes in the next few months, or it may go nowhere, but its worth a try, right?

I am also inadvertently providing my uncle with a one-stop cure for his insomnia, but that’s another story 🙂

Holler if you have any ideas, suggestions or complaints, and lets see how this grows together!

(Photo provided by Cissie, many many moons ago, from her personal collection.  Please contact me before using any photos, thank you.)