Back again

I know it’s been horrendously long since I posted here, but you know how stuff comes up. Plus, WordPress updated their software recently and at first I swore I could not use it in a million years. Slow–worse than the previous version, which was deadly slow too!–looks awful on both browsers, has Flash player problems…It was a horror. But, when I logged in today to give it one…more…try…it didn’t look so bad. The Flash seems to be working okay again, at least I think so, and yes it’s slow but bearable. I have also resolved the page appearance difficulties; the new movable “boxes” had to be slowly and painfully dragged to other areas of the page, but thankfully now that they’re there they don’t move back. So, I think I can live with the new software. If not, I have a back-up option at Blogger.

I also plan to self-host this blog soon, which means you will all have to update your links (will post the new site address here once I have one). However, it won’t be right away because the free webhosting service I usually use is having issues. Long, annoying story. They said it would be resolved in January but now they admit they just don’t know when.

At this rate I probably don’t have a great deal of readers here, but for those of you who are reading, I do apologize for the long absence. I will try, try, try to post more regularly here! Thank you all for taking the time to follow this blog!

It’s only February, but I’m already starting to think now and then about the upcoming Heritage Festival, which is in three months, though it seems like only a short while ago I was posting about the 2008 event here on the blog. This year, I’ll try to get more involved in the festival. Visit more places; take more photos. I also still have plans for a trip to Harrisburg. And this spring I may be buying a new computer, so any other difficulties I may have with WordPress will hopefully be taken care of then.

I updated the genealogy database recently; the data is basically the same but the “bug” in the genealogy software has been fixed, so except for some formatting glitches it should look fairly normal now. Later, too, I’m thinking I might add a few more pages to this blog with historical information about some of the families I’m researching. Stay tuned!

Endnote woes, research & BFF

I spent last night and most of this morning working with the OpenOffice word processor, trying to achieve what I thought was kind of a simple task: Place endnotes at the end of a chapter, with a page break.

Source citation is going to be a key element of my book, as most historical works written around here at any time, recent and distant, have had little or no sourcing (highly annoying!), and I think it’s about time someone did it right. So, I will need frequent endnotes (I think they are easier to manage than footnotes, since they don’t get in the way of those readers who aren’t looking for sources, and they are compiled in easy-to-find groups).

Well, I first thought of having several separate documents, one for each chapter, so that when the endnotes were placed at the end of a document, it would actually be at the end of a chapter. Conveniently, endnotes were given an automatic page break this way.

Then I discovered the master document system. This way, I could link all of these separate documents to one, large master document. I figured that this would have the same result as unlinked documents, only it would be more convenient as I would be able to treat them as a single document. This meant that I could also add an automatic index for the entire document. Sounds perfect, right?

Now, for some reason, it turned out that endnotes in a master document were placed at the end of the master document–not at the end of the subdocument, i.e., chapter. So, even though the endnotes were added in the subdocument, they did not take effect within the subdocument, they just got added to the end of the entire thing, the exact thing I wanted to avoid which is why I started using the master document system.

This morning, I discovered that if you go to the Sections area under Format (which, in a master document, will list the subdocuments just like the Navigator does), you can tell it to gather the endnotes at the end of a section (subdocument). Now this seemed as if it would solve my problem, but it turned out that the endnotes were gathered directly under the text–no page break!

I’ve been sitting here for hours trying to figure out how to give it an automatic page break. You can do it manually by directing the amount of space between text and endnote (in inches, you can’t just tell it “start on new page”), but then this will have to be done separately for each chapter, and I figured if they’re going to give me this complicated system which is supposed to save me time by doing things automatically, there ought to be a way to do this very, very simple automatic process. No? Maybe I’m just picky, but the master document system seems to be messing up the very things it was designed for. It’s supposed to give you individual control over individual documents, but allow you to compile them and treat them as one. Right?

Well, anyway. This morning I also finally remembered to call the Trinity Episcopal Church. (I need a planner! I’m forgetting things already, two weeks in a row!) I asked if they had any old records, and they told me they’d need to talk to some other people about it, and perhaps I could meet them at the church in a couple of days. I said I could, and we arranged a date and time. So this week I am headed off on another research trip. I hope they have something there!

Also, many thanks to Ruth of Bluebonnet Country Genealogy for the BFF (Blogging Friends Forever) award! I am honored, and happy to hear you’ve enjoyed my blog as much as I’ve enjoyed reading yours!

Unfortunately, although I’d love to, I can’t really accept the award yet as the rules are you must pass it on to another blogger, and I’m afraid I don’t know of any other genealogy bloggers who are regular readers of this site, except for Ruth herself. So, I suppose I’ll have to hang onto the award for a while until a few more readers come along! But, thanks again, Ruth!

New header image, with logo

I now have a new header image–with logo! I had to go somewhere and download a whole new font, but I think it turned out pretty well. A little bit unbalanced; would have liked to have less empty space toward the left of the photo or more of it on the right, but that’s the way the image was originally, so I couldn’t do anything about it. Nevertheless, it’s quite an improvement.

We have also hit over 1,000 pageviews on the blog tonight. However, the fact is 30 or so of those views were actually me back when I first set up this blog, viewing the site while not logged in and not thinking about the impact on stats. Still, it’s a milestone, although I’m saving the jubilant post titles for when we get to about 1,030. 🙂

For another small but meaningful milestone tonight, this is my 50th post. Finally, I’m actually keeping a website and working diligently on it!

Carnival of Genealogy, Look-ups and other news

I’d like to inform readers and genealogists of the Northumberland County area that I am now offering look-ups of genealogical materials at my local library (small fee). Please see the Look-ups page of this site for details.

Also, the next Carnival of Genealogy is August 1, and I am planning to write a blog article for this event. Carnival of Genealogy is a semi-monthly program where various genealogy-related blog articles are presented at a single site. You can read the most recent issue of Carnival of Genealogy and learn more about the next one at 100 Years in America, where it was last hosted.

I am sorry to report that the webhost for the photo gallery is not working right today. The gallery is still online but may load like the proverbial January molasses, so if you’re a member or planning to register as one, hang in there. I’m not sure when it will be working properly again, but it shouldn’t take long.

Categorizing…finally…finished…

I think I am finally done with the re-categorizing of this blog. Phew! That was exhausting! 🙂 WordPress is so slow and everything must be tagged and categorized by hand, one by one. But now, I think I have got it.

The tags handle specific individuals and families, while categories take over the broader subjects. For space, I have placed the categories in a cloud format. Too bad tags can’t be put into a list format, as categories can. That would be truly ideal…

A little clarification regarding the Photography and Images categories: Generally, the Photography category will refer to the larger subject of photos, such as studios, searching for portraits or photos, analyzing them, or just talking about them–while the Images category will typically refer to posts containing, or linking to images.

The Union League

Recently I got to thinking that it was about time for me to start looking into the society and fraternal organizations connected with my research. There ought to be some records there, no? Documents, photos? (Ah, yes, the eternal quest for documents and photos!)

So I went over the long, long list of organizations that M.H. Kulp, the foremost individual in my research, belonged to. As listed in Floyd’s biography of him:

…the Elks, the Eagles, the Red Men and the Masons, in the latter
associating with Shamokin Lodge, No. 255, F. & A.M.; Shamokin Chapter, No. 264, R.A.M.; Shamokin Commandery No. 77, K.T.; Philadelphia Consistory, thirty-second degree; and Rajah Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. He was one of the organizers of the Cresco Club of Shamokin, was a member of the Rosa Club [think they are referring to the Ross Club] of Williamsport, of the Manufacturers Club of Philadelphia, and Union League of Philadelphia.

Where to start?? Well, I began by consulting my local telephone directory to see if any of these Mason or Elk chapters are still around. Apparently not. The closest Elk lodge is in Mt. Carmel and the closest Masons are in Sunbury and Danville (!).

I thought about contacting the Mt. Carmel Elks anyway to see if they knew anything; according to another of Floyd’s biographies, MHK’s brother Gilbert was once an exalted ruler of some Elk chapter or other, so it seemed as if the Elks were a good place to start. However, I also thought I had better look into the Philadelphia organizations, as that’s a major city and their organizations might be more long-standing.

Sure enough, the Union League of Philadelphia is very long-standing. Their website explains that the League was founded in 1862 as a society supporting the policies of Abraham Lincoln. They have been around ever since and appear to be highly classy, to say the least! 🙂

The site said that those looking for further information on the League’s history should contact the director of the library and historical collections, which is what I did. I explained in my email that I was writing a biography of a legislator from Shamokin, Pennsylvania, who became a member of the League between 1894 and ’99. However, I received an automatic reply explaining that the director is currently away from his office, and for immediate service I should contact the librarian. I then forwarded my message to there, and this morning received a message from the librarian saying she was going to forward the message to the archivist…well, after that, I received a very quick reply from the said archivist, who seemed eager to assist. I explained to her exactly what I was looking for, and am currently awaiting a response. Hopefully, this may turn up something. I get the impression that the League keeps very detailed records, so there should be some info.

Also, readers may have noticed that the category and tag system here has changed. Actually, I’m still in the process of reorganizing it, so you’d best be using the search engine for a while! I’m afraid I shall never be a good taxonomist. 🙂

We’re on Genealogue!

Well, I plodded along to my usually low blog stats this morning to find I’ve had 30 views today–not the best in the world, but much better than usual! One of the referrers was listed as blogfinder.genealogue.com, and noticing the mention of genealogy I followed the link. Seems this blog is fifth on the What’s New section of the Genealogy Blog Finder directory! See here.

Thanks Genealogue!!