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A Splendid Time at the 2014 Bucks County Ancestry Fair!

September 25, 2014

Here I am, enjoying myself at the fair.

I’m reporting back this week from last Saturday’s  Eighth Annual Bucks County Ancestry Fair, hosted by the Bucks County Visitor’s Center, and organized by the Bucks County Genealogical Society. It was a fantastic event, and such a pleasure to meet and mingle with genealogical community of Northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County. I was so very heartened by everybody’s interest and appreciation of my work. I distributed a great deal of postcards and business cards, so more folks now know where to find me!  Read more…

Question from Mrs. Kelsey Siano: Will I make your Genealogy Blog?

September 22, 2014
The bridal party gathered for Mr. & Mrs. Siano's first dance as husband and wife.

The bridal party gathered for Mr. & Mrs. Siano’s first dance as husband and wife.

Answer: Yes, you will!

My delightfully spunky 2nd cousin, Kelsey Campbell, made a fine update to the family tree yesterday, September 20th, 2014, as she married her fiancée Johnny Siano at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church in South Philadelphia. The reception was held at Front & Palmer caterers.  Read more…

52 Ancestors, No. 30: Anna Schachter, Gateway to An Extended Family

September 20, 2014


One of my best efforts so far, in my opinion, has been the restoration of Anna Schachter’s weathered porcelain gravestone photo. I fixed her up before I learned some of my newer tricks, but the work holds up, in my opinion. It was an amazing genealogical find as well, which potentially doubled the reach of my maternal grandfather’s extended family in America.  Read more…

Genealogy Tip: Trouble Transcribing? Google the Legal Boilerplate

September 17, 2014

I have a tip for you today regarding the transcription of old documents—especially legal documents, like deeds and wills. This was inspired today by a tweet from requesting transcription assistance via the twittersphere. Here is the tweet:

Clicking through, the document is again reproduced at the Brooklyn Ancestry blog. Looking at a document like this, one might be tempted to think: “Wow. Look at this. It’s handwritten. Someone put a lot of care and original thought into this. It must be unique. How will I ever decipher it?” Don’t despair. Your document may not be as unique as it looks.  Read more…

This Weekend: I’m Tabling the Bucks County Ancestry Fair

September 17, 2014

A scene from the Bucks County Ancestry Fair, 2013. Image from the Bucks County Genealogical Society’s ‘Ancestry Fair’ home page.

I’d like to take a moment to invite one and all to the Bucks County Ancestry Fair this weekend. The Bucks County Genealogical Society will host the event this Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Bucks County Visitors Center, 3207 Street Road, Bensalem, PA 19020. There will be plenty of great speakers and tables, including Joyce Homan of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. For more information, see the event page at The Bucks County Genealogical Society website.

Bring some pictures with you to the event. I will have my scanner with me. Time permitting, I may attempt some light restorations on site. I will offer quotes for heavier restorations and add them to my work queue. Like everyone else who will be at the event, I am a genealogy buff, so I would love to chat family history!

I will be leaving in a bit of a haste later in the afternoon to join in the celebration of the marriage of my wonderful cousin Kelsey to her fiancee, Johnny. That’s going to be blast, and I send my early congratulations out to this fine couple!

Mapping and Rendering Cemeteries with LibreCAD and Blender

August 23, 2014

BlenderGravesWhile on unintentional hiatus from my 52 Ancestors Challenge, I’ve discovered two fabulous software packages that might make my family history research a little more colorful: LibreCAD and Blender. These dicoveries came about last week as I fulfilled some Find-A-Grave photo requests at a tiny little hideaway called the Cheltenham Methodist Episcopal Churchyard. Of twenty-five photo outstanding requests, I managed to fulfill only three, and this is almost certainly due to the other other stones either not existing or being totally illegible. I thought I might do each photo requester a favor by mapping the locations of all the stones on this small patch of land and what inscriptions, if any, remained legible upon them. That way, each requester could rest assured that their requests had been fulfilled as well as can be.  Read more…

Moderate Alteration: Bringing Out Faded Lettering

August 14, 2014


I’d file this Find-A-Grave experiment under Moderate Alterations. The first priority here was to make the writing on this weathered gravestone legible. The second priority was to make it so that a person unfamiliar with the original photo would not realize that it had been modified. The last priority was staying true to the original image. As you can see, I’ve tampered with the stone’s color. I think the experiment was moderately successful. Do you? Your mileage may vary. See Mr. Malady’s Find-A-Grave memorialValue: $20.


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