Donna’s Picks, Link Love, and More: New Year’s Edition

Happy New Year! Did you resolve to clean out your clutter?

Donna’s Picks

“Donna’s Picks” was once my occasional weekly feature of noteworthy articles – now it feels more comfortable to roundup my “picks” once a month.  Here are January’s goodies including a couple of genealogy blogs that are new finds!

I recently discovered a relatively new blog, Alabama Genealogy and Ramblings by Randall Dickerson (1-19-2012: Note – Randall changed his blog name! It’s now Alabama Free-Ranging Organic Genealogy at the same address). Ordinarily I wouldn’t have even looked at a blog with that title because I have no Southern roots whatsoever. But I’m sure glad I stopped by, for not only does Randall have great posts, but he has one of the funniest and most entertaining About Me pages I’ve ever read!  (Yes, Randall, I had to look up “Vexillology”.) Check out The “Do List”; My New Year’s Resolution Concepts in which he proposes concepts that will allow all of us to be more productive. One of his good posts from December is Trying to like Ancestry.Com – Disaster in Grafting My Family Tree in which he shares his frustration over what happens when you splice another’s tree into your own.

Dawn Westfall has been blogging since September at Wisteria where she writes about her maternal Dutch roots and paternal Southern roots. I naturally gravitate towards humorous posts, and I got a chuckle out of Famous Relatives. Well, that’s one way to finally get kids interested in genealogy. There are at least three other genealogy bloggers that share my interest in science fiction and will find her famous relative as cool as I did!

In what happens to be yet another humorous post, Jenny Lanctot in Are My Roots Showing? (which is a fabulous blog title!) gets an unexpected chuckle from a Family Search indexer in Wisdom Wednesday – Search Terms and Spelling. With my surname, I’ve had my share of misspellings so it made me chuckle, too.

Just to prove I also enjoy serious posts, I was fascinated by More Than Meets the Eye – Tuesday’s Tip in Heritage Zen by Cynthia Shenette. I have always loved looking at what else is in the photo besides the “main” subject. Cynthia presents to great photographs with tons of details in the background.  But – for the record – Cynthia writes some wickedly humorous posts – see the evidence with her last COG entry, What the Dickens 2, Or More Tales from Hell’s Kitchen – Advent Calendar, Grab Bag.  I’m still laughing!

What’s Past at What’s Past is Prologue ~ What You May Have Missed

One Year Ago:

ShtetlSeeker: It’s Not Just for Shtetls Anymore – one of the best town databases you may not know about

Two Years Ago:

Cousins, Countries, and War – the start of my 5-part series on the Bavarian Military Rosters available on

Three Years Ago:

Fun with Maps in Philadelphia – a look at some nifty mapping tools to see what my hometown looked like back when my great-grandparents came to town

Four Years Ago:

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? – In my very first COG entry ever, I imagine inviting four very different ancestors to dinner to solve a few mysteries.

What’s Prologue at What’s Past is Prologue ~ Coming Up

A post coming soon will ask you if your family history is like a famous musical from the 1960s…and if your family history has something in common with that story, well…let’s just say it’s not a compliment and you have your research cut out for you. I also hope to resurrect the “Memory Monday” personal reflection posts this year – starting in January!  If you also read my collaborative blog, The Catholic Gene, join us the week of 29 January as we remember/celebrate Catholic Schools Week.

Thanks for reading, following, and subscribing!


8 thoughts on “Donna’s Picks, Link Love, and More: New Year’s Edition

  1. Donna – Thank you so much for the shout out for both of my posts! I appreciate it! I love the way you highlight your favorite posts from previous years, BTW. Now that I’ve been blogging a while I think I may try to do something like this once a month myself. Thanks again!

  2. Thanks for the tip on Randall Dickerson’s blog – he has already left an excellent comment on my blog and I am happy to follow him back – all about ADOS (which a lot of us apparently suffer from….).

  3. ok – now you have me really curious – a musical from the 60s? Two come to mind – Paint Your Wagon (not really a musical but Clint Eastwood sings in it) & Mary Poppins – guess I’ll have to wait for your blog post.

  4. I can think of another … Oliver! Orphans being sold – bad for genealogy. Kidnappers and pickpockets – skeletons in the closet, but could make for good reading.

    Oh … and Hair. That might actually be interesting from a genealogy standpoint though.

    I’m stymied.

  5. Thanks, everyone! Cynthia, I got the idea to share past years’ posts from a non-genealogy blog I read. I get a lot of “new” visitors that might not have time to browse, so maybe I can help by showing off some of my work from the past.

    I am thrilled that folks are trying to figure out the musical! I mostly write the “what’s coming up” not so much to entice you all to come back, but to FORCE me to make my ideas into posts. Public embarrassment…

    PS – no one guessed the musical yet, which will make the post all that more fun!

  6. Donna,

    Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek humor and postings. I do hope you’ll visit again. I might even figure out what I’m doing.

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