Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Working on the Blog, Working on the Site

I have been working on the blog tonight and also working on the Zangari Genealogy site as well. I have to say that both are coming a long nicely, but I would like to see a few changes on the blog (transparent stationary background, text would appear to roll over the back ground image, etc.), but I am satisfied with the progress I have made for now.

For research, I seem to have hit the jackpot the other night when researching my mother's family: one of her sets of ancestors had somewhere around 20 or 25 children in just about the same amount of years -- sometimes giving birth to two children in the same year (i.e., January - March, then again in October - December)!

It was quite the interesting find!

I have been working at trying to find out what happened to all of them, but as time goes so too do records (unfortunately), and sometimes those children move away, get imprisoned, or worse...

I have not found any prisoners in my distant past (thankfully), but I have found many farmers, tailors, sailors, musicians, cobblers, aristocrats, noblemen and more...all within generations of each other, all from different countries, all who have come to America.

It's quite the story...I cannot wait to record it all in my journals and herein, as well as within the family tree!


I had been looking for my Homedics Massage pad, and while pulling it off the shelf, I had a pretty thick envelope fall and hit me in the head! Thankfully it was only 18 pages in there, but still -- OUCH! -- it caught me off guard.

So I look at the envelope (which is not sealed) and I turn it over and I find that I had dated the envelope, back in 2008 -- not long before the computer crash that took out my family tree file for just over 4 years.

I was ecstatic!

Looking inside, I see that I had drawn (by hand) a pedigree chart for my father, going back 6 generations and showing all the living descendants of his (at the time) oldest ancestor. I also had found something which I totally forgot that I had: Information about burial plots, lots and sections. I now have the information which I needed to locate a number of family members, just because of a simple burial plot.

I love genealogy and being a genealogist and being a techno-geek, but sometimes I really feel bad that others do not know how cool all this is! I just want to go up to some random stranger and just say something like "Do you know how absolutely awesome it is to be a genealogist and a techno-geek?! I'm so awesome, I love being me!"


Seriously, that is how passionate about this I am! I wish that others could see the wonders that I do, experience the elation at finding more clues, more people, more facts to flesh out your ancestors more!

Oh, I know other genealogists feel the same way, but I am talking kid in a candy store with a charge card kinda happy here that I don't believe "normal" people feel. They may get excited about sports and cars and maybe are even passionate about politics, but being a genealogist and a geek really has it's perks. I love being both, because technology is the fastest means of communication, of sharing information, of observing family locations from a far and yet seemingly being right there in front of a long lost uncle's residence, staring the house in the face...what an amazing feeling...

I have also been brushing up on my #twitter skills and contacts in the last few days; I think I have followed over 200 people just in the last 48 hours, to be quite frank -- mostly genealogists and genealogy blogs, but a few tech related ones as well.

I have also worked on the twitter page, redesigning that and hoping that coincide that with  a news feed on my website when I am done, so that there will be a #twidget (twitter widget) on there to interact directly with me and the site.

I am also working on designing the forums, but think perhaps I am going to redirect the forums to a place where everyone should be working together at instead -- the Italian Genealogy website.

I will, however, have a members only area, which will allow only registered Zangari families to post their gedcom files and to compare them with only other Zangari families. I am working on this via Open Source software right now, so that is taking some time, but the output file, and the ultimate goal, will be to be able to download them all individually or as one giant tree, for the families that do match. For the families who do not match, their tree will be the start of a new line and a new combined tree, which will then in turn (at least theoretically) go back far enough that it will eventually intersect with another Zangari family tree, and then the process begins once more.

These are the random thoughts and scribbles that I normally have in my genealogy notebooks, but since I have begun to worry more about preservation than I had previously (the above referenced computer crash from 2008) has made me want to keep my backed up files and information in multiple locations, some of which residing in the cloud now.

Sorry, Richard Stallman, but while I agree 100% with you that "Cloud computing is Stupid computing", I cannot deny this is the direction in which we have taken the internet and even computers (take Chrome-books for example!) and music players (remember the first generation 60  gigabyte and 80 gigabyte iPods and how bulky they were?! Compare that to an iPod Nano now! Talk about size and weight difference, not to mention the new innate ability to go online, surf the net, stream media, etc!)

We have come so far that the technological breakthroughs are bound to be happening any time, it's just a matter of waiting for it now. I honestly do believe the words of Shakespeare when his Hamlet said "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy!" I totally believe that with all my heart -- science and technology don't fit into those philosophies at this time...maybe some day...

But, enough ranting, I must bid you all a good evening as I close shop for the night on my research.

~ Vince ~

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