Brain dead?


To those of you who take the time to read my blog and leave real comments I would like to say that I really enjoy the dialogue I have with you. It inspires me to keep up my regular posting knowing that people are reading and appreciating the effort :)

Had to laugh tonight when a comment plucked out by my Akismet spam filter told me that many of the responses to my blog are from brain dead people. If anyone is brain dead it is the spammer who was telling me that I am stupid, that you are stupid and at the same time inviting me to connect with him on twitter, facebook, LinkedIn and more. What an idiot.

Post formats – trying an aside


Not sure I have full control over what happens when I try a different post format. This one is “Aside”.  Curious to see how it will appear. Just tried applying “Status” format to a post I made yesterday and lost the heading. Have previously tried “Quote” and did not understand what I was doing. There are a few more to play with too, but I think I may have to admit defeat and read the help info first or I might end up with some very weird-looking posts. Definitely need to learn how to use the “Gallery” format so I can do some better presentations of my old photos and cemetery pictures.

Categorisation completed


Categorisation now completed with an alliterative allocation. I had fun trying to figure out how to sort my material then find alliterative category names. In addition to the categories I named in my last post I have now included: Claiming cousins, Crackett connection, Finding forefathers, Locational legacy, Obscure occupations, Research resources, Seeking surnames and Yesterday yarns. The challenge now will be to remember to use the categories when I make new posts. I can already see the advantages. Just browsing through a category can give ideas for new posts. I have not done a full QA of the categorisation yet so if you come across something that looks wrong please drop me a comment so I can fix it.

Changing categories

When I first started blogging I was a bit befuddled about categories and tagging. I initially used categories for surnames in my genealogy research but soon found that was not working for me. As a result I have not categorized more that a handful of posts. Having now gained more experience of writing and viewed many genealogy blogs by other authors I can now see how categories can be used to make the blog easier to navigate. All of the old categories are going to be removed this weekend and I am going to try out a new set. My set of posts named “xx years ago today” will be categorised under:

  • Bygone birthdays
  • Wedlock when
  • Documenting demise

Among my other new categories are:

  • Alphabet activities
  • Publishing progress

I have now learned how to use the bulk edit function, so as the weekend progresses you should see most of my posts moved out of “uncategorized” and over to their new category. You can review the contents of each category from the panel at the right of the blog.

May month

Since it is the end of the month I have updated the starring system on my surname list that indicates the newest names. Stars have been removed from the names added in April. A single star now highlights names added in May. All new names that I add in June will have double stars until the next month end. Here is a summary of the names that were new to my genealogy database in May:

Pedigree: Hedley     Other: Cunningham, Garland, Unwin

At the beginning of my I set myself some targets. Looking back on my achievements this month I will have to admit that I have done very little of what I had planned. I have made reasonable progress with tying in more Cracket/Crackett lines but am not finished processing everything I have on scraps of paper. I have also bashed away more at the Webb brick wall, but it hasn’t crumbled yet. By letting myself get sidetracked from the plan I have actually been successful on other fronts. I have gathered a lot of interesting information with respect to my great uncle Edmund Webb’s service in WW1. I have found a number of interesting newspaper articles on several subjects. I have obtained restored versions of a couple of important photographs and I have begun to write a series of alphabet articles. Generally a successful month even though the activities diversified from the plan.

Blog reader status


Australia, USA and UK have been the top three countries showing interest in my blog during the past week. I have now passed 3000 hits. About two thirds have been in the past four months since I started blogging more regularly (postaday) in February this year. I also have a number of followers whose viewings are not included in the hit count above. There are now 11 people following the blog and another 9 who are following activity on specific comments. I still have many family members that I have not sent the link to yet, so I expect some significant changes in the demographics of my readers once I start to spread information about the blog to more cousins and potential cousins.

I almost forgot to mention that this is not today’s post, but my catch-up post for Thursday 24th May when I was out for the evening having dinner at Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin. It was a beautiful evening, so we were able to dine outside and watch the boats go by.

Blavatar: Amble staiths

Coal staiths and fishing boats at Amble Harbour

My blog has existed for a year and a half with just the standard WordPress symbol identifying it. I decided not to have my own photo as a blavatar image since this is more about my past than about me. Until now I have been stuck for ideas as to what might be an appropriate picture, but tonight I had a flash of inspiration. I have a water colour of Amble harbour showing the coal staiths and fishing boats. Nothing could be more appropriate since it was coal mines and fish quays that brought my various ancestral lines together at Amble to produce me. The blavatar is a little too small to get the full effect, so here is a picture of the painting. This is one of many local Northumbrian scenes painted by my uncle.