Mark Tucker’s Genealogy Research Map

by Kathryn Doyle (3/7/2008)

Mark Tucker of the ThinkGenealogy blog, has developed an interesting Genealogy Research Map, a downloadable visual synopsis of the “concepts found in The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and the many works of Elizabeth Shown Mills.”

Mark generously allows anyone to download the map for personal use and offers it as a “learning tool.” Being a visual learner myself, I can see the benefit of having the concepts available in a handy, one page, graphically attractive form, especially for the new researcher. I encourage everyone to take a look.

43rd Carnival of Genealogy – Technology

by Kathryn Doyle (2/29/2008)

One of the many new wonders I have discovered since entering the world of genea-blogging is the Carnival of Genealogy which is a collection of blog posts around a designated theme.

I’ve decided to jump on the carousel this month and describe my three technology picks. Carnival hostess, Jasia, asks: “What technology do you most rely on for your genealogy and family history research? Select one piece of hardware (besides your computer), one piece of software (besides your internet browser), and one web site/blog (besides your own) that are indispensable to you. Resist the urge to dilute the impact of your 3 choices by mentioning several others you use and appreciate as well.”

So here goes…

Hardware: I consider myself moderately techno-savvy but gadgets and toys didn’t really interest me until the iPhone . It is literally with me 24/7. I’m just beginning to tap into its genealogical potential by downloading and listening to a variety of podcasts. I’m especially enjoying the old Irish songs at Mike O’Laughlin‘s Irish Roots Cafe.

Software: I’ve been using Reunion for Macintosh by Leister Productions, Inc. since 1990 when I had my Mac SE with its 20 MB hard drive. I upgrade to every new version, now up to 9.06. It has grown into an amazing program, always keeping up with the technological advances of the Mac OS. There is plenty of support at ReunionTalk, an online community of users.

Web site: One of my favorite “sharing” sites is, which grew out of founder Jim Tipton‘s love of visiting the graves of famous people.

The site is a collection of memorials (now over 21 million), arranged by cemetery, which include biographical information, photographs and even “flowers” for the “gravesite.” I especially like the way that you can create virtual cemeteries and link family members together, even though they may be buried in different places. In the seven years since joining the site, I’ve been involved in many collaborations with volunteers from all over the country. Please take a look at my memorial for my ggg-grandfather, William Hainey BRIGGS. You can leave flowers if you want.

Book Repair Committee

by Kathryn Doyle (2/28/2008)

The sound of laughter coming from the upstairs annex at the old library in the Latham Building was a sure sign that it was the second Tuesday of the month and the book repairers had their backs to the wall as they toiled in tight quarters. Since the move to the Breuner Building last year, the restoration work continues in more spacious quarters and the mirth now emanates from the back room of the new library. You can’t help but get the feeling that these five loyal volunteers really love what they are doing.

The CGS Book Repair Committee, headed by Bill O’Neil, has been meeting like clockwork on the second Tuesday of every month, since the group formed in 1987 under the tutelage of the late Dick Thrift. Because the repair process can require several steps and the committee meets only once per month, it can take several months for the repair business to be completed. During that time, the books are out of circulation.

The committee allows the California Genealogical Society to maintain open stacks. Books in need of care are marked by a blue ribbon and stay on the shelves to allow patron use until the menders can get to them. The most common repairs are for torn spines and loose pages, but the committee has seen it all. Bill explained that their goal when repairing books is to strike a balance between “keeping them in one piece and doing no harm.”

Each member “adopts” a book and works on it one day a month until it is ready to be placed back on the shelf. The average book takes three months to complete. The committee repairs an average of 100 books per year.

Tools of the trade.

Lorna Wallace puts the finishing touches on a newly repaired book
Book repair group: (standing) Lorna Wallace, Marianne Frey, Bill O’Neil;
(seated) Anne Robinson and Dick Rees.

Photographs by Kathryn M. Doyle, Oakland, California, 12/11/2007.

Copyright © 2008 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.