• Archives
  • Mar8

    Have you built up your family tree on Ancestry.com and are looking to enhance your experience? Then I’ve got the tool for you! (No, no webcams are involved.)

    The Ancestry Family Search Extension for Google Chrome looks up information on Familysearch.org using the vital info from your Ancestry tree. The initial release was a nice addition on its own, but wasn’t able to look up maiden names for women in your tree, so was limited in its value.

    However, version 2.1 was released a few weeks ago has added that functionality and some other nifty tweaks making it a <cue the echo> Must Have Tool </echo>.

    Google Chrome Logo
    For those not familiar with Google Chrome, it is a free web browser that can be used as an alternative to Internet Explorer, Firefox, and binoculars strong enough to peer into your neighbor’s window to see what they are surfing on the Internets. (For shame, Mr. Stanislaus, for SHAME!)

    An Extension (sometimes known as an “add-on”) is a tool that adds some sort of functionality to the browser. There are many kinds of extensions. For example, I use password database program to keep track of my passwords and have installed a Firefox extension that allows that software to insert my passwords into forms with a simple keystroke combination. Thus saving me the burden of remembering the password 1yoPUhpTVU@:q(GEk. (Note to self: change password.) Read More | Comments

  • Aug10

    When I recently began getting more serious about my genealogical research after several years of dabbling, I began to think about possible blog names to document my journey. As an information technology professional with expertise in information security, Hacking Your Ancestors first occurred to me as a potential blog name.

    Then it also occurred to me that that name was slightly more homicidal than I’d intended.
    Plus, my good axe is just now at the cleaners.

    I may still use that blog name if I decide to write more on techniques and tools and how some tactics of an infosec professional mesh nicely with those of the genealogist.

    But, in this blog I hope to focus more on the journey of discovery that almost inevitably occurs when researching one’s own family and how they fit into history. It likely helps when you have only limited clues to much of your family history, making the search that much more surprising and interesting.

    Group Photo: Egans of Creggan, Ferbane, Ireland on Flickr As I find more documentation of the lives of my forebears I feel a strangely stronger sense of the parallel linearity of theirs and mine. While I cannot claim that records and documents give a clear insight into our ancestors’ personalities, there is a glimpse of dreams or, at least, hope that this new country held promise beyond their original ken.

    Such a trip requires a vehicle, whether it is ridden or written. The sadly late poet John O’Donohue’s poem Beannacht, or Blessing offers some solace from the pulling weight of the land, the dimming vision of time and leads our boat, or Currach, on a protected path home with a healing cloak of wind.

    Listen to his words below.

    Beannacht recited by John O’Donohue on NPR’s Speaking of Faith

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