Links, 4.4.11

Well, I see we all made it through April Fool’s Day more or less unscathed. Can I confess something? After the third GOTCHA! prank article on one of my favorite local-news sites, I was wishing the stupid day had never been invented. Full disclosure: It was probably poetic justice. I did play a prank on Mr. Archaelogist, involving a substitution of lukewarm water for the coffee in the coffeepot (quickly replaced again by the real thing, I promise!). I’m going to be good next year.

Tour operations: Brooklyn, N.Y. -based Urban Oyster, a tour/event planning firm, has come up with a perfectly ingenious idea: custom family-history tours. The company got inspired when a client asked them to help plan a tour for his family’s reunion, the New York Daily News reports.

By the book: And if you’re doing your own trip planning: Make your own guide book, as this article suggests. The specific tips are tried and true, but the idea of compiling the information in such a way that it could double as a memory book later is a good one.

Beginner’s paradise: Connecticut genealogist Beth Mariotti gave a charmer of an interview to TV station WTNH, competently outlining research basics and illuminating her points with examples from her own research, including a case study of a 104-year-old client who wanted help recording family history for her children. Beginners will love the clear pointers and more experienced researchers shouldn’t miss the anecdotes!

Picking a program: A question that has plagued many of us at one point or another: Should I Be Committed? wonders Nancy Shively at Family Tree University. Nancy is referring to making a commitment to genealogy software, and provides an overview of what she’s tested for those who haven’t locked into something yet.

Birthdate pangs: Yuma Sun columnist Amy Crawford writes amusingly about the case of her grandfather’s three ages — a classic conflicting-birthdate riddle. I totally sympathize.

Poisonous discovery: Oh, my goodness! Writer Kay Hoflander goes poking around in her family tree and finds a real-life tale of arsenic and old lace. Trust me, it’s a doozy.

Professional help: Everyone wrestles with it sooner or later when faced with a tricky genealogy problem: Should I hire a pro to take a whack at it? Daniel Klein, who writes a very good genealogy column for the Jersey Journal, provides a concise and clear set of pointers for those who decide to take this step.

April is here at last. For those of us in the Northeast, a good time to cut away the underbrush in the garden, not to mention in our genealogy programs. Enjoy the week.


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