Archive for the ‘Genealogy sites I like’ Category

Online family history company’s April Fool’s joke gets big response

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

This begs the question…when does a joke become a lie and vice versa…am I the only one bothered by the tactics of this “april fools joke”? Especially when the president flat out says he’s making money off of it

The Salt Lake Tribune

A Provo company drove up its Web traffic significantly with a little April Fool’s joke involving President Barack Obama and 18 million users of Facebook., a 2 -year-old family and social networking company, sent out e-mails to active users of its “We’re Related” application on Facebook, the Web site that allows people to connect with each other and share information about their lives.

“Hi,” said the e-mail, “Barack Obama (Washington, DC) has confirmed you as his fourth cousin once removed.”

The e-mail mimicked those the company sends out to users of “We’re Related,” which allows customers to connect to family members via their Facebook pages.

Steve Nickle, president of, said the joke drove up traffic to the company’s Web site, where users learned the message was an April Fool’s joke.

“We already have very significant traffic,” he said. “Today we’ve had three to five times more traffic than normal.”

Nickle said that only a small percentage of people did not find the joke funny.

The company’s Facebook application has been downloaded 34 million times, Nickle said, ranking it in the top five at that site. The e-mail was sent only to those who were actively using “We’re Related.”

Nickle said the application drives traffic to the company’s Web site and also allows it to sell targeted ads.

The company, which is readying a family social networking site, provides access

to genealogy and family history records. It has run on venture capital but Nickle said the company has a positive cash flow.

Alabama mass grave may contain bodies from 1870s epidemic

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Construction workers at a city lot in downtown Montgomery stumbled upon numerous bodies Tuesday morning. At least one mud-colored skull and a large bone could be seen protruding through the freshly broken dirt.

Montgomery Police spokesman Major Huey Thornton said it’s believed the bodies are from a mass grave of victims who died of a Yellow fever outbreak sometime in the early 1800’s.

A structure built on the burial mound in the 1940’s was recently torn down in order for the city to build a new complex, Thornton said. He added that officials don’t believe there’s any cause for concern. The lot where the remains were found butts up against the Oakwood Cemetery property.

State historians say the burials were quite common in the 19th century as Yellow fever spread throughout the south. “They had to bury the bodies quickly,” said state archivist Rickie Brunner. “They were scared that having dead bodies around may spread the disease even more.”

With construction now at a standstill, research begins. “Burials are always an interesting window in the past, because we forget what things were like at that time,” Brunner said.

The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia says Yellow fever is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. The disease is common in tropical regions like Africa and parts of South America according to the CDC, and is very rare in the United States. In fact, there hasn’t been an epidemic of the illness in the U.S. since 1905.

Research showed that the outbreaks caused mass panic and quarantines. The checking of boat passengers and train riders for symptoms was not uncommon. And though the mass grave is making news today for having been under our feet for so long without our knowledge, it too was a common practice when the fever claimed its victims.

The construction site has now been turned over to a historical society for research purposes. It’s not known when, or if construction will begin again on that site.

Discuss here

We are now on twitter!!

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

If you have a twitter account be sure to add AncestrallyChallenged to read the newest blogs!!  We are at

The birth of AncestralSpace

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

In June 2008 I had a brilliant idea….or at least it seemed a brilliant idea to me.  I was frustrated with the lack of “connections” trying to use facebook and myspace for genealogy.  I was (am) a member of which is a social network for people interested in all things renn faire, medieval etc and it occured to me there was no such thing for genealogy that I knew of.

I spent 2 days googling like mad trying to find something like that, there wasnt anything coming up.  I contacted the owner of Renspace to try to find out how he’d set his up….while waiting for his reply I found out there is a company out there that supplies it!!

One day later the ancestralspace domain is registered in my name (you have NO idea how many names I had to go thru to find one available.. my first choice was of course genspace but it was taken as were every other variation I could think of of that one and using words like “root” and genealogy (and I wasnt about to try ancestryspace).

My husband suggested ancestralspace… which actually kind of matches my genealogy forum ancestrally challenged, but it took a few hours for it to grow on me, but once it did, it was mine.

I spent all of June 13th programming, tweaking, writing custom html, getting my sis’s help in graphics etc.  By about 11 pm that nite it was ready to go (for the most part.. 3 weeks later I’m still tweaking lol).  I set up a “blog and recommendation” page and emailed the blog/page owners letting them know I’d featured them, and one of my recommendations actually took the time to respond (Thank you Stephanie from Southern Graves for acknowledging my email, that meant a lot to me,  AND for actually joining up, that was a bonus)

I got family and close friends to join up, I made a new myspace just to announce it,  I blogged, added it to my email signatures, posted about it on my message board etc.

Slowly people started coming over and joining..and I’m still nervous, waiting on people to tell me that it was a stupid idea and a waste of time.  (I’m used to thinking things are great ideas and having other people think they are pointless lol)

Then an amazing thing happened, what I thought, was being transmitted back to me.  I was getting comments from people telling me “great idea”  “wish I’d though of it” “I’m jealous it wasnt my idea” “I’ve been waiting for something like this” “this is SO much better than myspace”  “there is no “crap” here to put up with, just genealogist sharing a hobby they love” and… well you get the idea.

Word started spreading, its still spreading slowly.  People are posting it on their blogs, message boards, email groups, yahoo groups, and well they were posting it on ancestry message boards until they were told to stop as my site is considered “competion” and posting about me is not allowed lol (wow).  I want to give a special thank you, especially to Tammy and Cyndy for all the work I know they have been doing to spread the word, and a thank you to those that have done the same and I dont know who you are!!

At the three week mark (plus a day) we hit 400 members and they are still coming.  I can only imagine what membership is going to be like once word REALLY gets out.

And the best part?  People are actually using it and having fun with it!!!

This has totally blown me away, I had a vision, I took action, its a hit.

So.. stop by and visit!!  Joining is free (just like it is for myspace and facebook) and I’ll bet you 2 cents you find something interestesting there to read posted by a member!!

Hope to see you soon at

New genealogy website

Saturday, June 14th, 2008


Made especially for those that cant get enough of myspace/facebook type sites (and yes I realize some of you will have NO interest in this at all)

Some of you may wonder…why a site like this. Well I will tell you. Last year I made a myspace page for my genealogy forum and found lots of friends that have genealogy as an interest. Wednesday, I was “interviewed” about my thoughts on myspace and genealogy….did it help?

I got to thinking, nope, I’ve not found one piece of information or person with which to share information on myspace other than “genealogy news”

Then I got to thinking….I had seen a “myspace” type site for another hobby I’m interested in but I didnt know of one for one of the most widespread hobbies in the world. Why not have a social sight for people that were not looking to “find a date or a mate”.

People that know me, know I have a passion for research and for helping other people find things and for helping other people find living relatives that might help them break down their brickwalls.

Will this work? I don’t know…I have high hopes for it.

This site will be a work in progress for many weeks to come I’m sure, and suggestions are always welcome even if I might not always do what you suggest.

This is gonna be fun….yeah its gonna be fun

Surname Suggestion List

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

In surfing around today, I found this website Surname Suggestion List

It’s a simple windows based program that gives suggestions for different surname spellings you might use to search for records. I have downloaded this and played around with it and thought you might find it interesting too

New Alabama Forum

Friday, February 8th, 2008

I found this on a mailing list this morning and wanted to pass it along to any of our Alabama researchers :) It can never hurt to have your queries in more than one place lol How many of you have them all over roots web, but were able to actually get help when you came here :P

This link will take you to a brand new message board. All you need to do is register (free) first and then find “Alabama genealogy” under the forums heading. I am trying to build members there. You can post your surnames, upload photos, upload documents, etc. Please give it a look……

Good luck with the forum Melissa!!!!

Blacksheep Ancestors

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Ran across a site tonite I’ve never ever seen before, its really kind of cool. Tons of records here about prisoners and convicts conveniently categorized by state with all sorts of different records to read!!!

(its not just criminal stuff either, its got court documents pertaining to some other stuff as well)

I especially like the list of executions in 1880 in South Carolina…lots of pirates!!!

Black Sheep Ancestors

Sites I Enjoy

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Cow Hampshire
Blogging About New Hampshire History, Genealogy, Photography and Humor

Cow Hampshire

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