D-OGS CIG Meeting Summary – January 9, 2010

The Durham-Orange Genealogical Society (D-OGS) Computer Interest Group (CIG) met on Saturday, 9 January 2010 at the Chapel Hill Public Library. There were 10 members in attendance.

Carol Boggs moderated. She opened the meeting with a call for a new monthly CIG moderator to take over. Some of the duties she outlined of the moderator include the following:

-          Organize speakers and meeting presentations

-          Build an agenda and email it to the D-OGS members mailing list, the CIG members list (Carol’s own personal email distribution list – members email addresses are hidden by using the “BCC” method of emailing – this is maintained within an excel spreadsheet that was built from the roll call lists Carol collects during each meeting) to Richard Ellington to include in the newsletter and to the webmaster, Ginger Smith, to include on the meeting announcement page of the D-OGS website

-          Secure and utilize a laptop to hook up to the projector that is provided by the library

-          Collect relevant website addresses emailed from members that can be discussed during the meeting

The group discussed having members rotate as moderators each month. A sign-up sheet was passed around for people to sign up for a month that they would like to moderate. Carol has already secured a speaker for February’s meeting – Luba Sawczyn will discuss the general tools you can use online from home, including NCLive and HeritageQuest. Five other members have already identified a month they will moderate the group. We hope others will sign up for the remaining months.

The group also brainstormed about some CIG program ideas that would be of interest to our members:

-          One member suggested a program on how to do African American research in Orange County. Two of our members are currently doing this in North Carolina and could offer suggestions on how to find the records you are looking for. Carol thought this would make a great publication idea as a Resource Guide as well.

-          Currently two of our CIG members are writing books. We talked about how one decides on various formats and distribution of the books. Carol is using TMG to write her book and is already at 513 pages without pictures or charts! Barbara hopes to put her book on a CD which she will then distribute to family members. She will leave printing options up to the family members. Lulu.com was suggested as a good Print On Demand (POD) publisher source for family members to use to print copies of their family history books. Lulu.com will print either paperback or hardback books on demand and ship.

-          Taking a field trip to a local library

-          How to do Native American research in Orange County and/or North Carolina.

-          A “show and tell” of a research problem that can be shared with the group with the hopes of help on finding or locating resources that would assist in the research efforts

Carol showed pictures of the genealogy section of the new Hillsborough branch of the Orange County Public Library and a layout of where and how it is situated in the library. She showed pictures of equipment, stacks, and the exit door. We are concerned about where all of the materials were transferred to and that the security system is not yet working at the exit, but we understand that it will shortly be in operation according to the library director, Lucinda Munger.

The following links and information were shared with the group:

-          Carol shared the Harvard University Open Collection Program which contains immigration records to the US from 1789-1930

-          Carol shared the Information about social security numbers and what they mean in genealogy terms

-          UNC-G’s Digital Library on American Slavery

-          Nerissa mentioned the book, Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory. Volume 7 which was published in 1890 and is available in full text at Google books. It is divided by counties and is an excellent genealogy resource. Ginger pulled it up at Google books and we took a look at it

-          Holt Anderson reminded us of the Candlelight Tours that go on every December. Hillsboro has its historic homes open each year. They are open and decorated for Christmas

-          What Darwin Never Knew program on the Nova Channel aired on 29 December 2009. Check the website for a transcript or video of this program.

Carol shared her big find on the Reed family she is researching that resulted from an internet query she submitted. One person of interest to her was Samuel Burrage Reed, a Manhattan architect. He built the James A. Bailey House in Harlem. The new owner contacted her to see if she had any information on this house. Ginger googled the house and we watched a video tour of the house.

Ginger showed how to use the Dropbox online utility to store and share files between multiple computers and the internet. This utility can be downloaded from Dropbox.com and installed on your PC or Mac. If you are using a PC, the utility will install a folder called “My Dropbox” in the “My Documents” section of windows explorer. Files and folders can then be dropped into this folder. Contents of this folder are then automatically uploaded to the website. Contents can be accessed from any computer with the Dropbox utility. Carol and Ginger are still trying to work out the kinks with the sharing feature of this utility. A file can be shared and in doing so, a link is created which can then be emailed to the person you would like to share the file with. They can use the link to access and download the file.

Our meeting closed with Nerissa who sent around a copy of a will she is transcribing for the Duplin County NCGenWeb site. She needed help transcribing a few words from the will.  We were able to decipher all four words!