Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Editorial Calendar-How I Use It-Tuesday’s Tip

imageDo you use an editorial calendar to help you manage the content of your blog? I did not use one for the longest time after I first started blogging. I actually did not know what an editorial calendar was and I'm not sure where I got the idea to start using one for the first time. But now I cannot imagine trying to plan and organize my blog posts without using one.

You can look up the correct definition of an editorial calendar and you'll probably find several. However, for my basic needs I define it as a calendar to help manage what content I intend to post to my blog and when I want to publish that content.

There are several different forms or types of an editorial calendar. A popular type that I have seen and read about, especially for genealogy bloggers, is an excel spreadsheet. There are others that are plugins for your blogging platform, there are even companies that produce editorial calendar type software that you can pay for. I have tried the excel spreadsheet and also tried using my to-do list, toodledo.com. However, none of those really worked that well for me. The spreadsheet was just another document I had to open and maintain. The to-do list approach kind of worked and I still use it a little to manage posts but it didn't give me the overall picture I needed to see what I was going to post. So, I turned to google calendar.

I already use google, as do a lot of people. I have a few different accounts; one for the family, a personal account, and one for genealogy. Each account comes with a calendar and you can set them up to share/edit from your other accounts. The picture above shows my google editorial calendar. It does what I want and need an editorial calendar to do and I didn't have to spend a dime or make another document.

The calendar gives me a visual snapshot of my intended content for my blog. I can see where there are holes so when I am scheduling content I don't post too much in one day and leave other days completely blank. I’m spreading things out and trying to keep the blog fresh with new content and not dormant for too long.

The calendar lists all the posts that I've completed and intend to complete. When you add an event into the calendar, you have color coding options and you can also assign it a specific time (obviously because it is a calendar). I use both of these to help tell manage posts.

  • Red = I have not started writing that post yet.
  • Yellow = I have started writing but not complete.
  • Green with a time = Post is complete and scheduled to post on that day and at that time.

The red and yellow stand out more because they have no specific time assigned to them, that event is an all-day event. I like that because it makes them much more visible; staring me in the face saying "finish me".

I said that I have different accounts on google so I just use the calendar that comes with my genealogy account as my editorial calendar. I use my other google account calendars as regular calendars. For instance, the family account is where we put all our appointments and commitments. What is good with using your google calendars and sharing them is you can view more than one calendar at a time. The picture below is an excerpt from our family calendar with my genealogy calendar activated - both calendars are visible. I like this because I can see what posts I need to work on alongside any family commitments we may have which makes planning the time to work on posts a little easier. This calendar is not that full right now but wait a month or so when scouts and sports start up for our kids - I'll be very thankful I have this setup. image

If you only have one google account or you don't want to use two separate accounts, you can still have separate calendars which work just like mine. Google allows you to make additional calendars within your account. Here is a step by step if you don't know how to do that:

  1. Open your google calendar
  2. On the upper right corner, there is a cog wheel with an down facing arrow, click that.
  3. A menu will open, click on settings, you will now be in your google general calendar settings
  4. On the upper left, there are tabs, click on the calendars tab.
  5. The first section shows 'My Calendars', this is where any calendars that you currently can view and edit will show up. Go under that and click on 'create new calendar'. This brings up the new calendar setup.
  6. Name the calendar, type in a description if you want, make sure the calendar time zone is correct and then go to the top or bottom and hit 'create calendar' again
  7. You are sent back to your normal calendar view and on the left side of the screen, under the heading 'My Calendars' your new calendar should appear. You're done.

imageNow you can see and edit all your calendars at one time. If you want to hide one of the calendars, say you just want to see your blogging calendar, then go to the "My Calendars' on the left side and click on the calendars you want to hide. Click on it again to view it.

As I said, I did not use a editorial calendar at first but now it is a must-have for me. There are several different options to explore when creating one for you, google calendar is just the option that works best for me.

Do you use a different type of editorial calendar? Do you have any suggestions for how I use mine? If so, please leave a comment and let everyone know.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin' for that family.



© 2014 copyright, Christopher Shaw

This Day in History–2 September

This Day in History

On this day in:

1724 – Elijah Capen (Wife’s 2nd cousin 8 times removed) married Elizabeth Bird.

1817 – Theresia Piller (3rd Great Grandaunt) was born in Milititsch, Batschka, Hungary, Austria.

Thank you for reading – if you find a link to our family or would like to know anything more about those listed above, please contact me.

Keep diggin’ for that family.


© 2014 copyright, Christopher Shaw, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Farming Ancestors of the 1700s–Labor Day

Farm of 1794On the occasion of Labor Day, I thought I would try and explain at least one of the many occupations that our ancestors claimed as their own and how that life may have appeared. The most predominant occupation that I have discovered for our ancestors is that of farmers. This is especially true for ancestors before 1900 who all lived in Europe. Being farmers should be of no surprise because agriculture and farming was the leading occupation for most during these times. A look at the occupations that I have discovered shows farmers for the past 300+ years. Instead of covering all that time, I am going to focus on some of our oldest ancestors who were peasant farmers in 18th Century Europe, in the region which is now in and around Serbia.

I cannot be 100% certain that all of these ancestors were farmers and will probably never be able to confirm this. However, all four of these ancestors have one thing in common (besides being my ancestors). They all emigrated from their homelands during the 18th century to this region.

The ancestors and their families that I will be talking about are as follows (all part of my maternal line):

Village Map 1700s immigrantsMartin Hinterhauser (6th Great Grandfather), village of Brestowatz or Backi Brestovac

Joseph Morlock (6th Great Grandfather), village of Filipowa or Backi Bracac

Johann Adam Teppert (6th Great Grandfather) village of Apatin

Rupert Csihas (6th great Grandfather), village of Batschsentiwan or Prigrevica

All of these ancestors were of German decent, three of which I can trace back to modern day Germany. So maybe a brief history covering how, I believe, these ancestors became farmers in a region which, today, we do not typically think of as German.

This area, back in the 1700s, was known as the Batschka. It is predominantly flat and fertile lands for agricultural purposes. Through the 1600s and early into the 1700s the land was disputed territory between the Ottoman's to the east and the Hapsburg's to the west. The Hapsburg's finally won out but as the Ottoman's retreated, they left the land in total destruction. The Hapsburg's, beginning with Emperor Joseph I wanted to regain the fertile lands and provided great incentives for any Germans they could convince to leave their homelands and settle the area. The incentives changed over the years but the basics were free land, at least tax-free land for so many years. They were also offered the many items they would need to help them settle their land and begin farming. The items included horses and everything needed to use the horses to plow the fields and pull their carts, they also received other farming tools like shovels and sickles. They were also given the typical items needed for preparing and cooking food. You can see the entire list here; Specifications of goods & tools, supplied to a colonist. You can also read a more extensive history at this site; Batschka.

Although these reestablished settlements needed trade workers, most of the colonists came to start a new life and work the fields as farmers. So, more than likely, our ancestors first years in their new homes were spent in the fields, planting, tending, and harvesting what they could from the land.

Anyone who has done any type of farming or even prepared their own personal gardens knows that there is a lot of work involved, even today with our modern conveniences and machinery. Our ancestors of the late 1700s had no machinery, they had to depend on the strength of their back, their horses, mules, oxen, or cows, and their neighbors. The fields required constant attention and a day in the fields would typically start before dawn and continue past dusk.

Undoubtedly, the fields were not the responsibility of just one family, it was a community affair. A family may have a few acres that 'belonged' to them but the work had to be shared and everyone chipped in; the whole community depended on the food that these fields produced. And it was not just up to the men of the community, everyone helped out to get the crops to the tables. If someone wasn't in the field helping then they were at home taking care of small children not old or strong enough to work in fields along with all the other daily chores of life in the 1700s like preparing and cooking meals, washing, and tending to the animals of the household, which could have been chickens, goats, and probably cows.

So, on this labor day when we think about the labor that built this country, take a step back and remember our peasant farming ancestors who broke the ground in these new communities and paved the way to our existence today.

I’m pretty sure all of us have some kind of farmer in your ancestry, where did they farm? Write a post on your blog about it or let us know in the comments for this one.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family.


Photo Attribution: Johann Ludwig Ernst Morgenstern [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sources used in this post:
- Leeb, Alex. “Life of a Schwob”, Danauschwaben Villages Helping Hands, 2004, http://www.dvhh.org/banat/lifestyles/schwob_life.htm.
- Tullius, Nick. “A Short History of the Danube Swabians” Donauschwaben Villages Helping Hands; Danube Swabian History, 2013, http://www.dvhh.org/history/1700s/DS-history~tullius.htm.

© 2014 copyright, Christopher Shaw, All Rights Reserved.

This Day in History–1 Sept

This Day in HistoryOn this day in:

1685 – Priscilla Capen (Wife’s 1st cousin 9 times removed) was born in Topsfield, Massachusetts.

1751 – Sarah Capen (Wife’s 3rd cousin 7 times removed) was baptized in Stoughton, Massachusetts.

1772 – √Ągidius Morlock (5th Great Granduncle) was born in Schellbron, Neuhausen, Germany.

1906 – Selina Russell (3rd Great Grandmother) died in Caerphilly, Glamorgan, Wales.

Thank you for reading – if you find a link to our family or would like to know anything more about those listed above, please contact me.

Keep diggin’ for that family.


© 2014 copyright, Christopher Shaw, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Data Backup Day–Don’t Lose all that Hard Work!

Data Backup DayTomorrow is data backup day for a lot of family historians and I am no different. If you are not backing up your data tomorrow then I hope you have another day set aside at least once a month to do a backup. I thought I would post this the day before to show how I backup my data which may help someone with their backup routine and maybe others can give me some tips on my process.

Before I say anything else, the most important thing about backup is that you are using a backup scheme that works best for you and your situation and one that you will stick to. But, at the very minimum and what I’ve always been told is that it is a good idea to backup your data to at least one other type of media that is physically separated from what you are backing up. For instance, if your are backing up the hard drive on your desktop computer, the media you are backing up to should not be within your desktop tower. It should be to an external hard drive or a flash drive or maybe DVDs. Like I said, that is the minimum, I like to exceed this for extra piece of mind and it doesn’t really take all that much effort.

My backup plan is centered around multiple copies in different locations. Here is what I do:

1. I own a 1 TB Western Digital My Book Live drive that is connected to my home network via our router. I use the software that came with the drive and I have it setup to backup all the files on the two hard drives in my desktop, this includes all of my genealogy data. This software is a continuous backup so I don’t have to remember to push a backup button. However, I do check it at least once a week to make sure it is working properly.

2. In order to have all my genealogy data with me wherever I go, I use Dropbox. I have it installed on my desktop and on my Surface Pro 2, which is my laptop. So, it also serves as another backup of my data. Not only do I have it on my desktop and my Surface Pro 2 but it is also located in the cloud. By the way, I share genealogy data with my sister who is in a completely different state and she has Dropbox on her computer also, so there is another mode of backup.

3. I own two 1 TB WD my passport external drives. One of these drives is for all my genealogy data and the other is for all the other important files that I need to backup. These are my third layer of backup and I keep both hard drives locked up in my desk at work. I bring them home on the 1st of each month, do my backups and take them back to work.

The first two parts of my plan are almost automatic, I don’t really have to think about them too much and my data is being backed up. I had to set them up initially and I do check them quite often to ensure things are working the way I want them to work, but for the most part they work in the background. The third step is the one that really takes any time and effort. I have to physically connect these to my desktop via USB and then copy all the files I want to backup onto the drives. Depending on the mood of my computer, the process can take as little as 30 minutes but it has also taken up to about an 2 hours. However, the extra piece of mind that this step gives me is worth any amount of time it takes.

So, that is how I backup my data each and every month. It is the system that works best for me and gives me piece of mind. There are a lot of different ways to backup your data, Thomas MacEntee, of Geneabloggers has a whole page setup with backup resources here: Resources For Backing Up Your Data.

Do you have any suggestions on making my system better?  How do you backup your data? Write a post on your own blog about your backup plan or share it in the comments here.

Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family.


© 2014 copyright, Christopher Shaw, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pakledinac (Pakledinaz) Family of Tompojevci

John (Ivan) Pakledinaz (Pakledinac)For the past month or so, I have been making my way through church records from the Sotin parish located in what is now Croatia but at the time of these records it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. My ancestors are from the nearby village of Tompojevci. Sotin is where the main parish was so that is where I look for church records. My goal for this was to confirm my great grandfather’s birth and parents and look for other family in the village. The records are extensive, covering birth, marriage, and deaths from 1795 – 1895, so I have many records to go through; you can read what I have already written about these records here; Old Country Church Records.

I would like to say that I am through with the records but I am not, I have only made it through the baptisms for years 1857 – 1895 with minor browsing through all the other years. However, I wanted to share what I have uncovered so far.

As I mentioned, the goal was to look for family of my great grandfather, John Pakledinaz. What I have to report about his mother, father, and siblings is not great happy news. I am happy to find his family and put more of my history together, but I cannot imagine what his parents and the rest of the family had to go through during this time.

John’s parents are Marcus and Elisabetha (Bankovic) Pakledinaz. They had 10 children that I can find in the records, only 4 of those would live past their 1st year of life, and one other would die at age 15. It is not uncommon to have children die within months of birth in this era, I have run into it with other families I am researching but I have not had a family that lost this many children so early in life. I cannot and will not even try to imagine losing one of my children. I cannot begin to feel how devastating this must have been for Marcus and Elisabetha, my 2nd great grandparents. Here is a list of their children:

1. Marianus – born (listed as their first-born) 10 October 1866, died 13 October 1866, just 3 days old.

2. Joannes – born 2 December 1867, died 22 August 1883, just 15 years old.

3. Adamus – born 24 March 1870, died 29 Aug 1871, just 1 year old.

4. Elias – born 20 July 1874, died 19 Dec 1874, just 5 months old.

5. Magdalena – born 24 October 1875, died 4 December 1875, just a month old.

6. Barbara – 26 December 1876, died on ??. I hope to find some more about her.

7. Josip – 19 March 1879, died on ??. He immigrated to the US in 1906 and sometime before 1920 changed his name from Pakledinaz to Parker. In 1930, he was in Michigan with his family – I lose track of him after that.

8. Matija – born 19 February 1881, died 11 August 1881, just 5 months old.

9. Gjuragj – born 10 May 1883, died 24 February 1885, just 1 year old.

10. Ivan (John, my great grandfather) – born 16 March 1885, died 13 March 1957 in Detroit, Michigan. I’ve written about him in these previous posts: Birth Record, Draft Registration Cards, Immigration Ship Manifest, Surname Saturday - Pakledinac (I am going to have to update my Pakledinac page soon with the new information I am finding).

As I continue through these records, I will make additional posts on my findings of our Pakledinaz (Pakledinac) and Bankovic ancestors. My goal is to be through them by the end of September.

The citation for these records are: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, "Croatia, Church Books, 1516-1994," database and images, Family Search (https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2040054 : accessed 17 Aug 2014); Roman Catholic (Rimokatoli?ka crkva) > Sotin > Births (Ro?eni),Marriages (Vjen?ani), Deaths (Umrli) 1857-1885

Thanks for reading and keep diggin’ for that family.


© 2014 copyright, Christopher Shaw, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Follow Friday–My Favorites from the last week (or so…)

Follow FridayThe below blog posts caught my attention over the past week or so and thought I would pass them along in case you missed them.
- Three Years of Blogging Happiness- Wendy, at Jollett, Etc. celebrated her three year blogaversary by updating and revamping her blog – I think it looks great and what she did can offer all of us some suggestions on improving our blogs.
- 10 Tips to Revive and Refocus Your Family History Research- Lynn, of The Armchair Genealogist (one of my favorites) gives some good advice on how to refocus your research efforts.
- 30+ Ultimate Headline Formulas for Tweets, Posts, Articles, and Emails – Kevan Lee of buffersocial give some excellent formulas that successful social media and bloggers us to come up with their eye-catching headlines.
- Top 10 Articles of August 2014 – the Journal of American Revolution presents their best from the month. I think I covered some of these on my follow Friday posts, but its worth repeating. Although it is not a genealogy blog, it gives great information to help put context to your Revolutionary War ancestors. And it is a great read for us history nerds.
- Trials and Tribulations of Writing while Sleeping – Mark Boonshoft of The Junto shares how he deals with getting his best ideas and moments of genius at the most inconvenient times.
I hope you find these useful or at the very least, interesting.
Thanks for reading and keep diggin' for that family.
© 2014 copyright, Christopher Shaw