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The Absolutely Literate blog is for people interested in writing, editing, design, history and family history.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Facebook and the Genealogist

Back in September I went to the Harvest Your Family Tree hosted by the Kelowna and District Genealogical Society. Mark your calendar for September 2016 as it is BC's biggest conference and is held every two years and was attended by over 200 amateur and professional genealogists.

As part of the goody bag from the conference I could take a free online course from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I just started "Social Media Tools for the Wise Genealogist."

Module 1 suggested a some new Facebook sites for family history and I came across a link to Genealogy à la carte and her post "Facebook for Canadian genealogy." She discusses her initial reluctance to use social media for genealogy until she discovered groups. I agree with her that the groups are great. You can get notifications about new resources coming available, resources you might not have considered, and so forth. For example, through the County Waterford History & Genealogy Facebook page, I just learnt that by summer 2015, the National Library of Ireland will have a dedicated website making its collection of Catholic parish register microfilms freely available online. I can't wait!

Gail Dever of Genealogy à la carte has compiled a listing of genealogical societies, historical societies, national and provincial archives, museums, United Empire Loyalist groups, and special interest groups for Canadian genealogy; you can download it from the bottom of her post.

Try out some of the pages and let me know if you found some favourites.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mystery Photos

We all have those mystery photos in our collections. Sometimes they come with family stories and sometimes they come with no information at all.
Mystery photo: Durupt family collection.

The photo here is one of the mystery photos in my husband's family.

A lot of stock has been put into this picture to unlocking some family mysteries so it would be wonderful if we could determine more information.

After some photo research we think it is White Rock, BC. 

We need to do some more research into the uniform to determine if it is WW2 or Korean War. The family story says it is WW2 but other evidence suggests other possibilities.

The woman may be Elsie Durupt or Yvonne Gwendoline Marie Durupt, later Yvonne Mixon.

The men are unknown though we have wondered if the one without the shirt is Hubert James Durupt.

We only have pictures of the people in question later in life so nothing for comparison purposes.

So how do we figure it out?

Update, November 7, 2014

I enlisted the help of Paul Ferguson, Historical Researcher, Writer, Collections Advisor. He noted that the soldier on the left "his end sleeve are a series of chevrons as there is no white chevron, indicating he joined in 1939, it would suggest that the image is from the later 1940s. The cap badge appears to be a flaming grenade which may mean either infantry or armoured. I think the sailor is from the US Navy."

So we have now narrowed down the picture to WW2 and Canadian on one side, US on the other.

I have also posted the picture to a family Facebook page and someone else in the family thinks they might have the same picture with names written on the back so I am waiting impatiently to hear back.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Celebrate Canada Day in Fort Langley!

Join me at the Fort Langley Festival of the Book to be held on July 1, 2014 at the Fort Langley Community Hall in beautiful downtown Fort Langley.

This free family event runs from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm.

The feature image, left, shows the wonderful work by artist Richard Cole.

Book fair featuring independent authors

Workshops and displays featuring reading and the history of the book at the Fort Langley Library, the Langley Centennial Museum and the British Columbia Farm Machinery Museum

Hands-on activities for children of all ages

The Alcuin Society Book Design award-winners: the best designed Canadian books of 2013. Categories include children’s, limited editions, pictorial, poetry, fiction, non-fiction and reference 

Julius Caesar performed by Bard in the Valley

Click for more details.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Changing Vancouver - Map Your Ancestors

I was doing some research for my upcoming Seafaring Ancestors: When a Merchant is Ship-Owner,Maker or Supplier presentation and happened across Changing Vancouver then and now images, a blog that features before and after photographs, mostly from the Vancouver Archives, BC Archives and Vancouver Public Library collections. 

City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 99-4836, photographer Stuart Thompson
I realized when looking at the post for Robson and Burrard – sw corner (1) that while I have the 1892 Williams Illustrated Official BC Directory entry for my ancestor, John Rounsefell, I had never located 800 Burrard on a map. I have walked past the location of his former residence countless times without realizing my own connection.

Changing Vancouver is an interesting way of looking at Vancouver with the historical images next to the current images. I love sites like this and HistoryPin as they provide a current context for your research. It is hard to imagine parts of the city as residential or to place them in your mind.

By 1894, John Rounsefell moved down the street to 1126 Robson, with his real estate office in the Hollandblock, 413 Cordova – a rather iconic part of Gastown.

A good reminder for family historians to map their ancestors. Next time I am in downtown Vancouver I will be looking at it from a different perspective.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Genealogy Selfie Contest

2nd Great Grandmother Julia Grossman, 1923 and Andrea, 2014.
I found this on Olive Tree Genealogy and it sounded like fun. Enter Gould Genealogy's Genealogy Selfie Contest for a chance to win a  Conversion Pack (Video Converter and PhotoMaker X4 slide/negative scanner) from Kaiser Baas.

Do you have a selfie of yourself doing something genealogy related? Maybe with your family history group or sorting through family pictures? Grab your phone, take a selfie.

Post it on Gould Genealogy's Twitter Account, Facebook Page or Google + page.  Details are at Genealogy Selfie Contest.

Have fun.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Memes, Can I use them?

Memes, those great images of Grumpy Cat or Captain Kirk with a humorous phrase that spread virally over social media, what a great way to promote your writing....right?

I love those old style ones that scold people into proper comma usage that people create using someecards. It says on their site they are free. But if you read their terms of service it is clear that it is free for personal use only: "You CANNOT use the Services to create advertising, promote a product, brand, Web site, social media program, community page, or Facebook fan page without written permission."

So what about the ones with Captain Kirk or Ryan Gosling? With Captain Kirk you are infringing on trademarks. With anything else, remember that copyright at its core is easy as I talked about in an earlier post, Hippy days of the internet are over. Either you took a picture and then it belongs to you or you didn’t take the picture and then you need to ask permission to use it.

With Ryan Gosling, or even your cousin, as Andy Goldstein states in his article, Technology: Internet memes pose legal questions, the meme could violate an individual's right of privacy when used for commercial purposes.

So what can you do? You could create your own memes using images that are out of copyright or that you own the copyright for? However, they may not capture the Zeitgeist aspect that is so essential to a meme going viral.

Deborah Sweeney in her article, The Copyright Conundrum of Memes in Social Advertising, argues that homemade memes often feel forced and cheapen your brand. I am not sure I agree. Do you?

But I am not a business, you say, I am just a writer. Or, we are a non-profit organization, you say, so not a commerical enterprise. Right? Ask yourself this question, are you using social media to promote your work or your organization? If the answer is yes, then, in the eyes of the law you are using works for commerical purposes and the fair use argument does not apply.

Play it safe and avoid copyright problems by avoiding memes unless you are able to make your own.


I am not a lawyer and this is NOT legal advice.

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