I'm a card-carrying member of Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter) and last weekend I joined a few of my Old Time music friends to play for the first-ever Fiddle Club Square & Ceilidh Dance. I'd been working on the tunes for months--I remember practicing Streak o' Lean during down times at the NGS conference in South Carolina way back in May--and I was excited to play.
But as I picked up my fiddle case that evening, I wasn't looking ahead. I was looking back. Somehow in the very moment that I headed out the door to join the Fiddle Club band I felt a deep and wonderful connection to the early fiddlers who kept their neighbors dancing.
I made mention of the experience on Facebook and my sister, who sometimes does open-hearth cooking at Wallace House in Somerville, New Jersey, replied:
"Very cool! A connection to the past is a wonderful and almost indescribable feeling. I get it when I do 18th century cooking."
A connection to the past is a wonderful thing and I've been fortunate to experience it numerous times. We once rented a Unitarian parsonage that had been the home of Francis Adrian Vanderkemp, a Dutch dissident and scholar who settled in upstate New York in the late 1700s. I remember sitting at a rough wooden table one evening with my journal open in front of me wondering if Mr. Vanderkemp had worked on translating the state's early Dutch records in that very room. The connection I felt to him encouraged me to try to make a difference with projects of my own. And every time I search through Chicago records for someone--the Catholic register entries from Polish parishes, for example, or the Northwestern Memorial Hospital ledgers that document Jewish women from Russia who were about to give birth--my heart wraps around the lives of the people in those immigrant communities and I'm inspired by their everyday brand of courage.
Thinking back on the dance, I wrote, "There's so much more to fiddle music than the music and what a privilege it is to play it." There's so much more to genealogy than names and dates and places and what a privilege it is that my work helps people connect with their family history.
Wishing you strong and satisfying connections to the past,
| Getting to Know Our Providers| ejpells
Elizabeth Pellicane offers custom research projects in New Jersey's Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset and Warren counties. She has 16 years experience with research in New England, New Jersey, and Italian records.
Marcia McCartt offers research in Ohio's Warren and Butler counties. She's the author of Monroe, Ohio (Images of America Series) and her other accomplishments include organizing a new DAR chapter and establishing a new Revolutionary War Patriot.
Jessica Dowell offers obituary and newspaper research for the state of Oregon. She's photographed and transcribed two local cemeteries and when she's not busy with genealogy projects she's busy being a mom and running her own wooden toy business.
Please visit our Facebook page to read about others who have listed new research offerings recently.
|How-to: Tips from the Help Desk|
|We really enjoy the customer service end of Genlighten. It's enjoyable to hear from site users by email or phone and satisfying to be able to help both clients and providers make use of the site.|
Here are some tips drawn from the most frequently-asked questions:
Log in with your user name. Type your user name--not your email address--in the user name box when you're trying to log in. Typing an email address seems to be the most common reason that people can't access the site.
Finish research requests in a timely way. When you receive a request that goes beyond a quick lookup please do your best to complete it within a month. Payment authorization is good for about 28 days and if it expires you'll get a payment processing error message when you click the "charge client" button. (If that happens, your client will need to submit the request again.)
Send messages through the site. If you get an email with a message that's been posted to a request page, click the link in the email and reply from the request page. Your message will be added to the thread and the person you're writing to will get immediate email notification that it's there. If you reply to the email, your note goes to Genlighten support. We'll happily log in and post it for you but it's not as quick as doing it yourself.
|Genlighten 2.0 Beta Update|
We're still hard at work on our next major release. Here's a
screenshot from the new Provider Profile page. Clients can message a provider or submit a private research request with just one click. They can also see a provider's research offerings, repositories, and localities at a glance.
|More on Collaborative Genealogy|
| Genlighten member Bart Brenner (aka "GeneaPopPop") penned a gratifying response to last month's newsletter article on "collaborative genealogy." We encouraged him to publish his comment as a post on his "Stardust and Roots" blog. And he did! Then he followed that post up with another marvelous one. We encourage you to check them out.|