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Saturday, March 22, 2014


We're into the third day of Springtime and we have managed to push aside the ravishes of Winter . . . the weather is pleasant, there were only sounds of baseball workouts coming from the back yard as school was out for Spring break . . .

The buds on most of our trees are advancing rapidly and overnight. We have repositioned our bird feeders, and we have enjoyed increasing traffic and less poop under the trellis area.

Since school was out this week the baseball fields behind our house were quite active with many basic type exercises for the new and returning little leaguers. We ventured over a couple of times to watch and relax and recall when our own kids were at that stage as well.

We have had to lower the sun shielding screens as the sun in the afternoon (from the West) is intense and pretty much blinds us at times. We have also renewed playing some Quiddler again and need the reduced glare to see the cards.

One current dilemma is that with the several days in a row now of 70s to 80s our pool is rapidly evaporating the water -- and our town has issued restrictions on water usage . . . do we refill or not  . . . we may have to make some decisions . . .

Dates for Next Week from our Tree

Lots of folks having birthdays next week, some more familiar than others but all are in the tree . . .

And an increasing number of marriage anniversaries for next week -- 10 couples managed to tie the knot:

Things are heatin' up, so-to-speak . . . it's Spring

Webinar Wednesday

I enjoyed this week's webinar a lot! The webinars each week have always had benefits no matter the subject and this week even more so:

Legacy Family Tree Webinars continues to stimulate for sure my searching enthusiasm. This week Kory Meyerink, in a fast moving fact filled presentation, went over the list of the top 50 most used and popular genealogy websites.

Many of the sites were not surprising to see on the list e.g., number one and for good reason. Ancestry adds so much to my genealogy searching ability, and I appreciate being able to subscribe.

There were though many surprises on the list as well. For example:,,, & -- sites that I have not really utilized and apparently should be.

I will be going through the list and investigating or re-investigating usage for my searching. This is probably a several month activity and it will be "fun".

In the above collage I have shown the dates of the upcoming webinars and their topics -- unfortunately next week is a "bye" week as the next webinar is in April . . . (withdrawal Wednesday nest week)

Speaking of Names (Surnames that is)

Recently, in one of my favorite daily must-reads I spotted the following information related to surnames around the world and in the United States. In (Dick Eastman's Newsletter) there was a very colorful map showing the most popular surnames for many countries:

And to the right,  from the site a listing of the most popular surnames in the U.S.

The United Kingdom and the United States have the same name as the most popular -- SMITH -- not too surprising. I am sooo glad that our tree is not overrun with SMITH as that must really be a nightmare to search.

In the U.S. list (as of 2000) it is interesting to see two Hispanic surnames in the top ten and it will be interesting to see the 2010 list . . .

Still Speaking of Surnames

As I do my research usually I first add individuals (or families) to my Family Tree Maker database. Currently I have a little over 9000 individuals listed there -- most are related one way or another to our family.

From FTM I then slowly add those folks to our family website -- -- and to the,, and various other online trees.

None of these trees match each other at any given time -- that takes a lot of work and effort. But there is a springtime for buds as well . . .

The above chart shows my current count in the Family Tree Maker database on my computer. Click on the above to see better detail. 

Of the 9258 individuals I have in the tree -- the number one surname (no surprise) is HILES with some 695 individuals and the second most popular surname being BUMGARDNER with 233 folks (no surprise either).

Then statistically the numbers drop rapidly, and there are surprises e.g. 90 THROCKMORTONS. Of course a lot of the numbers have to do with my searching and the "finds" that are mined from the data.

It is still interesting though that many of the most popular names in my FTM file are surnames that I have never met in real life. AND, way down the list is SMITH -- thank goodness at this point. All of the above is definitely subject to rapid change as I "strike gold" in any searches . . .

Lastly . . .

What first appeared to me as a huge "family-tree" chart caught my interest. And the TV and news is filled with the ingredients that make up the real Spring Madness:

You have to admit -- it does look like a family tree created by a genealogy software program, but alas it is the 2014 printout of the NCAA teams competing in this year's March Madness. We are not big basketball enthusiasts -- but we do peek into a couple of the games randomly.

It is amazing though to see how much enthusiasm is generated as the games progress. Las Vegas is thrilled as it is very similar to the activity surrounding the SuperBowl.

And just one more thought:

I've been told that I resemble that -- but I am working on changing that perspective -- mostly by changing the location and the form (digital) in which much of my "stuff" is found . . .

Tonight being Saturday night it is Enchilada night (we've been invited out) . . .

See you all in a few!

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