Adding Footnotes to your WordPress Posts Using Block Editor

WordPress would like us to believe that footnotes are not as popular as they once were and that linking directly to the source is much easier. This might be the case for many blogs but serious writers, including genealogists, need to cite their sources, i.e. include citations in their blog posts.

There are several ways to integrate citations into our writing.  In-text or parenthetical citations interrupt the flow of our writing and our followers’ reading. On the other hand, a reference outside the main text to the source of information (or even a comment for consideration) adds professionalism to our research and writing. These references are footnotes.

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The routine to add footnotes and sources to the post.

HTML code and/or Markdown for Footnotes

In May 2017 I wrote Source Citation Trick for WordPress.com – HTML Code with instruction for adding footnotes to blog posts using HTML code. It’s the second most viewed post on my blog. In January 2018 Amberly Peterson Beck, who blogs at thegenealogygirl, added a comment to the post:

Cathy, I learned a new trick you might like. It’s a little bit faster than how you have been doing it.

Amberly pointed me to an article on Markdown and a footnote cheat on the Markdown Quick Reference Cheat Sheet. After adding [^1] where the footnote number should be, a new line starting with [^1]: followed by the source citation is added below the line or paragraph. When published the Markdown functions are converted to HTML code. All of the [^#] become superscript numbers with links to the footnotes. The [^#]: with citations are listed at the bottom of the post as footnotes with a link back to the original reference. Quick and easy.

The New WordPress Editor: Block Editor

In the last few years, WordPress has been working on and promoting the Block Editor on its platform. The Classic Editor is still available although accessing it is a bit tricky. We’ve been told that the Classic Block in Block Editor can be used instead of the Classic Editor. But will the Classic Block also one day disappear?

In the past few days, my friend Amy Cohen of Brotmanblog has been talking to the support people at WordPress about the problems she is having with footnotes in the Block Editor. What she came away with was that footnote functionality is not a top priority at WordPress and the ability to use Markdown is also disappearing. This is hard to believe as the Block Editor includes a Markdown Block.

If you search online for articles on how to add footnotes to blog posts you will find either how-to’s on adding and using footnote plugins or creating footnotes with HTML code. Plugins are out of the question for the free-plan users on WordPress and HTML code is, for most people, too complicated.

Preparing for the unavoidable

The fate of the Classic Editor, now only available on the WP-Admin page, is at this time unknown. We need to prepare for the day we can no longer use it.

Presently, Markdown is a standard feature of the built-in plugins on WordPress.com sites with the free plan. Even if WordPress doesn’t get rid of Markdown on the free-plan sites, it isn’t compatible with the new WordPress Editor. This is one of the reasons Amy got in touch with support.

Until two days ago, I had not bothered to look at the Block Editor. I’ve been using the Classic Editor for nearly seven years and have finally developed a routine that works for me. Learning how to use the blocks is not as easy as the young ones at WordPress would like us to believe. This is my first post written in the new editor.

Adding Footnotes in the Block Editor

After a bit of searching, reading, and experimenting, I worked out this routine to add footnotes to a post in the new editor.

The main function needed is Page Jumps, the term WordPress uses for the advanced HTML anchor. This is the same function as bookmarks in Microsoft Word. Although the feature is called HTML anchor, we won’t be working with HTML code.

To make this simple, let’s pretend we have a post in the Block Editor ready to publish and all it’s missing is the footnotes. We want to make it easy for our readers who want to consult the citations while reading our post to switch between the post and the list of sources. This requires linking to and from the list.

The routine to add footnotes and sources to the post

Add footnote numbers to your post. This can be a 1 or [1], in regular font or smaller text slightly above the normal line of type (superscript) – whichever format you prefer. For superscript, highlight your footnote number, click on the down arrow in the top toolbar, and choose superscript. Do this with all footnote numbers.

Formatting the footnote numbers with superscript.

Add the citation list. For our list of citations, we need a List block. Add it below the first paragraph with a footnote. In the top toolbar choose a numbered list.

Adding a List block with numbered list to your post

With your cursor in the List block, scroll to the bottom of the right sidebar, click the down arrow open the Advanced option. In the HTML anchor box enter fn. This will be your anchor or bookmark for the footnote list. The List block is now ready for citations to be added.

Adding an anchor to the List block

Add the source citations to the list. With your List block below the paragraph with the first footnote, click into the List block and add the citation for footnote [1]. At the end of the citation, leave a space and add a return arrow symbol – ↩

List block with first citation.

Using the down button on your toolbar, move the List block down below the next paragraph with a footnote. Add the citation. Repeat to the end of the article.

Add the link to the source list to all footnote numbers. Highlight the footnote number (including brackets if used), click on the Link symbol in the top toolbar or Ctrl+K, type #fn in the pop-up and return. Repeat with each footnote number.

Adding a link from footnote to source list.

Add an anchor to the text with a footnote. Each paragraph with a footnote requires an anchor to jump from the citation list back to the text. Go to the first paragraph with a footnote, add fnref-1 as an anchor (same procedure as with the fn anchor in List block). Repeat with each footnote changing only the number.

Recap of what we’ve done so far. All footnote numbers are formatted and linked (#fn) to the List block (anchor fn). The citation list is complete, anchors back to the text are in place (fnref-1, etc.), and we can now add links back to the text with the footnotes.

Add links to the end of each citation in the source list. At the end of the first citation, highlight the return arrow symbol ↩, add the link #fnref-1 back to the anchor. Repeat with each citation. #fnref-2, #fnref-3, etc.

Add a Separator block above the List block. Place the List block with the citations at the end of your post. To separate it from your post, add a Separator block. Choose Wide Line as the style and choose a color. (I believe white may be the default color and if your background is white, no line will be seen in your Separator block) Following the Separator line, you could also add a heading or paragraph titled sources, references, etc.

What this looks like when published

Caveat. There are some limitations to this procedure. Only one anchor can be used per block. If more than one footnote is in a paragraph, you can only use one anchor. Example: If [5], [6], and [7] are the footnotes in one paragraph, I would suggest always using the lowest or highest number consistently (fnref-5 or fnref-7) as an anchor.

Speeding up the process

Once you understand the routine, there are some things you can do to speed up the process.

  1. If you write directly in the WordPress editor, footnote numbers can be added and formatted to superscript while you write.
  2. You can place the anchors for the footnote reference number (fnref-1) in the paragraph block while writing.
  3. The List block can be positioned below your writing area and citations added as you write.
  4. Consider creating a Reusable block for the source list including links to each anchor for the return arrows to take the reader back to the text. If you average 3 or 20 footnotes and citations per post, create a List block (1. Source. ↩) with your average number of footnotes and save it as Sources.
  5. You can also group blocks. I’m going to try grouping the Separator block, a title for the source list, and the List block for the sources. Then after the three are grouped as one block, I will make it a reusable block. I’ve already tried this with my signature image and my copyright line that I use at the end of each post.

Getting over the fear of using the Block Editor

While writing this post I had to learn how to use the Block Editor. There are things that frustrated me. For example, I was unable to copy/paste snippets of text from one block to another. This was very annoying as I ended up re-typing things I wanted to copy. Adding images to the media gallery while in the Block Editor failed every time today and I hope it was only due to the servers being busy. On the positive side, I like that blocks can be moved around so easily.

The routine I described above is my first attempt at footnotes in the Block Editor. It may seem like a lot of work but once you get used to the routine of placing anchors and links, it becomes easier and quicker to do. 

If there is a better way or if you can think of anything that would improve my routine, I’d be happy to hear from you. Feel free to ask for help if anything is unclear. Good luck with your footnotes and using the Block Editor.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Sixth Blogiversary!

I’ve been flying with WordPress for six years! Hundreds of thousands of words have been written, deleted, and rearranged into, hopefully, interesting articles. It’s been an amazing journey – this blogging thing.

I started blogging 2014, the first year Amy Johnson Crow introduced the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.

I wrote about all of my children’s ancestors from their grandparents to their 5th great-grandparents. I began working on the 6th great-grandparents last April. Now I’m picking an ancestral couple on a whim and without a strict schedule. It’ll probably take several years to get this generation done.

Visitors to my blog have been more interested in content that was non-related to The Ancestors.

All-Time Top 10 Posts and Pages

How I Got My MISSING AncestryDNA Circles Back – April 2018 [Even though Ancestry has gotten rid of Circles people still visit this post.]

6 AncestryDNA Notes for Easier Comparison – October 2016

Dear Cousin ~ We Have a DNA Match, Now What? – March 2018

The Ancestors, a page linking all of my children’s ancestor posts written in the past six years, mainly for the 52 Ancestors series and now for The Ancestors series.

Source Citation Trick for WordPress.com – HTML Code – May 2017 [Since I began using Markdown for posts and pages I no longer use this trick to do footnotes and cite sources.]

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can – since April 2015, a page linking all posts from the series by the same name

How I Use and Manage AncestryDNA Notes – October 2016

James SIMS (1754-1845) Pioneer of Nicholas County, West Virginia – written in 2002 and at home on my blog since 2014

Step by Step Guide to Accessing Browse-only Records on FamilySearch – July 2017

ThruLines™ Introduced by Ancestry: TrueLines or TrueLies? – March 2019

It’s understandable that DNA posts draw more readers. My ancestors aren’t shared with everyone while DNA is of interest to people using this genetic genealogy tool to prove their ancestry. I might do a few DNA related posts this year but genealogy research and writing about The Ancestors will remain the top priority on this blog.

This is post #609. Over 115,000 visitors have dropped in and viewed my posts nearly 212,000 times during these six years.

Happy 6th Blogiversary to Opening Doors in Brick Walls. Thanks to all of you for making this such an enjoyable journey.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

2019 A Year in Review and What’s Coming in 2020

No resolutions and no promises were made for 2019. I wanted to work on whatever needed to be researched, reviewed, or updated.

Researching and writing without a schedule worked for a while. I wrote about my 3rd great-grandfather William CLONCH’s estate and the strange goings-on in the lives of his sons John and Alex, my 2nd great-grandfather.

With the questions on the CLONCH line answered, I realized I needed to formulate a research plan and/or schedule. Which families or geographical areas did I want to work on while leaving me time to keep up with new matches on my brother’s AncestryDNA test?

My children’s ancestors had been covered from their grandparents to their 5th great-grandparents during three rounds of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors. The 6th great-grandparents were waiting to be reviewed, researched, and written about. The posts were supposed to be short and informative but the couples I started with were a bit more complicated than expected.

Johannes HAMES (c1756-1826) and Agnes BOUR alias HEITZ (1755-1836) were first up and I was able to write about them in a single post. While researching Remacle TRAUSCH (1761-1804) and Theresia BRAUN (1766-1798), I felt I needed to prove his parents and her parents which led to proving their parents. I ended up writing a series of seven posts. The same thing happened with  Jean MAJERUS (1766-1852) and Margretha BREGER (1767-1851) and with Hubert CORNELY (ca. 1753-1816) and Margaretha EVEN (1756-1839). I wrote five posts for the first couple and three for the second. At this rate, I’d not be getting one couple done per week as I’d hoped. But I was getting some great research done as well as discovering new generations of ancestors for these lines.

The Slave Name Roll Project was put on ice in April as I worked only with Luxembourg civil and church records. It’s a bit difficult to find slave names when you aren’t working with US records.

My DNA results were ready in October. Research and writing were put on hold while I set up all my tools and worked on matches I didn’t have in common with my brother.

In December, wanting to get back to blogging regularly, I wrote about Holiday Traditions. These short posts about the season reminded me that genealogy also means saving the stories of the present and not only the past.

Overall, I’m satisfied with the content I added to my blog this year and the stats look good.

A Milestone in 2019

On the 4th of December, the total blog followers reached 500!

Posts, Views, and Viewers

During 2019 I wrote less than one post a week. This will be the 50th post, one less than last year. In comparison, I wrote 88 in 2017 and 129 in 2016. Views will be a little below 2018 while visitors remained the same.

Top posts for 2019

ThruLines™ Introduced by Ancestry: TrueLines or TrueLies?

I Found the Coolest Site to Use for Land Records in West Virginia

Wowsers! Ancestry Fixed My ThruLines

Look Who’s Finally Taken the Autosomal DNA Test

I No Longer Need that Lookup, Folks! – a reminder to check the FamilySearch catalog

Referrers

Google Search brought the most visitors and views to my blog followed by Facebook, WordPress Android App, and WordPress Reader. Number five referrer was Linda Stufflebean’s Friday’s Family History Finds on Empty Branches on the Family Tree. Thank you, Linda, for the mentions.

I Published a Book

One of my proudest moments in 2019 was when I received my first blog book. Now I need to find time to get the rest of the content of my blog ready to print.

What’s Coming in 2020?

  • I want to get back to working on my children’s 6th great-grandparents on a more regular basis AND write a single post about each set.
  • I’d like to write about DNA discoveries and highlight the tools I’ve been using.
  • The Slave Name Roll Project will come back monthly.
  • Several updates on older posts are in the works.
  • The Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can series’ final post, a synopsis of the family connections made during the process of writing about over 150 photos, still needs to be written. This was promised back in March 2017 and I never got around to working on it.

Happy New Year 2020. May it bring peace and hope for a better world and new keys to open the doors in your brick walls!

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

ThruLines™ Introduced by Ancestry: TrueLines or TrueLies?

Last week was an exciting week for many genealogists who attended the RootsTech conference or, like me, who followed the live stream from home. My interest was focused on DNA related news. Ancestry added MyTreeTags™, New & Improved DNA Matches, and ThruLines™ to their site. The most talked about is ThruLines™ which is available to customers without an Ancestry subscription for a limited time.

I found a few things about ThruLines™ which were helpful but there was something which upset me so much that I stopped checking. I took a few days to calm down before I gave feedback to Ancestry on their new ThruLines™ tool. First the good and the bad, then my feedback.

TrueLines or TrueLies?

There are several reasons for my snarky title. I may know and you may know that ThruLines™ is not the same as true lines or true lies. But do all users, especially those who are very new to family history research, realize this new feature is like the Ancestry Hints and Shared Ancestors Hints? It isn’t a fast and easy fix. We still need to do research.

The Positive

ThruLines™ has helped me to find two cousins descended from my great-grandmother Laura Belle INGRAM’s half-sister Ocie Ola INGRAM. Ocie has been ignored by many in their trees. The marriage of her mother to my great-great-grandfather Irvin Lewis INGRAM took place in 1888 and no 1900 census listing has been found to show the family group. As far as we know, they had only this one daughter. The marriage ended in divorce in 1904. I have tried to follow Ocie’s children and grandchildren but I would probably not have found these DNA cousins without looking through thousands of matches. ThruLines™ pulled them right up and with the correct connection even though the matches did not have public trees back to the INGRAM common ancestor.

I’m now seeing 63 of my 64 maternal 5th great-grandparents in the ThruLines™. The missing ancestor, Gerard MALAMBRE, was found in other trees with a different surname spelling. It wasn’t a surprise to find all maternal ancestors except this one listed. Not many people who have worked on these lines have their trees on Ancestry. I have very few maternal matches, mostly 5c and 6C, from clusters of descendants of a few immigrant families in America.

The Negative

Ancestry’s New & Improved DNA Matches and ThruLines™ are ignoring my 2nd great-grandparents William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD as the parents of my great-grandfather William Henderson DEMPSEY. In the case of this family line, ThruLines™ resembles quick & dirty tree work which shouldn’t be public or searchable unless it has been proven.

Don’t get me wrong. They haven’t changed my tree. People who are new to genealogy research and those who do not know how to use this tool will take this seriously. They will accept these errors without bothering to verify.

Screenshot of Common Ancestors of a match on AncestryDNA. According to Ancestry family trees, these are common ancestors.

The white boxes are actual entries in my tree while the dashed boxes are from information they have knitted in from other trees. The third cousin match has a private tree which likely includes William A. W. DEMPSEY as he is showing up on the match’s side. Why, if we both have this name in our trees, does the common ancestor show up as a Private person three generations further back? Why not William A. W. DEMPSEY?

ThruLines™ shows Emmanuel DEMPSEY of Logan County, West Virginia, as the father of my great-grandfather William Henderson DEMPSEY and this is reflected in the Common Ancestor match above.

I was hoping this new feature would help with my great-grandfather’s father William A. W. DEMPSEY’s brick wall. I was able to get the error above fixed. A person with a large tree likely accepted a Potential Father and Potential Mother and attached the wrong parents to my great-grandfather. The owner is not a direct descendant. The tree is so large I could not figure out how or if he is related.

I placed a comment on the tree with the wrong father for William Henderson DEMPSEY. The tree owner was quick to thank me for the help. He unlinked him and added the correct parents. There are still a few issues which I have further commented on. The owner appears to be willing to work on fixing his tree.

In ThruLines™ Emanuel DEMPSEY, his parents James DEMPSEY and Dorcas HAGER, his grandparents John DEMPSEY and Rachel SOLOMON, as well as the HAGER and VANNATER grandparents, have disappeared as potential ancestors. On a positive note, I was surprised to see this happen overnight.

I’m very disappointed I’m not seeing my 2nd great-grandparents William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD as ancestors. There are hundreds of matches who descend from Sarah’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents (WOOD, McGRAW, HONAKER, HONEGGER, WISEMAN, and DAVIS) and they are not being found with the ThruLines™ tool. Matches I need to sift out of the rest to be able to find fourth cousins who descend from William’s unknown parents or more distant cousins who descend from his parents’ ancestors.

Screenshot of my public tree on Ancestry. These are ancestors who were in Circles.

This is not the only 2nd great-grandparent who is missing. My Gordon Washington ROOP was married twice and there are DNA matches coming from both wives. However, ThruLines™ is only recognizing his second wife, the step-mother of my great-grandfather Walter Farmer ROOP. This means I have the wrong potential 3rd, 4th, and 5th great-grandparents. Once again this is a branch of the family which has hundreds of matches, descendants of PETERS, LIVELY, CASH, PROFFITT, ROBERTSON, and COCKRAM. The branch and all other matches are missing. Yes, they are still there but difficult to ferret out.

Screenshot of my public tree on Ancestry. These are ancestors who were in Circles.

What I Am Doing to Make this a Good Experience

This could be a good feature when used correctly. When we find cousins who are DNA matches and fit into our tree we cannot accept the connection without following the records to prove the relationship. I’m worried about the people who accept shaky leaves, potential parents, and now a line back to a potential common ancestor using 2, 3, or 4 trees. I don’t want to throw away the good with the bad. I’ll take a close look at each ancestor and the matches they are supposedly coming from.

I’ve had a public tree with only ancestors linked to the DNA test I manage. I don’t have any other public tree on Ancestry. In the past days, I’ve added known and proven matches to fix some ancestors on the ThruLines.

It’s strange that the lines with the most descendants are not showing up correctly. I’m hoping this might turn out to be more positive – with people cleaning up their trees so that the correct connections get noticed.

My Feedback to Ancestry

  •  I’m finding ThruLines useful in that it pulls up distant matches which would not have been found due to the thousands of matches which are impossible to sift through.
  •  I would not say that it adds value to my Ancestry experience. It only reminds me of the many errors in trees. Mine is not perfect and the reason I  attached a public tree to DNA with only ancestors. In hopes this will help improve ThruLines, I have started to add the siblings of ancestors with DNA connections and the descendants who are DNA matches.
  • Since the public tree I’m using is based on well-researched work on my part, I hope it is being managed appropriately by Ancestry and not being used to suggest false potential ancestors as I am seeing up to 4 different trees are being used to show a line down from a potential to a match.
  • I DO NOT want a quick and easy way to add an ancestor or a match to my tree or anyone else’s tree. I believe people should take time to analyze and then add to the tree. Any trees with quick & dirty work should be made private and unsearchable.
  • I strongly disagree that having a common ancestor with a match is proof that the DNA is coming from this ancestor. The only way this can be proven is by using a chromosome browser for comparing with other matches with the common ancestor.
  • Although I am not overall happy with ThruLines at this early time, I strongly agree that we should check back often as more people take the test.

Final Thoughts

New & Improved DNA Matches gives us the ability to sort matches using colored groups. MyTreeTagsTM should help eliminate the need for strange ancestor names and keep our research and connections to new matches more organized. The lists of matches who descend from common ancestors seen in ThruLines™ will help both our research and proving of ancestors.

Will all the hoopla about these recent additions to the Ancestry experience distract us from the lack of a chromosome browser? Perhaps for a while but I’m still referring matches to my Dear Cousin post.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

A New Milestone for Opening Doors in Brick Walls

It’s been an amazing journey – this blogging thing. I’d been doing family history research for about twenty years when I took up Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge to write about my ancestors.

It took me until week 3 to decide to start a blog. I already had a name I’d been using for my online family tree and for my Facebook page.

I don’t know how many pages of material all of my blog posts cover. This is post #559. Ninety thousand visitors have dropped in and viewed my posts over 168,000 times during these five years.

Although the majority of my articles have been about my children’s ancestors, visitors to my blog have been more interested in other content.

All-Time Top 10 Posts and Pages

6 AncestryDNA Notes for Easier Comparison – October 2016

How I Got My MISSING AncestryDNA Circles Back – April 2018

Dear Cousin ~ We Have a DNA Match, Now What? – March 2018

How I Use and Manage AncestryDNA Notes – October 2016

James SIMS (1754-1845) Pioneer of Nicholas County, West Virginia – written in 2002 and at home on my blog since 2014

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can – since April 2015, a page linking all posts from the series by the same name

Step by Step Guide to Accessing Browse-only Records on FamilySearch – July 2017

The Ancestors, a page linking all of my children’s ancestor posts written in the past five years, mainly for the 52 Ancestors series

52 Ancestors: #47 Johnny CASH’s 1C5R ~ Kesiah LIVELY – November 2014

About Cathy Meder-Dempsey, my “about page” last update in November 2017. Maybe I should refresh it a bit.

My Least Viewed Post

This young man was featured in Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #36 Otterbein E. PADDACK 1874-1942 on New Year’s Eve 2015 and has gotten the least amount of views of all of my posts. A grand total of 47 views compared to the 1,649 to 2,798 for the top 10 above. With a name like Otterbein Paddack, no wonder he hasn’t been Googled.

Search Terms

What brings traffic to my blog if they didn’t drop in by clicking a link shared on social media? Search terms are no longer a precise way of determining what people are searching for as they are often encrypted on the search engines. But the ones which do make the list are fun to look at.

The top search term over the years has been the blog name followed by Johnny Cash family tree. Number 3 was Verwurelter. If you don’t know what Verwurelter are then take a moment to read the only recipe post I’ve written: Family Tradition: Berliner and Verwurelter.

Luxembourg and German towns names, as well as all those surnames of ancestors, have drawn readers to my blog. One search might not have helped the person interested in a dempsey in prison in beckley wv. It makes me want to do the same search just to find out if there was a Dempsey in prison in Beckley. I’m always willing to solve a puzzle.

The person who visited looking for a naughty 50-something mother in the countryside was probably not very impressed when the search criteria turned up: 52 Ancestors: #50 My Naughty Mr. and Mrs. DEMPSEY.

Setting Goals for Year 6

As I mentioned in my first post in 2019, I’m taking things as they come this year. I’ll be working on whatever needs to be researched, reviewed, or updated. No resolutions and no promises.

Not all of my time is spent researching and writing for my blog. Three years ago the president of my genealogy society, Luxracines, asked if I would be interested in joining the committee. It’s not much work, he said.  It was more time consuming than I had thought but I will be offering my candidature for another three years when our annual meeting is held in March.

Along with spending time with family and friends, I also have a retired husband who wants to share his passion for cycling with me. He keeps me healthy since research and blogging are sedentary tasks. Riding 5,300 kilometers (3,293 miles) last year took 210 hours and that doesn’t include preparations time and after ride clean-up.  And I get my eight hours of sleep at night.

And now it’s time to light the candles.

Happy 5th Blogiversary to Opening Doors in Brick Walls. Thanks to all of you for making this such an enjoyable journey. © 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Back to Blogging after a Hiatus

Posts on Opening Doors in Brick Walls were suspended during the second half of March and the first week of April.

The groom having fun with his bride in 1978

Genealogy research and blogging took a back seat while my husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We flew off to Majorca for eleven days of “just the two of us” time. No genealogy and no bikes.

and in 2018.

In 2018 the bride was wearing white and the tradition “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” was also kept. My tiny bit older husband wore a new hat he borrowed from one of the souvenirs shops while I wore a blue scarf with my white windbreaker. He’s still as much fun as he was on our wedding day. Surprisingly, our re-enactment of the 1978 photo took on the first shot.

My photographer/husband, drilled in taking pictures of doors and anything useful for my blog, had a great time with his camera. We visited all corners of the beautiful island and came home with over 1200 photos.

La Seu, the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, viewed through a sculpture by Enrique Brogilla.

Tapas at C’an Martina Restaurante in Porto Petro

Windmills in the countryside.

Calla Millor beach.

Indoor market in Felanitx.

Cap de Formentor

Back home, I had to get caught up with emails and genealogy society business before getting back to researching and blogging. Since I was already on a break I extended it a bit.

I took time to focus on getting Genome Mate Pro (GMP) updated with matches and chromosome data from AncestryDNA, FTDNA, and GEDmatch. Becky Mason Walker, the developer of GMP, added MyHeritage as a source for DNA segments in the latest version but will not be supporting templates for import as she does not use MyHeritage at this time. There are others who are working on templates to do all-in-one imports from the site but as MyHeritage is still adding tools I thought it best to take it slowly. I used Eric Siemmoto’s template (in the files of the GMP FB group) to import MyHeritage chromosome data one match at a time for my top 150 matches.

Having had time to get a bit more familiar with the complex software, I am learning how to better use Genome Mate Pro. I had several very enlighting moments while reviewing matches as there are so many different ways to sort the data. They don’t tell you to watch the videos and read the user guide for nothing!

And now I can get back to opening doors in brick walls.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

A Family Book for Echternach

Rob DELTGEN, president of luxracines a.s.b.l. has announced the publication of the family book of ECHTERNACH by Thomas WEBERS (in German). Period 1796-1923, 5,862 families, 31,120 births, 751 pages.

Finally, researchers will have a family book for the commune of Echternach. For the longest time Echternach was the second largest town in Luxembourg. Even in the 1960s it had more hotel beds than Luxembourg City. No town in Luxembourg has a richer history.

1964-09-036-echternach
1964 – The Denzelt in Echternach during the visit of Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and King Olav V of Norway. Photo credit: Fred R. Dempsey (1936-1974).

Thomas WEBERS, an experienced author of numerous Luxembourgish and German family books, has embarked on this very extensive work and has mastered it with diligence and endurance.

Without the participation and support of the municipality of Echternach, this publication would not have been possible.

Please find below, the announcement made in German by Rob DELTGEN.

Ankündigung:

Familienbuch der Gemeinde Echternach

Echternach
Neuerscheinung Anfang März lieferbar

Familienbuch der Gemeinde ECHTERNACH
(1796–1923)

Autor: Thomas WEBERS

Herausgeber:
Gemeinde Echternach und luxracines asbl
5.862 Familien, 31.120 Geburten, 15.265 Todesfälle
751 Seiten
Vorverkauf 59 Euro (bis 28. Februar)
Ladenpreis ab 1. März: 69 Euro
Versand: Porto 15 € Inland, 25 € Ausland
Bitte angeben ob Versand oder SelbstabholerÜberweisung auf unser Bankkonto
luxracines.lu asbl
IBAN: LU97 1111 2992 8237 0000
BIC CCPLLULL

Abholbar bei der Buchpräsentation in Echternach (Termin wird mitgeteilt)
oder in unserem Lokal in Walferdingen während der Öffnungszeiten

Liebe Familienforscher,

Endlich liegt uns das Ortsfamilienbuch der Gemeinde ECHTERNACH vor. Diese Ortschaft war lange die zweitgrößte Ortschaft des Landes und noch in den sechziger Jahren besaß Echternach mehr Hotelbetten als die Hauptstadt Luxemburg. Es gibt keine Ortschaft in Luxemburg, die reicher an Geschichte ist. Funde aus der Stein- und Römerzeit belegen dies.

Thomas WEBERS, routinierter Autor zahlreicher Luxemburger und Deutscher Familienbücher, hat sich an diese doch sehr umfangreiche Arbeit herangewagt und sie mit Fleiß und Ausdauer bewältigt. Nicht immer war es für Thomas einfach, die Namen der Orte korrekt wiederzugeben. Wie schwer ist es für einen deutschen Forscher zu wissen, dass z.B. die in der Urkunde bezeichnete Ortschaft Siebenbrunnen identisch ist mit Septfontaines. Wir haben versucht die Orte-Datei soweit wie möglich zu berichtigen. Mein Dank geht hier auch an unsere fleißige Sekretärin Christiane OTH-DIEDERICH, welche mit großer Kompetenz vieles korrigiert hat.

Ohne die Beteiligung und Unterstützung der Gemeinde Echternach wäre diese Publikation nicht möglich gewesen. Dieses Buch ermöglicht nicht nur der Gemeinde die Originaldokumente zu schonen, denn jede Fotokopie schädigt die Tinte, sondern darüber hinaus ermöglicht dies den Unerfahrenen im Lesen der Akten, welche ja größtenteils in der alten deutschen Schreibweise, Spitzschrift genannt, verfasst sind, an exakte Daten zu kommen.

Wir danken der Gemeindeführung für die Zusammenarbeit.

Rob DELTGEN
Präsident von luxracines a.s.b.l.

bestwishescathy1© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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7 Top Suggestions from my Readers

logo_klengThe JNGH 2016, an international meeting of friends of genealogy and local history took place in Leudelange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, on Sunday, the 16th of October 2016. I represented the only genealogy blog in Luxembourg with Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

odibwlogo2016I wrote in Preparations and Afterthoughts on JNGH 2016 that neither my presence nor the interest in blogs and blogging drew the attention I had hoped. I asked my readers what I could do better next time. They were very forthcoming with their compliments and recommendations, mainly due to their own experience.

7 Top Suggestions from my Readers

1. If you don’t have extras, borrow two more laptops and screens. Run the presentation in German on one and in French on the other.

2. Explain the value of reading and of creating a blog.

3. Show how blogging has helped you in your research, i.e. having your information organized in one place, making connections with others of the same interest, etc.

4. Print out a sample post, maybe an introduction, in all your languages.

5. Include the languages you speak on the calling cards the next time you have them printed.

6. Draw the visitors’ attention to your table, i.e. balloons, flowers, candy.

7. Don’t be shy.

I’m taking these to heart and will implement them the next time I participate in this kind of exhibition. My inexperience and not having attended other genealogy events of this kind did not help. I believe shyness on my part may have also been a factor as noted in #7.

Here are the comments made by my readers (here and on Facebook) who kindly let me know I did a good job and coached me on how to make a better presentation at an international genealogy event.

Seems as though you did an excellent job of putting together your “booth”.  Suggestion: (not necessary, but just an idea) next time, borrow two more laptop and screens. Put one in German and one in French. (Of course, you would still have the one in English) Love your tree. ~ Luella, 3C1R, genealogist (Facebook)

Are you trying to encourage people to do more ancestry research or blogging, or both. Maybe you can put something together showing how blogging has helped you in your research, i.e. having your information organized in one place, making connections with others of the same interest, etc. I love all of your articles. ~ Ute (Facebook)

Cathy, I enjoyed your post, and it was quite interesting to learn that there are no bloggers in Luxembourg [there are no other genealogy bloggers], hard to believe. But, you are the first! Maybe next year, you could print out a sample post, maybe an introduction, in all your languages. Oh, I adore your calling card, I hope people picked them up, also next time you get them printed, put the languages on. Sorry about my suggestions. I hope you noticed an increase of hits on your blog. ~ Barbara Poole of Life From The Roots

1. I hope your presentation went well. As for suggestions, are there any Luxembourg FB groups? I know you are active on FB, so you’ve no doubt explored this avenue. Do you get any views from people in Luxembourg? Do you think it’s a language issue or just that people aren’t aware of blogging in general?
2. Well, until I started my own blog, I had NO idea what a blog really was or that there were so many genealogy blogs out there. So hang in there! Once people read your blog, they will see the value in reading and creating a blog. ~ Amy Cohen of Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

Maybe something like flowers or balloons on your table, something eye-catching next time would help draw attention to your table. Oh, and candy! I think you did great for the first time. Good luck with your next presentation! ~ Laura Mattingly of The Old Trunk in the Attic

Don’t be shy, Cathy! Your preparations were VERY professional although you don’t intend to make money out of your hobby! I very much love the design of your blogname, calling card and the tree. Until next year you will have worked on all the suggestions from your commentators and you’ll see, the visitors will come. To point out your language skills is a great idea! ~ Karen Feldbusch of Vorfahrensucher

I enjoyed reading this post, and seeing some of the links too, to see the venue photographs. Every place has its first genealogy blogger. You set the bar high for people to follow in your footsteps! ~Janice Webster Brown of Cow Hampshire

It looks and reads like you had a polished set up (nicely done on the logo, by the way). Perhaps your biggest asset is that you’re willing to ask and meditate on how you can better attract others to genealogy blogging. Good luck! ~ Michael Dyer of Family Sleuther

If you are interested in seeing what the other exhibitors presented, please visit Luxracines’ album titled Leudelange Journée Nationale de Généalogie 2016 with photos taken by Patrick Koster.

A special thank you to everyone who helped me out.

bestwishescathy1

2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Preparations and Afterthoughts on JNGH 2016

logo_klengThe JNGH 2016, an international meeting of friends of genealogy and local history in Leudelange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, was on my calendar last Sunday.

The day began quite early for me since it’s a 45 minutes drive to Leudelange. I had to be there at 8:30 a.m. to set up my table representing my blog. My husband took the time to drop me off and pick me up in the evening. I was a bit nervous and driving myself would have had me out of my comfort zone.

After hooking up my laptop and second monitor and hanging up my sign and family tree, I had time for Luxracines business. As treasurer of the association, I made the rounds with Christiane, our secretary, to welcome the participants and hand out free breakfast coupons. The coupons for a cup of coffee with a croissant went over well last year and the tradition was continued by Luxracines this year.

Preparations for JNGH 2016

I attended the JNGH 2014 as a visitor and to the JNGH 2015 as a member of Luxracines helping out at their booth. I wrote about this last year in my posodibwlogo2016t Working a Genealogy Stand at JNGH 2015, A First for Me! This year was completely new to me as I had a table all to myself, representing the only genealogy blog written in Luxembourg. If there are others “Made in Luxembourg” I would like to know about them.

visitingcardDuring the summer I designed a logo for my blog and used it on visiting cards I printed up on linen paper. I placed a QR code with a link to my blog on the back of the cards. Genealogy is my hobby, not a business. I didn’t see the necessity of paying for having a logo designed and cards printed up.

I prepared my first slide presentation using LibreOffice Impress, part of the free office suite program. I rarely use MS Word or Excel and haven’t seen the necessity of updating MS Office 2003. A simple presentation on how to start a genealogy blog was all I needed. I included French and German text annotations to the screenshots for creating a blog on WordPress.com. One slide showed how the dashboard looks in English, French, and German using side by side images. Simple explanations of posts, pages, comments, tools, appearance, media, and the menu were given in English. As I said, this was my first slide presentation and there are definitely things which can be improved on it.

distressedNot having any kind of printed material or posters, I transferred my logo to canvas (at right) using a distressed technique I learned about on Delia Creates. I’ve made a few of these since reading her posts in 2010 and have given them away as gifts. Delia posted an updated tutorial for distressed canvas in May 2011.

I had library duty last Wednesday and our president offered to print up a poster-sized family tree for my booth on the library’s plotter. My genealogy program does fan charts – full, half and quarter circles but not those nice family trees everyone envies. A few years ago I made one using Inkscape and Family Tree Art Tutorial by Jessica of Cutesy Crafts. Luckily I hadn’t deleted the file when cleaning up my laptop.

familytreeI like the way it turned out since, at the time, I put a lot of hours into placing all the names on the tree. But if I’d have known it was going to be of used I would have gone in and added a few of the recently found ancestors and framed it with a nice border.

How was my day?

Most visitors were from Luxembourg and the surrounding area. Beginners were seeking help on how to get started with their genealogy research. People who were more advanced in their research visited the stands with family and history books which could be looked through or even bought on the spot.

Christine K. from the National Library of Luxembourg’s stand came over to talk to me. She reads my blog and especially likes my Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can posts. Thank you very much! She found my blog by googling an ancestor’s name.

Julie Ann Jochum comes every year from Iowa to Luxembourg to represent Building Bridges with René Daubenfeld. She speaks only English and while things were a bit quiet she stopped by to talk to me. She had a question about Luxembourg research which probably would have even a more advanced genealogist stumped. Where can I find the birth record of an ancestor born in Spanish Luxembourg with the surname Spaniol? Without the name of a town this would mean searching through church records of all towns in Luxembourg. But where were the borders of Luxembourg when the Spanish had possession of the county? If anyone knows the answer please get in touch. Julie would love to be able to say she has an ancestor from Luxembourg.

leudelange1Several friends also dropped by but there were no visitors interested in blogging. On the way home my husband and I talked about what could be done about this.

People who do not know me may think I speak only English since my blog is in English. We agreed that it might be a good idea to make three slide presentations in English, French, and German. Translating each post on the blog into French and/or German is not doable. To work around this I added translation buttons on the right widget of my blog last year. My husband suggested putting up a sign next year and adding a notice to my blog that I speak Luxembourgish, German, and French.

I’ve been thinking about putting together a few “books” with the content of my blog in pdf form. Perhaps they could be printed and placed on exhibit for people to leaf through. What else could be done to draw more attention to genealogy blogs in Luxembourg?

bestwishescathy1

2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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JNGH 2016 – An International Genealogy Meet

logo_klengThe JNGH 2016, an international meeting for genealogy and local history in Leudelange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, was on my calendar yesterday. JNGH is the abbreviation for the French version of the event name:

  • Journée Nationale de Généalogie et histoire locale
  • Nationaler Tag der Genealogie und Lokalgeschichte
  • National Day of Genealogy and Local History

JNGH 2016 was organized by my genealogy association, Luxracines, under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and the commune of Leudelange with the participation of the National Archives of Luxembourg and the National Library of Luxembourg.

Participants: (flyer)

International
Internet Genealogy (recherches en Belgique et France)

Germany
Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Saarländische Familienkunde
GENPLUS_win (BERWE Gisbert)
Verein für Landeskunde im Saarland e. V.
Vereinigung für die Heimatkunde im Landkreis Saarlouis e.V.
Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V. – Trier
Gruppen Familien-und Wappenkunde

Belgium
GENIWAL Généalogie Informatique en Wallonie
Cercle Genealogique SCGD GELUX
SCGD-Namur (GENAM)
WALLONIA asbl Arlon Marche Florenville

France
Ass. généalogique de Hambach-Sarreguemines
Cercle Généalogique du Pays de la Nied
Cercle Généalogique Yutz 3 Frontières
Cercle Généalogique de Longwy

Luxembourg
Archives Nationales de Luxembourg
Bibliothèque Nationale de Luxembourg
Building Bridges (René Daubenfeld and Julie Ann Jochum)
Cercle Culturel et Historique de Leudelange
Comité Alstad
Commune de Leudelange
Claude Bettendroffer
Rob Deltgen (deltgen.com)
Hesper Geschichtsfrënn
Tun Jacoby (carnifex.lu)
Kayser – Vanolst
Luxracines.lu
Cathy Meder-Dempsey (Opening Doors in Brick Walls)
Christiane Oth-Diederich
Jean Thoma

Books (Luxemburgensia and Postcards)
Edouard Jegen
Jeanne Schoellen

Restaurant/Catering
Members of the Jugendhaus Leudelingen cartered to the exhibitors and guests during the day.

Presentations
Gisbert BERWE: Das Genealogie-Programm Gen-Plus (The Genealogy Program Gen-Plus)
John FELLER: Unsere Vor-, Haus- und Familiennamen – Ihre Herkunft und Bedeutung (Origins and Meanings of First, House, and Family Names)
Paul ZIMMER: Latein in den Kirchenbüchern korrekt lesen (Reading Latin Correctly in Church Records)
René DAUBENFELD: Auswanderung nach Amerika (Emigration to America)

The event, free and open to the public, began at 10 a.m. and lasted until 5 p.m. when the Éierewäin was offered to the participants by the commune of Leudelange. Éierewäin, Ehrenwein in German, is honorary wine in English.

ehrenwein1Our president Rob Deltgen giving his speech at the Éierewäin

ehrenwein2Yours truly listening to Rob’s speech.

cateringThe caterers, members of the Jugendhaus Leudelingen

christianeandcathyChristiane and Cathy at their tables

Next year the event may need a new name as “international” better describes the participation.

Tomorrow I’ll share how I prepared for the day.

bestwishescathy1

2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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