Archive for the ‘Free Stuff’ Category

Free Software Helps with Transcribing Documents!

Great Software for Transcribing Documents!

Yakking with your Friends on Facebook about how they get stuff done can pay off in lots of new ideas!

Thanks to Carol A Bowen Stevens, author of the Reflections From the Fence blog, I downloaded a very helpful software application, appropriately named “Transcript.”

Transcript allows  you to place an image in the top half of the screen, type the transcription on the lower half, and save it in .rtf format, recognized by most word processing programs, including Microsoft Word.

Here is an example, below:

Screen shot of Transcript showing Revolutionary War era, George Stocking's tombstone

This is a Screen shot of Transcript showing Revolutionary War era, George Stocking’s tombstone and the transcription.

The software is very easy to use.

Click on the image icon on the middle row above, choose an image to load from your hard drive, and then began typing in the lower part of the screen.

Oh my goodness, be still my heart!  Where has this software been for the several years I’ve been transcribing documents!?

After getting this far, my next question was, can I make it work with the indexing that I’m currently doing for the Sumner County (Kansas) Historical & Genealogical Society’s Pioneer Settler files?

For me, the answer is a resounding “yes!”

It will work, not only for ‘plain’ documents, but it will also work for transcribing ‘stuff’ that I want to drop (copy and paste) into an Excel or Google Docs sheet.

To use it for transcribing stuff to put into a spreadsheet, type what you want into the first cell, then hit tab, then type the next word for the next cell and hit tab.  In other words, type for the first cell, hit tab, type for the second cell, hit tab, and so on.

Then copy and paste into the spreadsheet!

The only thing that would make it really, really awesome, would be if you could type directly into the bottom part that was a spreadsheet!

Now, rather than have TWO different programs open, looking from one to another and moving from one to another, it’s all right there, in one program!

The program is free for personal use, but is inexpensive to register!  Click here to try this awesome program: http://www.jacobboerema.nl/en/RegFeatures.htm

I love this program!

 

Day Four – Memory Four – Pollywog Hunting in a Buffalo Wallow

Day Four – Memory Four – Wading in a Buffalo Wallow

The challenge:

What is one of your favorite childhood memories involving water.  Preferably not in a swimming pool?  What was fun about it? What was special about it? Why do you remember it? Where were you?

I’m going to try to write up 365 memories this year.

So far I’ve been 2 hours late and a day behind.

It will probably get worse before January is over!

So lately I’ve been thinking about buffalo wallows.

The backyard I played in while growing up was a cow pasture.

Before it was a cow pasture, it was prairie. There were coyotes, antelope, prairie chickens, pheasant, quail – and buffalo.,

Our pasture had quite a few large depressions on a hillside between two creeks. Water gathered in the wallows and it would stay there for several days after a rain.

We loved to splash and wade in those buffalo wallows, squishing grass and mud between our toes with the water almost up to our knees. (we were pretty short then…)

Every spring, those buffalo wallows were full of little pollywogs or tadpoles.

We’d gather them up in canning jars, and cart them back to the house, where over several days’ time, we’d watch them turn into little baby frogs.

Once they turned into frogs we’d take them outside where they were thoroughly admired, their jumping skills assessed, and turn them loose.

And when the next spring rain came along, we’d start all over again with more pollywogs.

Caution:  I don’t know if any children will read this, or parents who might try to find pollywogs for their kids to watch grow, but when I googled Pollywogs to try to learn exactly how long it would take on average for a pollywog to turn into a frog, I found that frogs and tadpoles can transmit diseases to humans.

Two scary diseases, such as salmonella and tuberculosis.  (Check out the article here: http://frogsource.com/article/from-frogs-humans-disease-transmission

The article indicates that the salmonella can be a lot riskier for younger children, so I feel pretty lucky that we didn’t end up with any bad side effects from all the fun we had with pollywogs!

 

 

 

Day Two – Memory Number Two – What’s in a Name – Part Two

Day Two – Memory/Memoir Number Two  – What’s in a Name, Part Two

OK, so my Day Two is at least an hour, maybe even two hours, late getting posted, but what do you do when the bathroom sink overflows and goes everywhere?

You mop first and write second!

When I started my memory writing journey, I decided to write about the name my parents gave me, and how it almost caused a rift between my mom and her mom.

Today, I decided to continue with the name game, and tell you that as a family historian and genealogist, I looked up the meaning of my maiden name – Stocking.

Not that I would have had to, the Stocking Family Historians who came before me had already done that and told us what it meant.  But I wanted to double check it for myself.

So, what is the origin of the Stocking name?

It isn’t what you might think.

It has nothing to do with “sox” or hosiery, although Sox was my brother’s nickname all through his life, and a few called me that in high school.

When my family hunted up the name, they found that it originally was “Stoccin” and was a “place name” referring to a topographic feature.

It meant someone who lived in a clearing in the woods.

According to Ancestry.com, it is Middle English and means “ground cleared of stumps.”

Interesting thought, that my early ancestors in England must have lived in a clearing in a forest. See more about the Stocking name at Ancestry here

At Surname Database, the spellings were:  Stocken, Stockin, Stocking, and Stockings. The Surname Database stated that it referred to a place or people that might have lived near stocks or punishment stocks.

According to Surname Database, the Stocking name might also refer to a monastery cell, a tree trunk used as a bridge, a boundary marker, or the place where a local council met.

Interesting, and surprising, as I’d never in all my searches found a meaning besides “a clearing in the woods”.

Want to know more about your own surname?

Google your surname origins and check it out at Ancestry.com, Surname Database, and the Coat of Arms and Family Crests store.

Day One – Memory Number 1 – What’s in a Name?

This is Day one – Memory 1 – of what I hope will be 365 Days of Memories!

If you decide to follow along, but you don’t have time to write up the “What’s In a Name?” memory for yourself, then do what I’m going to do with some of the memories that I don’t have time to write up right now.

I can’t take credit for this idea, but I’ve heard of others who do it.  They write up the question on a piece of paper and stick in a jar, Mason or Kerr, any kind with a lid, put the lid back on and pull a memory out when they do have time and write about it.  And frankly, if you’re not in the mood to write about the memory you pull out later, put it back, and pull out one that you are in the mood to write about!

So here goes…

What’s in a Name?

Questions to ask yourself:

Did your mother ever tell you the story of your name?
How they came to choose your name?
Why they named you that?
Were you named for someone else, a friend or a family member?
If so, why did they name you after this person?

What’s in a Name?

My mother must have told me the story of my name when I was pretty young or I heard her telling someone else this story, many, many times.

My parents named me Sherry Lynn.

If my mom every told me why they did, that hasn’t stuck with me, but what I do remember, is that it really annoyed her mother!

My mom’s mother, Carrie, was very opposed to the consumption of alcohol, and I shared my name with an alcoholic drink.

This fact upset my Grandma Carrie.

So much so that I heard my mom telling people, a lot of people, how upset my grandmother was many times before I began 1st grade, so when our teacher stood in front of the classroom, and told us the story of Carrie Nation, and how she carried an axe into saloons to break bottles and chop up bars I actually thought maybe, just maybe, that Carrie was my very own Grandma.

Because at the age of six, I really didn’t know what my grandmother’s last name was, so I thought anyone who hated my name, might be the very same Carrie who hated liquor enough to take an axe to it..

I don’t remember if I asked my parents if my Grandma Carrie was “the” Carrie, or if I just waited and found out later that she wasn’t.

But it’s interesting to know that my grandmother, who I’m sure loved me, actually hated my name.

Amanuensis Monday – R. Stocking Injured in Farm Accident

Wellington Daily News
8 July 1921
Pg 1

R. STOCKING INJURED

I love doing newspaper research, especially when I find ‘buried treasure’ about my Great-Grandfather, Roderick Remine Stocking!

Roderick Stocking - Wellington Daily News

Roderick Stocking – Wellington Daily News

R. STOCKING INJURED (transcription)

Wellington Daily News
8 July 1921
Pg 1

Roderick Stocking of Mayfield, father of Ralph Stocking of this city, is suffering from an accident which might havev proved very serious. He and his son Porter are threshing at the Fred Stayton farm near Mayfield and their machine is run by an electric motor. In some unaccountable manner Mr. Stocking took hold of a bunch of live wires with a current of 13,200 Volts. Ralph says that the situation is similar to that described by one of the Chautauqua lecturers last summer when he said that a great deal of electricity has just the same effect as a small amount; that is the person will be stunned but not seriously injured. Mr. Stocking was put to bed, and while he is still unable to be up today, it is thought that he will suffer no serious result. A peculiar circumstance of the affair is that a tack in one of his shoes burnt a hole in his heel.

Live in Kansas?  Have a Kansas Driver’s License?

If so, you can research (most) Kansas newspapers for FREE!!!

Thanks to the Kansas State Historical Society, Kansan’s can access most of the Kansas newspapers offered on Newspapers.com just by going to the Kansas State Historical Society website, click on “Research”,, then click on “Digital Newspapers” in the dropdown box. Then scroll down on the page till you see a box like the one here that says: “Verify Your Driver’s License.”

Verification form for Digital Newspaper Access

Verification Form for Digital Newspaper Access.

I am so glad that my Great-Grandfather was not killed in this incident.  He lived to be almost 98 years old, and I remember seeing him 3 different times, even though I was 2 1/2 when he passed away.  He was a tall, handsome gentleman and I guess what I remember most is how tall he was and how white his hair was!

 

Making Some Cool Wanted Posters for my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun –

Sherry Stocking Kline
28 Aug 2010

It’s Saturday night, and due to sniffly little girl noses, our family plans to get together fell through.  With a couple of hours free, I decided to check on Randy Seaver’s Geneamusing’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge! It was fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I hope that you do… this one is really cool!) is to cue up the mission impossible music now, and go have some fun!

1) Go to the www.ImageChef.com website and explore their FREE offerings. Click on the “Create” button, or choose to make a slideshow or posters from their main page (there are more than one screen of poster backgrounds).

2) Make one or more posters or other creation – perhaps they relate to genealogy or your own family history. Save them to your computer (right click, Save as Picture for Windows users).

3) Show your creations to us… in your own blog post, on a Facebook post, etc. If you make a really neat one and want to show it to the world but don’t have a way to do it, send it to me (rjseaver@cox.net) and I’ll show it off for you in a blog post.

I’ve always wondered what my face would look like on a Wanted poster, so here goes!

Wanted" poster for Shery Stocking Kline

I guess I put too much text on it, ‘cuz you can hardly read that it says:

“Caught red-handed in libraries, haunting cemeteries, and guilty of pestering family for info.”

Next,  I did this one of my two youngsters, when they were just about two and a half, and 3 months:

Awe, it makes me wish I did have a big locket just like that with their photograph in it/on it.  I’m going to be keeping an eye out for something like that.

So then I used the sidewalk chalk template with a photograph of my oldest granddaughter kissing a baby lamb when she was just a wee little thing herself:

And my brother’s flight in a vintage airplane lent itself well to the “Breaking News” template:

But I’m kind of partial to that Wanted Poster Image, so I did another Wanted poster that I think will look really cool on next year’s Family Reunion invitations that I’m getting ready to send out!

I’m still trying to decide whether to use this family photograph of them all, or just use one that has just Roderick and Fanny in it, but I’m beginning to lean towards using this one. (Wouldn’t it just look cool on a t-shirt, too?)

I spent a little more time doing some fun and funny stuff with the granddaughter’s photographs, and will probably pay the $10 to be able to size and re-size, and get rid of the watermark and use them in some fun scrapbook collages down the road!

Thanks, Randy!

Now, go have some fun and make your own wanted poster at http://www.imagechef.com!

Make Your Own Handwriting Font – Free Online

Sherry Stocking Kline
December 17, 2009

Have you ever wanted to have your own hand writing (or printing) turned into a font?  Say for scrapbooking, letters to family, etc., but just hadn’t parted with the money, yet?  (I sure have)

When the Legacy News e-mail newsletter came from the Legacy Family Tree Software folks a few days ago there was a link to a website that turns your handwriting into a font for free.

Woo hoo! Now I could type something up and have it look like I’d hand printed it.

Install your new font in under 30 minutes….

If you’ve always wanted your very own font, all you need is a computer, internet access, printer, and scanner, but given all that, you can pretty much have your new font installed in under 30 minutes.

So,  go read the Legacy Blog post here, where you can see more examples of fonts and read reviews.  And when you get to www.fontcapture.com, print out an extra form or two so you can practice lining up the letters within the graph  before uploading your own handwriting.  This is important.

Don’t like what you get?

Don’t like what you get?  Print out another form, and try again!   You can have a lot of fun with different and funky styles of printing!

That’s my everyday hand printing below, and yes, it’s that bad!

Have Fun!

Merry Christmas!

P.S. I had to re-boot my computer after I installed the font for it to work.

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