Category Archives: Uncategorized

Did you follow Hound on the Hunt?

If you use to follow Hound on the Hunt and you’ve noticed you haven’t been getting any posts then I’m happy you noticed.  But I’m unhappy to say that I didn’t realize it and I’ve been missing your following and comments. I moved my blog  to  and if you’d like to continue to get my blog you can go to my new self-hosted site and signup.

Hope to see you following and Happy Hunting.

I Wish I Had a Time Machine

digital rendering of an airship

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thought that. Not that I’m a big sci-fi nut and I can’t lie I’ve never read the novel by H. G. Wells nor have I watched Dr. Who.  But I do know that if I were to have a time machine I’d have a lot of fun.

I know that I’d have to make a list of questions for all the ancestors that I’d like to go back in time to visit. Can you imagine; “Hi, you don’t know me but I’m your great-granddaughter from the future. Can you tell me the name of your son’s father?” Or ok; let me get this straight…..

Even to just to back and see what it was like to live in that time period. When you look at photos of places in the past,  it’s not the same as walking the streets, smelling the smells and just to generally get a feel for what people thought was important.

Take this picture from Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada;  1906. This isn’t what we would consider grid lock today.  edmonton


But it would be fun to walk those street and see what the people were doing, where they were going and to see how complicated or uncomplicated your ancestors lives were.

Can you imagine your ancestors surprise when they realized that the secret that they thought they had hidden and got away with all those years wasn’t really a secret after all and that you were hot on the trail and in some cases using DNA (of course you’d have to explain what that was) to try to figure out the answer to the secret. <sigh they could have been just, honest>… but those were different times.

So I ask you…. “if you had a time machine, who would you visit  and what would you ask them?”



Ancestor Trading Cards and Other Photo Ideas

Bing Crosby, Auntie Ronnie and Uncle Gordon
Bing Crosby, Auntie Ronnie and Uncle Gordon (copyright)

As I’ve mentioned before collecting family photos seem to be a by-product of family history.  I know I’ve gone to my aunt’s home; Flip Pal  (shameless plug) in hand and was able to scan photos from her albums and even photos from her wall.  She had this photograph of my great-aunt and uncle standing with Bing Crosby at the Jasper Park Lodge. I was able to scan it through the glass while it was still hanging on the wall.

My flip pal pictures (3)

Another useful tool is the Zcan+ (another shameless plug). The Zcan+ can be used to scan photographs and documents. What makes it different from the Flip Pal is that the Zcan+ has OCR (Optical Character Recognition). This means that it recognizes characters in documents,  in 199 languages,  and you can save to Word and then you can edit the document.  You can also save as Excel or PDF and that only a few of the types of files you can save.

Midnight Zcan+ Zcan+

Often I’m asked; which is better? But each has its own advantages. The Flip Pal because it’s a standalone product, no computer required. It weights just slightly more than 1 lbs and runs on double a batteries. The Zcan+ does require a computer to run. They come cordless and wired.   I love it for scanning at my desk and inputting family history documents into my genealogy program. But I’ll talk about that another day.

So depending on what you plan to do would depend on which scanning product would be right for you.

Now back to what other things I’ve seen done with family photos. At a recent genealogy conference I went to in British Columbia; there were two ladies that sold products to make a type of ancestor trading card. Not really for trading,  but that was the size of the cards. You could put a photo of your ancestor and then perhaps hand write or type out the information you wanted to capture on the card. The cards were then stored in a small drawer which could be set out on a side table or coffee table for display.

ancestor trading cards

Another great idea I saw was on one of the many Facebook pages that I follow. A lady named Susan, had created a table-cloth for the cake table for an upcoming wedding . So beautiful and so creative and what a great

So over the summer gather those photos at family reunions and family get together when you visit your relatives on vacation. Take along your Flip Pal or Zcan+, which you can purchase at Shop the Hound (last shameless plug) and you too can get those creative juices flowing.

The Ancestors

When your on the back of a Harley you may just have too much time to think.

The Ancestors

The ancestors call me,
they whisper in my ear
Tell my story for all to hear.

I had a family, I had a home.
I walked this earth
but not alone.

We’ve been silent for all these years.
Speak our dreams
and share our tears.

The ancestors call me,
They whisper their name,
Tell my story so we may live again.

– Ellen Thompson-Jennings

Grave Yard Fitness

000_0014-0Yesterday I told you how important it is to stay fit so you are able to go for walks through your ancestors last resting place.

Remember this summer when your going to those grave yards,  to do your research and take those photos, that you take along your genealogy tool bag.  What does a genealogy tool bag have in it? Well mine has; some water (for drinking), some low-calorie snacks, a small notepad and pencil, camera or cell phone, battery pack just in case that cell gets low. How about those gardener knee pads or kneeling boards so that you don’t have to be in pain while your reading that inscription or getting that great photo.  Don’t forget that sun screen and bug repellent. Then be sure to bring that soft bristled brush to clean off any spider webs or bird droppings . Finally you might want to bring a spray bottle of water to bring the inscription out a bit more  or a mirror to reflect the light so you can get a better shot.

One item I recently heard of that I thought was great was to bring foil. By pressing the foil over the inscription you can sometimes see the inscription so much better, especially those really faint one.

And finally, I saw this idea and it might be something you want to use. If you go to the dollar store get a few of the plastic flowers. Then write a note that says why you are interested in this marker and give your contact information and laminate the note. You don’t have to give your phone number you could get a generic email (either Google or Hotmail) and use that. Then attached the laminated note to the flower and put it on the grave.

You never know….. you just might find a new cousin.


Sleepless Nights


How many times have you stayed up late at night doing your family history? After all your on a hot lead, aren’t you?….  It’s only 100 or 200 years old. There are times when you get into bed and then roll over, roll over and finally you just get up. Something or someone is keeping you up.

That was the situation last night. Did I accomplish something? No not really, well maybe just a bit. I added more information to my ancestors and I even added some collateral ancestor. Collateral ancestors for me, are your direct line’s sibling’s, children and spouses.. and sometimes their children and spouses.. Why do I do that? I think you need those collateral ancestors for your tree so that when you are doing a DNA gedcom to add to the DNA site that you have your DNA at… that you provide as many connections as possible. So often,  I see others with very limited trees and perhaps they haven’t gotten that far back. By adding collateral ancestor on my tree, they may have a better chance to see where we have a connection. Now they can see (or search)  that family name that they didn’t know was connected to that common great great grandparent.