My Kindle Books


North Carolina

19 Weird Things You Can Watch Drop Online If You Stay Home for New Year’s

Wondering how in the world you can celebrate New Year’s if you stay at home? Well, I made you a list. NINETEEN count ’em NINETEEN weird things you can watch drop online, from a blueberry to a mushroom to a sardine and maple leaf. (If you know of more, leave a comment.)

And if you’re more looking for a whole party I also included several roundups of virtual events so you can find the perfect way to celebrate safely at home.

I want you healthy and happy so you can be here to witness the joy of the pandemic’s end. Look at how much you’ve gotten through this year. Take care and keep safe so we can all get through together.

Hey, I love you! Happy 2021.

Burgaw, North Carolina: A blueberry

Hattiesburg, Mississippi: A hub sign

New Bern, North Carolina: A bear

Plymouth, Wisconsin: Sartori cheese

Somewhere in Idaho: A potato

Port Clinton, Ohio: A walleye

Show Low, Arizona: A deuce of clubs

Mount Olive, North Carolina: A pickle

Columbia, Tennessee: A mule

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania: A mushroom

Flagstaff, Arizona: A pinecone

St. George, Bermuda: An onion

Prescott, Arizona: A boot

Eastport, Maine: A sardine & a maple leaf

Baton Rouge, Louisiana: A red stick

Perry, Georgia: A buzzard

Morehead City, North Carolina: A crab pot

Somewhere in Pennsylvania: A bologna

Las Cruces, New Mexico: A chile

The Resident: 6 Ways To Celebrate New Year’s Eve Online. “With London in Tier 4, looks like we’re all going to be stuck at home this New Year’s Eve. Sure, you can take a turn around the local park with a glass of champers in hand, but if you don’t fancy the cold, stay at home and dial into one of these great online events… ” Offbeat n’ funky. One of the events definitely sounds R-rated.

Los Angeles Daily News: 5 ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve online with local events during the coronavirus pandemic. “This year has been a bummer to say the least and a lot of people are ready to tell 2020 to leave already. But, of course, with the coronavirus pandemic there aren’t any big live parties going on to celebrate the end of 2020. But there are online ways to celebrate the end of the year and welcome a hopefully better new year ahead. Here are five online New Year’s events being put on by local organizations.” Meditation! A grape drop!

Dazed: The best ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in quarantine. “Say goodbye to 2020 (finally) with virtual raves, old traditions reworked for the pandemic, and performances from Patti Smith, Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus, and more.” Music, celebs, and pointers to the mainstream stuff.

TimeOut: 12 amazing online New Year’s Eve events to help you see off this godawful year. “Club nights, house parties and huge public celebrations are all pretty much out of the question this New Year’s Eve, but many of the usual suspects are bringing the festivities online. That means you could go to an EDM festival, a charity rave, attend a huge ‘street party’ or even see the godfather of electronic music play live from a cathedral – all from the comfort of your home.” Jean-Michel Jarre live from Notre-Dame? A 24-hour house party? Yes please.

DC Metro Theater Arts: Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the stars of Broadway. “Though Times Square will be closed to crowds for New Year’s Eve and you won’t be able to watch the iconic ball drop in person this year, you can still celebrate the arrival of 2021 in New York style, with a roster of Broadway stars, special events, and music videos on TV and online.” NYC-oriented, as you might expect.

Pre-Registration for NGS Conference Ends Tomorrow #NGS2017GEN

The Ancestry Insider is a member of the NGS 2017 conference social media press.Pre-registration for the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference ends tomorrow, 27 April 2017. The conference will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, 10-13 May 2017 at the Raleigh Convention Center. While you can register onsite starting noon on 9 May 2017, you must register by tomorrow for meals, events, and workshops. As I write this, some luncheon choices and workshops are already sold out.

According to NGS,

The conference program, Family History Lives Here, features more than 175 lectures from basic to advanced genealogical research, including eighteen presentations on DNA science and methodology. Finding records and effectively using them is the focus of fifty-seven lectures. Among the types of records discussed are a wide range of religious records, military and associated records, North Carolina and regional U.S. records, and African American and Native American records.

Organizations sponsor luncheons during the conference and provide entertaining speakers ($32). The North Carolina Genealogical Society is hosting an evening event, “Pig Pickin” ($45). Pig Pickin’ features North Carolina BBQ, a five-member blue grass band, and local artisans. NGS is hosting its annual banquet with speaker Stuart Watson, an award-winning investigative reporter ($45). 

The conference costs $240 for society members and $275 for non-members. One day registrations are available for $110 (member) and $120 (non-member).

For more information or to register for the conference, visit

I’m happy to serve again this year as an official social media reporter for the conference.

NGS 2017 Conference Pre-Registration Ends Today – #NGS2017GEN

Still need convincing? Pre-registration for the 2017 National Genealogical Society Conference ends today (27 April 2017), so you need to get on the stick. NGS has put together a heck of a program. NGS has loosely organized sessions into 10 tracks each day:

Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding BCG Skillbuilding
Research Planning Solving Problems Records & Repositories Research in the States
North Carolina Historical Context Methodology North Carolina
Historical Context Religion Military Records & Repositories
Working with Records North Carolina African American Family Stories
Tips & Techniques Records & Repositories Historical Context Methodology
Military Technology Technology Records & Repositories
Records & Repositories Organizing Research Native American Religion
Methodology Beyond the Borders Methodology Solving Problems

NGS 2017 Family History Conference - 10-13 May, Raleigh, NCPretty much every speaker is a nationally known expert or an expert in subjects in and around North Carolina. You may know these names (in no particular order):

From Ancestry:

From FamilySearch:

To see the program online, go to

To see the PDF registration brochure, click here.

The National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference is being held 10-13 May 2017 at the Raleigh, North Carolina convention center.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 1 April 2019

FamilySearch issued an update a few days ago to their list of records recently added. However, due to my travel schedule, I didn’t see the update until today. The following was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added new, free, indexed historical records this week from the United States: Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Border Crossings from Canada to the United States, and fromBillion Graves Index.  

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

Country Collection Indexed Records Digital Images Comments


BillionGraves Index



Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

United States

Connecticut, World War I, Military Census of Nurses, 1917



Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States

Georgia, World War I, Statement of Service Cards, 1920-1929



Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States

Iowa, Birth Records, 1921-1942



Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States

Iowa, Records of Persons Subject to Military Duty, 1862-1910



Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States

Louisiana, Ascension Parish, Index of Marriages, 1773-1963



Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States

Michigan, County Births, 1867-1917



Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States

North Carolina, Davidson County Vital Records, 1867-2006



Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States

Ohio, Summit County, Coroner Inquests, Hospital and Cemetery Records, 1882-1949



Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States

Ohio, World War I Statement of Service Cards, 1914-1919



New indexed records collection

United States

United States, Border Crossings from Canada to United States, 1894-1954



Added indexed records to an existing collection
About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.