With only 3 days left before Ancestry.com pulls the plug on your access to old messages sent to you in their system, you’ll need to follow the instructions below soon or your old correspondence will be lost.
It’s quick and easy but times a wastin’!
First, after logging in, click on the envelope icon on the right side ribbon next to your sign on.
Next, you’ll see swirling circles while the page loads. On the bottom left the following message will be displayed:
Click the green button “Download Folders” It doesn’t take long. Underneath the button your messages will be downloaded to your computer as a zip file:
Clicking the zip file will display any folders you may have created to save correspondence. Mine looks like this:
It is saved to your computer’s download file. Go to the Download Folder on your computer, find the file and drag it to where you want to save it. For the purpose of this blog, I just moved it to my desktop but will be placing it in a Cloud.
To view a message, simply click on it. In the Baines folder, the message will be saved to look as follows:
Yes, just like the comedian “Mr. Bean,” I have Beans in my family!
This simple task will take you less than 5 minutes. Why would you not want to save information from far flung family members? It’s also a good way to go back through old correspondence as a missed clue may be unveiled. Many of my messages contain email addresses and if I haven’t written to the individual in awhile, I might not be able to locate the address quickly if I need to in the future. Since you just never know where genealogy is going to take you, I’d rather be safe then sorry by saving the data today.
Today’s blog is not about genealogy so you can stop reading now if that is your interest Instead, it is my take on the current state of the educational environment. I am writing this because I am furious. Our today becomes tomorrow’s history; I want the future to learn from the past.
I missed writing last week as I was consumed with my newly designated title of ESSENTIAL WORKER and due to the lack of communication, cooperation and consistency in government policy, was working 16.5 hour days with no compensation for the overtime or weekend work so that children can go back to school and die alongside their teachers. It makes my heart break.
My long time readers know I try very hard to not to be political in my weekly blog. I understand bureaucracy moves slowly. I respect free speech and differences in opinion. I have been an educator since 1977. I did not choose that career to get rich or for the summers off (we don’t get paid and we work most of the summer unpaid planning and taking training).
That said, I will not stand by silently when peoples’ lives are needlessly risked. Don’t believe it (like one of my neighbors who insists there is no reason to wear a mask), here’s the facts – a 6-year old girl died Monday of covid in the same school district that the person WITH NO BACKGROUND IN EDUCATION who is UNELECTED but APPOINTED by the governor and who, like those currently tweeting that the virus will magically go away, refused to allow the school district where this child died to deliver educational services for an additional 3 weeks online because “Step aside, folks, there is nothing to see here!” These bullies threatened to withhold all state funding if school does not resume with a brick and mortar, aka traditional, model by the end of August.
Due to the wavering decisions and the utter lack of concern for children, their families and the public school staff, I, along with my colleagues across the country, have worked tirelessly to try to make the smallest classes possible for social distancing and to quickly trace students from period to period WHEN THE VIRUS ATTACKS. This is not an IF, this is most definitely a WILL.
For those that don’t believe that, here’s the truth…in my small school that opened to teachers only 3 weeks ago, we have already had 1 teacher with a covid diagnosis in the second week. At my previous school, in the same time period, with about the same number of staff, they’ve had two. My husband’s school has had two since April, one in the last two weeks. If you have this many infections with educated adults all wearing masks and social distancing, using hand sanitizer and washing their hands well, you don’t think you’re going to have a problem when the students return?! Think of yourself as a kid. Instead of playing cooties the elementary kids will be playing covid. Middle schoolers can not stay out of each others faces and forget social distancing with high school and college – they are huggers! The children are doing developmentally what is normal but these times are not. If we can’t save them from themselves their is blood on all of our hands.
I am outraged at the system that allowed this to happen I also question how a teacher became an essential worker in the last week. If that’s the case, why do we close schools for weather problems?
Just come out and tell us how many in power view our role – you want cheap childcare and if you lose a few, well, that’s life! You never cared about educating children before; if you had, you would have funded us adequately so the little darlings didn’t have to go door to door selling overpriced junk. My husband and I wouldn’t have had to spend our own money for years on items our students needed. If the value of education was really a priority there would be no threats to withhold funding. I am so sick of the lies.
If I read one more article or hear one more news story about teachers being happy to return to school this fall I’m going to scream. NO THEY AREN’T. Like the rest of humanity, they long for the good ole days, last seen this past February, when they could make a difference face-to-face with their students. Those days are gone for now and what is needed more than anything else is prioritizing life over what once was.
If everyone had done what was the right thing to do we wouldn’t be faced with this problem today. Children wouldn’t be dying. Those kids that return to school and live through this will not have to have the burden for the remainder of their lives of knowing they brought home an illness that killed their family. They won’t have to face the grief at the loss of their beloved teacher. This madness can be halted and I’m praying someone, somewhere has the power and the sense to do the right thing.
I’m also sick of hearing about students falling educationally behind. Here’s a quick and simple solution for that – just have everyone attend year round once the virus is behind us. Cut out the electives for the summer term and just teach the basics. Duh! If we can have students skip a grade then the whole issue of learning loss is a moot point anyway. Studies have shown that students who do not start school until age 8 can compete academically in a short time. Funny how our leaders, and I use that term loosely, pointed to Nordic countries who kept schools open last spring as what we should do. Those are the same countries with well funded educational systems that don’t have young children in formal education. They have physicians and dentists available for the children. Heck, I can’t even get Walmart to donate free eyeglasses to my needy kids anymore. So again, I ask, if education is so vital, then why are the basics not provided for our children?
No electronics in the home? Seriously, except for the last two generations NO ONE WAS EDUCATED BY USING THE INTERNET. Here’s a novel solution – have local districts pay the local newspaper for a subscription for every family. The lessons can be incorporated in the newspaper. It’s delivered daily to the family’s door. You’re developing a generation who will learn more about their community and the world. They are practicing reading and math by analyzing the charts and graphs. Vocabulary is enriched. You’re insuring that the press remains a vital and important partner in the community. Why are we not doing this? As much money as schools saved on paper and ink they can certainly afford to purchase a year newspaper subscription for their students. Actually, in my community, the newspaper is already free electronically for our students. If schools wanted to save even more money, they would just need to purchase a paper edition for those that don’t have electronics.
I am fortunate to be able to be eLearning but several of my fellow teachers were not granted the same privilege I was, even though several has serious medical conditions and two are still recovering from covid’s long lasting side effects.
If you have taken the time to read this I want to thank you. Send good thoughts or pray or whatever you believe in because my colleagues, my students, their families and the greater community needs all the help it can get.
I’ve been consumed with my Hollingsheads for the last two months so I’ve not blogged about a few awesome resources I’ve come across that may benefit you. Some are free, some are not. Here they are:
MyHeritage Photo Enhancer is a wonderful tool not just to fix blurry photos but also get a better view of fuzzy documents. I tried this out in June when I was having difficulty transcribing handwriting from a Quaker document. I also tried it on an extremely blurry group photo I had of my husband’s Harbaughs but the original photo was too small so it didn’t work well. You can read more about this here.
New York Genealogical and Biographical Society began Beta testing in March their new online collections. I was not a participant due to other commitments though I did use it briefly in June and July when I was in need of New York records. Here’s more info about the update.
Want to attend a training/conference/Zoom/GoToMeeting, etc. session but know you’re not available at the day/time it’s being presented? No worries – most organizations will record and make the session available for viewing later. Go ahead and sign up anyway. You’ll probably get an email with a link to view later. I had to miss an APG Virtual Chapter meeting in June and an American Ancestors class in July but was able to watch what I missed at my convenience later. So, go ahead and sign up for the event even if you can’t attend!
Academia.edu is a new tool in my toolbox and I honestly couldn’t have analyzed my Hollingsheads in Barbados as I did without it! There is a membership fee, ballpark about $50 annually, that I’ve more than gotten my money’s worth in the last two months. The site allows you access to unlimited journal articles and papers by educators on a wide variety of topics. I selected history and the Caribbean in particular to learn more about the time period I was researching (1650-1750). That allowed me access to archaeological studies recently done to gain a better perspective of what life was like then, historical works revisited (so I could easily find primary sources), and opportunity to contact social scientists with questions directly. The site is not just for history enthusiasts but that’s the only part I’ve used. Membership also provides you your own website, which I have not set up since I already have my own, but it’s a nice feature and looks like it’s quick and easy to use if you’re new to webdesign. If you’ve used JStor, this is similar but I’ve found that it contains more info if you’re focusing on a sliver of time and place.
Don’t forget YouTube and your local Genealogy Society! I recently watched a wonderful video about River Pirates. I had no idea there was such a thing in the Midwest, nor was I aware of some of the terror that reigned in small communities due to deranged families. It also never occurred to me that there was poor workmanship back in those days that resulted in lives and supplies being lost. I heard about the topic from my local genealogy society; one of the member’s brother was the speaker and I’m so glad I viewed it. Hubby and I went to school in Indiana and that topic was never addressed in the curriculum!
Last but not least, and probably more important than everything mentioned – if you haven’t noticed Ancestry.com has updated their messaging system. Gone are the folders you may have previously used to save correspondence with other members. You can download it so you don’t lose anything. I strongly urge you to do so TODAY as it will be gone this month. I don’t know what they did yesterday but I had 11 messages. I had recently reached out to several folks who had some Hollingsheads in their trees but it wasn’t 11. In reviewing the messages, I discovered most were not new (9) and the two that were were old – one was from November 2019 and the other from June 24, 2020. Guess they got lost in cyberspace but it did make me look bad as I try to respond within 48 hours! Check out this feature to see if the update they did before dawn’s early light this past week affected your messages.