Thursday, September 27, 2007

Linkpendium — For The Easily Distracted

I am an information junkie. I collect useless information like some people collect coins. As someone recently reminded me, time is a very precious commodity and when you get those rare moments when you can actually work on your genealogy, you want to make that time pay off. All of which, is my way of telling you that my clicking onto Cyndi's list (http://www.cyndislist.com/) is like a 3-year-old finding momma's secret chocolate stash — You dive in gobbling up as much as you can as fast as you can until you pass out in an orgy of information (or chocolate as the case may be).

All those categories, how can I ignore them? I may start with the intention of looking up marriage records in Jasper County, Missouri, but oooh, let me just take a peek at that “Lost and Found” category. And wait, I've always wanted to know who has the copyright to e-mail — the sender or the receiver? And what's this category, “Hit A Brick Wall?” — Cyndi must have added that one just for me. And so it goes. I keep clicking on link after link, until, and I'm not really sure how, I've ended up on a page about West Indian Manatees with all my "free" time consumed.

That is why I've resorted to using another list when time is short and I need to focus on the task at hand. Linkpendium (http://www.linkpendium.com/) is actually a complementary rather then a competitive list to Cyndi's Web site. When Rootsweb was gobbled up by Ancestry.com, the founders, Karen Isaacson and Brian Leverich began putting together a directory of Web sites related to genealogy. The number of links is now well over 6 million. It's divided into two categories, surnames and localities.

Right now, the localities category only encompasses locations in the U.S. It is broken down by state, then by county. Jasper County, Missouri, where I was hypothetically looking for marriage records has 231 links, with 24 categories — two of the links relate to marriage records. Sandusky County has 421 links, spread over 26 categories, with our own Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center being mentioned as one of the links.

Linkpendium comes in handy for two reasons. First, I store my census records by census year, state and county, so when I am focusing on an individual I just look to see where he or she was living at a particular time and then I start my search in the appropriate county.

Second, because all the links on the page relate to one county, even if I do start clicking like crazy, I usually can find the information I seek, or at the very least, find other interesting genealogical information related to the individual I am working on.

So, if like me, you need to make the most of your “genealogy time,” you might consider giving Linkpendium a try. As for me, I have to go back to Cyndi's List and check out that “Hit a Brick Wall” category.

Until Next Time — Happy Ancestral Digging

Note this post first published online, September 27, 2007, at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online http://www.thenews-messenger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=BLOGS02

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