I’ve had several thoughts floating around in my mind that I want to share with you all. They are mostly small things about the goings-on behind the scenes here at stately Graham Ancestry. Each may not be worth an article on its own but together worth one, I think.

Budget Matters

Inflation is driving the cost of everything up. My weekly grocery bill has doubled but I’m buying the exact same stuff. So, when it came time to renew my Ancestry membership last October, I decided to cut it from the budget and reallocate those funds. Yes, that’s right. I have canceled my membership at Ancestry.

Have no fear! This site is not going away. This isn’t the first time I’ve canceled my Ancestry membership and it likely won’t be the last. For now, I’ll be relying on free resources for my research, such as FamilySearch or Ancestry Library Edition, which is the free version of Ancestry available at most local libraries. Relying on these free sites has definitely changed my research workflow and it may impact the frequency of posts here.

In other budget news, WordPress announced price increases for its website hosting packages. Graham Ancestry uses their Personal plan. WordPress offered the opportunity to renew early at the old price, so I did. We’re good on web hosting until 2025.

Researching and running this site isn’t free. I know inflation is affecting everybody, but I won’t complain if you feel like slipping a couple of bucks my way to keep this place running. There’s a donation form on the About page.

New Toys

There were two applications that I began to use this year that you might find interesting.

Sudowrite is a writing tool that uses artificial intelligence to make suggestions that enhance your writing. I enjoyed using the free trial to enhance the text of a pair of upcoming articles.

See? You’ll get at least two new articles next year!

Mastodon is a social network that is very similar to Twitter except that it doesn’t have a lunatic for a CEO. Mastodon is decentralized, meaning that it has more than one server, each with its own set of rules. Also, there’s no advertising so only the accounts you follow appear in your feed. Graham Ancestry can be found on the server dedicated to genealogy called Genealysis.social.

Crumblin’ Down

I made significant progress on knocking down two brick walls and both will be the subjects of those same articles that I enhanced using Sudowrite. They will be published early next year under the Biblical-sounding titles “Lamb to the Slaughter” and “For Want of a Shepherd.” One deals with a killing and the other recounts one man’s multiple bastardy cases. Leave your guesses in the comments at the bottom of this page!

Glad Tidings

Whether you celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas or the Eight Days of Hanukkah or my younger brother’s birthday on 30 December, Graham Ancestry wishes you glad tidings this holiday season and for the New Year!