Sunday, April 11, 2010

Beware of deceitful Flemishallies

During the time I was AWOL from this blog, I found plenty of activities to keep me busy. Some of them were things I chose to do, but at least one tedious task was a result of switching from a PC to a Mac.

Some of you know that genealogy is a passion for me, one that began when I found some notes my grandmother left behind when she died in late-1988. The genealogy software I used for for all those years was Family Tree Maker. It did a wonderful job of organizing family records and creating interesting reports, and I couldn’t have been happier with it. What I didn’t know until I’d decided to buy the iMac is that Family Tree Maker isn’t available for Macs.

So, based on online reviews, I purchased Reunion genealogy software for Mac the same day I bought the new computer. Reunion, too, does a fine job, and it was really easy to transfer my family file from Family Tree Maker to Reunion. All the names, dates and places made the move flawlessly. The notes, however, were a different story. Those pages and paragraphs of narrative attached to many of the names didn’t make the transition as smoothly. All the words of the notes were transferred, but many of the spaces between the words didn’t make it.

After more than 20 years of research, there are 6,787 names in my genealogy database now, and I had to go through them all one by one, read every word of every note, and insert spaces as needed. It was extremely time-consuming but, most of the time, not too difficult.

Then came a sentence that stumped me: “He was betrayed by his Flemishallies.” What? What the heck are Flemishallies and how did they betray him? A quick second glance made it obvious I needed to insert a space: "Flemish allies."

Everything in the database is back in order, which pleases me immensely. Still, I must admit that thinking about Flemishallies pleases me almost as much, in a whimsical way. I imagine them as some kind of magical, mildly malevolent creatures of the sort Harry Potter might have encountered in the woods around Hogwarts.

I think that in the future, on those days when one thing after another seems to go wrong, I might choose to blame it on the Flemishallies. It would take some pressure off me, and, after all, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve caused trouble for my family.


  1. Hi Velvet,
    I'm so glad you're posting regularly again! I've missed you so! I'm glad the flemishallies didn't get ya!

  2. Flemishallies...I love the sound of this word. Sort of like leprechauns or some other whimsical creature like that!

  3. I kept reading "Flem shallies"... You don't want to know where my pitiful mind went with that!

    Thanks for the smile!

  4. Thanks, Tami, it's good to be back...although (as this post demonstrates) I'm finding it kind of difficult to think of things to write about.

    Marion, that's exactly the way I think of them. I can picture a whole gang of the little people wrapping themselves around my ancestor's legs, beating him with wooden spoons and trying to pull him down. (I should probably have more sympathy for my ancestor, but I'm kind of pulling for the Flemishallies.)

    Holly, lol, I actually DO want to know where your mind went, but when I consider where my own mind goes sometimes, I don't blame you for not making it public.

  5. I thought of leprechauns too! Interesting, how our minds interpret what we see. I've often skimmed over articles or news headlines and saw things that made me do a double take, and was disappointed to find that my first glance was more interesting than what it really was.

    at least that task kept you out of trouble for a while! ;-)

  6. Janet, it is funny that "Flemishallies" sent all our minds in the same direction, yet Frenchallies or Englishallies or Germanallies doesn't look like anything but an error.

  7. You're right! I wonder why that is?

    I'll post soon! cross my heart!


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