Fun with Old Bailey

I thought it would be fun to look up names that have come and gone through my life and see if I could figure out whether it seemed that my name really had come from England as I’ve been told all my life (“the name Dyer comes from England, when people were named after their profession-so our ancestors dyed cloth” is what I was always told).

Interestingly enough, when I did some research on the name Dyer appearing in the Old Bailey (London’s Central Criminal Court 1674-1913), Dyer only appeared in 658 cases as opposed to my Brother-in-Law’s name ‘Walker’, which appeared in 3614 cases.  As I was looking at the names, it became clear that some of the surnames in my family weren’t prominent in England between the late 1600’s and early 1900’s, so I had to create 2 charts just to get the data to show up.  The names with the most prominence were Dyer, Stevens, Lewis and Walker.  The names with the least prominence were DeWitt, Ault, Sloan and Brewer.


More prominence

Less prominence

The Importance of Font

Last week while preparing our Power Point slides, we discussed briefly the importance of a good font selection.  Well, today I have come across a prime example of why font is important.  I’m sure these people were going for ‘final registration’, but now they can file this flyer under FAIL.


I’m not sure I like Softball *that* much



The Greatest Historical Mystery TAKE 2

Today during class, I had the opportunity to present my slides and receive valuable critiques from my classmates.  I tweaked my presentation a little bit, and I thought I would post again so people can get an idea of the before and after of the presentation.


  • One of the comments was, “Why aren’t there more pictures?”  It was suggested that I add a map to the first page, however I felt that would detract from my original intention of drawing people in with a mysterious first slide.  I decided to add a map to the second slide
  • “It’s hard for me to see with the white parts in the middle”.  Once I had the slides up on the large screen, it was easy for me to see that this was indeed true.  I used a different slide style, and changed the font to black (bold in parts) and Times New Roman (because I’m a nerd and it’s my favorite)
  • A few additional tweaks I made were to font sizes


Uh-oh, what happened to the slides?  Something funky, with large chunks of the slides disappearing.  I couldn’t figure it out.  So I converted the slides to PDF, saved them to my Google Drive, and tried again.


I’m constantly trying to better myself, so please check out both of these presentations (remember, the assignment was to have only 3 slides) and let me know if you have any feedback, positive or otherwise.  I would love to give this presentation someday, because I feel I could talk a lot about each bullet point that is up there.

The Greatest Historical Mystery of ALL TIMES

If you ask a historian what is the greatest historical mystery of all times, chances are that they may mention the Lost Colonists of Roanoke. This week’s task was to create a historical slide show presentation limited to 3 slides.  The difficulty here is trying to limit incredible amounts of information to 3 slides.  I felt that the lost colonists would be the best way to make an impact, because it is a moment in history that gets people excited.  What happened to them?  They vanished without a trace.

I used Microsoft Power Point to create my slide show presentation.  After an interesting discussion in class on Tuesday, I tried to ensure that my slides were interesting and informative while not overdone.  In order to embed the slides to my site, I had to first upload the presentation to my Google Drive, and then ‘share’ it, thus creating a link where everyone could see.  Here is the strange thing (a mystery perhaps, much like those lost settlers)-when I created the slide, and when I look at them on my Google Drive, they are all grey.  But when I click the link below, the second and third slides are green. ooooOOOOOOooooo, strange.  I have no idea why it happened.  I hope you like the presentation.



Fun With Charts

Look what I have created with my own two hands (after much pulling of the hair). I have created an interactive chart to embed on my blog. This will help me when it comes to quantifying my data about General George Washington in my Mt. Vernon project.

I used myself as a test dummy. It looks like I could use a trip to my dentist and neurologist. PS-this was a very difficult task for me. I could not get my chart to create in Google Docs. I was switching my data around, trying to get it to be something that the chart maker would like. I enlisted the help of my teenage daughter, to no avail. Then during class I remembered something that Professor Kelly said-highlight the information that you want charted. Duh.

Lucky for all of my fan, I have finally figured it out. Feast your eyes on this: