Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Ancestry Insider seeks to clear up confusion...

The Ancestry Insider 

This is a blog that I read frequently for a better understanding of two primary genealogy websites that I depend on: Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.

I gather from this that some folks are concerned about alliances that have occurred, several very recently between these two organizations.  I think that the message I'm getting from the blog is that this:

  • Good things happen when the big guys partner with each other on preservation projects, especially digitization of records.  More records accessible to more people is good, right?
  • FamilySearch doesn't show any sign of closing free access of the historical records featured on the site.  Is that assumption on my part correct?
  • If I could afford it, I would take advantage of the best that each genealogy website has to offer; since I do have budget, I continue to search for record sites that offer free or low cost access.  I use FamilySearch both at home and at the Family History Center, so that I can utilize the premium web sites that are offered at that location.  I depend greatly on Ancestry.com's United States collection (also available at the Family History Censter) and occasionally, I activate my "at home" subscription to Ancestry, also.
  • I have more than enough to do with the sources available just between those two sites and hope for state and local governments to continue to try and make their collections more available through digitization projects, on the Internet,

Monday, December 30, 2013

What's Happening in NWFL and thereabouts...Updated

Happy New Year!
 Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida: Did you know that the museum is a member of Panhandle Historic Preservation Alliance?  
Check out the historic alliances in Okaloosa County, and/or other Panhandle counties.  Road trip, anyone?  In addition, the calendar of activities and events for the Alliance is posted at THIS PAGE.

The Heritage Museum's Valparaiso archives are available to research by appointment.   And one last word about this amazing institution: it is the building where the Genealogical Society of Okaloosa County gathers the second Saturday of every month!

Want to know what is happeninng in the rest of Florida?  Check out the Florida State Genealogical Society site; I'm excited because their annual conference will be held in Gainesville, FL, this year! 
The three-day conference will be held at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, Florida on 28 - 30 March 2014.

I can't contain my excitement about another event that is just a little bit further afield than Gainesville:    The NGS 2014 Family History Conference will be held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia. Mark your calendars for 7–10 May 2014.

The Salt Palace Convention Center
Feb. 6-8th, 2014:  If you really want to get out of Dodge (no one gets this phrase, anymore, unless they are "older"), there is the RootsTech event in Salt Lake City.  I know at least two people from our local area who are attending this year--I'm impressed!  A serious 21st Century family historian aspires to events like this one.  Many of the lectures, presentations, etc.  will be available to the general public at some point.   

West Florida Genealogical Society January Program:  This will happen on January 4, 2014!  The program will feature Charlene Grafton; her topic is "What's In Your Genes?"--"Human Disease Traits.

Charlene is a survivor of Stevens Johnson Syndrome caused by a severe reaction to Septra DS in 2009; she is also the author of What's In Your Genes: Human Threads Linking Genetics and Genealogy.  She is a participant in the Personal Genome Project with Dr. George Church at Harvard. 

Bay County Genealogical Society sponsors Dick Eastman at their Spring Seminar!  This will be an event you won't want to miss.  Richard "Dick" Eastman is an internationally known lecturer and author of Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.  Did you know that the BCGS received an award in 2012 recognizing their efforts at preservation of local records?  It's a well deserved award, too! (March 22nd, 2014).

The Genealogical Society of Okaloosa County January Program: The January 11, 2014 meeting will feature a presentation by Hank Klein entitled Publishing and Enjoying Your Genealogy Work. Mr. Klein has completed three books on his and his wife's ancestors, and is working on the fourth. Several of his articles have been published in the GSOC Newsletter and his interesting presentations to the Society are highly regarded.

January 10th, 2014 Registration Date for Center for Lifelong Learning
Fort Walton Beach: I have LINKED TO the registration schedule here for you, so that you can mark your calendars, now, for the Winter/Spring Session which begins shortly.  You will need to look, also, at the Course Listings of all the classes that are offered, this session.  There are three genealogy related classes and other classes that might be of interest to a family historian, heritage lover, or anyone!  My friends, Hilma and Tom teach the ABC's of Genealogy; my friend, Marc teaches the FamilySearch Family Tree, and I will do Beyond Basic Genealogy. *

*More about Beyond Basic Genealogy in my next blog!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gloria Ex Amore Patriae

Gloria Ex Amore Patriae

Do you have Danish royalty in your ancestry?  What type of traditional clothing/costumes did your fore fathers and mothers wear?

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

In Virginia, protests arise as a forlorn cemetery is dug up to make way for high school football - The Washington Post

In Virginia, protests arise as a forlorn cemetery is dug up to make way for high school football - The Washington Post

I've heard that football is King in the South; is this story an example of that?  Dick Eastman's Blog caught my interest this morning and so I went on to read the original story.  Why was my interest piqued?

Not long ago,  I uncovered in my ancestral search, many surnames that go back to Virginia roots.  I had thought that all the graves in all the cemteries were mostly mapped, located, and identified.  I think that I don't think; I'm living in a type of genealogy Disney World, in the magic kingdom, but I don't have to stay there.

Read, people, read.  Learn, discover, explores, and question.  We have (I have) to learn to use my 'noggin; in family history, in life!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Site Map for FamilySearch — FamilySearch.org

Site Map for FamilySearch — FamilySearch.org

Bravo, Ancestry Insider, for keeping me in the know!

Finally, at the bottom of every page (in tiny print, but nevertheless "there"), a way to find what you need and what you want at FamilySearch, in terms of navigating the site.  I had previously been using Google Search and been very happy with the results from there in getting to where I wanted to go in FamilySearch!  Is the site map complete?  Does it have everything in it you need to know?  I suggest saying "thank you", "good job", and then if you have suggestions, use the FeedBack "knob" or otherwise contact FamilySearch!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Heredis 2014 for Windows | Heredis

Heredis 2014 for Windows | Heredis

I can't recommend this new software for genealogy, primarily because I just learned of it, today.  However, there is a trial version and therefore, you and I both can look it over and decide if it's something we could make use of.

I am happy with my current software program (RootsMagic) and I know a lot of folks use FamilyTree Maker.  But even a simple, dated program like Personal Ancestral File* has options and gadgets that I never took the time to learn.  Heredis 2014 looks as though it was created to complement the online genealogist in a big way.  

Time doesn't allow for a full discussion today of all the various programs/software that are available as tools for the family historian, but I'm looking forward to the future when I can add some of those discussions.

*Read this about Personal Ancestral File being discontinued.  As long as you don't need product updates or offical support, you can continue to use PAF on your computer.  It is a great basic program without a lot of bells and whistles.  For people who want bells and whistles, Internet interaction with their software, look elsewhere.  Or for those wanting to access the FamilySearch Family Tree, RootsMagic is the way to go, (my opinion).  Now, according to Dick Eastman, PAF is no longer available for download from FamilySearch, but I noticed on a Google Search I did that there are a couple of places you can download the program.  As always, practice caution when downloading from an unknown source. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happiness Thanksgiving

Click to Mix and Solve
What makes you happy? 

I was writing down what I was thankful for and it occurred to me that some of the things that I am grateful for are not what you'd think. 

For many years, I was glad to be the one working in the kitchen, preparing the turkey and dressing with all the trimmings.  It made me feel close to my mother and I have to admit that I was a little proud to have learned the skills that allowed me to feed my family good food.  I didn't feel stuck; when and if the kids started to drop in, I knew they'd come in and help out one way or the other.  But still, it was work; it took a special effort.  Sometimes, I find that work is therapeutic for what ails 'ya.

I don't have the large house these days; most of my children live elsewhere--as in another hemisphere.  I spend a lot of time online, playing word games and doing genealogy.  This is my second Thanksgiving without my husband.  The turkey is smaller and I don't know if I will have all the trimmings.  But I know one thing: I couldn't cook in my small kitchen until the floor was clean. 

So, I left my recliner and swept and mopped as well as I could with a bad back.  Afterwards, I felt happy.  I was happy that I could do something to help myself and if it was done somewhat imperfectly, it gives me something to work on, tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Genealogy Charts

Genealogy Charts

Misbach is a favorite source of mine for Charts. Why, in this digital age do I even care about Charts and Forms?
  • I like to use them as worksheets.
  • If my software program doesn't provide blank forms or a particular form I'm looking for, then I have options with downloads and printables online.
  • They make nice gifts for members of our family at Christmas and Birthdays or for kinfolks who aren't computer literate, yet.
Someone asked me recently about a bowtie chart.  At this site, I finally got the clearest understanding of what a Bowtie Chart is! 

Bowtie Chart 
This is very similar to the Fan chart, but each side is spread out for visual effect. It clearly separates maternal and paternal ancestral lines. There are fields that allow you to link from one chart to another. Size is 8.5" x 11".

It is November, and I 
am thankful for
being able to learn
new stuff!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Genealogy's Star: Update on Who Owns the Genealogy Companies

Genealogy's Star: Update on Who Owns the Genealogy Companies

I think this article interesting, but does it really matter who owns what?  I suppose it is interesting and even justifiable if you have a deeply embedded business sense when it comes to corporations.  What does matter is intent, content, and reliability. 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

I have other blogs...

Want to chill in an easy chair and explore some of the different types of blogs that I have created?  Sure you do!

Beehive Buzz is an all-purpose, any topic, kind of web site, a place to go when I just feel the urge to vent or share.

Gathering the Givens: I try to post at this blog, anything and everything I come across for my Grandpa Givens' ancestry.  We are planning a reunion for 2014 and since it's been ten years since the last one, I'm looking forward to touching bases with everyone.

Ancestry of Wiley Benjamin Hill, Jr. is devoted to my adoptive father's line; I know the most about this family, I think as my dad mentored my entry into the genealogy world when he turned fifty years old or so-----that's when he became interested in following the footsteps of his mom and his sister, Aunt Bea, who had already gathered lots of relative info.  [Pun intended]!

I also have a WordPress blog, "GenQuest Diary", where I can post genealogy journeys and discoveries.  Since WordPress is different than "Blogger", a Google generated brand, it's interesting to play around with it and stretch my brain by trying different things.

I encourage beginning genealogists to create family newsletters with the help of tools like online blogs.  Your kin can keep up with your research results and share their present day family history in the making.  For more information about creating a blog, I recommend this comprehensive article at FamilySearch.

Steve Robinson - Ancestry Author: Featured in Family Tree magazine

Steve Robinson - Ancestry Author: Featured in Family Tree magazine

I've read these books and was engaged and entertained.  Maybe you would like to try one--the protagonist is, of course, a genealogist!  

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Advice on How to Research Family History, Part 1 - NYTimes.com

Advice on How to Research Family History, Part 1 - NYTimes.com

Questions and Answers: Read it now.  A commonsensical approach to ancestor hunting by a highly respected historical writer and genealogy researcher (see column at Eastman's Blog), Elizabeth Shown Mills makes you feel like you can afford to take your time and do this thing right.  In fact, her answers inspire bravery and confidence.  It's simply a matter of applying tried and true principles.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013



Ever wondered where to find good webinars for family history?  This site was recommended to me and now, I'm able to check the calendar for webinars scheduled when I'm available!

If you're clueless (everyone is at some point), check the nav bar for "How it Works".  Be sure to check out the "Blog Archive" to the left of the main article, too.    

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Genealogy Social Network Gives Rise To Family Tree Of Over 13 Million People - PSFK

Genealogy Social Network Gives Rise To Family Tree Of Over 13 Million People - PSFK

It makes sense, these days, for family history lovers to recognize that partnership allows an expanded source-tree for research.  Geni.com + an MIT researchers = lots of good data.  While identity was stripped from the files, the dataset of the huge family tree created by this effort will eventually become a part of a community resource.

How Other Countries Arrange Name Order Video

How Other Countries Arrange Name Order Video

This little video from about.com gives a little insight into how names are arranged in other countries.  I love the genealogist's use of the whiteboard in demonstrating what he is talking about.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Even if you don't want to subscribe right now to Ancestry.com, or you've been there, done that and want to try something else, certain databases at Ancestry are available for free any time all the time.

Not least of the free benefits at Ancestry is the opportunity you have to work on your family tree--or get started with a family tree.  You can add photos and stories, correct or make additions, etc.  Check this page out and sign up for the "Getting Started with Ancestry" Guide--It's free!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Genealogy Roots Blog: Online Indexes for Cemeteries, Obituaries and Death Records - Latest Additions

Genealogy Roots Blog: Online Indexes for Cemeteries, Obituaries and Death Records - Latest Additions

Lesson: Don't become so infatuated with the gigantic database sites that you forget to check out the latest updates to Online Indexes.  Joe Beine is adept at providing this information.  It's a Treat for Genealogists at Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

List of Counties | TNGenWeb Project, Inc.

List of Counties | TNGenWeb Project, Inc.

I haven't discussed the USGenWeb web site this session at CLL, but there are some excellent resources, there.  Because each and state county varies as to who submits what and which volunteer "sponsors" or manages the site, you get a varying amount and quality of information.  This particular feature at USGenWeb is an excellent source for county information in Tennessee.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

U.S. immigration landmark Ellis Island to reopen, a year after Sandy | Reuters

U.S. immigration landmark Ellis Island to reopen, a year after Sandy | Reuters

I guess I'm a little slow; I'm just now discovering that Ellis Island was closed because of Hurricane Sandy (or was it a Tropical Storm?); I think I need to get updated on things...find out what's going on...read the small print instead of just the headlines.

A good skill for genealogists to acquire, reading the small print, that is.  Glad to hear that recovery in that area is going forward.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Free Help at Genealogy.com

File Under: Census Forms and Charts  
This type of form is called a Census Record Abstract. 

The Learning Center at  Genealogy.com is very helpful.  For example, there are printable forms and charts.  The 1880 U.S. Federal Census, this particular form, gives us a guideline about the questions that were asked by the enumerator.  In 1880, not only do you get to see where the head of the household was born, but there is data for where his father and mother were born, also.  In addition, the occupation is listed! 

These types of forms can be downloaded from other web sites and your local Family History Center should have some on hand, as well.

The Ripple Effect of People’s Lives

The Ripple Effect of People’s Lives

Read the Ancestry Blog.  This article is packed full of information that you can use to write your story.

Family ChartMasters Main Page

Family ChartMasters Main Page

Two left thumbs?  Not a creative bone in your body?  Let ChartMasters do the job.  Jus' sayin'...Christmas is around the corner and you can give an original gift with your research forming the core concept.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

DC Thomson Family History and FamilySearch.org to Make Billions of Records Available for People to Search | FamilySearch.org

DC Thomson Family History and FamilySearch.org to Make Billions of Records Available for People to Search | FamilySearch.org

FamilySearch partners with DC Thomson in order to continue expanding the number of ways in which they can share records of genealogical value with the people who need them. 

In my humble opinion, It's not about pumping up the corporations so they can make money; it's about circling the wagons so that no opportunity will be missed in your genealogical search.  Various companies attract their own following, beef up their own technology; could they serve their customer base better by offering more records?  You bethca! FamilySearch just wants you to have them, too! 

Amazon.com: geneaguides

Amazon.com: geneaguides

Well known genealogist speaker, writer, blogger, etc., Thomas MacEntee offers genealogy guide books.  These are just the kindle ones!  So reasonable, too.

LegacyFamilyTree is offering PDF books, as well.  There are three.  Check it out.

Mocavo: How We Make Money

Mocavo: How We Make Money

I haven't invested a lot of time or effort in researching at this Web Site; primarily, I didn't know a lot about it.  This page (the link above), does clear up some of my questions.  But, I still wonder--how is Mocavo better than Ancestry.com and/or FamilySearch?

Like everything else on the Internet, I will have to set aside some time to play with it to find out.  I can also search online for some reviews.  Let me know if you've invested some time with this service and how you like it. 

Like anything new on the Internet, you're asking yourself, "Is it really free?" or "Is it really free, forever?"  Be sure to read the comments, below, on the articles that Dick Eastman posted, especially the one most recently about Mocavo Introduces Free Forever .

Two things I do like so far in my research of Mocavo:  1)  Learning Center and 2) Mocavo Blog

 ________________________More About Mocavo______________________

Other items containing info at Mocavo:
  1. Randy Seaver (respected Genealogy Blogger) 
  2. Kathleen Cooper
  3. UpFront with NGS
  4. Peter's Family History Notes

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Photo Detective with Maureen A. Taylor - Spotting a Copy

Photo Detective with Maureen A. Taylor - Spotting a Copy

Last week, I attended the meeting of the local genealogical society for a presentation on editing old photos.  When a friend sent me the article by Maureen A. Taylor, I knew that the same folks that attended the presentation would probably be interested.  Here is the first of two articles.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Using Slideshare to Get With It: "It" BEING an online genealogy education!

For example and they are TNTC, Using World Cat for Genealogy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Resources - 4YourFamilyStory.com

Resources - 4YourFamilyStory.com

Someone, (Caroline?), put a lot of work and thought into this apparently comprehensive listing!  Can't wait to show my CLL students!  Thank you "4YourFamilyStory.com".  And your suggestion about cleaning up online trees goes not just for ancestry, but for all of them.  At Ancestry, I often download a gedcom and compare it with my original (just what I knew from scratch); then because I have Roots Magic, I can compare the two side by side and see what fits and what doesn't.  The only thing I transfer though are documents (sources) that I've evaluated, well and how those sources line up with my original records.  Then, my orginal records are always fresh and refreshed.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Celebrate Family History Month » Local News » The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Celebrate Family History Month » Local News » The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Things I can take away from this article:
  • Libraries and genealogical societies can organize special events for Family History Month.  In fact, a display and booth for Family History will be one of the features at the local Okaloosa County Fair tomorrow through Friday.  Please stop by and say "hello"! 
  • Organizations and public institutions should sponsor classes for genealogists during Family History Month.  There should be classes for beginners as well as the more experienced researcher.
  • Access online websites for other ways to celebrate Family History Month.
  • Introduce your grandchildren to genealogy this month by doing projects (taffy pulling), starting a scrap book, or just talking to them.
The About.com link referenced by the author of this article has more than enough links and ideas to keep you busy till the Harvest Moon comes up!

Celebrate Family History Month » Local News » The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Celebrate Family History Month » Local News » The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Scare up some tips and hints for Family History Month celebrating. 

Here's the key: When reading a newspaper or any article, give yourself a challenge to focus on a particular slant or theme in the article. 

The title of the article, in this case, will guide you in choosing that theme.  For example, the title talks about celebration as pertains to "Family History" month, (October).  What kinds of celbrations happen in October?  Okay, Halloween is a pretty obvious association, right? 

What goes with Halloween?  Tricks and Treats.  In the article, look for tricks that will turn your genealogy into a fun activity.  What tricks did your ancestors (unknowingly) play on you?  How has tracing their lifeline surprised you?  How will you treat your forefathers and fore-mothers in your genealogy hunt?  Halloween is about dressing up; what kinds of dress did your ancestors wear?  The skeleton in the closet will become a friendly fellow once you shine a little light on the subject.

So, I chose for myself a challenge that I would look in this article for three new things I could learn that would enhance my enjoyment of family history this month.  No disguise or costume is going to discourage me from learning more about my family tree, this month!  There are hidden faces behind those masks and I want to get a closer look.  Read my next blog posting to see what I discovered.  While you're at it, what memories of Halloween or Autumn or Harvest do you have?  Write your own story!

BYUtv - The Generations Project - David

BYUtv - The Generations Project - David?

Engaging in family history research can become a process of healing.  How did our ancestors get through their trials?  How did their level of commitment to family set an example (good or bad) for us?

Monday, September 30, 2013

What Else Can I Do With My DNA Test Results? – The Genetic Genealogist

What Else Can I Do With My DNA Test Results? – The Genetic Genealogist

This article seems to be pretty comprehensive; if you find an article you like on this subject, please share. 

FamilySearch Blog | Genealogy and Family History Blog

FamilySearch Blog | Genealogy and Family History Blog

Want to know the latest news for FamilySearch?  This is the site to access all of that and more.  I like having the the ability to know which records have been added recently.  Plus there are other features like a list of upcoming conferences, "Tech Tips", and "Genealogy Resources".

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Give yourself a gift, today.  Take just 15 minutes to watch this National Geographic YouTube video.  It's not 15 minutes long, but you'll want to take a minute or two to just absorb the impact of this young archaeologist's words.

For my CLL students, perhaps you will want to discuss this video at class, next week.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

File:Research Process Steps.png | Learn | FamilySearch.org

File:Research Process Steps.png | Learn | FamilySearch.org

Click on the link above.^ 
According to this diagram, what are the steps in the research process? 

What happens when you finish all the steps?

Look at the illustration closely and you will see that under each major step, there are suggestions as how to proceed in accomplishing the step.  Could you add others?  Is a chart like this helpful in seeing the "cycle" of developing sound research strategies (proven strategies)?

How important is it to find out what others have already learned about your family?  What might happen if you don't even look at that possibility?  What are two web sites that would be useful to finding a book written about your family history?  Search your grandfather's name (maternal or paternal) online with Google.  Search a few databases online, as well.  (WikiTree.com, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, etc.)

Every detective looks for clues.  Every reporter asks questions like "Who, Where, When, How, Why?".  Gather your evidence and analyze your findings.  And when your family says, "WhoDunnit"?, you can say, "I Did".  (Write that family history, found that great great grandmother, tracked that elusive cousin, etc.)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Family History Research


and thereabouts...

Part 1
Valparaiso Community Library

459 Valparaiso Pkwy Valparaiso, FL 32580
(850) 729-5406

In the late 1970s the library expanded its modest collection to include genealogy research. Since that time the genealogy collection has grown to over 7,000 documents with hundreds of researches completing their family histories. 
Bay County Library
Bay County Public Library 898 W. 11th St. Panama City, FL 32401

The Genealogy Collection of the Bay County Public Library contains over 3900 books and over 2000 rolls of microfilm. None of these materials circulate. The largest percentage of our collection deals with the Southeastern United States and also we have a good collection of materials on other states. We have family histories, research guides, and general genealogical references. We also have a nice collection of Genealogy periodicals.
Libraries are not out of style!  They do have digital resources, and many groups are involved in digitizing projects, but we owe it to ourselves to see what has been collected and preserved in these repositories.  Besides, "Ask a Librarian", isn't just a logo; there truly are dedicated individuals who know their way around information.  They know not only what's in the library but just as importantly, what's out there in the community.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

There is a couple of CRAZY, Wild, and Fun events I would like to mention, here, today.
  • Other events in the NWFL region or within a 3 hour drive include:
    • Saturday, 19 October 2013
      9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
      Bay County Library Conference Room
      898 West 11 th Street
      Panama City, Florida 32401
      Presented by the
      Bay County Genealogical Society
    • Alabama Genealogical Society Fall Seminar October 12, 2013. 
    •  Not a three hour drive--five hours--but closer than usual and I am going!
      Friday, March 28, 2014 through Sunday, March 30, 2014
      Hilton University of Florida Conference Center 1714 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, Florida 32607
      Presented by Varied Speakers will be announced
      More INFO TO COME.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Getting Out the Door and on the Road!

When the spirit strikes--when you first get that yearning to go on a genealogy field trip, it's easy to forget that this type of research requires a little preparation and a bit of planning.  I tend to get a little over-excited and forget something, even if I've laid it out to bring along. 

An example of what I'm referring to is this idea that I have to go and visit the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH).  I'm just sure that I can find out some information about my ancestors, there.  After all, I'm a Southerner, so surely the key to unlocking my family history lies in a visit to their hallowed halls of preserved records.  Right?

Before taking any journeys, consider these suggestions, first; otherwise, you'll end up wasting not only your own time but others' as well.  Don't be me.  I had to learn by experience some of these lessons and have never gotten back to that particular depository, where, if I had just brought the proper "equipment" or prepared myself properly, I could have accomplished some valuable family history work.

Being familiar with your family and what information you're missing begins with learning what you have and what you don't have in your database or notebook or family files.  Use the Pedigree Chart as a type of map, the lineage lines becoming your focus.  Bring Family Group Sheets to see which children belong to which parent, etc.  Alternatively, we hope that you will be allowed to bring your laptop into the research area and if you have your genealogy database handy, you'll be on top of your game--your genealogy game, that is. 
A surname list of those who live in the area (where you are researching) is also helpful. 

Plan to take along a few file folders for the various individuals for which you hope to find information.  Naturally, you will want to go to the web site and see if there is an index or catalog of the repository's contents.  Library web sites often have online catalogs, map collections, photographs, and other digital offerings.  Familiarize yourself as much as possible with the layout of the library or archives and is available at that location. 

A more complete "tool kit" for your genealogy road trip can be can be found at the website at the Connecticut State Library and in many other places on the Internet.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair: September 3 and 4, 2013

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair: September 3 and 4, 2013

I would assume that you don't have to sit in front of your computer for the entire time during this presentation, but look over the "classes" and topics and choose the ones you are most interested in.  If work and home demands allow, of course, by all means, take in as much as you want of the free, virtual genealogy fair!  It comes with handouts!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

BYU–Idaho Introduces a New Online Degree in Family History Research

BYU–Idaho Introduces a New Online Degree in Family History Research

Obtaining the skills that will help to make your family history research:  education and classes is the way to go for many genealogists.

BYUtv - Questions and Ancestors - Native American Genealogy

BYUtv - Questions and Ancestors - Native American Genealogy

I thought my family history friends would be excited about this episode of the series.  I've heard that in Southern ancestry, the chances of having "Indian" blood in your lineage are pretty good.  Now, on a personal level, after watching this show, I will try to find out if that is true.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Family Tree Software By Progeny Genealogy

Family Tree Software By Progeny Genealogy

I have used the Genelines Product and it looks as though the new, updated Chart Companion is going to be very useful, too.  I hope that as you look over some of these products, I would advise you to ask for a free trial or demo, if available, before you buy.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Mormon Parenting: Kids need to know ancestry, pioneers or not | Deseret News

Mormon Parenting: Kids need to know ancestry, pioneers or not | Deseret News

While the big family history conference is happening in Utah, at BYU, attendees who are non-Mormons are exposed to the church's attitude and influence toward family history.  "Turning the Hearts" of the children to the fathers and vice versa, is part of our religion.  The keynote speakers have shared LDS concepts that many genealogists feel already strongly about; it can be summed up in two words, "family counts".

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Evidentia | Give a Voice to Your Sources

Evidentia | Give a Voice to Your Sources

I'm excited to start my 30 day trial on this software that I just found out about!  (Thanks, Pat Richley).  Evidence is where it's at, folks.  Proving your ancestry by gathering documentation, evaluating the documents and analyzing the findings is the only way to go.  I hope the learning curve begins at basic intelligence, as I sometimes get a little overwhelmed at the level of tech knowledgey that I'm expected to have on board.

PBS series to test claims of famous roots | The Columbus Dispatch

PBS series to test claims of famous roots | The Columbus Dispatch

I, for one, am glad that Dr. Gates is continuing his quest in support of genealogical proof!  I hope each of us are always "testing" our research.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tracking Your Ancestor in the Census  

Grab Your Saddle and Go Track Those Ancestors!

I've experimented with several ways of tracking ancestors and/or ancestral families in the census. I even created a chart that would work for one person, though you could use it and just put in a family name (example: The John Witherspoon Givens Family). It provides such a wealth of information if you have the data from each census in which the individual appears.

Some of you are capable of creating spreadsheets for this purpose. Plus there are a few things on the Internet that give suggestions, also. And/or solutions.

However, you do this, it is absolutely something that you want to do, especially if you are having difficulties or brick walls. Of course, the result will be a "census timeline" and should be incorporated into a larger timeline of historical events or other types of timelines. Your census research can become a stroke of the brush as you create a portrait of your ancestors.

Consult these sites to gain a better understanding of census tracking, see and obtain tools for your project, and be motivated to create your own solution to the challenge of working with census sources.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Do You Have Your Family Tree ONline?

Recently, I presented to the Genealogical Society of Okaloosa County, a brief overview of what's involved so far as online family tree websites are concerned.  

The issue is, whether each of us have availed ourselves of this opportunity.  The presence of your family tree, online, is sure to catch the interest of those who may be researching the same family lines.  With that interest, it is entirely possible that you will discover the existence and whereabouts of extended family members, like cousins, for example.  These individuals can enrich your family history search with additional family photos, family stories, and of course, the proof we need to document our family's vital life events.  Identifying descendants of your ancestors is also the first step toward planning a family reunion.  

Here is the presentation, with many links embedded.  Hopefully, it will answer some of your concerns and address your questions.  If not, feel free to contact me.  There are several book publications on this topic, as well as all kinds of software and Internet help, available.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Start with a Well-Documented Family Group Record | FamilySearch.org

Start with a Well-Documented Family Group Record | FamilySearch.org

I have to admit that I love family group sheets---finding them, using them to record stuff.  This article will be helpful for those of you are just starting out and for those who occasionally use a family group sheet for extracting information from an obituary or anything else (census, death, wills, whatever)!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Can someone's voice be monochromatic?  Get past the monotone of this tutorial/info video.  The information is golden.  Thanks, James Tanner for your teachings.

Finding and using the FamilySearch Wiki, step by step help.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Genealogy - Free 10 Generation Relationship Chart

Genealogy - Free 10 Generation Relationship Chart

Most of us can work out the first four generation relationships, but a chart like this might help you as you go farther down (or up) the line.  I also located two other (FREE) online tools:
Additionally, one's chosen genealogy software or even online family tree has a feature for a relationship calculator.  All you have to do is put the info in!  I find this feature to be helpful in my Roots Magic program; it keeps me focused on the lineal aspect of the research I'm doing!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Record Preservation Missionary

Record Preservation Missionary

Did you ever wonder who to thank for the images and data made available for free at the website, FamilySearch?  This article will give you some insight as to who is behind a lot of the preservation efforts and how that work is accomplished.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that Family History work (and sometimes, it's more work than you planned on), brings family members closer together.  That is part of the reason that they throw their support behind the website, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and the FamilySearch Indexing Project. 

However, the goal of providing resources and data for free to both church members and the general public, would be impossible to achieve without the volunteer army of regular folks like you and me.  In fact, many non-member volunteers and outside organizations such as the Indiana Historical Society and other partners, are the people power that turn the wheels for this tremendous outreach.   Read more about this and community projects at the FamilySearch Blog.

Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah

Check out my other page in this blog: ANCESTORS OF TABITHA ELIZABETH RAY

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Dale Cox's Books and Publications Spotlight

Dale Cox's Books and Publications Spotlight

Attending my genealogical society meetings has been a challenge for the last few years, but I got there today.  The GSOC is one of those vibrant organization with excellent leadership--the society refuses to close its doors or shrink into obscurity; in these times and days that can happen to small or large societies.

As long as there are speakers like Dale Cox willing to visit and share, the society will continue to be a boon to the community.  That's just one element of success, but it's an essential part of the recipe.

Dale spoke without giving a power point presentation.  Thank goodness--I often think ppp's can get in the way of the speaker's and audience commune-i-cation.  His stories were based on factual research of the early history of Florida and its denizens.  He has written several books in an effort to bring to light the various battles and sites that were involved in the early Seminole wars occurring as early as 1818.

Many of us came away from the presentation truly concerned about the lack of our state's participation in educating our children regarding the Scott Massacre, and other important events that helped to shape not just local history, but national history as well.

Mr. Cox was asked by the blogger (me), if he had done any historical research on the recent issues which were raised regarding the Dozier School in Marianna.  He had and gave a short summary of the facts and interviews that he had gathered.  He believes that between the fire of 1914 and the Spanish Flu in 1918, some of the unmarked graves, if not all, will be found to correlate with those two events.  Punishment of wayward children during the years that the institution was operating, was very corporal; society had not arrived at the level of enlightenment then, that exists now.  This being said, there are all kinds of social clues to what did and didn't take place on the campus of this state institution.  Some of the boys that "graduated" from the program left, never to return again.  Several took up residence in Marianna, Florida, suggesting that life back home was no picnic, either.

It is easy to jump to conclusions and judge people according to our understanding of decency.  Sensational accusations can sometimes become inflated and politicians may use any excuse to gain publicity and/or laurels in stirring up trouble.  My own husband spent several of his early years in an orphanage run by a religious institution and the stories he told me are enough to make you sick.  Were all of his memories bad ones?  Not necessarily; he spoke of a Christmas when the trustees brought candy for the children (that was the happy time).  I gathered from Mr. Cox that the stories you will read at Wikipedia and other web sites, don't convey a totality of the actual situation at the school, during the years it was operational.  

External Links: 
State Report
2009 Article
Dale Cox column
Bellamy Bridge

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Imagine That!

I have been using Ancestry.com for years.  Recently, I suspended my account for economic reasons.  I knew that I could still work on my family trees and I also knew that certain databases at Ancestry are available for free.  Knowing and experiencing things is two different things, though.

Imagine my surprise when I went to my family tree and plugged in a name; my Hebert D. Hill was in the tree and when I brought up his name I received the notification that there were three records available that could match my man.  I clicked on the Social Security Death Index and wasn't really able to access it because by golly, I no longer have the status of a paid member.  However, the "refusal" had the year of death printed in the "hit".  Semi-Sweet, huh?!

Tried their next suggestion/hit: Public Records, which I also was not permitted to fully view.  Finally, the third record which was fully available (oh goody!) was the 1940 Census record!  There were no holds barred.  I was very pleased, of course.

My other favorite website is FamilySearch.org.  I like the records that they have available.  I like being able to "create" and/or cite a record from another website.  But the family tree isn't nearly as easy to use as ancestry.com's.  However, it's early, yet, and I'm sure FamilySearch will improve over time, and IT'S FREE!