Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What is Your Vision for Family History on the Internet?

 Merry Christmas, Folks! 
I am looking forward to the new Center for Lifelong Learning Session in January.

My vision and goals for the new class (Center for Lifelong Learning), or rather the new session beginning in January 2017, is touched upon in this recent exercise I set out.  

Access it and tell me what you need from the Class experience.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Genealogy's Star: Jumpstart Your Family History in Ten Steps: Step Two -- Learn about your family

Genealogy's Star: Jumpstart Your Family History in Ten Steps: Step Two -- Learn about your family

Is this little fellow climbing his family tree? 
Everywhere I turn these days are articles about family stories and learning more about our families, not just in terms of facts, dates, etc., but also in terms of narrative lingo.  Is this writer's composition along those lines or is it closer to "Back to Basics"?  Read and let me know what you think!

Of course, this link takes you to "Step Two"'ll have to do some backtracking to get "Step One", as well as watch for future "steps" to get the full flavor of his article. 

University of Florida's George Smather's Library is Repository for Newspapers

Not sure if this is true of other states and other universities, but the University of Florida (Go Gators!) is the official repository for old newspapers in the State of Florida and I would assume that they have a digitization program since I was able to find this as a source through the Florida Archives Site.

Certainly, that doesn't mean you won't find copies of the Walton Breeze or other newspapers in other repositories; it has been my experience that old newspapers are found in various places.  

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Margaret and Her Children 2011 (December)

"Digging for lost ancestors is far more than simply collecting the names of your ascendants...You don't dig merely to accumulate a lot of dry bones, as it were; or to change the metaphor, you simply cannot back-trail your progenitors without becoming interested in the times in which they lived and in the various phases of their lives and activities."  (Searching for Your Ancestors, Gilbert H. Doane & James B. Bell.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

It's Still October...Let's Go to the Fair!

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair 2016   
On October 26 & 27, 2016 (Wednesday & Thursday), the National Archives is hosting a two-day, virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast. Viewers have the opportunity to participate with the presenters and other family historians during the live event on YouTube. All of the session videos and handouts will be available from this web page free of charge. You can watch the sessions and download the materials at your convenience. The videos and materials will remain available after the event. Registration is not required.

Friday, October 21, 2016

If you are falling asleep thinking about your family tree, then perhaps what you need is a treat or two!  Open your eyes wide and accept the following as my Halloween treat "bag" for you:

  • Marriage Vital Record Index Collections:  On this, you should definitely read the small print and then, scroll down to the alphabetical list of links.  Makes you wonder...what else can you find in the FamilySearch Wiki?
Well, there you have it!  Enough to keep you busy through Halloween, maybe!  Remember, if you are giving out candy, turn your porch light on.  I hope I've turned the porch light on for you, today!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ever wonder about those ancestors who traveled to America and settled here?  Here's a link that will help you out:

Finding Original Documents Online

Copies or photographs of originals are what you need for your ancestor hunt.  Here is an example of a marriage record.  Be aware that records will vary from place to place.  Some contain only the basics, others have the name of the father and mother of the groom and the bride and other details.

As you see, some marriage records like this one, appear on a page with other records!  How do you know when you have found your ancestor/relative?  What source material or information do you need to cite the source?  Why is it important to source the records.

Another Example of Marriage Record:

A marriage record is generated at the time of the event (or thereabouts) and in the lifetime of the primary actors.  This is as good as it gets.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Free Genealogy Book Search at Genealogy Gophers!

Free Genealogy Book Search

Here's a little goodie to get you through the weekend.  Tracing ancestors earlier than the 1800's can be a little difficult, at times.  Why not see if they are mentioned in a book, somewhere?!!


USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer

 USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer

We have talked in class, about organization of our family history.  Maps/locations/places are a key element in understanding how our ancestors lived.  Why not organize your "favorties" or "bookmarks" function to reflect various key places, not just in the here and now, but historically, as well?

Note-taking is another way to organize.  I use Evernote 
and it's so exciting to be able to really flesh out the links that help me to identify my family members "way back".  Of course there are several other options available for keeping up with your discoveries; this is just the one that I am familiar with.  See if you can find a way to keep up with the treasures you find online.  This one of course will be filed in my Evernote Program under a notebook called Finding the Place! 


Thursday, October 13, 2016

One of two posts on Organizing Your Family History

Please click on this link to view a short presentation:

Organizing Your Genealogy and More!

First, I want to thank Val Moreland for all the links she sends me via her Facebook Page. Well, I'm talking about the genealogical links. The recipe links and "How-To" links are also interesting, but I never grow tired of finding out what she has posted for the genealogy world.

This week, she posted Legacy Family Tree (; this is a live event to be broadcast on October 29th, questions and answers sessions about DNA. A Genetic Genealogist, Mr. Woodbury, will answer the questions. Take a look, also, aat the other events hosted by Legacy Family Tree:

Thanks, also to Val for this link: "International List Causes of Death, Revision 5 (1938)." (  How does a death list like this expand our view of our ancestor's lives?

This week's class is about Organizing Your Genealogy.  

Who needs Halloween when you can just step through the doors of my home?  Seriously, the week before I contracted pneumonia I was going through my collection of old books, hoping to cull some of them from the ones I would pack for my upcoming move!  My father, who was born in 1913, had passed down to me some of these "Old Books"; not only were they dusty---they might have been a little moldy, too!  One was a textbook that he used in school, another had belonged to his stepfather, Floyd Hall, born 1879.

I have members of my family tree strung from one end of the house to the other...sometimes it's a photo, other times it's a book.  Often it is a newspaper clipping, a pedigree chart, a copy of a death certificate or other item.  I need organization for my paper files.  

Attending seminars is one way to  find out more about curing this sickness I have, the curse of dragging my ancestors around with me from place to place in one form or another.  What a relief it is when I actually get a document scanned or take a photograph of some relic from the past.  Then, I just have to worry about how and where to file it.  I often e-mail it to a child of mine.  I have six children and I take turns passing things along among them.  The burden of family history---what would I be without it?!!  Perhaps, I live in a haunted house, these days, but digital preservation gives me a little bit of peace.  I use flash drives, cd's, the hard drive of my computer, and the "cloud".  Not just one cloud, but several.  My files and photos, my scans and databases are at Dropbox, Amazon, Mozy, and other types of clouds like OneNote, Evernote, "One Drive", Google Drive, etc.  No wonder the owl in the Halloween Tree is asking, "Who, Whooo, Who?"  No wonder ghosts are wandering and unhappy...I have my ancestors spread all over the place!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Miles' Genealogy Tips: The US Census - Beyond the Names - Mapping Your Ancestors

Miles' Genealogy Tips: The US Census - Beyond the Names - Mapping Your Ancestors:

Blogs like this (are there any like this one?!) are fascinating to me as I have a yearning to know more about my ancestors.  I think, however, that I failed geography!  Maybe I can pick up a few cues or focus in one or two of Miles' ideas and push the envelope for my family stories. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Center for LIfelog Learning is educational and fun!

I am looking forward to the new session starting up this week (Friday, for me), for the Center for Lifelong Learning.  

Over the years, I have met new friends, attended classes like "The Bible as Literature", "Balance and Strength", and "World Decisions".   The classes are held at a variety of places, but many of them happen at the Fort Walton Beach campus for Northwest Florida State College and the University of West Florida.  

I enjoy eating lunch on Fridays at the little Campus Cafe.  We try to get as many scrunched up to the table as we can; of course, there are other options for lunch, too.  You can bring your own or get take-out from the Campus Cafe or other places and enjoy a weekly presentation from a member of the community that has something interesting to share!

I guess what I really want to say is that I enjoy the mental stimulation and the comraderie at the CLL.  I am teaching Family History on the Internet; registration is closed, now, but if you are looking for something to do in January of 2017, consider the Center for Lifelong Learning!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

EPOCH Preserving Obituaries

Yesterday's meeting of the Genealogical Society of Okaloosa County was really super.  The librarian from Washington County, Florida came over with her assistant and clued us in about the EPOCH website and program.  Participation is free.  From the website:

 EPOCH is a depository of information that will be held for future generations of researchers and genealogists. Family and friends of the deceased can submit detailed obituaries as a tribute to their loved ones, and in doing so help build a meaningful history of the residents of the community.



Tuesday, September 06, 2016

When checking the census for your relatives, don't forget to check to see if there are state census records (as well as the federal census records).  For example, here is a screenshot of the 1945 State of Florida Census for a portion of Crestview.  My kinfolk, the Settles family, are listed here as the "Suttles".  That spelling is not unusual and I see it quite often when I'm researching.

Thankfully, when you are using, your input for the search may be "SETTLES", but the default search engine at that web site will pick up other names that "sound like" the original query.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Grand Rapids to host national genealogy conference in 2018 - Washington Times

Grand Rapids to host national genealogy conference in 2018 - Washington Times

I thought that some of my snowbird friends might be interested in this and we are getting plenty of notice, right?!!  Hopefully, you will at least let your genealogy pals in and around Michigan know about this; maybe they would host you?

Monday, March 07, 2016

Behold Genealogy Software

Behold Genealogy Software

Are you searching for a genealogy software?  This one has a free trial.  And a one-time lifetime cost of $40.

A little light on the subject, just for you.

Family History Guide: Learning to Use It and Liking It!

I needed something to charge me up today in my family history!  So, I went on over to a "chapter" from the Family History Guide and plugged in!

From the "start" page, I clicked on Projects.
Project #1 refers to the Family Tree
function at FamilySearch.

I moved my cursor over to "Goals" and chose #14.  I love to try new technology applications and yes, this would help me to explore (or view in a different way), the information which had previously been added to my family tree.  In particular, I clicked on Tree Analyzing...


In my next post, I will let you know how it went!

Monday, February 22, 2016

DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog

DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog

Kudos to my friend "Dear Myrtle"/aka Pat Richley for the initiative, "This is the Year" we're going to get organized.  None of us have time to do these LITTLE projects, Pat!  We choose to MAKE time for genealogy.  We get done the things we need to do to have accurate records.  It's a priority in our lives.

So, friends and students of mine, decide what you can schedule---how much you can pack into your calendar; even if it's just part of a project, be sure to work a little bit on it every day.  My husband taught me how to accomplish getting the housework done; he said to just "piece-mill" my list of tasks!  So, that is what you do.  It's like quilting.  That quilt is rarely made in a day or all at one time.  It's piece-milled.

I challenge you to do something all along the way in your journey.  Follow DearMyrtle's blog and check out her facebook site as well.  It will give you ideas and aspirations.   

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Great Questions | StoryCorps

I wish that everyone could participate in the StoryCorps.  Our loved ones are dear to us and their stories are part of who you are.  How can we transmit that notion to others in our family tree who are still living? 

Journal Jars are a beginning.  But, best of all, would be an audio recording of us being interviewed by a relative or vice versa; voices for posterity!

Could SoundCloud be a vehicle for that?  Let me know what you think, tomorrow in class.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Want Help with Your Brick Wall?

Family Historian: "Help. Help! I'm Stuck"!
Attention Beyond Basic Genealogy Class:

Bring to class a family group sheet for your elusive ancestor.  Fill out the form as completely and as accurately as you can.  We will analyze the information and weigh the evidence as a class.  Then, we will try to find you some new leads!

Everyone in your database will be listed in at least one family group as a child in a family.  If that person marries or has children, then they will also be listed in that "family group".  Below are some places on the Internet where you can access free printable family history charts, and especially the family group sheet.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

GenQuestDiary | A log of my family history journey. | Page 2

GenQuestDiary | A log of my family history journey. | Page 2

Here is an example of a blog I created a few years ago.  Would you be interested in learning how to create a blog for your family history?  I'm not an expert, but I can probably get you started.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mastering Genealogical Proof - Kindle edition by Thomas W. Jones. Reference Kindle eBooks @

Mastering Genealogical Proof - Kindle edition by Thomas W. Jones. Reference Kindle eBooks @

I haven't yet purchased this book, but it looks like it would be very helpful.  I was reminded to consider it by a post that was made at Dear Myrtle's facebook and website.   "Myrt" has a study group for this instructional book by Thomas W. Jones at her Google Hangout.  I have added the book to my Wish List at Amazon.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Family Search Wiki "talks" about Death Records

The FamilySearch Wiki is like an encyclopedia and though the font is smallish and a challenge to some of us with poor eyesight, I've been told that it will soon resemble the font size at Wikipedia.  So look for changes at the FamilySearch Wiki in the coming months! 
What can't be argued is the premier value of the FamilySearch Wiki.  It is free info and is very well sourced.  In exploring death records, it becomes apparent that there are several different kinds.  They are listed at this link.  What are some various types of death records and where can they be found?  FSWiki knows.

Elelments Pertaining to "The Genealogical Proof Standard"

In the discussion about the reliability of original records (or copies thereof), we must ask ourselves, "How trustworthy is the information on a death certificate or a tombstone?".

Here is an excellent article that addresses that very topic.  "The Accuracy of Death Certificates and Tombstones".  This is the Diana, Goddess of the Hunt---of Ancestors website!  If you are looking for a model for an online genealogy web site, this certainly is my nominee.  It was created by Diana Gale Matthiesen.

Jot down some of the primary points that Diana makes in the article.  What key elements are part of evaluating historic documents as mentioned in this article?  What environment existed at the time of a death?  Folks were often emotionally "demolished". 

If you have experienced the death of a loved one, please feel free to make a comment about the things that were on your mind or reasons you might have made an error.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Ancestry Insider: Darned Divorcee’s Deposition

The Ancestry Insider: Darned Divorcee’s Deposition

This is for my new CLL Class Members.  If you have a subscription to or use FamilySearch, this is a BLOG that you might want to subscribe to.  You can receive it via e-mail or view it online.

Since we were recently, (Friday), speaking about original records, I thought you might enjoy this discussion.  And remember, Mr. Sider is an unofficial blogger for and/or FamilySearch.  However, he is an Official Blogger for RootsTech, the upcoming conference in Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I get mail and you should, too!

In my Thunderbird Mailbox, I get genealogy stuff of all kinds. 

Here are some recommendations of that stuff.  You can usually organize your e-mail folders or prioritize your messages so that when you have a few minutes, dip into your genealogy e-mail box and read a short article or two.  For example:

  • Did you know that 3-D family trees are now available?!  Progeny Genealogy is a company that is well known in the genealogy community and they have e-mailed this promotion to little ole' me!  "Get the Charting Companion today"
  • has e-mailed me this morning to tell me I have 23 "Smart" Matches.  
  • NEHGS has sent along their "Weekly Genealogist", another free newsletter; this New England Historic Genealogical Society has helpful articles (We love Tips and Tricks!); they also spotlight various cemeteries, and more.  Go to their website to learn more:
  • I get a regular e-mail "WikiTree Family News", because I've posted family tree information at; the "news" is about additions and changes to my family tree info.  Following that list, is a list of "family" birthdays.  I like to use this as a way to celebrate my kinfolks and check out the accuracy of my database, there. 
  • Do you get mail from a RootsWeb Message Board or Surname List?  If you've subscribed to one at RootosWeb (still a free service), then you will want to keep up with a particular surname or place!  This is a great vehicle to post queries, too!
My time has elapsed and I plan to continue making suggestions in a connected post, later.  When someone bemoans the fact that they rarely get mail, anymore, I just smile a little inside, knowing that always have some excellent examples of interesting e-mail, waiting for me on my T-Bird.
Winter in NWFL is Beach Time for Natives