Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tidbits, Newsflash, and Family History News

#1:  Free Access to Legacy's Genealogy Webinars (https://familytreewebinars.com/freeaccess)
#2:  At eogn.com, this week's "regular" no-pay newsletter: look for keywords "Evernote"; New York Health Dept Lock-up Vital Event Records;https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/; Sussex Parish Records; Your Ancestor, a Convict Shipped to Australia?; Genealogy Events Calendar Update; New Records, Findmypast.com; The person or persons in my class who can tell me why Dick Eastman's newsletter is shorter than usual will win a prize!

#3:  Have you seen the 5 tips to organize your Military Records at Ancestry.com Blog? 

#4:  Free FamilySearch Webinars for September:  http://media.familysearch.org/free-family-history-library-classes-and-webinars-for-september-2017/

Class on Friday: Jon Sheperd will finish up his Cemetery Research Program; Margaret will demonstrate a popular feature of FamilySearch.org!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I subscribe....

Currently, I subscribe to an online genealogy magazine (FamilyTreeMagazine).  I believe it is also available in hard copy, too.  Well, wouldn't you know that some of the things I've been thinking about, lately, are topics in the latest issue?!!  Reading hasn't gone out of fashion, folks!

For example:

  • What is a State Research Guide [and why did the Family History Center quit carrying them?]   FamilyTreeMagazine.com offers two state guides each month.  If class goes well on Friday and we have time, I will tell you where to find the "old" state guides at FamilySearch.org.
  • Family Tree Options:  Software, Online, ?
  • Recent weather events remind us:  What will happen to our Genealogy?  Where to you store your genealogy? 
  • Christmas is coming: What will you give your family?
  • Where do you back up your photos?
  • Hiring a Professional Genealogist--What you need to know
  •  www.familytreemagazine.com.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Announcements (Area Events and More)

  • Registration Information for the Fall Session of the CLL (Center for LIfelong Learning)


  • Family History Center FWB: Open Thursday 10a.m.-4p.m. and Saturday 10a.m.-1p.m. 339 Lake Drive (off Memorial Pkway, behind Beal Memorial Cemetery, at LDS Chapel); Private appointments available; just email margaret.harris@gmail.com

  • 21st Annual Central Florida Family History Conference: Saturday, Nov. 4th, 2017, 9a.m.-4:00p.m. Orlando, Florida.  Featuring 16 World Class Family History Experts!


My Family History Hat!


Monday, August 07, 2017

Handout for Genealogy Newbies

Hope this handout which I'm going to utilize in my presentation on Wednesday, will be helpful to others, as well, who are just starting down that trail of research. A link for this document (PDF) can also be found at https://www.scribd.com/document/355783768/SRB-Genealogy-GSOC

My Family History: How Do I Begin?

1. It’s as easy as realizing that you already know something about your family history!
2. It’s crucial to write down (or record) what you know so that you can see WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW.

This is why, in the old days, we filled out “pedigree” or “ancestor” charts. Of course you can still choose those forms, if you want. You can even download them free on the Internet. https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/Genealogy_Research_Forms is just one website among many that will let you download free charts.

There are also websites that will let you build a family tree on the Internet. If you utilize this tool, be sure you do not post information on your living relatives. Here are some options for creating your family tree online:

  • https://familysearch.org/
  • http://www.myheritage.com/family-tree-builder
  • https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/
  • https://www.wikitree.com/
  • www.findmypast.com

There are other online family trees, but the ones I have given you are among the most popular and reliable.

Other websites you will want to look at:
  1. http://www.familytreemagazine.com/article/best-cemetery-directory-sites-2016
  2. https://www.werelate.org
  3. https://familysearch.org/blog/en/started-family-history/
  4. http://www.findmypast.com/content/10-tips-to-start-your-family-history-journey
  5. YouTube.com (search for genealogy or “family history”) Many videos!
  6. Wikipedia.org (search places, towns, and more)
  7. Beginners’ Guide to Genetic Genealogy: https://isogg.org/wiki/Beginners'_guides_to_genetic_genealogy
  8. Google Earth and/or maps.google.com
  9. books.google.com
  10. worldcat.org
Looking for a good book about Genealogy? Search www.amazon.com.

Finding ancestral trails begins and ends with three important pieces of information: Who? When? Where? Apply these questions to every vital life event: Birth, Marriage, Death; (aka batch, match, and dispatch)!

We are looking for the name of your ancestor as it would have occurred at the time of his birth; we want to guestimate his date of birth if we don’t already know it. We need to know a general idea of where that event occurred, if possible. Newspapers are a possible source, family Bibles, birth announcement cards and maybe you can glean some info from a photograph or two.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

A Reason to Do Family History

  •  A reason to do genealogy and seek out your family history:   
  It has never been more important to know your family's health history.  Read the article here and 
  1. Start sending for death certificates.  
  2. Dig about in the attics and basements for clues about meds your family member took.
  3. Investigate stories that might include information about the ancestors' health, especially pension applications...or whatever you can find.  
  4. And for Pete's (or whoever's) sake, talk to living relatives, especially older living relatives...even if they are distant relatives.  
  5. Find county histories and speak to old-timers in the are where your relatives lived.  Review newspapers and photographs.  Learn the signs (physical signs) of genetic diseases and consult medical dictionaries if you have questions.
  6. Recently I was working on an indexing project which dealt with field hospitals and in this case, a particular hospital that treated the diseases and sicknesses of both local folks and the soldiers coming out of the 1865 civil war fighting.  Names, ages, and the disease or cause of their being at the medical facility were recorded.  This source was not specially tied to genetic disease, but reminded me that our ancestors suffered in a time that the existence of antiseptics had not yet made an appearance.  There was no such thing as a deterrent or cure for typhoid.  We are linked to those ancestral experiences if only through DNA.  Let science and technology become a part of your family history, now. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

What is an Historical Document? What Types of Records Are We Interested In?

Marriage License (May be Online at a State Web Site, Ancestry.com or FamilySearch); I once located a bunch of marriage records that an individual had scanned and uploaded to the Internet.  The marriage license (a copy of the original) can often be located online.  Or, you can write the depository where your State Records are stored.

Where Can I Write for Vital Records?

 This is a pretty standard form for death certificates.  


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Challenge Your Brain Every Day


Trivia quizzes and other brain games will help you to stay sharp, mentally.  Genealogy/Family History research will do very well for mental calisthenics, also. 

1.  You know when and where your ancestor was born.  What was his occupation?  Where can you find that information?  
2.  Where can you find a source that explains the "titles" or names of different occupations?

Check back in my next post for the answers to that and other questions!  But first, Google or search online!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017



If you are aiming to be a dedicated researcher and family history finder, then you should subscribe via e-mail to this blog.

When I read it, I always come away with new ideas and enthusiasm.  Let me know what you think!

Randy Seaver Rocks!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Cute idea--Do you have a spouse who wants to spout off?


At least, I find this humorous.  I was known to drag my husband in and out of cemeteries and archives, on occasion.  Do you relate?  (No pun intended).

More often, I left him home to fend for himself and make dinner for the Kid. 

Ed in the Kitchen, Having Fun

Saturday, April 01, 2017

I'm a newbie to DNA

Though I've attended conferences on DNA and read a bit about it, I really didn't get involved until I broke down and got my autosomal dna done at FTDNA.com. 

From my most recent attempt at educating myself, I attended a seminar (in two sessions) of four hours each.  The presenter said that right now, the easiest route is through Ancestry.com's autosomal dna program.  Why?  You might ask. 

Ancestry has a lot of family trees.  They also have a database of like 3 million or 4, by now, probably, of people who have sent in their dna.  They have developed some tools that make it pretty clear how to find out your matches.

Heritage is also doing some kind of wild things and might be really good for you if you have European or Middle Eastern.

I think each of us just has to make a decision and carry through with it and I chose FTdna.com a company I felt like would be a good one for me.

There are also folks working on different programs that will allow you to put your "kit" info in and they will triangulate it or compare it.  One of those programs is GEDMatch; you submit a gedcom of your family trees (everyone is supposed to do that) and they have a large amount of folks using them, also.  So, I recommend getting invested in this Genetic Genealogy thing.  Make sure you menfolk go for your Y-Chromosome study as well as your autosomal.  Ladies, get your Mitochondrial (Mother's line) done and do your autosomal.  As we obtain more and more people in the database, it will be easier to find our relatives.  And our descendants will also be able to have that opportunity to uncover their families and ancestors, as well as cousins.


Monday, March 27, 2017

How to find resources (genealogically helpful resources) for Locations aka "Places"

There is magic in the air!  You just have to find it.  Just as Worldcat.org is a magnificent place to find the holdings of libraries far and near, so is the FamilySearch Wiki a wonderful key to the world of resources for locations. 

Mathew Bishop lived most of his adult life in Marion County, Alabama.  Because he was born in 1807 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the records for his forefathers [and mothers] are a bit of a mystery, right now.

I decided to learn as much as I could about Marion County and the Bishop family in Marion County and hope that it will lead me back to some clues for his genealogy in South Carolina.  There are several ways of going about that quest but FamilySearch Wiki is a good beginning.

I know I've talked about this before, but I truly appreciate the function of the Wiki at FS.  And I challenge you to pick a place of significance for your ancestors and put it into the search box and see what links you can lean upon to find out more.

Of course, you will also want to check Google and WorldCat and anything else you can think of, but at FamilySearch, you are apt to get not only links but also information relevant to the topic, relevant to your research. It's in the menu under "SEARCH".

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I love to learn and try different things.

Spring Flowers

WeRelate.org is a wiki genealogy website, that provides genealogy tools and data. It bills itself as the world's largest freely licensed genealogy wiki, with almost 5 million wiki pages. Its information is free, and the site is non-commercial and nonsectarian. ... The site runs on the MediaWiki software.

I recommend that before you enter any information into this database, you look and read the “Home Page”. There are tutorials and you could just jump right in, but why not do yourself a favor and watch the tutorials?!!

Articles and/or reviews abouthttp://www.werelate.org:

WeRelate.org is the world’s largest genealogy Wiki.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Five-Point Formula for the GPS

Christine Rose, in her book Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, discusses how all five points must be applied to successfully build your case.  Are you familiar with the five points?  

There are resources available in periodicals, in blogs, in books, and on the Internet.  Explore and educate yourselves so that others will accept that you are a serious genealogist, but more importantly, so that you will prove your research and know that your ancestors are yours! 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Look forward but keep marching.

We are the family historians, by choice or by default.  Ours is the task to ferret out our ancestors and tell their stories. 

How will we accomplish this vast assignment? 

The Genealogy Community will help!  Continue to reach out for the "breaking news" of family history.  You can use this news to lift you up when you are discouraged. 

The news will also stir your concerns and prick your conscience and you may have to save a cemetery or preserve a record that is about to be discarded; you may have to mingle with bureaucrats and lobbyists, with agents of governments small and large--the destruction of our history, of our family's history may be in peril.

We have talked of bloggers in genealogy.  Share your stories, help your neighbor, or write a blog for your family members or others.  Read the blogs of Dick Eastman and others.  Let them know you are interested in our future, our present, and our past as it pertains to growing and knowing our family tree and the family tree of mankind.  The concept is that once you realize you are related to your neighbor, town folk, etc., you will treat each other more kindly.  We will treat each other like family members ought to be treated. 

Now, before I get too carried away:

Those of you who have put your family tree on FamilySearch.org have an opportunity to participate in Relative Finder in conjunction with the other members of this class.  This isn't a closed group, but it's a seed that will be allowed to sprout.  It will stir your imagination and inspire you to get busy, stay involved and continue to gather not just facts about your kin, but also learn about their culture, their time, their challenges and their joys.  If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be here.

Again, I digress!

I have formed a group, with the help of Marvin Cochrane and Ed Pfeiffer and of course, my sorta sidekick, Val Moreland.  This group is called CLL Genealogists.  This group is represented at Relative Finder, online.  If, and/or when you put your ancestral tree on FamilySearch, you can join this group.  The results will be posted for you to see who and how you are related to each other and to famous or notable people.  You may personally invite other genealogists to join, in your family, or whatnot.  You can form your own family group, you can form a church group, or whatever.  The invitational url will be posted today in class.  We will not invite the internet to join because I manage this group and I don't want to have to work too hard!  Talk to you later, friends.  E-mail me if you forget or lose the invite URL.  Oh, and there is a password, also.  I want this group to be meaningful to you, or relative as they say.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Next Friday (last day of CLL): Stump the Chumps.  Time to ask those questions about genealogy methodology.  

  • How do I find my ancestor's World War I Draft Registration?
  •   What is the key to finding out who my ancestor was and what he went through in his life?
This is not a brick wall session.  No time in class to do that, but if you need research guidance in general, this is the time to let loose!

One of five people who has most influenced the direction I've gone in my Family HIstory quest.  Megan Smolenyak, "Honoring Our Ancestors".

Why I admire Sally Fields and how that is pertinent to my life as a genealogist:
1.  She is persistent.
2.  She forges ahead against all odds.
3.  She aims high.

Dick Eastman: Genealogy News Guru.  "98% of the records you need": 

 Reading Dick Eastman's Genealogy Newsletter (he also does the news about technology) has been a wonderful education
for me every week.  #2 Influential person in 
my genealogy life. 

Stay posted.  More to come.  Watch this 
blog and win a prize next week!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Next Friday's Class (Last Half)

FamilySearch.org is a nonprofit, (no subscription needed), website.  It is associated with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  

This website will be the topic of the last half of our class next Friday.  You can get ahead in the discussion if you go ahead and get a free account.  Feel free to explore some of the different sections (menu items on navigation bar) or search for some of your ancestors.

Don't be fearful, there is help galore.  Check out YouTube.com and Amazon Books.



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Family History is so much more than genealogical research

Family History is an umbrella. 
Many types of information fall under that umbrella.  

Researching the genealogy (names, dates, and places) is certainly the foundation of our research.  However, stories, photographs, relics, and family traditions also increase our knowledge.  

We each have a unique view of our own personal history and of our family history.  This is the reason that my brother might remember a particular story differently than my sister and I remember it.  

When a detective looks for an eye witness, does he just look for one person's account or is he interested in what several witnesses might have seen?  The more information that can be gathered, the better the anaysis will be.  The more light you put on the subject, the more that details will show up.

We have to share our stories and compare our accounts with others' accounts.  A beautiful flower is seen in a photo.  Who is holding the flower?  What was the occasion?  The more we look and listen and ask questions--these are the things that sometimes reveal a slice of history in its clearest light.  Here are some links that will further this theme more deeply.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Gather, Find, Prove

First Day of Class “Family History on the Internet”: Discussions for Friday 

1. Handouts: I will e-mail you copies of any handouts that I make up. I will also post it on my website. If you don't have a printer and still want a paper copy of something, I suggest you put the document on a flash drive and take it to Office Depot or Kinko's; you can even send them the docs via the Internet and then go pick them up.

2. Jon Shepherd will be helping me this session with the class. I've asked him to share his experiences with you as an Ancestry.com user, his insights on Findagrave.com, and more. I will be focusing on FamilySearch.org, strategies of researching on the Internet, and sharing some insight into learning the skills of research. Or not! You are the stars of this search and where you need help and ideas, we will strive to address some of those concerns. We sure can't do everything in 8 weeks, but maybe we can hit some of the things that will help you with finding your family either on the Internet or we can use the Internet to tell us where to look.

Some of the elements of researching that we will discuss in class will have to do not only with gathering the information about your family, but also analyzing the evidence and evaluating the various documents or other types of proof.

Here is a document.  Tell me what you learn from this "clue":  

 Is it just as important for you to cite your internet sources as it is a source a book?  What is the best way to do that?  How can you keep up with all the records you find when you are using the Internet as a tool.  First, gather these finds.  Put them in a notekeeper like Evernote, OneNote, etc.  You can also use Pinterest to save images!  Make a family group on Facebook and share your finds with your relatives.  

After the finding- gathering phase, you will want to compare the information in the document with what you already know about your relative.  Don't immediately assume that a similarity in name or place makes it your guy.  We will go into more detail later on, but building a profile for your ancestor is rarely a one step process.

Various links on the Internet will help with obtaining the proper tools for your search.  Order a "Quick Sheet" for citing sources from Ancestry.com's Database and Images.  Create a research log and always capture the sources, one a time...before you go on to the next "find".  

  • www.genealogical.com specializes in making such tools available.  Key Person in "Evidence" is Elizabeth Shown Mills.  Google her name and see what I mean.
  • Building a Solid Case for your research on a someone's profile calls for a Genealogical Proof Standard.  The author is Christine Rose for one such book. 
  • My goal as a teacher this session is to help you see more clearly that which you are detecting.  You may have to utilize a magnifying glass both literally and figuratively to see everything a piece of evidence has to "say".  Shining a bright light on a dark closet will make those corners yield up their secrets.  What detective rules will you follow?
  • FamilySearch.org=Free Records
  • FamilySearch Tree- Plant your tree one person at a time.
  • FamilySearch Wiki- Knowledge Base (Kind of like wikipedia, but for genealogy)
  • FamilySearch Apps- Have a little fun.
  • FamilySearch Memories- Stories, photos, documents (Share)
 Please get a FamilySearch Account today.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Introduction The Genealogy Do Over

Give this a try or at least hear him out!  I've been mulling over starting this program for several months and now, I'm finally going to start putting it into some serious planning stuff.  Thomas makes it easy:  You can pick and choose the parts of the program that you feel like you need OR will benefit from...my guess is that I may take that tack, but end up going back to the first and doing it over with even more gusto!