Monday, July 16, 2018

New York Research

We spent several days in St. Lawrence County in upper New York with various levels of success.

Massena: At the local historical museum we read through the Hackett and Bailey files. It seems we were able to "prove a negative," as the Hackett family we were wondering about had been in Massachusetts and Vermont for generations and probably had no connection with John Hackett who arrived from Ireland in the 1840s. The volunteer was helpful but not very familiar with the museum holdings.

Bombay: We read online that the historical museum was open Wednesday mornings, but no one was there when we arrived. We called the number and one of the volunteers was willing to drive over to open the building. We visited with her briefly; that small museum didn't have research materials. She provided directions to two local cemeteries and we did find one grave marker linked to a family line.

Potsdam: We had called the museum the previous day and given them a list of surnames. Erin and Mary were particularly interested in our visit, as Mary was also researching a Bailey line. It turned out that she and Dick had a common ancestor! They had pulled the family files for our surnames and had several other helpful suggestions. These ladies knew their stuff!

Canton: The Silas Wright Museum here has a large collection of genealogical materials. We read family files, county histories, cemetery books, and the coordinator searched for our surnames in their computer system. Mary, Dick's cousin from Potsdam, also volunteers at this museum, so we had more opportunity to discuss research with her. We visited two more cemeteries in the area, also.

Success in New York seems to depend upon the knowledge of the museum directors and volunteers, and we had success in Potsdam and Canton for that reason. Calling ahead also saves time, as the volunteers can have the family files ready for you.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Another Local Knowledge Success

We spent the past few days in St. Ignace, MI near Mackinac Island where Dick's Ojibwa line originated. We visited the Museum of Ojibwa Culture and the Fort de Buade Museum. As we were ready to leave the museum's gift shop, I mentioned in passing to the woman who was volunteering at the cash register that Dick had traced one ancestral line to that area. She immediately asked about a surname--then told us to wait while she went next door to the Historical Society. She came back with a printout of a descendant chart of the Bourassa family to show where she and Dick both had connections. We were able to return the next day to pick up a copy for a small donation.

We also spent the next morning at the local library in its genealogy department: many local history books and a card file of "area genealogies." It was interesting to learn that Dick's Grignon family traveled from Green Bay (where there was no church at the time) across Lake Michigan to Mackinac Island for baptisms. Four children were baptized at the same time several years after their births.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Legacy's July Webinars

Visit www.familytreewebinars.com to register for any of these free webinars. Or, watch for a week following the presentation on your own time.


Thursday, July 5 - "Adding a Will and Tombstone to Legacy" by Geoff Rasmussen.  Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Friday, July 6 - "Adding Estate/Probate Records to Legacy" by Geoff Rasmussen.  Intermediate


Wednesday, July 11 - "The Art of Negative-Space Research" by Jeanne Bloom. (Identifying women by using records of their family and friends.)   Intermediate

Friday, July 13 - "Freedmen's Bureau Records - Valuable to ALL Southern Research" by Diane L. Richards.  Intermediate

Tuesday, July 17 - "Special Tools That Can Take Your Research to the Next Level" by MyHeritage Webinars.  Beginner, Intermediate

Tuesday, July 17 - "It's a Numbers Game! Understanding Recognized Genealogical Formats" by Alice Hoyt Veen.  Intermediate

Wednesday, July 18 - "Trails of Daniel Boone and other Western Travelers" by J. Mark Lowe.  Intermediate

Wednesday, July 25 - "Photoshop: What You Need to Know as a Photographer" by Jared Hodges.  Intermediate

Tuesday, July 31 - "An Overview of Important Historical Record Collections" by MyHeritage Webinars.  (New MyHeritage collections)  Beginner

Monday, June 25, 2018

Research Reminder

One of Dick Eastman's recent blog posts was a good reminder about our research. Someone had written him about being frustrated that he could not find enough information online. Eastman's comment: "Doesn’t he realize that 95% of the information of interest to genealogists is not yet available on the Internet?"

Here's more of that post: 
"To be sure, many of the biggest and most valuable resources are now available online, including national census records, the Social Security Death Index, military pension applications, draft cards, many passenger lists, land patent databases, and more.
As the national databases became available to all, the online providers moved on to digitize regional and statewide information. State or provincial censuses, birth records, marriage records, death records, naturalization records (which originally were recorded in many local and state courts), county histories, and much, much more are still being placed online."
He then points out that most church parish records, local tax lists, school records, land records (other than Federal land grants), and many more records are not yet available online and probably won’t be available for many years. 

Because so many of us have returned "home" for the summer or are traveling around the country, we should keep in mind that visiting the area where our ancestors lived can be an invaluable way to further our research. Don't pass up an opportunity to visit a courthouse, library, or local history museum in your ancestor's original settlement.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

War of 1812 Pension Files

The following appeared in the FamilySearch blog last week. Check that blog for further information. Note that Fold3's free 1812 pension records are incomplete and only include A through M at this time.


Citizens who joined the militia and served in the army or navy during the War of 1812 were eligible for pensions. Throughout the 1800s, nearly 100,000 applications were submitted. Some were approved, some not, but files for both were preserved.


To qualify for these pensions, applicants were required to provide the government with stringent proofs of eligibility, so the files may include original records sent in by the applicants. They may include pages torn from family Bibles, marriage certificates, photographs, military records, and more.


Start by searching for an ancestor in the FamilySearch War of 1812 index, but don’t stop there. Indexes provide only limited information, could include transcription errors, and aren’t necessarily complete.


Digitized records in the pension files are actual copies of proof documents and may contain much more information than is on the indexes. Thus far, files for surnames A through M have been digitized and are available free online at Fold3.com. The undigitized original files are also available to search at the National Archives in Washington D.C.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Family Search News

Family Search recently published its 2 billionth digital image! Don't forget to check the site every few weeks to learn what new records have been added.


During our recent visit to the Family History Library we spent time on all four floors. At present the United States/Canada books are on the third floor and the U.S./Canada film collection is housed on the second floor. The first basement level houses the international books and films while the second level contains British records. Since each floor has plenty of computers, we visited a different floor each day.


We used very little microfilm during the week because so much of the information is available to visitors on the computers. Many of the digitized films can be read on computers at the Library or a Family History Center but not on a home computer. We learned how to transfer records and sources found on Ancestry to the Family Tree; hopefully we will remember that process in the fall.


News from the Mesa FamilySearch Library last week:
  • The library will be permanently closed on Friday, September 14 at 5:00 PM.  Construction will begin on a new "Discovery Center" that will be completed in about 2 years
 Is this good news or bad news? The original Mesa facility has been closed for several years, and they have been using their "education center" for patrons. We can look forward to a new building, though.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Legacy's June Webinars

Sometimes when you are traveling there is no internet connection! If you missed today's webinar called "Digital Gravestones" presented by MyHeritage, it should be available for the next week.

Here are this month's choices. Find out more at www.familytreewebinars.com.


Wednesday, June 6 - "What Your Ancestor's Neighbors Can Tell You" by Melissa Barker. Intermediate

Friday, June 8 - "The Family DNA Project" by Nicka Smith.  Beginner/Intermediate

Wednesday, June 13 - "Easily Read Old Style American Handwriting" by Sharon Monson. Beginner

Tuesday, June 19 - "Using Maps in Genealogical Research" by Sara Scriber"  Intermediate

Wednesday, June 27 - "Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop? What should I use for my photo editing?" by Jared Hodges   Intermediae


***Please Note:  The following webinar is listed for Friday, June 29 on my schedule, but on the Legacy Webinar page it says Tuesday, June 19. Be sure to check that out if you're interested.  "You Need a Search Strategy: Maximizing Your Results with Online Genealogical Databases" by Mike Mansfield  Beginner/Intermediate

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Family History Library

We just spent the past week in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library. It was interesting to see the new interactive center they have constructed on the first floor. One of the volunteers said they designed this center with a 14-year-old boy in mind: if this got him interested, it would work with anyone!


You can see the large screens in the background. First you sign into an iPad with your FamilySearch account and attach that iPad to one of the screens. The displays showed maps where your ancestors were born, migration patterns and conditions in the world during the year of your birth. Most interesting was the screen that showed your famous relatives.

Johanna Nielsen, LDS pioneer, my one famous relative

Above is the screen depicting my only famous ancestor; an LDS pioneer who has a connection through my Norwegian line.

Dick's cousins


Dick, on the other hand, had a screen full of presidents, founders of the Mormon church, and most interesting to him: Wilbur and Orville Wright!

When you click on one of the photos, pedigree charts appear that show the relationship. Dick and the Wright Brothers are 12th cousins, 2x removed. Now I know why he spent 45 summers volunteering at the EAA convention.