Monday, February 24, 2014

February 25 Workshop

Here’s a chance to work on one of those goals you set at the beginning of the year. If you're like me, that goal is still available!

Internet: we’ll have the router, so you can search Ancestry or Family Search. Or, try one of the sites we recommend to see what information is available where one of your ancestors lived. We will have a selection of sites on the screen.

Writers: use the evening to write a paragraph about an ancestor. Our writing folder has many useful ideas.   

Beginners: we’ll work on pedigree charts and continue to learn how to access online info.

Other possibilities: transcribe records you’ve located, enter data into your software program, discuss a brick wall with another member, organize one of your piles of ancestral information, read one of our books, magazines or informational folders.

If you've noticed our schedule, the following week, March 4, is another workshop. Palm Creek could not guarantee our use of the San Tan room because of the Mardi Gras party. (In case of rain the room would be in use.)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 26 Legacy Webinar

Kirsty Gray is the presenter for Wednesday's webinar. She is a British researcher who specializes in one-name studies. The title of the webinar is "Searching for Surnames: Challenges, Pitfalls and the Downright Ridiculous."

Here's the description of the subject matter:

"With increased indexing and transcription of records, often linked to digitized images on free and commercial websites, searching for an individual or collecting references to everyone holding a particular surname is much easier now, isn't it? Using a variety of sites to try to discover details about those elusive ancestors, creative searching is a must and this webinar will uncover some of the investigative methods needed as well as the more challenging transcriptions the genealogist has to work with, whilst still being enormously grateful that they are available to us online!"

The webinar is designed for beginner to intermediate researchers. As usual, visit the Legacy website at for more information or to register to watch in "real time."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Getting Organized

We had a workshop session on getting organized in January. Family Tree magazine recently posted these tips for organizing your genealogy. (My comments follow in parentheses.) Some of the ideas are a bit different than the presentation. If you are procrastinating yet, these might seem even easier!

1. Every couple on your pedigree charts gets a file folder.  (You could still devise a color system to keep the various ancestral lines in order.)

2. Label the folder with the names of the couple (using the wife's maiden name), such as "Christopher C. GREGORY and Mary STUART."  (Remember to always use the woman's maiden name in your records.)

3. List names of the couple's children on the outside of the file folder for quick reference (optional). (But this would help if several of them have their own folders, and you could indicate a woman's married name.)

4. When a child marries, begin a file folder for that marriage. If a child never marries, his or her documents will remain in the file of the parents.

5. You may want to make a locality folder and put the cemetery transcriptions in it, along with other similar documents that pertain to multiple families living in the same area. (This may be necessary as you accumulate more information.)

Another option: attach a table of contents to the front of each folder and add to it as you gather more records.

And whatever you do, try to keep up!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Our excellent baker, Louise Kant, brought a huge selection of cookies originating from many nations to add to our enjoyment of Tuesday's presentation about immigration and naturalization. Countries represented by one or more varieties of cookies included Ireland, France, Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden, the United States, and a few I may have forgotten! Louise also brought copies of recipes for many of those cookies.

Cookies whose recipes came from our immigrant ancestors.
Louise , Carolyn and Betty admiring the cookies before our group devoured them!

Thanks to Louise and to Patty Foley for transporting the goodies from their home base.

February 18: Immigration and Naturalization

Tuesday was the annual election of officers for the genealogy club. We have a new vice president, Maureen Salter. Officers who were re-elected included Rick Wood, president, Dick Rietz, secretary, and Ann Snyder, treasurer.

Genealogy club members awaiting the lecture

Steve Packer entertained and informed a large audience Tuesday night. He spoke about immigration to both Canada and the U. S., explaining the reasons for immigration during different periods in our histories, the main ports of entry and methods of locating information. He also gave us a brief background of the naturalization process in the U. S.

Steve Packer, February 18, 2014


Monday, February 17, 2014

February 18 Club Meeting

Steve Packer, one of our regular speakers, will be here Tuesday night--this time to educate us about immigration and naturalization records. He plans to incorporate research ideas for our Canadian members, as well as discussing U. S. records.

Election of officers is scheduled for this week with door prizes and cookies as incentives. Don't miss the opportunity to taste a selection of cookies from various countries chosen by our favorite baker to celebrate "immigration evening."

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Legacy's February 19 Webinar

Judy Russell, genealogist and attorney, is this week's speaker for the webinar. If you read her blog about the Social Security changes, you have an idea of her specialty. This presentation is suggested for intermediate and advanced researchers.

Legacy's description of her class, The Ties That Bond:

"From marriage bonds to officials’ bonds, sureties given in a wide variety of circumstances can offer clues to our family members and their friends, associates and neighbors. Learn what they are, how to find them, and how to use them in building your family's FAN club."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February 11 Workshop Report

Trish's goal was to "demystify DNA," and she did a good job. She explained the three main types of DNA tests and the results one could expect from each. The class was designed as a guide to the best type of test for genealogical purposes. Good luck to those planning on DNA testing in the future. And thanks, Trish, for the research and sharing the information with us.

Here's more information:

I'm still organizing and stowing my "file piles" brought to the house and this morning found a flyer from the Family Tree DNA company that Trish mentioned last night. The prices listed on this flyer will be out of date, but the information repeats what Trish told us. This flyer will be available at future meetings.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Webinar Reminder

The February 12 webinar from Legacy is called "Family Stories: Using Newspapers to Reconnect with the Stories of Your Family's Past."

Those of you who were at the December 10 workshop may remember the video we watched that evening presented by Thomas Kemp, who is the webinar speaker this week. Register to watch in real time at

Legacy's synopsis of the presentation follows: 
"As genealogists we want to learn who our ancestors and relatives are, to document them, learn the stories of their lives and pass them down to the rising generation. The old newspapers are the new tool for uncovering these stories. Newspapers were published every day of their lives – take this tour of the remarkable examples that can be found in GenealogyBank’s three centuries of newspaper archives. Find your family’s stories that have been lost over time – document them and preserve them. Don’t let your heritage be lost."
I must comment that reading microfilm of old newspapers is a lot of fun--and perhaps less frustrating than trying to use an online subscription site. Generally, your town's public library has microfilm copies of its newspapers. Large historical facilities (such as The Wisconsin Historical Society) also maintain microfilms of those papers, which can be ordered via interlibrary loan. 

February 11 Workshop

Trish Kelly did background research on DNA and had the testing done. She volunteered to provide info to our group and will take the first half hour of this week's workshop for her presentation. She will cover "The Basics of DNA Testing for Genealogy" and focus on the following:

Common Tests

What can and cannot be revealed by each test

Confidence levels of "matching"

If there is interest Trish will show her results at FTDNA so members can see how the data is presented.

Ken Doane, whose family association is also involved in DNA testing, can also answer questions.
Our usual group/individual help tables will follow. We'll have the router for internet research.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Genealogy In Time Magazine

More information about Genealogy In Time Magazine, which is an online genealogy newsletter. The previous post of the top 20 genealogy websites came from their magazine. You can subscribe to its free newsletter for weekly updates from the genealogy community. Below is their list of the Top Ten FREE genealogy websites.

top 10 free genealogy websites

Friday, February 7, 2014

Top 20 Genealogy Websites

Here are the first 20 of the top 100 genealogy websites as published by Genealogy In Time Magazine. We will copy the list and insert into our "World of Websites" binder Tuesday evening.

Rank Website Category Country Free Pay 2013 Rank Address
1 records USA pay 1
2 Find A Grave cemetery USA free 3
3 FamilySearch records USA free 4
4 family tree USA pay 2
5 family tree USA pay 5
6 records UK pay 6
7 GeneaNet family tree France free 8
8 records USA pay 7
9 records USA pay 9
10 Genealogy Bank newspapers USA pay 11
11 Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter blog USA free 22
12 Ancient Faces forum USA free 12
13 Arkivverket Digitalarkivet records Norway free 13
14 Family Tree DNA DNA testing USA pay 17
15 records Canada pay 19
16 GenealogyInTime Magazine magazine Canada free 21
17 records Australia pay 16
18 FindMyPast UK records UK pay 14
19 Fold3 records USA pay 20
20 family tree Norway pay 18

RootsTech Classes Online

Marcia Behnke shared this notice for anyone who is interested:

"15 RootsTech classes to be Streamed Online - Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

In case you are interested this online event is being streamed right
now.  They are being archived if you want to watch later. Click on the roots link in the dialogue to get there.  It is really interesting."

RootsTech 2014 is taking place this weekend in Salt Lake City. You can be a part of the conference by watching several of the presentations in real time or later.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

February 4 Genealogy Club

We had a large crowd Tuesday evening to listen to Sandi and Bill Wilson as they re-enacted their ancestors living in Kentucky during the time of the Revolutionary War. They brought many replicas of utensils and items used at that time, and two original powder horns passed down in their respective families. They told the tale of their ancestors meeting and traveling to the Ohio River valley area of Kentucky. Following the program Bill showed how the flintlock was used and they answered questions from the group. If you were unable to attend, you missed a great presentation.

Bill and Sandi with their accoutrements

Bill Wilson demonstrating the flintlock
Sandi Wilson

Monday, February 3, 2014

Genealogy Club - February 4

We are having a special presentation at the meeting this week.  Sandi and Bill Wilson will be educating us about "Kentucky Settlers during the American Revolution." Sandi is on the speaker's staff of the state DAR organization; she and her husband have been genealogists for 30 years and they have also been re-enacting as Kentucky settlers for many years.
Here is part of the information she offered to explain what they would cover.

"Their first person (in costume) program will take us from  the Boston Tea Party, to the Declaration of Independence, to the early settlement of Kentucky and subsequent attacks by Indians incited by the British commander, Henry Hamilton, known as the Hairbuyer.  We will eventually visit the Battle of Yorktown and the surrender of the British Troops to General Washington.    Various 18th century accoutrements will be displayed (Flint Lock, tomahawk, cooking items, etc.)."


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Legacy Webinar

Legacy is not producing a webinar this week. Looking ahead, next week's presentation is called "Using Newspapers to Reconnect with the Stories of Your Family's Past."

Newspapers are a valuable resource for information about your ancestors, particularly if they lived in a small town. Most small towns published a weekly paper where you may find obituaries, birth and marriage announcements, as well as stories about the town itself.  I've also found that many of the local farmers stopped in to visit with the editor during their weekly trip to town, providing news about their families.