Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Genealogy Hound


My Genealogy Hound is a new site to view thousands of family biographies from early and rare history and genealogy references. These biographies can often be valuable for discovering details about ancestors in your family tree research. You can browse by state and county or by family surname. Since the site is fairly new, there are just ten states available, so you'll have to check to see if your ancestor's place of residence is included.


Additional family biographies are being added continually. They also offer a newsletter which will update you weekly of the latest additions. A free collection of county map images is also available, although only about ten states are presently included here.

The website is free at this time; check it out at


Saturday, March 29, 2014

FamilyTreeDNA on sale

Trish Kelly shared the following information yesterday--for anyone who is interested.
FTDNA just announced a reduced price for full sequence mtDNA tesing.  $139.00 until April 1.   That is an exceptional price.  Normally $199.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Mesa Family History Center Newsletter

April's newsletter from the Mesa Family Search Library is all about maps: tips on using maps, map websites, Mesa's map collection, a list of their books on maps and more.

I've mentioned their monthly newsletter before; they pick a broad topic each month and provide a great deal of information about it.

You can send an email requesting to be on their newsletter list at

Or, you can check out Mesa's website at

Monday, March 24, 2014

Persistence Pays Off

Ann Snyder stopped over for some tips about accessing the catalog on Family Search. We started talking about her search for her grandfather's name on a passenger list and decided to take a look at the Ancestry website. After some futile searching for Francesco Scibetta, we noticed the name "Franco. Scibitta" in the Italians to America database. It seemed that this reference could be her grandfather, so we put his exact information from "Italians to America" in the New York Passenger list search field and what turned up was her grandparents traveling together in 1891. The second clip below shows the names; he was 22 and she was 16, traveling as many women did under her maiden name.
Ann had located the family in the 1905 New York state census but was never able to find them in 1900. (They HAD to be there!) We wrote down the ward number and enumeration district from 1905 and set out to "read" the census. On the right side of the census search field we chose New York, Erie County, Buffalo and the various enumeration districts appeared. We began with the first E. D., which had 18 pages; we looked at only names of people born in Italy. No luck there. Then we noticed another E. D. with some street names that Ann recognized. This section had 31 pages, and we used the same process--just looking for those born in Italy. On page 29 we found not only Francesco, Maria A., Calagero (Ann's father) and Maria, but Maria's mother and aunt! This also verified her maiden name.

My curiosity got the best of me, so I used the census information to try to find out how these names were indexed. Using Rosalia Manuela in the search box took me to the index where the name "Secbetta" appeared. No wonder Ann couldn't find her family in the 1900 census!

March 25 Workshop

Tuesday is our final meeting of this season. Be sure to return any books, folders, magazines or CDs that you have borrowed from the club library.

This is your chance to ask questions, plan future research and browse resources. We will have the router in place so that you can use online websites and/or get help with them.  I'll be happy to assign homework for anyone who's interested!

Note: there is no Legacy webinar scheduled for this week.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Genealogy Club Survey Results

Thanks to the members who took time to fill out our 2014 survey. We traditionally produce a survey every two years, and it does help to plan activities for the following couple of years.

Everyone who responded was in favor of continuing our 30-minute topics at the beginning of workshop evenings, so we will definitely do that. Most respondents were happy with the idea of working in groups, also. We will make an effort to match mentors with beginners as they join the club.

Topics with the most interest were internet research and "surprise me." We are happy to see that club members are interested in a variety of classes.

Reponses to continuing the Cancer Awareness Drive fund raiser (where we did look-ups for park residents for a $5 donation) were mixed. We decided to skip this project for the coming year and revisit the idea next spring.

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 18 Meeting

The presentation for Tuesday's meeting is called "Research Traps to Avoid." I will provide a list of possible "traps" we have all fallen into and demonstrate how to avoid them.

Next week, March 25, will be the final workshop of this season. Please remember to return all borrowed items: books, magazines, CDs and folders by that meeting.

See you Tuesday.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 19 Legacy Webinar: Websites!

Kory Meyerink will be presenting Wednesday's webinar. You can register to watch in real time at or plan to find your own time during the following week.

Legacy's description of the class follows:

50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites
"Confusion. Too many “favorites” lists. Too many “Top 100” lists. Too many opinions. Indeed, that’s just what the myriad of “top website” lists are: somebody’s opinion. Well, it’s time to make a better and truly useful list! Based on an extensive study of genealogical web traffic, here are the 50 most visited real genealogy websites. Since these are the most visited sites, they must be doing something right and providing some value to their visitors. Count them down, and learn what you’ve been missing!"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Free Irish records on Ancestry through St. Pat's Day

This notice arrived in the online Family Tree Magazine newsletter reposted from Ancestry:

"Think you might be Irish every day of the year—not just on St. Patrick's Day? To help you find out, subscription genealogy site has opened up its collections of Irish records for free through March 17.

The free records include
  • church and civil indexes to Irish births and baptisms, marriages, and deaths (these are from FamilySearch)
  • the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses
  • Catholic sacramental registers
  • Quebec vital and church records from the Drouin collection
  • Griffith's Valuation
  • New York Emigrant Savings Bank records
  • Irish Canadian emigration records

Search the Irish record collections here. You'll need to register for a free account (or log into your free account) to take advantage of this offer. The free period ends Monday, March 17 at 11:59 p.m. ET."

Irish Famine Reading List

Howard Mathieson's March 11 presentation on the Irish famine, its causes and consequences, was very enlightening. He also shared a reading list on the famine at

I would suggest that you take a look at the main site at and check out the links there to surname maps in the British Isles. I believe the link to the geogenealogy website there takes you to the research that Howard has done on surnames in England. It all looks very interesting.

Thanks, Howard, for another educational class!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Facebook Surname Distribution Map site

When I contacted Howard Mathieson about speaking to our club this year, he suggested that some of our members might be interested in a Facebook group he had organized.
Howard wrote:  "You might pass this on to your members; it's my Facebook Surname Distribution Map site. It discusses issues relating to:

- surname distribution maps
- historic maps
-map utilities for genealogists
-historical or contemporary gazetteers and finding aids
-mapping software for genealogists
-historic overlays for Google Earth


Monday, March 10, 2014

Legacy Webinar: March 12

Legacy's webinar this week is also geared toward Irish research. (Must have something to do with St. Patrick's Day!)

The description follows, and the presentation is suggested for intermediate and experienced researchers.

Some Lesser Known Irish Resources

"This webinar is an overview of some lesser known Irish resources that may provide additional information about your Irish ancestors. Some of the sources that will be discussed include school records, taxation sources and court records." to register.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Irish Famine

Howard Mathieson, a former member of our club, will be our speaker March 11. He is a retired geography professor with an interest in maps, surname origins and Canadian/British research. When I asked for a summary of his topic, here is the response:
The title of the presentation is "The Irish famine, a perfect storm". It puts into context the "perfect" set of circumstances that led to one of the most dramatic events in the 19th century. From the potato, greedy landlords, to sweeping demographic changes, the famine was an event that no one expected, but was bound to happen.
Many of us have at least one ancestor with an Irish background, but the circumstance of the Irish famine is of interest to all.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 4 Workshop

Twenty+ members attended Tuesday and everyone worked diligently on some facet of genealogy. It's great to see everyone pairing up for assistance or exchange of information. We are still hoping for a few more surveys to be returned to help us plan for next season's meetings.

We will have speakers for both March 11 and 18.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Legacy Webinars

Legacy is presenting two webinars this week. Lisa Louise Cooke will be talking about Google Earth on Wednesday, March 5. Notice that we have Lisa Cooke's book, The Genealogist's Google Toolbox, in our club library. 

You can listen to Geoff Rasmussen discuss sources and citations on Friday, March 7. He will be focusing on Legacy's source writer.

Descriptions of the two classes follow:

Using Google Earth for Genealogy

"In this extremely popular class Google Earth Guru Lisa Louise Cooke will teach you how to unlock mysteries in your research: from unidentified photographs, to how an ancestral location looked a hundred years ago or more, to plotting homesteads precisely using land patent legal descriptions. You’ll learn how to interpret the genealogical records you already have in new and exciting ways using layers, overlays, forensic analysis, and little known online tech tools. You will be amazed to discover that Google Earth is one of the best free genealogical tools available!"

Sources and Citations Made Simple, Standard, and Powerful

"If genealogy without documentation is mythology, recording our citations is essential to sound genealogical research. In this webinar, Geoff Rasmussen will 1) explain what makes a good citation, 2) demonstrate how to properly and consistently record the citation, and 3) provide insider tips and tricks for using Legacy Family Tree’s SourceWriter."

Register to watch in real time at or plan to watch either presentation for seven days following its time slot.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Workshop Websites

Three suggested websites were recommended at the February 25 workshop. Notice that two, usgenweb and linkpendium are available on our links menu.
1. Gen Web sites, which are managed by volunteers all over the world. Try any of the three.
           for United States research
           for research in Canada
           for other countries
2. Linkpendium, which has links to websites worldwide.
3. ProGenealogists, a website used by professionals; all links have an indication as to whether they are subscription or not.

Family Search Website

At Tuesday's workshop there were several questions about Family Search and registering on its site. Our recommendation is to register as a member (free) and remember your user name and password for future reference. I believe the advantage to using Family Search in this manner is when a result appears that is linked to a partner of Family Search, you will be allowed to see that record even when you are not a subscriber to that partner's website. If someone has had that experience, we would like to hear about it.

Clarification: it seems that someone can access a subscription site only when using family search at a family history center--unless, of course, you have your own subscription.

For example, if you find a result for the 1930 U. S. census the following three options are available if you elect to see the actual record.

  • At By clicking here you will be leaving (fees and other terms may apply)
  • When using the site at a FamilySearch Center.
  • To signed-in members of supporting organizations.