Thursday, February 26, 2015

Shared Success Stories

Tuesday's workshop began with a roundtable with some of the members sharing discoveries they've recently made and others presenting a brick wall that is currently in place. I'm sharing a few of those today: I would love to hear from members when they've made a breakthrough, as many times their research process will help someone else.

Ann Snyder contacted the Buffalo Historical Society and is corresponding with a member who is searching for obituaries that Ann needs in the Buffalo, NY area.

Royal Stokes has used the passenger list databases to learn that a grandfather evidently came to the U. S. in 1900, returned to Sweden, married and traveled back to America in 1913.

Lisa Haas attended a reunion where a cousin brought family papers that included German ancestors' permissions to leave for America. This provided her with name of the village where the ancestor was born--absolutely necessary for further research in Germany.

Brenda Burden has made contact with a cousin in Sweden and will be traveling to Sweden for a visit this year.

Trish Kelly has continued to advance her DNA research and has been able to help several other people with their family origins.

Whitey Hoehn was able to locate a marriage registration in Cook County, IL by using a family story about a name change.

Skip Nirenberg received a small box of family papers that contained obituaries and other family information to catalog for his research.

Nancy Archibald, Grant Villetard and Annie Rietz also related recent successes in their research.

If I have missed anyone, my apologies! Please let me know about any genealogy-related news.


Monday, February 23, 2015

February 24 Workshop

We are planning a roundtable to begin Tuesday night's workshop--asking for one new/surprising/unusual fact that you have found in recent research. Another choice would be to describe a brick wall that is currently blocking your research; perhaps someone will have a suggestion to help.

Several members are using one of the popular versions of genealogy software (Family Tree Maker, Legacy, or Roots Magic) and would be able to demonstrate the program for anyone who is still trying to make a decision about a purchase versus using an online site. Any members who have a new program would be able to receive help in getting started.

Magazines, folders, binders, quick sheets and genealogy books will all be available for use, along with access to the internet.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Legacy Webinar

Lisa Louise Cooke will be presenting Legacy's February 25 webinar. She is the author of one of the books in our club library, The Genealogist's Google Toolbox. I've read recently that she has produced a second edition, so that may be mentioned in the webinar. She is one of the recognized experts in researching through Google.

The description of her topic follows, and you can find more information or register to watch at

New and Must-Have Google Tips for Genealogy
"Google continues to evolve and change every day. In this session, Google Guru Lisa Louise Cooke will give you an update on the most recent Google changes, and then unleash advanced search strategies for genealogy that you probably aren’t using, but you must-have in order to get the best results possible. It will be an exciting hour full of tips and tricks you can put into practice right away."

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Genealogy Club Elections

Annual elections were held Tuesday, February 17. All current office holders were re-elected without opposition. Rick Wood plans to be back in Palm Creek next season and will continue as president, while Maureen Salter will resume the office of vice-president. Dick Rietz and Ann Snyder will each serve another year as secretary and treasurer.

Members enjoyed the annual cookie treats provided by Louise Kant, who belonged to the club while a Palm Creek resident. Louise also served several years as club treasurer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Collaborative Genealogy

Last night Grant Villetard spoke about the good, the bad and the ugly results of using the internet for recording your genealogy research. Ultimately, we must all make our own decision about where to place our information: keep it all on the internet, keep it all on a PC or do both. Since the future seems to be "the cloud," we all need to keep the following in mind.

The Good: comparing your research with others, contacting distant relatives, the provider does backups, accessing the data from different hardware platforms.

The Bad: their main objective is new members, data can be wrong, you must have internet access to reach your data, program can change without notice, cost can change, privacy issues.

The Ugly: if the site goes out of business, your information is gone, it's easy to join but hard to cancel, you are trusting a business organization, the business could be sold, if you stop paying access to data will be terminated.

Grant's handout included a list of sites for building family trees on the internet--both free and fee-based in nature, but with a caution that even the free sites may charge for accessing data.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Legacy Webinars

Legacy's presentations this week are very specific to an area and time period. Anyone with New Zealand connections should take a look at Wednesday's topic, which is appropriate for both beginning and intermediate researchers. Friday's presentation about searching in the South after the Civil War is appropriate for intermediate level researchers.

Register to watch in real time or learn more information at

Researching Your New Zealand Ancestors --  Wednesday, February 18
"You may not have a family member (sibling of your ancestor) who was born, married and died in New Zealand, but if you do - lots of footprints for you to find. If they had just one of these events in New Zealand -there is a gold mine waiting for you. Let's look at Passenger Lists, Civil Registration (our unique, amazing Historical B, D, M's), Church Records, Cemetery Records, Schools, Wills, Family Histories, Newspapers and others researching your family names."

Researching Ancestors in the Era of Freedom --  Friday, February 20
"The years right after the Civil War were critical years for all southerners white and black. Amazing records reflect that incredible time during those years. This session will explore several amazing record sets and will point to where they can be found."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Roots Web

One of the links on our blog takes you to the Roots Web home page. Don't forget to try this free website. The message boards and mailing lists are of particular interest. You can find mailing lists for surnames or locations. Try your names and towns to see if there is something that applies to your home town or one of your surnames.

The message boards can also be searched by surname or location. Roots Web archives the messages, so many are from the early 2000s. I usually try the county first and then search for a surname of interest. You can respond to a message or leave your own.

Roots Web also has family trees, so it is another place to try your ancestors' names. They might be here instead of on one of the subscription sites.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February 10 Workshop

Last night we heard from two people who have had successful experiences at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Ann Snyder talked about her visit last April when she was able to find her mother's birth record and subsequently her paternal grandparents and great grandparents in the Italian microfilm. She also located records for her paternal ancestors. What Ann did right was to contact the library before making plans to see whether someone who could read the Italian records would be available. She also printed the necessary films before arriving at the library. Ann had only been doing genealogy for two years at this time. You can read more about her experience in our April 2014 archived blogs.

Marty Kantenan has visited Salt Lake City several times since beginning her genealogy research in 2003. She was mentored by Leota when she began genealogy and corresponded with her each evening during that first visit to the library. This helped to keep her focused and organized. A few years later she made another visit with good preparation ahead of time but did not stay as organized during the visit and ultimately the research was not usable. This past summer Marty and her husband spent two months in Salt Lake City (how wonderful!). She concentrated on the microfilm from Finland, finding records for her husband's family back into the 1600s. She also worked closely with one of the volunteers who translated the Finnish church records.

Suggestions for a successful visit to the Family History Library follow:
Use the catalog before you plan a trip

Print lists of films or books to access

Make sure library is open


Sunday, February 8, 2015

February 11 Webinar

James M. Beidler will be presenting Legacy's webinar this week. If you have German ancestors and are attempting to use and read those German church records, the presentation may be helpful. They indicate that this talk is at a level for intermediate researchers. for more information and to register.

Zigzagging through German Church Records
"You will learn about the methodology of using the baptismal, confirmation, marriage and burial records from German church registers most effectively. By utilizing the different bits of information found in each, researchers can zigzag their way to adding centuries to a pedigree."

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Migration Routes


Steve Packer spoke to the club last night about migration routes in the U.S. and Canada. You can visit the Camrose County, Alberta GenWeb site for an excellent explanation of the western expansion in Canada.
The main idea to remember about migration is that the trails are based on waterways and rivers. Steve also recommended I watched this 10-minute video today and found it to be a very interesting review of the expansion of the U.S., including the dates of all states' admission to the Union.
The map below comes from another book recommended by Steve: Map Guide to American Migration Routes, 1735-1815, by William Dollarhide. We have a copy in the "Rietz" library; I'd be happy to lend it to anyone who is interested.

Early Migration Routes


Monday, February 2, 2015

Steve Packer

Tuesday marks Steve Packer's fourth time speaking to our club. His presentations are always informative and entertaining. Steve is a volunteer at the Mesa Family History Library, and he spoke at the recent Pinal County Genealogy Workshop.

This week the topic is Migration Routes in the U.S. and Canada. It looks as if we'll be hearing about the history of migration from Europe along with information about the trails that some of our ancestors took.

This Week's Legacy Webinars

Wednesday's webinar is specific to English research and is appropriate for beginners. The Friday webinar would be of particular interest to those who have ancestors who served in the Confederate army and is geared to both beginner and intermediate researchers. Register to watch in real time at or watch at your leisure during the week following each presentation.

Wednesday, February 4: Kirsty Gray

One-Place Studies - Tracing the History of a Community
"The people, the streets, the churches, the workplaces, the shops and the public buildings – there are so many aspects to explore in a village to uncover its fascinating history. The village detective, Kirsty Gray, documents the sources available to trace the history of villages, with particular reference to her own one-place studies in southern England, and how genealogical/historical records can be used to build up a comprehensive picture of a community from the 18th to the 21st century."

Friday, February 6: J. Mark Lowe

Step-by-Step - Finding Confederate Soldiers and Their Records
"Using a record-based approach, learn to find the basic records of your Confederate Ancestor. A review of basic military records will be presented by following a solider throughout all available records, including Pensions (online and textual) and alternates: local civil records, Fraternal Organizations, state agency records, home guard and militia records, manuscripts, and newspaper accounts."