Saturday, August 29, 2015

September 2 Webinar

Lisa Alzo will be presenting the weekly webinar from Legacy. "Break Down Brick Walls in Eastern European Research - Tips, Tools and Tricks" is the title of her presentation. She will use sample case studies to demonstrate research tactics and the use of various resources and repositories, and this webinar is aimed at intermediate level researchers. will provide more information.

Mesa FamilySearch Library

I've copied this week's announcement from the Mesa FamilySearch Library. Good news that they are again sponsoring a conference! However, it looks as if the library has still not finished the ongoing reconstruction. Members who will be back at Palm Creek by October 24 might think about attending this educational conference.

"ANNOUNCING THE 2015 Family History Conference sponsored by the Mesa AZ FamilySearch Library on Saturday, October 24, 2015, at the Tempe Institute of Religion on the ASU Campus in Tempe, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.  The Library may be closed, but family history work goes on!

This year’s conference will feature a keynote address by Todd Powell of FamilySearch.  Mr. Powell is a Senior Product Manager for the FamilyTree Department at  He graduated from BYU and has over 25 years working in technology and business leadership.  Todd is a native of Phoenix and the Gila Valley and enjoys visiting extended family in Arizona.

This year’s theme is “Putting It All Together” and provides a wide variety of over 50 class choices for all types of learners, from beginners to the most advanced genealogists.  Come and learn how to be more effective and efficient when doing your research.  Learn to trace your roots with DNA.  Learn to document your sources.  Get specific information on various ways to research in specific countries.  If you are new to family history, come learn the basics.  Some of the most popular classes are repeated in an effort to accommodate everyone.   Spend all day or come for a single class or two; you may attend a maximum of five classes.

Registration will begin online on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.  At the time of registration, registrants will be given the opportunity to purchase lunch from Jason’s Deli.  Otherwise, the conference is FREE.  See you in October!" 

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 26 Webinar

Do you have German ancestors? If so, Wednesday's webinar is for you. James M. Beidler will be talking about "German Names and Naming Patterns." Register to watch in real time or find more information at This webinar is suggested for intermediate researchers. Part of the content is described below.

"The naming patterns and quirks that are found in German names range from needing to "look in the middle" for first names ... as well as dealing with families who used the identical name for surviving children. This presentation demystifies these and other potential problems."

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Salt Lake Success Story

We traveled north through Salt Lake City in May (because of course it is on a direct route from Arizona to Wisconsin). During the winter I had acquired my grandmother's baptismal record through the efforts of a cousin in Poland, and I asked on the international floor if there was a Polish expert available. Maria was willing to help, and she began by searching several websites in Polish. We also rechecked for microfilm at the library without success. It looked as if I would have to be satisfied with just the names of my great grandparents.

However, Maria said, "I have a friend in Poland who might be willing to do research for you." She contacted him and he was able to seek records in both civil and church facilities. He ran into some of the same problems as we do here: he was not allowed to look at some of the civil records, and some of the priests were not willing to let him examine church records. He generally proposed that he would index their records in exchange for searching for a particular surname. He took photos of the records he was able to access and emailed them to Maria, who translated them for me.

As a result, I do have the names of my great great grandparents and four birth records, including my grandmother and three of her siblings! More proof that asking for help at the Family History Library is the best avenue to success.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Post Cards

This week I've been reading a collection of post cards from the 1902-1920 era that were written to a great aunt. Not only is the picture side of interest, but the messages on the back are of genealogical importance. For example, it was reported in the local paper that my great grandfather was the director of the Wisconsin forestry exhibit at the 1903 World Fair in St. Louis. One of the post cards is called "World's Fair City Views" with an oval photo of the Entrance to Kingsbury Pl., St. Louis and is signed "your father." We will scan those of major interest before returning them to my cousin.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Legacy Webinars

J. Mark Lowe will be talking about "Discovering Your Kentucky Ancestors" on Wednesday, August 19. The presentation is suggested for beginner/intermediate levels of research.

"Learn about the records that transcend the development of Kentucky county, Virginia to the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1792. Learn about the earliest counties, what to use and how to find the right records for your Kentucky ancestors."

On Friday, August 21, Devin Ashby will present "Digital Family Reunions." He will discuss tools for reaching your family members for online conversations.

"Want to get together with your friends and family but can’t do it in person? There are many tools that will allow you to get together online and interact together. Come learn about how tools like webinars, Skype, Google+, etc. enable anyone to share and record your conversations."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Have You Read....?

My reading material is generally mystery or suspense books, but occasionally I choose something that would be called "genealogy-related," either in the history or geography field. In the past few months I have read three books in that category.

The Fourth Part of the World by Toby Lester is a story of the Waldseemüller map produced in 1507 and the explorers whose discoveries led to its creation. The title refers to the fact that mapmakers of the time were aware of Europe, Asia and Africa and the unknown "fourth part" beyond the ocean. I read the book over several weeks and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. There are reproductions of many maps of the time showing the changes made after new discoveries.

I just finished Dead Wake by Erik Larson. He writes the story of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 from the perspective of the ship itself and the U-boat that is involved. It works as a history of that time period and was fascinating reading.

I have also been working my way through How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein. The History Channel used this book as the basis for a series of the same name, and we happened to see one or two of those programs. It is of genealogical interest depending on when your ancestors might have been in a certain location.  

August 5 Webinar

"What's in a Name? Trouble!" will be presented by Ron Arons on August 5, and he suggests that it is most appropriate for intermediate or advanced researchers. As you can see from the description below, the subject matter is a bit different from the usual webinars. Visit for more information.

For years Ron Arons researched the life of his great-grandfather, who served time in Sing Sing Prison and who committed other crimes. Through the years, Ron came across records for other people with the same first and last names, born in the same timeframe, who lived in the same places as his relative, and who, by some stroke of luck, also found trouble, either in business or with women. With such an uncommon name as Isaac Spier, this is rather remarkable. In this talk you will see how the Genealogical Proof Standard was used to merge and separate many identities to determine exactly how many distinct individuals these documents represented. (The answer is truly remarkable!) You will also learn about names, name changes, and the reasons behind those changes. You will also learn about mind maps, a powerful technology and methodology for clearer thinking, data logging, and, most importantly, efficient and extraordinary data correlation. Specifically, many examples of mind maps created with FreeMind will be presented. This entertaining excursion into the world of trouble makers offers methodologies for truly advanced research for very challenging problems.