Monday, February 29, 2016

Legacy's March Webinars

Wednesday, March 2   "The War of 1812 Records, Preserving the Pensions"
       Michael Hall will discuss the various documents that might be found in the pension records of The War of 1812 veterans. The content is suggested for intermediate researchers.

Friday, March 4     "Making YDNA and mtDNA Part of Your Family History"

       Diahan Southard plans to cover the direct maternal line test, including its pros and cons, and the best time to use it. Similarly, we will talk about the power of YDNA testing for your direct paternal line. Diahan will share case studies for each kind of DNA to help you understand how others have used it to address their family history concerns. Come rejuvenate your family history research with these two DNA tests. This presentation is at a beginner level.

Wednesday, March 9    "How Do I Know That's My Ancestor?"

        Amy Johnson Crow will show how to examine information so you can tell if it's your ancestor and not just someone with the same name. This topic is for intermediate level researchers.

Wednesday, March 16   "The Private Laws of the Federal and State Governments"

        Judy Russell says, "Few researchers realize that many early federal and state laws were private laws -specifically for the benefit of individuals or families. The records can be fabulous for genealogists. Learn how to find these genealogical gems in federal and state collections." This is also at an intermediate level.

Wednesday, March 23    "Introduction to German Parish Records"

        Gail Shaffer Blankenau will introduce you to the gold mine of German genealogy--German church books, both in the United States and in the Germanic states. She discusses proven strategies to identify your ancestor’s home church and how to approach the records when you find them—even if you don’t speak German.  For beginning researchers.

Wednesday, March 30   "Proof Arguments--What They Are and Why They are Needed"

       Warren Bittner will teach how to write down the mental process of establishing genealogical proof, which will help to analyze evidence and resolve conflicts in your research. The presentation is geared toward intermediate and advanced researchers.

Go to  to register to watch in real time or to catch the presentation for a week after the broadcast.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Genealogy Club - March Plans

March 1: Our speaker, Howard Mathieson, will be talking about the use of maps and gazetteers in genealogy research. I'm sure the handout will provide us with many useful websites.

March 8: We'll have a tutorial on using Ancestry and Family Search more efficiently, with plenty of time to practice.

March 15: Maureen Edwards, our National Archives expert, will give us an update on what's there and how to access the records.

March 22: Our final mini-presentation is called "How to Prepare for a Research Trip."

Friday, February 26, 2016

Workshop Census Review

We spent time this week reviewing census tips, such as "spelling doesn't count!" One of the main points discussed was to check all of the census columns for additional information. You can find approximate marriage dates, immigration and naturalization years, Civil War service, number of marriages, etc. In some cases it is indicated who provided the information.

One additional fact: if you scroll down below the search field for each census, Ancestry lists the facts about that particular census, such as questions asked, unique features, and/or problems. This is true for British, Canadian and the U. S. Censuses.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

News From RootsMagic

This appeared in my email messages this week. If some of you are still deciding which software to use, this might help in that decision.  According to the email, price is $29.95.

RootsMagic 7

Now you can search, sync, and download from!

RootsMagic is the award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history easy! Whether you're a beginner or an experienced professional, RootsMagic is the perfect tool for you!
What's New?
  • Automatically search your favorite genealogy records sites including FamilySearch and MyHeritage for possible matches to your data
  • NameClean finds and corrects many common problems in personal names in your file
  • Compare any two RootsMagic files and display their differences
  • Publish your family information to
  • See which groups a person belongs to with the click of a mouse
  • And much more! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Genealogy Club - February 16

Our special speakers did a great job this week. Louise Kant and Terri Yates, with the help of Power Point assistant Patty Foley, each told the story of their search for their birth parents. Louise was able to access her birth record after Illinois opened up records created before 1946, which led to discovering two sisters and other relatives. Terri searched in North Carolina and through an "angel" at the local library found that there were records if you knew where to look! She has met her mother and will be seeing her father this spring.

Louise, Patty and Terri

Louise has been our long-time "cookie baker" for our annual treat night, and she not only spoke this week but brought her usual delicious cookies.

It was wonderful that we had such a large group in attendance for this meeting, as their stories were so compelling.

Congratulations to door prize winners Anne, Lois, Terri and Deenie!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 16 Genealogy Club

Our speakers this week will be telling their personal stories of locating their adoption records and birth families. Louise and Terri were former Palm Creek residents and Louise was a long-time member of our club. Each of them followed a different path to the records; the stories are uplifting and educational!

Cookies and door prizes, too! We hope to have a large group for this special meeting.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Pinal County Workshop Report

The annual genealogy workshop organized by the Pinal County Genealogists was a great success. An attendance record was set this year with 287 genealogists enjoying a variety of classes.

Handing out the registration packets.

Registration began at 8 AM and there was an hour to browse in the "freebie" area and to look over the packets with classes, building map and announcements.

Reading the registration information.

Five selections were available during each class hour.

Ready for the first class.

If you haven't attended this workshop in past years, plan for next January! It looks as if the committee will have to limit attendance in the future.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Another Success Story

Carolyn Rathert has had a brick wall in Missouri for years. Her great great grandparents, Russell and Ellenor Morris Fuller, appear in the 1860 census there, but no further trace could be found. It took a visit to Carroll County and research in the local library to solve the mystery.

Carolyn had used every online index possible without success. A man volunteering in the genealogy section of the library helped her locate a copy of a Probate File index where Russell was listed. It turned out that the actual probate files were in the basement of the library in a cardboard box! The only index to those files was in the library. Another library-only index contained county marriages, where Russell and Ellenor were listed. Their marriage certificate could then be located in the county courthouse.

Another find was the History of Carroll County containing a plat map with ownership listed as "heirs of R. Fuller." The index of that book did not include names from the plat maps, so it was necessary to look through the book itself.

Family trees on Ancestry had indicated that in 1850 Russell lived in Ohio and that Ellenor was from Indiana, but there were no sources to prove these were the correct families. Carolyn did use that information to visit another town in Ohio. Again, the probate information was found at the public library. The will stated that "the widow of my son Russell Fuller and his children would receive one eighth of the estate, including the farm in Missouri that she now has in her possession in Carroll County." This proved the connection to Russell and Ellenor in Missouri.

I did condense Carolyn's report, but do talk to her about this research, especially if you have ancestors in the Midwest. The moral to her tale: "If you possibly can, visit the area you are studying and researching." Another lesson: local genealogists and researchers know a lot about the records where they live.

Good job, Carolyn!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February 2 Genealogy Club

Last night Steve Packer, one of our annual speakers, provided a very useful group of free websites for family research. He suggested that we initially use a "survey phase" to find out what is actually available for searching and then the "research phase" where we use the sites to locate information. This should always be followed by analysis to decide whether the data is accurate and verification if possible.

He mentioned several sites to locate living people, such as, and

Steve also suggested sites that have links that would be useful for searching, such as,, linkpendium, cyndi's list, etc. He briefly mentioned message boards like those on rootsweb; however, many of the queries are outdated and archived. 

One site Steve recommended looked particularly interesting:, which is a link to those online indexes by state. He strongly suggests the usgenweb site, and don't forget there is a canadagenweb and a worldgenweb!

The final part of Steve's talk was a case study where he located information for a friend using familysearch, findagrave and google.

It certainly seemed as if there was something for everyone to try from Steve's presentation. 

Note that I did not create a link if we already have one on our blog menu.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Today's Message from Ancestry

Today, we are pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Software MacKiev

Software MacKiev, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years and is thrilled at the opportunity to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows.

This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released. You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward.


We have made an agreement with RootsMagic, a leading genealogy desktop software program publisher, to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

Legacy's February Webinars

Wednesday, February 10:  "The Scots-Irish in America" by Peggy Lauritzen. This webinar is for intermediate level researchers and will  focus on who they were and where they came from in the British Isles.

Wednesday, February 17: "Getting Started with Microsoft Word" by Thomas MacEntee. Aimed at beginner and intermediate researchers, MacEntee will talk about the basics, including why certain features operate the way they do.
Friday, February 19: "Problem Solving with FANs" by Beth Foulk. This presentation is designated for intermediate researchers. Foulk says "by broadening our research to include our ancestor's friends, associates and neighbors, we can find answers that were previously elusive."

Wednesday, February 24: "A Guided Tour of Cyndi's List 2.0" by Cyndi Ingle for beginner and intermediate researchers. Cyndi will talk about how to navigate the newly updated site and how to effectively use it.

Register to watch these webinars in real time or choose to watch at a later date. Find more information at