Monday, May 30, 2016

Genealogy Club News

Nancy Archibald, club member for many years, has had an article published in the May issue of Relatively Speaking, the journal of the Alberta Genealogical Society. Nancy's article is called "Online Cemeteries: The Art of Sharing Pictures and Stories Using Grave Markers as a Guide." She writes about locating her grandparents' graves and the family research involved. Nancy also discusses FindAGrave, Billion Graves, and various cemetery research projects ongoing in Canada.

The link to Nancy's article follows, or you can wait until we begin meetings in the fall, as she will bring a copy of the journal to Palm Creek.

Congratulations, Nancy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Genealogy Road Show

The third season of Genealogy Road Show has begun on PBS. Check your local listings to see if it is being carried in your area. Joshua Taylor, one of the speakers we enjoyed at the national conference, is a host. This program asks for submissions from the general public and selects interesting stories to show the family research process. We see it Tuesdays at 7 PM.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Conference Bits and Pieces

Paul Milner's suggestions for maps of England and Wales:

1. The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers
2. Topographical Dictionary of England
3. A Genealogical Gazetteer of England
4. National Library of Scotland

Joshua Taylor's recommendations for U. S. plat maps:

Arphax Publishing produces maps organized by county gathered from the BLM database. You can use a search engine on the website to check for surnames which may help to determine in which book a surname appears. Books can be found in larger libraries.

Dick Eastman's explanation of search algorithms: Your search field has name, location, parents, spouse, siblings, etc. The search is first for the name; then that name at a particular location; then the name at that location with those parents or spouse or siblings or child, etc. He suggests using all of that information.

Amy Harris says to look for unmarried females in probate files, as they tended to make wills and name nieces and nephews. Remember, Ancestry now has a large database of probate records.

Jill Morelli reminds us that smallpox vaccinations began in the early 1800s resulting in fewer infant/child deaths leading to more immigrants because there was not enough land to inherit.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Genealogy Conference - Day Four

Sometimes the final day of a conference is not as appealing because we are weary of attending classes. The planners have figured this out: there were too many interesting choices today. "Clusters and Chains" gave examples of families (and villages) migrating together--even making more than one move in the U. S. When an ancestor arrived alone, he often returned to the country of origin to marry or to bring a sibling or cousin.

"The Push and the Pull" discussed reasons for migration. This was particularly interesting because Jill Morelli used a long letter her ancestor wrote after arriving in the U. S. from Denmark with details of the trip across the Atlantic and their settlement in Iowa.

Another class called "Off the Beaten Path" suggested using the historical events of an area to figure out why your ancestor moved. Did you know there was a "gold rush" in Georgia in the 1830s? Your South Carolina ancestor may have gone south. Economic factors, wars, weather events, etc. could all play a part in migration.

There were six classes I wanted to attend Saturday afternoon! Ultimately, I decided to learn more about the Scots-Irish. One of the important facts: Scots-Irish who arrived in the 1700s were usually traveling in groups, and later immigrants came by themselves. The handout for this class will be especially useful for those of you with ancestors in that category.

"How I Built My Own Brick Wall" was an amusing way to address all the mistakes we as researchers tend to make and a great way to finish the conference.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Genealogy Conference - Day Three

Our first session was on using Evernote, as I am still trying to decide whether an account would be useful for me. Jennifer Dondero addressed suggestions for folders outside of genealogy results. Her categories included repositories (hours, policies, holdings, best time to visit), knowledge (handouts, source checklists, notes), ideas (random notes, project ideas, questions) and travel (packing lists, past issues). Lots to think about...

Another session with Joshua Taylor, who discussed building locality profiles. Imagine finding your ancestor in a place you've never researched or encountering a brick wall there. He suggests gathering maps of the area, building timelines and locating all available records before you begin any research.

"The Devil is in the Detail" described how Gail Jackson Miller used several family stories to show how to prove or disprove them. Analyzing the person who told the story was the first suggestion--then learn more about the people and events involved.

"Siblings Matter" was about cluster research, and Amy Harris provided some specific ways to search more efficiently for those elusive siblings and cousins.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Genealogy Conference - Day Two

Who could resist a class called "Evidence: Let's Get All Sherlock?" Barbara Jean Mathews used various record examples to show how to analyze them to determine reliability or how to resolve inconsistencies.

D. Josh Taylor gave a class on creating an online research plan and suggested that this would be no different than a plan for visiting a physical archive. In other words, set a goal, identify records needed, search and then analyze results. "Think Before You Click."

Paul Milner is one of my favorite speakers; I could listen to him read the phone book in his British accent. He also provides extremely detailed handouts, so we now have a great list of maps and gazetteers for England and Wales.

Using Timelines to Organize, Evaluate and Analyze Evidence was also very useful. We should all make more use of this technique, especially when working on a brick wall.

One of Thursday's tracks was New York Research, so Dick spent the day learning more about New York records, where he has more than one brick wall.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Genealogy Conference - Day One

The conference began with the keynote speaker talking about Florida settlers, particularly the farmers and the hardships they encountered. The exhibit hall opened at 9:30 and no classes were scheduled until 11:00 so that attendees had plenty of time to browse and shop!

Each conference day had ten "tracks." For example, Wednesday's selections were Skillbuilding, Land Records, Starting Off, Gulf Coast and Caribbean, Cemeteries, Courthouse Research, Context, Tips and Techniques, Military, and Resources & Repositories. During each class time period you could select a topic of interest. Because of the keynote address, there were only 3 classes on Wednesday.

Dick attended sessions on Cemetery Research, Chancery Records, and Probate. I began with "Problem Solving in the Carolina Backcountry," which gave ideas for techniques where there are missing records. The suggestions could be useful for any location. Then I chose two classes about developing research plans. Very often I am looking for ideas to use for our club; we will be talking about research plans next year!

Monday, May 9, 2016

The National Genealogical Conference

We returned last night from Fort Lauderdale, where it seemed that our internet connection was too slow to load our blogging site on Dick's notebook. I will be posting thoughts and ideas from our four days of genealogy classes this week.

Maureen Edwards was also in attendance and we had a chance to visit with her several times. She was particularly interested in the classes involving research of those elusive women in our ancestry. Maureen also had the same problem as I did: selecting new books but keeping in mind that we were traveling by plane!

I did pick up a few items for the club library, including two new Quick Sheets. "German Genealogy Research" was written by Ernest Thode, who used to write the brick wall column for German researchers in the old Everton genealogy magazine. Also new is "American Migration Routes, 1750-1800" by William Dollarhide, a recognized expert on the topic. If you have early ancestors who migrated west, those early roads are helpful in figuring out their routes.