Saturday, March 31, 2018

March 27 Workshop

This week we talked about summer research plans, and the group had a few to share. They would be using online websites such as FindMyPast and taking photos for FindAGrave. Some were planning travel to Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. Brick walls were mentioned by two of the members, and newspaper research in Toronto was on the schedule for another. Other members would learn more about the country of their ancestors, research a nephew's death and finish a narrative on grandparents.

Other suggestions presented during the mini-topic included:

Review your research
Update census worksheets
Create a timeline
Interview a family member
Start a "to do" list
Write about your ancestors
Visit message boards
Analyze old photos
Use a library
Play with Google

Friday, March 23, 2018

March 20 Genealogy Club

Howard Mathieson spoke this week about "The Origin and Distribution of English Surnames." He had narrowed the focus a bit after I spoke with him last October and did not include information about Scottish and Ulster names. His talk was, as usual, interesting and informative.

Howard Mathieson
Howard suggests that one of the more useful resources to find where our English surnames originated would be the many surname dictionaries available. He recommended several and his presentation links to Amazon where you might purchase any one of them.

Use maps and books!

As Howard promised us, he has sent a link to the presentation. It will be available for a MONTH for our personal use.

It was great to have a good crowd late in the year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Genealogy Software Reviews

Maureen shared this website this week.

Her comments: "Great website with up to date reviews on loads of genealogy software packages. Reviews are added by users and you can filter your search by free/purchase/subscription packages; by Windows/Mac/Unix or handheld device software; by overall rating and more."

If you are considering purchasing a software package for your genealogy research, you might want to take a look at the reviews on this site first.

Thanks, Maureen!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

March 13 Workshop

This week's workshop topic was research plans. The main points of the presentation included:

1. Decide on a goal

2. List known facts

3. Use a pedigree chart or timeline

4. Identify record sources

5, Access the records

6. Analyze and record your results

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

FindMyPast Discount

Here's the announcement from FindMyPast this week:

"With more than twice the Irish records of our nearest competitor and exclusive British records you won’t find elsewhere, it’s easier to discover your British and Irish ancestry with us than any other family history website. To celebrate St. Patrick's Day we are offering you a 50% discount on a 1-month Ultimate British & Irish subscription. Hurry - offer ends midnight 19 March."

Here's more:

"*This offer expires at 11:59pm on 19 March 2018. The discount can only be used once per customer and can only be redeemed using a valid credit/debit card. After the discounted 30-day period, your subscription will automatically renew at full price unless you un-tick ‘Auto-renew my subscription’ under ‘Personal details’ when logged into the site. T&Cs apply."

I did see a second ad this morning that said the offer was good through March 18, so keep that date in mind. Notice it covers British and Irish records. They have expanded to include many records from the United States, and I don't know if those databases are part of this offering.

Friday, March 9, 2018

March 6 Genealogy Club

Maureen's presentation, "Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words?" took us through the process of identifying a group of photographs that she rescued from Mike's sister. Although not all of the photos were labeled, she was able to use the photographer's name and location along with a few names to determine who many of the people were. The topic continued her story of Mike's grandmother, who was one of the British Home Children sent to Canada from England in the late 1800s.

It was interesting that Maureen was also able to use a Google Photo process to decide whether some of the photos matched those she had already been able to identify. I'm sure several of our members are planning to try the same technique.

Thanks, Maureen!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March Legacy Webinars

Topics this month are heavy on DNA and brick walls. Visit to register or learn more information about these free webinars.

Wednesday, March 7 - "Overcoming Brick Walls Caused by Record Loss" by Mary Hill.  Intermediate

Friday, March 9 - "Secrets in the Attic: Break Down Brick Walls With Home Sources" by Denise May Levenick.  Beginner

Tuesday, March 13 - "True Stories of Families Reunited Thanks to Genetic Genealogy" by MyHeritage Webinars.  Beginner

Wednesday, March 14 - "The Case of the Broken Link - Decoding the URL" by Cyndi Ingle.  Intermediate

Tuesday, March 20 - "From Baltimore to Burlington: Hazen P. Day's Neighbors Bring Him Home" by Catherine B. Wiest Desmarais.  Intermediate, Advanced

Wednesday, March 21 - "Hands-On with MyHeritage DNA" by Geoff Rasmussen and Yoav Naveh.  Intermediate

Friday, March 23 - "Introduction to DNA Testing in Genealogy and Family History" by Mike Mansfield.  Beginner, Intermediate

Tuesday, March 27 - "How DNA Testing Can Reveal Your Ethnic Roots" by MyHeritage Webinars.  Beginner

Wednesday, March 28 - "Formulating a DNA Testing Plan" by Blaine Bettinger.  Beginner

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February 27 Workshop

Bob had volunteered to present a friend's "interesting" pedigree, so I've been trying to guess the mystery since we talked about it earlier this year. My two guesses were a famous relative or an early immigrant. Who knew it would be both! Not only did the pedigree include Erle Stanley Gardner and Samuel Morse, two lines traced back to the Mayflower. It certainly lived up to the billing.

This week was "freebie" week, and there weren't too many items left after attendees chose what they wanted to take home with them. If there is anyone who wanted a list of German websites provided by Steve Packer, we still have a few copies. The handout from the January workshop about comparing genealogy software programs was also included; let me know if you're still making a decision about a purchase and would like a copy.