Friday, May 24, 2019

Genealogy Bargains

MyHeritage is offering free access to its military databases over the Memorial Day weekend. You can search those records until May 28. Read more about it in the MyHeritage blog.

Also through May 28 Legacy is offering a 50% off special on a one-year webinar membership. Check the website here:

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Genealogy Conference - Final Day

The first thing I learned Saturday was that there is a lot more information than I realized in the BLM land office records. The class reminded me that I haven't tried all possible surnames in the database.

We have attended a session on Ortssippenbucher at previous conferences. These are abstractions of genenalogical information from a village or a group of villages in Germany. I keep hoping that one will turn up for my villages, but no luck so far. If you can find a book for your village, they are organized by surname--sometimes for generations.

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One example

Other classes the final day included "Finding Scottish Ancestors Online," "FamilySearch Collections: Tips and Tricks" (which I've already discussed) and "German for Genealogists."

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Conference - Day 3

Friday I listened to a lecture on writing a narrative to solve a brick wall problem. The speaker suggested ten strategies, including gathering all information, creating a timeline, and writing about the ancestor in order to see more clearly what was missing and where to search next.

I should be able to use that technique to continue searching in Pennsylvania for a brick wall ancestor, as I also attended "Beginning a Search for Pennsylvania Roots." Suggested record sets included land warrants, tax lists and a septennial census taken between 1708 and 1863.

Other classes that day included one on German handwriting and a session on the latest online New York records. New York is beginning to place more vital record indexes and church records online. Since we plan to spend time at the Wisconsin State Historical Society this summer, "Hidden Treasures: Tips and Rewards for Researching in Manuscript Collections" was helpful to begin thinking about what might be available in their archives.

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Wisconsin State Historical Society

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

2019 Genealogy Conference - Day 2

"How Advertising Brought Our Ancestors to the Midwest" was one of the interesting talks I attended on Thursday. The speaker used all sorts of examples such as posters, newspaper ads, railroad flyers, etc. to illustrate how the advertising was done. States with low population in certain areas tried to attract settlers, especially for the farming industry. States also created immigration boards who sent representatives to Europe to attract immigrants.

Wouldn't you be intrigued by the title "The Fisherman Who Wanted to Marry the Executioner's Daughter: Stories From German Marriage Sources?" The executioner's family was of a lower social strata; the fishermen as a group would not allow the marriage.

Another session was about the changes in research habits since the advent of the computer--and the downside! I also attended "Migrating from the Eastern U.S. to Mid-America" where the speaker spent quite a bit of time discussing migration routes through Tennessee and Kentucky.

Monday, May 13, 2019

News From FamilySearch

We have just returned from attending the National Genealogical Society Conference in St. Charles, MO. Maureen E. was also at the conference; all three of us thought the speakers and topics were excellent and are ready to get busy researching! I will post thoughts about some of the classes during the next few days.

The list of Wednesday's classes

There was news from FamilySearch on some updates to their website and changes at the Family History Library. FamilySearch is still accepting Gedcoms in the "genealogies" section under the search tab. Any family history researcher who does not want changes made to their tree is uploading information to "genealogies." Of course, each time they upload, it creates duplicates, which is why FamilySearch does not allow Gedcom uploads to the Family Tree section of the website.

According to David Rencher, Director at the Family History Library, there are more records available through the catalog than in the search area. However, I believe he is including those that can only be read at the Library or at a Family History Center.

They are working on a new computer arrangement at the Library that will provide more room for volunteer helpers; larger screens are also being installed. The Family History Library will now be open on Monday nights.

My choices for the first day included "A Convincing Argument or a Convoluted Mess?" "Colonial New England Immigration" and "German Genealogy on the Internet." 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Alberta Genealogy Conference

Nancy Archibald attended the Alberta Genealogy Conference recently and has sent us a report about her experience. Thanks for sharing, Nancy!

Hello from Nancy Archibald
I am back in Alberta and drove north to Edmonton through a snowstorm to a Genealogy Conference, April 27 and 28th.

I was happy to see there were three sessions on writing with Lynn Palermo from the Armchair Genealogist website. I had purchased several of her books in the past about writing your family history. I have used Scrivener for organizing some of my research, so when I saw that Lynn had organized Scrivener for the Family Historian I had to buy the book.

Lynn’s workshop included:
Writing family History stories - 10 tools to get you started.
Lynn also presented on 8 steps to Creating a Family History Book. Information carried over from the last session with added information on what you need to think about before writing your story.
The third session with Lynn was very emotional because she read excerpts from her story of an ancestor who immigrated to USA from Poland. He then immigrated to Canada and was able to bring his brothers and sisters. This took a long time until his baby brother, Frank arrived as an adult in 1925. He never saw his parents again.

Other sessions I attended were:
Researching Your English and Welsh Ancestors - Ruth Blair.
Ruth shared many websites she uses when researching.
Cluster Research for Breaking Brick Walls - Ruth Blair.
    Cluster and Collateral research looks at more than your direct line. Collateral Research is searching indirect relations to your ancestor. Blood relatives but not direct ancestors. Cluster research involves non-relatives in your ancestor’s community or circle or “Friends and Neighbours”. You can experience your ancestor’s life through the people who know him or her. The family may have migrated together or joined friends and neighbours where they migrated.

Scottish Research - Sylvia Valentine.
Sylvia presented three sessions. The plenary session in the morning showed how Sylvia researched 5 brothers whose parents died when they were young. She followed them through workhouses, occupations and educational institutions throughout their lives. Scottish records are found on Scotland’s People and Scotland’s Places websites. You have to pay for the Records that you find, but you can search and see where the records are for free. These records have not been provided to Family Search, Ancestry, My Heritage, Find My Past or any other ancestry databases. The records provide a lot of information about other family members and occupation of the head of household so it is worth the money to pay for the certificate or registration.

There were many other presentation. This summary is only of the ones that I attended. If you have any questions you can email me at