Sat, 17 September 2011
Everyone has a special name for grandparents in their family. In ours we have Nanna, Grandma, and even Pat-Pat. I look forward to the day my grandson Davy calls me Grandma. While I wait, tell me the unusual terms of endearment used in your family for grandparents. Email or leave a voice mail and be included on the show: (925) 272-4021
Listen to the episode:
Here's my Grandson Davy checking out tractors at the state fair with his Bumpa (AKA Superman / Indiana Jones)
FamilySearch has added millions of new records of both Confederate and Union soldiers who served in the American Civil War. Also now available for viewing are newly added notarial records from Canada, church records and civil registrations from Mexico, and records from England. www.familysearch.org
From the UK National Archives
The UK National Archives announced that findmypast.co.uk has just released 1 million Merchant Navy seamen records, dating from 1918 to 1941.
Useful guides at the UK National Archives website to help with your research into merchant seamen.
My Ancestor was a Merchant Seaman is available from their bookshop.
To learn more about apprenticeship records, check out the TNA Research Guide to Apprenticeship Records
Australian military records
You can now access the records of Australian soldiers who fought in the Great War free at the National Archives of Australia website.
If your relative was an Australian soldier, the Office of Australian War Graves at the Australian Government Department of Veteran’s Affairs website offers free photographs of Australian solder’s graves.
Our wonderful sponsor RootsMagic is offering 2 new webinars absolutely free.
What's New in Personal Historian 2
Wednesday, September 28, 2011, 6pm Mountain time, 90 minutes
Creating a Shareable CD with RootsMagic
Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 5pm MDT, 60 minutes.
If the webinars don’t fit your schedule they will be posting a recording of the class on their website at www.rootsmagic.com/webinar that you can watch at your convenience absolutely free! And it stays free – it doesn’t disappear in a month. I love that about the RootsMagic webinars!
Lisa’s Upcoming Speaking Engagements
9/25/11 - Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, CA
10/7 & 8/11 - Northern California Family History Expo, San Mateo, CA
10/21/11 - Waterloo Iowa Public Library Webinar
10/22/11 - Webinar for the Hayden Idaho Family History Center Fall Family History Seminar
10/29/11 - Victoria Genealogical Society Seminar, Victoria, British Columbia
11/11 & 12/11 - Georgia Family History Expo, Duluth, GA
Feb 2 – 4, 2012 – RootsTech, Salt Lake City, UT
As you’ll remember I had an interesting conversation with DearMYRTLE in Episode 117 about the abbreviation FL that showed up in podcast listener Dot’s family history research. She was wondering what it stood for, and DearMYRTLE was intrigued as well so she did a bit of investigation on it which we discussed in the show. Well several of you wrote in with your thoughts on the subject:
“My first thought was that the abbreviation would stand for "found living" and it sort of makes sense based on the discussion. Finding this abbreviation in research could provide an important clue to narrow down when and where a person lived.”
And Dot chimed in with:
“Rob and I do however think there is a time when it is handy for genealogists to use it. If you don’t have birth and death dates, we think that instead of having nothing, fl. gives you dates as a rough guide as to when the ancestor lived and you can always extend the dates once more information is found.”
Dave wrote in with a different take:
“It does refer to someone’s “productive” time, but typically it refers the time that someone is known to have practiced their profession. Usually, it is used when no biographical information exists…In genealogy, it is less likely that this kind of sourcing is useful, since the person is tied, biologically, to a time and place. We know the age ranges for life events, so we can guess better. That said, it is very useful to be able to interpret information of this kind.”
It’s always nice to hear when the gems I talk about here on the show sparkle in your own research. Tina wrote in recently to share not one but two examples:
“I just wanted to thank you for putting the idea into my head that Paula Sassi might be able to contribute something to my knowledge about a relative… I gave her a bit of background to the handwriting I submitted and she came back with insights and suggestions in areas that I hadn't mentioned, but nonetheless knew or suspected - all astonishingly accurate. I am just so grateful to her - and to you!”
“And can I give you another thank you? This is an old one, but still the most useful tip I think I have ever had: go back and look at original documents again, and again, and again. Each time I do so, I seem to notice something I had missed the first few times, or now meant more because I had more information. Invaluable. Thank you!”
Thomas On Facebook asked about using children’s sidewalk chalk as a mediaum to read gravestones better.
Lisa says: Tombstone rubbing is a touchy subject and there is no concensus on the matter. Some people are against rubbing any substance on a tombstone because each one reduces the clarity of the stone. Certainly the chalk wouldn't harm it, but the application could. Be careful to check with the local authorities at the cemetery to get permission if you decide to go forward. My preference is to take multiple photograph and manipulate them with an editing program to alter the light, contrast and sharpeness which can often reveal what can't be seen with the naked eye.
Being the Genealogy Google Guru has some challenges. It seems like as soon as I tell you about something Google is doing, or publish a tutorial video or article Google goes and changes everything. Like the Google News Timeline which bit the dust recently. Well all iGoogle hasn’t been immune to that constant change and after some serious hair pulling Pam wrote in asking for help. She says:
“My iGoogle page has changed in the last week. The whole left side is different but I can't remember what was there before.”
The only significant change I see is that "add stuff" link has been removed and now is an "add gadgets" button on the left above the tab names. If you don't see your tabs it's because the are now retractable. There is a little arrow that hides and reveals the tabs column.
GEM: PERSI with Allison Stacy of Family Tree Magazine
As you know in addition to the Genealogy Gems Podcast I also produce and host the monthly Family Tree Magazine Podcast for my friends at Family Tree Magazine. In the September 2011 episode I recorded a segment with Allison Stacy the publisher of Family Tree Magazine about PERSI at Heritage Quest Online.
My guess is that you’ve heard of PERSI but maybe it’s been a long time since you checked it out or maybe you’ve never gotten around to searching this incredible database. It’s been ages for me, so I really enjoy chatting with Allison about it and it really reminded me what a goldmine it is.
GEM: Another Free Transcription Software Program
A big hat tip to podcast listener Phil Rowly who wrote in to share a gem he spotted recently. Phil writes:
“I keep a regular eye on some of the best sites covering freeware and I've recently noticed another piece of transcription software - with the advantage of being free - which is specifically aimed at transcribing data in tabular - rather then free-form - layout. The resulting data is then saved as a csv file, which can be imported into a wide range of standard programs for further analysis &c - eg Excel, Word, databases, etc.”
Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast, it was episode #39
GenScriber is a desktop application, designed for transcribing genealogy documents from images of census registers, church/parish records etc. and was designed to be easy to use.
Tue, 6 September 2011
Are you having a Picnic? Problem In Chair Not In Computer!
Google self-driving car crash was caused by human error - says Google
They had a recent failure but Google says it wasn’t the car it was a PICNIC!
See the photos at Jalopnik
Kiera posted on my Facebook wall after the webinar saying
“I listened to your Webinar on Google Tools today. I wanted to hit myself over the head for not having those tips sooner. I've put them to use today, and already, they're helping me immensely! A million thanks!!!!!!!!”
Book Lisa to Speak
If your genealogy society doesn’t have the budget to fly out speakers in person, webinars are a fantastic alternative. Find out more about how to book for to speak to your group.
AppList for Hobbies has finally been released!
We also had some exciting news around here recently. Appadvice.com published their AppList for Hobbies and named the Genealogy Gems Podcast app as a must have for family history.
In other genealogy news, Ancestry made an interesting move recently. They decided to put out a press release about the fact that the images and indexes to the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be made free to search in the United States when it becomes available in mid-April 2012.
Interestingly it was just before Archives.com made their big announcement that they are going to be addint the entire US Federal Census to their website. I blogged about this at length in an article on my website called Archives.com Makes their Big Move.
It really is going to be interesting to see Archives approach to challenging the Big Fish, and Ancestry’s response to being challenged.
Footnote.com has decided to focus primarily on military records, and they have a new name for it that reflects that. Footenote.com will now be known as Fold3 which comes from the third fold in a traditional military flag folding ceremony.
Ancestry has also explanded their U.S. School Yearbook Collection
I caught by surprise the other day when Ruth replied back to that email and she said: “I owe you a Thank You! I have learned so much about Google in just the first 50 pages! Wow! Do to time constraints, most of my genealogical research is conducted online and Google is certainly my favorite search engine. You book is a fantastic guide to the Google universe! P. S. I've been listening to The Genealogy Gems Podcast for a long time. Also a great help to my research!”
Aisha wrote: “I grew up away from my extended family and my grandparents died before I got to know them. So, genealogy is helping me to connect and learn about my relatives. Thanks for the tips and gems.”
To learn more about vital records check out my Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast series. Episode 3 focuses on the search process and specifically death records.
Maria asked “What should my next research step be? I've been googling his name, as well as searching on Ancestry.com. My MIL may have half-siblings, and a biological father who could still be alive somewhere! I would love to further my research...Any suggestions would be appreciated! I love your podcast!”
In addition to standard genealogical searching methods, focus on unique identifiers about the man. A name of one of the boyfriends siblings? His father's occupation? One of their neighbors? How far he lived from her? Something that can be used to narrow down the right man in the census. When things look the same on the surface, we need to find what is unique about them and follow that lead. Good luck Maria!
Randy in Nebraska wrote in with a question just about everyone faces at some point. He says: "My questiion is: how do you cite information from someone else's work while they have great citations themselves? How much should a person retrace sources when the information is 'published' on the internet or in family histories?”
Published family histories are wonderful finds, and yet they can have errors or omissions. First I would spot check a number of the sources to see if they are verifiable and accurately recorded. Ideally you would verify all of them, but realistically that is difficult to do with lengthy published works. Also published and properly cited family histories are in a different category than a family tree published online, which can be notoriously inaccurate and not properly sourced. It's very easy for errors to get picked up and added to an online family tree.
I would recommend that you read the article Using Published Family Histories from the Mar-Apr 2002 issue of Ancestry magazine, page 46 free on Google Books.
And as for proper citations, the go-to book is Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
Ericson in California wrote to tell me that he’s been bit – hard! He writes: “Thank you for all the guidance and inspiration you have given me. In a matter of six months, I've caught-up listening to your Family History podcast, Family Tree Magazine podcast and the Genealogy Gems premium podcast. To date, I have cataloged 265 individual relatives. My parents think I've gone off the deep-end with this bug!
Is there an easier way to understand and remember the degree/removal terminology, such as "first cousin twice removed"? When I reach-out and introduce myself to new relatives, they give me a blank look when I say these terminologies. It's gotten to the point where I would just say "distant relative" or "cousin", which seems overly simplified.”
Check out the Genealogy Relationship Chart
But in reality "distant cousin" makes the point and can be less aggravating for all concerned!
GEM: Should Your Genealogy Research Flourish?
Myrt also gives us the scoop on the Genea-Quilters 1812 Preserve the Pensions Quilt.