Monday, January 19, 2015

#week2 Genealogy Do Over - Still Organizing and Planning

Burbach Research 1732 to Current

We are now into week 3 of the Genealogy Do-Over and I continue to resist doing actual research but I am still going through my Burbach (my dad's maternal line) and making note of missing facts and records while checking the citations for the facts I do have.

I am doing active research on the two brick walls I will try to solve while I am in Salt Lake City next month.  I will be looking for the birth place for Oloff Hanson and Leopold Peterson.  I want to do as much fact finding as I can before I make the trip so I don't waste time with unproductive searches.  Just now I thought of a search that was suggested for Leopold that I need to do for Oloff.  They are both from Sweden and settled in Chicago by following routes in very different time frames.

I have been working more with Evernote and used it's search capability to find a note I had made at the library.  I knew it referred looking in a certain newspaper but couldn't remember who I was going to look for or the year I needed to find.  Evernote found the note by just entering the name of the newspaper.

I purchased Family Tree Maker 2014 and after a few bumps in the road (caused by some nasty things living in my computer) it is up and running.

I already feel that I am beginning to become a better and more disciplined genealogist as I recognize the need for smart planning instead of falling into the rabbit hole.  I will admit to falling into the hole for a while yestersay.  I was at the library and decided to google the villages I hope to research in County Limerick, Ireland.  One on the towns was Lisnaverne.  Imagine my surprise to find a Find A Grave for the church cemetery!  Of course I had to look but there were only 37 graves.  They were all for the Hennessy family.  My grandmother's mother was Mary Hennessy!  And there were notes attached listing parents, spouses, and siblings!  I will be using Find A Grave much more often.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over: The first week ends!



It's time to recount what I accomplished this first week of the Do-Over.  Since I am doing a modified Do-Over, my procedure will be different than others.

I will be making my first trip to Salt Lake City in February so I am also working on my research plan for the trip.  I have decided to check the Swedish records for two of the brick walls in my husband's paternal lines.  One is Oloff Hanson ( b 1824-1831) who came from Sweden in the 1850's and fought in the Civil War.  I would like to try to determine his place of birth and parents names.  Leopold Peterson is the second person I have decided to find in the Swedish records.  Leopold immigrated to Boston in 1870 and married there in 1873 before moving to Chicago before 1880.  These men are the respective 2nd great-grandfather and great-grandfathers of my husband.  In preparing for the research I have printed  a timeline and filled out a research plan of action.  The second research I would like to do in Salt Lake is to check-out the available films for counties Cork and Limerick in Ireland for my mother's parents families.  I will check the Family History Library Catalog for the films that I might want to see.  I do know parishes and townlands that I am interested in researching/

This week I have also developed a file naming convention which is similar to other that have been posted and explored Evernote.  In Evernote I have set up a notebook system and moved research notes into various surname notebooks.

Bring on Week 2!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Beginning my Modified Approach

As I read the Do-Over objectives for the first week, I began to formulate my approach.  It is specific to me and my genealogy.  I had already begun a review of my genealogy files by beginning with my Burbach line and comparing my paper files with my data base and making sure that my facts were properly documented.


I will continue with this process but include setting up a more manageable file system for both paper and digital.  To achieve this I spent time today updating and organizing Evernote.  I also purchased Lorine McGinnis Shultze's  "Organize Your Genealogy in Evernote in 10 East Steps" and The Genealogical Proof Standardby the Board for Certification of Genealogists.  I will be setting up notebooks for each of the lines I am researching.  I will also be making a list of the records that I need to obtain.  Mostly I have been working with census, church records, and ship lists.  They will need to be added to the media files for the appropriate individual.

I believe I have been guilty of not citing my sources and know I have not kept any records of failed or un-successful searches.  This is something I will be correcting.  I have also reviewed Christa Cowan's videos on "Common Genealogy Mistakes".  One error I have made is not recording every spelling of a name I am researching.  Who knew there were so many spellings of the name Ferguson?  One challenge will be to try to re-create that list.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

WOW!  I didn't realize how long I've been away from my blog.  There is a lot going on in the genealogy world.  Several organizations have posted their webinar schedules for 2015, Thomas MacEntee is sponsoring a "Genealogy Do Over" and then there is FGS2015/RootsTech2015.  While I haven't been writing lately, I have been planning!

FGS2015 and RootsTech will require a different kind of planning that the "Do Over".  I will be in Salt Lake City for a week and plan to spend some time in the Family History Library, so I have been reading all the tips and hints that generous facebook friends have been posting.  To prepare for my visit, I have selected two brick walls to explore in the Swedish records and an area of Ireland for exploration.  The Swedish records will perhaps help with my husbands ancestors while the Irish records may help me with my maternal grandparents.


For the "Genealogy Do Over" I will be taking a modified approach.  I will not be starting totally over, but will be reviewing each of my family files and making sure that citations are included for all documented facts.  As I review, I will be creating a "To Do" list for each line.  I will also be making note of documents to obtain.  The pdf spreadsheet created by Thomas MacEntee will be of help in keeping track of my progress and I may also be able to put Evernote to use.  As part of my "Do Over" I am going to try to stay on track and not go off to follow that new hint.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

FGS2015 Connect Explore Refresh! FGS and Roots Tech working together

It will happen in February!  Picture this, genealogists from around the world mixing with techies from around the world in one place at the same time.  After reading facebook posts about RootsTech for several years I intended to go.  Being held in Salt Lake City meant that I could also achieve another goal: going to the Family History Library.

I was so determined to go to FGS2015 that I reserved a hotel room in Salt Lake City as soon as the dates were announced.  Almost a year ahead of time.  I hadn't been to my first FGS conference yet.

Last August I attended FGS2014 and wrote about my experiences each day.  It was so exciting to CONNECT with other genealogy friends, some of whom I only knew from their blogs and facebook postings.  I had also volunteered to help at FGS2014 and that introduced me to other lovers of genealogy.

When I go to a conference I try to select sessions that will add to my knowledge base but it is also fun to listen to a favorite speaker.  Usually the night before I will sit down with the list of presentations and pick a first and second choice for each time slot.  I don't stay within a certain track because it is fun to EXPLORE all of the aspects of genealogy!  You never know when that little tip you heard will come in handy.

After any conference I come home REFRESHED and ready to dig back into those ancestors and maybe solve a brick wall with some of my new ideas.  Maybe it's something new like looking for a second page of a ship's manifest or an alternate way of tracking down information.

I'm excited to be a FGS2015 attendee and blogger!  I don't know yet how it will all work but I know it WILL work.  Got my room and registration so all that's left is my airfare.  It's gotta be good to get this south Texas gal to go to Utah in February.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Final Day - FGS2014

Since this was the final day of the conference, I started the day at the 8:30 with Craig Roberts Scott and his presentation of "Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impact on our Research". Craig defined the differences between epidemic and pandemic and explained why we should consider these when people disappear from records for no apparent reason.  Knowing when and where these happened may shed some light on our brick walls.  You can Google for epidemics as well as check the CDC, National Archives Application Guide to Federal Records and Hooper's Medical Dictionary.  Craig is very knowledgeable and opened up a new area of research to me,

Craig Roberts Scott
Following Craig's I kept my seat in the same lecture room to listen to Amy Johnson Crow explain "Timelines: The Swiss Army Knife of Genealogical Tools.  Amy explained that using a database spreadsheet like Excel or the spreadsheet format in Google Drive allows more flexible sorting than the timesheet lists found in most genealogy software programs.  Dates should be entered as yyyy/mm/dd for maximum sorting capability.  With timelines you can more easily spot holes in your research.  Entering all the details you know may help to suggest areas for further research.
Amy Johnson Crowe






Following Amy's talk it was time for the lunch break.  I chose a box lunch with a beef, ham or turkey with cheese sandwich with chips, cookie, fruit and ice cold water.  With 2 different speakers to choose from, I attended the session with the presentation "From Texas With Love: Six Points for Spicing Up Your Family Stories"  presented by Juliana Szucs Smith and sponsored by the Genealogical Speakers Guild and International Society of Family History Writers.  Unfortunately I had to leave shortly after Juliana began speaking.  I had a vouluteer commitment at the Exhibit Hall.  I enjoyed what I heard and that it was very good by someone who was able to attend the entire luncheon.

Lisa Louise Cooke
Because of the timing of my Exhibit Hall the next session I attended was the 3:00 lecture with Lisa Louise Cooke on "Tap Into Your Inner Private Eye: Eight Strategies You Need To Find Living Relatives".  Lisa gave inside tips she learned in talking with Private Detectives she has visited with and explained the methods she used to find her husbands first cousin in an effort to learn more about her husband's father and grandfather.  Among other search engines she used Pipl, Spokeo, and Dogpile.  Don't forget social media as a finding aid.

The last session to the conference that I attended was with Thomas W Jones and
was about "Genealogical Documentation: The What, Why, Where, and How"  using examples of correct citations, Tom illustrated the creation of a correct and complete citation and also showed a simplified version of citing sources both digital and physical.
Thomas W Jones

Sigh - and now it is over!  Four days of awesome!  Thank you FGS and SAGHS for a great experience:  FGS2014!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Gone to Texas - FGS2014 Day 3

Today was the halfway point and the beginning of the end.  There are just too many choices and too little time!  Every day there are 42 speaker sessions and 4 workshops.  There are also 8 presentations in the Exhibit hall and 4 different luncheons with speakers!  How does one even begin to choose where to go.  The luncheons and Workshops are chosen at the time of registration but the rest you can pick and choose on a daily basis.

Today I got there early to catch Tom Jones speak on "Can a Complex Problem Be Solved Solely On Line"  Using a case study Tom showed how online records could be used to establish parentage and marriage but ti fill in all the details you would need to use some off line records.  In determining parentage one tip was to search the census before the birth to see if there was a likely family then.  George Edison was born in 1861 so the idea is to search the 1860 census in the reported birth place to see if there is a likely family there.  He also suggested to note place of birth and occupation. So the answer is Yes...But!
Elizabeth Shown Mills

Tom Jones

Next I attended Elizabeth Shown Mills session on "Sources and Citations Simplified: from memorabilia to Digital Data to DNA".  Elizabeth said that while the genealogy vendors have gotten the message about creating source citation templates, they haven't attached them to the family group sheets and we need to keep on the vendors about attaching source citations to the family group sheets even as a second page.  She commented that most people have a difficult time selecting a template.  To that end she said "look at what you are holding" is it a book, microfilm, a family heirloom?  That will help you determine the correct template and remember that a website is a publication.  We use citations to keep ourselves straight.

At lunchtime I attended the luncheon sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBG&FH).  Paul Milner spoke about "The Messages our Ancestors Leave Behind" His talk covered the necessity of writing the stories of our ancestors and including the details of there lives to preserve the details of their lives.  His mantra of the talk was "But they never told me!"  At the end of his talk there was a drawing for a subscription to the ISBG&FH website and the the winner was Cyndi of CyndisList.
Cyndi and I
The last session I attended was "Guardianship: Look Closer at the Documents" with Cindy Foreman.  Cindy eaplained what the Guardianship documents are, why they might have been created, and where to find them.  Census records often reveal if someone in the household was blind, deaf. insane,  Guardianship might have been established for orphans, or others needing some kind of protection.  Even a widow under the age of 21 may have a guardian.  The guardian appointed usually had no financial interest in the case and was required to file an annual report.  Look to the probate files at the county level for guardianship levels.
Cindy Foreman
Finally I ended the day by working at the hospitality booth which mostly involved giving directions to the Exhibit Hall and manning the Lost and Found.