30 April 2011

My clone has not arrived: genealogy in high gear

Spring is always a busy time of the year. I didn't help that by doing something to my left knee at at Minnesota Twins game on Easter Sunday. Didn't break it but it decided to give out under me as I was walking down steps. Really quite comical but the pain wasn't too funny. My oldest son and granddaughter had to come and pick me up since I could not walk, drop me at the emergency clinic, and leave for the airport to pick up their German exchange student. First time in my life I had to use crutches and was so thankful for them. Have now progressed to a cane, physical therapy, and am finally back to a somewhat normal schedule. That schedule has included several local area lectures and I have been getting ready for my May presentations.

FamilySearch passes a great milestone

A press release this past Monday from FamilySearch was titled "How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Collections—600 to Be Exact!"

April 25, 2011

Latest Additions Reach New Milestone in Free Online Historic Record Collections

The latest additions to FamilySearch's online collection of free historic record collections pushes it to 600! That's right, 600 free, original source record collections online from all over the world. The tally of insomniacs will certainly expand as the numbers of family history researchers enjoy the latest updates. This week there are new international records from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Poland, and Spain. Now take a seat while the list of updates for the U.S. collections are noted—California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota,

23 April 2011

Getting others involved in your genealogical society

I really enjoyed listening to the Federation of Genealogical Societies first BlogTalkRadio show today. The theme was "Bringing Genealogy Societies into the 21st Century." Today's host Thomas MacEntee and guest Curt B. Witcher did a fantastic job with the show. I found myself nodding in agreement with what they said during the hour-long show.

Some posts in the chat room during that show focused on how to get others involved with the tasks of running a genealogical society. In many cases, it takes just some small steps. It may be a case where someone doesn't really feel they are part of the organization or doesn't know anyone. If you ask them to take over the Program Chair job or the Publications Committee if they have only been to a few meetings, you are likely to hear "no."

Let's look at some steps that may begin to get new folks involved. I think that once some people feel comfortable they will become more involved. One of the best things I ever did was to become involved in the

20 April 2011

Federation of Genealogical Societies RADIO DEBUT

I just received this exciting press release.

April 20, 2011 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the debut of My Society, the first Internet radio show dedicated solely to genealogy societies. Broadcast weekly each Saturday at 1:00 pm Central, My Society will host discussions of genealogy society topics with a variety of guests including well-known genealogists and genealogy community leaders. This unique media outlet can be accessed at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mysociety.

Debut Episode of My Society with Special Guest Curt Witcher
On Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm Central, Curt Witcher, Senior Manager for Special Collections at the Allen County Public Library, will be the special guest on My Society hosted by FGS board member Thomas MacEntee. Witcher, who is also a former president of both FGS and the National Genealogical

14 April 2011

Ancestors from Costa Rica, England, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Spain, or the U.S.?

Received from FamilySearch:

Got Ancestors from Costa Rica, England, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Spain, or the U.S.?
The latest free collection updates might just have what you’re seeking!

What a grab bag of records added this week! Let’s see—for its online patrons’ free viewing pleasure, internationally, FamilySearch added church records from Costa Rico and Mexico, Bishop’s Transcripts and Poor Law records from England, Hindu pilgrimage records from India, municipal records from Spain, and civil registrations from Nicaragua and Peru. In the U.S., those with Arkansas andOklahoma ancestors are going to have a proverbial field trip with the 500,000 new county marriage records added—and the indexes are linked to the original images! Additional records were also added for Maine and Texas. You can search

ISBGFH announces 2011 British Institute

WESTMINSTER, Colo., 11 April, 2011—The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History is excited to announce its speakers for this year’s British Institute, to be held from 3–7 October in Salt Lake City. This year’s host hotel will be the Radisson Downtown, just a couple of blocks from the Family History Library. Registration is now open and class size is limited.  The Institute consists of three tracks:

Barbara Baker, AG will offer Finding Records of Property Ownership in England. There is no national registry of deeds in England until after 1862 and Barbara’s course will cover various types of land and records and where to look for the them.

08 April 2011

The end of the WDYTYA? season

What a season even though I am bummed that it's over. Who Do You Think You Are? was great in its inaugural season last year but 2011 was tons better. Gone were the constant recaps of what had just been said. The 2011 content flowed better and showed more details and techniques. Not bad for a one hour mainstream television show.

I now need a new activity for Friday nights. Can you have withdrawal symptoms from not having a certain TV show to watch?

I saw several great researchers that I know on this years shows. That seems to add more impact for me. Those folks included Natalie Cottrill, Mark Lowe and Josh Taylor. We also need to thank Ancestry.com and other advertisers for enabling the broadcast of these shows. Lisa Kudrow and ShedMedia deserve a round of applause, too.

Watch for a future blog post about upcoming events at which Mark and Josh can be seen live!

Who Do You Think You Are? TONIGHT

Tonight WDYTYA? is on at 7:00 p.m. CDT. Ashley Judd is the celebrity. Josh Taylor, who was on last year in the Sarah Jessica Parker episode, will be the show on this evening. Josh is my co-host for the 2011 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference being held this September in Springfield, Illinois.

At 9:00 p.m. CDT tune in to Geneabloggers Radio to hear host Thomas MacEntee interview special guests that include Josh Taylor of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Heather Wilkinson Rojo of the Nutfield Genealogy blog and Diane Rapaport of Quill Pen Historical.

Click here for more info on the radio show that you listed to on your computer. If you sign in you may participate in a real time chat room.

Can't watch or listen tonight? No problem. Visit NBC.com for a replay of the TV show and revisit the radio website for info on that archived broadcasts.

p.s. It's the last show of the season.

06 April 2011

CNN and Civil War memorabilia

On its website, CNN has been asking for people to share their photos and stories. This year is the 150th anniversary of the start of the war and the Their topic is "History in your home: The Civil War" and some people have contributed images of a variety of records and artifacts. Some people have shared a story about the document, artifact, or about the person. The last day to contribute is this Friday, April 8th. It is another way to share your family history information and maybe find a new cousin as happened with one contributor and someone who commented on the letter.

Next Tuesday, April 12th is the anniversary of the actual day the war is said to have begun.

National Tartan Day: my roots in Scotland

April 6th is National Tartan Day in the U.S. I have some proud Scottish ancestry.

Among the names I find in my ancestry in Scotland are
Stuart: Strathdon, Aberdeen; Abroath, Angus;
Grant: Strathdon, Aberdeen
Leighton/Lighton: Farnell, Angus
Niddrie/Nedry: Farnell and Kinnell, Angus
Allardice/Allardyce: Kinnell, Angus
Edward/s: Brechin, Forfar, and Abroath, Angus
Cowie: Brechin and Forfar, Angus

In the U.S. the Edward/s and Stuart families and descendants are in Fond du Lac, Ripon, Beaver Dam, Rhinelander, Sheboygan, Omro, Berlin, Fort Atkinson, and Oshkosh Wisconsin; Rutland, Vermont; Chicago and Elgin, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Salina and Marysville, Kansas; and St. Paul and Roseville, Minnesota. Some descendants have lived in New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Colorado later in the 20-21st centuries.

05 April 2011

A reminder of knowledge to be shared

I just returned from the 2011 Ohio Genealogical Society Conference in Columbus, Ohio. I presented three sessions, saw many friends and colleagues, learned some from other attendees, and most of all, came away with a smile.

When I present genealogy lectures I also receive education. As soon as I work on a handout and lecture I know I need to be stating facts. It's not a casual conversation where you can say I think that those birth records begin in 1905 or it seems those probate court records are all still at the courthouse. What if it is actually 1908 for the birth records or that some of the older probate files have been transferred to the state archives. That means double checking the content. Website URLs must be current. The most recent edition of a book needs to be cited unless an earlier edition has something the newer one is missing. That's why some items in a bibliography need to be annotated.When presenting the lecture my PowerPoint slides must be correct.

The education doesn't stop there. One of the great benefits of attending a conference or seminar is the way our minds work off each other's. I usually come away learning about a new book or a cool website from someone in the audience. No one knows it all. Then I sit at lunch or other meal with a couple of colleagues and our conversation becomes one of sharing knowledge and resources. There is something neat about the face to face time. If I am writing about a resource during an IM chat or on Facebook, I may not feel like typing out a full description of an item or giving more than one reference book or website. That's so much easier to do when we are in the same place.

That said, I will see many of you during the rest of this year in Austin, Charleston, Winona, Springfield, and several other places. Check out my schedule in the right hand column. Come prepared to share, that makes it more fun (and of course, educational) for all of us. Plus, the vendor areas are great for browsing and purchasing. I am one of those people who really like to see a book or ask a question of a software developer before I spend money on it.