19 November 2014

Genealogy, Donny, David, and comedy all wrapped into one in February.

Today's Press Release from the Federation of Genealogical Societies. This means Valentine's Day begins with Keynote Presenter Donny Osmond, followed by fantastic genealogy lectures, and ending with music and comedy. So glad I have already registered for this February 11-14 conference! www.fgsconference.org/.

"American Idol finalist David Archuleta is teaming up with the popular comedy sketch group Studio C from BYUtv to perform at FGS and RootsTech. The two talents will be performing for the Closing Event at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Both will be featuring new original pieces for the event, including a new song written by David Archuleta and a never-before-seen sketch by Studio C. 

David Archuleta has sold more than 1 million albums and earned numerous awards. According to David, this gives him a chance to celebrate his family and the influence they have had on his music. His father was a jazz musician who introduced the family to jazz, as well as gospel, pop, rock, and soul. His family’s heritage and history helped craft Archuleta’s unique style. 

“Music was always a part of my life growing up. My mother was also big on dancing and would teach my older sister and me to dance to traditional music,” he remembers. “I can’t think about celebrating my family without thinking about celebrating music.”

The sketch comedy group Studio C from BYUtv has grown to become a household name for people across the nation of all ages, but especially among teens and millennials. Since its launch in October 2012, its loyal fan base has helped grow the show’s online presence to more than 70 million YouTube views to date. 

David Archuleta and Studio C will be performing for thousands of attendees at the Closing Event on the final day of FGS and RootsTech, February 14, 2015. To reserve your ticket to see David Archuleta and Studio C, register today for FGS 2015"

A county clerk's 'Genealogy Corner' gets national recognition

If you have heard me at seminars, you know that I often say things similar to "these records are so good because I don't have family in that locality" or in that particular set of records.

I have several localities where I wish my family had settled just because of the great information online from the county or city. A few of these are:
Then my news feed delivered news of another county with a great genealogy service and that has received a national honor from government colleagues. The Collin County [Texas] Clerk and staff have been "awarded the 2014 Best Practices Award from the National Association of County Recorders, Elections Officials and Clerks (NACRC)."  Just two of the online databases for this county are:
  •  Marriage indexes, dating back to 1864
  •  Birth indexes, dating back to 1903 with some delayed birth records from the 1800
Read the full article from the McKinney Courier Gazetter by clicking here. To access the county's Genealogy Corner click here.

You may have already guessed that I have no ancestral connections to Collin County, Texas! Dangitall.

12 November 2014

2 days left to register: Nov 22 genealogy seminar in Tennessee

It's been a while since I did presentations in Tennessee. That changes on November 22, 2014 when I will be the speaker for the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society's all-day seminar. I will be presenting four topics and will be around all day to help audience members with genealogy questions. These are my topics:

  • Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking
  • The Three Rs: Reading, 'Riting and Research in School Records
  • The WPA Era: What It Created for Genealogists
  • Controlling Chaos: Organizing your Genealogical Materials


The event takes place near Nashville, in Brentwood. You must register by November 14th to be assured of a seat. The brochure and registration information is here: http://mtgs.org/calendar/2014%20Seminar%20brochure.pdf

07 November 2014

Free weekend at Findmypast!

 From a Findmypast press release:
 
Explore Findmypast’s billions of historical records for FREE this Veterans Weekend
 
Free access to all Findmypast’s historical records throughout Veterans Weekend and a  Live Broadcast to be held on Saturday afternoon featuring an expert panel of historians and genealogists
 
This Veterans Weekend, we want to help everyone find their First World War ancestors and learn more about their family history.
 
So we’re delighted to announce that this Veterans Weekend, we’ll be opening up our archives and giving unlimited free access to billions of records and newspaper pages from all over the world. That means that between 7am on Friday, November 7th and 7am on Monday, November 10th (EST), absolutely everyone will have access to all our historical records, including:
  • Global record sets that include census, birth, marriage, and death records from the 1600s to the present. 
  • Millions of local newspaper pages from around the globe spanning 1710 to 2014. 
  • Largest collection of local records from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland dating back to 1500.
  • Military records dating from 1760, encompassing the U.S. Civil War, World War I and World War II.

06 November 2014

Join us LIVE on your computer tonight for Connect with FGS

How much can you learn about the upcoming February 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in 30 minutes? Join Cyndi Ingle, J. Mark Lowe, and me online tonight!

We are part of the inaugural edition of Connect with FGS. It is hosted by Caroline Pointer and Linda McCauley. Cheryl Hudson Passey is one of the FGS conference ambassadors and she will be on the show, too.

We are on live at 9 ET, 8 CT, 7 MT, and 6 PT.

You can watch all our smiling faces on Connect with FGS live from the FGS YouTube Channel or from the FGS Google+ Event.

For more details visit the FGS Voice blog and also learn how to view the program later. http://voice.fgs.org/2014/10/fgs-launching-monthly-hangout-on-air.html

The Voice blog also carries many other conference, FGS, and general genealogy news.

04 November 2014

Beyond online: important genealogy guidebooks for your shelves

This past weekend I promised the audience at the South Dakota state archives that I would post a list of some basic genealogy guidebooks that are important to beginning and even more advanced researchers. If you are only checking online resources and yet wondering what else there might be, these guides will fill you with tons of ideas and places to look. This is not a list of all that is available

1.    Croom, Emily Anne. Unpuzzling Your Past. 4th Ed. “Expanded, Updated and Revised.” Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2010.

2.    Eichholz, Alice, ed. Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources. 3d ed. Provo, UT: Ancestry Publishing, 2004 [Overview guide to all of the states. [Online edition is part of Ancestry’s free Wiki <www.ancestry.com/wiki>.]


3.    Greenwood, Val D. The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. 3d ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2000.

4.    Hinckley, Kathleen W. Your Guide to the Federal Census. Cincinnati: Betterway Books, 2002. [Includes case studies, appendices, glossary, forms, hints, and more. The best census guide! Out of print but in many libraries.]

5.    Morgan, George. How to Do Everything Genealogy. 3d ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. [Update will be out in 2015!]

6.    Rose, Christine and Kay Ingalls. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy. 3rd ed. New York: Alpha Books, 2012.

7.    Szucs, Loretto Dennis and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. 3rd ed. Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006. Now online at Ancestry's wiki <www.ancestry.com/wiki>

03 November 2014

Registered for the NE Illinois Lake Co Genealogy Seminar 8 Nov?

I am home from a successful full day of presentations at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, South Dakota. It's the home of the state historical society and the state archives. The audience was extra friendly as was the staff.

This next weekend I am off to northeastern Illinois to do a full day seminar. It's 8 November at the Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center. The Lake County Genealogical Society is the host. Debbie Mieszala, CG and Daniel Hubbard, Ph.D. are also presenting lectures that same day.

My four lectures are:
  • Your Anytime Library: Success in the Virtual Stacks
  • Research Reports for Ourselves: More than a Research Log
  • Midwestern Gems: Back Issues of Genealogical, Historical, and Sociological Journals
  • Major Midwestern Archives and Their Records
The lectures and syllabus material is recently updated just for the attendees.

You may register at the door, but as with other day-of-event registrations, lunch and syllabus is not guaranteed for those who did not preregister. Caterers and printers usually need several days advance notice of the total numbers. My advice? Get there plenty early. It's a nice meeting place. Another reason to attend is that I have been told there are some really nice door prizes, vendors, and a silent auction.

The details are here: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~illcgs/lcigs%20flyer%202014%20final.pdf

28 October 2014

U.S. National Archives free online lectures today

Today is the first of three days to join the free U.S. National Archives 2014 Virtual Genealogy Fair. It runs on YouTube on October 28, 29, & 30. The first lecture each day begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. There are four presentations each of the days.

It's live and there is an opportunity to ask our questions at the end of each talk. No need to register, just log in online. To learn the schedule and obtain the handouts: http://www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair/

27 October 2014

FGS free talk show online debuts Nov 6 with 3 "interesting" guests

Want more information about attending a big FGS genealogy conference? Join me, Cyndi Ingle, and Mark Lowe on Connect with FGS that debuts November 6 at 9:00 p.m. EST. We are all speakers at the 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies conference being held next February in Salt Lake City in conjunction with RootsTech. Caroline Pointer and Linda McCauley host the show.

Connect with FGS will be a 30 minute FREE show broadcast on the first Thursday of the month as a Google+ Hangout and also on the FGS YouTube channel. Between now and February it will focus on the FGS 2015 conference scheduled for February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, but other FGS news and events will also be discussed.

Mark recently posted on Facebook that we will have a crazy time on this hangout. Yes, we will! It will be informative about FGS and the conference but I think we each might have some ideas up our sleeves. Will 30 minutes be enough for us? Will Caroline and Linda be able to rein us in?

To learn more about this new monthly event, check out the free FGS Voice blog
http://voice.fgs.org/2014/10/fgs-launching-monthly-hangout-on-air.html

For more about the conference https://www.fgsconference.org/

Brief genealogy news from the past week

I am in the midst of packing to move in a few weeks and am doing three seminars in other states in the next month so my blogging may be limited. I still have some neat things to share and decided to blog about them in brief. 
  1. From time to time I see newspaper articles about generous individuals that are preserving the memory of downtrodden people whose death and burial may have gone largely unnoticed or marked. The Chicago Tribune carried such an article last week about Barry A. Fleig and the Cook County Cemetery at Dunning in the Chicago area. You might need a subscription to view the story. The Newberry Library's genealogy blog posted about the results of his work on the Dunning Cemetery. Learn more about this project and do a search of the database at http://www.cookcountycemetery.com/. According to that website "With over 38,000 burials spanning some seventy years, it served as an institutional cemetery for the Cook County institutions. These consisted of the County Poor house and farm opened 1854, the Insane Asylum opened 1869, the infirmary opened 1882, and the Consumptive hospital (TB), opened 1899 and was the official Cook County potters field serving the poor and indigent of the county."
     
  2. The Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC no longer charges non-members to use its library. It's a beautiful place full of books, periodicals, films, databases, traditional library tables, and great staff. Most of the books are on open shelves and the browsing is fun. www.dar.org 
     
  3. This Friday, October 31 (also known as Halloween!) is the last day for the $50 registration discount for the January 2015 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. Three courses still have a few seats. www.infouga.org

24 October 2014

Hmmm. Genealogy and personal cremation urns?

According to a story in today's Bring Me The News, a firm located here in Eden Prairie, Minnesota is urging people to designing an eternal vessel “as unique as the life it represents." As in a specialty urn for your beloved family member's ashes after cremation. Not only is it a specialty item, these are done via a 3-D printer!

"Requests so far have included urns in the shape of a guitar, a car, a piano, and a cowboy hat, as pictures on the firm’s Facebook page show."

Is this a product for a family historian? We like to remember our dear departed relatives for more than just a date and place. We want to know more about the, what they did, and how they lived. We ask our older relatives about their hobbies, favorite things, and what they like to do. Might we want to keep our loved ones' ashes in a container specially designed for them?

Might they design a model microfilm reader or a scanner for a genealogist? How about an urn designed to look like an archival box, laptop computer, or DNA kit? How about a tombstone shape with all the proper information on it?

Read the full story here: http://bringmethenews.com/2014/10/24/firm-uses-3-d-printers-to-create-personal-cremation-urns/

My Nov. 1 free full day of presentations in Pierre, South Dakota

Next Saturday, 1 November 2014, I will be presenting two genealogical workshops at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, South Dakota. The workshops are free and open to the public. Free parking is available. Registration begins at 9 a.m. CDT. Come for both or stay all day.  Call (605) 773-3804 for more information.

9:15-12:00:  Research Rewards in County Courthouse and Town Hall Records

It’s more than looking for land, probate, birth, death, and marriage records. The records found in courthouses and related repositories fill in many details about the lives of our ancestral families and the communities and time periods in which they lived.   

Courthouses, town halls, and other repositories of local and county records all across the U. S. are treasure troves of records for family history research. Learn about tax, divorce, naturalization, deeds, criminal and civil court records, vital records, and even the scallywags in the family. Today the records might have been transferred to an archive, historical society, may be on microfilm via the Family History Library, or even online. Learn what these records hold, and how to find and access them and indexes. The examples used in the lecture span a wide variety of localities. Part of the presentation covers  readily available finding aids that determine the existence of specific records, help locate some of these records no longer in the courthouse, and that open a whole new world of research materials. This lecture focuses on historical rather than current records and on the county and town level records but not state and federal records.


1:15-4:00  Lord Preserve Us! Church Records for Family History Research
      
From the beginning of our country, many of our ancestors belonged to an organized or semi-organized religion. For those who did, the records which have survived until today can often be
 a goldmine of details. Names, dates, relationships, places of new and former residences, burial location,

23 October 2014

Kandiyohi County Minnesota township records

The October 22 edition of the Minnesota Historical Society's Local History News carried a story about another important use of the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants. The Kandiyohi County Historical Society recently microfilmed township records for six of the county's townships and the films are available the county historical society in Willmar.

For more on this project: http://legacy.mnhs.org/projects/2834

In Minnesota we are fortunate to have these records which include birth and death information. Usually this is in the format of a register book rather than separate certificates. These exist from roughly 1870-1953.

Records for some townships around the state are in the state archives collection at MHS. www.mhs.org Others are in historical societies, town halls, and county courthouses. I don't know of any comprehensive list of these. Some of the records no longer exist due to a variety of reasons. My hope is that each is soon stored in a place with the proper conditions to preserve them.

22 October 2014

Donny Osmond and Cyndi's List. A connection.

Now that Donny Osmond has been named as one of the keynote speakers for the joint Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and RootsTech 2015 conference, I have a story to share. It's not exactly my story but I have permission from Cyndi to share it.

I am pretty sure you all know about Cyndislist.com. Many years ago at a genealogy conference, Donny Osmond was there to promote a genealogy service. He was introduced to Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi's List. Of course, she was very happy to meet him. The surprise was that he was impressed to meet THE Cyndi of Cyndi's List.

Fast forward to this upcoming February and, as mentioned in my previous post, Donny is the keynote speaker for Saturday morning, February 14th during the conference. PLUS Cyndi is one of the FGS speakers for this upcoming February 11-14, 2015 huge family history event.

I wonder if we can orchestrate another meeting of these two nice people who love family history?

Register for this great 4 day event at the FGS conference website https://www.fgsconference.org/. Then for just $39 more you can add the RootsTech side. A win win win win.

FGS & RootsTech Sat. Keyote speaker is Donny Osmond.

Just received a press release from FamilySearch about the Saturday, February 14th keynote speaker. How appropriate that it will be Donny Osmond on Valentine's Day. I will add more details later. Now will you quickly register for the 2015 conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and RootsTech?

Just visit https://www.fgsconference.org/ to quickly register for this exciting family history conference. Then check the box to add RootsTech to that registration. Then work on your packing list and your "to do" list for the Family History Library. Soon, FGS will be adding a list of more hotels to the lodging page on the website. There is definitely room for everyone.

I had a feeling that was going to be today's big conference announcement. Hurray!


FGS Conference 2015: Connect. Explore. Refresh.

I am officially registered for the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2015 Conference. It is being held earlier than usual to take advantage of a one-time joint opportunity with RootsTech in Salt Lake City. I hope February 11-14 is already on your calendar. 
 
I have not missed a FGS conference since 1990. That is 24 years of great education, networking, shopping and even lots of fun. Yes, I am hooked. I even became a volunteer at many of these conferences. Now I am on the FGS Board of Directors. Really hooked on FGS.
 
The 2015 theme of Connect. Explore. Refresh. really tells why I love these conferences.
 
During all those years I have connected with many other genealogists, librarians, vendors, and others who are now my friends. They have shared valuable research advice, names of people to contact, and have held my hand through some tough times. I didn't make all these connections right away, but these developed as we recognized each other at subsequent conferences. I hope to add more of my readers to that list of friends after this coming February in Salt Lake City.

Attending a FGS conference allows me to explore in two main ways. I love exploring topics that are presented in lectures I might not have a chance to attend elsewhere. I often choose to attend a session on something totally different from my areas of research or experience. Exploration equals enlightenment. Then there is always the large hall filled with vendors of all kinds. They demo and sell software, books, subscriptions, magazines, office supplies, preservation materials and much more.

I find that the lectures, vendors, fellow genealogists, luncheons, and other parts of a conference allow me to hit the refresh button in my research. When I return from a FGS conference I am able to continue my research with a refreshed energy and new knowledge. It's an energy that's difficult to express, but it's a new level of excitement filled with paths to try.

Where exactly shall we meet in the Salt Palace Convention Center next February? The program, hotel info, and many more details are here: https://www.fgsconference.org/.  Online registration is a breeze on that same website. 
 
If your chosen hotel is full, check http://www.visitsaltlake.com/ for many more lodging places. Rumor has it that additional choices will soon appear on the FGS conference website. This is already a popular conference.

20 October 2014

NUCMC and its cousins: "missing" manuscript locators

Recently on Facebook, I promised Sue Hawes of Maine that I would tell her more about NUCMC and access to all those wonderful manuscript descriptions. I thought others might also appreciate this information. It's a long post so you will need to follow the "Read More" at the end of ths main page post.

This blog post contains some content from my seminar handouts and presentations that include details about manuscripts, finding aids, and the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) and its newer cousins. These are frequently requested lectures and I love watching the eyes of the audience as they realize what they might be able to locate for their own families. In case you are wondering how to pronounce NUCMC, that’s easy: nuckmuck.

NUCMC & its Cousins

Did you ever wonder if a family bible might be in a historical society somewhere? Maybe that missing set of Justice of the Peace records is in an archive in a distant state. Where are the records of the fraternal organization that Uncle Sylvester joined? Might the records of the local midwife still be in existence?

These are manuscripts. These are original records. You may be scratching your head trying to find such items. Of course you check the historical society and archives websites of the counties and states where the person or family resided. Yet, any of these records could be in a distant state. We are fortunate to have several finding aids that assist us in locating these records no matter where they might be housed.

What will finding aids tell researchers?

A typical descriptive entry includes: collection title, years it covers, number of items, volumes or boxes, total linear or cubic feet, name of repository, descriptive highlights, and if there are other  finding aids. Many entries tell how the collection was acquired, i.e. by donation (and by whom) or by purchase. The descriptions often include places, names, subjects, and related collections.

The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections
An important finding aid is the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC), a cooperative

19 October 2014

Salt Lake Genealogy Institute savings deadline October 31

How can it be past the middle of October already? I do see the leaves changing and the weather is definitely cooler. The 2015 edition of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is rapidly approaching. It takes place January 12-16.

The early bird deadline for the 2015 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy ends on Friday, October 31. Register now to take advantage of the discount. Most of the tracks have sold out; only a few spaces remain! Find more information about available classes and register on the UGA website.

There is still availability in the following courses: