Welcome one and all to the last chapter of my adventures at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree!
Only 1? It sure felt like I went to many more!
And I mean that in a good way, because I learned so much over the 3 days.
Over the week after Jamboree, as I struggled with Computer issues, I knew I wanted to share some of my notes that I took on many of the classes, here, as a way of giving you, dear reader, an idea of the information discussed, and shared.
During this time I relied on my Co-Blogger, Nikita, to organize my notes for me, and let him write the report I am about to present here.
In the 2 pictures seen in this post, with him in them, I can be seen going over, and discussing, the report with Nikita, checking to see if it was presentable for posting.
In case you are wondering what a Cat is doing blogging about Genealogy, then you may not be a regular reader of this blog. ;-D
Last month Nikita posted his 1st Genealogy Contribution!
It is my hope that if you find this report useful, and informative, that you spread the word to anyone that you think might benefit from it.
So, without further ado, here are my notes, as organized by my Feline Best Buddy, and Co-Blogger!
I. ADVANCED BEGINNING GENEALOGY by Lynne Parmenter:
1. Just becasue it's online doesn't mena it's tru. if you can't see the original just use the info as a clue.
2. Family stories are 1 part true, 1 part fiction, and all about pride: Try to document and research them.
3. Collateral lines lead to missing people.
4. SOURCES: Cite everything! This answers the question - How do I know this?
5. Info is only as good as the sources.
A. Primary data - Witness at time of event.
B. Secondary data - Not a witness. Info is from a source later than the event.
6. Save EVERYTHING found, or gathered, in your research that could provide clues.
7. Missing 1890 Census - Use State Substitutes.
8. Follow Parents, one at a time, backward. Follow their sibblings forward. Repeat with Grand-Parents, and so on. This sets Genealogical Stakes in the ground.
9. Census collects you where you are, the day the Census Taker records you.
10. Census, and other records, are all about the year, and the Government Jurisdiction.
11. People can live in 1 place for years, yet the jurisdiction can change over time; Towns, villages, cities, parishes, counties, states, provinces, and even countries can change their boundaries, jurisdictions, and even names.
12. CENSUS SUBSTITUTES: State and territorial census, Mortality Schedules (All deaths 365 days before a census is taken.), Slave Schedules (With Land Record this gives economic status.).
13. Watch for errors, and ommissions, in census, and other records.
14. Use City Directories, land records, old and new maps and gazaeteers, county histories, mortuary records, and military records.
II. PORTS OF OUR PAST - A GUIDE TO U.S. PORTS, AND RECORDS by Elaine Alexander:
1. Official U.S. Passenger Lists begin in 1820, and stopped in 1924 due to a new Visa Program.
2. Electronic Government Records can be found in Federal and National Archives, State Archives, County Archives, and City Archives of Seaport Cities.
III. FINDING LOST RECORDS, AND SOURCES, OUTSIDE THE LIBRARY by Arlene Eakle:
2. Don't let Library resources dictate your Pedigree results.
3. Get out of the Library!
4. Read the Footnotes of a book first because this could lead to new information not found elsewhere.
5. Your information may require effort to get from other sources.
6. Pay attention to Migration Patterns because they are important for your research.
7. If an ancestor is important...look for information on them from the time of their height of notariety, not just after they died.
8. Research family treasures for locations where they were made, and by whom.
IV.PUTTING FLESH ON THE BONES by Ron Arons:
1. Concentrate on 1 person at a time, and explore them by going beyond Who, What, When, and Where, to WHY.
2. Backward looking documents can be hazardous to your research.
3. Starting with a target person...look into their parents, siblings, children, and other relatives, and their events, and locations.
V. GENEALOGY AND THE CHANGING MAP OF EASTERN EUROPE by Stephen Danko:
1. Julian and Gregorian Calendar dates, both, may appear on some documents.
2. Sources to identify Immigrant Ancestors, learn when they arrives, and where they lived, include: Family Records, Census Records, Military Records, Vital Records and Church Records, Passenger Manifests, and Naturalization Records.
VI. 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE GENEALOGISTS by Dear Myrtle:
Beyond starting the habit of effectively learning from others, the 7 include the following:
A. Document everything, and source it.
B. Start filing right away.
C. Learn from the experts.
D. Adhere to the Genealogical Proof Standards.
E. Use technology wisely.
F. Consider the archivist, or librarians, point of view.
G. Share with others.
1. Just because it's on the internet, or in a book, does not mean it's your person, or even entirely accurate.
2. use binders, and hanging file folders, for filing.
3. Scan images onto your computer.
4. Check out the website of Light Impressions Direct for preservation materials so you can work from photo copies instead of your originals.
5. Attend conferences, and read books, and websites, so you can learn from them.
6. Perform a reasonably exhaustive search; This provides a wide range of high quality sources, and helps you avoid a too hasty conclusion.
7. RESEARCH IDEAS: Check Family Search Catalog, Check US GenWeb, and World Genweb, for Locality Searches, use Libraries in the localities where your ancestors lived (Ask a Librarian for help.), use Historical Societies in the localities where your ancestors lived.
8. Citing sources helps us , and those who come after us.
9. Analysis and Correlation of collected info: Provides for a sound interpretation, should be done for each source, and helps your conclusion reflect all the evidence.
10 Don't Embelish: Take Info at face value until proved.
11. Conflicting Evidence? How about telling your story in notes in order to flesh out what you know?
12. Analyze, and pull together evidence, to resolve conflicts.
13. Soundly reasoned, and coherently written conclusions, eliminate bias, and explain evidence: RESEEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH!
14. Spelling doesn't count in Genealogy! There may be 20 variations of a name!
15. Read every page of a Census, front to back.
Librarians, and archivists are not there to do the research for you: Don't forget to compliment them! This will make them more helpful, and responsive to your requests, and questions...hee, hee! ;-D
1. Directories, maps, and gazeteers are all interelated.
2. All our records hang on where our ancestors lived.
3. The more you know about the community, its history, and that of other nearby communities, and why your people lived there, puts things in context, allowing you to see data in another light when combined with other records.
- Rand McNally, and other maps.
- Topographical maps for terrain information.
- Historical maps.
- County, City, and township Plot Maps (Atlases).
- County Border Maps (Dollarhide Guides, Everton County Maps, and others.)
- Parish Maps (Phillmore Atlas, and others) for churches, and where they are, or were.
6. The whole word does not revolve around birth, Marriage, and Death Certificates.
7. City Directories are great for genealogy, but the information varies depending on the data they were able to collect.
8. Always read the abbreviations pages of City Directories.
9. Gazeterrs are in book form, or even online at such places as Falling Rain, the Global Gazeteer.
10. Record Latitude, and Longitude.
11. Ancestral Atlas - People sharing places on maps.
12. Baedeker's Travel Guides are loaded with maps.
13. Dollarhide Map Guides to US Census 1790-1920 is out of print, but check libraries for copies.
14. Family History 101 has County Formation Maps.
Nikita here... Daddy went to 3 sessions where he didn't take notes, but just sat back, and soaked it all in, and these are his thoughts on talks given by Anna Fletcher, and Lisa Louise Cooke:
I've been on both since 2002, but until recently didn't have enough info on my ancestors to feel confident in taking that advice myself.
It's a good time to get onto the sites because she reports that Ancestry will undergo some changes in July, and August.
IX. Lisa Louise Cooke gave a 2 session talk on Google, and how it can be used by Genealogists, that was enthusuastic, and informative.
Her talks just barely touched the surface, but were a revelation for a person who has done little with Google other than basic searching, and setting up an e-mail account just for Genealogy Correspondence, and Google Alerts about Cycling and Cat Blogging.
Google truly is a goldmine: Starting with setting up an IGoogle Homepage, how to organize it, and adding Genealogy "Gadgets", she moved on to adding links to Genealogy Podcasts, Gadgets, Blogs, RSS Feeds, setting up Gmail, and Google Alerts that can turn Google into your own personal Research Assistant.
She talked about the features of Google Tool Bar, and while it has its advantages I later learned that there is a risk in downloading it that some, but not all, people may encounter.
On Monday I downloaded the tool bar, and my computer promptly got indigestion.
It was a problem that could only be cured by getting a back-up hard drive for my docs, and pics, and then doing a complete re-install on my system, taking it back to when I bought it.
In the end I got a safe, and working version with the version of IE8 that I downloaded after the re-install. ;-D
Google Tool Bar is optional, and is not absolutely neccessary for the Genealogist as he, or she takes advantage of what Google can do.
You can learn more about what Google can do for the Genealogist by checking out certain podcasts by Lisa, on Genealogy Gems, Googles own info links and, from what many are calling the most important new technology book for Genealogy written in more than a decade...GOOGLE YOUR FAMILY TREE: Unlock the Hidden Power of Google, published in 2008, by Daniel M. Lynch, of Family Link.
Just a look at its Table of Contents convinced me to buy it.
I did my first search, based on a Search Query tip from the book, ""Elverd Fred", just as I typed it, quotes, and all, and learned 2 new things about this elusive first husband of my Maternal Grandmother.
A. Not every country did, or does, records the same.
B. Research is challenging but not dificult, DESPITE: Exotic names, border changes, political divisions, and record availablity issues.
C. All info is not online: You need to search the rght way to find what is.
D. Use all internet resources that you can, and verify the info, thus cutting research steps.
E. Many foreign information is gathered in traditional ways, by writing for it.
F. Connec with others with similar interests, and cross check, and document, sources, and information.
G. There is no need to search across the pond first: It is important to find all available indo in America first. This provides clues such as names, towns, and villages of origin, and helps avoid making mistakes.
H. Your names may not be unique, across the pond, so you need to know the right line to research.
I. Develop a Research Strategy: Who What, When, Where, and Why?
J. Document everything, and organize your collected information.
K. Your Pedigree starts with YOU.
l. Family Group Sheets focus on your extended family.
M. Learn family personal, nd family details, and locate towns, and villages of origin.
N. Search US records for surnames, and check for siblings, friends, and neighbors.
O. Look for full names, including Maiden Names: Conside aproximate dates, and location of events, in your understanding of place.
P. Get as much documentation as you can.
Q. Names, and places can be confused, across the pond, as documents are not in english, and even from 1 data base to another.
R. Geography, nd Borders, often changed due to politics, and war, so check for new, and old, place names.
S. Current Geography = Historical Geography: Where the place is today compared to where it was yesterday.
T. Using more specific Parameters: "Sounds like" searches on names, and towns.
U. Place of Residence does not always mean Place of Birth: Assuming it does can lead to false research paths, and confusion, during foreign record research work, and moving around.
V. 100% Ethnic Identity is not always true: Beware the Nationality Trap, consider the language in the home, and consider religion, and the mother Tongue in certain periods of history.
W. Be aware of that the type, nd availability of vital records vary by country: Records are not always in the place they are about, but in nearby towns.
Google Ancestral Towns, and see what comes up for local histories, and more.