Family history research makes a wonderful gift, especially for the person who has everything. Whether its assistance with finding one’s ancestors, creating a beautiful book of their family history or tutoring them in their new genealogy hobby, genealogy consulting gift certificates are your solution! Visit http://www.AncestryConsultingbyAimee.com for more information.
Curious what your house or any part of the neighborhood looked like a few years ago?
Google Maps has a feature that is kind of fun. Google has a “time slider” that will show a range of about 6-10 years. Go to Google Maps and type the location’s name or address in the search bar in the top left corner and hit “Search.” Click on the “Street View” picture. Once the image loads, you will see a black box in the top-left corner. There is a month and year timestamp next to the clock, click that. A box will drop down and show a slider on the bottom (see picture to right). You can move the slider to select a different month and year to view.
Want to create one of these to hang on your wall? FamilySearch is offering these FREE family tree printables! A great way to inspire genealogy research in your family. Check it out! Click here: FamilySearch.org
Do you want to connect with your ancestors? The census has been taken every 10 years since 1790. Odds are you can find your family in the 1940 census and it tells you so
much! You’ll learn your family’s street address (which you can then google and see if it’s still there). Whether the home was owned or rented and the value of home or cost of rent per month. The highest grade of school completed and current occupation, as well as their income in 1939. And much more!
You don’t need a paid subscription to find and view these records. The National Archives has a search
function but it works through the address, which is
not a lot of help if you don’t know it. FamilySearch allows you to search
by name. You will need to create a free account (this is a totally free account and there are no ads or “premium” pitches). Let me walk you through the process – give it a try!
Visit https://www.familysearch.org. Click on “Search” > “Records.”
Then type in the information you know. Be sure to give a generous birth date range as the census taker asked the persons age at the time of the visit. After clicking “Search” at the bottom of the page, you’ll be asked to sign in.
Create a “Free Account” or “Sign In.” The search results then will come up. Click on the camera on the far right side of the record to see the image of the record.
An image of the actual record will then be shown. The controls to the left of the picture allow you to zoom in. Be sure to see the explanations of each column at the top of the page.
Do you have piles of paper that you’ve collected over the years or that you’ve inherited?
I’ve had the opportunity this summer to help a few people organize decades of accumulated genealogy. It’s a big project and often overwhelming. Fortunately we’re moving from a paper society to a digital one. Does that sound enticing? So, where do you begin?
First, if you haven’t already, choose a platform to host your genealogy, whether it be on your computer or web-based (such as Ancestry.com). Click HERE for more suggestions. If you have a GEDCOM (genealogy file extension like jpg is an image extension), you can upload it to your chosen genealogy program.
Decide how to organization digital and remaining paper records. For organizational suggestions, click HERE. Once you’ve chosen, be consistent.
Upload your precious family photos and certificates to your genealogy program (click HERE for suggestions), saving the digital copy and filing the original according to your organizational plan. Many sources like census records are very easily found now. There is no need to keep the copies like we did in the past; besides they are easier to view online anyway. Be sure the source is attached to your individual and then discard it! (yes, I said it) While you’re discarding, go ahead and get rid of all those pedigree charts and family group sheets. Just be sure the information is in your genealogy file first.
It will take a while, but slowly chip away at it and you’ll be so pleased with the results. Don’t forget to backup your file (check your program for instructions). Save backups in various locations (not just one computer, it may crash).
The rewards… you’ve opened the door to easily sharing with others. You can distribute copies of precious family photos and such with a click, ensuring their survival. And most of all, you’ve simplified your life which leads to peace and happiness!
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help in any way!
My most asked question. It’s taken the U.S. by storm. Most people know about ethnicity results which often come through an autosomal DNA test but there are other options as well and these options are currently on sale. Should you do it? The debate continues – with recent prosecutions aided by DNA, many question whether they should take the plunge.
mtDNA is a test that examines your mother’s line. This test examines your maternal ancestors only, including their geographic origins. It can come in handy as women are often difficult to find with traditional records (they had few legal rights and thus were not recorded as frequently in history). Family Tree DNA is probably the most well know company to offer this test and their full sequence mtDNA test is on sale for $149 ($40 off) until August 31st. There are less expensive options as well.
Y-DNA is the second test that is unfamiliar to many. It examines your father’s line. The Y chromosome is passed from a father to his sons only. Testing the chromosome identifies the male’s paternal family line and can help determine your paternal surname as well as their geographic origins. This basic test is on sale now as well although it is recommended one complete the 67 marker test at a minimum(which in not currently on sale).
Ancestry.com is still the most popular autosomal DNA testing company with over 9 million people in their database. A good comparison chart of the various companies offering autosomal DNA testing can be found here. Most are currently running sales on these tests as well.
Should you do it? The New York Times recently published an article about genealogists cracking five more cold cases. In these examples the genealogist used an open-source DNA site called GEDMatch to find their matches. If you purchase a DNA test through Ancestry.com or Family Tree DNA your results remain secure on their sites. But many people pull their DNA results from those sites and upload them to GEDMatch in hopes of finding additional matches. Personally I’m happy to see criminals put behind bars, but many are concerned that eventually medical insurance companies will collect this information which could result in denial of service or expensive rates. On the other hand, DNA is very easy to obtain and I know people who were adopted and have found their family through DNA testing and genealogical research. The debate continues and each person must evaluate the situation for themselves.
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This is my 4th and last post for this series. I’m putting it last because in my family it’s been the least effective. I’d love to say my kids check it often, but they don’t. But every family is different and I see it’s value, I’m talking about creating a family blog or website. Perhaps mine will catch on as my kids grow older. 🙂
I created my website on Familybelle.com although there are many options out there. Familybelle is free and fairly easy to use. I like the built in options: family address book, calendar & family recipes. You can have a photo gallery, a blog and upload a family tree. There are also some features to assist with family reunion planning.
I’ve enjoyed uploading photos and stories about ancestors, how my husband & I met, and other uplifting family stories.
Hopefully one of these posts will inspire you to find ways to share with your family. Best wishes and please continue to share your successes!
Everyone knows Facebook. Most are familiar with the closed groups that can be created which are a great way to communicate with family members and share photos.
My brother-in-law just came up with a terrific idea for Christmas. With all our family being spread out, he decided to try and have his dad do a broadcast as a Facebook live event. It’s by invitation and can be shared with everyone but approved so that we don’t get strangers watching the event.
The plan is to have the broadcast consist of Dad sharing a few stories, answering questions from kids, grandkids, and great grandkids, and concluding with a special message. The live broadcast allows everyone to post questions during the event.
Bonus – the broadcast can be recorded and preserved.
Visit Facebook for more information and tips. How do you use Facebook with your family?
Famicity is a social network designed to protect, manage, and continue your family’s legacy through a laptop or phone app. While many family members might be on Facebook, it’s not a private, ad-free environment where the focus is family. At Famicity you can upload and share:
- your family tree GEDCOM
- old family photos (free), videos, audio, and documents (subscription)
- new photos (free) and videos, audio, and documents (subscription) of the latest family events
- messages and stories