Genealogy basics

Happy Veteran’s Day!

The fighting of “The Great War,” World War I, ended with an armistice on this day in 1918. In 1954 November 11 was set aside to honor not just those veterans, but American veterans of all wars. Thank you to all veterans out there! We owe our freedom to you.

While you may not have a veteran in your family history, you undoubtedly have one who filled out a draft card for WWI or WWII, both available now to researchers. Below is my great-grandfather George Cecil Stevenson’s WWI draft card. These are available on FamilySearch.org. You must create an account but the account is free.

Note there are two pages to WWII draft cards as well, but on some websites, such as Ancestry.com, you will see the first image only, you much click to see the second page. Please be sure to do so as it has a physical description and other information.

Family history stories, Genealogy basics, Genealogy News, Research helps, Writing family histories

Rootstech will be Free in 2021

img_8428One of the events I look forward to each year is Rootstech in Salt Lake City, Utah. Next year it will be virtual and FREE! It is the world’s largest genealogy conference. There will be dozens of classes in multiple languages available on demand throughout the year! Don’t miss this great opportunity. Click here for more info and to sign up.

Genealogy basics, Gift ideas, Need personalized help?, Research helps

Online Personal Genealogist for Hire

Aimee HeadshotReceive hands on help via Zoom conferencing.  I will help you begin your genealogy research,  guide you through the research process or help you advance your research.

This service includes a review of your family history project and two Zoom sessions – three hours of professional research help for $125!

Call (214) 509-7292 or email aimee@ancestryconsultingbyaimee.com to schedule.

Genealogy basics, Need personalized help?

Inherited Genealogy

Do you have piles of paper that you’ve collected over the years or that you’ve inherited?
MessI’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!

Genealogy basics

Sharing with Family (Part 4)

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. 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 7.09.58 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 7.09.46 PM

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!

Genealogy basics

Sharing with Family (Part 3)

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.

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 6.57.42 PM

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?

Genealogy basics

Sharing with Family (Part 2)

As part of a short series on sharing with family, today I’m focusing on a free social network (which is private unlike something such as Facebook).  This is just one of many ways to collaborate with your family, please comment with your ideas!

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:

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 6.14.52 PM

  • 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
Every person has a profile. Each person can add pictures, stories, and videos to share their stories and add to the family legacy. It’s invitation-only for your relatives, protecting your privacy with no advertising. It can’t be searched or accessed by the public, and Famicity does not retain any rights or ownership of your uploads. It’s a next-generation family photo album and history book wrapped into one.  Have you tried a program like this?
Genealogy basics

Sharing with Family (Part 1)

Interested in sharing photos and collaborating with family members?  Over the next few posts I’ll share just some of the many ways you can bring your family closer together.

Many people are familiar with Dropbox.  Dropbox is frequently used to share files & photos, but the comments function can facilitate communication.  My daughter-in-law Megan showed me how her family has used Dropbox to share photos and the stories that accompany them.

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 12.53.20 PM

First a folder is created and shared with family members.  Megan’s uncle offered to scan in old family photos and the stories began.  Perhaps you’ve never noticed when you open a file (or photo) in dropbox, there is a place on the right for comments.  In the above example, a photo taken during WWI points out ancestor Angelo Dilibert on the right.  The comments section on the left allows for ongoing conversations.  Here the green circle notes the family patriarch added, “He was in the hospital with malaria from the swamps around Rome.”

Sometimes someone posts a question like, “Does anyone know who the guy on the right is?”  Family members can then chime in.  It’s simple, easy and fun.

There are many great ways to collaborate, but I like this one because it uses a common program.  The downside, the information is not saved with the photo once it is removed from Dropbox, so keep that in mind.  But it is one way to spur family togetherness!  How does your family share photos and memories?

Genealogy basics

Do you have a family history mess?

Do you have piles of paper that you’ve collected over the years or that you’ve inherited?
MessI’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 the web.  Click HERE for more suggestions. If you have a GEDCOM or even a PAF file, you can upload it to your chosen genealogy program.

Decide what type of organization for digital and remaining paper records would work for you. 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 with any questions or suggestions. Good luck!

Family history stories, Genealogy basics, Writing family histories

Interviewing Family Members

Me & DadI’ve been trying to take advantage of my dad’s visits and spend a little time asking about his life.  I’ve loved learning more about him and my other family members.  One of my favorite stories was when my dad and some buddies decided to ride down the street on an old buckboard (unattached to horses).  They were having fun until they realized they couldn’t stop it…  Dad was driving & the other boys had to run ahead to the next intersection to stop traffic!  They finally were able to navigate into their school yard, drive in circles, and finally stop.

Be sure to take the opportunities you have as they arise and learn about your family.  Click HERE to visit my tutorial for more ideas and information.