One 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.
Receive 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 email@example.com to schedule.
My membership in the National Genealogical Society is by far my most valuable resource for improving my research skills. They produce a magazine, NGS Monthly, which is free to members only. Because of the current social distancing they have offered free access for all to the last five years of the publication. Click here for the link.
Check it out and learn something new!
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.
FamilySearch discontinues microfilm lending. National Archives court records now only available online. MyHeritage now provides free ethnicity reports.
FamilySearch is discontinuing their microfilm lending on September 1, 2017. Microfilm will still be available at the library in Salt Lake City. The digitization process is taking less time than expected, with a projected completion in 2020. The change is driven because “he cost of duplicating microfilm for circulation has risen dramatically, while demand has decreased significantly,” says FamilySearch. See https://familysearch.org/ask/faq#overview for more information.
MyHeritage now provides free ethnicity reports to all who upload their DNA results. Previously they only provided DNA matching. Visit https://www.myheritage.com/dna/upload
National Archives closed bankruptcy, civil, criminal, and court of appeals case files now only available online. https://www.archives.gov/research/court-records/bankruptcy.html
Have you ever tried to map your last name and the last name of your ancestors? Visit the Geneanet website where you can map any last name. Geneanet is based in France and is especially useful for those who have ancestors in Europe. It is a free site where you can create a tree and search for records.
The last name origin feature is particularly interesting. When I put in my family name of Kunzli (from Switzerland) I got this result:
In this image, it shows the origin of my name is unknown. Note the timeline cursor on the bottom to see the evolution of the last name distribution.
To see this great tool for yourself, visit Geneanet.org and click “More > Origin of Last Names” in the menu bar at the top of the site.
Will you be spending the holidays with family? Don’t miss the opportunity to ask questions and share wonderful stories. It’s great fun listening to Grandma tell stories about her life. Need some suggestions?
- How did you meet your spouse? Plus early dates and wedding memories.
- How did your parents meet?
- Describe your 1st job or favorite job?
- Who are some of your heroes?
- What events impacted your life growing up?
- What was your childhood like?
- Get the basics of the people they remember – full names, nicknames, maiden names, birth & death dates. (Sometimes dates are difficult, but association can be the key – i.e. Grandpa died a few years before you were born.)
- Where family lived. What country their family originally came from.
- This is a good one… “Who is the oldest relative you remember? What do you remember about them?”
- History of family surname.
Use your camera or cell phone to video or voice record your conversations. If that’s not possible be sure to take notes – you’ll forget important details. These are just a few starter questions, Google “family history interview questions” for other ideas. Happy holidays!
The greatest innovation in genealogy is the internet and the ability to work at home on our own schedule. Research has never been easier allowing us to fit it into our busy schedules (and our children’s). Many public libraries make it even easier. Most know libraries often have access to fee based sites at their locations. However, many don’t realize you can sometimes access that same information at home through the library. The Dallas Public Library allows its residents to access fee based sites such America’s Genealogy Bank, America’s Obituaries and Death Notices, Fold3 (Military Records), Dallas Morning News Archive and many others. In Dallas, you must have a library card to access these services, but some libraries offer a great deal of information to all users. So first check your local library, then check the library where you are focusing your family research. You never know what you will find and free is always good!
I have family that came from Limoges, France. I haven’t worked on that line in years and decided to try again. It’s important to know the region of your family when looking outside the United States. I searched the department (region) of Haute-Vienne, where Limoges is the capital. They have made microfilm available online that one can view! There I found my 2nd great grandfather’s birth and marriage record which listed his parents – giving me his father’s date of birth and his mother’s full name, which I didn’t previously know! It was a good day!
Lessons: 1. Things are constantly being put online. Come back to things occasionally to see what you can find now. 2. Google search the name of the region of your family (i.e. Haute-Vienne France genealogy) or search the regional governmental website which led me to http://archives.haute-vienne.fr/. Use google which can translate the website for you if needed.
Last night I came across these photos. The Rimes family are distant cousins, which is why I’d never focused on them. These photos led to further search and I quickly confirmed their death dates and learned more about the terrible fire. I felt drawn to find their fourth child, who was previously unknown to me. The genealogist who posted the photos had information on his/her tree. Fortunately, this genealogist was thorough and added many sources. Upon further review of the sources, I agreed with the conclusions reached and added that child to my tree as well.
My point: what would have taken me months to do in days gone by was accomplished in 30 minutes thanks to the internet (and it’s powerful search engines) and a dedicated genealogist who was willing to post thorough research for others to see.
Lesson#1: be vigilant in your sourcing so others can benefit from your hard work! Linking your sources to your ancestors is easier now than ever.
Lesson #2: check the sources of others and be sure their research is reliable.