Find My Ancestor Blog
15Jun/106

Review of Jamboree 2010






The Southern California Genealogical Societies Annual Jamboree has now ended. This was my first time attending Jamboree, and I must say it was a blast!!

I have never met so many so many people blogging about genealogy all at the same time and place. I am not sure exactly how many GeneaBloggers we had there, but there were a lot! I was able to see many who I had already met at previous conferences, and I met a lot who I have seen and follow their blogs, but never met in person.

Friday when I first arrived I met up with Amy Coffin of the We Tree Blog, Holly Hansen of Family History Expos, and Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers. They were sitting near the hotel lobby all on their laptops just typing away. I had met all three of them for the first time at the Mesa Family History Expo in January 2010.

There wasn't an opening keynote speaker like they usually have at all the other conferences I have been to, so that was a little different but nothing heart-breaking. After registration I walked around the exhibit hall to see what kind of new booths were available that I haven't seen at any other conferences. Some of my other blog posts go into a little more about the exhibit hall.

The first class I attended was Lisa Louise Cooke's titled "What You Must Know To Save Your Research From Destruction". Without reading the syllabus to see exactly what this class was about I assumed it was going to have ideas and ways to make your genealogy archival safe from disaster and aging. Rather, Lisa talked about the importance of coming up with a Genealogy Materials Directive and making donations with a Deed of Gift. You can download Lisa's form from Genealogy Gems. Click on the link on the left hand side that says Directive for OGS

That evening a group of GeneaBloggers who didn't attend the Friday Night Banquet, My Genealogy Now and Then, featuring Chris Haley, got together and went to a really good Greek restaurant across the street from the hotel and had a great time visiting and getting to know each other better. 

At dinner I met Gini Webb from Ginisology and her husband Steve. I sat by them at dinner and we got to know each other better. Gini and I have know each other for a little while because of our two blogs, but had never met in person until now, so it was really great to finally meet her and become good friends. I also sat next to Steve Danko from Steve's Genealogy Blog whom I had never met until then. Cheryl Palmer from Heritage Happens who is another great friend I finally met was sitting next to him. Other bloggers who joined us were Becky Wiseman from Kinexxions, Susan Kitchens from Family Oral History, Randy Seaver and his wife Linda from Genea-Musings, Susi Pentico from Susi's Chatty Performances, and a couple others who I did not get a chance to meet and visit with.

After dinner we went back to the hotel lobby and visited with one another as well as a few other bloggers. Tami Glatz from Relatively Curious, Kathryn Doyle from California Ancestors, and the famous footnoteMaven. I have been looking forward to seeing footnoteMaven for quite some time. She is such a fun and sweet lady! It will be a lot of fun talking to her and all the others who I have now finally met in person. Late that night as we were all sitting near the lobby, Elyse Doerflinger from Elyse's Genealogy Blog showed up and brought a lot of life to the party! Elyse was not able to attend the conference on Friday because she was at her graduation!! Congrats Elyse!

Saturday morning started off with a great breakfast at the restaurant there in the hotel with Gini and Steve, Cheryl, Elyse, and I. There we were able to again visit and have more fun.

After breakfast, Gini, Steve, Cheryl, and I went to the Blogger's Summit Part 1 where Thomas MacEntee, Stephen Danko, Elyse Doerflinger, and Randy Seaver were on the panel of bloggers discussing what a blog is for those who were not familiar with them, how to set one up, how to make posts, and most importantly what the benefits of having a genealogy blog are.

Right after Part 1 and before Part 2, all of the GeneaBloggers who were around got together for a big group photo. It was pretty crazy trying to get everyone in the picture because there were probably a dozen cameras and as soon as we would take one picture another blogger would walk in and join us so then another picture had to be taken. Sorry if my photo (provided by Gini Webb) does not have you in it!

At one o'clock on Saturday Lisa Louise Cooke had a live recording of the Genealogy Gems Podcast. It was a lot of fun being able to to see the recording of that. Her guests on the show were Suzanne Adams of Ancestry.com, the Photo Detective Maureen Taylor, and Chris Haley.

Suzanne Adams talked about some of the process she went through doing research for Who Do You Think You Are. Can you imagine what it would have been like to help with the research for those celebrities? That would be such a great opportunity to help with that.

Maureen Taylor talked about her new book called The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation. This book is really neat! I was able to purchase a copy of the book at Jamboree and have started reading through the amazing stories of the people who lived during the Revolutionary War. Each story includes a photograph of the person. The book will be available later this month. You can pre-order a copy through Amazon.com

Chris Haley was her last guest on the episode. Chris is the nephew of Alex Haley who is the author of the book Roots. Chris is a genealogist himself as well as a perfumer. During the podcast Lisa asked him if he would sing a song for the audience. 

On Sunday morning Gini, Cheryl, and I went to Geoff Rasmussen's class titles "Timelines and Chronologies: Secrects of Genealogical Success". I have attended a couple of Geoff's classes at previous conferences, but none of them have been about the Legacy Software. I had never even seen Legacy in action until this class. I must say, I found it to be a very cool software. There are many great features I liked about it that aren't found in other genealogy softwares. The main purpose of his class of course was to demo and emphasize the importance in timelines in your research. Most of the time we look at Family Group Records and Pedigree Charts, but those won't give us information as to where other important events took place to tell us where to look for records. I thought it was pretty cool. I am going to have to play around with Legacy and check out it's other features.

Geoff also did a demo on two other softwares called AniMap and Centenia. Both programs I had never heard of but they are a must for every genealogist! Have you ever had an experience where you were looking for a record in a specific county during a certain time frame? Then, after searching for what seems like forever you find out that at the time record was created is  wasn't the same county or even state that it is today? You didn't even know the boundaries had changed? AniMap and Centenia can help you figure out boundaries of the places you search for. I will be posting a later blog entry about AniMap in more detail after I play with it for a while.

People started to filter out throughout the day on Sunday as they were heading home. Jamboree was such a fun conference and it was great to be able to meet all of the GeneaBloggers who I had not met before and to be able to see all the friends who I have met at other conferences. If you have never been to Jamboree, I highly recommend it for next year. I will definitely be there!!

11May/100

What Kind of Documents Do You Search For?

There are so many documents and records that are available to genealogists to help us find our ancestors, but sometimes it is hard to know which documents to look for and which ones give us the most information.

Some of the most common records we search for are birth, marriage, death, census, and military records. As we do more research and learn new techniques we learn there are records and documents out there that we never would have thought of using to help us break down those brick walls.

We all have those specific records we search for because we know they can be a goldmine of information. Some of us treasure one record type over another because of the time it was created, where it was created, or because of who it is about. Many of us have a "checklist" of items we search for for each person we do research on. The question is, what records or documents do YOU use to find the most information about your ancestors? Why do you use those documents? Where can they be found? Are they available online, microfilm, or only in person at an archive? Do these documents cost money to access or are they available for free to everyone?

Please take a minute or two and give your input on what kind of records and documents are the most beneficial to your research. Use the form "Genealogy Checklist" to give your input.

20Feb/103

Free Census Tools Online

This is kind of a "re-post" from Dick Eastman, but I figured I would post something about it just in case there are followers here and not Dick's site.

Earlier Dick posted an article on some free Census tools available online. I had never heard of this site so I went and checked it out. The gentleman who owns the site has made multiple Census spreadsheets for you to input your family data into that looks just like the Census. I downloaded them and tried them out, and they are great! I have been thinking about doing something like this for myself, but now I don't need to.

Some of the available downloads include:
  • U.S. Federal Census(1790-1930)
  • State Census
  • International Census
  • Cemetery Data
  • Passenger Manifest Data
  • Research Log
  • Family Group Record
If you have been looking for a good way to transcribe all the data from those census records or old family group records, I highly recommend you check out this site!

To learn more about Census Tools and download these forms, visit http://www.censustools.com/. All forms are both Windows and Mac compatible.

18Jan/100

More Than Just a Blog

Find My Ancestor is now more than just a blog! 

Find My Ancestor now has multiple resources including downloadble forms, a great store to shop for all your genealogy needs and wants, and will continually add new websites and resources to help you trace your roots.

Please feel free to contact Find My Ancestor with any questions, comments, or suggestions on what you would like to see on the site.