Find My Ancestor Blog
21Apr/111

A Busy Week in Genealogy

This has been a very busy week and it seems like I have missed quite a few things going on in the genealogy community! As I have been going through my Google Reader reviewing all the things that have been happening I figured I am probably not the only one who has been running from place to place and is now just catching up on all blogs, press releases and numerous other things. Here are a few things I have found going on this week that I found interesting!
Federation of Genealogical Societies Radio Debut - My Society
April 20, 2011 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the debut of My Society, the first Internet radio show dedicated solely to genealogy societies. Broadcast weekly each Saturday at 1:00 pm Central, My Society will host discussions of genealogy society topics with a variety of guests including well-known genealogists and genealogy community leaders. This unique media outlet can be accessed at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mysociety. To read the full article, visit GeneaPress.com
Making Money in Genealogy?
There has been quite the talk lately in the genealogy community about making money doing genealogy. Whether you are a blogger, speaker or researcher this article by DearMYRTLE is a great one to check out. She also gives links to other blogger's posts about the topic.
FamilySearch is Adding Source Capabilities
On Saturday I attended the monthly Riverton Family History Seminar. I attended a great keynote presentation by Tim Cross of FamilySearch talking about of the new features that are coming to FamilySearch. One of the features that particularly stuck out to me was the ability to add sources to the FamilySearch Tree. When Tim mentioned this my first thought was "about time". FamilySearch has done such a great job incorporating Web 2.0 and other great features to their website in the last few years. The Ancestry Insider describes a little bit more about Tim's presentation and when we can [hopefully] expect to see these new features. Hopefully this weekend I will have more time to read more genealogy blogs, write a few more posts and get some personal genealogy time in there as well.

10May/100

NGS Review Part 3

The following are my tweets from the opening session of the National Genealogical Society conference held last week in Salt Lake City. I am re-posting my tweets from the conference just in case you missed them and would like to know about some of the classes I attended.


  • "U.S. Naturalization Records, Colonial Times to Early Twentieth-century" by John Philip Colletta, PhD
  • Three periods of naturalization records
  • 1. Prior to 1970 2. 1790- Sep. 26, 1906 3. Since Sep. 27, 1906
  • Find a likely candidate and then secure and examine the original recede on microfilm or digitization.
  • Basic facts you need: ancestor's name, aprox.date, native country, state and county where living during naturalization.
  • Where can you find naturalization records?
  • Citizenship columns in federal censuses: 1820, 1830, 1870, 1900-1930.
  • Find information in state censuses. He is talking about New York state census.
  • Why Naturalize? Vote, Ability to hold office, transfer land.
  • Check passenger ships records to see if a family member was already a citizen.
  • ALWAYS check state archives!! He emphasized that a lot!
  • Colonial Period - beginning in 1607: stautes of British colonies in North America(except for N.H.)
  • 1740: people could become a citizen of both Great Britain and the colony they were living.
  • White, males, 21yrs. +, land owner. These were people who could get citizenship at the time.
  • 1776: people who were born from this point forward are automatically citizens.
  • Pennsylvania Records of Natiralization 1695 177~ Most are Germans.
  • 1795: Free white females 21>. 5 years in country. 2- Declaration 3- Petition.
  • Sep. 27, 1906 Bureau of Immigration & Naturalization created.
  • 1922: married women must file separately.
  • Courts that naturalized: Federal, State, Municipal. Start with Federal and work your way down.
  • After INS was created forms were made that gave a lot more information than previous hand written declarations.
  • Of course, be sure to check www.archives.gov
  • Great lecture on Naturalization by John Philip Colletta!!


  • "LDS Resources on the Internet - Where Can I Find Them And How Do I Use Them?" by Luana Darby
  • Early Latter-day Saint Database www.earlylds.com
  • Immigrant Ancestors Project - http://immigants.byu.edu - not only for LDS records.


  • "FamilySearch's Tools and Resources for the United Kingdom and Ireland" by Diane Loosle
  • maps.familysearch.org - England Jurisdictions 1851. For now it ony covers England.
  • FamilySearch Research Wiki. Repository for the collective research knowledge of the genealogical community.
  • wiki.familysearch.org
  • Access online classes for free at familysearch.org
  • FamilSearch Forums. forums.familysearch.org
  • Trees, Records, and Books. histfam.familysearch.org
  • FamilSearch Beta. http://fsbeta.familysearch.org
  • Currently there are 1.3 million records for the British Isles availabe on FamilySearch.


  • Waiting for "Immigrant Clue in Photographs" by Maureen Taylor to start.
  • Our immigrant ancestors took photographs the same way we do today.
  • Women immigrants would save all they could to buy a good dress to takes pictures and send home to family
  • Ancestors left clues in many of their photos.
  • Look for the fine details in the "costume clothes".
  • Red lines around photographs were generally taken in the 1870's.
  • In Europe, more than America, people dressed for their jobs.
  • The hardest costumes to figure out in photographs are military.
  • Wales developed a national costume to be distinct from England. Abt. 1860's.


  • Elizabeth Shown Mills class is packed already and it doesn't start for another 20 min!!
  • "Finding & Using Birth, Marriage, & Death Records Prior to Vital Registration.
  • In the 1100's is when records were started to be recorded a lot more regularly.
  • When records do exist, we still have to prove that the individual of record is the one we seek.
  • Many ancestors didn't have official marriages even when available because licenses &bonds cost money. Many were too poor.
  • Many couples could not legally marry even if they wanted to.
  • Beware of "the only one" of your relatives in a town. It may not be them or true.
  • "Research is NOT looking up the answer. Research is tracking down the answer."

8May/100

Evidence Analysis for Genealogists – NGS Review Part 2

The first class after visiting the exhibit hall was titled "Prove It! Evidence Analysis for Genealogists" by Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG. One thing I have been wanting to learn more about is citing sources and evaluating evidence. Laura did a great job in her presentation.
  • Waiting for the first class to start. "Prove It! Evidence Analysis for Genealogists"
  • Source - Original: earliest form Derivative: copied from the original
  • There is no gaurantee the original source is correct...
  • "No single source is enough." Always get as mush as possible.
  • A source can include both primary and secondary. Take a death certificate for instance.
  • Why did our ancestors lie about dates, places, names, etc. on records?
  • Two types of evidence - direct or indirect. Direct: answer a question on it's own, Indirect: must be combined with other evidence
  • Use the Genealogical Proof Standard GPS to prove evidence.
  • To learn more about the GPS, go to the ThinkGenealogy blog by @marktucker (http://www.thinkgenealogy.com/)
  • Laura is giving examples of analysis on her own family-there are spelling errors along with dates. Always do more research
  • Settling for a derivative source when there are originals may cause you to lose valuable information and be misinformed.
Are you interested in learning more abou citing sources and the Genealogical Proof Standard? Check these books:
    

    28Jan/102

    The GPS for Genealogy

    In my opinion, one of the hardest things about doing genealogy is sourcing all of the information we find. Not only is it hard to know how to source things, but to remember to source them!

    Mark Tucker did a great presentation on the Genealogical Proof Standard(GPS). Before his presentation I had heard about the GPS, but I didn't know exactly what it was, how to use it, or how it could help me in my research.

    The first question some of you may have - What is the Genealogical Proof Standard? The GPS is a standard that has been set by many professional genealogists that we should follow to correctly cite our sources in our research. The GPS consists of 6 main points:
    1. Define Research Goals
    2. Search Reliable Sources
    3. Cite Each Source
    4. Analyze Sources, Information & Evidence
    5. Resolve Conflicts
    6. Conclude Written Proof
    As I learn more about the GPS the more I think about how detailed this process is. I admit, my first thoughts on this were that it just seemed like way too much to do and way too complicated, but the more Mark talked about it and gave examples in his presentation I realized that this is something that is here to help us document our research and accurate in our findings. Even though it may take a long time to go through this process, at least we can sit back and look at it in the end and know that we did a thorough job on researching and citing. I am also confident that years down the road when our posterity is looking at the information that they will be glad we spent that extra time so they won't have to do the research all over again.

    If you would like to learn more about the Genealogical Proof Standard, visit Mark's website at his blog Think Genealogy. On Mark's blog, he has links to the presentation he gave at the conference as well as a printout of the GPS. Thanks again Mark for the great presentation!