Monday, June 27, 2016

Preserving & Sharing Our Family Treasures Summer Seminar

The DGS Summer Seminar in Dallas, Texas will feature  Denise Levenick,The Family Curator. The seminar takes place July 29-30 10 a.m. to 4:30 the 1st floor Auditorium J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. Parking is included in the seminar fee.

Friday, July 29, 2016

§  Session 1: Be Your Own Family ArchivistFamily historians who inherit photos, documents, and memorabilia, and genealogists who work with family collections, must often go beyond the role of researcher to become archivists and curators. This session introduces best practices for long-term preservation of family treasures including photos, film, documents, artifacts, and other heirlooms. We’ll discuss “what to save, what to toss,” how to choose appropriate archival storage containers, and where to set up your own home archive.

§  Session 2: How to Scan an ElephantPreserving family collections begins with a master plan for digitizing all kinds of materials. But, how do you scan an elephant? This session will give an overview of popular scanners and other devices to show you how to digitize awkward artifacts and oversize items, and highlight the apps, accessories, and expert tips to help you achieve great digital images.

§  Session 3: Caring for Keepsakes: The Top 10 Family TreasuresLearn how to care for the Top Ten Family Treasures from photographs to furniture, from love letters to lockets, clocks, and Bibles. Learn to identify common hazards such as silverfish, mold, acid migration, and how to safely store your heirlooms for easy research access.

§  Session 4: Dirty Pictures: Save Your Family Photos from RuinDirty negatives, smudged old photos, curled panorama pictures, and photos stuck in sticky albums. Learn how to rescue your family photos, albums, and scrapbooks from the ravages of time. This practical presentation will show you simple and safe methods for working with old and fragile family photos, as well as 20th century vintage snapshots and film.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

§  Session 1: Secrets in the Attic: Break Down Brick Walls with Home SourcesFamily history begins at home. Case studies highlight photos, documents, and hidden details that led to new kinships and previously unknown ancestors. From a crumbling Family Bible to a fading post-mortem photograph, follow the trail of “things they left behind” to solve genealogical mysteries with clues in family sources.

§  Session 2: You Can’t Take It With You: Estate Planning for GenealogistsWho will care for your family archive when you’re gone? This session will look at creative solutions for distributing family heirlooms when settling an estate, how to be an attractive donor to institutional archives, and how to prepare a simple genealogical codicil. We’ll also discuss options for preserving your family history stories and photos in legacy online digital archives.

§  Session 3: Heirloom Roadshow
The Heirloom Roadshow is coming and you can be part of it! Did you inherit a beautiful antique table or chair from your ancestor? Do you know how to preserve the historical and cash value of your treasure? Wondering how to preserve your ancestor’s military medals? Submit your keepsake preservation challenges to The Family Curator prior to the event for a chance to be featured in this interactive presentation where you’ll learn the best way to rescue, preserve, and archive your family heirlooms.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Flashback Thursday: What the census can do for your genealogy research

It is no secret that the census is one of the best tools that is available to genealogists. Even though it is a great resource, you need to realize that until 1940 it is a secondary source not a primary one. You don't know who give the information to the enumerator. Do you want to trust a neighbor to know all your family information? I don't!!

Having said that, there is an immense amount of information to be gleaned from the census returns. I am sure you are thinking U.S. censuses and yes they exist from 1790 (with the exception of 1890) but the U.S. is not the only country to take censuses. 

Great Britain, Canada and other countries also have censuses. Early French Canada censuses exist as well if your family goes back to Quebec or some of the maritime provinces. 

The more recent the census, the more information is included. To learn more you can go to the government census  website and get additional information.  The census site explains the censuses but the National Archives actually holds the records. 

They offer help for genealogist and it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the type of records that they have. I will go into more detail and each census in the future but for now if you are ready to get going, start with the 1940 census and go back from there.  

I am going to suggest that no matter which census you are going to look at, you print out a blank copy so that you know what each of the columns is asking. It will save you lots of misunderstandings. 

#genealogy #censusesandgenealogy

Monday, June 20, 2016

Genealogy website:Townland of Origin

My most popular blog post ever was my one about dispelling Irish genealogy myths. I have Joe Buggy to thank for the seeds of that post. I thought that I would reintroduce him to you and tell you a little about his website, Townland of Origin. 

Joe is extremely knowledgeable about Irish genealogy especially when it comes researching from North America. Originally from Ireland he is now based in the Washington DC area. He is an author and writes a bi-monthly column in the Irish genealogy magazine Irish Lives Remembered

He is a popular speaker both in the United States and in Ireland and his website will keep you abreast of the latest things that are happening in Irish genealogy. It is one fascinating post after another and be prepared to spend a bit of time catching up on the posts you have missed.  

Most of us who are Irish have come up against the same brick wall on at least one line, trying to figure out where in Ireland our ancestor came from. Thus the title, the holy grail of Irish genealogy is the townland of origin. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

NERGC Update

For those of us who never miss the NERGC it seems as if it takes forever waiting for the next conference. I used to love it that they had one every year and a half instead of two years but I do realize all the work and effort that goes into producing these conferences. 

The next NERGC conference is April 26-29, 2017. Blocks of rooms have been reserved at the Springfield Marriott and the Springfield Sheraton. Special rates are available for conference attendees. I have already reserved my room and I suggest if you are planning to attend you do the same. This is a popular conference and you don't want to be disappointed. 

Use the code CGI to get the conference rate. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Midwestern Roots 2016 Indianapolis, In.

Midwestern Roots will take place in at the Indianapolis Conference Center July 15-16 2016 features more than 30 sessions by nationally known speakers including Cece Moore, The Genetic Genealogist, from Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Genealogy Roadshow.This years theme is #Your Story. 

Most of the sessions will focus on using ever-changing and emerging technology and sources online. Other sessions will cover DNA, methodology, using traditional sources, and legal genealogy.

Pre-Conference activities will include a workshop for people who work or volunteer in genealogy collections, hands-on computer labs, writing sessions, and the day will end with an evening program.

Visit for more information and to register!

For information on places in Indiana to conduct genealogical research please follow this link

Accommodations are available at the Conference Center and at the Marriott East and LaQuinta. Be sure to ask for the conference rate. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

U.S. Naturalization Records on Family Search

Many of our ancestors came to the United States with the intention of never returning home. They had left bad times behind and were going to a new future. Part of this meant becoming an American citizen and cementing their role as Americans. 

Naturalization was a two-step process so there are two sets of paperwork for most petitioners.They first filed a declaration of intent after two years. After three more years they could file a petition for naturalization. You really want to see both pieces of paper if possible since one or the other may contain more information. 

Information that you can expect to find on naturalization records includes ancestor's names, birth place, port of entry, date of naturalization, location of naturalization, ship name , names of family and friends. However, the information in some states is much more complete and useful than in other states. 

Family Search is in the process of indexing and digitalizing naturalization records. Not all of them have been turned over and you may have to go look into the local courthouse to find your ancestor's naturalization. To determine if they were naturalized, you can go to the 1900 census and they were asked if they were citizens. 

I was able to locate the index cards for two of my ancestors in the Family Search database. Keep in mind that woman of this time period would not have been naturalized, she had the citizenship of her father or husband. 

Family Search is also looking for volunteers to help get the information searchable online. Go to their website for more information.