Register for Webinar Wednesday - Have Swedish Roots and Don't Know How to Get Started? by Kathy Meade

Sweden
Logowhite

Learn how to trace your Swedish roots this Wednesday. This webinar, presented by Kathy Meade and hosted by Legacy Family Tree Webinars will cover naming patterns, Swedish spellings, and how to locate parishes. The presentation will provide an overview of emigration records, passenger lists, census records, and church records--and how to locate and use these valuable resources.

Join us and Kathy Meade for the live webinar Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Registerbut

Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

Not sure if you already registered?

On the Upcoming Webinars tab, login to view the webinars you are already signed up for (available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers).

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

Meadekathy-144Kathy Meade is the North American representative for ArkivDigital AD AB, a company that offers online access to newly photographed images of Swedish historical records. Kathy has spent more than ten years giving presentations, writing articles and helping persons with Swedish genealogy. She serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Nordic Family Genealogy Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago. Kathy spent seven years living and working in Sweden and Norway where she learned to read both languages.

View Kathy's other webinars here.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Ancestors please! How to ask for help online

Do you remember in the old days when we had to ask for help about an ancestor by submitting a written query to a publication like Everton's Genealogical Helper? The other direct way was to write to people who had the same surname and hope that they would respond and have a common ancestor.

Things have changed since then! So much of what we do as genealogists in now online. What hasn't changed is that we still need to ask people for help. We still need information that can only be found locally and we need information that is unpublished and resides only in personal family archives.

Asking for help online can be frustrating especially when you are crowd-sourcing, in other words asking a group of people to help you find an answer or give you suggestions.

WalleckJoseph-1916-deathcert-small
Death Certficate for Joseph Walleck, 1916, from the Pennsylvania, Death Certificates database, 1906-1963, on Ancestry.com

When the internet first started,  genealogists went in droves to forums such as provided by Ancestry.com and Rootsweb. While forums are still important, we are just as likely to make connections by posting on our Facebook wall or a Facebook group dedicated to a surname or a geographic location such as a county.

The great thing about asking questions online is that genealogists truly want to help. The trick is making a positive experience for both the person seeking the information and the person providing it.

Here are some tips to help make the experience a good one for both you and the people helping you. For the record, I have made all of these mistakes myself! I'm hoping after I write this post that I will get all those errors out of the way!

1) Ask a specific question

It's fine to start by saying that you want to research Pleasant Ann Clawson, born 1823 and died 1902 in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, that doesn't really tell people exactly what you are after. Pleasant Ann is my 3rd great grandmother. What I really need to know is who were her parents.  Better to start with "Who were the parents of Pleasant Ann Clawson, (1823-1902)?" so that people can help you answer exactly what you are looking for.

Likewise, my 2nd great grandfather, Joseph Walleck came over from "Bohemia" around 1863. A specific question to ask would be "Where in Bohemia did Joseph Walleck (1841-1916) come from? That will tell people that you are focused on his ancestral origins rather than his history in the United States. This question will also alert Bohemian-experienced  genealogists that you need help with immigration or information about the old country.

2) Provide an overview of what you know

The number one thing that happens when you ask people for help is that they want to help you! While this is wonderful it also begins the frustrating dance of watching people do the exact same research you have already spent hundreds of hours doing on your target ancestor. Then you end up,  bit by bit, dripping out the details of what you have already found. Yes, there are two people in that county with the same name. No, they are not the same person. No, my ancestor wasn't married twice.

The best way to help yourself and those who want to help you is to provide to them what you already know. The thing is you can't easily do that in a Facebook post. There isn't enough space. The best solution is to write a profile of your ancestor in a blog post, preferably with citations, that lists everything you already know about them. That allows you to share a short link on Facebook. Anyone who is truly interested will click the link to find out what you know before they start helping you.

If you're not keen on writing a profile you could create a simple document list and sort it by source. For instance, you could list all the documents you found on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org etc. and perhaps provide links to the documents. Then the people who want to help you will see what you have already found and skip those searches.

3) Thank everyone for their help

This may seem obvious, but be sure to thank everyone for their help even if they weren't able to provide any new information. This is the number one complaint I hear from volunteers who help others with their research. After the information is sent off not so much as a thank you is ever sent in reply. I can understand why this happens. Perhaps the person receiving the email got new ideas from the information and they went off searching again as genealogists are bound to do. Then they simply forgot about the person who sent the email. Try to send that thank you email right away. It will make a great impression and will encourage that person to help you and others in the future.


Marian Pierre-Louis is the Social Media Marketing Manager for Legacy Family Tree. She is also the host of The Genealogy Professional podcast. Check out her webinars in the Legacy library.


New Legacy QuickTip Video - Working With Gaps

We have another great Legacy QuickTip Video for you today! Learn:

  • How to identify possible "gaps of unusual size" in Legacy, such as the first child was born too long after the marriage, too many years between the births of children, and more
  • How to turn on or off individual potential problem symbols
  • How to create a list of potential problems in your family file

This QuickTip was presented live during the after-webinar party of this week's Researching With Karen 2! webinar by Karen Clifford.

Click here for the video.

Thumb-gaps

Click here for more Legacy QuickTip videos.


More than 370,000 high-quality digital images of Ireland Parish Records now online for free

Ireland

National Library of Ireland Launches Parish Records Website!

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has said that the digitisation of its holding of parish records should transform and greatly enhance genealogy services in Ireland.  The NLI today (08.07.15) officially launched a new web-repository of parish records, dating from the 1740s to the 1880s. 

Speaking at the launch of the new site, the Acting Director of the National Library, Catherine Fahy said:  “The Library’s holding of parish records are considered to be the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census.  Up to now, they have only been accessible on micro-film and, as such, those interested in accessing the records had to visit the National Library.  This new web resource provides unlimited access to all members of the public to records covering 1,086 parishes from throughout the island of Ireland. 

“This access to the parish records will be transformative for genealogy services, in particular as they will allow those based overseas to consult the records without any barriers.  Effectively, the digitisation of the records is an investment in community, heritage and in our diaspora-engagement,” said Ms Fahy. 

The parish registers website will contain more than 370,000 high-quality, digital images of microfilm reels. 

The National Library microfilmed the parish records in the 1950s and 1960s.  Some additional filming of registers from a small number of Dublin parishes took place during the late 1990s. 

As a result of this work, the NLI holds microfilm copies of more than 3,550 registers from the vast majority of Catholic parishes in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The start date of the registers varies from the 1740/50s in some city parishes in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick, to the 1780/90s in counties such as Kildare, Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny. Registers for parishes along the western seaboard generally do not begin until the 1850/1860s.  

Catherine Fahy said: “Apart from this being the Library’s most significant genealogy project, this project is our most ambitious digitisation programme to date. The website builds on and extends the NLI's existing digital library infrastructure, leveraging many open-source technologies.  It has been designed to be fully responsive, working across mobile, tablet and desktop devices.” 

“In using the website for family or community searches, we would recommend that members of the public consult with their local family history resource to help them refine their search.  The website does not contain any transcripts or indexes, so for a search to be successful, some known facts about a person’s life will be necessary.  Effectively, those who access the new online resource will be able to cross-reference the information they uncover, and identify wider links and connections to their ancestral community by also liaising with local genealogical services or family history resources.” 

Speaking at today’s launch An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD, said: “I would like to congratulate the National Library on their project to make the Catholic Parish registers available online.  Given the devastating fire in the Four Courts in 1922, in which so many records were lost, these registers are considered the single most important record of Irish life prior to the 1901 census.   

“They will be of great value to experts in the areas of history and genealogy, but also of tremendous interest to people here in Ireland and the Irish diaspora around the world.  No doubt the registers will contribute to the number of genealogical tourists to Ireland, as people of Irish descent access these records online and decide to visit their ancestral home place.” 

Minister Heather Humphreys said: “This new digital resource will help people at home and abroad who are interested in tracing their ancestry. The website provides access to church records dating back up to 270 years and includes details like the dates of baptisms and marriages, and the names of the key people involved. The records feature the baptisms of some very well-known historical figures, such as the 1916 Leaders Padraig Pearse and Thomas McDonagh. 

“Making this kind of material available online should help to boost genealogy tourism, and will complement the work of local historical centres in communities around the country. As we approach the centenary of the 1916 Rising next year, I am keen to make as much historical material as possible available online, so we can encourage people around the world to reconnect with their Irish roots.” 

Online access to the new website is free of charge. 

For more information, visit http://registers.nli.ie/.

Ireland Webinars

Want to learn more about how to find your Irish ancestors? Our webinar library has nine classes to either get you started with Irish research or to help you with the more advanced research techniques. Click here for the classes.


Making a Federal Case Out Of It by Judy Russell - subscribers-only webinar now available to watch

2015-07-10-blogimage500

The recording of last Friday's members-only webinar, "Making a Federal Case Out of It" by Judy Russell is now available to view for our webinar subscribers at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com. Some great comments:

  • I am not sure I would have had the courage to tackle this level of research without the guidance of an experienced legal researcher like Judy Russell. Without downplaying the obstacles, she gave a clear path through the steps needed to open up what is clearly an area rich with genealogical information. So, heads in I go! Thanks, Judy.
  • I could listen to Judy every day of the week. I love her delivery, her knowledge, and her presentations. That today's webinar was "members only" is just one more reason to have a membership with Legacy...so worth it!!
  • I just love Judy Russell! She is such a wonderful presenter. Can't wait to hear her again, in fact, I'm going to listen to one of her old webinars now! (smile)

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 28 minute recording of "Making a Federal Case Out Of It" is now available to view in our webinar library. Watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 247 classes, 364 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,071 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Have Swedish Roots and Don't Know How to Get Started? by Kathy Meade. July 22.
  • Storyboard Your Family History by Lisa Alzo. July 29.
  • Mending Broken Ties: Reconstructing Family Trees Sawed by Slavery by Melvin J. Collier. July 31.
  • What's in a Name? Trouble! by Ron Arons. August 5.
  • Power Platting - Technology Tools to Create Pictures from Property Descriptions by Chris Staats. August 12.
  • Discovering Your Kentucky Ancestors by Mark Lowe. August 19.
  • Digital Family Reunions by Devin Ashby. August 21.
  • German Names and Naming Patterns by Jim Beidler. August 26.
  • Break Down Brick Walls in Eastern European Research - Tips, Tools and Tricks by Lisa Alzo. September 2.
  • Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online by Kathy Meade. September 9.
  • Technology and Techniques for Differentiating Two People with the Same Name by Geoff Rasmussen. September 11.
  • Researching Your Dutch Ancestors by Yvette Hoitink. September 16.
  • Researching Your Ancestors in England and Wales by Kirsty Gray. September 23.
  • Maps Tell Some of the Story for the African-Ancestored Genealogist by Angela Walton-Raji. September 25.
  • Using Periodicals to Find Your Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. September 30.
  • Wearables and Genealogy - Wacky and Wild or Worth the Wait by Thomas MacEntee. October 7.
  • Colonial Immigration - The English Pioneers of Early America by Beth Foulk. October 14.
  • Billions of Records, Billions of Stories by Devin Ashby. October 16.
  • What Happened to the State of Frankland - Using Tennessee's Pre-Statehood Records by Mark Lowe. October 21.
  • Complex Evidence - What is It? How Does it Work? And Why Does it Matter? by Warren Bittner. October 28.
  • Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford. November 4.
  • Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard. November 11.
  • Bringing it All Together and Leaving a Permanent Record by Tom Kemp. November 13.
  • Mapping Madness by Ron Arons. November 18.
  • Stories in Stone - Cemetery Research by Gail Blankenau. December 2.
  • Thinking about Becoming an Accredited Genealogist? by Apryl Cox and Kelly Summers. December 9.
  • Pointing Fingers at Ancestors' Siblings - Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research by Marian Pierre-Louis. December 16.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2015 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Researching with Karen 2! Free webinar by Karen Clifford now online for limited time

2015-07-15-blogimage500

The recording of today's webinar, "Researching with Karen!" by Karen Clifford PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view for free at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for a limited time. Some great comments:

  • Karen skilfully ties together all the resources that we learned about separately, but didn't think to use together. Another eye-opener!!
  • As usual, Karen was overflowing with good information. Not only is she helping several folks directly, she is training us all to be better genealogists. Thanks Karen and Geoff for another great lesson!
  • Especially Wonderful to see solving pre 1850 questions.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 51 minute recording of "Researching with Karen 2!" PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - karen2 - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, July 20, 2015.

B_DIGGINGDigging Deeper: Using Essential Pre-1850 Records by Karen Clifford 24.95

352 pages | Published Sep 2011 | PDF (download-only) edition

Click here to purchase for 24.95.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 247 classes, 363 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,071 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Have Swedish Roots and Don't Know How to Get Started? by Kathy Meade. July 22.
  • Storyboard Your Family History by Lisa Alzo. July 29.
  • Mending Broken Ties: Reconstructing Family Trees Sawed by Slavery by Melvin J. Collier. July 31.
  • What's in a Name? Trouble! by Ron Arons. August 5.
  • Power Platting - Technology Tools to Create Pictures from Property Descriptions by Chris Staats. August 12.
  • Discovering Your Kentucky Ancestors by Mark Lowe. August 19.
  • Digital Family Reunions by Devin Ashby. August 21.
  • German Names and Naming Patterns by Jim Beidler. August 26.
  • Break Down Brick Walls in Eastern European Research - Tips, Tools and Tricks by Lisa Alzo. September 2.
  • Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online by Kathy Meade. September 9.
  • Technology and Techniques for Differentiating Two People with the Same Name by Geoff Rasmussen. September 11.
  • Researching Your Dutch Ancestors by Yvette Hoitink. September 16.
  • Researching Your Ancestors in England and Wales by Kirsty Gray. September 23.
  • Maps Tell Some of the Story for the African-Ancestored Genealogist by Angela Walton-Raji. September 25.
  • Using Periodicals to Find Your Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. September 30.
  • Wearables and Genealogy - Wacky and Wild or Worth the Wait by Thomas MacEntee. October 7.
  • Colonial Immigration - The English Pioneers of Early America by Beth Foulk. October 14.
  • Billions of Records, Billions of Stories by Devin Ashby. October 16.
  • What Happened to the State of Frankland - Using Tennessee's Pre-Statehood Records by Mark Lowe. October 21.
  • Complex Evidence - What is It? How Does it Work? And Why Does it Matter? by Warren Bittner. October 28.
  • Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford. November 4.
  • Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard. November 11.
  • Bringing it All Together and Leaving a Permanent Record by Tom Kemp. November 13.
  • Mapping Madness by Ron Arons. November 18.
  • Stories in Stone - Cemetery Research by Gail Blankenau. December 2.
  • Thinking about Becoming an Accredited Genealogist? by Apryl Cox and Kelly Summers. December 9.
  • Pointing Fingers at Ancestors' Siblings - Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research by Marian Pierre-Louis. December 16.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2015 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


I Found My Great Great Grandfather Online -- Now What!!??? (Verifying Records Found On Webpages)

You just found a church record for the marriage of your great great grandfather, or the record of your 4th great grandparents on a passenger list of a ship to the New World in 1777 - wow! But you have questions - how accurate is this information? How can you verify it? The first thing researchers need to remember is that all records have the potential for error once they have been transcribed.

Humans can make mistakes, a transcriber can miss a line or misinterpret an unfamiliar name. This results in the possibility of a culmination of errors with each succeeding transcription. Deliberate altering of the records (such as adding details the transcriber believes are correct; changing the spelling of names etc) results in even more possibility of corruption.

Generations (Versions) of a Record

Each generation or version that a record goes through increases its chance of errors. Researchers should always try to use records as close to the original as possible. Let's go through an actual example:

Many of the records and databases on websites such as Olive Tree Genealogy are transcribed from microfilm of the original. They can be considered a second generation level transcription. This means they have one chance of human error (assuming the original minister made no mistakes). If the original minister or clerk made errors then they have two changes of human error. In most cases these records may be considered as good as book-published records.

LFT Generations of Records 1881-2

LFT Generations of Records 1881-1

The two images above illustrate an error made by an indexer who indexed the name of a spouse as "Clanke Peer" But the image clearly shows the correct name of "Blanche Peer"

Records transcribed from published versions (such as the Marriage Records of the Reformed Dutch Church in New Amsterdam/New York used with permission of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record who published them in series), are third generation, having been transcribed from the original to the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record (NYGBR) to the website publishing them.

Records at 3rd generation level stand a greater chance of error. How useful they are depends on how reliable and accurate the working publication is. In this example the NYGBR is considered a scholarly journal, is well regarded, and might therefore be considered trustworthy.

The following example is based on an interpretation and explanation of the number of generations an early New York will can go through before it ends up on a webpage or mailing list on the Internet.

An Example of Generations in Wills and Abstracts

1. Generation 1 (original) The original will. Many have been microfilmed by the LDS church

2. Generation 2 (2nd version/transcription) At the time of probate the will was copied into the book (or "liber") of wills. Microfilm of most of the early libers is available.

3. Generation 3 (3rd version/transcription) In the 19th Century a copy of the original libers was made. Microfilm of these is available from the LDS church.

4. Generation 4 (4th version/transcription) Abstracts were done and published as part of the Collections of the New York Historical Society. These are also available on CD-ROM

5. Generation 5 (5th version/transcription) Those abstracts were either scanned or retyped and made available as on-line databases on webpages.

6. Generation 6 (6th version/transcription) The Generation 5 on-line abstracts were posted on an e-mail list.

You can see how many times errors can be introduced, or parts of the records lost along the way. This holds true for all online records.

So what can you, the researcher, do?

1. Use original sources wherever possible.

2. If you can't use the original source be sure to carefully note where you found the information. Hopefully you will one day be able to consult the original to verify the transcript.

3. Scrutinize your source - is it reliable? Has it been altered? Was it taken from an original, or was it taken from a source further removed from the original?

4. Research your sources! Find out if there are better published records that are known to have fewer errors. Talk to those knowledgeable in the field, write emails and ask questions.

5. Don't accept everything you see in print. Be a savvy researcher and protect yourself from errors in your family tree.

The question you should ask yourself every time you access a webpage with information is:

HOW MANY GENERATIONS AWAY FROM THE ORIGINAL SOURCE IS THIS INFORMATION ?

The further removed it is, the more chance of error. Keeping that in mind will make for better and more accurate genealogy research.

 

Lorine McGinnis Schulze is a Canadian genealogist who has been involved with genealogy and history for more than thirty years. In 1996 Lorine created the Olive Tree Genealogy website and its companion blog. Lorine is the author of many published genealogical and historical articles and books.


Register for Webinar Wednesday - Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford

Logowhite

Feeling stuck? Have a difficult genealogy research problem? It may be time for a professional to assist. Join educator, author, and researcher, Karen Clifford, as she answers your questions and demonstrates how she solves genealogy cases. Seeing how someone else approaches a genealogy mystery can give you new ideas to apply for your own hunt.

Join us and Karen Clifford for the live webinar Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.

Registerbut

Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

Not sure if you already registered?

On the Upcoming Webinars tab, login to view the webinars you are already signed up for (available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers).

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

Cliffordkaren-144Karen Clifford develops and teaches multiple online genealogy courses at colleges inCalifornia and Utah. She is an Accredited Genealogist® Professional and a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association. She has been President/CEO of Genealogy Research Associates, Incorporated since 1997. Her years of professional research work lead to authoring college textbooks and do-it-yourself guidebooks covering both traditional and electronic genealogy research including several books: Becoming an Accredited GenealogistThe Complete Beginners Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Computer Program (updated 2011), and Digging Deeper: Using Essential Pre-1850 Records (2011). She was the founding President of the Monterey County Genealogy Society, a Director of the Monterey California Family History Center, President of the Utah Genealogical Association, a Vice President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and a Vice Chair of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogist (ICAPGen) where she continues to oversee Test Development and Test Quality Control.

View Karen's other webinars here.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


4 Ways to Research in a Cemetery

Genealogists love cemeteries! Cemeteries can be critical for finding information related to the births and deaths of our ancestors. When there is a lack of records sometimes the only information we have will be on a gravestone. In this article we'll discuss four ways you can expand your cemetery research.

1. Ancestor Research

If you are researching from afar you will likely use the Findagrave.com or billiongraves.com websites to help search for your ancestors' graves. The challenge with using a website rather than visiting in person is that it causes you to focus too tightly on a single ancestor. One of the greatest benefits of researching in a cemetery is discovering other ancestors in nearby plots. While you can't do this virtually you can sort of recreate the effect on Findagrave.com

Search for an ancestor that you know is listed in Findagrave.com. Next use the "Find all [surname] in:" feature which appears in the sidebar to the left. This will show you all the other people in that cemetery with the same surname. There are also options for searching the surname more broadly in the same town, county, and state. If you are searching for a common name that might not be practical but searching the same cemetery is always a good idea.

4WaystoResearchinaCemtery
FindaGrave.com

 

2. House Research

One of the best ways to use cemetery research is to research the history of your own house.  Maybe you've never considered doing that before! It can be as fun as researching your own family and you'll discover that the former residents of your house become almost like family after researching them.

If you live in a house that was built before 1900 then chances are good that the former residents are buried in one of the local cemeteries. You'll have to do deed research first to find out their names, followed up with census and vital record research but it shouldn't be too hard to track them down. Once you've discovered the former residents of your house visit the cemetery to learn more about them.

3. Local History Research

Genealogists typically have ancestors spread across a wide region or even multiple countries. Our ancestors just didn't stay put! The flip side of genealogical research is doing local history - research in your own back yard. Researching the local history of your town or village can give you a deep appreciation of the people who lived there before you.

Start your local history research with a tour of the oldest local cemetery. There you will likely discover the founders of your town. Walk through the cemetery and notice the surnames that are most prevalent. These will be the earliest families that stayed to help build the town into what it is today.

Also notice memorials or veterans markers. Get to know the people from your town who served in the American Revolution, the Civil War and other conflicts. You might even see gravestones for certain professions such as ship captains or fraternal organizations such as the Masons.

Next think about what interests you. Is it a certain time period like colonial America or a conflict like the Civil War? Choose some folks from the cemetery who intrigue you and put your genealogical skills to work. Learn about their lives through census and vital records and local history books. You may even consider blogging about them or sharing what you find with the local historical society. The one thing that is guaranteed to happen is that you will gain a richer appreciation of your town!

4. Carver / Art Research

There is so much more to cemetery research than just the names and dates on the gravestones. Have you ever noticed that gravestones are different shapes and sizes in different time periods? If you look closely you will see patterns that will help you identify the age of a stone quickly.

The art and letter carving on a gravestone also changes with time. The history of the development of stone carvers in America is quite fascinating. The earliest carvers came from Boston and were collectively known as the "Boston carvers." As the colonies grew, local carvers started to take over. There is often a relationship or association between the local carver and the people he memorialized in stone. It can be a fascinating journey to learn about the individual carvers represented in your local cemetery.

The art on the gravestones contains symbols that held greater meaning in a time when many people didn't know how to read. For instance, grapes represented Christianity and an hour glass reminds us that time flies and life is fleeting.

To learn more about the carvers and the art they created visit the Association for Gravestone Studies. For more in-depth information about carvers in early New England see Graven Images by Allan Ludwig or Gravestones of Early New England and the Men who Made Them 1653-1800 by Harriette Merrifield Forbes. For gravestone symbolism see Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography by Douglas Keister.

Have you done other kinds of cemetery research? Let me know!  

Marian Pierre-Louis is the Social Media Marketing Manager for Legacy Family Tree. She is also the host of The Genealogy Professional podcast. Check out her webinars in the Legacy library.


Pinning Your Family History - free webinar by Thomas MacEntee now online for limited time

2015-07-08-blog500

The recording of last night's excellent webinar, "Pinning Your Family History," by Thomas MacEntee is now available to view for free at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for a limited time. Some great comments:

  • Awesome! I learned a new skill within the first 10 minutes!
  • Didn't know there were so many different sites. Google - My Maps is something I am going to try. Thanks, Thomas! Great webinar.
  • Good job explaining to the few of us who haven't used Pinterest and showing us the possibilities of various other resources.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 30 minute recording of "Pinning Your Family History" is now available to view in our webinar library for free for a limited time. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - pinterest - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, July 13, 2015.

PinningYourFamilyFilePinning Your Family History by Thomas MacEntee 2.99

20 pages | Published Sep 2013 | PDF (download-only) edition

Click here to purchase for 2.99.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 245 classes, 361 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,069 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year (that's about the cost of 5 webinar CDs)
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Making a Federal Case Out of It by Judy Russell (bonus webinar for annual/monthly webinar subscribers only). July 10.
  • Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford. July 15.
  • Have Swedish Roots and Don't Know How to Get Started? by Kathy Meade. July 22.
  • Storyboard Your Family History by Lisa Alzo. July 29.
  • Mending Broken Ties: Reconstructing Family Trees Sawed by Slavery by Melvin J. Collier. July 31.
  • What's in a Name? Trouble! by Ron Arons. August 5.
  • Power Platting - Technology Tools to Create Pictures from Property Descriptions by Chris Staats. August 12.
  • Discovering Your Kentucky Ancestors by Mark Lowe. August 19.
  • Digital Family Reunions by Devin Ashby. August 21.
  • German Names and Naming Patterns by Jim Beidler. August 26.
  • Break Down Brick Walls in Eastern European Research - Tips, Tools and Tricks by Lisa Alzo. September 2.
  • Research Your Swedish Ancestors in Living Color Using ArkivDigital Online by Kathy Meade. September 9.
  • Technology and Techniques for Differentiating Two People with the Same Name by Geoff Rasmussen. September 11.
  • Researching Your Dutch Ancestors by Yvette Hoitink. September 16.
  • Researching Your Ancestors in England and Wales by Kirsty Gray. September 23.
  • Maps Tell Some of the Story for the African-Ancestored Genealogist by Angela Walton-Raji. September 25.
  • Using Periodicals to Find Your Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. September 30.
  • Wearables and Genealogy - Wacky and Wild or Worth the Wait by Thomas MacEntee. October 7.
  • Colonial Immigration - The English Pioneers of Early America by Beth Foulk. October 14.
  • Billions of Records, Billions of Stories by Devin Ashby. October 16.
  • What Happened to the State of Frankland - Using Tennessee's Pre-Statehood Records by Mark Lowe. October 21.
  • Complex Evidence - What is It? How Does it Work? And Why Does it Matter? by Warren Bittner. October 28.
  • Researching with Karen! by Karen Clifford. November 4.
  • Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard. November 11.
  • Bringing it All Together and Leaving a Permanent Record by Tom Kemp. November 13.
  • Mapping Madness by Ron Arons. November 18.
  • Stories in Stone - Cemetery Research by Gail Blankenau. December 2.
  • Thinking about Becoming an Accredited Genealogist? by Apryl Cox and Kelly Summers. December 9.
  • Pointing Fingers at Ancestors' Siblings - Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research by Marian Pierre-Louis. December 16.

Click here to register. Or click here register for multiple webinars at the same time.

Print the 2015 webinar brochure here.

See you online!