Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Don't Forget the Ladies

When searching Google Books and other digital scans of out-of-print books, don't forget to search for your female ancestors as well. While searching for a male ancestor in the 19th century, I stumbled upon a reference to his wife in a published list of real estate transactions for St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1890s. I had not bothered to search for her name.

That's a mistake I will not repeat.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Genealogy Short Courses in Feb-March

We are running our "short courses" again this February/March:

Organizing Genealogical Information-Meets Tuesday/Thursday evenings

More details:

Constructing Genealogical Database Searches-Meets Tuesday/Thursday afternoons

More details:

If there are questions, please let me know. If you were enrolled in a previous session and had difficulties, email me to be added at no cost in the appropriate session.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Overlapping Search Results

I realize that not everyone searches digital databases for names that are repetitive--the way "Tamme Tammen" is.

However, I discovered a nuance in the search results at GenealogyBank that caused the word "Tammen" to be a "hit" for Tamme as a first name and Tammen as a last name. Apparently, the proximity feature of the "first name" and "last name" part of the search interpreted "Tammen" as being two words.

The image can a discussion can be see here: http://rootdig.blogspot.com/2013/02/tamme-tammen-two-hits-in-one.html

Saturday, February 9, 2013

American Memory Collection at Library of Congress

When was the last time you checked out the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress website? There is an excellent collection of digital maps, information on Women's History, digitized books on "American Expansion," and more. All of it is catalogued and organized--which is not always true about digital images on sites such as Google Books, Archive.org, etc.

Join Michael in Salt Lake May-June 2013

We've set the dates for our 2013 Family History Research Trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City in May. Join us for a week of genealogical research in the world's largest genealogical library between 29 May and 5 June. Don't wait pre-register today for only $50. Balance of registration is due 1 April 2013. It is not too early to start planning for 2013. 

The complete registration price is only $150--that's a bargain compared to other trips. This fee includes pre-trip planning assistance, morning presentations at 8:00 every day the library is open during our trip, onsite consultations, assistance in learning to use the equipment at the library, quick on the fly questions, and follow-up assistance as needed. 

Travel arrangements are on your own. We stay at the Salt Lake Plaza where we have  pre-tax rate of $90 a night. The Plaza is next door to the library--very convenient. 

Our research trip dates for 2013 are a starting on the 29th of May at 6:30 PM with a hotel check out date of 5 June 2013. Our registration price is $175---with a deposit of $50. Deadline for registration is 15 April 2013 (refund if you cancel by 15 March 2013). We'll be posting additional details later this summer but that's pretty much the essence of the trip. Travel arrangements are not included.  Our group size has traditionally been small and we plan on keeping it that way.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Are You "Testing" the Database?

When using a "new to me" database, I frequently "test" it to see if it responds the way I "think" it should and if there appear to be a "correct" number of entries in the database.

When I search a database of Illinois marriages and I see only a handful for one entire year, it makes me wonder.You can read the entire blog post here.

If you cannot find the entries of interest, the problem is not always you.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bureau of Land Management Office tract book webinar released

Tract book entry from Ohio--1821
The Bureau of Land Management Office tract books are a good source for additional information on your homesteading or federal land acquiring ancestors. This material supplements what is in the homestead file, allows you to see names of neighboring claims, even if those claims were not completed. If you've ever wondered who might have started a claim near your ancestor, but never completed it--these books are the way to find out. 

Our webinar on using the books (most of which are available for free on FamilySearch) is only $6 and goes through several examples, in Ohio, Illinois, and Nebraska for a variety of purchase types. If you've never used the tract books because you found them too confusing, let this webinar cut through the confusion.

You can order the recording and handout for $6 via this link:

If you registered for the webinar, but were unable to attend, please let me know and I'll send a complimentary link.