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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Why Didn’t I Think of This?



It is called Bullet Journaling.  I learned about this concept from the September 19, 2016 edition of MondaysWith Myrt

Myrt showed JenniferAlford’s blog post about bullet journaling. It made sense to me. A Google search on ‘bullet journal” got me to Howto Bullet Journal: The Absolute Ultimate Guide.

I’m sure that competent Evernote users have already been doing this using Evernote.  I’m struggling with how best to use Evernote – my organization leaves a lot to be desired. I use One Note for simple things.


So I’m thinking about bullet journaling.  What would work best for me? Physical notebook? Electronic?  Electronic makes more sense to me as long as I can keep it from getting too complex, and I do tend to over complicate things.  This will take some thought.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Back to School Blog Party






This post is for Elizabeth O’Neal’s Back to School BlogParty. The premise is a genealogy school and what our students need to learn.  Be sure to check into the Blog Party site throughout the month to get some helpful hints.

This topic is timely because I lead a special interest group for beginning genealogists for Indian River Genealogical Society.  We meet September through May so I’m preparing for our new season.

So… What do my group attendees need to know?



Cite Sources
Always document sources – even casual sources.  If you got information from cousin Edna, note that. Information from family interviews may not always be accurate, but we need to know where it came from. If a fact is from your own personal knowledge, note that, too. As research continues, sources get more verifiable and concrete. Sometimes it is important to know where misinformation comes from.

Question Everything
Even “official” documents may contain misinformation. The information on a death certificate, for example, is only as accurate as the knowledge of the person giving it. A young man may have lied about his age when enlisting in the military. A young woman may have fudged her age when applying for a marriage license.   Census records are often filled with misspellings, and erroneous information.

Don’t rely on one single document as absolute proof.  Verify! Verify! Verify!

Make Use of Free Resources
Subscription sites are great but there is a great deal of information available at no charge
and so many others

Continuing Education
Webinars
            LegacyFamilyTreeWebinars (free)           
Free weekly webinars.  Each webinar is available to view at no charge for one week following the live presentation.  Buying a subscription gives unlimited access to all previous webinars and the syllabus for each one. (more than 300 webinars)
            FamilySearch Classes and Webinars (free)
            AncestryAcademy (membership required)
            GeneaWebnarsCalendar – a listing of upcoming webinars

            Blogs
Read blogs by professional and amateur bloggers – especially those who are doing research similar to yours.              
Geneabloggers.com – a wealth of blogs and blogging resources


But most of all, they tell me what they need to know so that they can make progress along their genealogy journey.


           


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Back to Basics I – Census Records


 Census Data – Facts or Clues?

Following up on my previous post Family History From Census Records, I am reviewing my ancestors in census records and city directories. Discrepancies in census records can be a stark reminder that these records are only clues; and that a given census records alone cannot be deemed as a fact.

What’s wrong with this picture?


The image above shows the 1910 US Federal Census information recorded for the residence of my great grandparents, Michael and Elizabeth Schipp. Some of it is correct. 
  • ·         The surname is misspelled (not uncommon)
  •  ·         It shows that 5 of their daughters were married (correct) and living at that address (incorrect)
  •  ·         Daughter “Otela” is actually “Stella”.
  •  ·         Daughter Helen and her family do live with Helen’s parents. But Helen is listed twice. The other 4 married daughters are living at other addresses with their husbands and children. 
  •  ·         In spite of what the census shows, only Helen and Pauline were born in Minnesota; the older children were born in Poland.


What happened here? 
  • ·         What did the census taker ask?
    • o   If he asked the names of Michael and Elizabeth’s children, that’s exactly what he got. Did he specify that he only wanted those at this particular residence?
  • ·         Who gave the information?
    • o   That is not possible to know.
  • ·         Was there a language issue?
    • o   Very likely.


Verify! Verify! Verify!

Here’s the 1910 US Federal Census page that shows my grandmother Stella Schipp Ganas with her husband and family (highlighted).  Living next door is Stella’s sister Mary and her husband and family. 




Stella and Mary lived farther down the same street as their parents. But. Different Enumeration District; different census taker.

By the way, my grandfather was called “Nick” but his name was Ignatz in Polish, Ignatius in English.


Verify! Verify! Verify!



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Family History From Census Records

 
Last evening, I started reading COMMON PEOPLE subtitled: In Pursuit of My Ancestors by Alison Light.  So far I’ve read the preface and prologue and gotten only to page 59 of the content, but these few pages have inspired me to review my family's census records for the wealth of historical information they may hold.

Ms. Light began with little knowledge of her ancestry. She studied census records and from there was able to identify and then visit ancestral towns. She’s done an amazing amount of research beyond census records, but I was struck by how much information can be gleaned from the census.  I’ve always looked for obvious family living nearby but I rarely dive into understanding the character of a neighborhood.

What was the neighborhood like?
  • Single Family Homes?
  • Apartment buildings?
  • Boarding Houses?
  • Multiple generations living together?
  • Did surnames and/or birthplaces indicate a predominant nationality?
  • Many children or few per family?
  • What kinds of jobs did people have?

Did they move often? Or Never?
Did occupations change over time?

The “FAN club” (Friends, Associates, Neighbors)  is an important part of understanding our ancestors and our heritage.

I can’t wait to read the rest of Alison Light’s genealogy journey.





Saturday, August 27, 2016

Obscure American History


Much has been written about the World War II Japanese internment camps. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the government was gravely concerned about the possibility of Japanese government agents residing in the United States. While this might have been a reasonable fear at the time, the steps taken were extreme. More than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forced into internment camps – whether or not they were American citizens. 

What I did not realize until recently is that once the United States entered World War II, it also created German and Italian internment camps.

Google Search brings up some interesting reading about this little known slice of history.

For a broad overview, here are some Wikipedia links.







Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Couple Things



Writer’s Block:

Maybe it’s the phase of the moon. I have started 3 writing projects and all seem to have stalled.  One is on hold while I try to gather material. Another is on hold because there’s too much material and I can’t figure out how to prune it to make it manageable.  The third one is just stuck in limbo for some reason I haven’t figured out yet. 

Stalled Research (brother to writer’s block)

But here are some suggestions for jump starting stalled research.  Lorine McGinnis Schulze writes a wonderful blog called Olive Tree Genealogy. Her latest post is exactly what I need just now.
 
I think I’ll start by creating a timeline for someone who does not yet have one. Got to get those juices flowing again!



Sunday, August 14, 2016

The More Things Change.....


The more they stay the same.   Two very brief newspaper clippings:

Politics:



Terrorism:

Either of these could likely appear in one of today's newspapers. But they appeared 132 years ago in the St. Paul, Minnesota Daily Globe edition dated April 20, 1884.

!!!!!