Neat Ideas from the National Genealogical Society Conference


Here are a ten of my most favorite experiences, most of which were FREE, at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Raleigh:

FamilySearch for more writing ideas.
Palatines to America had a useful handout containing a What is the Relationship? Form. If you get confused between Great Nephews and 3rd Cousin Once Removed this handy dandy template would be helpful.
National Archives’ (NARA) updated handout listed the links to their most used records. I sometimes get lost on their site so this “Just the Facts, Ma’am” was nice.
History Hub, an online site with blogs, discussion boards and community pages for anyone interested in history. That was news to me and a place I plan on checking out.
Federation of Genealogical Societies publishes a quarterly electronic magazine for only $15.00/year? That’s just $3.00 per issue!
ew York Genealogical and Biographical Society as I want to get back into researching some of my hubby’s Long Island folks. As a member, besides the wonderful journal, you get access to Findmypast AND the New York Public Library online.
USGenWeb Project had a laminated postcard with the 88 Ohio counties – very useful for me to track my people from Trumbull to Stark to Darke to Mercer and finally, to Van Wert. I learned from an attendee I’ve been mispronouncing my dad’s birth city my whole life – Celina is pronounced Seh lie nah and not Seh lee na. Who Knew?!
Fun Stuff for Genealogists had cute t-shirts, inexpensive jewelry, archive materials and historic map reproductions. See their full catalog online. I bought a tree bead and a brass tree charm.
Ohio Genealogical Society gave me a few ideas about my darling Duers who left so few records in their travels across that state. The volunteer even consulted his own resources to see if my folks were named (they weren’t but it was a valiant attempt on his part).
Mastering Genealogical Documentation by Thomas Jones with the plan on working through it this summer. You can purchase a copy through the National Genealogical Society.

I’m hoping to be able to attend next year, too. Paths to Your Past will be held in Grand Rapids, Michigan May 2-5, 2018.

Improving Your Genealogy Skills Semester II

Now that the holidays are behind us it’s time to look ahead and schedule some genealogy training. What would you like to learn more about this year? Maybe it’s finally understanding DNA or getting serious about writing that family history you keep putting off. Perhaps you’re stuck on a few lines and need some fresh ideas. Whatever you hope to learn, there are wonderful webinars that you can view in the comfort of your own home. Let’s start with the free ones first!

Legacy Family Trees 2017 offerings are now available and you can register for multiple webinars at once. It pays to register so you can get the syllabus. If something comes up and you can’t attend, no worries! The tape is available for the first week for free. The Board for Certification of Genealogists offers monthly webinars on the Legacy site, too, so don’t miss those offerings

Like to participate as you learn? Then become a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and take part in their upcoming discussions held via Go To Meeting. You are expected to be engaged either through your microphone or via chat. You can use your computer, tablet or phone to attend. Two sessions are available for each topic – one in the afternoon and one in the evening. In January, “Writing as You Go with Elissa Scalise Powell and Running a Successful APG Chapter with Lois Mackin” will be offered. February brings “Creating Genealogy Classes and Workshops with Lois Mackin.” The meetings are free but you must be a member of APG to attend. Visit APG for more details.

The National Genealogical Society Conference will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina May 10-13. Early Bird registration is now open via the NGS site. Don’t delay – the price to attend rises closer to the event.

Don’t want to travel far but love in person camaraderie and collaboration with other passionate genealogists? Then check out your local societies, libraries and archives for their offerings. In the Tampa Bay, Florida area, Thomas MacEntree recently held an interactive webinar through the Tampa public library and Lisa Marie Cook will be offering workshops at the Largo library in February.

Rather work on your own? Then purchase a workbook and pace yourself. Mastering Genealogical Proofs by Tom Jones is available via Kindle or Paperback on Amazon. Also on Amazon is Blaine Bettinger’s Genetic Genealogy in Practice. If you’re an NGS member, check out the site for a discount on both.

It never ceases to amaze me that I learn something new from every class I take. Additionally, I learn a bunch from reading and writing blogs. A few days ago, I was the guest blogger for AncestorCloud so check out Using S.M.A.R.T.’s to Crystallize Your Genealogy Goals. Happy Hunting!

News from the National Genealogical Society Conference

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 4 May 2016.

Greetings on Star Wars Day!  How appropriate that the start of this year’s NGS Conference is on May 4th (Force) be with you.  If you’re following me on Twitter you may have seen my tweet this AM.  One of the sound technicians at the conference who was working hard to make the sessions available live told me he is really interested in genealogy and was so excited to learn about family history while he did his primary job.  When he showed me his travel mug – of Darth Vader with the words “I Am Your Father”- I had to take his picture and send it out into the universe.  It was a perfect way to start the day!

I mentioned in my last blog I didn’t think I was going to be able to write until the weekend after I return home from the conference but I need to share a few events that have me really excited.

The first was the Board for Certified Genealogists “On the Clock” Dutch Treat Dinner that was held at Bravo Italiano Ristaurante on 17th Street in Ft. Lauderdale Tuesday evening.  There were 42 attendees consisting of Certified Genealogists, wanna be’s and family/friends.  Russ and James, the restaurant co-owners, and their staff did a phenomenal job making sure that our party was accommodated.  The food and atmosphere was superb!  I cannot convey how nice it is to be with a group of people who get excited about that serendipitous photo find of Great Aunt Betsy or can relate to the time you slogged through a violent rainstorm only to discover that the rural cemetery is now on private property you can’t access.  It was heartwarming!

I don’t know about you but I’ve not had much luck with connecting hubby’s or my dna that I had done through Ancestry.com.  I haven’t had it redone with the new dna kit but with the old one, my closest connection was Marie Antoinette.  I’m not making this up.  For the record, she didn’t really say “Let them eat cake” but that’s for a different blog.  Apparently others have had great match up success.  Today, I met 3rd cousins who found each other through Ancestry.com’s match.  They had never met in person before today and asked if I would snap a few pictures of them together at the conference.  They had a remarkable resemblance!  I was honored that they asked me to take their picture of that special meeting.  It was like living Long Lost Family in person!

When the Exhibition Hall opened after the keynote address, I never would have guessed what amazing event was in store for me.  I was meandering along when I came upon the booth of ArkivDigital, a Swedish Genealogical & Historical Research site online.  I had used the site once before, when I was in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library last spring. It helped me obtain the Swedish names of my husband’s maternal great grandfather, his first wife and their children.  I had tried to find information about the second wife, of whom my husband is descended from but I had no luck.  One of the ladies at the table asked me if I had any Swedish research needs and I responded that I had a major brick wall and that I absolutely hate doing Swedish research because I just don’t understand it.  She laughed and said I should speak with her co-worker who was engaged in a conversation with someone else because Swedish research is not difficult.  Yeah, right, I’m thinking.  Soon I was introduced to Kathy Meade who recommended I write down any dates I had for the ancestor and she would look them up in her database.  Since I was volunteering as a room monitor for the next session I had to run; I told Kathy I’d be back later in the day.  The other lady said she was sure that Kathy would resolve my brick wall.

After the next session ended I went online and wrote down what I knew – birth date from the death certificate, marriage date from the marriage license, death date from the death certificate, 1900-1930 census info, a few years of City Directory listings and the cemetery record.  The death certificate did not list a maiden name, of course.  The marriage record had the name of Johnson but I always figured it was wrong because she married a Johnson.  Perhaps instead, they were cousins.

I had the place of birth as Sard, Sweden but I’d never been able to find that place name.  A colleague told me she thought the place must have existed once in a rural area and was no more.  Kathy said she never heard of Sard and thought it might be a mistranslation or misunderstanding by a family member.  She recommended focusing just on known dates.  Into her database she entered the birthdate and Voila! there shows up the birth record, baptism date, census and parish exit emigration record.  I was stunned.  The first name wasn’t Louisa, it was Louvisa.  The last name wasn’t Johnson, it was Jonnason.  The emigration date matched the US census records AND she was from the same area that her future husband was from.  More research is needed but it is possible she went to the US because his first wife had died and there was small children left motherless.

Louvisa had worked as a maid in Sweden and her mother had died a few years before she emigrated.  She left behind two sisters and her father.  Once the shock of the find wore off I started crying.  Then I called my husband who told me to stop crying.  I then got up and did a happy dance.  I understand that in most public locations people observing my behavior would most likely make a judgement that I was mentally ill but at the convention I was soon joined by other attendees who had overheard what was happening.  They joined in the fun.  I tried to buy Kathy lunch but she said no.  Once I get home I’m purchasing the program AND taking her 4 Swedish research classes on Legacy.  I am sincere when I say this was worth the entire price of the conference.  If you are stumped with your Swedish line I highly recommend checking out ArkivDigital and Kathy’s Legacy classes.  Clearly, the Force was with me today at the conference!

12+ More Genealogical Gems to Use

 

Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 20 Dec 2015.

Last post was my 12 most favorite free genealogy sites and today is my 12 favorite paid sites. I have placed these in alphabetical order and not by preference:

1. Ancestry.com – since they own just about everything in the genealogical world it’s very hard not to  subscribe to them.  I do have issues with their new website, phantom hints, relationship help that comes and goes, removal of records and not adding new databases but for now, I still use them.  Just learned there is an AARP discount and I will be going after that when I renew in 2 months.  Complete access is $389.00 per year.  OUCH!  

2, Association of Professional Genealogists – “an international organization dedicated to supporting those engaged in the business of genealogy through advocacy, collaboration, education, and the promotion of high ethical standards.”  Subscribers are $45.00 annually, Professional Members $100.00.  Well worth it for the webinars, journal and eNewsletter! Additionally, members get discounts to many paid sites.

3, Board for Certification of Genealogists – Even if you have no desire to become a Certified Genealogist this site is valuable!  Check out the Skillbuilding, Work Samples and Genealogy Standards which are free.  If you decide to become certified, the cost is $75.00 initially, followed by $300.00 when your portfolio is submitted (1 year deadline).  

4. FindMyPast.com – Similar to Ancestry with different records.  Cost varies depending on plan purchased.  I got a year free due to being a member the National Genealogical Society but it would have cost me $99.95.  Since I’ve had trouble uploading my tree I won’t be purchasing this anytime soon but it was nice for a year.  

5. Fold3.com – an ancestry.com owned site, currently I’m not a member but I join periodically.  For military history it’s a must have.  If you’re an ancestry member it’s currently $39.95 a year – half the regular price.  So maybe, I’ll upgrade….

6. JStor – is a digital library with books and journals (about 1700) that are intellectual in nature.  Many libraries and educational institutions are members so check out if you get an alumni password.  If not, some access is free (but not much) and you can purchase an article if you have to, cost varies.   

7. New England Historicand Genealogical Society – the database, AmericanAncestors.org is free, however, if you are planning to visit the library in Boston, it is not free.  This is a nonprofit organization that also offers research assistance (for an additional fee but discounted), an awesome magazine, journal, weekly email update and seminars.  Well worth it for $89.95 a year.

8. National Genealogical Society – the journal, the magazine, the conference, the discounts, the store – wow, that’s a lot of genealogy goodness.  Annual membership is $65.00.

9, Radaris – the place to find the living! “Radaris is a universal people directory and an information indexing system about people.”  Trying to find long lost cousin Joe – this site will help.  If you just want a report it will cost .95.  Premium memberships can cost up to $49.95 per MONTH.  I only purchase a report if I’m desperate as I usually can find people through other methods – Facebook, Linkedin, etc.

10, Spokeo – a more inexpensive way to find the missing – A 6 month membership is $4.95 per month.  They do offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee that I’ve never tried so I can’t attest to what that offer is.  I don’t currently belong to this, either, but I’ve gleaned info from this site to help me locate free information in the past.  

11 Your Local Genealogy Society – because you need to hang out with people who get excited about your finds.  Mine offers trainings and research help for novices.  Cost is $17.00 a year.

12. Your State Genealogy Society – or whichever state your ancestors’ resided.  My state offers a wonderful journal, newsletter, links to sites around my state, posting for help and webinars.  For $25.00 a year it’s the best deal around!

Bonus – The sites mentioned above are not the only for pay genealogy sites around but the ones I use the most.  Every couple of years I join newspaperarchive.com but until they add some new newspapers, I’ve maxed them out.  I would highly recommend them, though, if you haven’t ever been a member.

Yikes!  I totaled the amount and I’ve spent $776.85 this year.  Guess when I retire Ancestry will be accessed only from the library.