Wednesday, May 30, 2012

20 Minute Genealogist

20 Minute Genealogist

20 Minute Genealogist tree 

I recently came upon website that will help us know where we need to be concentrating our efforts in our research. It uses our family trees collected on New FamilySearch.  It also has an app available for your phone.  it is called "20 minute Genealogist" it's a fun site that gives a graphic representation of the work needed in our family trees.

Although it doesn't give you any further research information I can tell by looking at it that I need to focus more on my mother's side of the family!

20 Minute Genealogist
It is still in Beta test but like I said, a fun way to see where you are at in your family history work!

Happy Hunting,
Land Records
The use of land records are often overlooked in doing genealogical research and yet they have a vast amount of information available.  Looking at the Grantor and Grantee can sometimes give clues to family relationships.  Building a neighborhood picture also helps in defining relationships.  I recently began using  land records available from the Bureau of Land Management  according to their website, "they provide image access to more than three million Federal land title records for eastern Public land states, issued between 1820 and 1908." I was fortunate enough to find records on a couple of my ancestors.
transfer between William Mays and Ephraim B Tillotson

The land transfer is between William Mays, Private, Captain Harris's Company, Virginia Volunteers, War of 1812.  Now if I were looking for more information on William Mays, I would have gain an entirely new avenue to explore in his military records.  The deed states he was a Private in Captain Harris's Company. This information isn't something that people are traditionally looking for when they are accessing land records but can be a tremendous help in locating information about family members.

Luther Tillotson, Warren County Indiana
The above is an example of land acquired by Luther Tillotosn in Warren County Indiana, and lead to the discovery of a family journal about life on the frontier.

Happy Hunting:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Using Archives

I think it is about time that Peg and Mary Jane got back on the stick with this blog!  Yes?  We have both been extremely busy with many things.  We repent, and move forward.

In January I attended John Philip Colletta's class, "Beyond the Library: Using Original Source Repositories," at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG).  Of course taking any class from Dr. Colletta is an amazing experience, but an entire week?  I was in heaven.  He covered everything from Federal and State Archives to the County Courthouse to private collections--personal and corporate.

Of course, in order to access the majority of records in archives, one must venture out beyond technology and into a bricks and mortar facility, so a tour of the Utah State Archives was included.  The course was a great reminder of why I need to get out from behind this computer screen more often if I really want "the rest of the story".

But how does the everyday researcher learn how to use these archives?  Trial and error?  That was my standard method of operation until I took Dr. Colletta's class.  Today I received information from Anne Hartman, Editorial & Production Coordinator at the Society of American Archivists, about a new online publication that was created to help researchers both find and use archives.  This should speed us all up a bit.  She writes:
The Society of American Archivists recently published "Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research", a free online resource giving readers straight-to-the-point tips to help them adeptly utilize a collection for genealogy research. In the guide, Laura Schmidt (archivist at The Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College) describes how to locate archives that have appropriate materials specific to users’ research; how to effectively use tools such as finding aids, catalogs, and databases; and how to plan a visit to an archives, among other topics.
Thanks to SAA for developing such a wonderful online tool!

Happy researching!