thegenealogygirl


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Photograph Showcase: The First Image From A Precious Collection

costello08 - cropped, lightened - 2x, and sharpened - smaller 6000

This beautiful family portrait was given to me by my Grandma several years ago.  It is an 11×17″ photo of my Grandma, my mother, and my mother’s siblings.  My darling Mom is wearing the blue striped dress.

This portrait was one of many in a large Kodak envelope.  All of the photos were taken by my Great-Grandmother Estelle Duval at her studio – Duval Portraits in Spokane, Washington.  Most of the photos in this envelope were hand colored with oil paints by Grandma Duval.  She was remarkably talented.

For the past several years – maybe 7 or so – these photos have been patiently waiting for some attention.  Well, two weeks ago when I scanned the Telesphore Brouillette book, I also scanned all 28 of the 11×17″ portraits.

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It felt pretty fantastic to finally get these treasures scanned.  I just needed some time and access to a large, high-quality flat-bed scanner.  Thank you, BYU for helping me out!

The only bummer, and it is a very slight bummer, is that many of these precious photos were printed on textured paper.  The scans exaggerate the texture and the photos come out much darker than they really are.  Here is the original scan:

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And here it is lightened up a bit:

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And here it is with a little bit of sharpening:

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And then finally, with some more sharpening and another layer of lightening:

costello08 - cropped, lightened - 2x, and sharpened - smaller 6000

Which version appeals most to you?

 

I am sooooo happy to have finally scanned these treasures!

 

 

Happy Thursday, I will be enjoying lots of family time next week for Thanksgiving.  I’ll be taking the week off.  If you are also celebrating Thanksgiving, may I suggest that you spend some time preserving memories?  The FamilySearch Memories app is free and a fantastic way to record audio.  It can record segments up to 15-minutes in length.  Get your family talking about their favorite memories of loved ones now gone and record those gems.  Have the Google PhotoScan app ready to go so you can scan any photos that catch your eye.  Remember, the app isn’t nearly as good as a scanner, but sometimes, it’s the only thing you’ve got.  I hope you have a blessed and thankful week!  I am thankful for each of you who make my genealogy experience so much richer.  xoxo

 

 


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Two FamilySearch Classes this Week

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Sunday night I taught a class at my local Family History Center, Finding “Hidden” Records on FamilySearch.

I covered everything from this blog post and then some.  I really love teaching.  So it was a great time for me.  And bonus, my students were pretty happy too.

Well, today I get to teach a group of 10 and 11-year-old girls.  I have ten minutes.  Ten minutes is not a lot of time.  You really can’t cover a lot in ten minutes.  So I am going for quality.  We are going to talk about preserving memories.  I’ll tell them a story or two.  I’ll show them how to add a photo and an audio recording to FamilySearch from the app.  Then I am going to challenge them to go home and add 3 photos and 3 audio recordings to FamilySearch using the FS app.

I will send them home with this handout:

FS app with gg address

I hope at least one of those little girls will feel a nudge towards her ancestors.

 

Wish me luck!

 

 

ps – Those girls?  They are members of my church.  We have a program called Activity Days that is for 8-12 year old girls.  They meet twice each month and learn new things, complete service projects, or participate in some sort of activity.  I was asked to help out this time.  If you are an Activity Days Leader and come across this post, please feel free to use my handout.

 

pps – If you are interested in my overly detailed handout from my Finding “Hidden” Records on FamilySearch class, send me an email and I’ll happily share.  Email address on sidebar. 

 


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Family Search: The Portrait Pedigree

 

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Over the weekend, a friend sent me a text that said this:

Hi Amberly! An elderly gentleman at the Care Center has asked me to get a copy of his genealogy! I’ve printed out some fan charts but they don’t have much information. Do you know of a simple way to print out a little more detail?….I’m in over my head!

That’s a pretty vague request from said gentleman.  I logged into FamilySearch to refresh my memory about the various printing options found in the tree.

Here is a sample of my Great Grandmother’s person page in the tree on FamilySearch:

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On the bottom right you can see a box for “Print” options.  Here is the entire “Print” menu found on a person page:

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I don’t typically print any charts from FamilySearch.  But my friend’s question got me thinking about her options.  Here was my response to her:

Hmmm… it depends on what he wants.  You could go in and find a few stories to print.  You can also print family group sheets or a picture pedigree from any person in the tree.  I’ll send you a few screenshots. 

If it were me, and I had gotten this vague request, I think I would ask a few questions of the gentleman to try to assess what he is interested in.  But based on the limited info we have to work with, I would print a few fan charts, a few stories, and the beautiful, free portrait pedigree that FamilySearch generates with the click of a button.

From my Grandpa’s person page, I clicked on “Portrait Pedigree” in the “Print Menu” and was instantly given this beautiful Portrait Pedigree:

Grandpa's Portrait Pedigree

My Grandpa is the subject of the chart but my parents show as his descendants.  I edited out their personal information.  You will notice the black line under my Dad’s baby picture.  This is a helpful reminder of which of the descendants are children of the subject.  In this case only my Mom and Dad show up, but if there were multiple children showing, that line would add a lot of clarity.

If you are linked into the Family Tree* found on FamilySearch.org, give the Portrait Pedigree a try, see what charts are there for you.

 

Happy Monday!  I hope you make a fabulous genealogy discovery today!

 

 

*Please note that no one “has a tree” on FamilySearch.org.  The Family Tree found on FamilySearch is a collaborative tree.  The goal of that tree is to have only one instance of each person who has ever lived on the earth.  Family Tree users are encouraged to work together to make the tree as accurate and complete as possible with good sources and reason statements.  If you are not interested in participating in this complicated work, don’t feel bad about that, but also, please don’t get upset by the mistakes that are found there or fall into the mistake of believing that someone “put your tree on FamilySearch”.  You have LOTS of distant cousins who share large portions of your tree.  No one “put your tree on FamilySearch”.  😉

 


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Tip: Site Colon Searches

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Let’s have a quick chat about a great search tool – the “site colon” search.

Have you ever found yourself searching a website for something specific that you just can’t seem to find?  You know it’s there, but the website doesn’t have the best navigation tools?  I definitely have.

Let’s use an example.

Last week I mentioned that I had found some FindAGrave entries outside of the US.  They were fabulous and unexpected finds.  I wanted to quickly search some other cemeteries.  But searching for foreign cemeteries on FindAGrave isn’t very friendly.  This is what you see:

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On the main page you can choose “Search for a cemetery” on the right, top bullet list, second choice down.

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Then you see this search box.  I was searching for cemeteries in Scotland.  I didn’t know the names of the cemeteries, I just wanted to see how many cemeteries there were in specific parishes and counties.  So, I didn’t have a cemetery name to type into that little search box.  I chose Scotland on the “Country” drop down list.

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Then I find myself looking at a very long list that can’t be searched by smaller locale.

At this point I have a few options.  I could waste a whole bunch of time scrolling through that super long list hoping to see the parish names I want.  I could google search cemeteries in specific parishes and counties, come back and enter cemetery names one at a time into the search box.

Or…

I can use a site colon search.

 

In my case, I wanted to see all cemeteries for Carluke, Lanark, Scotland on FindAGrave.

I went to google and typed this:

site:www.findagrave.com carluke, lanark, scotland

 

I’ve just told google to please search the FindAGrave website for Carluke, Lanark, Scotland.  My results look like this:

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Looking at the list quickly, I see that there are two cemeteries for Carluke included on the FindAGrave website.  The Old Carluke Cemetery and the Carluke Wilton Cemetery.  I clicked on the first google result and I am taken right to the search page for the Old Carluke Cemetery on FindAGrave:

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Just what I was looking for in about 15 seconds!

A site colon search can help you quickly find something you need on FindAGrave or any website that you are struggling to navigate.

The formula is simple:

site:www.websitenamehere.com followed by search terms

 

Make sure there are no spaces until after the .com.

 

Give it a try!

 

And let me know if it helps you out.  😉

 

ps – FindAGrave is being overhauled and will have more navigation tools for finding foreign cemeteries.  But for now, a site colon search is a quick shortcut.  It works on most websites, not just FindAGrave.

 


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DNA Happy Dance & A New-To-Me Resource

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Guys!

 

This DNA stuff is awesome.  And I still don’t really know what I’m doing.

When I set out to test myself and several family members, my main goal was to find something, anything, about John Costello’s family.  That has not happened.  Yet.

But my second goal was to solve my next closest brick wall.  My third great grandfather.  He was born in France and came to the US as a child.  Until last week, everything we knew about his life was post marriage.  My sister started working on this portion of our tree about 15 years ago.  We have records, photos, and some anecdotal evidence from family members.  But all of it is post marriage.

Children didn’t just immigrate from France in the 1850s alone, but we couldn’t find any travel records.  We couldn’t find him on the census.  He seemed to have just beamed himself over from France, Star Trek style.

To complicate things, the only people in the entire US with his same surname, spelled the same way, are all his descendants.  So… made up last name?  Did his parents die when he was young, after immigrating, leaving him an orphan?  What was going on?

I hoped DNA would help with this brick wall.

And oh boy, did it ever deliver!

 

Last week I was combing through my matches that are in this general area of my tree.  I remembered something Diahan Southard said in a recent webinar.  She said that your best matches are the ones that you have no surnames in common with.  Those trees just might point you to the surname you are missing.

Well, I have two matches in this general area of my tree that have no surnames in common with me.  They are fairly close cousin matches.  I looked at their trees and while we didn’t share any surnames, those two trees did have one surname in common with each other.  It looked like their end of line people with this name were one generation apart.  I did a little digging and figured out how their two end of line folks connected to each other.

That still didn’t tell me how that surname connected to me though.  So I did some more digging.  I pushed their trees back another generation and I’ll be darned if I didn’t just find the sister of my brick wall!

I kept going.

Using the information about my 3rd great grandpa and his sister, I FINALLY found a ship manifest for the whole family coming over from France.  That led me to the state and federal census records that followed their arrival.

No wonder I couldn’t find them!

The spelling of their surname makes phonetic sense, but it is a variant I’ve never seen before and one I hadn’t thought to try.  Add to that that my 3rd gg’s first name is wrong on one record and recorded as simply an initial on the other, and it makes total sense that he seemed to be hiding.  He kinda was.

I found several more records – a second marriage for my 4th great grandpa (which lists his parents names! squeal of delight here), a land record for that same 4th great grandfather, records about both sisters of my previous brick wall 3rd great grandpa.  It was exciting!

I couldn’t find some important records I was hoping would help me jump the pond, so I dove deep into the FamilySearch catalog and exhausted everything I could find there.  Luckily for me, most of the relevant microfilm are already digitized and available to view from home.

I have more to do.  Lots more to do.  Which is why I intentionally left out names, and other specifics here.  For now.

All of this exciting searching led me to a brand-new-to-me website and a whole different set of discoveries.  This part of my tree is in Illinois.  My sister has done most of this research.  I’ve only helped with the pre-Illinois part in Québec.  This means I really haven’t spent much time with Illinois records or Illinois research in general.  All of my exciting, new discoveries sent me searching for Illinois newspapers.  I tried all of my usual stuff.  One of the “list” websites pointed me to the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections.  What an awesome, free resource!

While I didn’t find what I was hoping to find, I did find a whole bunch of goodies about other members of my family in this general branch of my tree.  In fact, I found so much that I had a genealogy first.  I actually got bored processing all of my newspaper finds and had to take a break.  The searching and finding wasn’t boring, but the downloading, saving, and cropping got boring after dozens of cool articles.  😉  Here are two articles that were particularly interesting.

MAFFIT, Orrin, 1906 burial article - crop

This article comes from the St. Anne Record, 30 March 1906.  Mr. and Mrs. Seth Moffit are my 2nd great grandparents.  This article details their travel from Chicago to Saint Anne, and the funeral and burial of their son, Orrin Seth Maffit.

BROUILLETTE, Nelson, 1919 Car accident article - crop

This article also comes from the St. Anne Record, 10 July 1919.  It describes a minor car accident involving Nelson Brouillette, my 3rd great granduncle.  What I love is all of the other names and connections this article describes.  One that isn’t obvious is that Dr. Benjamin is Nelson’s son-in-law.

 

So.  What is the point here?

 

First, DNA results are amazingly helpful to genealogy research.  I LOVE genetic genealogy!  If you haven’t dipped your toe in yet, join us.  The water is fine.  Mighty fine.

 

Second, if you have any Illinois ancestors, check out the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections.  A fabulous – and FREE – resource.

 

 

Happy Tuesday, I hope you make a fantastic brick wall breakthrough very soon!  It feels awesome.

 

 


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Photograph Showcase: Ferris Whitesides Sketch & The Google PhotoScan App

WHITESIDES, Ferris, sketch

This cool sketch is of my husband’s great grandfather, Ferris Whitesides.  He happens to be my husband’s namesake.  On Sunday we visited his daughter, my husband’s grandmother.

This sketch hangs in her basement.  It is large and framed, with glass.  The sketch has hung in the basement for as long as I’ve known Grandma, more than 20 years.  It’s the kind of item that is difficult to scan and even more difficult to “borrow” to scan.

I decided to try out the new Google PhotoScan app to capture a scan of this precious family treasure.  I was surprised by how easy it was to use and how well it did in poor conditions.  The lighting in the basement is not good and the glare on the glass is very noticeable.  The app took care of most of that.  You can see a lighter spot on the right side of the image.  This is where the majority of the glare was.  But overall, not bad at all.

I think I am going to play with the app some more and see how it compares to a variety of other scanning and photo taking options.  The real test will come with printing the different images.  We’ll see what the quality differences are.

 

Have you tried the new Google PhotoScan app?

 

 

ps – I feel like I have a genealogy sports injury.  I found out I have a cataract in my right eye.  What on earth?!  I’m 40.  Four-oh.  The worst part is when they fix it, I’ll have to sit on the bench for a bit.  Sigh.  But the bright side is when they remove the lens, they will put in one that is my prescription.  I will get to ditch my glasses and contacts.  Hooray!  Now, here’s hoping they get bad enough to fix this year since I’ve met my deductible already…

 


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Salt Lake Tribune Negative Collection

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Yesterday, while reading a post from the NGS blog, I noticed a link to a Utah photo collection that is new to me.  It’s the Salt Lake Tribune Negative Collection.  I clicked on over to check it out and discovered this cool photo of my great grandfather.

This photo was taken 1 February 1957.  These fellas were somehow connected to the Utah State Livestock Association.  My great grandpa, Rulon Powell Peterson, is on the right, holding his hat and wearing glasses.  He was a very successful cattle rancher.  The other two men are named as John E Booth and Clemm Schramm, but I don’t know which one is which.

I did a little perusing of the collection and didn’t find anything else related to my family.  The collection is hosted by Utah State History.  They have a few other collections.  If you have any Utah family, you may want to check it out.

And once again, I am so thankful that I quickly read a post listing various online collections.  You just never know what you might find in some obscure online collection.

 

Happy Thursday, I hope you make a surprisingly delightful genealogy discovery today!