thegenealogygirl


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Happy Birthday America

This is my favorite commercial ever created in the genealogy industry.  I love the concept and the execution.  In less than a minute, Ancestry.com managed to remind us of the importance of unity and freedom.

This great experiment that is America, survives and thrives by our willingness to be united in supporting the freedom and rights of every human being.  I hope our experiment continues for generations to come.  I hope this lovely commercial can serve as a reminder that there is always more that unites us than divides us.  We are stronger when we are one.

Happy Birthday America.

 

Thank you Ancestry.com for reminding us what we celebrate on this day.

 


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Dear Genealogy Bloggers, I love you!

I heart genealogy bloggers

For several weeks now I have been wanting to send a big thank you to two bloggers.  Randy Seaver of Geneamusings and Gail Dever of Genealogy à la carte.

Randy regularly posts lists of new and updated record collections.  These are not the blog posts I usually spend much time on.  (No offense Randy, I’m just a busy mom with a preschooler still at home…)  But for some reason, I started reading them more carefully lately.  Well, on May 12th he posted a list of new records available on FindMyPast.  Among the many collections was “National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914.  He noted that, “Over 34,000 York School records have been added…” to that collection.

Guess who lived in York?

My Hyde family.  Including Robert and Rosey.

Now, I have looked through the indexed school records available on Sheffield Indexers and found several records for my Hyde family.  But I thought I’d give it a look and see what was there.

Guess what?

There were SEVERAL records for my Hyde family on FindMyPast that have not yet been indexed on Sheffield Indexers.  And even better – there are images!

Like this one:

HYDE, Muriel Grace, 1909 to 1910 School Record

Do you know what that is?!

It’s a record of Muriel Grace Hyde, Rosey and Robert Hyde’s oldest daughter, being enrolled, and re-enrolled, and removed, and removed again from the Western Road Infants School in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.  This means that I have several more dates for my timeline.  Yippee!!

Thank you Randy!

 

Now let’s talk a little bit about Gail.

Gail also posts quite often about new collections and other genealogy news.  On May 16th, she posted about an update to the WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force service files.  If you remember, that very collection gave me a hint of Norma.  And from there, well, the ensuing research took me on a crazy trip down the rabbit hole.

But here’s the thing.  My 2nd great grandfather, Francis Cyprien Duval, was also a member of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces.  I had looked for his file before.  A few times.  After all of the “D”s were supposedly indexed.  I never found it.  But when I read Gail’s post I thought I’d give it another try anyway.  Just in case.

And there it was!

In all it’s full color, 66 page glory.  It was very enlightening.  I thought Frank stayed in Canada doing work at home during his service.  He did not.  In fact, he lied about his age so he could join up and head overseas.  He was too old, so he fudged it.  I was so surprised by that.  He claimed to be 44 years and 4 months old when he enlisted.  A mere 8 months younger than the upper age limit of 45.  It didn’t work out for him though.

On page 58 there is this telling note from the doctor:

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 9.03.12 PM

“Is 54 years old and looks it.”  Hmmm, did he age considerably during the short time he was enlisted?  I mean visually.  Because just shortly before this note was written he got away with saying he was 44.  😉  There are so many cool details in this file.  It is awesome.

I have no idea why I never found it before.  I don’t know if it was indexed out of order and published well after the other “D” surnames or if I didn’t search carefully.  (That is soooooo not like me, but maybe I was distracted?)  Either way, I am very glad I read Gail’s post and decided to give it another look.

Thank you Gail!

 

So.  What is the lesson in all of this?  There are two.

First, I really love genealogy bloggers!  I think we are the friendliest bunch of bloggers out there.  We share our great finds, our search strategies, awesome websites and collections, cool stories, brick walls, research woes and wonders, and so many other tid-bits.  We all make the genealogy experience SO. MUCH. BETTER. for everyone.

And second, I will never again skip a “see what’s new at such-and-such website” post.  🙂

 

What do you think?  Do you love genealogy bloggers too?  Well if you do, share a little love today and thank your genealogy blogger friends.  Because they are just plain awesome!  ❤

 

 


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If you aren’t watching Relative Race – you are seriously missing out!

relative race

Relative Race is a reality tv genealogy extravaganza chock full of all the feels.

All.  The.  Feels.

Seriously, if you aren’t watching this season, do yourself a favor and watch it.  The first season was fine – not my favorite, but my kids liked it and it’s definitely family friendly so we watched it together.

But this season – so, so, so, so good!

You can watch it from the beginning for free on the BYUtv app or you can watch it online for free at BYUtv.  Here is the link to the first episode.

The premise of the show is that these four couples had their DNA tested through Ancestry.com.  The producers used their DNA matches to plan out a family member for each team to meet each day.  They all started in Florida and each day they have to travel to a new city with the use of paper maps.  They have a burner phone that they can take pictures with.  They text a picture of themselves by the city sign to producers and then they are given a challenge.  Once they complete the challenge, they have a second challenge.  The challenges are often related to the interests of a relative that they will be meeting.  Once they complete the second challenge they are given an address that they have to find.  They arrive at their relative’s home, take a picture together and text it in to stop their clock.  Each day they have an allotted time to complete everything and arrive at their relative’s home.  The team that goes over their allotted time the most receives a strike.  Three strikes and the team goes home.  The show takes place over ten consecutive days.  The end goal is to arrive in the same city – I think it’s Boston this year.  Once they arrive they have some more competing to do to win the prize.

The amazing part comes when they meet this relative they had previously never met.  Sometimes they are distant cousins.  But sometimes, they are immediate family members.  The relative always has some sort of activity planned to allow their new family members to get to know them and their interests.  The team then spends the night with their new found relatives.

The show is very tastefully done, especially considering how personal some of these connections are.  It’s very family friendly.  And for those of you that might be wary of the fact that it is produced by BYUtv – have no fear, there is absolutely no religious angle to the show.  In fact, none of the team members seem to be LDS.

My husband, 15 year old son, and I have been watching it together.  We all love it so much.  Most episodes my husband ends up crying a few times – although, he cries at touchy feely commercials so that doesn’t really mean a lot.  😉  My husband is an acquaintance of the host.  They both attend an annual event.  Last night while we were watching an episode, my husband says to me, “I’m going to have to ask him how he plans to top this.  This has been an incredible season!”

It’s so true.  Give it a try, if you aren’t hooked with the first episode, skip to the episode from April 9th.  I promise, it’s worth it!

 

ps – This season ended last night.

 


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Jerry, the Super-hero Indexer

gg, i heart indexers

In February of 2014 I wrote several posts all about indexing.  I even issued an indexing challenge.

Indexing is a vital part of the amazing increase in accessible genealogical records.  We ALL benefit from indexers.

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for indexers and their service.  But that soft spot grew to bursting this past November when I read an article about a man who had made it his goal to index 1 million records before he died.

Yep, you read that correctly, ONE MILLION records.

He didn’t quite make it.

His name was Jerry.  Jerry indexed 952,891 records before his death on 6 November 2016.

952,891 records!!!

 

Jerry’s family members are planning to index the remaining 47,109 records in his memory.

Well.

After reading that, my indexer-loving-genealogy-obsessed heart just couldn’t take the amazingness of Jerry’s service without rededicating itself to more indexing.  I didn’t start out with any particular goal in mind, I just decided to index when it worked.

I am guessing that anyone who was conscious at the time, will remember the American turmoil that was going on the 6th of November 2016 and that still continues.  Because of all of that, I was watching the news A LOT more than usual, and still do.  Do you know what you can easily do while watching the news?  Index.

In November and December I indexed about 3,500 records.

When I looked at my stats recently I decided to set a goal for 2017 to index 6,000 records.  I know it’s a far cry from a million, but it’s SO MANY MORE RECORDS than I usually index.

As a genealogist who relies on indexers, I express my deepest thanks to Jerry.  Thanks for his service and for his example and how it has inspired me.

Thank you Jerry!

 

Do you index?  If you want to join the party you can index for many different organizations.  Find one you like and pitch in.  Every little bit helps.

 

You can read more about Jerry here.

gg - indexing superhero - small

PS – This post is not meant to make any sort of political statement or imply anything about my own political leanings.  I love people SO much more than politics.  Vote however you feel comfortable, worry about the state of our nation however you choose, I love you for you, not for your voting preferences.  🙂


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How to Preserve Family Photos

IMG_3694(1)

My Grandma’s boxes that I received late last year.   I also have boxes from my other grandparents.  So many boxes and so many wonderful photos.

Over the past few months I have been gathering bits and pieces of information about proper methods of archiving photos.  I have literally thousands and thousands of old family photos sitting in these and many other boxes.  There are so many of them that my efforts to digitize them have stalled a bit.  I want to be very organized about the entire process from start to finish for each photograph.  Because I haven’t quite settled on a plan for the end – the storage and organization methods – I have really slowed my digitizing.

I just watched something that may help me get my groove back.

Amy Johnson Crow shared an interview on her blog this week.  She interviewed Denise Levenick about the very thing I have been so concerned about – How to Preserve Family Photos.  Ironically, I have been trying to decide which of two books to order written by Denise about this topic.  Amy’s blog post helped me settle on which book I think will help me make my plan and gave me several great tips to start wrapping my mind around now.

If properly organizing, storing, and archiving family photos has been on your mind too, you may want to check out Amy’s blog post and get a little inspiration.

 

Happy Wednesday – I hope you make an amazing family discovery today!


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Ancestor Pedigree by Birthplace

Ancestor origins chart

A few weeks ago a genealogist named J Paul Hawthorne started a trend that was making the rounds on Facebook and genealogy blogs quite heavily for a week or so.  He created a pedigree chart that only shows ancestor’s birth locations.  I was busy writing my posts about my great Uncle Darrell and didn’t make my chart until yesterday.

I have a lot of colors on that chart.  Lots of variety in birth places.  I’m considering taking it back a little bit further on my dad’s side to get it back to the countries of origin.

I am fascinated by this new visual way to consider my ancestors.

Have you made a chart?  You can find an excel template in this post.  I created mine using google docs.

 


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Words of Wisdom from a Stranger

Everywhere you go

One morning at RootsTech I found myself sitting, waiting for the general session to start.  I was early.  Like waiting before the doors were open early.  It gave me plenty of time to get exactly the right seat, review the classes I wanted to attend that day, and people watch a bit.  And, well, totally eavesdrop.

A few feet from me were two women who were talking about their plan for the day.  Several things were clear from their conversation – they weren’t genealogy rookies, they knew what they were hoping to learn, and they knew each other well.  One of the women mentioned a class she was planning to attend.  The other woman was surprised.  The first woman explained her choice.

She was planning to attend a class that was quite basic.  She said that she knows she has probably missed basic things over the years and is willing to attend a basic class to pick up any of those “missing” skills.

I was impressed with her humility and wisdom.

In fact, I’ve been thinking about her ever since that moment.

This is what I’ve come up with.

NONE of us can know everything about genealogy – every place and time offers different experiences and collections.  Let’s be humble enough to recognize we can learn from any class, any teacher, any fellow genealogist now matter how experienced we are.  Everywhere you go, learn everything you can.