Technology. Always a favorite topic of mine! Much of it mystifies me, at least the nuts and bolts of the inner workings which make the magic of it all possible. But I’m definitely a happy “end-user.” Technology plays a huge part in creating the abundance of genealogically rich information I’ve been able to use in my research this last decade. I use it every day in my research, especially for records in England.
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a website that provides statistics on surname concentrations by county in England in the 1880s. To test the waters, I typed in Denchfield, and was surprised to learn that toward the end of the 19th century there were more Denchfields living in Oxfordshire than in Buckinghamshire. I had no idea. But it provided a new avenue for research that hadn’t occurred to me before. Perhaps some of my mysteriously (…more)
I can’t believe March is here…where did the winter go? (The shortish answer is….we never really had winter, just an odd snow fall or two and a couple brisk weeks of temps in the teens….altogether VERY STRANGE for our little corner of Northwest Pennsylvania)
Genealogically speaking, time has flown. Although I made virtually NO progress on my personal research, I accomplished quite a bit:
National Institute for Genealogical Studies
I completed Methodology parts 2 &3; US Census Records; US Vital Records; US Migration Patterns; and Researching French Canadian Ancestors.
Today I started Methodology part 4; US Cemetery and Mortuary Records; and Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program 1
Last month we wrote research reports (looking forward to our chat tonight!!)
This month the focus is on Editing and Proofreading
NGSQ Study Group – I only participated in one chat so far, but I really enjoyed it. So much (…more)
I’ve been using Rootsmagic for a number of years, but just upgraded to the newest version earlier this month. I immediately fell in love with two of the new features.
Research logs are an ongoing battle for me….lately I’ve had great success with OneNote, and for my major, probably-taking-to-me-grave, brickwalls, I’m using Word. But for all the everyday, run of the mill work on whichever ancestor catch’s my fancy when I find myself looking for a change of pace, Rootsmagic’s new Research Log seems to be the ticket.
I did a little work on locating the birth of a potential son of a revolutionary patriot, and recorded the research as I went in the new section of the person’s individual screen. Here’s what it looks like:
Birth of Thomas Hawes Jr For: Thomas HAWES Objective Is Thomas Hawes Jr the son of the patriot Thomas Hawes? Date Goal Source (…more)
It’s always nice to get an email from a previously unknown, distantly related, fellow family history researcher. I got one yesterday, about the Howkins/Hawkins family of Willoughby, Warwickshire. They’re one of my more obscure lines, tying into my Collins and Collcutts of Oxford in the 19th century, and I haven’t done much research on them. (I was in Warwickshire this summer, visiting the castle with my family, but it didn’t occur to me at the time that I had ancestors who’d lived nearby….sigh)
Mary Ann Howkins married boatman Charles Curtis at St Peter le Bailey Church in Oxford City on Valentine’s Day 1842 (Oxfordshire, England, marriage certificate, Charles Curtis & Mary Ann Howkins; 1842, Jan-Feb-Mar, Oxford, Vol. 16:129; General Records Office, Kew, copy held by author). They would eventually move to Taplow, Bucks, where Charles ran the Clivedon Ferry across the Thames for many years. But before that, the couple lived in (…more)
The other day I was trying to scan a couple documents for a client, using my normally wonderful HP All-in-One printer with scanner capabilities but my laptop couldn’t find the (dreaded) TWAIN. I really don’t know what TWAIN is, but from time to time my laptop has trouble finding it. The problem normally resolves itself after I shut everything down and reboot. After three cycles of shut downs and reboots, I was getting nowhere and the time was tick-tocking away on my client deadline, so…..in desperation, I ran to Best Buy and bought a NeatReceipts scanner. I had intended to purchase a FlipPal, but discovered, to my dismay, that Best Buy doesn’t sell them. I’m pretty happy with NeatReceipts (which I am in NO WAY affiliated with). My laptop had no problem connecting with it, and the scans were clear and my client was happy.
Today, in a rare couple of free (…more)
My favorite free genealogy site for British genealogy research isn’t even a site about genealogy, it’s Google Books. Its digital scans of books and periodicals which are old enough to be out of copyright are always popping up in my Google searches. Here are a few of the things that have been a helpful in sorting through my English ancestors in the last year:
Kelly’s 1883 Directory for Bucks, Berks, and Oxfordshire Google’s search field on the left of screen makes quick work of finding keywords in the text of the book. I’ve found some facinating information about my ancestors’ employment, neighborhoods, and other clues about their civic and business lives in early county directories.
The Gentleman’s Magazine, issue from 1807 a source I would never have thought to check, reported on the death of my 6th Great Grandfather, the auctioneer James Cole. This find ultimately led me to his will, which (…more)
Attacking the Brick Walls in my Turner Collins Research
Organizing 30+ years of genealogical research is a daunting task. If I’d known in 1976 what I know now, I’d have done so many things differently. I’ve always used pedigree charts and family group sheets but, in my teen years, my citations, when I made them at all, were minimal at best and most are useless. Since taking the Boston University course, I’ve been aware of how shabby my early citations were, and I’ve been working [at a snail's pace...] to update them. This process has forced me to revisit a lot of my old work and it’s clear that for a good part of it, whatever thought process I went through, in terms of inference and proof argument, has long been forgotten. Again, if I’d known then….. My plan for 2012 is to tackle one family line a month, organize the brick (…more)
Amy Coffin at the We Tree Blog has come up with another great blog theme, 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, which presents bloggers (and others) with a weekly topic related to the abundant resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. With so much of my family history based in England, I’ve decided to approach these 52 weeks with a British perspective.
This week’s focus is on paid online genealogy tools. In thinking about the abundance of genealogical sources available to the online researcher, I have to marvel at what I”ve been able to accomplish on the British side of my family tree from the comfort of my favorite armchair here in Northwest Pennsylvania. If I had to choose just one paid online tool, I’d have to say my subscription to FindMyPast.co.uk has been the most useful in locating UK records I couldn’t access any (…more)
(Workday Wednesday is a daily prompt hosted by Geneabloggers) My post doesn’t exactly meet the criteria for an ancestor’s occupation, but one day I’ll be someone’s ancestor and that someone might like to learn about my volunteer work!
Genealogy is a part of nearly every day of my life these days, in one form or another. If I’m not working on my own family history, I’m helping someone else with theirs. On days I’m not doing research, I can almost always be found reading a book on genealogy, or working on assignments for a class at the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. There is always a genealogy periodical on my night stand, and I have a Google Reader app on my Smartphone so I can keep up to date with my favorite genealogy blogs, no matter where I am. I also try to write a little every day—either a (…more)
on the genealogy front that is…but no worries – the noise and chaos in the rest of my life has been more than making up for the silence of the dead.
The here and there moments when I have been able to steal away to my new genealogy desk, tucked into a tiny alcove upstairs, have opened some doors but resolved nothing, leaving me with the mostly unsettling feeling of being more than slightly fragmented.
As if the general merriment of the season, the wild and wintry weather outside, and the joyful bedlam which ensues whenever my kids are on school holiday weren’t enough, come Thursday morning, painters will descend on our household because of a what-the-heck-was-I-thinking, lost-in-a-moment-of-whimsy kind of decision to re-paint the basement media/play room before the impromtpu New Year’s Eve party we decided at the last minute to host this Saturday (the color is Great Barrington Green in case you’re wondering). OMG. (…more)