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27 Days!

No, it’s not the countdown for Easter.

No, it’s not how many days are left before tax filing is due.

No, it’s the day after Palm Sunday.

Give up?

It’s the amount of days before the 1940 US Census is RELEASED – FREE!!! 

That would be images – not an index.  How do we make sure the index is completed as soon as possible?  We ALL step up and volunteer to index!!!  You can go here. Just fill out the information and voila!  You are registered!  If you have a blog and want to promote the 1940s Census, you can sign up to be a 1940 Blog Ambassador. Just click on the registration link and sign up! 

Image

I did!  And I have this cool looking badge (above) to show that I’m an Ambassador!

“I don’t have time index!” (What you are thinking to yourself, right?) If you have time to search – by Enumeration District – or Browsing through pages and pages of census records, then you do have time to index!!!  Give it a try!  Just index ONE PAGE.  After you do that one page, someone else will also re-index in order for the arbitrators to check for errors and clarity. I guarantee that if you do one page, you’ll realize that it is not that time consuming and you’ll soon find yourself downloading another batch, or two (or more!).  And if you download a batch and realize that there is just no way you can 1) read anything or 2) you don’t have time just then to index or 3) you don’t understand what to do – it’s ok!  There are links you can use to get help – to fill out the index, tips on reading handwriting, or you can save your batch & work on it later, or send it back and ask for another batch. 

If you belong to a genealogy society – recruit the members to help index the 1940 Census.  The more people who start indexing on April 2nd – the faster the complete index will be available!!!

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After FamilySearch began digitizing records, I signed up to index records. Then, I took the tutorials and reviewed the instructions. But I didn’t start indexing. I was afraid that a “batch” of records would take too long for me to do. At the time, I had too much on my plate in my personal life.

Lately, I’ve been on a mission to reclaim some ” fun” during the work, study, & regular “stuff” of family life. About a week ago, I saw the teased on the site about helping index the 1940 census when it’s released on April 2nd.  And that’s how it started.  . .

First, it was just a couple of batches that I did one afternoon. Those Texas death certificates are pretty easy! Then I started dowloading 2-3 batches at a time. Even tried some marriage & birth records – the intermediate ones! And I was having fun & learning a few things. There have been too many infant deaths I’ve run across – from premature births to ancephaly to illness.

I hope I’m contributing as much as those who indexed records I’ve used. I want to give back because I’ve received so much. And I am very excited about the release of the 1940 census. The sooner its indexed, the better for all of us!

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The USA Today article, Orphan Train Riders, Offspring Seek Answers About Heritage, (posted 25 Jan 2012) by Judy Keen, describes the search that descendents of those who rode the Orphan Trains in the early 20th century find themselves on. They want to find out more about those train riders, their parents, siblings, and heritage. Even some of the Orphan Train riders themselves are searching.

While researching my own family history, I came across two brothers who rode the train from New York until they arrived in Columbus, Kansas and were adopted by James William Goul (my maternal grandfather’s relatives). J.W. Goul was born in Ohio about 1839 to John and Martha (McManaway) Goul.  James William was the 2nd to youngest brother of my 2nd great-grandmother (Malissa Goul). He married Mary McAdams (b. 16 Sep 1840) and they had Martha E. and George Edward Goul. Before 1894, the family moved to Cherokee County, Kansas.

The Star-Courier newspaper of Columbus, Kansas of June 21, 1894 mentioned that two young brothers who did not want to be separated from each other were taken by “one kind hearted man.”  These two brothers were Matthew and Clarence Brown of New York.  Matthew was born about 1887 and Clarence was about 3 years younger.  Both reported on the 1910 Census that their parents were born in Italy.    

Discovering there were Orphan Train riders in the family history, led me to find out more about these children and the reasons they were sent from New York to other parts of the country.  The short version of the “why?” includes the fact that these children were abandoned or orphaned so the Children’s Aid Society and New York Foundling Hospital decided these children needed homes somewhere else.  Children were sent to Canada and the other 47 states. Some were adopted while others were foster children. Others were made to be “servants” to whomever chose them.  Children were picked the same way that slaves had been a century earlier – checking their muscles, sturdiness, and temperament. Some were loved dearly while others were beat constantly.

There are many places on the internet to read the history and stories of the Orphan Train movement including: Orphan Train History (has many links included), Children’s Aid Society, PBS Documentary, Iowa GenWeb Orphan Train project, Orphan Trains of Kansas, and Adoption History: Orphan Trains. There are some videos: Orphan Train in Michigan and Orphan Train Movie (1979).

With all of the newly digitized records on free and subscription databases, I sincerely hope that the descendents of the “riders” will find the answers they so desperately seek.  Perhaps they will be the recipients of Genealogical Acts of Kindness!

Do you have Orphan Train riders in your family? Have you learned about where they came from? Did they remember their background and parents? Were they treated like members of the family upon their “adoption” or was their life very difficult?  And what about the family they left behind or were torn from? What is their story?

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In between the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, the grandson’s school schedule getting back to normal, starting back to my class schedule on Wednesday, work, normal life, and wanting to reach through the phone to strangle doing my best to keep my cool with a customer service rep for our health spending account, I did manage to get some blog reading accomplished!  My happy dance this week was installing the Google Reader app on my kindle fire so that I have all my genea-blogs in one place!

I want to highlight a few outstanding (in my opinion) genea-blogs that I enjoyed in the past week.

First is Ginger Smith’s To Cite or Not to Cite? That’s not really the question! at Genealogy By Ginger’s Blog. This post was written on January 13 but I had not read it before publishing my Follow Friday post (I apologize, Ginger!)  She discusses footnotes and the mysterious disappearance of said footnotes – even when she tries really hard to include them!

Second, the wonderfully informative (tongue-in-cheek humor) post on The Sound of Music Effect from Donna Pointkouski at What’s Past is Prologue. As only she can, Donna explains the difference between “a true story” and “based on a true story”.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze is much braver than I ever would be in her post, Sharing Memories – Week 3 – Hair! at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog. I’ve had some of those “wild” hair-do’s as well!

Many of my fellow genea-bloggers were discussing SOPA and PIPA in the past few days and some blacked out their sites on Wednesday in protest (along with Wikipedia and other well known websites).

If you haven’t read the above posts that I mentioned, go check them out, leave a comment and add them to your “must reads”. And as always check out Randy Seaver’s “Best of . . .” on Sunday.

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These are the posts, authors and blogs that I recommend for the week January 7-13, 2012.  Please go visit, leave a comment, and put them on your favorites list!

Preparing for RootsTech 2012 by Elyse Doerflinger of Elyse’s Genealogy Blog. This will be her first time at RootsTech and the first time she will get to visit Salt Lake City and the Family History Library. Elyse writes about her anticipation!

Denise Levenick blogs about the treasures she found when she carefully examined items in a box in Lessons From the Archive #2: Maintain Order at The Family Curator. You may also know Denise as “Miss Penelope Dreadful”.

Is It April 2nd Yet? by Ruth of Ruth’s Genealogy explains what she plans to do on that date (or soon after). Don’t have it marked on your calendar yet? You should!

Greta Koehl seems to have some experience with the “Oh, Look it’s Shiny” disorder too. Her humorous post, How NOT to Jump Start Your Genealogy can be found at Greta’s Genealogy Blog.

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (no, that’s not a misprint!) did a Genealogy Round Up January 12 at Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s Roots World.

One of the new (to me) genealogy blogs I’m following now is Leaves & Branches by Melissa D. She is a fellow Buckeye and her research includes Brown County, Ohio (where my Johnson and Shields ancestors lived before traveling on to Rush County, Indiana).

And as always you can always check out Randy’s Seaver’s “Best of . . .” on Genea-Musings when he posts it on Sunday.

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At one time I had tons of genea-blogs that I bookmarked and read every day, but when my daily schedule became too busy, I stopped reading many of them. Not because I didn’t like them, because I did, and many still provided good advice or stories.  I just had to decide which ones were more important and could fit into my schedule.

Those I read on a daily basis include:

Genea-Musings because Randy always has good tips, a little humor thrown in at times, and writes consistently each and every day. I enjoy the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun that he posts each Saturday afternoon and the Best of . . . posts that he writes on Sunday.

Ruth’s Genealogy. It used to be Bluebonnet Country Genealogy but has undergone some changes lately. Please go visit Ruth and see what wonderful renovations she has made!

Kinexxions by Becky Wiseman. She has spent a good deal of time traveling the country, posting about her travels, as well as the research she was able to accomplish during her two (yes, TWO) trips to Salt Lake City in the last year!

Reflections from the Fence by Carol. I started reading this blog after Becky Wiseman posted on her blog about meeting up with Carol and her husband, “Man”, during her first visit to SLC. This couple has spent the better part of the year traveling out west, and Carol has written many posts about “The Trip” and inserted wonderful photos. Almost feels as if you are with them!

Blogs that I try to get to on a semi-monthly basis (a few times a month) include:

Jasia’s Creative Gene blog.

Donna Pointkouski’s What’s Past is Prologue. Donna always inserts her own brand of humor and insight!

Becky Jamison’s Grace and Glory.

footNote Maven’s footnoteMaven. Unfortunately, fM has had some personal issues to deal with for several months and she hasn’t posted as often as I’m sure she wanted to. I’m sure she would say that she’s doing what she wants to be doing now (except for getting over a recent auto accident). Many have sent prayers and good thoughts to fM and Mr. M, and we will continue to do so.

There are several more that I read on a consistent basis but I wanted to highlight those above. However, in my last post, I urged readers to go check out some blogs and posts, and I will be taking my own advice and try to read more frequently.

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Since I’m attempting to get back on a routine of posting consistently, I wanted to highlight some of the interesting blog posts I’ve read this week. Please check them out!

Jasia at Creative Gene has posted the Carnival of Genealogy, 113th edition (A Dickens Christmas). Ten geneabloggers contributed to the COG (including moi).

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings posted a series of articles about Finding Census Records at Archives.com – you can read them here, here, and here. These posts have some helpful tips about searching the UK Census records.

Miriam at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestorswelcomed in the New Year with her post 2012 – Out With the Old, In With the New!. For those who enjoyed reading her blog, she explains her partial absence over the last year aside from doing Scanfest posts. This is a truly moving story!

Judy at The Legal Genealogist posted Docking an Entail – you are now wondering what an “entail” is and why would you “dock” it, right? No? Then you must already know what it means! For those who don’t or who want to know, go read. Oh, just read her entire blog! It’s brand new that began on January 1, 2012! Welcome to the geneablogging community, Judy!

If I didn’t pick your post (or blog), please forgive me. I’m just now starting to get back to reading on a regular basis. These are the ones I happened to stumble upon this past week.

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