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Here is a list of what I’ve been reading “around the web” lately (in no particular order).
Review: Finding Family by Judy Russell on the Legal Genealogist Blog. Judy reviews a book about the journey of an adoptee.

There are many blog posts and articles about the closing of the Georgia archives. If you google “Georgia Archives” – you are sure to find one of the many articles. This is very sad for all those who rely on the Archives for historical, biographical, and genealogical information. Update: Click here to read an update about this – it looks like the Archives will remain open! 
My Heritage Automates Record-Matching as Genealogy Wars Heat Up (Europe) from Gigaom. Interesting article about what the top two (according to the article) genealogy companies (Ancestry and MyHeritage are doing to compete technologically.

There have been several reports of people adding QR codes to their loved ones headstones and this is one of those. What do you think? Will the QR code be outdated in the next big wave of technological advances?

I also want to call your attention to a brand new radio show by one of my genea-friends in New England, Marian Pierre-Louis. She is hosting Fieldstone Common at BlogTalk Radio every Thursday at 1 p.m. (EST). Be sure to tune in! She’ll be giving away books!  The description for this unique program is: “Fieldstone Common is a radio show streamed live on the internet via Blog Talk Radio. Host Marian Pierre-Louis will introduce you to authors and historians who bring history alive! Topics focus on history and genealogy in New England and the Northeast.”

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I want to say a big “THANK YOU” to my new followers and blog subscribers!  Your readership and comments mean a great deal to me!

As you can see, not all of my new subscribers have genealogy blogs – some photography blogs as well as a blog from a future Air Force wife.  No matter what your interest, please go visit one or all of them and take a gander at their photos and writings.

(“Thank You” Image in Public Domain and downloaded from WP Clipart

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Bigelow Branch

My third great-grandfather, Allen House (b. June 13, 1791 d. Sep 1, 1845) married Editha Bigelow (b. Apr 19, 1791 d. Oct 20, 1865) on June 15, 1812 in Middlesex County, Connecticut.  They had five children: Florus Allen (my 2nd great-grandfather), Nelson W., Amasa G., Eli H., and Abigail. Allen was enumerated in the 1820 Census as living in Jerusalem, Ontario, New York. The household included 4 free white males under the age of 10, 1 free white male between 10-44, and 1 free white female between 10-44. By the 1830 Census, Allen was living in Ovid, Seneca, New York with a household that included: 1 free white male ages 5-9; 3 white males 10-14; 2 free white males 15-19; and 1 free white male 30-39. It also included 1 free white female 5-9 and 1 free white female ages 30-39. Since that makes two more males and one more female, the couple either had other children or relatives/roomers living with them.

Editha Bigelow was the daughter of Eli Bigelow and Anna Freeman. Eli was born on May 29, 1756 in Colchester, Connecticut and died March 22, 1836 in Brookfield, Vermont. On Find a Grave, Eli is listed as buried in Mount Parnassus Burying Ground in East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut.

Eli was the son of Amasa Bigelow and Jemima Strong who married the end of December 1754 in New London, Connecticut.

The Bigelow family stretches back reportedly to Ralph of O Baugley in England. According to the Bigelow Family Site, (webmaster is Rob Bigelow of New York), the immigrant ancestor is John Biglo.

If you want to see if you are a member of this prominent New England family, please go to the Bigelow Family Site (link above). There are many links to information concerning the Bigelow family including published genealogies.

(Bigelow Coat of Arms image is from the Bigelow Family Site – no copyright infringement intended).

(Sources for most of the names and dates for this post came from The Bigelow Society, the Bigelow Family Site; copyright 2009 Bigelow Society, Inc).

(Census information obtained from the 1820 and 1830 United States Censuses on Heritage Quest; digital images).

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I’ve had several people subscribe to my blog lately so I want to show them some love by publicizing their blogs!  I’m also including those who have left comments or “liked” some of my articles.  Most of these are “new to me” blogs, and I bet some of them are new to you also!  Please go check them out!

Porters and Grays and Halls Oh My written by Edith Heilman. I am looking forward to reading this blog because I immediately noticed that her sister was born in Yokohama, Japan – close to where my folks were stationed in the 50s.

Digging Up the Ancients written by Lynda Crackett.  Some of the surnames she’s researching include Crackett, Webb and Henderson. Her most recent posts include History through the Alphabet and things that happened in her family on that day. Please go check out her blog if it is also new to you!

La Mia Familia by Michelle Ann Kratts. Her blog appears to be rather new – begun in May 2012 – and she writes about her Borgatti and Fortuna ancestors.

The Turning of Generations by Michelle Goodrum. Currently, she is organizing all that “stuff” in the Family Home! She provides tips and technical information.

Hidden Genealogy Nuggets written by Jim Sanders. His recent posts include information about Connecticut libraries and military genealogy.

KJN Genealogy – Dead Reckoning written by Kathy Judge Nemaric. Her most recent articles are a series of posts about her Judge ancestors coming to America from Ireland.

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There are some blogs and geneabloggers that I want to introduce to you. They aren’t new to me as I’ve been reading their columns for quite some time; however, I want to put them in the spotlight this week.

Marian Pierre-Louis

Marian is the author of several blogs: Marian’s Roots and Rambles, The Symbolic Past, and The New England House Historian. According to her “About Me” page: she “is a full-time House Historian and Professional Genealogist who focuses on New England research.” Marian “specializes in probate, deeds, New England town records and brick wall research.” She is the “Publicity Chairperson for the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) and is actively involved with the New England chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Her Roots & Rambles blog was nominated to the Family Tree Magazine 2011 Top 40 Genealogy blogs contest.” Recently, she posted a question to others on her Facebook page that asked how others manage to attend genealogy conferences all of the time. Some 70 responses later – and after many requested that she blog about that subject – Marian did just that. How Do Y’all Manage to Go to Conferences All the Time? is the article she wrote. I suggest you head over there to read it and the comments she received. Perhaps you have your own suggestion. Marian’s twitter is @marianpl.

Carolyn Pointer

Carolyn is the author of Your Family Story. She writes her family’s stories and says, “I like to listen and write their stories down. Sometimes their stories are sad. Sometimes they’re happy. And sometimes they’re downright naughty [if I'm lucky].” Earlier this week (ok, yesterday!), Carolyn wrote A Baby Boy!. She was looking for someone and ended up receiving information about a baby she hadn’t known about.  She gives some links to helpful sites that she used to figure out what the Latin records meant. Carolyn also authors Pearl’s Day Books. Her twitter is @FamilyStories.

Jenna Mills

Jenna is the woman behind Desperately Seeking Surnames. She says that losing both of her parents in 2001 prompted her to start searching for her ancestors. Jenna says that, “While going through their belongings the questions started to pile up, who was this? who was that? etc. Ultimately, I decided I would try to get the answers to the question and find our ancestors. I have been working my way back in time ever since.” One thing I like about this blog is the banner for her title – it looks like she scrapbooked it!  Her Independence Day post is beautiful! You can find it at Happy Independence Day America. Jenna’s presence on twitter is @SeekingSurnames.

Lisa Alzo

Lisa is well known throughout the geneablogger world (as well as those who read genealogy publications and books)!  She speaks at conferences and has published many articles as well as several books. You can find out everything you want to know about Lisa at Lisa Alzo. Her genealogy blog is The Accidental Genealogist. Recently, Lisa’s written articles concerning her return trip to Slovakia: Sojourn in Slovakia: The Sequel; Sojourn in Slovakia: The Sequel. Preparing for the Trip; Sojourn in Slovakia: The Sequel. Departure Day; Sojourn in Slovakia: The Sequel. Day 1. Stay tuned – I’m sure Lisa has future articles that she will post concerning her trip. You can find her on twitter at @lisaalzo.

 

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ImageDo you recognize the image above? If the answer is yes, then you know I’m going to talk about Twitter. If you don’t know what the bird represents, what a “tweet” is, or shudder when you hear people talk about “Twitter,” “Facebook,” or Social Media, then please stick around and keep reading. Perhaps I can alleviate your concerns!

The first thing everyone should know is that no matter how strict you set your privacy settings, you should act as if the whole world is reading. If you don’t want your parents, children, co-workers, spouse, boss, friends, or the world knowing your deepest, darkest secret (that you would otherwise post for “strangers” to read) – then just don’t post it. Things have a way of getting back to the people you are trying to hide something from (and yes, I just realized I ended a sentence with a preposition!) Second, if you don’t want someone judging you due to your political, religious, ethical, or moral opinions – then what are you doing posting them? I guarantee that not everyone on your friends list has the same opinion/belief that you do – even if you think they do – they just hide it better! Third, due to all the changes that social media makes day in and day out, you will at one time encounter urban legends (ten gazillion likes will NOT help that poor child get a new heart/liver/kidney and unfortunately the child has probably died in the few years since the posting has been making the rounds); your closest friend may have clicked “like” on something (Facebook) and it has shown up on your newsfeed – unfortunately whatever they “liked” has offended you in some way – do not, I repeat Do Not believe that your closest friend has done this intentionally. Sure, they could have remembered rule #1 (see above) but things happen. Just either click the little x so you don’t see similar things in your newsfeed, or just keep scrolling, or even contact your friend in person and explain that you were offended before you jump down their throat and decide that there is no way in the world they can ever be your friend again (what are you – 8 years old in elementary school?)

Now that we got that out of the way – there are those who post on Facebook all of the time but Twitter freaks them out. I guess it’s the 140 or less thing – whatever you “tweet” on Twitter, it must be 140 characters or less. Trust me – it can be done!  You may have to learn some “texting” or “tweeting” language, but it will become comfortable after awhile. I’ve been on twitter for awhile, tweeted sporadically up until about a month ago, and now I have made 180 tweets and have 33 followers – some are my friends/family and most are via geneablogging. Why, yes, I will probably tweet about this post when I’m done!

So how exactly does social media further genealogy research? Besides the networking angle, it can provide tips and tricks on better research strategies or even connecting distant cousins.  Recently, the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree held in Burbank. The fact that I am not a member nor do I live anywhere in the vicinity of Burbank did not deter me from eavesdropping on the event. Unfortunately I didn’t participate in any webinars, but I did keep up via Twitter.  Below I’ve listed my favorite tweets (mainly because, these are hints that will help me!)

Tweets (or retweets) from Missy Corley:

  • Schedule time every 6 mos or so to organize your bookmarks.
  • When you’re stuck, re-examine the records you already have.
  • Unsubscribe from the email lists and newsletters you don’t read.
  • The CountyCheck feature in RMS is great!

Tweets (or retweets) from Amy Coffin:

  • Some free map sites: NYPL, David Rumsey, LOC, Perry Castaneda at UTexas
  • Don’t forget Cyndi’s List map page.
  • Arons is now playing with HistoryPin.com, and so should you.
  • Hovorka: new genealogists need seasoned genealogists too, for guidance, where to find info.
  • Hovorka is saying the same thing Witcher did at RootsTech 11 about getting them in the door, not cramming citations down them.
  • Hovorka: we need tools that foster mentoring and collaboration.
  • Hovorka: scholarizing is a brick wall to reaching new genealogists. #scgs12 Yes, it is. Preach on, sister.
  • Hmmm…mugshots.com, not your typical genealogy records set.
  • If you’re into frugal curating, @familycurator has a book coming out about it in a few months.

Tweets from Randy Seaver:

  • Thomas talked quite a bit about affiliate programs on geneablogs Made up to $200 in one month
  • Ancestry Insider says to write geneablogs for yourself. Ought to use images in every blog post.
  • Thomas says Wikimedia Commons has copyright free images available for use on blogs.

Tweets (or retweets) from Elyse Doerflinger:

  • Bubble.us is like a giant whiteboard and you can type anything down – get ideas out of your heard @drewsmithpa
  • (Original tweet by Amy Crow) That’s the key: “If I look at your citation, can I get back to the original?” – C Witcher (The comma doesn’t matter!)
  • (Original tweet by Tonia Kendrick) Be committed to ANAYLYZING your data. #Witcher

All of the tweets about Steve Luxenberg’s presentation on “Secrets” by Susan A. Kitchens!

Tweets from Tonia Kendrick:

  • NewsLibrary.com can be used a la carte – no subscription necessary. Contemporary content, not historical. @megansmolenyak
  • Create timelines whenever you can. #Witcher

I kept all spelling/hashtags/capitalization the same however, most of these tweets included the hashtag for the conference which I did not include above.

Social media allows distant cousins – who would never be able to meet any other way – to get to know each other better and share valuable genealogical data and information. It also gives family historians the ability to learn from each other. So use it – but use it with care!

If you would like to read more about the folks above:

Personally, I want to thank all those who tweeted from the Jamboree as well as the presenters and the sponsor!

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Thousands (millions?) of people began trying to access the Archives.co
Site for the 1940 Census early this morning only to learn that all was not well. Too many hits added to servers that just didn’t seem ready for 37 million hits created that loud crashing sound we heard. Joining in the cacophony were the anguished cries of genealogists, media, and those at the National Archives.

For 20 minutes this morning, I jumped on Ancestry.com and found the “1940′s era” records are now free for another week. I found my dad’s parents (Loyd and Ella Amore) in a 1930 directory. That was exciting because I have yet to find them in the 1930 census! I found them again – on a different house in the 1932 and 1934 directories in Coshocton, Ohio.

Returning home from work this afternoon, I first perused Facebook statuses and tweets from Twitter to get a sense as to what everyone was saying about the release of the 1940 Census. The news was not good. There were a lot of frustrated people. I pulled up three sites – the official census site (Archives),  Ancestry and familysearch.

On Ancestry I saw that the Indiana records were available so I started with Lexington,  Scott county, Indiana. On the last of the enumeration district’s 38 pages, I found my great-grandfather – Joe Wilt – and his wife. HAPPY DANCE!! Later on I found 2 other collateral relatives/ancestors in Madison county.

About 30 minutes ago,  I indexed my first page – Oregon. Looking forward to doing more.

And for everyone who is frustrated, it will get better! We have waited this long – a little longer is not going to hurt. The census will still br there so while we are waiting, lets spend some time with the living!

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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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