Sunday, April 30, 2006

READERS' FEEDBACK: Bad library manners

From: [name withheld]
DearMYRTLE,
I just had to respond to your column about people leaving microfilm out and volunteers putting it away, titled "Library Manners"
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/06/0308.htm

At the John F. Germany Library in Tampa, there are many signs begging patrons not to refile the microfilms or any other books. This is because it is easier for the library staff to refile the films than it is to find a film that has been misfiled.

What gripes me about library manners today is that the librarians feel it is acceptable to talk loudly in a library. At the John F. Germany Library, the patrons frequently comment to the librarians that it seems strange to hear "people" talking so loudly in the library. (The "people" are the librarians.) These librarians always respond that it used to be expected that people would be quiet in the library but that was a long time ago. The librarians talk to each other about personal matters, complain about their work schedules, and make personal phone calls that disturb patrons. Most patrons don't want to incur the displeasure of the librarians by asking them to be quiet because we might have to ask for their help in the future.

Patrons look around annoyed, cough, hush, and occasionally, some intrepid soul will ask the librarians to be quiet. Then the librarians will say that nobody else seemed to be bothered. It is a losing battle.

I hear the same thing at the downtown library in Cincinnati. There is a screened-in area next to the genealogy section where employees work, socialize, plan lunch, look for the can opener, etc. There is much loud, private conversation going on that is very annoying. I think the employees think it is a private area because there is a screen around it but everything they say carries all over the floor. But it is best not to complain because the librarian you annoy may be the one you have to ask for help with the microfilm reader.

I am not signing my name because I don't want the librarians to identify me. If you include this in your column, please don't use my e-mail address. I really want to continue using the library without incurring the ire of the librarians. Thanks.

DearREADER,
I know exactly which librarians you are referring to at the John F. Germany Library in Tampa. I am 50% deaf, but the problem is annoying enough to readily recall when reading your email. One librarian is particularly loud, and it IS nearly impossible to concentrate when she is speaking. It is almost like she wishes to be known as the authority on a given subject. I wish her supervisor would do something about this matter. This subject has come up in the car among my fellow researchers several times as we've returned home to Bradenton across the bay. But for all the noisiness, the Tampa genealogy references librarians have been most helpful; and, as you mention, it IS painfully difficult to criticize.

As to the subject of the original column about refiling the microfilm: each facility is different. For instance, I visited the Seattle branch of the National Archives Records Administration on Thursday afternoon, where signs request that each refile his microfilm. They use a simple system of a block of wood to take the place of the microfilm in the drawer while I viewed it. The block had the number of the microfilm reader I was using. They even have some magnets to mark the outside of the drawer. The Family History Library requests that researchers do not reshelve books, but microfilms are to be refiled. Wouldn't Ol' Myrt's readers agree it is a researcher's job to familiarize oneself with the guidelines at each facility and govern himself accordingly?

As to bad manners, I should mention the NARA in Seattle is wonderful. However, you barely step in the door at a Southern NARA branch (to remain unnamed by Ol' Myrt) and a woman practically jumps down your throat about a researcher card. Guess there is no accounting for taste when it comes to the choices individual workers make about their on-the-job deportment.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Announcing FHL Research Retreat with My Ancestors Found -- June 26-July 1

DearREADERS,

This just in from Jenni at MyAncestorsFound.com:
"Image how much you could accomplish if you could spend five full days at the world's largest family history library in Salt Lake City, with daily research classes and personal assistance from caring and skilled professionals to guide you all along the way -- all this and more for only $299. Think of the possibilities!" Sign up at
http://www.MyAncestorsFound.com/FHLretreats.htm

Ol' Myrt here worked with this team while I was in Salt Lake City for the past six months. Their family history research expertise is impressive. Consider going if you want to improve the success of your work, and have fun with a great team of research assistants.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Friday, April 28, 2006

New Adoption Mailing Lists

DearREADERS,
If adoption is part of your family tree, consider joining these two new message board/mailing list combinations over at Yahoo.com. THANKS to John Fuller for distributing this information on his genealogy mailing list notices and website. John is coauthor of Genealogy Resources on the Internet which you will find at:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~jfuller/internet.html

AdoptionBridge.
An adoption search and reunion mailing list for anyone affected by adoption. The primary focus is helping adoptees and birthmoms better understand their individual roles in the search and reunion process. You can subscribe from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/adoptionbridge or by sending thefollowing to adoptionbridge-subscribe@yahoogroups.com: subscribe

Adoption-Search-Angels.
An adoption search and reunion mailing list for anyone affected by adoption. You can subscribe from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/adoption-search-angels/ or by sending the following toadoption-search-angels-subscribe@yahoogroups.com: subscribe

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Finding LIVE people

From: Tara
DearMYRTLE,
I am looking for my Auntie Margaret May Franklin. She moved to the US in 1955 and I know she has a daughter called Fareces Grace Lord and that's about it. Can anyone help?

DearTARA,
It is normally the province of genealogists to find documents proving relationship to deceased ancestors. The records of deceased individuals are less likely to be protected by "right to privacy" rules of 75 years or so. Adoption research is the one exception, since the birth parent and/or child may register with reunion services and hire the services of adoption intermediaries to work through the info from the original court adoption file to effectuate the reunion.

Locating live persons is a different game, and would commonly be called skip-tracing if we were employees of a collection agency. Without a Social Security Number, your efforts will be more difficult particularly when the person you seek is a woman. If she is still living, she may be be living with her husband and things may be in his name.

If you knew which state in the US your Auntie Margaret May lived, you could pray she has a listed telephone number in her name and find her in any of the online telephone directory services such as:

-- Yahoo People Finder http://www.YAHOO.com

If you knew her port of entry, you could look at passenger arrival records to learn a little more about her.

MyFamily.com has a website to assist you with locating lost loved ones. You'll find it at:http://reunite.myfamily.com/

FOR FURTHER READING:There are several great books on the topic. Ol' Myrt has the first two, but the third comes highly recommended.

-- Culligan, Joseph. You Can Find Anybody! (2000.) Jodere Group. ISBN: 1588720004.

-- Tillman, Norma. How to Find Almost Anyone, Anywhere, Revised and Updated Edition. (1998) Rutledge Hill Press; ISBN: 1558536574.

-- Johnson, Richard S, and Debra Johnson Knox. Find Anyone Fast. (1997) Military Information Enterprises. ISBN: 1877639303.
See also:

-- Skip Tracing 101 http://www.infoguys.com/article.cfm?id=1

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,Your friend in genealogy.
http://wwwDearMYRTLE.com

Sunday, April 23, 2006

READERS' FEEDBACK: Step-children in obituary

DearREADERS,
WOW, from the sheer volume of your responses to one of yesterday's column, it's obvious the subject hit home with many. As a step-child myself, Ol' Myrt here racked her brain and came up with the following suggestion for listing one's child in addition to children from a spouse's previous marriage. I thought of listing the children in birth order, and came up with the following wording:

"She is survived by her husband ___________ and his children ___, ___ and ___ ; and their child ___. "

THANK-YOU for your thoughtful and heart-felt email. Here's a sampling:

-------------------------------------
From: John Mc
DearMYRTLE,
Your response to the query sounds quite appropriate to me, concise and straight forward. Shouldn't lead to or open further questions in future times.

-------------------------------------
From: Nancy B
DearMYRTLE,
I would think it not appropriate to list his children before their own child(ren). How about:

"She is survived by her husband ________ and their child__________. She is also survived by her husband's children, whom she loved dearly, ____, ____ and ____."

This gives first honor to her own daughter while also showing her love for her step children.

-------------------------------------
From: Kristie
DearMYRTLE,
My answer to this (as I have a step-child) is that the wording is very important. What's wrong with "She is survived by her husband, her son _____, and her step-children, __________"?

This way the step-children don't feel like they've been left out. I know that for a genealogist this is a landmine, but from experience - you can love a step-child just as much as your own. AND, it's not that much different from an adopted child.

-------------------------------------
From: Ann
DearMYRTLE,
When my step-grandmother passed away, her daughter wrote the obituary and didn't mention my father (her step-son) or any of his children. My father was hurt and so were we. She was the only grandmother we knew and we really respected her.

-------------------------------------
DearREADERS,
Perhaps all one can do is the best one can do. With the cost of obituaries rising with the times, writing an obituary becomes even more difficult. There will likely be someone upset by the wording one way or the other. During times of stress, people react differently as well. Let's just pray that my dear reader's friend comes up with a good solution that fits her family situation.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Step-children in obituary

From: Jackie Utley
DearMYRTLE,
A dear friend is terminal with cancer and is writing her own obituary in preparation. She married a man with grown children and they had one child of their own. Since the stepchildren lived with their mother, there was contact mainly on holidays and at family celebrations. In other words, she didn't help raise the children, although she loves them as her own.

She wants to list these children as "their" children in the obituary, making no distinction between stepchildren and her child. I'm concerned that this will cause genealogical nightmares in years to come.

Any suggestions on how to gracefully approach this with her?

DearJACKIE,
This certainly is a sticky wicket. However, experienced genealogists know to take such second-hand obituary info with a grain of salt. I would recommend something like:

"She is survived by her husband ___________ and his children ___, ___ and ___ ; and their child ___. "

What do Ol' Myrt's readers think? I am sure others have dealt with this situation.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
Great-grandmother's female siblings

From: Jim Cochrane
DearMYRTLE,
I am stumped in trying to find the names of my gg-grandmother's female siblings. My gg-grandmother was Eliza Ann Cochran, she is listed as being confirmed at the Presbyterian church in Westfield, NY in 1837. Her obituary, from 1888, in the Gary Interstate Newspaper of Gary, SD says she had 4 sisters and a brother. Through research done by my aunt many years ago, her brother evidently lived in Washington state in the late 1800s. I believe I may have located him and he never married. I have been trying to figure out how I could learn the names of her 4 sisters who must have lived in the Westfield, NY area for a time. I have written the church there, and don't ever get a reply. I have tried the Pendergast Library without success as well. Do you have any suggestions?

DearJIM,
Although it is often difficult to trace female ancestors, your do have several options available since you already know the maiden name. Ol' Myrt recommends:

-- US FEDERAL CENSUS RECORDS (searchable at Ancestry.com and through library access to Heritage Quest). Most particularly you will want to view the 1850, since it is the first to list every member of the household by name. Unfortunately the relationship to head of household isn't mentioned until the 1880, which would be too late for Eliza Ann's birth family.

-- MARRIAGE RECORD of Eliza Ann as perhaps one of the witnesses is a member of her side of the family. I am thinking specifically of the civil marriage license application and return, not the church record. Also look for any other brides with the maiden name Cochran, as they may prove to be Eliza Ann's siblings or cousins. These will probably be loosely indexed on the "C" page at the BEGINNING of the marriage register book.

-- DEATH RECORD for Eliza Ann. Did her spouse provide the info or was it a child or sibling of Eliza Ann that was forthcoming?

-- PROBATE RECORDS in Westfield, New York for anyone with the last name Cochran. You are hoping to find parents and paternal grandparents who will mention Eliza Ann and her siblings as heirs. Admittedly we have no way of knowing that they died in the area. These will probably be loosely indexed on the "C" page at the BEGINNING of the will books or a separate index to probate files.

-- PROBATE RECORDS in Gary, South Dakota for Eliza Ann's will and/or distribution of estate. It is entirely possible one or more of her siblings will be listed. Remember to look for her under her married name. It would be advisable to look at her husband's will and probate packet for the same reason.

-- CHURCH RECORDS. OK, let's tackle this matter. Imagine how the secretary at the church would receive your family history query, at the same time the local congregation is worrying about fund raising to replace the old organ, and what to do with the squirrels in the belfry. You must admit that we do not know if Eliza Ann is the oldest or the youngest, so the church secretary would have to look at about 40 years of records prior to her confirmation and 40 years following her confirmation. With cryptic handwriting in old church books being what it is, I can see how a busy office worker would not be able to honor your request. Unless the inquiry is specific, and involves looking at ONLY one record, you are probably not going to get a response. So what's a family historian like you to do?

SAMPLE OBJECTIVE: Obtain Eliza Ann Cochran's confirmation record, which your family believes occurred in 1837. This would give you her parent's names.

-- Search for the record first on microfilm through the LDS Family History Library or its 4,000+ branch Family History Centers. See the online catalog at http://www.FamilySearch.org for the correct microfilm number to order. If the records are on microfilm, you can search them to your heart's content to find the confirmation of all of Eliza Ann's siblings. Hopefully all of the sisters were married in the same church as well. Then you could trace their families under the new married names in US Federal Census records and such.

-- Failing that, send your SINGLE request to the church via snail mail.

It also occurs to Ol' Myrt that there might be more than one Presbyterian church in the Westfield area. A thorough study of that county history including printed books and info at USGenWeb.com should reveal the answer.

-------------------------------------
FOR FURTHER READING:
-------------------------------------
-- Carmack, Sharon. A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestor: Special Strategies for Uncovering Hard-To-Find Information About Your Female Lineage. 152 pp. (1998) ISBN: 1558704728 http://www.familytreemagazine.com

-- Schaeffer, Christina. The Hidden Half of the Family. 310 pp. (1999, 2003) ISBN: 0806315822. http://www.Genealogical.com

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Friday, April 21, 2006

Meitzler new Managing Editor at Everton

NOTE: This just in from Leland Meitzler. All inquiries should be addressed to him through his blog:
http://genealogyblog.com

-------------------------------------
I GOT A JOB!
Meitzler new Managing Editor at Everton
from Leland Meitzler
-------------------------------------

As the readers of this blog know, a couple of months ago, after 3 years of heavy losses, I finally had to give up on Heritage Creations. The last few weeks have been spent with paperwork - lots of paperwork. Not fun…

I am happy that today I can announce that I’m signing a contract with Genealogy Online, Inc., dba Everton Publishers, to act as Managing Editor for “The Genealogical Helper.” The Helper was my only competition in the magazine business for many years. Now, 20 years later, Heritage Quest Magazine (in name) is gone, and I’m about to control the content of my former competitor and a genealogical publication that’s been around for nearly 60 years - three times as long as Heritage Quest Magazine. I plan to blend the best aspects of Heritage Quest Magazine content along with those of The Genealogical Helper. The first issue with my name on it will be that for July/August 2006.
The folks at Everton have agreed to “honor subscriptions and committed ads for the issues of Heritage Quest Magazinethat were not published.” That is a relief for me, as I am assured that at least part of my obligations will be fulfilled - not quite as we had all planned, but I firmly believe that folks will like what we have in store for them!

Patty and I want to thank all of you for your cards, letters, gifts and emails of support during this trying time in our lives. They have helped to make life a bit more bearable. I also want to thank Walt Fuller, publisher at Evertons, for giving me this opportunity. I don’t know that I deserved it, but I won’t let him down.

Leland K. Meitzler
-------------------------------------
Following is the announcement that
Walt sent out this morning:
-------------------------------------

Dear Family History Researcher:
I have both sad news…and very exciting news!

The sad news is that Holly Hansen is leaving as Editor-in-Chief of the Genealogical Helper, and we wish her only the best as she devotes her considerable energy to further developing her own company, My Ancestors Found, while hopefully having a bit more time to spend with her family.

After a year of intense negotiations with the City of Logan and the former owners or Family History Network, which resulted in the Everton Library being donated to the City and Everton Publishers becoming operational, Holly was one of the first people we called to get the Genealogical Helper up and running. She responded beautifully, did an exemplary job for this magazine, and without her experience, skill and dedicated hard work, the Helper would not have been able to make the successful comeback it has. Again, thank you, Holly, and good luck. We are deeply appreciative of all you have contributed.

And now for the exciting news! Leland Meitzler is joining Everton Publishers as the Managing Editor of the Genealogical Helper. Unless you started your involvement with family history research only yesterday…Leland will likely need no introduction. He is one of the true giants…and founders…of the modern genealogy industry, and he brings a wealth of skills and years of experience to Everton. He will also produce Everton’s Newsline and write a daily blog. We could not be more pleased to have him on board. The Helper is in excellent hands!

In honor of Leland joining us, and following his wishes, we will honor subscriptions and committed ads for the issues of Heritage Quest that were not published. If you know anyone who might wish to take advantage of this offer, please have them call us at 800 443-6325 or 435 752-6022. Going forward, the Genealogical Helper will contain the best of both magazines and include an exciting, major new feature section on Genealogy, Technology, and the Web.

These are very good times at Everton! As always, we will continue striving to offer you only the best in a range of publications, products and services essential for family history researchers…and at reasonable prices.

Sincerely,
Walter Fuller
President and Publisher
http://www.everton.com

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Subsequent remarriage with no children

From: Rene
DearMYRTLE,
My great-grandparents, Allan and Eunice, married and had one child, Melvin. They divorced, each of them marrying other people and having children with their second spouses. After the deaths of the second spouses, Allan and Eunice married again, although they did not have any more children. How should I record their second marriage in Legacy? Do I add another spouse and link it to the same people as the first? Would this require another family group record?


DearRENE,
Ol' Myrt decided to forward your question to Geoff Rasmussen, the Legacy Family Tree software guru, so you could have his opinion as well. Here's what he said:


"Great question. First, remember that every piece of information and every relationship should be recorded. Fortunately, Legacy, and most other genealogy computer programs make this easy. Follow these simple steps:

1) In the Family View, with Allan highlighted, click on the Add menu. Then click 'Wife to Allan'. Fill in her new information.

2) Now, Allan and his second wife will appear in the Family View. From here, you can add their children.

Do the same for Eunice's other marriage [and children.]

In my personal genealogy, my 4th great-grandfather, Asa BROWN married Elizabeth REYNOLDS. They had four children before Elizabeth died. Asa then remarried to Eleanor HUFFMAN. They had five children. So Asa had children by two different wives. All of these children grew up together. But looking at the computer screen, it is not easily apparent, unless you turn on Legacy's option to show 1/2 siblings. With this option turned on, you'll be able to see all of the kids from these marriages. Now, in your research, you are more likely to remember to search for all of the children.

To turn on the 1/2 siblings feature of Legacy Family Tree, just right-click on any of the children, click on View, and then click on 'Show 1/2 Kids'.

Thanks,
Geoff Rasmussen
Millennia Corporation
Geoff@MillenniaCorp.com
http://www.LegacyFamilyTree.com
--------------------------------------------------------
And so, DearRENE, Ol' Myrt agrees that you need to add each additional marriage in your genealogy management program, since the event places these individuals in a specific place at a specific time.


In your case, if we don't document the now third marriage (the 2nd between the same individuals) it would make it hard to understand why the Eunice dies with Melvin's last name. In fact we would never have anticipated this name change, since it is unusual, though not unheard of, for people to remarry much later in life.

Without such documentation, the resulting name change would go unnoticed, and would adversely affect our ability to locate:
-- Eunice's obituary
-- Eunice's tombstone
-- Eunice's probate records

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
1880 Census Image Availability

From: Fred Rowe
DearMYRTLE,
I recently tried to display a 1880 census image at Ancestry. From what I can tell, 1880 Ancestry is NOT FREE ANYMORE!!! Go to FamilySearch and get the index, go to the Ancestry link and it asks for $ now. And now it tries to get $ for the free World Tree entries, from unsavvy users, but you can get to them for free if you know how. Why does Ancestry try to get $ for free services? Is access to the 1880 census really gone? Please help.

DearFRED,

You are correct, it would appear that free access to the 1880 census images through Ancestry.com is not blocked. Here's how I tested your theory:

SCENARIO #1:
Ol' Myrt here used her sister Mary's computer (where I had never logged in to Ancestry.com), then went to FamilySearch.org's 1880 US Federal Census Index. The link to the image for my ancestor Daniel Weiser required that I log in to my Ancestry.com membership before viewing.

SCENARIO #2:
On that same computer, I went directly to Ancestry.com's census area, and see that the label for the 1880 census says "Free Index." Well, that isn't much of a freebie, since FamilySearch.org provides it's own double-blind data entry index for free.

ALTERNATIVE:
Pray that the http://www.USGenWeb.com website for your ancestor's state and county is working on a scanning project for the 1880.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Palatines to America

DearREADERS,
Palatines to America is a national genealogy society researching German-speaking ancestors. Their annual seminar this year will be 23-25 June 2006 at the Marriott Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. Find out more by going to:
http://www.palam.org/.

The theme of the seminar is "Researching Your German-Speaking Ancestors." Topics to be covered include:
-- Blocked lines
-- Researching female ancestors
-- Manuscript collections
-- Schleswig-Holstein
-- Shenandoah Valley Germans
-- Saxon Chronicles
-- Identifying, dating, preserving, reading clues in family photographs
-- Ways to prove who your ancestor was, standards of proof

The seminar brochure is now available at:
http://www.palam.org/conf/conf2006brochure.pdf
The brochure contains complete program details and a printable registration form. Their brochure is an Adobe Acrobat 'pdf' file. If you have trouble reading it, you may need to download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader via a link provided at the society's website. The Palatines to America website also includes information about membership, local chapter events, and the catalog of library holdings.

For other questions, contact Ralph & Marge Kroehler, 6910 N. Rockvale, Peoria, IL 61614 or via email at: kroehler@juno.com

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Online Jewish Research Classes

NOTE: This was just received from Schelly Talalay Dardashti. Address inquiries to her at: schelly@allrelative.net

JEWISH INTERNET RESEARCH CLASS
Jewish Internet Research begins May 4 at
www.myfamily.com.
Learn how to navigate the Internet for information on your Jewish ancestors. This class covers information on many websites and databases covering the Holocaust, Ancestry.com, JewishGen, Jewish Records Indexing - JRI Poland, Sephardic genealogy, archives, museums, general and Jewish sites and many more resources.
http://www.myfamily.com/isapi.dll?c=home&htx=training%2FOnlineClass&class=3&school=GEN

Jewish genealogy experts Micha Reisel and Schelly Talalay Dardashti co-teach the four-week class, which includes a detailed syllabus, two lessons to download each week, two online class chats per week, a dedicated website and message board. Class fee ($29.95) includes access to www.ancestry.com databases so students can research family records.

The Internet offers ever-increasing research possibilities. The challenge is to try to make sense of the many websites with information on Jewish genealogical matters. Doing research with others and sharing information is a great way of learning how and where to go for the best results.

Micha and Schelly also teach Basic Jewish Research which provides the essential tools to begin a family history project. Students in both classes have made great strides in discovering family information and continue to work together on mutual interests long after each class ends.

====updated bio for Micha and Schelly -- the basic bios are on the webpage noted above=====
Micha Reisel is an online news industry veteran who currently consults with media and online sites on interactive media and media integration. A networker who thrives on bringing together companies and people in the online content industry, he is president and founder of Toldot Publishers,
www.toldot.net which helps genealogists publish their Jewish family histories on the Internet and in books.

Since 1985, Micha has been working on his own family tree and is the family genealogist of his paternal and maternal lines, with some 700 people in his family tree from Belarus, Lithuania, Germany and Holland, dating to 1720. An Internet expert, Micha focuses on finding resources on Jewish genealogy for researchers.

He recently led a group of seven volunteers who transliterated from Hebrew to English some 80,000 burial records of two large Israeli cemeteries so that this database can be searchable by worldwide individuals.

He is vice president of the multi-branched Jewish Family Research Association Israel (JFRA Israel); member International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS), where he has frequently given presentations and workshops.

Schelly Talalay Dardashti is a freelance journalist specializing in Jewish genealogy, travel and food. A New Yorker who has lived in several countries, she began her research in 1989, as the researcher for her husband's family and her own. Anyone bearing either of the rare names is sure to be related. With origins in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Spain and Iran, each extensive tree dates to about 1740.

Her articles have appeared in JTA and a host of Jewish press and genealogy publications and journals.

Now the Jewish genealogy contributor for www.ynetnews.com, she was formerly the Jewish genealogy columnist, for the Jerusalem Post (print/online) from 1999-2005. She covers community histories, personalities, new resources and projects, events and conferences, books, family reunions, mysteries and more.

Member, Association of Professional Genealogists, American Jewish Press Association, JewishGen's Belarus Special Interest Group (SIG) and Sefard Forum. She is also president of the multi-branched Jewish Family Research Association Israel (JFRA Israel), a member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Reality & Life in general

DearREADERS & LISTENERS,
Heavens to Betsey! What a year! Ol' Myrt wants to catch you up on the latest news. I still wish to snowbird between Florida and Utah, but that plan willneed to wait a few months before coming into play.

Now that my daughter Carrie has sufficiently recovered from her car accident and is better able to carry on with her young household, I am moving toSeattle for a month or two. I need to visit with my siblings and figure out just what is best for our rapidly aging parents. Yes, I was just there for two weeks, but I came back to SLC for a short visit to give a speech and to attend my sister's wedding.

Tomorrow I head out, driving up with the accumulation of "stuff" one collects when living so near the Family HistoryLibrary in SLC. How very unlike my immigrant ancestors who carried only a small satchel of belongings before sailing across the Atlantic to the new world in the late 1600s and early 1700s.

Since September, it has been one thing after another with life-changing events for my extended family. I am still holding my own, but am sad that I haven't been able to consistently record DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour podcasts as I would like. Fortunately I was able to complete JOY OF GENEALOGY, but I haven't made any progress on my "Beginning Genealogy Lessons" in .mp3 format.

Even with all these adjustments, the past many months have been a true blessing in my life, as I have been able to spend considerable time with myfamily. This is a great thing to have close family ties, since love and support of family and friends are about all we take with us when we leave this world.

Some of the experiences have been bitter-sweet, and I have discussed with my dear readers a bit of the bare essentials, because it is hard for Ol' Myrtto separate "DearMYRTLE" from my personal life. I think by now, all y'all know how that nom de plume alter-ego has taken over my life!

Two professional genealogists have called me on the carpet for being so "personal" with my readers and listeners. However, I know of no other way tobe forthcoming. It isn't my intention to hide behind a podium. I prefer rolling up our collective sleeves and getting the research process going.

I feel that being real and approachable will make it easier for you to voice your research questions, and easier still to take advice from this ol' gal. I am also learning that the more I get into this, the less I really know. It is our collective thinking that provides insight to successful family history research.

I have considered taking a break or discontinuing DearMYRTLE all together. After all, it has been 11 years. But then, what would I do in my spare time?Ol' Myrt here would miss your email stories of research quandaries and successes, and I do so love keeping on top of the genealogy news, interviewing authors, giving lectures, visiting with your local genealogy societies, etc.

So my purpose in writing is to let you know that despite the sporadic delivery of DearMYRTLE content, ol' Myrt here plans to keep working on:

-- regular columns (via blog, email list, message board and my website)

-- weekly DearMYRTLE's FAMILY HISTORY HOUR podcasts (you don't need an iPod to listen, just a computer with the speakers turned up.)

When things get on a more even keel, I can think about:
-- the Beginning Genealogy Lessons on CD
-- MORE JOY OF GENEALOGY
-- JOY OF GENEALOGY: African American Roots
-- JOY OF GENEALOGY: Germanic Roots
-- JOY OF GENEALOGY: Sharing your family history

Thank-you for your support and positive feedback. From your personal emails, I've learned that many of you have gone through some of these difficultchallenges as well, so you know where I am coming from. It appears that at this stage in Ol' Myrt's life adaptability is the name of the game, eh?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com
Changing Hats

DearREADERS,
My hat's off to Holly Hansen and JenniferJohnson and their wonderful team at MyAncestorsFound.com for a job well done in resurrecting Everton's Genealogical Helper Magazine and saving the library when Everton's went through financial difficulties a few years ago.

---------------
From: Holly T. Hansen Holly@MyAncestorsFound.com
DearMYRTLE,
It has been two years since Bobbie Coray called and asked me to help save the Everton Library and bring back Evertons Genealogical Helper magazine. I, Jennifer H. Johnson and our team at My Ancestors Found dug in full force to help with this worthy cause. It has been hard work with seemingly never-ending hours but we are happy to have helped in making Bobbies dream come true. Currently, the awesome Everton Collection is shelved and housed in the Logan City complex. Logan City is currently working out the details to hire a librarian to care for this unique collection. In the foreseeable future it will be available to the public once again. Evertons Genealogical Helper has been revived.

I would like to thank each and every person who has supported us in this endeavor. The May/June 2006 Helper will be my last issue as Editor-in-chief. I will once again give my full attention to sponsoring research retreats at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, regional genealogy conferences & jamborees, and research assistance for those seeking professional help with their family history.

We have some really exciting things happening at My Ancestors Found and look forward to working with you again very soon. You can always see what the My Ancestors Found team is up to by visiting our website at http://www.myancestorsfound.com
Thanks for your support,
Holly T. Hansen
President,M
y Ancestors Found
http://www.myancestorsfound.com/

-------------------------------------
And so DearREADERS, while I wish Evertons well, I cannot imagine how/why they let the talented MyAncestors team slip through their fingers. Its very hard to find such creative folks who are capable of both the business as well as the research side of presenting genealogical content.

-------------------------------------
Permit Ol' Myrt to make a few
personal observations:
-------------------------------------
In working with Holly & Jen and their team on several projects, I've found a talented group of individuals who are keenly aware of the typical genealogist's strengths and weaknesses. They KNOW how to work with people, and teach correct research principles.

Holly and Jen are uniquely capable of thinking outside the box when it comes to presenting very large regional seminars. Their methods should be reviewed by NGS and FGS as a better way of providing nationally-ranked speakers and a variety of topics at a reasonable cost. In this day and age of fixed incomes, dropped pension plans and such, attending big genealogy conferences with hefty entrance prices is so passe.

So Holly and Jen, in this change of hats, this ol' gal wishes you God speed.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Monday, April 10, 2006

READERS' FEEDBACK: 10 April 2006

-- Cuban Genealogy
-- County Histories
-- Castle Garden
-- Splitting a Legacy Database Cautions
-- FamilySearchIndexing.org
-- Irish Research Sites
-- Running Software on USB Drives
-- Jacksonville State Hospital in Illinois
-- HeritageQuest Online


--------------------------------------------------------
CUBAN GENEALOGY
From: Cubaroots@aol.com
DearMYRTLE,
RE: Cuban Research
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/06/0320.htm
The Cuban Family History and Genealogy project presentation was a big success. It started with a mini-play using a Cuban actress reliving a young girl's life in Cuba prior to 1959. It could not have been more heartwarming to all of us in the audience. Even for me who was born in the States, it was wonderful to actually hear what it was like to grow up female in Cuba. This was particularly meaningful to me since I had to content with the customs of the old country while growing up here in the United States. Young adulthood was that much more stressful for me because of it!

This reenactment of life in Cuba before the revolution was a unique way to inspire the audience to begin collecting their own oral family history. Jorge PiƱon did an excellent job of putting together a truly important learning experience for every audience member. All the speakers were excellent and incredibly informative. One presenter had written an oral history using elders recounting glimpses of their lives in Cuba. We both laughed and cried at the same time while listening to their memories. It is such a meaningful way to record our own family history. Oral history brings our ancestors back to life. It is not stressed enough as a method to incorporate into our own family history research.

By the way, the majority of us in the audience were well over 40 years of age. What a pity that our youth are just not that interested in their family heritage.

As you requested, I will certainly forward any newsworthy bits of information as they come up concerning Cuban genealogy.

Thank you for your interest. It was a pleasure exchanging these emails with you.
Marie Zaret
1st Vice President and Proud Founding Member
Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami, Florida, Inc.
www.cubangenclub.org

--------------------------------------------------------
COUNTY HISTORIES
From: Cindy Alldredge

DearMYRTLE,
At some time I think that I read that the reason there were so many county histories written in the late 1800s was because this was encouraged by a U.S. President. Do you have the info on this or is this something that I imagined? Thanks for your help. Best wishes in this difficult endeavor with your parents. Cindy in Snohomish.


NOTE FROM MYRT: These mug books were usually created by a publishing company who earned money by the sales, in addition to the money people paid to get their photo and bio in the issue. I believe that some of these were motivated by the realization that the US Civil War servicemen were passing away at an alarming rate. I hadn't heard that these county histories came as a result of a Presidential directive. Can any of Ol' Myrt's readers add to this discussion?

--------------------------------------------------------
CASTLE GARDEN

From: gypsy97@bellsouth.net
DearMYRTLE,
Perhaps you could direct me to where I can find a listing of passengers on a particular ship's crossing from Germany to NY. I know my gg-grandmother arrived at Castle Garden in August 1852, on a ship called the Yankee Blade. She was carrying a 6 month old child, and I would like to find out if she was accompanied by any of her family or her husband's family. I hoped to see the ship's manifest and possibly recognize a surname, but I simply cannot get to that point.
I can remember several years ago being able to look at a particular date, port of entry, and ship, and be able to read through the list of passengers. Now that Ancestry.com controls everything, I wonder if this is still possible.


DearMARTHA,
Remember that the new CASTLE GARDEN website (which isn't owned by Ancestry.com to my knowledge) is available but does not have all the scanned images included. "CastleGarden.org offers free access to an extraordinary database of information on 10 million immigrants from 1830 through 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. Over 73 million Americans can trace their ancestors to this early immigration period." From:
http://www.castlegarden.org

I prefer to use http://www.SteveMorse.org to view this site's database of names, since he provides an easy interface which indicates the microfilm number for the original manifest. In your case you know the month and year of arrival in addition to the ship's name, so you can go directly to his option:

IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE EXACT DATE IN AUGUST 1852

1. LOOK AT THE CASTLE GARDEN WEBSITE http:/www.CastleGarden.org using your ancestor's name. Then you will note the date of arrival, perhaps 11 Aug 1852.

2. THEN go to http://www.SteveMorse.org, scroll down to the CASTLE GARDEN section of his page, and click on "Obtaining NARA and FHL Roll Numbers for NY Ship Arrivals in One Step."
Then enter the 11 August 1852 to discover the following microfilm numbers:

CASTLE GARDEN ARRIVALS July 23rd through Aug 10th 1852:
NARA Record Group - M237; Roll #117
FHL 0175473

CASTLE GARDEN ARRIVALS July 11th through Sept 1st 1852
NARA Record Group - M237; Roll #118
FHL 0175474

NARA = National Archives Records Administration
FHL = Family History Library

--------------------------------------------------------
SPLITTING A LEGACY DATABASE CAUTIONS


From: Geoff Rasmussen
DearMYRTLE,
Today I wrote about the cautions of splitting a Legacy database, but it applies to all software. Just thought you might be interested:
http://legacynews.typepad.com/legacy_news/2006/03/your_legacy_dat.html

Have a great week!
Thanks,
Geoff Rasmussen
Millennia Corporation
Geoff@MillenniaCorp.com
www.LegacyFamilyTree.com

--------------------------------------------------------
FAMILYSEARCH INDEXING

From: Charlotte Pittman
DearMYRTLE,
I live in Kanab, Utah and have done working getting Ancestral File and the 1880 census on line in the past. I would love to work on indexing the microfilm records so that they can be used online.

DearCHARLOTTE,
Visit
http://familysearchindexing.org/ and volunteer. I don't know how long the "pre-approval" process takes. Right now the projects include:
1. Georgia Death Certificates - 1919 to 1927
2. Ohio Tax Records - Post 1825
3. Ohio Death Certificates - 1945 to 1953

--------------------------------------------------------
RUNNING SOFTWARE FROM USB DRIVES
From: bpuller@gmail.com
DearMYRTLE,
RE: Running Genealogy Programs From USB Drive. I enjoyed listening to the latest edition of the DearMYRTLE's Family History Hour show. I was thinking about the question you received from a listener about running her genealogy program from a USB drive.


I recalled an article I read a few months ago about this topic, so I did some research and it turns out that this is possible.

A company called Ceedo, http://www.ceedo.com, makes a software called PowerToGo, it claims to allow you to run any application from a USB drive. You can download a free 30-trial from their Web site. You may also want to check out U3 drives http://www.u3.com, although they have specific applications that run on their drives, none of which are genealogy programs. I have not tested either of these products so I don't know how well they perform.

Also, in response to those long URL's in an e-mail, there is a free service that will convert long Web site addresses into shorter more manageable ones, appropriately enough it's called Tiny URL and is located on the Web at http://tinyurl.com. Just input your long URL and it will convert it to a short one which you copy and paste into your e-mail.

NOTE FROM MYRT: Previous columns on this topic discussed placing a copy of one's database on a USB or thumb drive, which works very much like a large floppy disk drive where data can be stored. Over these past few weeks, we've found that in addition to PAF, many of the main-stream genealogy program can be installed freely on FHC (Family History Center) computers. However, this won't help if you wish to view your Legacy or RootsMagic database at a public library, since it most likely won't have any genealogy programs installed. Perhaps PowerToGo is a workable solution. How about reader feedback in this area?

------------------------------------------------
IRISH RESEARCH SITES

From: M.Q. Fallaw cliokent@yahoo.com
DearMYRTLE,
RE: Report on Irish teleconference tonight

http://www.dearmyrtle.com/06/0220.htm

You might want to consider adding these (mostly free) websites to your list of important ones for Irish research:
http://www.failteromhat.com/griffiths.php

One can search by Ireland county (and/or townland and/or civil parish) by surname. Results show all with the surname in the chosen jurisdiction--county, parish, or townland. I learned of this one just recently by a mailing list posting.

From the main page listed above, clicking on the "Irish Ancestors" link takes one to another treasure trove:
http://scripts.ireland.com/ancestor/browse/counties/civilmaps/index.cfm

From there one can go to some excellent maps showing and listing the civil parish maps in each county, click on parish links for more info, and so on.

--------------------------------------------------------
RE: JACKSONVILLE STATE HOSPITAL IN ILLINOIS

From: Shirley Roberts
DearMYRTLE,
RE: Jacksonville State Hospital in Illinois
http://www.dearmyrtle.com/05/1012.htm
Florence Hutchinson of the Jacksonville Area Genealogical Society, Jacksonville, IL then of the Morgan Area Genealogical Society, also of Jacksonville, did research on the Jacksonville State Cemetery. It's been a long time, and I don't remember all the particulars. As it seems, the graves were moved for some [reason]. She had the records and probably printed something about it. I have many ancestors including my father from Jacksonville, and belonged to those Societies. Contact either of them and they should be able to help you. Florence began both Societies.

NOTE FROM MYRT:

Morgan Area Genealogical Association, P.O. Box 84, Jacksonville, IL 62651-0084

Jacksonville Area Genealogical & Historical Society, P.O. Box 21, Jacksonville, IL 62650
See also:
http://www.csj.net/~jaghs/

--------------------------------------------------------
HERITAGEQUEST ONLINE

From: Donna
DearMYRTLE,
Regarding access to HeritageQuestOnline, [this is the website info] received from the McLean Co, IL mailing list. I thought you might find it valuable to pass on.
http://www.eogen.com/HeritageQuestOnline

I enjoyed your talking about your trip to Phoenix. I have children and grandchildren there. I only have a trip from LV to Phoenix. I am an avid genealogist and one of the rare LDS who do research.

I've taught Family History to as many as will listen. My classes at church are usually well attended. I promote and advertise the start of the class. I have sign-ups during Sunday School classes. It gets people committed to attending. I put a poster prominently displayed in the foyer prior to the class starting up. I e-mail to past as well as current members of the class any new info that I receive. My marketing and advertising experience helps me a lot! I'm in the Las Vegas Wedding business. I publish a bridal magazine.

Thanks for all you do to help us struggling to find information.
--------------------------------------------------------

ACROSS MY DESK: Italian Conference

From: Amy Arner kraven@nauticom.net
DearMYRTLE,
"Roots in the Boot," an Italian Genealogy and Heritage Conference, will be held on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Pittsburgh, PA on 14-15 July 2006. The exciting program has Dr. John Philip Colletta as the featured speaker. Additional speakers include June DeLalio, CG; Paola Manfredi, AG; Marie Varrelman Melchiori, CG, CGL; Elissa Scalise Powell, CG; Keith Rose, AG; and Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak. The Senator John Heinz Regional History Center, the University of Pittsburgh Italian Language Program, and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh are co-sponsoring the conference. More information is available at www.rootsintheboot.org or by writing to Roots in the Boot, PO Box 8313, Pittsburgh, PA 15218-8313.

Be sure to pass this message on to anyone interested in Pittsburgh, Italian research and heritage, how to do genealogy, DNA, access records, preserve their family heirlooms, or write the family history. You don't have to be Italian to register, just interested in the topics presented.

Best regards,
Amy Arner
Conference Committee Member

Thursday, April 06, 2006

ACROSS MY DESK: Revised DNA website includes additions to database

NOTE: The following was received 4 April 2006 from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. Please address your inquiries to: info@smgf.org

Dear Friends of SMGF,
We are pleased to announce the release of a new version of our website at
http://www.smgf.org.
The latest version has expanded search capabilities, over 750 new records in the Y-chromosome database, and additional tools and tips to help you make new family connections through molecular genealogy.

We invite you to visit our new pages and to contact us at info@smgf.org with your comments and suggestions.

Sincerely,
The SMGF Team

ACROSS MY DESK: ISBGFH British Institute

International Society for British Genealogy and Family History
PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2006


The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH) announces the sixth annual British Institute to be held October 2 - 6, 2006 in Salt Lake City.

The British Institute is a weeklong program combining instruction and practical experience. Each day instructors experienced in British Isles genealogy and research methods conduct classes and seminars in the morning and assist students with their research in the Family History Library in the afternoon. In addition to guidance in the library, each student can take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the course instructor for a one-on-one strategy session.

Accommodations and classrooms for the British Institute are located in the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel; research and most one-on-one sessions take place in the LDS Family History Library. These facilities help make the British Institute an exceptional educational opportunity. The Institute is able to offer everyone expert instruction, small class size, individual attention, and personal research time with assistance. The Institute brings together resources, practical guidance, and the chance to improve skills in a helpful and friendly atmosphere.

Courses offered at this year's Institute:

Welsh Research
Level: Intermediate
Time Period: 1858 back to early 1600s
Instructor: Darris Williams
This course is directed at researchers with some exposure to research in Wales or who took the introductory level course in 2005. Students will expand their experience working with fundamental and frequently used records and be introduced to more advanced sources.

Darris Williams: British reference consultant in the Family History Library for thirteen years, currently a reference consultant for World Wide Support in the Family History Department. After completion of a bachelor degree in family and community history at Brigham Young University, he studied at the University of Wales, Aberstwyth in 1996. Darris has lectured at the British Isles Family History Society Conference, UGS Institute, Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference and Federation of Family History Societies Conference. He is a contributor of materials on the Glamorganshire and Carmarthenshire portions of www.Genuki.org.uk and transcriber of monumental inscriptions for chapels and churches in Wales published by the Glamorgan Family history Society. Darris is only the second person to pass the Wales accreditation test administered by ICAPGen.

British Isles Research: Solving Problems, Creating Strategies
Instructor: Sherry Irvine, MSc, CG, FSA (Scot)
Roadblocks in family history are opportunities to pause, re-examine work, review records and make a new start. Further progress is possible provided another approach is found, one arising from careful analysis. This course is for those with some experience in British Isles research (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland) wanting advanced guidance in research planning and strategy.

Sherry Irvine: MSc, CG, FSA Scot, lecturer, writer and online teacher specializing in British Isles methods; faculty member IGHR Samford University since 1996, internationally known speaker and a keynote presenter at the Australasian Congresses in Melbourne and Darwin; author of three books including the award-winning Scottish Ancestry: Research Methods for Family Historians; former president Association of Professional Genealogists and winner of the Graham T. Smallwood Award for services to genealogy; vice-president of ISBGFH.

An online registration form can be obtained at http://www.isbgfh.org.

A brochure on the Institute can be requested by writing to:
The British Institute
P.O. Box 350459
Westminster, CO 80035-0459
The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH) was established in 1979 to educate individuals searching for their British ancestors. ISBGFH is an educational organization and publishes the award winning quarterly journal, British Connections.
ACROSS MY DESK: RootsMagic 3.2.1 Released

NOTE: This is just in from RootsMagic News - April 2006. All inquiries should be addressed to:
support@rootsmagic.com


RootsMagic 3.2.1 Released
We have just posted version 3.2.1 which adds a few new features and addresses a number of small issues. If you currently own RootsMagic 3 you can see a list of the items addressed in 3.2.1 and download the free update at:
http://www.rootsmagic.com/updates

If you own an earlier version of RootsMagic (v2.x and earlier) you can order an upgrade to v3 at: http://www.rootsmagic.com/orders.htm

Joy of Genealogy NOW AVAILABLE

DearREADERS,
Ol' Myrt here is tickled pink to announce that her newest book (a really BIG one this time) is finally available from the publisher.

"DearMYRTLE's JOY OF GENEALOGY" is an answer to my brother-in-law Paul's questions:

• Where do you start with family history?
• Why isn’t there a chart outlining what to do step-by-step?
• Which websites are worth "joining" and are the free sites any good?
• Are you saying we have to travel to each and every church or courthouse where our ancestors lived in the 1800s?
• What part does the Family History Library in Salt Lake play now that so much is on the net?
• What can I do when no one remembers anyone before the great-grandparents?
• What do I do with all this genealogy stuff I’m accumulating?

Throughout these 11 years of writing DearMYRTLE’s genealogy columns, I realize genealogists throughout the world are faced by these same questions day in and day out. New family historians are joining in the search each day.

This all came rushing back to me when I attended a genealogy seminar last fall. There were 8-10 classes per hour, with two morning sessions and two afternoon sessions. Those 30 some-odd classes provided details on how to research census, land, probate, church and foreign record office documents.

Just before the 2nd hour classes, I ran across a lady who was simply overwhelmed – and "underwhelmed" as well. She felt there should be a simple outline of steps to follow to get the family tree climbing stuff done, step-by-step like following a recipe. All these classes were well and good, but they weren’t meeting her need to see the process and the path to follow.

UNFORTUNATELY THE PATH ISN'T THE SAME FOR EVERYONE.

This book guides the beginner or intermediate family historian through research possibilities with actual examples of source documents proving family relationships.

DearMYRTLE's JOY OF GENEALOGY
ISBN: 978-1-1446-8698-4
278 pages
Illustrated
Indexed
8 1/2 by 11 inch, paperback
Regular price US $34.95 plus shipping & handling, through my website. I'll wave the shipping if you order between now and April 30th.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Myrt speaking at Utah Valley PAF 8 March 2006

NOTE: The following was just received from Donald R. Snow, 1st Vice President of Utah Valley PAF Users Group. All inquiries should be addressed to: pres@uvpafug.org

--------------------------------------------------------
For immediate release:

UTAH VALLEY PAF USERS GROUP

The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley PAF (Personal Ancestral File) Users Group will be on Saturday, 8 Apr 2006 from 9 am until noon in the LDS "Red" Chapel at 4000 North Timpview Drive (650 East), in Provo.

The main presentation will be by Pat Richley on GETTING FROM INDEXES TO ORIGINALS. Pat Richley, better known as "DearMYRTLE" to her readers and listeners, provides practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians through her website DearMYRTLE.com. As Myrt, she has been onlining since 1984 during the old FIDO-net days with a Commodore 64 and a slow 300 baud modem. This year marks the 11th anniversary of her daily genealogy column in AOL's genealogy forum and on the web since 1997. She hosts a weekly Internet radio show where she interviews leading genealogy authors, researchers and software producers, and is the author of "The Everything Online Genealogy Book", "DearMYRTLE's Joy of Genealogy", plus numerous DearMYRTLE "Little Books."

Pat attended BYU and has 3 beautiful daughters that she says (objectively, no doubt) have provided her with the five most brilliant and talented grandchildren in the world. She usually resides in Bradenton, Florida, with her 63 research notebooks, four computers, a cat, and a stack of photocopies yet to be filed from a research trip in 2004, but she is temporarily residing in Salt Lake City.

Her topic on going from indexes to the originals is important since indexes aren't perfect and there could be transcription errors and there might be additional information in the original that didn't fit the indexer's format. So whenever we find references to an ancestor in an index, whether on the Internet, in a book, or on a genealogy CD, we need to obtain a photocopy of the original entry. Pat will explain this process using several real-life research challenges.

Following the main presentation there will be several classes taught concerning technology and family history. As usual, there will be something for everyone at all levels of expertise. Following are the classes currently scheduled for this meeting. (1) PAF 5, by Ralph Hansen; (2) What's New with PAF Insight?, by Duane Dudley; (3) Creating A Family History Website: #3 Images Add Interest, by Robert Raymond; (4) The New Look at NARA.GOV, by Bret Petersen; (5) Recent Internet Information for 20th and 21st Century Research, by Laurie Castillo; (6) Individual Mentoring, by LaRita Evans and Lynell Shock; (7) Video of last month's main presentation by Holly Hansen on Building a Fantastic Map Collection; (8) Q&A: Getting from Indexes to Originals, by DearMYRTLE; and (9) Legacy - Have It Your Way, by Dean Bennett.
There will be no RootsMagic class this month.

All meetings of the Users Group are open to the public whether members of the Group or not. The Users Group has the goal of helping individuals use technology to further their family history and there are usually 100-125 attending the monthly meetings on the second Saturdays. Several of the officers, including Gerhard Ruf, President; Don Snow, 1st VP; Brian Cooper, 2nd VP; Kay Baker, Membership Chairman; Lynne Shumway, Editor of PAFology, and Bruce Merrill, Video Librarian, will be there to help with membership, questions, distribute the current issue of the monthly newsletter PAFology, and to check out videos of past presentations and classes to members of the group.

The Users Group offers free weekday classes on several topics when teachers are available, and information about main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on the Group's web site
http://www.uvpafug.org and/or on http://www.familyhistorycenter.org.

For further information about the group or its activities see the web site or contact Gerhard Ruf, President, at
pres@uvpafug.org and 801-225-6106, Don Snow at snowd@math.byu.edu , or Brian Cooper at vp2@uvpafug.org .

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The younger generation

DearREADERS,
In going through my step-mother's papers, my niece found wedding notes kept by Gramma, who was the mother of the groom. With my niece's own wedding so fresh in her mind, this treasure trove about her parent's wedding was a delight and includes things like:

-- Little receipts for table cloths and candles
-- Lists with most items checked off
-- A few diary-type entries on slips of papers
-- Photos (not yet labeled)
-- Invitations & a few unused thank-you cards

On my return from touring the proposed skilled nursing facility for my step-mother, Ash could hardly wait to share her excitement about the treasures she has found. This sweet gal is a young mother, and oddly enough this past weekend she and I poured over her wedding pictures and reminisced about her special day. She and her husband have been the principle care givers in my parent's household these past few months.
My niece is feeling a sense of contact with history -- and she even called it genealogy.

Among the items were informal "instant" Polaroid snapshots, which have faded and discolored over the past 30 years. Scanning to preserve these images is well within my niece's capability. So, it looks like the family history torch has been passed to the younger generation on this side of the family.

Ol' Myrt is thankful for these traces of happier days which serve as a breath of fresh air during this difficult time of transition. As many readers have experienced assuming leadership roles, deciding about advanced care of a spouse or parents, you know what my siblings and I are going through. It is an understatement to say it is hard to switch parent-child roles with one's own parents. Your thoughts and kind emails have been a great support.

I am looking forward to a brief return to Salt Lake for my sister's wedding, and to speak Saturday at the Utah Valley PAF Users Group on the subject of "Getting from indexes to original documents."

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

Saturday, April 01, 2006

READERS' FEEDBACK: Copies, PE and podcast woes

-- Copies of old documents
-- Passage Express available to FHCs
-- Podcast woes

--------------------------------------------------------
COPIES OF OLD DOCUMENTS
From: Sallie Belperche
DearMYRTLE,
I was so glad to see someone else who'd rather copy documents while at a facility, and wait until they're home to input the data. I spent a week in February at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I would not have been able to accomplish a fraction of what I did if I'd spent time entering it into my database. Besides, I'd have had to spend time translating from French! This also means I didn't lug my laptop from Florida to Utah. I can't imagine not making copies of all pertinent documents. I've had to go back and re-read a document on many occasions. What if I didn't have the document?

--------------------------------------------------------
TENNESSEE CEMETERIES
From: Mason Woodson
DearMYRTLE,
A very interesting article in Washington Post about Cemeteries in TN.. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/26/AR2006032600893.html

More Family Cemeteries Dying Away in the South
As Rural Land is Developed, Ancestral Graves are Relocated, Bulldozed orEncircled by Construction

I was recently in Bradenton as I have a brother not far from you out near Cortez and made the Craft and Food fair there, weather was beautiful.

--------------------------------------------------------
PASSAGE EXPRESS ALSO AVAILABLE TO FHCs
From: DearMYRTLE
To: contactus@passageexpress.com
Among responses to a recent series of articles about software that can be installed on FHC computers on a complimentary basis, Passage Express came up. Is there such an offer? Just thought I'd check the factsbefore writing a follow-up column with reader input.

From: contactus@passageexpress.com
DearMYRTLE,
Yes, we do offer that. If the FHC or Library just sends us some information, they can go ahead and load it on their computers, fully licensed. We just need to know the name of the FHC or Library, identifying FHC number (if applicable), contact person, email and telephone number. They can download the software and we will send them a license to the email they provided.

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PODCAST WOES
From: Renee Gencur
DearMYRTLE,
I love listening to your podcast as I drive to work, but I am having trouble updating your podcast in iTunes, apparently due to "downtime or capacity problems". I also don't seem to be able to download the complete version through your mp3 links. Do you have any suggestions for getting around these problems?

DearRENEE,
THANK-you for taking the time to describe the situation you are experiencing. Ol' Myrt here uploads the podcast files to OurMedia.org, and OurMedia.org is the entity that sends out the media RSS feed to iTunes. For the message you are receiving, it would appear that the bottle-neck occurs between OurMedia and iTunes, and that things quite simply "time out." There are some alternatives:

-- Attempt to obtain the file through iTunes at a different hour.

-- Go to www.DearMYRTLE.com, and click on the show page, and elect to manually download the file from the two links I provide for each show, including
---- a direct link to OurMedia.org's copy of my file.
---- a direct link to Archives.org's copy of my file.


Fortunately both services file storage, and OurMedia also provides bandwidth, so that I can afford to distribute the podcast.

However, I should mention that I haven't been doing the podcast on a truly weekly basis since I've been here in Utah, so it is entirely possible that you are trying to update, thinking there is a new podcast, when there isn't a new one available. For instance this week I am up in Seattle helping my dad and stepmother make decisions about better care than can be provided at home at their advanced age.

These past six months have been both a joy and a challenge, as I know they have been for many of my readers as well.


Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com