Sunday, November 28, 2010

Need your inspiring story about FamilySearch

DearREADERS,
Ol' Myrt here has been approached for a project -- worthwhile to say the least. But I need help from my DearREADERS. I know that a number of you are actively supporting www.FamilySearchIndexing.org as either indexers or arbitrators, and that an even greater number are accessing original documents that have been indexed and are now available at FamilySearch.org.

What's needed are a few inspiring stories about your experiences with the FamilySearch Indexing project. Here are some starting points:
  • What inspired you to become a FamilySearch indexer?
  • What if any training did you receive as a FamilySearch Indexer?
  • What do you think about the Part A, Part B and then arbitration methodolgy?
  • How many of your genealogy friends participate in the indexing project?
  • How frequently do you do research at http://pilot.familysearch.org soon to be replaced by http://beta.familysearch.org?
  • Describe a research breakthrough using either the pilot or beta FamilySearch indexed records. Be specific as to record group, and your ancestor's name.
Time is of the essence, so please take time to tell Ol' Myrt how FamilySearch Indexing projects have impacted your research.

I, for one, like to index when I am stymied, and cannot figure out where to look next for records mentioning my ancestors. Indexing makes me feel I am "paying my dues" or "paying it forward". Some of my best brick wall busters have been because others indexed an obscure record group that listed my ancestor.

Be sure to post your reply in comments after this blog entry.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving thanks

DearREADERS,
This is my favorite time of year. The frosty mornings and early nightfall naturally bring folks closer to hearth and home. This Thanksgiving finds us at Gordon's sister's home in Ohio, where extended family shares food, fun, and photos from the intervening months since last we met. Then there are the marathon video games while others moan and groan over their favorite football team's latest antics.


All too quickly, we'll pack up and leave for Christmas with the grandchildren out west. They've told me there are already several inches of snow on the ground. Thank heavens I can keep busy in the kitchen frosting cookies and heating up spiced apple juice to warm tiny hands chilled from an afternoon of sledding.

I am so THANKFUL my daughters make it easy for me to be a gramma. When I call to speak with one of the kids, I'll hear their mothers say "Guess what?! Gramma's on the phone! She wants to talk with you!" With an introduction like that, who needs Ed McMahon?

THANK heavens Carrie has continued to recover from her car accident. Here's a pic of the Keele family after Taylor had completed his half-marathon in the central Utah desert.


The Warnick family has grown by leaps and bounds this past year. I don't know how Stacey and Steve keep up with four active boys.


In case you can't tell, Tammy has excelled as a Master Gardner, and this year her writing career has really taken off. She and Jeff love to fish and enjoy the outdoors. Aren't they a cute couple?

Mr. Myrt and I have had a ball crisscrossing the country, doing that on-site genealogy research in libraries and courthouses where microfilming or digitizing crews haven't yet done their thing.

I am thankful for a genealogist husband -- someone who understands why we need to scan Elsie's WWII letters and photos; who helps order manuscript files at the state historical society; and who totally gets that traipsing through an old cemetery is the perfect way to spend a late summer afternoon.

Here we are at the Cozy Inn, a teeny, tiny hamburger joint in Salina, Kansas. People come in and order 36 and 48 of the mini-burgers to go. (We can barely manage 5 between the two of us!) There are perhaps six bar stools at the counter, and the entire thing would fit in a single-wide trailer.

My mind can just imagine my Salina ancestors stopping by back in the 1920s. The owner says the cabinets are original to the facility. I remember Grandma Myrtle's house in Puyallup, Washington had painted wood cabinets like this with those metal twist latches on the lower doors. The upper doors had clear glass insets, with small clear glass knobs.



My plan in the coming months is to show gratitude every day ~ gratitude for health and strength, the love of family, the joy of friendship, and all sorts of tools and resources for discovering more about our ancestors.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What I learned from Leslie Albrecht Huber on Saturday

DearREADERS,
The Journey TakersLast Saturday found many fortunate genealogy researchers in attendance at the Fairfax Genealogical Society's November Workshop. On deck was author Leslie Albrecht Huber speaking on the subject "Researching and Writing Your Family's Story."

Leslie is the author of The Journey Takers, a book featuring narratives describing the lives of several immigrant ancestors, and her experiences visiting the lands from whence they came. I had previously attended one of Leslie's lectures on getting publishing in magazines, and was favorably impressed by her ease at presenting, and comfort with her topic. Saturday's presentation was no exception.

Encouraging experienced and newbie writers, Leslie reminded us to state facts and clearly labeling our opinions or suppositions in our text. Putting an ancestor into historical perspective was one component of her presentation and among her suggested web resources was one I hadn't considered. What intrigued me was that the site is compiled by librarians, and information for the 1800s and 1900s is arranged by decades.

American Cultural History Pages
http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decades.html

A click on the 1830s tab will remind researchers that Arkansas and Michigan were added during that decade, with John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren serving as US President. Additional options on the page include information in the following categories.




A BIG THANK-YOU to the folks at Kingwood College for providing web space for these history-in-a-nutshell pages.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

NARA blogs worth following

DearREADERS,
When I wrote What I Learned at the NARA Users Group Meeting Friday, Ol' Myrt here applauded the National Archives (US) efforts to take advantage of social media resources for sharing stories about NARA holdings. Here is a listing of NARA blogs to follow:


Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

FamilySearchIndexing: over 160 Million records in 2010

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at FamilySearch. Please address all inquiries to support@FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch Indexers Pass the 160 Million Record Mark for 2010

FamilySearch volunteers have been busy–we have indexed 160 million records so far this year and more are on the way! New projects now available include records from Canada, England, Russia, and the United States. Completed collections that will soon be available on beta.familysearch.org include records from Canada, Germany, England, Russia, and the United States.

New Projects in the Past Two Weeks

(See the chart below for a complete list and current status of all indexing projects.)

Recently Completed Projects

(Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process. They will be published at beta.familysearch.org in the near future.)

·         Canada, Ontario—Deaths, 1933–1937
·         Deutschland, Baden, Achern—Kirchenbücher, 1810–1869 [Part C]
·         Deutschland, Mecklenburg—Volkszählung, 1890 [Div 93–156]
·         U.K., Bristol—Parish Registers, 1837–1900 [Part G]
·         U.S., District of Columbia—1930 Federal Census
·         U.S., Indiana—WWII Draft Registration Cards, 1942
·         U.S., Kentucky—1930 Federal Census
·         U.S., Vermont—Vital Records, 1760–1954 [Part A]
·         U.S., West Virginia—1930 Federal Census
·         Украина, Киев—Метрические книги русской православной церкви, 1843–1845 [Часть А]
Current FamilySearch Indexing Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

Spanish
49%
Spanish
89%
Spanish
33%
Portuguese
1%
Portuguese
12%
Portuguese
3%
Portuguese
51%
English
5%
English
(New)
English
91%
Česká republika, Litoměřice—Matriky, 1552-1905 [část 1]
(Tschechien, Litomerice—Kirchenbücher [Teil 1])
German
89%
Spanish
26%
Spanish
33%
Spanish
12%
Spanish
60%
German
3%
Spanish
22%
Spanish
2%
España, LugoRegistros Parroquiales, 15301930 [Parte 1]
Spanish
41%
France, Cherbourg—Registres Paroissiaux, 1802–1907
French
43%
France, Coutances—Registres Paroissiaux 1802–1907
French
45%
French
80%
France, Saint-Lo—Registres Paroissiaux, 1802–1907
French
58%
Spanish
9%
Spanish
21%
Italian
68%
Italian
40%
Spanish
1%
Mexico, Puebla—1930 Federal Censo
Spanish
70%
English
7%
Spanish
74%
Norwegian
2%
Spanish
72%
Portuguese
23%
Spanish
1%
Russland, Sankt Petersburg—Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1833–1885
German
35%
South Africa, Cape Province—Church Records, 1660–1970
Afrikaans, Dutch, English
63%
Swedish
64%
Swedish
71%
Swedish
29%
English
(New)
English
13%
English
(New)
English/
Old English
24%
Spanish
4%
English
55%
English
(New)
English
45%
English
37%
English
31%
English
(New)
English
23%
English
74%
English
57%
English
26%
English
9%
English
38%
English
92%
English
25%
English
24%
English
33%
English
31%
English
15%
English
9%
English
61%
English
17%
Spanish
7%
Spanish
94%
Spanish
3%
English
(New)
English
29%
English
36%
English
12%
English
(New)
Spanish
1%
Spanish
22%
Österreich, Wiener Meldezettel, 1890–1925
German
32%
Russian
53%
Russian
(New)

Current FamilySearch Partner Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

Dutch
84%
French
58%
Portuguese
1%
English
18%
German
11%
Spanish
10%
Spanish
89%
Spanish
54%
French
72%
Norwegian
57%
Spanish
72%
English
17%
U.S., Ohio—Tax Records, Post 1825 [Part 3]
English
80%
U.S., Utah, Salt Lake County—Birth Registers, 1890–1908
English
67%
U.S., Utah, Salt Lake County—Death Registers, 1848–1940
English
32%

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.