Friday, June 29, 2012

EXAMPLE: Get the MOST original version of a marriage record

DearREADERS,
Yesterday, Ol' Myrt here blogged about finding the marriage certificate of her father and stepmother among her father's compiled genealogy papers. I carefully transcribed the document in my post titled Missing marriage record.

Since then, one DearREADER, Alice Allen, pointed me to the Washington State Digital Archives collection located at www.digitalarchives.wa.gov. After downloading the viewer, I found the "marriage return" for the event. There are some major differences between the "Return" and the "Certificate". I feel this is the "Return" because the bottom of the form states:

"Filed Mar 6, 1961 [stamped]

This certificate must be filled out and filed with the King County Auditor where the license was issued within 30 days after the ceremony. See Chapter 59, Laws of Washington of 1947. Failure to make and deliver Certificate to the King County Auditor within 30 days is punishable by a find of not less than $25 or more than $300.00. See Pierce's Code, Sec 3714."



SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES
1. "Certificate to be given to the contracting parties" does not include the birthplace or age at last birthday of the male and female, as we find in the "Marriage Return".

2. "Certificate to be given to the contracting parties" does not include the stamped date of filing at the County Auditor's Office.

3. Marriage date on the "Certificate" is 31 March 1961 and on the "Return" it is 3 March 1961.

4. The names of the couple, the witnesses and the Bishop who officiated at the ceremony are the same in both documents as is the 7pm time of the ceremony.

5. The "Certificate" lists only the county and state, but the "Return" includes the city where the ceremony took place, in this case Seattle.


6. The handwriting of the Bishop's address which appeared as either a messy "20" or "28" as I transcribed from the "Certificate" appears more clearly as "20" on the "Return".

TRUE DATE OF MARRIAGE?
Confusion arose when the date of marriage was listed as 31 March 1961 on the "Certificate" and  3 March 1961 on the "Return". However, since the King County Auditor stamped the "Return" with the date of filing  "March 6, 1961" we have a valid argument for their marriage having taken place on the 3rd, with the "31st" merely being the error on the part of the officiator when completing the "Certificate".

TRUE DATE OF LICENSE TO MARRY? 
I am still confused how one could get married on the 3rd of March 1961 by authority of a license issued 19th of May 1961 as listed on the "Return". I am equally baffled as to the license date of 19 May 1957 listed on the "Certificate". I don't know the exact law in place at the time, but I'm confident a license issued in 1957 wouldn't be valid for a marriage ceremony in 1961. One would have to look at the marriage application for "License" for this couple, not the "Certificate" or "Return" to verify the true date of the license.

All these things point to why we must obtain the "most original" version of a marriage record.
And we're talking 20th century research here! 
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Missing marriage record

DearREADERS,
Heaven only knows why I never asked Dad or Blanche about their wedding date. Wonder what kind of genealogist I am? Blanche was more of a kind mother to us, than a step-mother. I was lucky to find my father's copy of this marriage. Here is the transcription:

Series A 249380
Certificate of Marriage
State of Washington
County of ______________ [King]
This is to certify, that the undersigned, a Bishop by authority of a 
license bearing date 19 day of May A. D. 1957 and issued by the County 
Auditorof King, did on the 31 March A. D. 1961 
at the hour of 7pm Seven PM in the county and State aforesaid, join in lawful wedlock 
Glen S. Player of Seattle State of Washington
and Blanche M Bennett of Bellevue State of Washington with
their mutual assent in the presence of Don C Wood JR and Norma Carter witnesses.

In testimony Whereof, witness the Signatures of the parties to said ceremony, the witnesses and myself 
this 3rd March (Third) day of MArch A. D. 1961.

Witness:
Don C Wood Jr. (signature)
Norma C. Carter (signature)
 
Parties:
Glen S. Player, male (signature)
Blanche M. Bennett, female (signature)

Officiating Clergyman or Officer:
Nelson A. Snow
PO Address: 10524 NE 28 Pl
Bellevue, Washington
 
This Certificate to be given to contracting parties.

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 

HEAVEN: valuable 4-generation snapshot discoved

DearREADERS,
Three days intensive scanning of my father's compiled genealogy, and we're beginning to see the light of day. My genealogy will be much easier to scan, since it is organized and in notebooks.

Among the treasures is this four-generation picture I didn't know existed. I know it's not much too look at, but it means the world to me. (No, I don't have cataracts in my right eye.)



The baby is my oldest daughter Tamara Jeanne (Smith) Rounds, 6 weeks of age.
Tammy is held by my father, Glen S. Player, M. D.
Dad has his arm around his mother, Myrtle Eliza (Weiser) Player Severinson.
I am on the right, also helping Grandma stand up.
Taken in February 1972 at the home of Glen and Blanche Player in Bellevue, Washington.

Grandma had Lou Gherig's disease, and would die about six months after this photo was taken.

I remember this visit well. Tammy was really too young to travel, but we made the trip anyway. I recall thinking I'd rather come up and visit Grandma now than attend her funeral in a few weeks.

At this stage of the disease, Grandma couldn't speak, so she communicated in writing. Instead of going through reams of paper, Dad thought to get her a "magic slate" similar to this one for sale at Amazon.com. It's the kind of inexpensive kid's toy where you write with a plastic or wooden stylus on film covering black waxed background. When you are through with one message, you lift up the film to erase the previous message. That was high-tech texting circa 1972.

I remember arriving at Dad's home, finding Grandma sitting in a chair. She had tears in her eyes and was very excited to see her great-granddaughter Tammy for the first time. We "talked" back and forth. Grandma recalled how I had once made a disparaging remark about going to Redondo Beach house of one of Dad's cousins when it would just be Grandma, Uncle Harley and Aunt Grace Butler, and ???. I had hoped my young cousins would be there, and in despair I said "I don't want to be with all those old people!" Now all I do is hang out with "old people" as I study the lives of ancestors who've long since passed into the great beyond. Of all the things to remember me by, Grandma!

After about 45 minutes, I asked Grandma if she wanted to hold tiny Tammy. She wrote on her slate "I couldn't, I don't want to drop her." I said no problem, and placed the baby in Grandma's lap, and knelt by her as we both cried at the miracle little baby girl.

Grandma soon tired, and Dad all but carried her to her room. We had to return for my husband's work, but were staying the night in Tukwilla, the home of my maternal grandmother Frances Irene (Goering) Froman McDonnell. Little did I know that this trip from Salt Lake City to Seattle would be the last time I'd see both grandmothers. Grandma Myrtle died 28 September 1972, and Grandma Frances died 12 Jan 1974.

You can imagine this scanning project has meant an uptick in the use of Kleenix at our house. Nostalgia does seem to make one's "allergies" act up.

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont  


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2012 ISFHWE Breakfast during FGS Birmingham

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE). Please address all inquiries to 2vp@isfhwe.org.

ATTENTION:
The previously-announced ISFHWE Luncheon in Birmingham has been CHANGED!

ISFHWE is pleased to have the opportunity to kick off the 2012 FGS Conference in Birmingham, Alabama, on Thursday, 30 August 2012, with the Excellence-in-Writing Competition awards and other surprises at a BREAKFAST. The event will be held in the Forum C in the Convention Center Complex (just off the second floor of the Sheraton Hotel). See the map below or on the website for directions.

Breakfast will be a bountiful buffet with assorted chilled juices; biscuits, croissants, and muffins with butter, honey, jams and preserves; sliced fruit and berries; scrambled eggs; bacon; breakfast potatoes; southern style grits; French toast with maple syrup; regular and decaf coffee [truly something for everyone]. The cost is $27.00 per person, which includes all taxes and service charges. There are not many places to get breakfast around the Convention Center, so take advantage of this opportunity to meet fellow writers, enjoy the festivities, and have a great meal. The time is set to allow everyone to attend the FGS Kick-off session at 8:30am, followed by the Exhibit Hall opening.

Reservations are required and will be taken via the ISFHWE.org website, with payment via PayPal accepted. Once on the website home page, click on the “2012 ISFHWE Breakfast” link under Press Releases.  Indicate the number of tickets required, and fill in the shipping information requested during checkout for confirmation of your order.  Note that if you have a PayPal account, you may use it, but you must go through the ISFHWE website to find the item to purchase. If you don't have a PayPal account, you may use any credit card through the ISFHWE PayPal link
(your credit card information is NOT shared with ISFHWE).

You may also register by mail, sending your check for $27.00 per person (payable to ISFHWE) to:

ISFHWE Breakfast
PO Box 38314
Olmsted Falls, OH  44138-0314

 
Online reservations must be received by 23 August 2012;
mail reservations must be received by 20 August 2012. 

Any questions, please contact 2vp@isfhwe.org.

Come help us congratulate our winners and kick off the Conference in style!  We look forward to a big crowd in Birmingham!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Webinar Workshop: WordPress Part 2 with Taneya Koonce TONIGHT

DearREADERS,
During tonight's webinar, Taneya Koonce will demo WordPress basics and then guide Ol' Myrt here through additional steps in refining my newly created blog. (I'm keeping the blog private until it is ready for the world outside the workshop webinar to see the results of my training under Taneya's guidance.
This free webinar will include the following elements:

  • Recap and overview of tonight's plan
  • A few social features of wordpress.com
  • Tour the dashboard more in-depth - will be via live demo, not PowerPoint
  • Refining DearMYRTLE's Weiser Family blog site some more, focusing on appearance options.
  • Questions and Answers 
WordPress for Genealogy - Part 2: Dissecting the Dashboard with Taneya Koonce
Monday June 25th 2012

REGISTER FOR THIS SESSION: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/547184313
 
NOTE: Those with Twitter Accounts, be sure to use the hashtag:
#dearmyrtle
So the discussion can extend beyond the confines of the webinar. 
SPECIAL PRE-WEBINAR WARMUP
Today Facebook decided to change the email addresses on our profile pages to_____ @Facebook.com. Ol' Myrt will show you how to quickly change this back to your preferred contact email if you log in to tonight's webinar 15 minutes early.

MORE WORDPRESS WEBINARS
There are two additional sessions in this comprehensive workshop webinar series.
 
  • WordPress for Genealogy - Part 3: Features, Features, and More Features with Taneya Koonce
    Monday July 9th RESCHEDULED to July 16th 2012

    Live demo will discuss
    WordPress.org -- plugins & themes - how to find them, how to choose them; DOs and DON’Ts; uses in genealogy. REGISTER: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/302124209
  • WordPress for Genealogy - Part 4: Polish to Perfection with Taneya Koonce
    Monday July 16th   RESCHEDULED TO July 23rd 2012

    Live demo will be more advanced -
    more advanced - how to tweak themes, maintenance issues, site analytics  REGISTER: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/723901657



ALL DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars in this series are held at 9pm Eastern US time, daylight when applicable.
9pm Eastern US 8pm Central US
7pm Mountain US
6pm Pacific US

If you need a time zone converter, there is a great one located here:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html



System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

iPad users may download the GoToMeeting App in the App Store.
 
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont   
  

Scan while you still can



DearREADERS,
Black, fire-ravaged mountains blight the skyline south of our Utah home, owing to a careless, man-made brush fire that extends over 5,000 acres this past week. Mr. Myrt and I were under a forced evacuation order, taking shelter with one of my daughters in the next county.

Source: KSL.com

Mr. Myrt packed everything of value -- family photos, two circa 1850s bibles, and other items in the Ford F150. He remembered medication, computers, iPads and such with his usual efficiency, all whilst I was herding seven busy grandchildren some 3 hours to the north. Once outside the police barricade, Gordon took this pic. Our home is just out of range to the right in his picture below.




Winds carried the smoke and soot at least as Sue Maxwell's house some 35 miles to the north.

Advice on our return to the home yesterday was "don't unpack or settle in" but await further announcements. Anxious eyes check and recheck those mountains, awaiting the day the fire is completely contained. From time to time a "hot spot" breaks forth sending forth billows of smoke to be carried by our higher than normal winds directly into our homes and businesses.

Today things started out quieter, but this afternoon the wind has picked up considerably and smoke is once again beginning to show up about two ridges south of us. Air quality in our homes is less than desirable, but we're managing.

I cannot tell you how timely our "week of genealogy scanning" has become. Carrie joins me late tonight so we will have a fresh start in the morning. She and the kids will stay a week, as we plow through the notebooks using three scanners and a digital camera. Wish I could just ship everything off to Ancestry.com across the lake. (sigh)

Don't wait for the next man-made or natural disaster in your area to decide to get those photos and documents scanned. Do it now! Ol' Myrt here got a reprieve, but some folks haven't been as fortunate.

And yes, I am putting everything in Dropbox.

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont  
 
 

 






MyHeritage releases SuperSearch

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at MyHeritage.com. Please address all inquiries to them.


MyHeritage releases SuperSearch - a state-of-the-art search engine for family history
Cutting-edge search engine powers breakthrough discoveries, adds color to family history and establishes the popular family network as a leading player in the historical content market
PROVO, Utah & LONDON & TEL AVIV, Israel – June 25, 2012: MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web, today announced the official launch of SuperSearch, a powerful new family history search engine for helping families around the world discover historical records and long-lost relatives. Packed with the industry’s most international source of historical content and family trees, SuperSearch (www.myheritage.com/research) is capable of searching billions of records within seconds. With a simple and contemporary user experience, clever search features, a massive library of content including one billion global family tree profiles, the world’s largest collection of historical newspapers, and flexible pay-as-you-go or subscription payment options, SuperSearch raises the bar and provides new value and choice for family history fans.

With more than 63 million registered users, MyHeritage has become the trusted home on the web for families wishing to explore their family history, share memories and stay connected. The official launch of SuperSearch, which has been in Beta since April 2012, reaffirms MyHeritage’s position as a leading provider of historical records, following the company’s recent acquisition of WorldVitalRecords and FamilyLink, appointment of former Footnote.com Founder and CEO Russ Wilding to lead content growth, and initiative to provide a free searchable index for the 1940 U.S. Census.  

Number one online destination for global research
Available in 38 languages, SuperSearch is the industry’s most multilingual family history search engine, breaking down geographical and language barriers in genealogy research. SuperSearch automatically translates and searches possible initials, synonyms and spelling variations. For example a search for William will also catch Bill, Vilhelm, Guillaume, Guglielmo and many other variations, even when written in other alphabets such as Russian or Hebrew. This increases the chances of finding valuable information within the huge hoards of content on MyHeritage without requiring users to try such variations themselves.

Content highlights
With a powerful mix of historical records and user-generated information in family trees on MyHeritage, SuperSearch helps family history enthusiasts break through brick walls in their research and add color to their family history. The more than 4 billion records on MyHeritage provide worldwide coverage, with strong collections in the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada. Some record collections are exclusive to MyHeritage, and all this is augmented by content licensed from important third-party databases. Users can find birth, marriage, death, burial, census, military, immigration, yearbooks and other types of records, and view scans of original documents. SuperSearch includes the world’s largest historical newspaper collection (currently about 120 million pages dating back to the 18th century), the 1930 and 1940 US census records, all UK censuses between 1841 and 1901 and the content from MyHeritage-owned family history websites, WorldVitalRecords and FamilyLink.
“SuperSearch represents a watershed innovation in the family history industry,” said Founder and CEO of MyHeritage, Gilad Japhet. “It transforms family history into an experience that is more global, accessible and engaging than ever before. Within a few minutes, you can unravel family mysteries - discover your great-aunt on a passenger list to Ellis Island, find your long-lost branch of the family in a family tree in Brazil or locate the photo of your great-grandfather’s gravestone in England.  Complementing our expertise in community family tree building, SuperSearch helps fulfill our goal of connecting families to each other and to their past, and does so in full color, with photos, videos and documents. We're adding millions of new records and family tree profiles every day, which, together with the imminent launch of Record Matching, makes SuperSearch an indispensable tool for family history fans around the world.”

 SuperSearch features:

• Easily search for historical records of any person by first name and/or last name, with optional dates or places.
• Search also by keywords, events, relationships and other advanced criteria.
• Find people without even knowing their last names, for example, find three brothers in the same family using only their first names and relationship as siblings, or find all people born on a certain date or in a certain town.
• Run a global search to cover all data collections at once, or drill down to search only in one collection or one category.
• SuperSearch is smart enough to figure out the likely gender of the person you're trying to find.
• Choose between a mode that shows all results, and a summary mode that shows the count of matches from each collection.
• Results arrive fast, typically within a second, ranked by relevance.
• Refine results by collection or by any other common criteria.
For a one-minute summary of SuperSearch, watch the video.
Search on-the-go via MyHeritage mobile app
Users can utilize SuperSearch on-the-go with the latest version of the MyHeritage Mobile App for  iPhone & iPad and Android. With anywhere, anytime access to billions of records, SuperSearch on the MyHeritage App is ideal for introducing family history to friends and family and for fun moments at family reunions. 

Access to records
SuperSearch is open to all and requires no registration. Search result lists are displayed for free. Full access to individual records is provided for free for complimentary content, such as the 1940 U.S. Census and the US Social Security Death Index. To access other, paid-only content, MyHeritage gives users maximum choice via affordable pay-as-you-go credits and data subscription plans at prices that are 75% less expensive than competing services. 

Coming soon – Record Matching for automatic discoveries
In the coming weeks, MyHeritage will announce the launch of Record Matching on SuperSearch – a powerful and innovative feature that automatically compares family tree profiles and historical records to each other to find matches, with a high degree of accuracy.
About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the most popular family network on the web. On MyHeritage, millions of families around the world enjoy having a private and free place to explore their history and share special family memories. Pioneers in making family history a collaborative experience for all the family, MyHeritage empowers its users with innovative social tools and a massive library of historical content. The site is available in 38 languages. The company is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, the investors of Facebook and Skype. For more information visit www.myheritage.com.

Monday, June 18, 2012

TONIGHT's WordPress Webinar: Myrt learns the ropes

DearREADERS,
During tonight's webinar, Taneya Koonze will demo WordPress basics and then guide Ol' Myrt here through setting up a new blog.  Ol' Myrt here has used Blogger.com for years to produce her own blogs. WordPress is another blog service. I've been wanting to do this for a long time! I'm planning to take an old Weiser Family website, and make a "blog" out of it. It will be so much easier to maintain, without having to do webpage design. (I used to use Front Page, but it is no longer supported.) So here are the details about tonight's webinar:

WordPress for Genealogy Part 1: Learn the Lingo  with Taneya Koonce
Monday , June 18th 2012.
An overview to describe what WordPress is, how it is different from the "old" model of publishing for the web, getting familiar with how content management systems work, the kind of terminology that's used, and introducing people to the major resources. Live demo includes using the WordPress hosting at WordPress.com. 
 
 
There are three other sessions in this comprehensive workshop webinar series.
 
  • WordPress for Genealogy - Part 2: Dissecting the Dashboard with Taneya Koonce
    Monday June 25th 2012

    Live demo will take people through the parts of the WordPress Dashboard, which is the administration interface of WordPress. Understanding what all the parts are and what they do - have you actually create some content! This webinar session will also focus on the self-hosted version of WordPress.  REGISTER: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/547184313
  • WordPress for Genealogy - Part 3: Features, Features, and More Features with Taneya Koonce
    Monday July 9th 2012

    Live demo will cover plugins & themes - how to find them, how to choose them; dos and don'ts, which ones may be most helpful for genealogy. REGISTER: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/302124209
  • WordPress for Genealogy - Part 4: Polish to Perfection with Taneya Koonce
    Monday July 16th 2012

    Live demo will be more advanced - how to tweak themes, maintenance issues, go over some aspects which I think help make a site more robust and sophisticated; resources for learning even more; site analytics. REGISTER: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/723901657

ALL DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars in this series are held at 9pm Eastern US time, daylight when applicable.
9pm Eastern US
8pm Central US
7pm Mountain US
6pm Pacific US

If you need a time zone converter, there is a great one located here:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

iPad users may download the GoToMeeting App in the App Store.
 
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont   

 

War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge from ISGS

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at the Illinois State Genealogical Society. Please address all inquires to them.

ISGS Announces $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge
The Illinois State Genealogical Society is proud to support the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ “Preserve the Pensions” campaign.
In support of this digitization project the ISGS announces the ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge. ISGS will MATCH any contribution (up to the first $10,000) made to the Preserve the Pensions project before December 31, 2012. For instance, if you donate $100, the ISGS will match your contribution for a total of $200! In addition, Ancestry.com has announced it will also match ALL ISGS contributions which would mean any contribution you make will actually be QUADRUPLED! Your $100 contribution would become a $400 contribution! Any size contribution is welcome! A $10 contribution equals about 80 pages of Pension files digitized as part of the Preserve the Pensions project.
The goal of the “Preserve the Pensions” campaign is to raise the $3.7 Million needed to digitize the War of 1812 Pension Application Files that are currently stored in the National Archives and make them freely available online. There are over 180,000 Pension files that total over 7.2 million pages! The National Archives gets over three thousand requests per year to photocopy these records and this hard use is taking its toll on the original documents. By digitizing these documents we could halt further damage to these historical documents. The pages are being digitized as funds become available and some of these files are already viewable by visiting http://go.fold3.com/1812pensions/ .
To make a contribution via Pay Pal or for more information visit our web site at http://ilgensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=268 . Or mail a check, made payable to Illinois State Genealogical Society (Put “War of 1812” on Memo line), to Illinois State Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 10195, Springfield IL 62791-0195.
The War of 1812 – America’s Second War for Independence
The War of 1812, often called the “forgotten war”, shaped the identity of the United States. The War of 1812 is well known for giving us the “Star Spangled Banner”, the burning of the White House, and the Battle of New Orleans. Over 300,000 people took part in the War of 1812, including three presidents (James Madison, Andrew Jackson, and William Henry Harrison), and members of eighteen Native American tribes. 
Illinois and the War of 1812
During the War of 1812 the Illinois Territory was on the border of a great conflict between Great Britain and a newly born United States of America. The Territory of Illinois survived the War of 1812 and gained its statehood in 1818. For more information on how Illinois was affected by the War of 1812 please visit http://illinoiswarof1812bicentennial.org/ .
About Illinois State Genealogical Society
The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) was formed in 1968 through the cooperative effort and forward thinking of Illinois genealogical society representatives, who envisioned a statewide genealogical organization. ISGS is a not-for-profit, nonsectarian, educational organization. ISGS was established for the following purposes:
·       To stimulate an interest in the people who contributed to the establishment and development of the State of Illinois.
·       To seek, preserve, and make available data pertaining to individuals, families, and groups who lived in Illinois and to events which took place therein.
·       To inform people of the value of, and need for, preserving family and local history for posterity.
·       To encourage the formation of local genealogical societies and to coordinate and disseminate information.
Follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ILgensoc), Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/ILgensoc) and on our blog at http://ilgensoc.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

GenealogyBank: Fresh new look and PR kudos

DearREADERS,
On May 20th Ol' Myrt here created GenealogyBank: What are your thoughts, DearREADERS in advance of an interview with GenealogyBank web designers. I subsequently posted That GenealogyBank meeting: my report

It now appears that GenealogyBank just released its site revision for general use. I'm in classes at Samford University's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and cannot take time right now to see if some of the suggestions I made actually made the final cut. But I certainly want to invite my DearREADERS to explore the new site and test out the search engine.



What are your reactions to the new site?
  • Is it easier or harder to navigate?
  • I hear there are more than five hits showing up on a search results page.
  • Are you finding things more readily? Do you attribute this to the new design, or familiarity with record groups you've previously studied on the site?
On a side note, I'd like to send kudos to GenealogyBank for responding this past Saturday to a frustrated professional genealogist who didn't realize her GenealogyBank account had expired. She had made a posting on Facebook thinking she couldn't log in due to browser or website issues. GenealogyBank's offices weren't open until Monday. However, the person monitoring the GenealogyBank Facebook page took note, and granted a few extra day's access to the researcher, thereby immediately diffusing the situation. Brilliant PR, appreciated not only by the researcher in question, but also by the rest of us who observed her panic with a looming client report deadline.

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 

A lot more facts and a lot less drama

DearREADERS,
Family lore tends to cloud our view of historical facts with each passing generation. Competent genealogists scour surviving original records for info about ancestors. Sometimes those documents provide conflicting or obscure info that must be clearly reconciled in the final analysis. Preferring hearsay evidence is not worthy of a book put forth as a genealogy of Michelle' Obama's ancestry. Thank-you Megan for being a genealogical myth-buster! 

Regarding Michelle Obama's Ancestors: 'American Tapestry' Has Holes in It Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak calls 'em like she sees 'em in this book review. It's so frustrating to me that myths are still weightier than facts in some so-called genealogy books. Megan added this comment on my public wall:

Thanks for sharing this, Pat. I had such high hopes for this book, given how much the author was starting out with and the fact that she had more than 2 years to research and write, but she seemed to lose her way once she wandered off the trail of what had already been established before she started. Greatly appreciate comments on this article at HuffPo from fellow genealogists to reinforce the apparently startling notion that accuracy matters!

If I could speak to the author of American Tapestry, it would be to say, "How about a lot more facts and a lot less drama?"

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont 

Archives of Michigan welcomes family heritage collection

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from the Michigan Genealogical Council.

Archives of Michigan welcomes family heritage collection from Library of Michigan

The Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources have agreed to
move selected Family Heritage Collections currently housed in the Library of Michigan to the reading room
of the Archives of Michigan.

The move will continue the state’s stewardship of the collection and better align the resources of both
organizations. The collection will remain in the Michigan Library and Historical Center, where it can be
easily used with related research materials held by both organizations. The move will take place this summer
with a rededication planned during the Abrams Genealogy Seminar on July 13, 2012.

"The collection will increase the public services provided by the Archives of Michigan," said State Archivist
Mark Harvey. "We are pleased to join it with archival documents that are used by family heritage researchers and committed to continuing to build it with the help of the genealogical community. Over time, the Archives plans to expand its hours and online services."

The move completes the realignment of Library of Michigan services necessitated by budget and staffing
reductions to focus on reference research services to employees of all branches of state government; services to libraries of all types statewide; and the collection, preservation and maintenance of access to the published record of the state of Michigan and its peoples.

State Librarian Nancy Robertson noted, "The library’s Michigan materials will remain available to all
interested in using them. Both library and archives materials will continue to be available to researchers
through a common catalogue."

Cynthia Grostick, president of the Michigan Genealogical Council, the umbrella organization for state
genealogical societies, praised the project: "The family heritage collection assembled by the Library of
Michigan with the support of the genealogical community, particularly the Abrams Foundation, is a Michigan
treasure. We are happy that it will stay in the Michigan Library and Historical Center, where genealogists can
continue to help build it and use it, along with the other valued materials held by the Archives of Michigan
and the Library of Michigan."

The move will be accomplished using shelving and equipment no longer used by the library as well as funds
raised for the project by the Michigan Genealogical Council and the Michigan History Foundation. The
archives and library will seek to accomplish the work with as little disruption to researchers as possible.
Details will be posted at www.michigan.gov/statearchives and www.michigan.gov/libraryofmichigan.
Among the organizations housed at the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing, Mich., are the Library of Michigan and the Michigan Historical Center, which includes the Archives of  Michigan and the Michigan Historical Museum. Please check the above websites for hours. For online
research assistance, please visit the archives site www.seekingmichigan.org and the Michigan e-Library
www.mel.org.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Report: MyHeritage press conference and 1 billion profiles announcement

DearREADERS,
During my lunch break today at Samford University's 2012 Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, I attended a press conference hosted by MyHeritage.com. They employed the use of GoToWebinar with a video component. We watched Gilad Japhat, CEO of MyHeritage, as he worked through his PowerPoint on a screen behind him on the wall. Find in this post:

1. @dearmyrtle tweets during the webinar.
2. My question regarding the scope of the newspaper collection searched.
3. Official MyHeritage press release "MyHeritage hits one billion profiles"


MY TWEETS DURING THE WEBINAR

  • just reached 1billion profiles per CEO Gilad in press conference now.
  • NEW!!! RECORD MATCHING at will release next month.
  • Record Matching 98% accuracy. World's first to translate between names.
  • During live press conference, using Randy Seaver's database to demo Record Matching
MY QUESTION REGARDING SCOPE OF NEWSPAPER COLLECTION
While demonstrating a sneak peek of the "Record Matching" capabilities of the MyHeritage website, Gilad showed several newspaper article matches to individuals on Randy Seaver's online tree. My question:

  • Please describe the scope of the newspaper, perhaps in bibliographic format.

Gilad responded that the newspaper collection was largely US publications at this point.

My point? Serious genealogy researchers will want to know the newspaper titles, years of publications covered in the collection. Makes me wonder which large newspaper collections MyHeritage may have partnered with at this point.



OFFICIAL MY HERITAGE PRESS RELEASE
MyHeritage hits one billion profiles 
PROVO, Utah & LONDON & TEL AVIV, Israel – June 11, 2012: MyHeritage, the most popular family network on the web, today announced that it has reached the milestone of one billion profiles. The billion individuals in nearly 23 million family trees, created by the millions of families using MyHeritage worldwide, constitute a gigantic network for discovering family heritage and connecting to relatives.

With more than 63 million registered users, MyHeritage has become the trusted home on the web for families wishing to explore their family history, share memories and stay connected. Combining the world’s largest international pool of family tree data with billions of historical records, MyHeritage helps break through brick walls in family history research. The site is available in 38 languages.
Approximately one million profiles are added every day to the MyHeritage network, and on average 600 thousand new registered users join every month. A sophisticated technology called Smart Matching™ fuels new family discoveries by matching profiles in different family trees, creating new family connections every day for users.


“Reaching one billion profiles is an important milestone in the prolific growth of MyHeritage, solidifying our position as the international go-to destination for families,” said Founder and CEO of MyHeritage, Gilad Japhet. “We constantly strive to develop cutting-edge technologies that create a network effect within this big data resource. As more content is uploaded to MyHeritage by our users around the world, they discover more family connections and relevant historical documents, adding color and depth to their family history. With a billion profiles and some exciting new innovations in store, we look forward to continuing our phenomenal growth in the coming years.”

Approximately half of the billion family tree profiles on MyHeritage are living people, enabling users to connect to relatives, collaborate on family history research and share memories. The other half billion profiles who are deceased help connect the living through shared ancestors. With a diverse user base, spanning every country and continent, MyHeritage represents a gateway to a massive variety of family histories from different cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds.

The company’s expansion into historical content, following its acquisition of family history sites WorldVitalRecords and FamilyLink in November 2011 and its April 2012 announcement to provide the 1940 U.S. Census free of charge, has turned MyHeritage into a leading site for family history research, whilst continuing in parallel its focus on current-day family engagement. The MyHeritage mobile app, launched in December 2011, enables families to share special everyday moments and explore their family history all-on-the-go, and has amassed more than 750 thousand installations already.

Protecting the privacy of users and their family trees, information on living people is not disclosed and collaboration on family tree research is by invitation only.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the most popular family network on the web. On MyHeritage, millions of families around the world enjoy having a private and free place to explore their history and share special family memories. Pioneers in making family history a collaborative experience for all the family, MyHeritage empowers its users with a innovative social tools and a massive library of historical content. The site is available in 38 languages. The company is backed by Accel Partners and Index Ventures, the investors of Facebook and Skype. For more information visit www.myheritage.com

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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont