Saturday, September 29, 2012

WEBINAR: Online Photo Editing DearMYRTLE Workshop

DearREADERS,
All are invited to view the archived version of the Online Photo Editing DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinar presented by my daughter Carrie Keele of the Not Your Mothers Genealogy Blog.


Explore how to easily edit pictures using free online resources. Achieve professional results without spending hours learning complex programs. Participants will be able to perform at least ten photo editing functions by the time they leave class. $9.95 download.

Thank-you for supporting DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars.



Add to Cart




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


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

DEADLINE: Share A Memory Contest tomorrow midnight

DearREADERS,
Just a reminder to submit your entries for the 2012 "Share a Memory" Contest. Carrie Keele, of Not Your Mother's Genealogy and Ol' Myrt of DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog will tell accept entries through midnight Pacific US Time 30 September 2012, and announce winners on 5 October 2012 during Family History Month here in the USA. But thanks to the internet, you don't have to live in the USA to "Share a Memory".

It could be a child's memory, an ancestor's story, a reunion memory,
a recipe story, a back to school memory, a family ski vacay story, a camping trip memory, a water-skiing story, a miracle memory, a do-it-yourself project story, a favorite thing memory, a cousin story, a birthday memory... 

GET IT??! Any story to preserve the memory for your family members can be submitted to this contest.


In this video we share several ideas to get you started:


but you could also do something like:
  • Remind a 5 year old how proud you are he can ride his bike without the training wheels by sharing the video clip on YouTube for the world to see.
  • Blog about how you made that family photo quilt. 
  • Use Instagram to begin sharing ancestor photos with your siblings and cousins, preserving family history 
  • Share a joke your Dad always used to tell via FB or your blog. 
  • Create a short video clip about that old family heirloom.
ALL PROJECTS are designed to "Share a Memory" with other members of your family. (Even if they don't like traditional family history work, they'll get a kick out of your work on this project!) 
HERE'S HOW:
Enter  the 2012 "Share a Memory" Challenge:
  1. Create your "Share a Memory" project using any sort of technology to preserve the story.
  2. Send us the the info with a link to your project, via Carrie's Facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/NotYourMothersGenealogy

    If it is an Instagram, or Twitter be sure to include:
    @NYMGenealogy 
    (for Not Your Mother's Genealogy!)
    @
    DearMYRTLE

    Simply copy/paste the following text to make it easy:

    @DearMYRTLE @NYMGenealogy #shareamemory
    Here's the link to my contest
  3. Your entry post on Facebook must explain why you've chosen to share this particular memory, and how the rest of the family reacted to your "share".
  4. Limit one project per "share".
  5. More than one project "share" may be submitted.
  6. By entering the contest, you agree to allow us to "share" your "share" in our blogs and on our Facebook pages.
DEADLINE: 30 Sept 2012, so we can begin to share your "shares" during October 2012, Family History Month in the USA.

JUDGING:
The decision of the judges will be purely arbitrary, chocolate bribes are welcome. No seriously -- the winner will be chosen at random, and the decisions of the judges are final.

PRIZES:
The Prizes will be announced on 5 October 2012. The winners must submit a valid US mailing address to receive the grand prize, unless Amazon.com delivers to your address in other parts of the world. The prizes include:

GRAND PRIZE

Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera - Aqua (2nd Generation) - Eastman Kodak Company. You'll note t has a built-in "SHARE" button to instantly share the video you capture with family and friends.


2nd PRIZE - $50 Amazon.com Gift Certificate

3rd PRIZE - $25 Amazon.com Gift Certificate



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


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




Friday, September 28, 2012

NARA researchers suggest scanning all finding aids

DearREADERS,

Mr. Myrt and I just left the National Archives Researchers Meeting at NARA II where we met with the new Executive for Research Services, Bill Mayer. What emerged was a request that all Preliminary Inventory, Descriptive Pamphlet and Finding Aids be scanned, and made available online in some sort of a wiki format so additional comments can be included by experienced researchers. Mr. Mayer appeared to react positively to our questions and comments in this regard. 

I suggest MyHeritage.com do the scanning. Though digitizing finding aids has been suggested in the past, no one has officially looked into this, and it would make accessing records so much easier for researchers and staff.

This is particularly important as experienced staffers retire, and there is the resulting shift from specialist to generalists among remaining staff and new hires.


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


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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What sort of writer are you?

DearREADERS,
In his post Five Realizations That Helped Me Write Regularly, Joel Gascoine suggests "Delaying an article to 'spend longer with it' usually just means it won't get written." In my opinion, it's best to write like you are talking to someone sitting with you in the room. Then go back and add hyperlinks, citations and at least 1 graphic. 

I think a blog should be content the author provides, not a series of posts with links to content elsewhere. I reserve those "shares" to Twitter and Facebook. I rarely use G+ though I was an early adopter.

I consider a good genealogy blog to have a combination of "how I did it" and "what I learned" to encourage other researchers.

 Our writing should be based on sound research principles, but not so "stuffy" as to put off the newbies. If they could get it from NGSQ and other quarterlies, they would. It takes a long time before people can make sense of those. Genealogy bloggers must encourage scholarly research, but realize we were all newbies once.

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


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

Friday, September 21, 2012

Why Mocavo's Acquisition of ReadyMicro is a breakthrough

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friend Michael Leclerc, Chief Genealogist at www.Mocavo.com. Please address all inquiries to him at michael@mocavo.com . Dick Eastman aptly describes Mocavo's change-over from 'search engine' to 'content provider' in Macavo Acquires ReadyMicro, with insights from his interviews with the CEOs of both companies. I believe FamilySearch, brightsolid, Ancestry and MyHeritage will have to move over as Mocavo embarks on this project. 



From Mocavo.com:

"Today represents an exciting milestone at Mocavo.  Over our years in both the genealogy and technology industries, we have had few occasions to meet an engineer as talented as Matt Garner.  Matt has deep expertise in the genealogy industry and has few peers in the art of historical record digitization.  We are excited to announce that Matt and his incredible team at ReadyMicro have joined Mocavo.  The ReadyMicro team will continue to operate out of their facility in Orem, Utah and we will maintain our office in Boulder, Colorado, while also adding more employees in both locations.

Now you might ask, “why does a genealogy search engine need digitization?”  The answer is, “Mocavo is no longer just a genealogy search engine.”  From the day the company was founded, our mission has been clear: to bring all of the world’s genealogical information online for free and give everyone the ability to discover their family history.  Over the past several months, we have been working tirelessly to gather genealogical records and connect with other genealogical Web sites.  In the next few weeks, we will make several exciting announcements about these additions that are sure to please family historians.

The acquisition of ReadyMicro gives us the ability to partner with other stewards of genealogical information to help them digitize their records at a very low cost and even, in many cases, at no cost.  In an era where government cutbacks are forcing archives to shut their doors, we will provide a valuable resource to our partners that will enable them to rapidly and cheaply digitize their invaluable collections.
Welcome aboard ReadyMicro and welcome to the new Mocavo!"

WEBINAR: Share A Memory Workshop is archived

DearREADERS,
WOW! This is no hype! The contest entries we featured during webinar give creative inspiration to our own projects for sharing family history memories with our non-genealogy family members.There is still time to participate in the Share A Memory Contest running now through 30 September 2012. Find our about about entry requirements and prizes here.

Here are two ways to view the inspiring webinar:





DearMYRTLE's Share A Memory Workshop Webinar featuring Carrie Keele of Not Your Mother's GenealogyAlternately, right-click the link below and select 'Save As...' or just click to save the file to your computer.

http://www.dearmyrtle.com/webinars/ShareAMemory/ShareAMemory.mp4


Ol' Myrt's webinars are in .mp4 format and can be viewed using Windows Media Player, iTunes and most other media players. Tech support has advised me of this free program that will also play the downloaded webinars.

To find out about future scheduled webinars, check out the GeneaWebinars Calendar and Blog. This is the central calendar created so all known genealogy webinar presenters and sponsors can post info about their upcoming events.

SEE ALSO DearMYRTLE's YouTube short subject videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE




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


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



WEBINAR: FindAGrave is archived

DearREADERS,

Russ takes time to gather and upload pics of not only a tombstone, but the immediate environs, so subsequent visitors can readily 'place' the ancestor's grave site in relationship to nearby roads, large stands of trees and buildings. Responses from attendees affirm there is more to the FindAGrave website than tombstones.  BRAVO!

Special thanks to Russ for showing us the ropes and encouraging us to:

  • Find ancestors at FindAGrave.com
  • Contribute to the massive collection of tombstones and transcriptions at FindAGrave.
Click to view DearMYRTLE's Find A Grave Workshop Webinar featuring Russ Worthington in my webinar archive. Alternately, right-click the link below and select 'Save As...' or just click to save the file to your computer.











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


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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MORE about MyHeritage Record Matches

DearREADERS,
A genealogy website must include a 'card catalog' listing all record collections, with descriptions, time periods and number of records in the collection clearly labeled. This isn't evident when I reviewed MyHeritage Record Matches. I would have to know that MyHeritage is searching WorldVitalRecords.com databases and scanned images, a resource purchased by MyHeritage during the past year. A newbie researcher would not have this institutional history in mind when reviewing MyHeritage Record Matches.


Identifying 'included' databases helps one evaluate the usefulness of a subscription website. A 'catalog' of contents permits understanding the website's resources in the context of a reasonably exhaustive 'broad search', an element of the Genealogical Proof Standard, specifically designed to minimize "the probability that undiscovered evidence will overturn a too-hasty conclusion." 

WHAT ARE OTHERS SAYING?
Fellow genealogy blogger Randy Seaver just posted MyHeritage Record Matching test drive results, posing important questions concerning content and scope of searches. Randy's First Look at Record Matches on MyHeritage is a must read.

EVALUATING A SEARCH ENGINE
Understanding the 'depth' to which a genealogy website's computers will search isn't immediately evident at any of the sites I know. Is it just until the search 'times out'? Is it only for generations showing on the screen? What if the search engine starts searching in a different portion of an array of hard drives in a server farm today than it did yesterday, before it 'times out'?

Ol' Myrt here has previously discussed cursory and deep searches in my Ancestry Trees webinars where I distinguish between the 'shaky leaf' and the 'magnifying glass' search results. See below my screen shot showing two types of suggestions for my ancestor Lewis L. Terry:





  • NOTE: Clickable link to "4 Ancestry hints" indicated by the Ancestry.com 'shaky leaf", known commonly among researchers as the "low hanging" fruit" potential matches already found by Ancestry.com computers for this ancestor. (limited # of databases)
  • NOTE: Clickable "search records" button indicated by the magnifying glass. Clicking this causes Ancestry.com's computer to do a more extensive, real-time, context sensitive search of its 40,000+ databases for possible matches.



UNIQUE DIGITAL COLLECTIONS
I discovered items about ancestors on using MyHeritage Record Matches not previously known to me through personal microfilm, online newspaper and Ancestry.com Member Tree research. All it takes is one tidbit of additional information to break through a brick wall, so finding anything that mentions an ancestor is critically important.


QUASI SUMMARY (though I suspect we haven't heard the last of this topic!)
I continue to advise my DearREADERS to revisit genealogy websites at least quarterly, as new content is added daily.


I cringe when someone says "I looked at XWZ genealogy website three years ago, and they don't have anything about my ancestors." 

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


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




Thoughts on new Record Matches at MyHeritage

DearREADERS,
From a researcher's point of view, we like to have computers working for us while we sleep, offering intelligent suggestions in our morning email or popping up the next time we log into a genealogy website. Ol’ Myrt here was happy to preview the powerful "MyHeritage Record Matches", announced earlier today, and I congratulate the programmers for developing a worthwhile method for people to:
  • Distinguish  MyHeritage Record Matches (to record groups; potentially more reliable) from  MyHeritage Smart Matches (to online trees; decidedly less reliable, but encouraging collaboration efforts).
  • Re-engage with their MyHeritage online tree.
All genealogists go through cycles of activity in their research, due to:
  • More or less focus on research, perhaps owing to life's experiences
  • Activity on other genealogy websites

Record Matches will bridge gaps in the use of the MyHeritage website. This is something FamilySearch.org lacks that Ancestry.com employs wisely through periodic email reports of “Shaky Leaf” hints. 



REVIEW OF RECORD MATCHES


Last week, Ol' Myrt here took "Record Matches" for a spin. I was pleased to hear from MyHeritage.com's CEO Gilad Japhet that "Users who are currently not using MyHeritage at all could import their family tree as GEDCOM, review the Record Matches that they will receive for free and decide whether the matches are valuable enough to access through a Data Subscription or pay-as-you-go credits." The initial free access and pricing methods for full access will bring new members to MyHeritage.com.

IT IS FAST! "Extracted data" appears as typed text immediately, while the image of a document loads. This happens so fast, Ol' Myrt here couldn't capture a screen shot.  



ABOVE: One may take the MyHeritage Record Matches and "sort by confidence", etc. It might be that I would wish to revisit "rejected" items, because additional research may render an item noteworthy.




ABOVE: When looking at a series of MyHeritage Record Matches, in this case a death certificate for a great-great uncle, one may navigate from match to match (at point "1" above) while in the expanded "review" screen. That saves extra clicks, and is a big improvement over Ancestry.com’s  online “Shaky Leaf” hints, where one has to go back to the list of hits, and click on the next one to view the suggestion.

On reviewing a possible match, the "source" is listed to the left of the document (at point "2" above). However, the source citation is not available. Clicking to view the collection is fine, but it is more important to have appropriate source citations, so folks with desktop genealogy software can easily construct citations. I understand citations are next on the docket to get “fixed”.

ABOVE and BELOW: I was confused as to how to download a copy of this death certificate to my hard drive. The option to print is at point "3" above, but I completely missed the icon for downloading below the Scribd document viewer (at point "B")  on the right next to the magnifying glass, not to be confused by the magnifying classes on the lower left of the Scribd image border. This is perhaps because that portion of the screen is below my normal view on this 27 inch monitor set in 1920x1080 resolution and required additional scrolling. I merely used SnagIt to capture the image





ABOVE: I like that an "undo confirm" (at point "B" above) and plan to use it when I change my mind about the validity of a match.

Logically, the "confirmed" button is green (at point "D" above). Before that, the button was grey, with the label "not yet confirmed". 

The "Extract information from this record by editing the profile in your tree" (at point "D" above) encourages more than matching.


THINGS STILL A BIT PROBLEMATIC

START PAGE
I'd like return to MyHeritage.com, starting on the page where I had worked during the previous session, rather than starting the navigation all over again. It took me a while to find the recent activity portion of my personal MyHeritage home page.


HIGHLIGHTING
While the yellow highlighting on a newspaper page facilitates finding an ancestor's name, but there appears no way to turn it off. My solution? Fiddle around with Scroll/Book/Slide, then return to Scroll.


URLs are too long, making it look difficult and cumbersome to share or to get me "back" to the image are very long, etc. For instance: 

http://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10025/newspaper-archive?s=59416132&itemId=379846637&groupId&action=showRecord&mid=74



WHERE ARE RECORD MATCHES?
ABOVE: The MyHeritage "Research" tab should also have a link to Record Matches. That is where I first looked when I returned to the site after a lunch break. I next went to Family Tree, and saw the Record Matches with the "new" icon buried one level down. I assumed since "Records Matches" is new, and the information I have yet to review will be new to me, that the "new" icon on the 'Research' tab was where I want to go. Ol' Myrt here later spotted a link to Record Matches on the left navigation bar on the home tab. Sorry I didn't see that, but maybe this is the experience for others?
I placed that last item in red, because I consider it an easy fix, and perhaps the most important one for site visitors. While a MyHeritage email pointed out a few Record Matches, there is no way I can work through 80 items in one sitting. This isn't about 80 quick clicks, it's about researching to determine the validity of a MyHeritage proposed "Record Match".

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

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

MyHeritage releases Record Matching

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our genealogy friends at MyHeritage.com. I'll follow up later with my comments about using this nifty new service option. 

MyHeritage releases breakthrough Record Matching technology for family history
Discoveries made easy: Millions of MyHeritage users to automatically receive relevant newspaper clippings and historical records, adding color to their family history
PROVO, Utah, LONDON and TEL AVIV, Israel – September 19, 2012: MyHeritage, the world’s largest family network, today announced the release of Record Matching, an innovative new technology set to change the face of the family history market. Record Matching will help millions of families learn more about their past by automatically discovering relevant historical records and newspaper articles dating back 300 years.
Record Matching is the next generation of family history exploration. It saves time by automating online research for users’ family trees, breaking through “brick walls” for dedicated genealogists, and giving beginners a significant boost with their family tree research. It works by comparing more than one billion profiles in family trees created by MyHeritage users to more than four billion historical records, to find relevant matches. It’s the only service of its kind to automatically research newspaper articles, books and other free text content through semantic analysis, to find articles that can shed light on the actual lives, personalities and achievements of one’s ancestors.  The Internet has helped bring family history to mainstream audiences, by allowing some of the research traditionally done in libraries and archives to be done online. Record Matching now simplifies online research by conducting it automatically.
Supporting 38 languages, MyHeritage has become the trusted home on the web for families worldwide wishing to explore their family history, share memories and stay connected. In addition to its expertise on collaborative family tree building, over the past year MyHeritage has positioned itself as a leading provider of historical records. Record Matching is an add-on feature for SuperSearch, the search engine for historical records successfully released by MyHeritage in June 2012.

MyHeritage Founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet, said: “Record Matching is a family history discovery maker and time saver, designed to delight both dedicated family historians and people with a casual interest in their ancestry. Over the past year we’ve expanded our consumer offering by complementing our social family tree network with a substantial amount of historical content. Record Matching now ties these two assets together, adding exciting new value for our users and giving us a unique edge in the family history market. It’s a significant step towards realizing our goal of bringing family history to the masses.” 

Record Matching utilizes the current global pool of more than four billion records on MyHeritage, including strong collections in the USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada, with more content being added daily for additional countries. Users can receive birth, marriage and divorce documents, gravestone photos, death, burial and census information, military, immigration and other types of records in their Record Matches. More information about the lives of relatives and ancestors can be revealed in Record Matches from the world’s largest historical newspaper collection licensed to MyHeritage (currently about 120 million pages dating back to the 18th century), books and other free text materials. Record Matches also cover the 1930 and 1940 US census records and the content from MyHeritage-owned family history websites, WorldVitalRecords and FamilyLink

Developed in-house by MyHeritage engineers and family history experts, Record Matching technology is designed to mimic the work of a family historian as much as possible, finding matches that a human would consider plausible, and ruling out matches that a researcher would consider as incorrect. Based on multiple genealogical algorithms that match information in the record (names, dates, facts, relationships, etc) to the information in the family tree, semantic analysis, statistical engines and a false positive prevention sub-system, Record Matching provides a high degree of accuracy without sacrificing flexibility. Through its use of massive computational resources and systematic approach of comparing every person to every record, Record Matching makes discoveries that many users would not have the time or luck to find on their own.
Record Matching technology augments MyHeritage’s flagship Smart Matching™ technology that compares family trees to other family trees. The two technologies work together in a cycle that constantly pushes forward the users' knowledge of their family history. MyHeritage users will receive weekly email updates of their new Record Matches. On the MyHeritage.com website, all Record Matches found are consolidated in one interactive report, where users can conveniently review, filter, sort, confirm and reject their matches.
Record Matching has flexible phonetic and multilingual capabilities when researching names, covering many possible synonyms, different spellings and international variations.  Record Matches have an individual confidence score and can be viewed by person or by data collection. Additional features, such as saving information from Record Matches into online family trees, creating references and source citations and displaying real-time matches whenever a new person is added into the tree, will be added before the end of 2012.
As of today, Record Matching will run periodically for every user who has a family tree on MyHeritage. Record Matches found will be displayed for free as a shortened extract. For full access to the historical records delivered by Record Matches, MyHeritage offers affordable data subscription plans and pay-as-you-go credits which are also good for use on SuperSearch, the MyHeritage search engine for historical records. In complimentary collections under license, such as Ellis Island and Find-A-Grave, MyHeritage users will enjoy full access to the Record Matches for free. Family tree enthusiasts interested in receiving Record Matches are welcome to sign up for free at MyHeritage, import their family tree or build a new one using the site’s friendly tools, and receive their matches in less than 24 hours.

About MyHeritage
MyHeritage is the most popular family network on the web. On MyHeritage, millions of families around the world enjoy a private and free place to explore their history and share family memories. Pioneers in making family history a collaborative experience for the entire 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. For more information visitwww.myheritage.com.

AncestryDNA test submitted

DearREADERS,
Finally got my act together and submitted my sample to the AncestryDNA testing lab.
The kit provided easy-to-follow instructions, removing concerns I had about gathering the DNA.






I sealed the envelope, then went online to "activate my kit online". After entering my kit's unique activation code, I was asked to link to one of my online Ancestry Member Trees.



If you'd like to learn more about AncestryDNA see:
http://dna.ancestry.com/aboutDNA.aspx

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


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


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NGSQ2009: The Peril of Certainty

DearREADERS,"Genealogical proof does not require certainty. Research standards allow new evidence or reasoning to overturn conclusions previously considered proved." Source: "Editors' Corner," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, volume 97 (September 2009): unnumbered page.

Editors Thomas W. Jones, phd, cg*, cgl, fasg, fuga, fngs, and Melinde Lutz Byrne, cg, fasg assert it is impossible to be absolutely certain about our genealogy research conclusions. Nevertheless, we conscientiously build the strongest case.

In the early 1980s, a non-genealogist requested proof of his Cherokee ancestry with a two week deadline. The majority of our initial interview centered on his business concerns. In three week's time, he intended to submit a contract proposal where he would receive preferential treatment as an ethnic minority if I "did my work correctly."

To the untrained, ten hours research with a two week deadline may sound reasonable but I declined the case. First, it would take weeks to obtain copies of vital records, and we didn't have the internet and multiple online genealogy databases. More important to my decision, the man lacked knowledge of his father and his grandparents' names and admittedly had no Native American ancestry evidence other than a history of "high cheek bones" and family that moved to Oklahoma in the mid 1950s.  

I believed the man was more interested in forcing the lineage for financial gain than researching his true heritage.

Potential clients logically attempt to quantify our research efforts by imposing deadlines. We can meet deadlines, and stop research when the hourglass runs out of sand, but that doesn't mean our conclusions will coincide with the client's desired outcome.

One must remove 21st century cultural blinders, undertake an exhaustive, broad search of surviving record groups, and compare existing research conclusions in light of new information. Conflicting evidence must be reconciled.


We rarely inherit a well-sourced family history, but even so, we must revisit lineage conclusions, analyze new interpretations and consider newly-discovered sources of information. A fresh set of eyes may prove or disprove previous lineage determinations. 

It is our privilege to serve our families by thoughtfully moving our lineage work forward, keeping up with new technology and recently unearthed record groups. 

"Let's putting on our thinking caps." (Quoting my 3rd and 4th grade teacher Miss Ann Berg, Laurelhurst Elementary School, Seattle, Washington, circa 1958-59.)


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

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





Monday, September 17, 2012

WEBINAR: Using Find-A-Grave

DearREADERS,

Russ Worthington shares his experiences with the powerful FindAGrave.com website at Thursday morning's Find-A-Grave Workshop Webinar. 

Topics include:

-- Searching existing database to find a specific cemetery
-- Searching for an ancestor's tombstone
-- How to request a photo
-- How to contribute to the photo collection

All DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars (c) feature a little bit of PowerPoint and a lot of demos. 

11am Eastern US
10am Central US
9am Mountain US
8am Pacific US

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

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/716227449
Happy family tree climbing! 
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

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



Why the Georgia Archives Closure is important to YOU


DearREADERS,
If a state archives holds the official record of the proceedings of the state legislature, closing an archives puts an end to "open government", rendering it impossible to study the laws and directives of the state's elected officials. Failing oversight by the people, said government officials are free to do as they please -- and that wrecks havoc with the concept of democracy. 

Regardless of where you live in the free world, the possible closure of the Georgia State Archives is an affront to your participation in a democratic society.

THE BACK STORY
News came last week that the Georgia State Archives is closing its doors to the public effective 1 November, with the exception of a few appointments when staff is available. Yesterday, the Atlanta-Journal newspaper reported a "firestorm" has erupted over the decision. Quoting the Secretary of State Brian Kemp:

 "To reduce public access to the historical records of this state was not arrived at without great consternation,” Kemp said. “I will fight during this legislative session [starting in January] to have this cut restored so the people will have a place to meet, research and review the historical records of Georgia.” Source: Supporters Rally Against Georgia Archives Closure.

January? Seriously? This closure must be stopped now. Georgia State Archives has already cut back service hours to include Friday and Saturday-only research during the past year. 

The A-J newspaper also reported: "Effective Nov. 1, only limited public appointments will be available to see the state’s important and historical records dating to at least 1733. In addition, the archives’ staff of 10 full-time employees will likely be reduced."  Source: IBID.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
1. Please sign Georgians Against Closing State Archives' petition at: http://chn.ge/Omcycy


3. Write to your Georgia General Assembly senate and house representatives. Snail may be more effective than email. http://www.legis.ga.gov/en-US/default.aspx

FINAL THOUGHTS
Ol' Myrt here knows times are tough, but we're talking a budget cut of $730,000 that closes the Georgia archives. The Georgia General Assembly must find a way, unless it prefers to hang it's head in shame and turn it's back on our citizens' basic right of open access to government records. The GSA website states it "is one of the largest state legislatures in the nation". Let's add "the smartest" when they figure out how to balance their budget and maintain basic citizen rights.

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

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





Webinar: Share a Memory TONIGHT



DearREADERS, 
Forget that the term "genealogy" scares people away. Forget that you are thought of as the "genealogy nut" among your extended family members. It's time to share memories. Join my daughter Carrie Keele, of the Not Your Mothers Genealogy Blog, as we explore ideas for "getting the word out" about your ancestors.

This webinar demos five ways to share what you've learned about ancestors.

Be sure to share TODAY, and submit your entry to the SHARE A MEMORY Contest. Entry requirements are located at: http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/2012/08/2012-share-memory-contest.html

All DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinars (c) feature a little bit of PowerPoint and a lot of demos.

SHARE a Memory DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinar

Join us for a Webinar on September 17, 2012
Space is limited.

REGISTER now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/676266768

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

Title:     SHARE a Memory DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinar
Date:     Monday, September 17, 2012
Time:     9:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements

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

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

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®/iPad®/Android™ smartphone or tablet



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

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

Saturday, September 15, 2012

2nd American Civil War Blog Challenge

DearREADERS,
Over the years, Ol' Myrt here has written about her Union Civil War ancestors, and I'd like to share these links once again. I continue to learn more about these men, and their service units as I familiarize myself with not only enlistment, service and pension files, but medical records during service and records from the "old soldiers homes" where William and Tolbert resided from time to time.


WILLIAM GIST FROMAN's Civil War Pension File #8424237/Company D Division 3 Provisional Enrolled, Missouri Militia contains:
  1. Marriage Certificate (certified) Louise Higgins and William Gist Froman, 30 June 1897, Clinton County, Missouri.
  2. References to William G. Froman's first marriage to Mary Sherrard, and children of issue.
  3. Proof of Lowell S. Froman as oldest son.



Louisa, William and Lowel Froman

My post What's age got to do with it? posted in 2008, focused on the strange tale of my ancestress who claimed to marry Union Veteran William Gist FROMAN when she was 14 years of age. While it is true Louisa Mae Higgins married William, the question of her age at the time is up for dispute. My blog post discusses whether or not she was 39 or 45 years younger than her spouse. Since I published that blog post, I discovered an obituary, and subsequently obtained a death certificate which also indicate she would only have been 39 years younger than William. See: Finding the date of last Thursday and six other challenges and Getting the big picture.



My photo from the "cemetery on the hill" at Cedar, Kansas.



TOLBERT HIGGINS' Civil War Pension Application #599-029, Certificate #549.430 indicates he served in Company F, 2nd Missouri Cavalry, commonly known as Merrill's Horse. Rank In: Private; Rank Out: Private. I've previously written about this gentleman in my posts:

And while I don't have a picture of the man, I do have a description of him from his service files, and wrote about it in Treasure Chest Thursday - Higgin's description.

 

My photo taken at Graceland Cemetery, Knoxville, Iowa.

 

WILLIAM HENRY PHILLIPS. His understanding of the Virginia/Pennsylvania/Maryland state lines not withstanding, please note my 2great-grandfather William Henry Phillips fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. The US Civil War Pension file of William Phillips, Certificate #243464, Co K 19th Indiana Volunteers contains William's affidavit that "said affects of rheumatism and disease of liver was contracted after the [illegible] battle of Gettysburg in the state of Virginia about Aug 1863, caused by exposure incident to the marching and campaign after said battle of Gettysburg which battle was fought July 4, 1863." The file also contains a certified copy of the certificate of marriage with Louisa Terry 6 Aug 1874. William indicates his first wife was Sarah Pugh, and mentions two additional daughters, Calley [Phillips] Taylor and Viola [Phillips] Dontal, in addition to my direct ancestor, his second wife Louisa Phillips and her daughter Stella Mae Phillips Goering.

From other transcriptions from William Henry Phillips' extensive US Civil War pension pile, includes a signed affidavit of his 2nd wife, Louisa Phillips dated Sept 2, 1921 states "In regard to the correct name of my husband William Phillips, deceased, I have to say that his full name was William Henry Phillips, but he only used William Phillips when he enlisted so by mistake just W. H. has been used. After the war, he used for business purposes just his initials W. H. Phillips." See: US Civil War Pension file of William Phillips, Certificate #243464, Co K 19th Indiana Volunteer.



LEWIS L. TERRY
I have yet to honor my 4th Union Soldier by adding his name as a supplemental to my Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865 membership. I've found what I believe are his enlistment papers, but the pension files are still to be researched at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
On a hunch, I turned to the Civil War Collection at Footnote to see if Lewis L. Terry had enlisted in the Union Army from the Missouri. Sure enough, Lewis [sometimes transcribed as Louis] L. Terry was born in Hamilton County, Ohio [yes!] signed his enlistment paper 19 August 1864, and was assigned to Company F of the 43rd Infantry Missouri Volunteers. I'll also look for his full (not compiled) service record, and then do a broad search to determine if there could have been others by the name "Lewis L. Terry" who lived at the same time in the same locality.  See: Lewis L. Terry: Emotional genealogy.

Thanks to Bill West of the West in New England genealogy blog for suggesting this Second American Civil War Blog Challenge.


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

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