Table of Contents
By Mary Harrell-Sesniak
The New Year is the time to get organized, and what better way than with free forms and charts you can find on RootsWeb. On a personal note, forms organize and track my research, and they assist in making notations regarding my treasured resource collections -- mostly so others will understand their connection and value, long after I am gone.
Easily located by clicking on the Blank Charts and Forms link on the home page, you'll find:
And you’ll find additional resources across RootsWeb, where sites have posted other forms and charts of interest.
One favorite is the Western Wayne County Michigan Genealogical Society, which has compiled free forms and charts from across the Web. In addition to census, ancestor and descendant charts, there are:
This last one is a standard word processing document, which can be modified.
It directs “one's spouse, children, guardian, administrator and/or executor” to not dispose of genealogical materials – and it recommends genealogical societies be contacted, lest heirs be tempted to dispose of one's life-long research.
Why not leave a copy in the front of your favorite resources?
And you may wish to attach appraisals. This need not be formal – search book sellers and auction sites for current prices, and leave a printout. I did this for my copy of Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy: Volume I, North Carolina (William Wade Hinshaw, 1936). Paperback copies typically sell for over $100, and I've also left a personal note regarding the book's rarity.
Other resources to consider are official request forms found on government sites, such as the Social Security Administration and National Archives.
And if you can't find the perfect form, make one yourself, using the table feature of a word processor. Most programs have basic features. In Microsoft Works, select Table > Insert Table, and an appropriate number of rows or columns.
If prompted for formatting, select a look visually, or add it later (in Works, see Table > Table Format).
Initially columns and rows are distributed equally, but may be resized later. Either drag the vertical dividers, or use one of the menu options, usually under format or table properties. (In Works, select Table > Cell Height and Width.)
If the cursor is in the last cell of the table, press Tab to add a new row, or use the menu to insert additional rows and columns, either before or after a cursor position. (In Works, Table > Insert Row [or Column] > Before or After Current Row [or Column].)
More sophisticated programs, such as Microsoft Word or Open Office, allow merging and splitting of cells. If you can't locate these features on the menu, try right-clicking a selection.
Merging: Highlight two or more cells before merging.
These programs also add the ability to protect a table from changes and auto-fitting widths. Each program has different features, so get inspired by exploring the Help Menu. And if you are looking for ideas for your first genealogical table, try these:
Best wishes for a great year of researching!
By Joan Young
Genealogists have been commenting as long as I've been online that activity always drops off dramatically near the end of the year as the holiday season approaches. Each new year brings with it renewed interest in posting on mailing lists and message boards and updating family trees. Families traditionally gather over the holidays. This instills renewed interest for many family historians. Researchers receive holiday gifts of new computers and software and become eager to make use of it. This year will, undoubtedly, be no different. We can all benefit by approaching this new year with a plan of action rather than diving in unprepared.
Developing a Plan
Next, make a list of your goals for the new year. What are you looking for and what do you hope to accomplish? Be specific when writing down your plans. Make note of the online resources at your disposal to help you reach your goals. Web sites such as Cyndi's List and Linkpendium can prove invaluable for locating online resources.
Finally, do a search for your previous archived mailing list and message board posts as well as any family trees and data you have placed online. You may use a site such as Google or search the specific archives or board systems. If you have a genealogy Web site, review your pages and pinpoint corrections and additions you need to incorporate. Review posts and existing trees. Is your e-mail contact information still valid and is your online data still accurate and complete in view of what you learned over the past year? Make a list of necessary updates and corrections.
For mailing list archives where editing your address isn't possible, post a new message with your current contact information. Remember that mailing list archives such as those at RootsWeb are merely a record of what took place on a given date. You can provide updated information and queries as well as a current e-mail address in your new posts.
If an online tree needs attention, download a GEDCOM file of the old tree and import it into your genealogy program on your computer. After you have made all necessary additions and corrections, create a new GEDCOM and upload it to replace your outdated tree.
If you have gathered public documents, perhaps a pension file or deed, over the past year consider transcribing them and placing the data online. RootsWeb/Ancestry message boards are a perfect place to post your finds. Choose the appropriate data classification when posting so that others may easily find the documents.
Get the new year off on the right foot by making a resolution to establish a plan. Follow through with your plan and your efforts will surely be rewarded.
A cousin and I have tracked ancestors for years. Our great granddaddy went to prison for shooting the sheriff after finding the sheriff making a 'house call' to his second (much younger wife). Great granddad had left his first wife with six children, traveled around for years before deciding to marry again. He had 3 children by the second wife. These three children were younger than his grandchildren. Needless to say, the 'older' children thought of their dad as a black sheep.
We had carefully noted the names of these three children in our family tree, but the older family never had any contact with this younger family.
Several years ago, a co-worker and I were talking and family came up. He said he didn't know much about his mother's family but did know his grandfather had spent time in jail. I said "My great granddad did too". Another person in the group suggested the two might have been 'jail mates'. I replied "Well, my great granddad shot the sheriff!"
The co-worker said "So did my grandfather--what was your great grand's name?" When I said the name, his mouth popped open. He sat down rather quickly and said "That's my granddad's name!"
Well, the rest of the story is--yes, we were cousins--he is the son of the youngest child of my great grand father--my grand dad was the oldest child. We have become family!
Gloria Gonzalez in Florida
In response to the tip from Odessa Southern Elliot in the Dec. 9, 2009 Rootsweb Review regarding looking for middle names in census records, I've found it has been quite common for people to switch around their first and last names later in life. Great Uncle Joe was born Raymond Joseph, but later records list him as Joseph R. His father was born Roscoe Ervin, but later records list him as Ervin R. Ervin's father was Joseph Crocker, but he went by the name of Crocker. Most records list him as Joseph C., but I did find him in some census records listed as Crocker.
I've found that in many cases, not just in this family line, people who always gave their middle initial in old records commonly used their middle name. Sometimes that middle name can be a clue to family connections. Crocker turned out to be a grandmother's surname. Discovering what the middle initial A. given in the family bible stood for in a census record where Jabeth Southern's full name was used could turn out to be a very lucky find!
Thanks to Cheryl Stanfield
At the death of my mom's last sister, she being the eldest and my mom the last of 4 girls, I asked my cousin if I could borrow all of the photos, letters, etc., that her mom had kept at the death of our Grandmother, so I could scan them. She replied "no". I didn't prod her as she had enough to deal with. Two days later she arrived at my door with about 6 shoe boxes and a couple of other boxes, only asking when I scanned them, to give her a copy of the CDs along with the photos back. Later, when she picked up the photos, she also gave to me, 4 large pictures of our mom’s father when he was about 2 or 3 years old, our maternal great-great grandparents when they were probably in their twenties, and our 3rd great grandfather. She also brought some mementos, like tiny shoes and locks of hair. She told me that since she had no children and because I was doing genealogy and always tried to share, she gave all of these to me, only taking the photos and the CDs. I was thrilled.
Thanks to Sharon Stiles Blair
I have been researching a friend's genealogy. She always complained that she didn't know any relatives. Her name is SMITH (I have come to the conclusion that if you don't have a SMITH in your family you aren't human)!
I tracked down her paternal grandfather through his Veterans medical history. He was in the Marines, briefly and was given an honorable discharge. Through this file we found that he married 4 times and died in a VA hospital while married to his 4th wife who had petitioned for his pension. A document said that he was buried in a Baptist cemetery in the town in Oklahoma where he lived prior to being hospitalized. The town is so small that there was no one to call about the cemetery. I contacted the undertaker who called me back. After researching their records from 50 years ago they were able to tell me the name of the cemetery.
My friend's family became a challenge for me, so when the opportunity arose to take a road trip to Oklahoma I said I would drive if I could take a detour to find the cemetery. Armed only with the name of the cemetery and granddad's name off I drove.
It was summer and hot in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma. Folks at the proverbial "corner market" told us how to get to the cemetery. It was 5PM when we drove through the gates and faced a huge number of graves with no directory. Due to the size of the cemetery and my physical limitations I knew I couldn't walk the cemetery before dark and we didn't have another day to spend looking. Dejected, I decided to drive the circular cemetery road and start the drive home.
I slowly drove a few dozen feet when I saw an upright marker of a name to whom granddad had been related by one of his marriages. I walked up the slight rise and began to read the markers from left to right. On the far right was a flat bronze marker with his name. On his left was his 3rd wife's flat marble marker. We suppose that the plot was paid for while he was married to his 3rd wife and granddad was laid to rest in the most economical fashion.
What no one can understand is the number of graves and the totally unexpected path that led to his! I suppose that a man who married 4 times wanted to be noticed one last time to tell us he existed and he was right here in front of us!
Thanks to Susan St. John
Have a story, question, genealogy resource, or tip you’d like to share with RootsWeb Review readers? Send it to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the editor or of RootsWeb.com.
Today, more than 42 million Americans claim German heritage and there is an abundance of all those things German in America that are part of our everyday life but many don’t even know of their origin. We invite you to explore German-American history as you uncover exciting stories in Germany and trace your family roots. Whether you will finally stand in your forefather’s church, find a document, meet with distant cousins, visit the pier of farewell or just “be there” and explore our beautiful country, we welcome you to discover German originality.
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Let our light shine on your family history research. Family History Expos is your beacon in a sea of family history. Learn techniques and technology in our FREE exhibit hall. Come to our FREE keynote address by Bernie Gracy, http://www.historicaltownmaps.com/wordpress. Register now for classes - information resources, software, Internet research, social networking, publishing, charting, more. Visit our ‘Beacon of Bloggers.’ Paid registrants get personal, professional help from professional genealogists. Door prizes. Goodies. Tools you need to guide you. Let Family History Expos light the way. Register early at Family History Expos.com.
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Ancestry.com and the New England Historical Genealogical Society (NEHGS) are excited to sponsor a Family History Day in Boston. The day will include
The cost for attendance is only $30, which includes parking. Register today to attend Family History Day 2010 in Boston!
The Bonow Family of Chicago traces the Family History of the descendants of Frederick Bonow and Louise Krueckow, from Pomerania, Prussia to the Fuller Park Neighborhood of Chicago's South Side. It describes the trials of the early immigrants from the 1840s through their immigration in the early 1880's, and cites census and other records following the Bonow, Ziemer, Roepke, and Moll Families as they found jobs and homes in Chicago. The included maps and photos depict their close-knit decades on Princeton Street through the 1930's. The researcher hopes to connect with living relatives.
Our Maternal And Paternal Ancestors: 350 Years Of History In America features three separate family sub-sites as follows: (1) DELLINGER, KNECHT, PFEFFER, SILAR and allied families; (2) BOZARTH, PEIFFER, QUIGLEY, RHUBART and allied families; and (3) MORELAND, MCVICKER, PINNELL, SCRUGGS and allied families.
If you have a new or substantially revised freepage at RootsWeb and would like to see it mentioned here, send the URL, the title, and a BRIEF description, including major surnames, to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.
If your genealogy- or history-related site is located somewhere other than RootsWeb, you can add the link to RootsWeb here.
DAR = Daughters of the American Revolution
Some of these Web pages might not be accessible yet. They are created
by volunteers, so if one that interests you isn’t up yet, please
check again in a few days or next week.
New Surname Mailing Lists
New Regional Mailing Lists
New Ethnic or Special Interest Mailing Lists
To find or subscribe to a mailing list, or to search archived posts to more than 30,000 RootsWeb-hosted genealogy mailing lists, go here.
This is a photo of my grandparents, Dillon Hiram and Sarah Irene (Smith) Farnsworth. This photo was taken around 1900. My grandfather was a well known Farmer in Westport, Essex County, New York. In his later life he was the Town of Westport Road Commissioner. In fact he died the day before the election on 11/04/1947 and still won the race by a large margin.
Thanks to Doug Farnsworth in Crossville, Tennessee
For a chance to see your ancestor’s photo in the RootsWeb Review, send it to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com. Make sure to include your name and a brief description of the photograph.
I was helping a lady who contacted me about one of my cousins, cousins.
Thanks to Cindy Plummer in West Virginia
The following family names were found in the book, The Deyo (Deyoe) Family on page 48.
Stephen Lake and Rowena Deyo married and had the following children:
Thanks to Cathy H.
Not far east of New Braunfels, Texas, two road signs can be seen at the edge of a small town. Perhaps thirty yards apart, the arrows point to the same side road. They read, "Cemetery" and "Citizen Recycling Center."
When my nephew was four and my niece three, I wanted to explain what grandma, grandpa, uncle and aunt meant so I drew a very simple family tree and explained that Daddy was their Dad and Grandpa was Daddy's dad, I then explained that Grandma was Mommy or Daddy's Mommy. At this point my niece wondered off. However, I continued explaining that Elly was Jakob's sister and that Aunt Teri was Daddy's sister. At this point my nephew looked at me and in a earnest voice said, "Too much information Aunt Teri!"
Thanks to Teri Anne Beauchamp in Washington
Found a funny name or humorous tidbit in old records, or an amusing entry in census, parish, church, or other records? Send these and other genealogy-related humor/humour items to Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.
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