Table of Contents
By Mary Harrell-Sesniak
Whether you're transcribing a historical document or writing a family history, a word processor can polish the finished product.
An entry-level program will suffice — but to make a document shine, a more sophisticated product, such as Microsoft Word or Open Office Writer, is required. Here are a few ideas to get started.
The steps in Microsoft Word (WD) and Open Office (OO) are similar:
OO: Tools > Spelling and Grammar > Options > New
Tip: Free dictionaries, such as those for foreign languages, may be available from manufacturer websites.
Text Flow and Pagination
OO & WD: Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar
Straggling Paragraph Lines (widows and orphans): A single line of a paragraph left by itself on a separate page is undesirable. When it occurs at the top of a page, it is known as a widow, and when left on the preceding page, it is an orphan. To correct this, select the paragraph and follow this sequence,
OO: Format > Paragraph > Text Flow Tab > Orphan or Widow Control
Preventing Paragraph Splits: To keep a paragraph together, set the “Do not Split” feature, and if you wish to connect a heading line to a paragraph, change “Do not Split” to “Keep with Next”.
OO: Format > Paragraph > Text Flow > Do not Split Paragraph
Footnotes & Endnotes
OO: Insert > Footnote/Endnote
Comments: Comments or notes are placed in the margin, and do not print with the document. Much like a post-em, the feature identifies the reviewer and adds a date stamp. Notes are edited by clicking on them.
OO: Insert > Comment, or Ctrl+Alt+N
Track Changes: Editors and authors use this feature while exchanging drafts. While editing, deletions appear crossed out and additions are apparent. Once the document is returned to the author, a process of accepting or rejecting the changes is followed.
OO: Edit > Changes > Record or Accept or Reject.
Tip: Other options for Track Changes include viewing a final markup or adding a password, so changes cannot be applied to finalized text. For more information, see instructions for Open Office and Word.
A simple index has two levels of grouping, such as surnames and given names. However, if you are indexing a family history with separate lineages, group each family under a third level.
To create an index you can start by highlighting an entry, which for names, is generally the given name. It is placed in the main entry field with the title after the name. The surname is then typed in the key or subentry field.
OO: Insert > Index and Tables > Entry
Tip: Many repositories request that women be indexed twice, both under a maiden and married name.
Mary applied many of these features while writing her book, 500+ Revolutionary War Obituaries and Death Notices, Volume 1, available at Lulu.com, and in the near future, at Genealogical.com.
By Joan Young
My August 2008 article covered using RootsWeb's Social Security Death Index (SSDI) database. As a follow-up to my article I want to share a little more about the SSDI.
The article explained the procedure for ordering copies of the original SS-5 by mail. While the form that generates a request letter is still available on RootsWeb's SSDI page, the Social Security Administration now has an online order process which promises a much faster turn-around time and greater ease of ordering via credit card.
The individuals found in the SSDI at RootsWeb are deceased; however, the parents who are identified on the SS-5 copy may still be living. The SSA will not release the parents' names unless the parents are proven to be deceased (you would be required to submit proof of death) or, based upon the information included in the SS-5, it could be presumed that the parents would currently be one hundred and twenty (or more) years old. This is the cut-off age the SSA uses at present when processing FOIA requests when there is no actual proof that a named individual is deceased.
Keeping the above guidelines in mind will be helpful in deciding whether it would be worthwhile to request an SS-5 copy from the SSA. You will also be able to avoid needlessly paying for information that the SSA may not divulge under The Privacy Act. If the wage earner on the account would currently be under one hundred years of age the SSA is unlikely to release parental information where there is no proof of death on file for the parents.
Additional information in using the RootsWeb SSDI can also be found here:
I had been into genealogy in a small way when my husband and I moved to Australia from Ireland in 1987, so I had to correspond in writing with my relatives, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
In 1990 I wrote to my aunt Rosie, my dad's youngest sister in England. I asked her to share her memories of various family members. Aunt Rosie wrote back, telling me what she could remember, although at the time a lot of it didn't make sense to me. But of course I kept her letter.
Thanks to Colette from the Canary Islands
My late husband's father (born 1911) was named Edwin Ernest Blandon, but at school one of his teachers -- apparently locally famous for never remembering what his pupils' names were -- had a habit of calling the children by names he thought fitted them, and he called Edwin by the name of John. When Edwin left college and entered the world of work, he did so with an old school friend, who always called him John too. It was through his friend that he met his future wife, Vera, and she always called him John. It was rather funny to attend family get-togethers and hear Vera refer to "John" and Edwin's sister mutter under her breath "Edwin!" Problems were somewhat compounded when Edwin and Vera named their son, my husband, Jonathan Edwin Blandon.
As both Edwin and Jonathan were keen bridge players and members of the same bridge clubs, things often got very confusing. However, when Vera died, Edwin announced that he no longer wished to be known as John, and the last few years of his life he returned to being known by everyone as Edwin, though not without his bridge-playing friends having to think before they spoke about him.
After my husband's death I remarried and found that my new father-in-law (born 1913) had the same problem. The cause of his name change was more mysterious as he didn't remember how he came to be called by another, unrelated, name. He was christened Cyril, but was known to all (including his family) as Bob, so most people assumed his real name was Robert.
I've also seen a number of death notices and obituaries for people of a similar age that list a nickname by which a person (mostly male) was known in life. These are of the form John "Bertie" Smith. I wonder whether the generation of boys born in the early 1900s there was a habit of giving them a nickname unrelated to their real name.
Thanks to Laurie Kirby
A few years ago my wife and I visited an old Moravian cemetery that had rows of brown spots. On removing about an inch and a half of the sod we found headstones. We learned that Moravians often place their stones flat on the earth. Eventually the earth covers them over and they are, unintentionally I assume, protected from mowers. Because Moravian burials were grouped by sex (male, married women, unmarried women) and the burials are listed in Moravian publications in the order that they took place in each section, you can usually find a stone after a couple of tries. If you do this, don’t forget to repair your divots! More recent burials had the marked stones on top of larger flat bases that do not get covered by sod.
Thanks to Stacy B. C. Wood, Jr.
The government in Canada declared the year 2010 as “The Year of the British Home Child.” This is the result of years of hard work and persistence by the descendants of these 100,000 unwanted children sent from the United Kingdom to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
You can read about the plight of these children at a number of web sites, including http://www.britishhomechildren.org/ and http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~britishhomechildren/.
My great-grandparents were "Home Children." Stanley LEWIS and Mary CORKILL were born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England ~1860. They were shipped to Canada from the "Liverpool Sheltering Homes" in 1874. They and Mary's 4 younger siblings went to different families in different towns in Nova Scotia. The two youngest were boys, 5 and 3 years old.
Thanks to Betty Fredericks
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.
Register today for the 2010 Federation of Genealogy Societies’ Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, on August 18-21, co-hosted by the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society.
The conference includes four days of family history classes for all levels of genealogists:
The Exhibit Hall brings together vendors and societies from across the continent. You won’t want to miss this year’s conference in Knoxville!
GENEALOGY BRICKWALLS? Get Help
ANCESTOR SEEKERS researchers at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City will search this vast collection of records from the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Ireland, England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and other European countries. Friendly service, affordable prices.
For a no-obligation research assessment visit AncestorSeekers.com.
Or join us 25 - 30 OCTOBER 2010 for our 17th Salt Lake City Research Trip – the dream genealogy vacation!
TENNESSEE, Crockett County. Avery Cemetery, 30 records; Cristie Sanders Wright
TENNESSEE, Crockett County. Center Methodist Church Cemetery 279 records; Cristie S Wright
TENNESSEE, Crockett County. Marlow Cemetery 57 records; Cristie Sanders Wright
TENNESSEE, Crockett County. Maury City Cemetery, Maury City, TN 263 records; Cristie Sanders Wright
TENNESSEE, Crockett County. Nance Church of Christ Cemetery 119 records; Cristie Sanders Wright
TENNESSEE, Crockett County. Thomas Williams Cemetery 88 records; Cristie Sanders Wright
TENNESSEE, Crockett County. TN, Crockett County,Tipton Cemetery 25 records; Cristie Sanders Wright
TENNESSEE, Gibson County. Rose Hill Cemetery in Humboldt 497 records; Cristie Sanders Wright
TENNESSEE, Madison County. Elmwood Cemetery
37 records; Cristie Sanders Wright
TENNESSEE, Madison County. Hollywood Cemetery 361 records; Cristie Sanders Wright
Hamm Family Website shares ancestor information for: Ham, Hamm, Fine, Young, VanHoose, Nally families who lived in Arkansas, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Germany, England and other newly discovered areas.
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.
CD17C = Colonial Dames of the XVII Century
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. These sites are accessible at www.rootsweb.com/~xxxxxx, where xxxxxx is the account/site name.
Note that the ~[tilde] before the Web account name is required.
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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.
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The World Archives Project is a community keying initiative that helps preserve records and bring indexes online free. To find out more about the project and to download the keying tool, click here.
New projects to Key:
For a complete list of projects to key, and search click here.
If you know of genealogically related volunteer opportunities please email Editor-RWR@rootsweb.com.
This is my great-great-grandfather, Private Michael Maloney, 2nd Minnesota Infantry Regiment, during the Civil War. Michael emigrated from Ireland sometime in the 1850s. He was drafted in 1864 and served until the end of the war in 1865.
Thanks to Timothy Scanlan in Naples, Florida
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.
When my daughter got her first job in about 1976, she worked with a very black young man whose name was "Noway White". At the time I looked in phone book and there were 3 generations with that name. I do not see those names today, so they must have moved. He was very well liked.
Thanks to Cora Hursey
I ran across two funny surnames in some of my research. One of them, "Mothershead" was found in Shelby County, Kentucky. The other is "Barnhistle." I was looking for my great great grandfather Histle and found that a lot of "Barnhistles" had changed it to Histle. His daughter was my great grandmother. This name was from the Henry County, Kentucky area.
Thanks to Martha Lewis in Crestwood, Kentucky
In our family way back one child was named Monet Schmul. The next child was named MonB and the next MonC.
Thanks to Arnold Chamove in New Zealand
My niece's husband's name is Ethan Allen. In some parts of the U.S., this name might not be so unfortunate, but he lives in Vermont, the home of that brave Green Mountain Boy of Revolutionary War fame of the same name. Throughout his life, our Ethan has suffered various indignities and insults by tradesmen, bank clerks, and even policemen who have accused him of lying when he said his name was Ethan Allen. Here in Vermont, that response is as unbelievable as the name George Washington would be in other parts of the country. Of course, he has had some fun with the name, as well, but mostly it has caused him a great deal of embarrassment over the years.
Thanks to Jeanne Douglas
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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