Saturday, December 9, 2017

MyHeritage SuperSearch Update

For a number of years, has provided users with the ability to add their input regarding incorrect info on record indexes.  Recently, MyHeritage has devised a similar feature that will allow for corrections of spellings or transcription errors.

Simply click "Suggest Alternatives" and add your info.  You'll need to type the first and last name of the individual to be corrected, use the drop down menu to select the reason and add your two cents in the comments.  If you're like me, your ancestor's names were never recorded the same as some of them were doozy's to spell - Leininger, Bollenbacher, and even short ones like Duer seem to have been problematic for those enumerators.

Here's an additional tip - keep a list of all the many, varied and unusual surname spellings that you find as that could help you in the future when you're stuck.  I add them to an Excel spreadsheet with tabs for my preferred spelling of the surname and a column where I found the name spelled differently. Happy Hunting!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Genealogy TV Show That Can Benefit Your Family

I've been watching this season's Our American Family show and thought the style of the presentation would be an awesome way for families to record their own history.  With the holidays upon us, check out a few of the episodes, then video your family at the next gathering.  I've blogged previously about using helpful media to use and interview questions that can help get grandma talking.  Once you've got the recording, putting it together could be a wonderful present for your next year's holiday season!

Friday, November 24, 2017 DNA Kit Purchase Follow Up

Just received the following email from regarding their Black Friday-Cyber Monday DNA Kit Sale:
There is NO COUPON CODE, as I blogged about on Sunday.  Want to purchase?  Click BUY NOW, look at the top of the page and reclick Buy Now.
Please note:  I have NO business connection with the organization and get NO percentage of sale.  This info is a follow up to my last blog about attempting to purchase the product a few days ago. 
Genealogy is all about patience and this purchase definitely reinforces that!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Holiday DNA Deals? Read Before Purchasing

It's that wonderful time of the year when the DNA companies promote their products with big savings knowing that the family get togethers will turn to great grandma's emigration story and the question everyone wants answered - Where did we really come from?
I've received several emails this week notifying me of "special" offers so I decided to take advantage of the one below: 

 When I go to process the order I get this screen (with my personal info not showing):
The problem is that when I hit "submit order" the lock moves over the words but doesn't process.  I hit the button twice and then, fearing I ordered 4 kits instead of 2, called at 1-800-Ancestry. 
I spoke with Brittany who told me they had no record of the order.  That was good in that I didn't over order but since I wanted 2 kits, I still needed the order processed.  I asked if they were having trouble with their website and she said no.  Brittany tried and couldn't get it to go through, either.  She placed me on hold and sought out a supervisor.
I must say I was pleased that she returned to the phone after some wait time to tell me she was still checking.  Nice customer service,, major improvement over the years.  Then it went downhill...
Brittany said that the system couldn't calculate two discounts, meaning it could not take $10.00 off the second kit AND take off free shipping on Kit 1.  I asked if this was because I was a returning customer and the offer was good for new customers only.  She said no.  I asked if there was an override.  She said no and that the coupon code I was using had expired.  I mentioned I had received the notice from several sources in the past few days and that the expiration date hadn't occurred yet.  I also told her exactly where I received the info but since I'm not trying to drag other organizations into this, I'm sure you're understanding of why I'm not blogging my sources. 
Brittany told me the amount would be $162.00 but couldn't explain how that amount was determined.  If I ordered two kits at $79.00 with free shipping the amount would be $158.00; with $10.00 shipping on both kits it would be $178.00.  If it was free shipping on the first kit and half on the second it would be $163.00. 
Maybe I should have just shut my mouth and taken the $162.00 offer but I don't like paying for something when the price isn't clear so I mentioned that there were competitors that were offering kits for less than the quoted amount.  Now I know that the customer service person has no say in the price set and I'm sure she was rolling her eyes at this cheap customer but I figure if enough people speak out then maybe the powers to be will get the website working correctly to accept the offer.  If the offer isn't valid, then they need to just say that the other organizations made up the deal but I really don't think that was the case since I got it from several sources.
We hung up without my placing an order.
I then went on a hunt to see if there was other valid coupon codes but didn't find one.  Next I tried
signing into my account, clicking "Buy Now," re-ordering and omitting the "expired" coupon code.  Guess what?  It shows this:

But it, too, doesn't allow me to purchase. 
I then went to where I purchased a kit in July during Prime Days.  Since I'm a member, I get free shipping so I figure that would eliminate the need for the expired coupon code.  Here's what I get:
The promotion at Amazon is $79.00 for each kit.  Better than the offer but not as good as I wanted. 
I'll let you know next week what I decide to do - I've wasted way too much time on this today!  My Turkey Day shopping is waiting for me.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Bringing a Family Heirloom Back to Life

In June, I blogged about some of my genealogy finds when we cleaned out our garage - 2 mahogany chairs in particular. 
The initial estimates I got to refinish the chairs were $500.00 each and the price quoted for the upholstery was $500.00-$800.00 per chair, not including material of which two upholsterers estimated I would need 10 yards. So, it would have cost me over $2000.00 to have both chairs in usable condition.
Yes, they have been in the family since about 1880 but we thought that the quotes were way too much.  I eventually found someone to refinish the chairs for $125.00 each but I had to do touch up and pull out the old tacks.  Hubby had to glue the leg support as the man "forgot" to do it.  It took him over 6 weeks to do his magic so instead of leaving them for him to do correctly, I told him I'd finish it myself.  I'm so glad I did as the hurricanes hit the following week and they were safer with us then in his flood prone neighborhood. 
I'm finally finished with upholstering and I think they came out wonderful, considering all I know about upholstery came from youtube videos and internet how-tos.  I bought way too much material; I bought 8 but only used about 4 so it'll be on Craig's List this afternoon.  When I recoop that excess, the cost to reupholster was about $50.00 per chair.  I'd really like to know why both upholsterers who gave me estimates told me I needed 10 yards!
For $350.00, we've got 2 beautiful and comfortable antique chairs to enjoy the holidays.  Best of all, hubby can finally cross this off his "To-Do" list.  They've been on there for over 45 years - seriously!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Two Blogs With Helpful Research Hints

Happy Daily Savings Day!  With the extra hour, I've got a big day with family planned so I'm going to make this blog quick.  If you missed some recent blogs I've done for other genealogical organizations, please enjoy these posts:

4 Big Genealogy Mistakes That May Be Hurting Your Research (And How to Avoid Them) published by Family History Daily (Please note:  my bio has an error in it - I am currently not "On the Clock" and I've asked that the statement be removed.)

Investigating Your Family Legends published by


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Using Your Genealogical Info To Make You Healthy

Maybe due to Halloween being just around the corner, I was engaged with friends in a conversation about life expectancy. The Social Security Administration has a life expectancy calculator available.  Mine happens to be exactly to the age that my great grandmother was when she died.  Now this calculator does not take into account your current health, habits and genetics. 
I decided to make a mini-pedigree chart based on just my husband and my ancestor's names, age at death, and cause of death.  I went back 5 generations as that takes me to some of them being born in the late 1700's.  I chose that time period because it was pre-industrial revolution and most were living an agrarian lifestyle across the pond.  I was trying to do pluses and minues, such as that was not a rushed society, however, if the crops failed it was extremely stressful.  We have antibiotics but we also have pesticide residue.  I decided the benefits and losses were about equal. 
I truly only had 3 generations of definitely known causes of death with a few several times great grandmothers clearly dying during childbirth.  Since that's not going to be my cause of death I zeroed in on the remaining possibilities.  Most I could do something about - I could take the flu shot every year; my maternal great grandfather died in the 1918 influenza pandemic.  When I get to age 65, I can take the pneumonia vaccine as I've had several grandparents die from that.  I can watch my diet and exercise to keep my heart in good shape.  Not much I can do about the Alzheimers Disease other than keep my mind stimulated.
What really surprised my husband and I, though, was the proof that we descend from a family of klutzes.  I'm serious!  We have had several grandparents die due to accidents - falls from platforms, falls from ladders, and two railroad accidents.  Being careful really isn't something you think about in regards to longevity but in our cases, it is important.
I challenge you to look through your data between now and the New Year as it's almost time for those genealogical resolutions.  Analyzing your ancestor's cause of death is an important legacy.  Learning from their mistakes can result in a long and happy future for you.