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Showing posts from 2015

Finding Old Time Medical Records Can Be A Challenge

Don't you hate it when you discover wrong info on the internet and have no way to correct it?!  I'm sure the information was accurate once but it isn't any longer.  Now that Ancestry.com owns rootsweb they permit "view only" so no updates can be made.  It's nice that the old posts are still viewable but it wastes a lot of time if you follow the directions that are wrong.

In August I tried to obtain records from a state hospital in Florida.  I found the following links:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~chattahoochee/
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~chattahoochee/index12.html

Following directions from those sites, I wrote a letter in late August to the Health Information Manager as I figured the name given on the above link probably wasn't accurate any longer.  I included a copy of my driver's license, the client's driver's license, and birth and death records to prove lineage to the individual I was trying to o…

Another Find Where It Shouldn't Have Been!

Okay - here we go again!  I found the missing information in a place that that was not anywhere close to where the ancestor had lived but ironically, was only 5 minutes from where I work.  Earlier this month I blogged about the importance of revisiting places previously checked as sometimes the needed information becomes available due to persistence.  You can read that blog here – Why Persistence Pays in Hunting Records. That blog was about my difficulty in obtaining a death records for my husband’s maternal great grandmother, Louise Carlson Johnson.I had a death year (1937) given to me by his mother but no proof of death.Previously, I had written to Lake County, Indiana where I assumed she had died, for a death certificate.They told me they didn’t have one.I then contacted the Gary Health Department thinking they may have some record but they said they had nothing on Louise.I contacted both hospitals in existence in Gary at the time of her death – Methodist Hospital (the Protestant ho…

A Transcription Treat

Tis the season of Sugar Plum Fairies and although I can't prove it, I believe they are somehow related to Genealogical Fairies.  Here's why - For some reason, I didn't receive the document from the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG)  that I am supposed to transcribe.  After waiting 3 weeks I emailed and was told the day it had been sent.  BCG staff was going to resend if I didn't receive it by the end of that week.   Nearly a month after it had been mailed it finally arrived with no postal markings and it looked like it had gotten stuck in a machine as a side was torn.  The contents, though, were fine.  Since it arrived the day before I was to fly out to the west coast for business I put it aside until this week.   Last Friday, I decided I would drive to the county mentioned in the document on Monday and locate the original so I called to check the time the office would open.  With holiday closures one never knows!  This led to several phone calls and messa…

12+ More Genealogical Gems to Use

Last post was my 12 most favorite free genealogy sites and today is my 12 favorite paid sites. I have placed these in alphabetical order and not by preference:
1, Ancestry.com- since they own just about everything in the genealogical world it's very hard not to  subscribe to them.  I do have issues with their new website, phantom hints, relationship help that comes and goes, removal of records and not adding new databases but for now, I still use them.  Just learned there is an AARP discount and I will be going after that when I renew in 2 months.  Complete access is $389.00 per year.  OUCH!   2, Association of Professional Genealogists - "an international organization dedicated to supporting those engaged in the business of genealogy through advocacy, collaboration, education, and the promotion of high ethical standards."  Subscribers are $45.00 annually, Professional Members $100.00.  Well worth it for the webinars, journal and eNewsletter! Additionally, members get disc…

Twelve+ Genealogy Gems for a Whole Year of Fun!

I've been asked lately by colleagues and students what are some of my favorite genealogy sites so in keeping with the holidays (and having the 12 Days of Christmas stuck in my head!) here are my favorite free go to sites for quick genealogy answers.  They are listed in alphabetical order because they are all valuable in their own way.  I've also included the sites' own description, when available: AncestorCloud - "is a community that connects family researchers with willing helpers and professional genealogists. Connect with helpers to pick up records, take local photographs, translate documents, help with research questions or conduct custom research. It's free to join and post a request. Connect with researchers in over 52 countries".  I have never been contacted to provide research assistance so I can't vouch for how that works but I did post a request for help that was picked up by a genealogist in Croatia. AncestorCloud acts as an intermediary so I ne…

Playing With Names - Wildcard Searching and Other Methods to Discover Your Family

Just read a helpful blog about how to use wildcards when researching online.  You can read it here. I have to admit that I'm not very good at using wildcards or identifying the many, varied and unusual ways my ancestors spelled their names.  I think that many of my brick walls could could tumbling down if I took the time to use the wildcard search approach.
Another method I've used was just plain dumb luck but it taught me a very simple way that I've used since. I once had a dead end on my paternal grandmother's line.  A distant family member thought my 2nd great grandmother's name was Maria Dure.  I searched and searched for years and found nada!  It never dawned on me that I had two of the letters reversed in the last name. Duh, DURE should have been DUER.  I would love to take credit for that discovery but alas, wasn't me who figured this out. I'm not sure how the gentleman found me but I received an email asking me about by DUER connection. I responded…

Genealogy At Heart - A New Website

I'm heading out to the west coast for a conference but wanted to let you all to know I’ve developed a website to contain my blogs in one handy dandy spot – you can now access it at www.genealogyatheart.com. All blog posts will be listed under Family Stories/Genealogy Hints. Genealogy is expensive so I will also post any special offers I discover there under the tab "Specials to Share."    Besides genealogy, I love traveling, architecture and visiting historical sites so I'll be posting some pics of places I recently visited so check out the tab "On the Road Again." It may give you an idea of where you want to explore your family's past. If you’d like more information about an older posting or have suggestions/ideas for the future simply email me from the About Lori page.  I look forward to hearing from you!
If you are a Family Tree Maker user synching with Ancestry.com and just learned that Ancestry is discontinuing the agreement soon, you may be looking fo…

Lost Mail May Be A Genealogical Gem Someday

Don't know if you saw the recent article about undelivered mail found in an old trunk.  When I say old, I mean really old - as in 17th Century.  You can read about it at A Postal 'piggybank'.
We have terrible US Mail service, receiving several pieces of mail a week that don't belong to us.  It makes me wonder how much I don't receive.
If it was junk mail I wouldn't care but it's been affecting important correspondence lately.  The most recent "lost" mail was from the Board of Certified Genealogy (BCG) with a much needed portfolio requirement enclosed.  Thank goodness I was notified via email the first week in November that I would be receiving a packet with a document to transcribe within 2 weeks.  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday I gave it extra time - 3 weeks - but it still didn't come.  I contacted BCG and they verified it was mailed to my address on November 14th.  They will resend if I don't receive it by week's end.
In the past,…

Why Persistence Pays in Hunting Records

On 6 August 2010, I called a cemetery in Indiana requesting records of the family plot. I know I called that day and I know who I spoke with because I wrote a note on the ancestor's burial citation on my Ancestry.com tree.  I was told it was against the cemetery's policy to release burial record information. I told the employee that I planned on visiting the cemetery and needed to know where the grave was located.  That grave location was given to me and I dutifully recorded it.  That day I created a Find-A-Grave memorial for two of the individuals in the family, the husband and wife.  I thought it was odd they were buried in Grave 2 and 3 but since the cemetery employee refused to give me who was buried in Grave 1, I had no way to know.  I immediately put in a request for a photo on Find-A-Grave hoping that the mystery of burial space 1 would be revealed.  No one ever came through with the photo. In September, I wrote for the death certificate of the other spouse as I decided I…

Pilgrim's Pride Via A Lettter

Took a minute to clean my email after putting away the fall decorations and found the following link about the Mayflower at Crestleaf Thanksgiving Genealogy:  5 Steps to Finding Pilgrim Ancestors.
I've been trying to discover who my hubby's Mayflower ancestor was for years.  I have my suspicion but no concrete evidence.
My mother-in-law used to say her family hasn't been in the U.S. very long, just since the 1700's. That always made me laugh since my maternal grandmother didn't arrive until 1913.  Hubby's father's family supposedly arrived on the Mayflower but no one could recall who the gateway ancestor was. Hubby swore that the Thanksgiving oyster stuffing (which he absolutely hated) was a hand me down recipe on his dad's side from that event.  Personally, I figured the stuffing recipe was from Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York where I have been able to trace his line.  His mom stopped making it in the 1960's because no one liked it.  She had gott…

Native American Ancestry Uncovered

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Disclosure: Genealogy At Heart may receive a small amount of compensation if you choose to purchase products via some of the links below.  Opinions expressed are my own and all products listed are what  I recommend for my personal use. In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm thinking about Native Americans.    My husband loves to go garage sailing and just discovered a children's book published by Lyons & Carnahan in 1924 titledWhy We Celebrate Our Holidaysby Mary I. Curtis.  Looking through it I was astounded at the number of holidays that are no longer celebrated, such as Bird Day, Forefathers' Day and American Indian Day:


Evidently, American Indian Day was the brainchild of the Society of American Indians who proclaimed on 25 September 1915 the purpose was to strengthen the fellowship bond between "the red men and the white." p. 73.  The New York governor agreed and the first holiday was celebrated the 2nd Saturday in May.  Other states soon followed but the date chose…

Genealogy and Your Genes - Experiencing Trauma Can Last Longer Than a Lifetime!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive compensation.

A week ago I attended The Science of Character Learning and the Brain Conference in Boston.  Lots of theoretical and not a lot of practical info given but one keynote session keeps reverberating in my mind.  Although the research findings are still being examined, according to Kenneth Ginsburg, MD, the line between nature and nurture is blurring.  This has implications for a genealogist and reinforces our research practices! How many times have you re-discovered that you had several ancestors in the same or similar career that you engage in today?  Of course, if you live on the family farm that wouldn’t be surprising but hubby and I have both found that we have educators back into the 1500’s.  Who would have thought?  My mom was a bookkeeper and may dad worked in a steel mill and farmed.  Husband’s dad was a chemist and his mom, a secretary.  None of our grandpare…

Visiting The New England Historic and Genealogical Society

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of researching at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts.


If you’re planning a first visit, here’s some tips I found useful: The library is SMALL but filled with tremendous resources that you might not find anywhere else.Don’t let the size fool you!Obviously, the holdings are fantastic if you have New England relatives but there is also a sizable collection of Long Island and New Netherlands.My most awesome find was from Indiana, though, so don’t discount other areas!COST is free if you’re a member (about $90.00 a year) and $20.00 if you aren’t. Click for Info on Joining!I highly recommend being a member for the following reasons : First, if you’re planning on spending a few days, it’s cost effective.Second, as a member you get a lot of perks you wouldn’t get with a day entrance fee – those wonderful journal articles that the society puts out, discounted fee on accessing a genealogist, training opportunities and so on…

Being Thankful for Genealogy Goodness

Last Sunday I wrote about genealogy bullies and record thieves.  I reflected this week, and with Thanksgiving around the corner and the heinous events in Paris,  I wanted to take a moment to think about all the kindhearted genealogists out there that far outweigh the small number of bullies.  So with here's what I'm thankful for...

Maggie Landfair who responded to a Rootsweb bulletin board posting I did in 1999 and provided me with so much info she had collected on her husband's side and put me in touch with the author of two Leininger books so I could learn about my dad's side of the family.  Bob Leininger who shared his electronic files with me while he was half way around the world.  I've referred to those documents (and his books) time and time again.  Just wish he would update them! Hint, HintEdgar Duer Whitley who somehow figured out that my DURE family should be DUER and shared his lifelong work with me just weeks before he passed away.  I never found out how…

The Genealogical Clock Timer Has Been Set...

I received via email notification last Friday that my Certified Genealogist preliminary application was received. Hooray! I immediately accepted the invite to join the Google+ candidate group, downloaded and printed the FAQ and 1st month recommendations attached to the email, texted family and friends and after the excitement passed, realized I have a lot to accomplish in a little time!  Actually, 11 months and 2 weeks until the portfolio is due.  Since I travel for business once a month I lose a lot of time so I have to develop a workable plan to meet the deadline.
I reviewed the suggested timeline before submitting the application and thought it best if I worked on one portfolio requirement in depth during each of my upcoming school breaks - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring and then using my earned vacation time since I work 12 months to complete anything left to do.  That plan was great in theory but as the holidays approach I realized it wasn't going to work.  I'm the go to…