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Showing posts from 2016

My Certification as a Genealogist Decision is...

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that I did not receive certification.  Two judges said yes and one, no.  My portfolio went to a fourth judge for arbitration who agreed with the no - insufficient for certification.
I was looking forward to the rubric results but I'm a little confused by them.  For example, on the ratings for a Case Study, Judge 1 said I partially met 5 standards and 2 standards were undetermined. Judge 2 said I met all the standards and Judge 3 said I met 5 standards and partially met 2.  That's a wide disagreement!
Further clarification regarding the ratings is also given.  That, too, varies greatly from judge to judge. Judge 1 wrote "...Court proceedings' information is described as "secondary" and the hospital admission information as 'firsthand.'  When informants and their ability to know facts are unknown, information can only be considered as 'undetermined.' (Standard 36)"  I agree but I knew and wrote who provided the information; the hospital…

Hints to Get Your Needed Records During the Upcoming Year

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I'm not sure what it is about holidays - maybe it's the food, knowing time away from work is coming or the spirit of the season but I've learned that when I have a needed record to obtain those are the best times for me to secure it.

The good news is there are holidays all year long and you can use that to your advantage!  Here's what has happened to me and maybe this "Month of the Year Research Calendar" will work for you, too:

January - Last year I was writing a Kinship Determination Paper for by Board for Certification of Genealogists portfolio on the Harbaugh family and I needed clarification about their religious beliefs. Most of the first generation was buried in a Lutheran Cemetery in Indiana but the second generation was buried in a Brethren Cemetery.  I was trying to understand when the change occurred so I called several churches in the area during the Christmas season seeking parishioner records from the 1880's.  The timing was wrong - churche…

Most Read Genealogy At Heart Blogs of 2016

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With the New Year approaching I decided to look back on my blogs written during 2016.  When I began blogging in 2015, it was with the intention of documenting my journey to become a Certified Genealogist.  Although I submitted my portfolio in August, I won't receive a response for several more months.  Since I'm no longer "On the Clock" but still don't have a decision regarding certification, I decided to continue my twice a week musings about new discoveries, trends and ideas.  Here's what my dear readers found most interesting - the top 10 most read articles of my 2016 posts:

1. Genealogy Gift Ideas 2.  Family Tree Maker’s Fall Newsletter Makes Me FeelVindicated? 3.  Ancestry’s New Connection Ap 4.  DNA Lab Analysis-The Accuracy is Questioned 5.  Genealogy Catch Up – Using the Extra Hour of Day Light Savingsto Keep Organized  6.  Watching the Waistline – Diets from my Family’s Past 7.  A New Way to Identify Name Variations 8.  TIE- Less Than 6 Degrees of S…

Knocking Down Nicknames

Knock, Knock Who’s there? Al Al who? Al give you a kiss if you help me break through this brick wall!
Yes, that is truly a dumb knock-knock joke but it makes me think of what I’d do if I was able to identify some folks by their given names.

Who’s Al?  Is he Alvin, Albert, Alfie, Alexander, Alexa, Alfred or someone else entirely?  Although Al typically is a male name, I’ve known a female that used it. 

Why do we even use nicknames?  Wickipedia states hypocoristic, a synonym of nickname, is an "affection between those in love or with a close emotional bond, compared with a term of endearment." I completely understand the use of endearments but nicknames cross over into the public realm and for genealogists, can be a nightmare!  I speak for myself ; Lori is my nickname.  Why my parents didn’t place that name on my birth certificate I don’t understand.  I asked!  The response was, “I don’t know.”  Geez.  My formal name wasn’t a family name so there was no reason they couldn’t have.  My…

Photo Preservation for Genealogy

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I found it interesting that four of Legacy Family Tree's top 10 webinars of 2016 revolved around photography (Dating Family Photographs - 1900-1940 by Jane Neff Rollins; Enriching Your Family History through Pictures and Stories by Amie Bowser Tennant; Tech Savvy Scrapbooking & Journaling for Family History by Amie Bowser Tennant; and Flip for Flickr - Share, Store, and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor).  I guess you could even make a case that a fifth one also involves photos (Crowdsourcing with Social Media to Overcome Brick Walls in Genealogy Researchby Amie Bowser Tennant) since FaceBook and Pinterest are valuable genealogical tools to find photos.
I love discovering photos and when I perform Client work I try to add them to a project.  Staring into the eyes of an ancestor elicits emotions like no other item can! 
So, that's why I'm worried about the present habits we have developed (no pun intended!) regarding preserving our photos.  Our smart phones and o…

We're Related - What to Do if Your Tree is Too Large for the New Ancestry.com Ap

Recently I wrote about my inability to get "We're Related" - the new Ancestry.com ap working. Every time I tried to switch my Main Tree to yes I'd get an error message.  I surmised that it was because my tree was too large and I'm still going with that theory.  I figured out a work around and if you're interested, here's what to do:
I created a new database in RootsMagic7 (Click File - New) and made the file name:  Lori's Lines.  You name yours whatever you want!  I disabled WebHints and clicked "I know where the file is."  Next I dragged myself from my Main Tree gedcom that was already uploaded in RootsMagic to the click person location. A pop up asks what you want to drag and drop and I selected "Ancestors of myself."  On this new database, I then went to File - Export and unchecked LDS information, addresses, multimedia, note formatting and extra details because I wanted to make the new gedcom as concise as possible.  I clicked &…

Blaming DNA

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I blame my DNA a lot and I know I’m not alone.  Did you ever hear an older individual tell you as you were growing up that you were just like one of your relatives?  I had a teacher tell me I was like my Uncle George and I was perplexed.  How could I be like him?  I was a girl and he was an adult.  When I told my mom she laughed and replied that I liked to play with words like he did.  Uncle George had a nickname for everyone.  Barely five feet tall and needing to sit on a phone book to peer over the steering wheel, Uncle George called my grandmother "Cutlass Mary" as she was quite assertive in her driving.  She also just happened to drive a Cutlass.  Since I loved alliteration, rhyming and play on words I understood what my mom was saying.  I think that was the beginning of my blaming DNA for my personality. As I began to delve into my family’s history I completely identified with relatives who had gotten into some serious trouble for their views.  Never one to take the pa…

Genealogy Gift Ideas

Tis the Season to Merrily Spend!  Here's some things that I requested Santa get me this year:

A Stranger in My Genes by Bill Griffin.  I'd like the Kindle edition.Genetic Genealogy in Practice by Blaine Bettinger.  I'd like the paperback edition.  Yes, it costs  a whole bunch more than the Kindle edition but I want to flag pages.  It's also one of my New Year's resolutions to learn as much as I can about DNA in 2017.  Red Pens - I still underline relationship info with them.Renew my memberships to my state and local society - they're due January 1st!Register for the National Genealogical Society Conference that will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina May 9-13.  A sterling silver charm shaped like a tree that I saw at a local art's festival.  A package containing primary source documents for relationship of any of my numerous brick wall ancestors.  No preference of person!  I'd be thankful for any tidbit placed where I could find it. If you're a Santa…

Transcribers Needed! How You Can Help

I recently received an email from the National Archives regarding a need for volunteers to help transcribe and tag items in the archives catalog.  What an awesome opportunity to help digitize historical records!  With the holiday season approaching, this opportunity is a wonderful way to give back to the genealogy community by helping to make available some of the U.S.' national treasures! Not sure where to start?  I say, just follow your heart - check out the Transcription Missions and select whichever area interests you.  The directions are simple - just click here and the easy to follow instructions will get you on your way to doing a very good deed.

Test Driving MyHeritage.com and Making an Amazing Find!

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I had a free account with MyHeritage but I was never a subscriber until recently when a 50% discount offer was made for members of the National Genealogical Society.  I believe the discount is now offered for a limited time to everyone - check it out here.  I decided to give it a try and I immediately scaled a brick wall on my Duer line that I've recently been researching.  Here's how I did it...
I downloaded my gedcom from Ancestry.com to my home computer and then uploaded to MyHeritage.  My tree is large so I received an email from MyHeritage once it had been loaded and was ready to go.  The following day I went on the site and it was easy to upload a site photo (I used my Genealogy At Heart logo that I keep jpg'd in Dropbox and my Google+ pic, added a blurb about what my research interests are and what I'm currently investigating.  I happened to write that my brick wall was to determine the link between John Duer and his purported son, Thomas.  Thomas died in 1829 i…

DNA Lab Analysis - The Accuracy is Questioned

Recently I attended a workshop by Dick Eastman on Cloud Computing provided by my local genealogy society.  Dick spoke briefly, a lunch break was given and then the workshop resumed.  Although his information was interesting, it was the side conversations I overheard during lunch that piqued my interest.
I need to offer a disclaimer first - one of my children is employed by a large laboratory in the U.S. and part of the job responsibility is to trouble shoot and then correct problems that individual labs are encountering.   The troubleshooting my child does is regarding equipment and not results.  To my knowledge, none of that organization's business is in DNA analysis.  Even so, this proud momma often hears from family and friends who got results back that there must have been some mistake - how could whatever level that was being measured be so high, etc.  It was with this background that I brought to eavesdropping on the conversation at the next table...
A woman was explaining …

Family Tree Maker's Fall Newsletter Makes Me Feel Vindicated!

Well, well,  I'm feeling pretty righteous!  I recently received the Fall Newsletter (which, BTW, is the ONLY newsletter that Family Tree Maker has emailed to me this year so it correctly should be labeled as the "First Fall Newsletter" since Software MacKiev bought the rights for the Microsoft version which is what I formerly used.)
The newsletter was designed to notify the public that they are running behind and don't have the synch ready as they had earlier stated would occur before the end of 2016.  Okay, glitches happen and I am pleased that the organization is taking ownership that they will not be able to meet their self imposed deadline.
IMHO, this is a major step forward.  I've been blogging for quite a while about my frustration with FTM not syching with my large Ancestry.com tree.  Every time I called customer service they would blame Ancestry.  I'd call Ancestry and they'd tell me to call FTM.  I'd wait a day or two and try again as I was …

Ancestry's New Connection Ap

I downloaded Ancestry.com's new ap "We're Related" on October 25th.  The first day I couldn't get it to stop loading the "Who are you?" page.  I tried several times in the following week and always time out getting the "Error communicating with server, please try later.  Error getting trees.  We seem to be having trouble pulling up the roots."  Cute but annoying.
I'm not sure if it's because my tree is so large or if there is some other issue on their end.  I travel a great deal and thought it would be neat to find others who might be related to me.  Definitely don't use this if you don't want your gps coordinates known!

Watching the Waistline - Diets from My Family's Past

Just had my annual physical and was happy with the results.  I always brace for the doctor lecture about losing weight.  It didn't come, though, because it's hard to tell someone to diet when the lab results are all good.  Still, I know it's not healthy to be carrying around extra weight.
I come from long lines of fat people so I like to believe it's genetic and not lifestyle.  That's actually delusional on my part as they all loved food and so do I,  My grandmother's best gifts were cookbooks of which I inherited many.
With the holidays approaching, hubby and I decided it would be wise to be more selective of our food choices for the next few weeks.  My hydroponic garden is doing awesome with the warm days and cool nights so I have a bountiful supply of organic lettuce, kale, and cabbage.  Only 3 tomatoes so far but it's early for a Florida harvest.  Same with the peppers, broccoli and cauliflower but that's ok, too.
With the weather cooling off I de…

Genealogy Catch Up - Using the Extra Hour of Day Light Savings to Keep Organized

My goodness I accomplished a bunch last weekend with that hour of extra time!  I'm taking the advice I preach and cleaned out my emails, making sure that I saved everything that was important to my desk top and if it was super important, to the Cloud.  I use the free Dropbox.  For information that may someday be important, I save the link to an Excel file I keep in Dropbox.  For example, if there is a particularly interesting blog about clues from old photographs from Ancestor Cloud or Genealogy in Time Magazine, I copy the link in the Excel spreadsheet.  One column is Topic, next is the link and the third is comments, if any.  That way, if I ever have a brickwall or a client comes to me with a difficult quest with an area where I'm not an expert, I can quickly find useful information.
One email I had received from last month was for a special on Roots Magic.  For my faithful readers, you know I dearly miss the simplicity of the old PAF that Family Search once provided for fre…

John Duer, Where Art Thou Buried and other Duer Mysteries?!

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My last post, Records Breadcrumb Trail May Lead to Wrong Conclusions, and an earlier post, Circular Migration Patterns-How History Repeats Itself, 30 May 2015) noted my research of my Duer line.  My latest hurdle is finding the burial location of John Duer, my 3rd great grandfather. I know from his Indiana probate records that John died on 25 February 1885 in Adams County, Indiana.[1] John and his second wife, Margaret Martz Searight, were living in Jefferson, Adams County, Indiana in 1880, along with their two children Charley, age 14 and Lucinda, age 12.[2]  Adams County, Indiana is adjacent to Mercer County, Ohio where both had resided with their first spouses.  I’m descended from John’s daughter, Maria, with his first wife, Mary Jane Morrison.[3] I’m discovering some interesting information regarding John and Margaret and I wish I could connect up with relatives who might be able to shed light on my findings.  The first “odd” event was John and Margaret’s marriage on 11 December …

Records Breadcrumb Trail May Lead to Wrong Conclusions

I’ve been researching my Duer line lately with the idea that I’ll write a Kinship Determination from where my line begins, with Maria Duer, my great great grandmother, to my gateway ancestor, Thomas Stone Duer.      I’ve blogged previously about the serendipitous events and detailed how history repeats itself (see Circular Migration Patterns-How History RepeatsItself, 30 May 2015). After discovering the connection, I’ve become more determined to learn about the Duer Family. Maria left some wonderful records, however, they initially led me to a wrong conclusion.  Years ago, I had found her obituary through the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Obituary Index[1] but I couldn’t decipher it as it was in German and used Gothic script.  Her daughter Emma’s death certificate stated Maria was born in Germany.[2]  The obit and the daughter’s death certificate led me to believe that Maria was of German descent.  By just looking at the surface, those two records reinforced what I already…