Showing posts from October, 2016

Helpful Old Technology

I recently received a cassette tape of an interview done by a distant family member with one of my husband's aunts in 2001.  Both of those ladies have passed away and the tape became the possession of the interviewer's daughter.  She doesn't have a tape recorder any longer and has a transcription so she was not interested in keeping the tape.
My husband's Aunt Ruby was a sweetheart and with his Aunt Marge, always made me feel as I was part of their family.  We had made a quick visit with her about 8 months after the tape was made but it wasn't a happy time as I was in the area to bury my mother's cremains so it never occurred to me to tape what became our last visit with Aunt Ruby.
When the tape was offered to me I was happy to get it - I'd love to hear her voice again.  Problem was, who has a tape recorder anymore?
Evidently, I do.  When the tape arrived hubby emailed several friends and colleagues to see if anyone had one we could borrow.  No one did.  T…

Obtaining US Ancestors Immigration Documentation – What You Need to Know

In May, I requested an index search request for $20.00 from the USCIS website.  I’ve always meant to do so but never got around to it.  I had read a blog on Judy Russell’s Legal Genealogist site that mentioned the price may be going up dramatically so I decided the time was now and quickly followed through with the request. You must complete and index search request ($20.00) if you don’t know the Case ID number.  A Case ID number is needed to request Alien Registration Forms (AR-2) and Naturalization Certificates (C-File) which are an additional $20.00-35.00. I was requesting two index searches, one for each of my maternal grandparents.  In August, I received a letter in the US mail that provided me with a Case ID number for my grandmother.  The letter referred me to the Department of Homeland Security website so that I could obtain the AR-2 and C-File.  I tried to follow the directions but I was unable to gain access.  Frustrated, I decided to try from different computers as I wasn’…

Saturday Serendipity in Cycadia Cemetery

On a crisp sunny October morning, Hubby and I took a cemetery tour of Cycadia Cemetery in Tarpon Springs, Florida.  As one of the oldest cemeteries in the county, many figures of historical prominence in the area are buried there.  Eight historical re-enactors portrayed former residence who were important to the town's development.
The first tour stop was for John C. "Greek" Maillis who had been born in Gary, Indiana in 1918. Hubby and I were, too and our grandparents lived there at the time.  I plan on researching Greek's father as I'm guessing he worked for U.S. Steel as that was the big industry in town.  My grandfather, great grandfather and hubby's grandfather were all employed there in 1918.  What a small world!
Although that was an interesting connection it was T the tour's end that had the biggest chance encounter happened.
Our last stop was to learn about Irish born Captain Thomas Carey who came to Tarpon Springs with his family in the 1870'…

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

Last week I received an email via from the Research Manager with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).  The group will be having a candlelight vigil in Washington, DC in May 2017 and reached out to me as I have in my Main Tree an individual that was selected to be honored.
We are not closely related to the fallen officer; Robert Flenner was my husband's 4th cousin, 3 times removed through marriage to the grand daughter of a Harbaugh.  Since I have updated all the Harbaugh/Herbach family in the U.S., Robert appears in my tree.
I had never heard of the organization and did a little research.  The NLEOMF was founded in 1984 for the purpose of honoring and remembering law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty.  I'm not sure how they select the officers to be honored; Robert Flenner died in 1908.
After receiving the email and checking out the group I went to my tree to remind myself who Robert Flenner was.  I have a lar…

Save Those Emails!

At the recent genealogical seminar I attended I met up with a colleague I had not seen since the National Genealogical Society conference in May.  We were catching up and he mentioned he was still trying to recover about 13,000 emails that had been lost.  That's a lot of emails!  Here's how it happened:
In our area Verizon used to be one of our internet service providers.  In April, Frontier purchased Verizon's customers.  The transition was not seamless; there was much service disruption but it appeared that most of the problems had been corrected.  Then, with no warning, my colleague woke up one morning a few weeks ago and discovered that he couldn't access his Verizon email account.  He contacted Frontier who told him they had nothing to do with it and he needed to call Verizon.  Verizon told him he was no longer a customer so he no longer had access to his emails.
It's always difficult changing addresses, whether it's in the real world or virtually, but it…

GenealogyAtHeart Website Update

I've been writing a lot about technology lately.  I do love it but it certainly is a pain when it glitches!  Last year I created a free website using Sidengo called  I linked my blog posts to it and featured genealogical special offers, photos of recent research trips I'd taken and information for clients who were interested in contacting me.  In July, I received an email from Sidengo that in less than 3 weeks my account was going to be closed unless I moved to a paid option.  I was leaving town for a two week research trip the next day, had a client deadline I had to finish before I left and was returning to my teaching job three days after the research trip ended so I felt rushed into making a decision.  Hubby thought I should just pay up to make my life easier but I didn't want to do that as I thought it was poor customer service to pressure folks into paying.  During my evenings while I was on my research trip I searched for alternatives.  I s…

Tips for Attending a Family History Day and What I Learned from Attendees

October is Family History Month and if you're a newbie planning on attending a local event to get some genealogical assistance, I've got some recommendations to make your experience a happy one:

Bring what you know written down.  Even better - bring how you know what you know!  (Was it your parents who told you or did you find a record?  It's important to record where you got the information as you build your tree because trust me, before you know it you'll have a lot of info and won't remember where you got most of it!)Have a specific question you'd like answered in mind.  Specific is not, "I want to know everything about my mom's family."  Specific is, "I'd like to find out when my great grandmother Elizabeth Smithson died."You probably have a lot of questions but rank them in order of your interest; it's only fair as other people have questions, too, and are patiently waiting!Prepare yourself for not immediately finding an answ…

Saving Photos

I've been on a technology kick lately and here's why - I did something incredibly dumb and I don't want you to do it!
We have a nice older digital camera that we rarely use.  I rely on my phone for pictures of events and when I research as I prefer the document to be digitally available instead of having to lug the book to the copy machine, pay, and come home with yet another piece of paper that I have to then scan to save.
Yes, the camera phone has made my life better but I had taken so many pictures in the past two years that it stopped uploading about 45 photos ago.  Now I knew this because I kept getting a warning that I was out of space but it was one of those things I put off correcting.  I decided I wasn't going to buy more space because I really needed to get into the habit of cleaning out the photos shortly after I'd taken them.
We were going to have an event at my primary job that involved taking lots and lots of photos over a short period of time.  Char…

Less Than 6 Degrees of Separation

Yesterday I attended the Florida Genealogical Society's sponsored seminar given by Judy Russell, CG.  Judy is always such a dynamic presenter!
Typically, when I attend a seminar, I somehow find a relation to another attendee and yesterday was no exception.  Judy had mentioned HIPPA  and there was a question from an audience member regarding the number of years that records are held privately.  I added that I had done some client work and discovered that I could obtain medically related records from a state facility and the court records regarding the medical issue were housed in the Florida State Library.  This was for an individual that had died in 1973, just 43 years ago.  The records I had received, though, were from a period over 50 years ago but the individual had continued to reside in the facility more recently than 50 years ago.
Shortly after there was a break and a woman sitting directly behind me introduced herself.  Her father had been the psychologist at the facility …