Recommended Reads

Recommended Reads

This was a short week for posts with the Thanksgiving holiday.


Finding An Ancestor’s Full Record on the NEW Home Children Database by Lorine Schulze McGinnis on Olive Tree Genealogy Blog

Thorough Research in City Directories, One Quick Example by Harold Henderson on Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog

Family Stories

Heirlooms: Quilts and Embroidery by Schalene Dagutis on Tangled Roots and Trees

Methodology, News, Etc.

FYI: An AIR is a letter from the DAR genealogist for an “Additional Information Request” pertaining to DAR applications, but the lesson here is to check and recheck research: A Lesson Learned About Proof from the DAR AIR by Diane Weintraub on Nuts From the Family Tree

I recently found a photo that I didn’t think existed while doing exactly this: The Number One Thing You Can Do to Jumpstart Your Genealogy on Almost Home

Darned Federal Birth Certificates by The Ancestry Insider

Last, but not least, food for thought:

Privacy and Your Life Online by James Tanner on Genealogy’s Star

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Post Card
1911 postcard in my personal collection

Here are some fun facts about our Thanksgiving holiday:

  1. Although traditional American history states that the first Thanksgiving (celebrating a bountiful harvest) occurred in Plymouth, Massachusetts when Governor William Bradford invited the Wampanoag Indians to share in the feast, some historians claim that early settlers in Florida and/or Virginia might have beaten the Pilgrims to hosting the first Thanksgiving in America.
  2. Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be the turkey.
  3. Sarah Josepha Hale, author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day beginning in 1837 and continued to promote it until President Lincoln agreed to it in 1863.
  4. During Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, Americans began celebrating an annual Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday of November.
  5. In 1939, 1940 and 1941, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving on the third Thursday of November instead of the fourth Thursday to lengthen the Christmas holiday shopping season.
  6. It wasn’t until 26 December 1941 that President Roosevelt proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving Day.
  7. The heaviest turkey ever raised weighed 86 lbs.
  8. Three towns in the U.S. were named for the turkey – Turkey, Texas, Turkey, North Carolina and Turkey Creek, Louisiana.
  9. The traditional Macy’s Christmas Parade held in New York City on Thanksgiving Day began in 1924. The annual Christmas season started when Santa Claus appeared in the parade. (Oh, how I wish that were still true!)
  10. Turducken is growing in popularity as a Thanksgiving meal. What is turducken? It is a de-boned turkey stuffed with  de-boned duck stuffed with de-boned chicken. This dish has its origins in Louisiana.

However you are spending Thanksgiving Day, enjoy!

My 2015 Genealogy Go-Over: Final Report!

This year, I decided to participate in Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over, but “Go-Over” style. My goal was to get all of my documents, photos and odds and ends digitally scanned and to reduce my 42 archival albums down to a more manageable level by chucking items such as photocopied land deeds, which were fading and becoming unreadable. After the scanning was completed, I needed to mount all the items back into their archival homes and then rename each numbered scanned image and attach the image in my genealogy software program.

My projected finish date was 31 December 2015, but today is only 25 November, so how did I do? I have to admit that I am doing a happy dance because I reached the finish line this past Sunday, 22 November at 10:22 in the morning. 🙂

Here is a quick review of how the plan moved forward:

February 2015 – I came home from RootsTech 2015 with contact information for a company offering family history scanning services, complete with a RootsTech price special.

March 2015 – I began taking all unscanned items out of my archival albums and sorted them by size. Photos were also grouped into black and white versus color. Documents were sorted strictly by size.

Here is what the album shelves look like now:


and these are the albums that I was able to empty and no longer need:


Reducing the no longer needed paper was a huge accomplishment right off the bat.

The sorted piles ended up on various tables all around the house and lined up along the wall on the floor:


April 2015 – Everything to be scanned was sorted, packed into boxes and shipped to Utah for scanning. Work there was completed by the end of the month.

May 2015 – The next job was to get all the paper items back into their proper places in the albums. I worked on this in May and finished in June.

July 2015 – October 2015 – Renaming 6000+ digital images was definitely the beginning of the most mind bogglingly boring part of this project. What saved me was our cruise from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia in September and October. I had made some progress in the summer, but I had to open each image to see what it was, rename it and then copy it to have a back up. Our 29 day cruise had lots of sea days crossing the Pacific Ocean, so I dragged a laptop and flash drive with me. The flash drive made working on this on the ship possible because I didn’t need any internet connection. I actually finished renaming all the images near the end of our sea days.

I began attaching the images to Family Tree Maker when we got back home on 20 October and kept at it as we moved from October into:

November 2015 – Once I got into the attaching routine, which included copying every image into Dropbox for yet another back up, I actually moved along at a good pace. The worst part of the attaching process was going through many of my father-in-law’s photos. He had a penchant for taking large family group photos – those with 8-12 people in them. Attaching the image to all those family members slowed me down.

However, I attached the last image on Sunday morning, 22 November. I admit I am very blessed to have so many photos and documents related to my and my husband’s families and my hubby, Dave, has been patiently scanning images for me for years. With all the newly attached items, my Family Tree Maker Media file shows 4,086 images for my family and 6,263 images for the Stufflebeans for a grand total of 10,349 images.

All I can say is, boy, am I glad this job is finished and I met my goal 39 days ahead of schedule!