Ready for a research trip?

Summer is almost here and for most of us, it is the perfect time for a vacation and or travel. Why not include a little genealogy research while you are out and about? In our next lastest podcast, Amy and I will discuss how to plan and execute a research trip or in my case, how to find a family home in another country with little or no information at all.

On the left are my great grandparents, Paul and Marguerite Florentz and their two sons, Paul and Arthur and another family member. On the right, three generations, my mom, Marguerite and Paul’s granddaughter, me and my son. If you look closely, the lamp is still there in the background. Photos were taken in St. Marie Aux Mines, Alsace, France.

 

First, we chat a bit about our wine choice for the month which is a 2015 Gerard Bertrand Chardonnay Réserve Spéciale. We tried it at a wine tasting event and just loved it.

Gerard Bertrand chardonnay

We also discuss the lasted Nathan Dylan Goodwin novella, The Missing Man.  At last, we finally find out what happened to Morton Farrier’s father. Morton travels to Boston on his honeymoon (what an amazing new wife he has, eh?) and gets to spend most of it unraveling the family secrets to discover what happened to his father. We both loved it and cannot wait for the next adventure.

The Missing Man

Finally, we chat about preparing and executing a genealogy research trip. What you should do in terms of online research before you go? What kinds of things should you pack to take with you? Will you be visiting libraries, historical societies, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries? We will discuss what you need to do to prepare yourself for these visits to make it an effective trip. Write and tell us any tips you have learned as you have traveled the world to research your ancestors.

Join us for episode #23!

Over the Ocean Blue

This month’s podcast is all about immigration and ship records. Where did our ancestors come from? How did they get here? Who did they travel with and what do the records tell us?

We dive into where records are located, how to find them and what we can find about our ancestors in those records. We discuss what to do when you can’t find the record but you know your ancestor arrived here in a certain year. Or maybe you have the name of the ship from your grandparent’s memoirs but no date. All is not lost. It may take some time and lots of digging through non-indexed records but it can be done.

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My Great Great Grandfather Adolph Henry Herman immigrated here from Silesia, Germany when he was 17 years old with a friend who’s last name started with a “Z” or so the story in the family goes. This would mean he immigrated in 1885. But we don’t know that for sure. What I do know is he was born in 1868 (unless he lied) in Germany and in April 1890 he married Mary Stimmel in Hoytville, Wood Co., Ohio (that I have the marriage certificate). I also know his first child with Mary was born in May 1890, one month after the wedding. So I would guess from these dates that he at least made it to Ohio by summer 1889 if not before.This gives me a parameter for looking for immigration records.

The trouble with Adolph Herman is that there are quite a few that fall within those time periods and match approximate age and location and there is no way for me to really know exactly which one is mine at this point without a little more research. One possible match from Castle Garden is from Russia. Could be Prussia after looking at the ship manifest and that would work but the age is about 5 years off. Could an 18-year-old pass for 23? Maybe. I just need a few more clues to narrow it down. The search continues. You never know where your next clue will come from but in the meantime I am learning so much about researching immigration records.

Search on family historians and may the wind be behind your sails.

 

 

Privacy Issues in Genealogy Research

December is usually such a busy month with no time for genealogy research but both Amy and I find we are knee deep in research. We are squeezing it into any spare moment and coming up with some great finds thanks to fellow researchers and librarians across the country. I have been able to go back another generation, sort of, with by Ohio Burk line and Amy has been working on cleaning up some misinformation in her tree. We discuss it all and more in this month’s podcast.

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In Episode #20 we reviewed The Spyglass File by Nathan Dylan Goodwin and it brought up the privacy issue in that there were some unopened letters from a biological father to a living mother and should the son open the letters or not. Amy did some research on this and as it turns out it is up to the researcher. We both had some thoughts on this and discuss them in the podcast.

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The privacy issue made us think about things that have popped up in our own research and whether or not things should be shared or kept private, destroyed or kept in hiding. Listen in and see what our thoughts are and some of the stories we share.

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We also discuss our current research and of course the wine selection for this month. This episode is full of stories, thoughts, and information. Links to the wine and book are on the website. Thank you for listening and supporting!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Penny and Amy

Writing Your Genealogical Research

Episode #19

It was a dark and stormy night when a rider all in black approached the house. That is a grabber eh? How do the stories of your ancestors begin? Most start out like this, Grace Curtiss was born on December 27, 1874, at 6am on a rainy day. (I know that last fact from my Grandmother). What if we embellish it just a bit. What if it was a dark and stormy night when the doctor showed up on his horse and in the wee hours of the morning Grace was born with a loud cry ready to begin her extraordinary life.

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Make your writing just a little bit more exciting and readable for future generations. If you don’t feel comfortable adding the extra, let your computer program do it for you. I personally use Roots Magic and it does this for you in paragraph form from the facts and notes you want to add. From there you can adjust it as you like to make it your own.

Don’t forget to cite your sources at the end of your tale. Nothing is worse than to have someone ask you how you know all this information and you can’t prove it. By using the book Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills, you will have no trouble creating those citations.

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Give it a shot. Start with one fact and write a short story.

 

 

Genealogy Education Opportunities #17

Episode 17 is up! Furthering Your Genealogical Education- All the places you can go to learn more about Genealogy. Stay in your jammies at your computer and take a class or travel the country and take a course. There are so many options and so much to learn!

San Sebastian Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon 

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Here are the links to the educational sites we mentioned in the podcast. Have fun exploring and learning.

Future Learn

BYU Free Courses

Legacy Webinars

Ancestry Academy

Family Tree University

Family Search Learning Center

National Archives UK podcasts

National Genealogical Society

University of Toronto Genealogy Studies

Boston University Genealogy Studies

Genealogical Institute on Federal Records

Salt Lake Institute on Genealogy

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburg

Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research

Cyndi’s List

NGS Conference

Episode 17 is up! Furthering Your Genealogical Education- All the places you can go to learn more about Genealogy. Stay in your jammies at your computer and take a class or travel the county and take a course. There are so many options and so much to learn!

#17 Genealogy Education Opportunities

Our wine choice for this episode is San Sebastian Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon 

IMG_1597

Here are the links to the educational sites we mentioned in the podcast. Have fun exploring and learning.

Future Learn

BYU Free Courses

Legacy Webinars

Ancestry Academy

Family Tree University

Family Search Learning Center

National Archives UK podcasts

National Genealogical Society

University of Toronto Genealogy Studies

Boston University Genealogy Studies

Genealogical Institute on Federal Records

Salt Lake Institute on Genealogy

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburg

Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research

Cyndi’s List

You’re never to old (or young) to learn!

It’s April and we are four months into the year 2016. What have you learned so far this year that has helped further your genealogical research? Anything? Nothing? It’s not too late. Never too late.

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Our latest podcast, episode #17, is about genealogical education. All the places both online and at a facility that you can take classes and courses and even earn certification. We cover webinars to week long classes to certification courses. There are so many options out there and something for everyone. Just jump in and learn something new today!

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Here are the links to the places we mention in the podcast. Happy learning!

Here are the links to the educational sites we mentioned in the podcast. Have fun exploring and learning.

Future Learn

BYU Free Courses

Legacy Webinars

Ancestry Academy

Family Tree University

Family Search Learning Center

National Archives UK podcasts

National Genealogical Society

University of Toronto Genealogy Studies

Boston University Genealogy Studies

Genealogical Institute on Federal Records

Salt Lake Institute on Genealogy

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburg

Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research

Cyndi’s List

It’s the story that counts

Here it is, March. Another month zipped by without a blog post. Although I must say I have pretty good about posting on my personal blog every week which was a goal of mine for the year. One out of two ain’t bad.

Our latest podcast on Locality Guides has been out for a little while and I hope you have learned something from listening and have found some useful information out there about where your ancestors lived. I always find it so interesting to learn about the town or county, the customs of the time and festivities in the city where my forefathers lived.

Were there special parades or town festivals? Did your family participate? Have you checked newspapers? You might find that Great Grandma Jones won for her peach pie at the county fair. Here is a clip from the Bridgeport History Center of a parade in 1920. Be sure and search through youtube videos, you never know what you might find.

There are lots of videos of town events out there you just have to search. Some are actual videos and some are a montage of photos and postcards but you may find a gold mine of information if your lucky.

Now I understand that those pieces of information are not going to get you farther back in your genealogy but they do shed light on what type of people your ancestors were during that time. Really the story is the highlight of our research. If we just have dates and facts what do we really know?

2016 Goals and can we keep them

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Every year we all make goals that we hope to keep and mostly let fall to the way side pretty early on in the year. We hope that by posting our goals for 2016 we will make a better effort to keep said goals, fingers crossed. So here goes, the two blondes Genealogy Happy Hour goals for the year:

Drink more wine and try a variety of new ones. Pretty sure we will keep that one with no problem.

Podcast at least once a month if not more. This too should be a no brainer.

Keep up with our personal blogs Branches and Limbs and Heirs and Ancestors. So far so good on that front, of course it is still January

Keep up with this blog!

Attend a genealogical conference or class. So far so good on that one as we are both registered for NGS in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in May. One of us is also planning on taking some classes so that should cover that one for sure.

Complete a lineage society application. This is the best way to really concentrate on one family line and get the proof you need to cover all the facts. Whether you actually apply or not just following the guidelines will help you be a better researcher.

And we can’t forget the usual get fit, lose weight, spend more time with family, travel etc…

Good luck to us all and happy researching!

CHEERS!