Category Archives: Genealogy Computer Aids

Organizing Genealogy Digital or Paper Files by Using a Uniform Labeling System

 

Organizing Genealogy Digital or Paper Files

by Using a Uniform Labeling System

Dec 29, 2017

Vicki’s Note – this is a December 17, 2013 article “DIGITAL FOLDER ORGANIZING & NAMING MADE EASY” , by Diane Gould Hall from her MichiganFamilyTrails.com BLOG

Click HERE for her full article.

Diane includes samples.  I will be using her method in further organizing my genealogy.  She has added some refinements to what I use already.

The main hint is to be consistent in how you label and organize your genealogy files and records.  It is easiest to stay consistent if you keep a master Filing Cheat Sheet near your genealogy office area so that you can repeatedly refer to it as you add files whether they are paper files, photographs, or digital computer files.  Keep your cheat Sheets in plastic protective sleeves, in a special notebook, or laminate it.  Files grow so quickly that organizing them can get overwhelming if you don’t have a method.

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DIGITAL FOLDER ORGANIZING & NAMING MADE EASY

“WHO DOESN’T WANT TO BE ABLE TO LOCATE THAT BIRTH, DEATH, MARRIAGE, PROBATE, LAND RECORD OR PHOTO WITH A CLICK OR TWO OF YOUR MOUSE? 

These rules apply to ALL photos and to documents.
 
Whether you are scanning & saving them, or you grab them from a website. Whether they are census records, birth records, probate records or family photos.

There MUST be a file naming standard.

I use this rule for naming all of my files.

WHO, WHAT, WHEN AND WHERE …”
 

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Ancestry.com – big data leak

12-29-2017

Vicki’s Note: 12-28-2017 Article By Francis Navarro, Komando.com – Kim Komando, “America’s digital Goddess”.  Sounds like most problems are with people who used Rootsweb surname searches.  Maybe worth changing your Ancestry.com password if you subscribe.  To read the full article click HERE. :

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“Ancestry.com suffers big data leak – 300,000 user credentials exposed

Ancestry.com has confirmed that a server on its RootsWeb service exposed a file that has usernames, email addresses and passwords of 300,000 registered users. RootsWeb is Ancestry.com’s free collection of community-driven tools for sharing genealogical information such as user forums and mailing lists.

According to data breach tracking website HaveIbeenPwned’s Troy Hunt, the stolen information was leaked and posted online in plain text. Hunt also believes that the breach occurred in 2015.

In an official statement released by Ancestry.com’s Chief Information Security Officer Tony Blackham, they were informed by Hunt about the file on December 20 and they have confirmed that the file does contain the login credentials of the users of RootWeb’s surname list information. Yikes….

To read Ancestry.com’s official statement, click here.

Read this article to help you create the perfect passwords….”

ALT Codes for Foreign Language Letters with Accents

 

12-27-2017

Vicki’s note – another great site I found.  There is a chart of  foreign language letters, as well as multiple other charts – currency, Spanish, Greek, math, symbols, etc.  I am book-marking this site on my computer!  

There is also a link to instructions below (and on the site.)  Simply hold down the “ALT” key on your keyboard while keying in the number indicated for each letter/symbol.

See also My  BLOG Page “Genealogical Links and Electronic Helps – scroll down to look under the alphabetical categories “Latino Ancestors” and “Translations and Foreign Languages in Genealogy”.  :

ALT Codes for Foreign Language Letters with Accents

https://usefulshortcuts.com/alt-codes/accents-alt-codes.php

Welcome to Useful Shortcuts, THE Alt Code resource!

If you are already familiar with using alt codes, simply select the alt code category you need from the table below.

If you need help using alt codes find and note down the alt code you need then visit our instructions for using alt codes page.

List of Alt Codes for entering characters with accents

Rootsweb Surname List Ends Oct 24, 2017!

Vicki’s note – I just found this out.  Be sure and use this resource before it disappears. 

Rootsweb.com is the oldest & largest free award-winning Internet Genealogical community.  Searchable database.  Submit Your Family Tree free to WorldConnect Project (by using a GEDCOM).

I notice that it is now “an ancestry.com community”.  FindAGrave.com is also now owned by Ancestry.com.  So far it is still free.  I hope that Rootsweb.com continues to be free. 

10-22-2017

Rootsweb Surname List Ends Oct 24, 2017!

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http://home.rootsweb.ancestry.com/

rootsweb

“We will be discontinuing

the Rootsweb Surname List (RSL)

and Genealogy Forum

(found at http://genforum.rootsweb.ancestry.com)

features on Tuesday Oct 24, 2017.”

 

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Or it may just be moving to a different site:

 

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There is a New Version of FindAGrave.com

There is a New Version of FindAGrave.com

Vicki’s note – this is a good time of year to feature a resource that I use regularly.  You can either access FindAGrave.com directly or click on a link to it from a search in Ancestry.com when you see it as a suggestion in your search for a particular ancestor.

Don’t rely on the Ancestry.com record.  I always go to the FindAGrave site to look at any/all information listed.  There are good clues on the person’s relatives.  It is worth looking at each of the grave listing for each of those people as well. 

Also look by last name(s) only for any other relatives buried in that cemetery.  I know a couple of volunteer who do photography for FindAGrave.  I always appreciate their technique of photographing any other headstones near the requested one that has the same last name. Not all do that, but as they say, “I figure they would want to know.”  Yes we do!

A final step would be to do a general (non-specific location) for anyone with that name.  Your ancestor may be buried in another cemetery in a different location/state.  At the end of life, many ancestors go to live with their child away from the area that they were connected to previously.

To use Findagrave.com to look for out of United States graves do a redefine search and put the country in. It doesn’t always find graves in other countries. Most cemeteries in Findagrave are in the United States.

You can look on the Findagrave.com link below to get an idea of the number of graves that they list in different countries.

https://www.findagrave.com/tocs/geographic.html

I am not sure if theChanges are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.”  have happened yet.  The FindAGrave link to their new version is dead. Following are excerpts from two  article on the changes.

This July 10, 2017  article says that both the old and new (Beta) versions are available, but their link to the old is also dead.  As is their link to the new connection https://new.findagrave.com/

“The easiest way to get to the new site is to go to the old one and then click where it says “Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.” Or, you can click here. When you get to the new page, a window will pop up telling you a bit about why the website is changing…

The search feature is quite different looking though seems to provide the same options…

Do know that both the original and the Beta version are fully workable.  You can use either platform to make changes to existing memorials or add new memorials…

REMEMBER – your feedback on the Beta site is both encouraged and welcome!”

 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The New and Improved Find A Grave Shown at #RootsTech
(click here to read the whole article:)

At RootsTech 2017 Peter Drinkwater showed off a late-alpha prototype for a new Find A Grave website. …

Peter Drinkwater is the general manager for Find A Grave, a website owned by Ancestry. While the session was titled “Getting to Know the New Find A Grave,” Peter first helped us get to know the old Find A Grave. Find A Grave was created in 1995 by Jim Tipton. “Jim Tipton lived here in Salt Lake and he had a hobby of collecting dirt from famous people’s graves,” Peter said. “He created Find A Grave as a place to document that and let other people share the locations of [famous] graves.” In 2000 he added the ability to document the graves of ordinary people. In January 2017 there were 157 million graves. For all those years, the website looked almost the same.

“…Why would we make a change, he asked? The code is quite old and there aren’t many developers who are comfortable in it. Modernizing the code will make it more secure, easier to work on, and make it possible to use new tools to improve the site.

The second reason to change it is to make it usable via a mobile device. More than 30% of visits to the site are on a tablet or phone. …

The third reason to change the site is to internationalize it, making it available in a variety of languages.

The goal of the initial project is to convert Find A Grave to new code, not to add new features.”

(Vicki’s note – Read how each database works to get a better idea on how to more effectively use it.  Here are excerpts from FindAGrave FAQs:)

Why is my information appearing on Ancestry sites?
Find A Grave is owned and supported by Ancestry.

Why do I have to register and become a member? I’m worried about my privacy.
You don’t have to register! You can search our database and visit millions of memorials and photos without registering. If you choose to ADD anything to our database, we require that you register so we can keep track of who is adding what. When you register, we require that you use a valid email in case we need to contact you regarding your submissions.

What is a photo volunteer?
A photo volunteer is someone who is willing to take photos of headstones within a given zip code.
To become a photo volunteer, log in and go to your Contributor Profile page.

What is a photo request?
A photo request is tied to the photo volunteer program. If you would like to request a headstone photo of a memorial, just go to the memorial on Find A Grave. Click on the ‘Request A Photo’ button. This will bring up a new screen allowing you to add any notes that may help the photo volunteer locate the grave location within the cemetery.

…Depending on the cemetery location and the number of volunteers in the area, it may take a few weeks or even longer for the photo request to be fulfilled. NOTE: If the memorial record does not have specific information regarding the grave’s plot/location in the cemetery, please contact the cemetery office (if one is listed) to obtain the plot location and add it to your email. Many cemetery offices will only provide that information to relatives of the deceased and will not assist photo volunteers with finding the grave’s location.

How can I get a copy of my relative’s death certificate?
In the United States, death certificates are usually public record and can be obtained for a nominal fee from state/county departments of public record (often called the Office of Vital Records). Try performing a Google search on the state where your loved one passed away and the term “death certificate.”
You can try the CDC website for more specifics by state.

Why can’t I find the person I’m looking for?
It is possible your search is too narrow. Broaden your search by removing things like a middle name or burial location. If you still can not find them, it is possible the person is not yet memorialized on Find A Grave. Find A Grave is a work in progress and documenting all burials worldwide is a massive undertaking for the membership.

If you are adding a memorial for someone who has recently passed or who does not have a physical grave or memorial marker in a cemetery (perhaps their ashes were scattered), please do a general search on Find A Grave (do not enter a location) to see if a memorial has already been created for that person. If you find a memorial has been added but has incomplete or incorrect information, instead of creating a duplicate memorial use the tools provided to submit corrections, additions or a transfer request via the “Suggest A Correction” link under the ‘Edit’ tab on the upper right of the memorial.

What if the cemetery isn’t listed for the names I want to add? How do I add a cemetery to the list?
We have a fairly comprehensive database of cemeteries in the United States. Please perform a search from our cemetery search page to make sure the cemetery is not already in our database. Include adjacent counties and other names which the cemetery may be known by as names do change over time.

What is a cenotaph? How do I have a memorial designated as a cenotaph?

A cenotaph is a marker within a cemetery placed in honor of a person whose remains are buried elsewhere. It may also be the original marker for someone who has since been re-interred elsewhere. To add a cenotaph, create a memorial.

What about the privacy of living family members?
An individual’s right to privacy disappears when they are deceased. The opinions of the relatives of the deceased fall on all sides of the question. Some people are angry to find a loved one when they come to Find A Grave, even if the memorial was added by another relative, as is usually the case, and some people are elated and send us notes of thanks for building an online memorial to their family member. If an immediate family member contacts us and wants information removed, we generally do so as a matter of respect for their wishes but we treat each request on a case by case basis. The names of living survivors will be removed from the biography section of a memorial upon request.

How does Find A Grave define ‘famous’?
Do not confuse importance with fame. Every ancestor is important and every veteran deserves to be remembered and honored. However, that does not mean that they are ‘famous’. An individual is more likely to be designated as ‘famous’ if they were well known outside of their local community.

…the “famous” section and each memorial placed into it are the sole domain of Find a Grave Administration. All famous memorials are maintained and controlled in every aspect by our staff, and cannot be transferred to anyone, even relatives.

Can I add a memorial for my pet?
Yes, when we say we want to list the burial locations of everyone, we’re not kidding. Pets are an important part of many of our lives and their deaths can be a great loss.
You may want to use your family’s last name as the pet’s last name, to make it easier to find the memorial at a later date.
If the pet is buried in a pet cemetery, the memorial is listed as such. …or if the pet was buried in the backyard or other non-cemetery location…

…married names for a woman’s memorial when she was married more than once?
The ‘last name’ is the name that is on the headstone. Include other married names as part of the biography section. The ‘maiden name’ is only for her maiden name.

First: Infant
Middle: Twin Son or Daughter
Last: Doe

How do I update or correct an error in memorial data?
You can submit updates or corrections of factual information for any memorial by clicking on the ‘Edit’ tab on the memorial in question. Be sure you are logged in.
From here you can select one of the following options:

Birth/death date, birth/death place
Relationship (parent and spouse links)
Name
Plot and/or GPS
Marker Transcription
Suggest any other correction or addition

The first five options allow you to make the factual update to the memorial. Once this is submitted, the manager of the memorial will receive this information as an editing request and will either approve it or decline it.

How do I clean a headstone?
Unless you are related to the interred on the headstone in question, DO NOT do anything to the headstone.

Never clean gravestones with anything but water and a soft brush. Slate gravestones from the Revolutionary era and Pre-revolutionary era are best left alone due to their delicate nature and tendency to erode.

Never apply bleach, ammonia, shaving cream, chalk, flour, baking soda, cornstarch, firm pressure or use anything abrasive. Do not post photos of recently chalked or shaving-creamed headstones.

Consult a professional before any attempt to clean a headstone is made.

Reporting chalking: Photos of chalked, floured, shaving creamed, wire brushed, or otherwise altered headstones are strictly not allowed and are subject to removal when reported and/or when spotted by an administrator….

The Find A Grave web site is free, however Find A Grave uses advertising to support the cost of operations….

Who is behind Find A Grave?
Who is behind Find A Grave? Well, first and foremost, you are. Thousands of contributors submit new listings, updates, corrections, photographs and virtual flowers every hour. The site simply wouldn’t exist without the million+ contributors.

Legacybox turns your outdated formats into digital

Vicki’s note – Maybe try this?

9-27-2017

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Legacybox turns your outdated formats into digital

Legacybox

“Getting the box back was such a delight! It felt like finding treasure.” -Blog: Design Mom

Legacybox

Legacybox turns your outdated formats into digital GOLD

Convert your home movies, videotapes, film reels, and pictures – including slides, negatives and prints – all to DVDs or thumb drive easily with Legacybox.

Legacybox was founded on the conviction to restore — to revalue what has been devalued. On the surface, we are about preserving outdated memories — tapes, film, photos, and audio — into digital keepsakes that are usable and safe for future generations. We are led by the desire to find simple, technology and design-driven ways to reconnect people with things that matter most, but are being lost or overlooked. Simply put, we help make memories matter.

Learn More

legacybox.com

 

Why Family Search ended Their Microfilm Lending Program

Vicki’s Note – More in-depth information from Lisa Louise Cooke’s “Genealogy Gems” BLOG

on why the Family Search Family Centers stopped sending rented microfilm.  August 31, 2017, this service came to an end. Find out what they have planned next.

Lisa Louise Cooke has included a recording of the interview and a transcript.

Click here to read the entire posting:

Special Episode: The End of FamilySearch Microfilm Lending Program

Change is something we can always count on, but that doesn’t make it any easier, does it? Understanding why the change is happening, how it affects you personally, and what you can do to adapt, does. So, when FamilySearch announced the end of their long-standing microfilm lending program, I immediately sought out the key expert who can answer these questions for you. 

The End of microfilm lending at FamilySearch

 

FamilySearch’s Goal for Microfilm and the Family History Library

It seems like only yesterday I was interviewing Don R. Anderson, Director of the Family History Library about the future of the library and FamilySearch. Back then, in 2009, he made the startling statement that their goal was to digitize all of the microfilms in FamilySearch’s granite vault. (Click here to listen to that interview in my Family History: Genealogy Made Easy podcast episode 16.) Fast forward to today, and we see that in less than ten years that end goal is within sight. We are also seeing the ending of a service nearly every genealogist has tapped into at some point: the microfilm lending program. Family historians have been able to place orders for microfilm to be shipped to their local Family History Center where they could then scroll through the images in search of ancestors.

On August 31, 2017, this service comes to an end.

Using The Official Federal Land Records Site to Find Your Ancestor’s Land

Vicki’s note –

The United States Government has a lot of websites that have records you might not think of.  Look at all of the possibilities.  These will help you find your ancestors and are free.

Welcome to the Bureau of Land Management(BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records Automation web site.
I clicked on “Search Documents” below to look for records of one of  the first settlers in Troy, Walworth County, Wisconsin (1836) after it became surveyed for land acquisition.  These four pieces of land are what I found.  Major Jesse Meacham’s  first patent (land bought from the United States government) is dated 3/25/1841.:
Clicking on the first piece of land took me to this map with township, meridian, etc.:
The Official Federal Land Records Site
Welcome to the Bureau of Land Management(BLM), General Land Office (GLO) Records Automation web site. We provide live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1788 and the present. We also have images of survey plats and field notes, land status records, and control document index records. Due to organization of documents in the GLO collection, this site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States.
Bureau of Land Management - General Land Office Records
Sample Homestead Patent Federal Land Patents offer researchers a source of information on the initial transfer of land titles from the Federal government to individuals. In addition to verifying title transfer, this information will allow the researcher to associate an individual (Patentee, Assignee, Warrantee, Widow, or Heir) with a specific location (Legal Land Description) and time (Issue Date). We have a variety of Land Patents on our site, including Cash Entry, Homestead and Military Warrant patents.

Sample Plat Survey plats are part of the official record of a cadastral survey. Surveying is the art and science of measuring the land to locate the limits of an owner’s interest thereon. A cadastral survey is a survey which creates, marks, defines, retraces or re-establishes the boundaries and subdivisions of Federal Lands of the United States. The survey plat is the graphic drawing of the boundaries involved with a particular survey project, and contains the official acreage to be used in the legal description.Sample Field Notes Field notes are the narrative record of the cadastral survey. They are written in tabular format and contain the detailed descriptions of entire survey process including the instrumentation and procedures utilized, calling all physical evidence evaluated in the survey process, and listing all of the individuals who participated in the work.

Sample Land Status Historical Index Land Status Records are used by BLM Western State Offices to document the ongoing state of a township’s Federal and private land regarding title, lease, rights, and usage. These documents include Master Title Plats, which are a composite of all Federal surveys for a township. Other Land Status Records include Use Plats, Historical Indices, and Supplemental Plats.
The Control Document Index includes BLM documents that affect or have affected the control, limitation, or restriction of public land and resources. CDI documents include public laws, proclamations, and withdrawals. CDI documents have been kept on microfilm since the 1950’s, but are now being scanned and linked to existing data records from BLM’s LR2000 database.
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Free Sites on “doGenealogy”

Free Sites on “doGenealogy”

Vicki’s Note – I just heard about this new Site from “FamilyHistoryDaily.com” that  has volunteers gathering (Free) sites . 

Sounds a bit like what I do here on my BLOG under the Page/tab at the top of the BLOG – click on “Genealogy Links and Electronic Helps”.  There are many links there, and I will add a link to doGenealogy.

Click Here to read the Family History Daily article of sites and links on doGenealogy that are specifically on the subject of: “30 Free Genealogy Sites for Researching Your European Ancestry”

FamilyHistoryDaily has many more interesting articles on genealogy.

“About doGenealogy

doGenealogy is a new tool from Family History Daily that makes it easier than ever to locate no-cost genealogy research sites.

Because this is a brand new project we have many free sites still to add, check back regularly for these new resources.

While paid resources, like Ancestry.com, provide excellent services to family historians, there is a wealth of free genealogy data also available online.

doGenealogy offers a hand selected database of only high quality, completely free genealogy sites that will help you expand your research without spending a cent.

Thank you, as always, to the amazing volunteers who make these free family history resources possible.

Need research help? Try the helpful articles on Family History Daily.”

Comparing Genealogy Software and Online Trees

Vicki’s note – Family Tree Magazine – suggestions for purchase of software and online family history search databases.  Which one will work for you?

Read the whole article here.

Comparing Genealogy Software and Online Trees

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3 Helpful Charts About Genealogy Software and Online Trees

These three charts show you at-a-glance the features of genealogy software and family tree websites, and what programs and sites sync your data.

It doesn’t take too long for those of us who love genealogy to realize we need tools to keep track of our family trees—the names, dates, places, how people are related, sources of all that information, etc. etc.

In addition to organizing information, such tools can help you find records and family trees on genealogy websites, create family tree charts and share your research.

At-a-Glance Genealogy Software and Online Tree Info

In that case, here’s a chart from the October/November 2017 Family Tree Magazine (which is starting to mail to subscribers) that shows you at a glance which software and family tree sites sync.

This chart, also corrected, shows features of major desktop software options:
And this one—you guessed it, corrected—shows features of the major sites where you can keep your online tree (our Best Websites listing links to additional online tree sites):