In the Genealogy Zone of Serenity
by Vicki Ruthe Hahn
SGS – Stateline Genealogy Sorter
I spent a great day indoors on the beautifully sunny day this last Saturday July 7, 2018. What could tempt me to do such a thing on a perfect 80 degree summer gardening day?
(By the way, as I have told you before – Genealogy is the most popular hobby, and gardening is the most popular in the summer.)
The annual (MCGS) McHenry County Genealogical Society Conference was held at the McHenry County Community College, Illinois. Always professional regional and national genealogy speakers, and great accommodations at a fairly low price. The MCGS group has it organized well, and improves every year. This is my third ? year attending.
I learned a lot from all four sessions – one with each speaker.
Vicki Hahn with the “Legal Genealogist” Judy Russell – who spoke on “NARA Mythbusters: Your family IS in the Archives”. I learned how to navigate the complex and thorough government website. So many records of your family’s interactions with many government agencies!
Vicki Hahn with Family Tree University instructor, author, and Slavic Genealogy expert Lisa Alzo “ImmersionGenealogy.com“, who spoke on “Crossing the Pond: successful Strategies for Researching Eastern European Ancestors”.
The closest that my family gets (as far as I know now) is a slight DNA for “Finland/Russia”, but what a lot of great techniques I learned. And so many links to Slavic websites that Lisa shared. Be looking for them soon on the BLOG tab ” Genealogy Links and Electronic Resources”.
Lisa describes –
“What is Immersion Genealogy?
Immersion Genealogy is the process of discovering where and how our ancestors lived, worked, and worshiped, and experiencing first-hand those customs and traditions they passed down through the generations.”
Some hints from Lisa Alzo:
After searching the United State online records, then search the other country’s on-line databases. Open them in Google Chrome using that country’s Google, not the United States one – “.com” If the website doesn’t not have an in “English” button, GC will ask, “Do you want to translate this page?”
When the records are in a foreign language – learn the key foreign words from that country’s FamilySearch.org WIKI. Learn the words that are on the column headings, or circle the key words if in a paragraph form – birth, marriage, death, burial, father, mother, village, etc.. Look for your ancestor’s original name.
Look for your cousins/ancestor/village on Facebook (Groups), or location photographs on Flickr.com or Ebay.com. (Click on these two links to see some historic Beloit Wisconsin pictures.)
David Rencher, Chief Genealogist Officer for FamilySearch.org spoke on “Applied Methodology for Irish Genealogical Research”. He gave some further insights on how to search for those elusive same-named Irish folks. Narrow it down to their original name and village. Also look into connections to the rich families in the area – servants were only named in household inventories and did not have their own records early on. David likened it to searching for African-American slaves before the Civil War.
Curt Witcher, Allen County Library’s Senior Manager for Special Collections, spoke on “German Migration into the American Midwest” focusing on mostly Indiana. He showed how to use any secondary source for additional information/clues on the history of your ancestors. David gave several examples of this, including the use of Wikipedia (which I use all the time.) He even found pertinent references to German immigrant settlement patterns in a Walworth County (Wisconsin) County History book!
I asked Curt to announce our upcoming visit from Astrid Adler to the Beloit Public Library on October 23, 2018. It was too perfect of a segue-way on the same topic. He said, “Come to the program and hear from a real German expert on migration to the United States.” About 25 people took our Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library 2018 Programs handout with information about the 6:30 p.m. program, “Our Ancestors Were German”. As Astrid is coming from Germany, it really is great to have a wider interest from the area.
David and Curt both said that migration follows language and not religion. You may find your ancestor in church records not their own.
I will be adding the two books on McHenry Illinois, (that I obtained), to the Beloit Public Library Local History Genealogy Collection.:
“McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society 10th Anniversary 1981 – 1991 Index – Quarterlies, Newsletters.”, 1993.
“1870 McHenry County Illinois Federal Census”, transcribed by Dee-Ann Stambazze, 1992
I also gathered several brochures to share – on several topics/ regional genealogy groups. We may want to look into going to Newberry Library in Chicago Lots of resources, like at WHS Wisconsin Historical Society Library in Madison.
One of the things that I learned from volunteers at the Chicago LDS Family Center was that FamilySearch.org intends to have all of their microfilm collection digitized and on-line in 2022. Some of the bigger Family Centers (like Chicago) have their regional microfilm on-site meanwhile, even though FamilySearch has stopped sending patron’s requested microfilms to any Family Center. I guess Salt Lake wants to have the microfilm there to digitize 🙂
Lunch was spent speaking with others at the table about genealogy (and quilting!); and sharing information with venders at the booths. I got three speakers from the venders who are going to present genealogy programs for us in Beloit in 2019.
Marty Acks – from (CAGGNI) Computer Assisted Genealogy Group of Northern Illinois will do a program to be determined – maybe on USGENWEB.org.
Kathy Meade from ArkivDigital.com, a subscription service will do a program on how to find your Swedish roots on-line.
And Rebecca Quinn from CreativeMemories.com – “Your photos and stories + our best quality albums = memories to be shared and enjoyed.” She will present a workshop on either scrap-booking, or how to do the Lifewriting techniques of “Snapshots of the Spirit; Capturing Your Current Family’s Stories with Bullet Journaling”. Rebecca will bring her products for purchase, or supply your own.
I also touched bases with people from two genealogy groups that are having me give programs this year (more on that in another Posting,)
So overall, I’m a happy genealogy camper after submerging in the Genealogy Zone of Serenity.
Maybe I will see you there next year?