Thoughts

15 Excellent & FREE Genealogy Sites

Numerous excellent FREE genealogy sites are available- probably too many to mention. Beyond the sites listed below from LovetoKnow, I suggest the following exceptional sites (obviously these relate heavily to my areas of research): Norwegian National Archives GenWIKI (German) Genealogy of Canada National Archives of Quebec (French) Progenealogists (Page of Links) sourced from LovetoKnow Roots(…)

Share with Gendex

Share your information! It’s a really good idea. Almost certainly someone out there is looking for a family member or two of yours. The corollary is: you know how hard it has been for you to find reliable information, why not make it easier for everyone by generously making your work shareable. Of course, you(…)

GRAMPS – WordPress Integration

Integrating GRAMPS and WordPress is a very straightforward activity. Not a lot of special skills or tools are required in order to make this integration work smoothly. I have to say it is one of the things I like best about GRAMPS. A couple of points worth remembering (knowing?) first: Don’t expect to update your(…)

Look in a mirror…

People fear the past… they fear their history.  I have had countless conversations with family genealogists who have problems bringing unwanted, or bad news to their families. The bad news is ‘how you say???’ — rarely well received. Bad news is a term I use loosely.  More precisely I am referring to the news that(…)

GRAMPS review and decision #3

Today we have published three (3) branches of our genealogy; two (2) are available for public access. Senger Branch (Public) Deyo Branch (Public) I have customized the output of GRAMPS standard web generation tools (NAVWEB) to create a look & feel that is consistent with the ManyRoads website. Please be aware that there remain bugs(…)

GRAMPS review and decision #2

Based upon my decision to use GRAMPS as our primary genealogical database management environment, I have begun the transfer of family branches (both public and private) into our new format. If you look closely, you should notice the appearance of new page links from our various menus… As I undertake this transition, I will be(…)

GRAMPS review and decision #1

Using GRAMPS as a primary management, storage and presentation tool for our genealogical data came about slowly. As many of you may recall, I tried and still use numerous family databases such as TNG, RootsMagic etc.  However, moving genealogical data back and forth across three or four tools before placing it in a single secure(…)

A Great Find…

One of the great joys of doing genealogy work is that every once in a while, you make a great find.  A find that brings on a feeling of joy, wonder, and belonging.  Yesterday was one of those days for me. I know I have been offering a lot of insights into issues associated with(…)

Data Cleanup Tip #1

One quick trick I discovered for repairing problem Genealogy data involves using an editor -I like geany and gedit… probably because I run on Linux. But truth be known, any editor with a global find & replace function should do just fine! Here’s the typical scenario.  You have a data corruption problem that occurs throughout(…)

Cleanup from Ancestry.com #2

Ancestry files require a lot of clean-up before they are really useful or accurate.  As I noted earlier, the files themselves need to be scrubbed of duplicates, overlapping records and more. In order to accomplish these repairs, I use numerous tools to address the requisite tasks including: GRAMPS (a Linux Genealogical Toolset)- I like this(…)

Cleanup from Ancestry.com #1

I don’t know how many of you, like me, use Ancestry.com as their data collection and ‘easy analysis’ site.  I suspect quite a few. As you may be aware I have been pouring through a significant section of my father’s family- the Deyos.  This research effort has generated a set of over 500 people.  Also(…)

Norwegian Research

Norway offers exceptional internet research facilities for genealogy. Although we have not been working in the Sivertsen family line very long we have uncovered some very helpful web-tools. Thus far we have unearthed several excellent, dare I say indispensable,  tools: Norwegian Historical Data Centre (a wonderful repository) – The Norwegian Historical Data Centre (NHDC) is(…)

Genealogy of Canada

Genealogy of Canada is a great site for researching French Canadian ancestry.  I discovered the site two days ago when I was stumped trying to locate some relatives. The site is developed primarily for native French Canadian language speakers and offered in translated English.  I have had no major problems with the English variant; it(…)

Ancestry Downloads

Ancestry download issues?? Like the rest of you, I need to download my Ancestry work files.  Also like many of you, maybe all of you, I encounter problems. Here’s how things don’t work for me. To perform a download of a gedcom file is not difficult, although the function is pretty well hidden. To access(…)

Pick wisely

As you work on your genealogy be sure to work on branches and items in logical groups.  Do not scatter your efforts too much or you risk becoming confused, muddled and inaccurate. I find that my best and most productive work comes when I work in a single or focused area of my family either(…)

The best non-genealogy genealogy places #1

Some of the most useful genealogy sites and locations, often are not genealogical in nature, include the following: Internet Archive.  This site is associated with the wayback machine, for those who remember that. The site provides access to a wealth of source documents, histories, etc.  All the documents provided are free of copyright encumbrances, which(…)

Be honest

Honesty is one of the most important dimensions of good genealogy and family history.  We all have backgrounds that we would like to say were ours. However, sometimes we have to settle for the fact that we are who we are. If you truly want to provide and accurate family history and genealogy, you need(…)

No historical records?

Yesterday while working on my genealogy, I accidently got carried away.  Hard to believe but true.  Here is what I found myself doing, then questioning and finally fixing. I was conducting initial research on Ancestry, seeking the basics about who was born of whom and where.  As is typically the case, I was using the(…)

Ancestry Hints!

Beware the hints! I know, I have said that before but the entire prospect of using poorly proofed Ancestry materials conerns me. As many of you may have noticed.  I just broke through a block in my family genealogy (the block of Joseph and Julia Deyo’s parentage and life before entering the US). Once my(…)

Say it ain’t so…

Family stories are not always true. If you have been doing any amount of genealogy perhaps you have discovered that out. If not, you may be in for a rude awakening. My family, like most, comes with it’s fair share of myths and fables. Certain family members are seen as being larger than life, other(…)

Source Materials- It’s almost magic!

I don’t know how it happens but it does, at least for me. As I noted in an earlier post, not all source documents are easy to read. Often they are muddled, smudged, faded, and torn. Sometimes the authors had been quills, bad penmanship or unsteady hands. Yet somehow this stuff is readable. Even when(…)

Source Materials- Microfilm Tips & Warnings

For those of you who have not used genealogical source data before, I can assure you this is an adventure. In most ways, my experiences have been very positive as well as curious. I should also admit that almost all source material I have used has been either German or French Canadian. I have never(…)

Source Materials- Familysearch & Family History

Probably one of the most valuable primary sources of genealogical information today is provided by the LDS (Latter Day Saints- Mormon) Church- FamilySearch.org. The website itself is not really the most useful aspect of their service. In truth, I personally find the online components to their site to be less valuable then that of their(…)

Before you start

A very important dimension of genealogy involves history and context. You may already know that and if so, perhaps this posting is not for you. However for those of you who do NOT remember your geography and history, here are some recommendations. These recommendations are based on the assumptions that: our ancestors lived in a(…)

Are you serious?

Genealogical research always presents dilemmas. These dilemmas almost always have significant impact and represent important family history decisions. I will try to provide some examples. First every family historian or genealogist needs to decide their role and its potential impact: Are you simply trying to gather bunches of names and places -or- are you doing(…)

Data, Friends, and Reviews – part 1

Beware of the free hints at Ancestry.com. One of the biggest problems with Ancestry.com hints is in the poor quality of the research that backs up the actual hint recommendations. Couple that with poor heuristics used by Ancestry for ‘hint’ data validation and you can some real genealogical data disasters. As I noted in an(…)

“Photo” Enhancements

Getting a good picture from an aged image is crucial to developing and maintaining a good family history.  Unfortunately as you look around ManyRoads, you’ll notice countless images that ought to be fixed.  Aside from being a tad lazy, the skills required to accomplish this effort are significant and confusing.

Thank you…

I’d like to take a brief opportunity to thank the many people who have sent me information, pictures, and data to place on ManyRoads. It is my hope to keep this list up to date. So if you have sent me materials and through an error of omission (not commission) I somehow have neglected to(…)

“Document” Enhancement

Image & document restoration is key to successfully reading many genealogical documents. The source documents we have available to us today are often simply scanned or photographic images of original handwritten documents.  Many of the originals are themselves are in poor or suspect condition even before they are digitally captured. Given that is the case,(…)

Recent relatives

One of the great genealogical research problems, for me, is my recent relatives. The folks I am refering to are either still alive or recently deceased.  In either case, they are near enough that their data is most difficult to ferret out.  Most marriages, births, etc that have occurred in the last 50 years and(…)

Zeyer ev. Church Records

Today is a big day for me. As of this writing I now have full-time access to all but two of the Zeyer ev. Kirche books.  It is like having my mother’s family come home.  Or more precisely, it is more like have them nearer to me. I am now able to go to the(…)

A wonderful day of research!

I guess this is what makes genealogy addictive… I found another generation of Saengers in my mother’s family.  Not only did I find a set of g-g-g-g-parents but I found all of their children as well as the spouses of these children. I am always amazed at what original source documentation provides in terms of(…)

Spectacular resources for reseach

I have come across a few extra-special web based resources for genealogy and history research.  The resources include: The Internet Archive-”The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the(…)

The LDS & Zeyer ev. Kirche Records

Yesterday was the very first time I was able to view Zeyer Church records, courtesy of my local LDS (Mormon) Church Family History Center and the Salt Lake City, UT Genealogy LDS Offices. I can hardly find the words to explain the experience. It was like a trip into the past. I had my very(…)

Genealogy

I am not certain if there will be multiple posts here or simply one on-going post. Either way, I think it is worthwhile sharing some thoughts on ‘doing genealogy’ work. The first thing I noticed when I began tracing genealogical information is that there is lots of it!  Some is easy to find, some is(…)

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