Tag Archives: geneabloggers

Follow Friday: Genea-Musings, a3Genealogy, and SavingStories

It’s Follow Friday and I’m always honored to feature extraordinary genealogists that I’ve had the good fortune and pleasure to learn from online. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for a genealogist who writes and maintains a blog that just about covers it all – genealogy research tips and techniques, news items and commentary, family history research and stories, genealogy humor and engaging “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” activities — then I know the perfect blog for you. It is Genea-Musings! When I feel that I’ve missed something important in the world of genealogy, I just head on over to Randy Seaver‘s special place in cyberspace, and get caught up with “all things genealogy” online and offline. My favorite label/topic to access on his blog is “Treasure Chest Thursday.” All of the artifacts and documents that he shares are EXCELLENT and often provide tips and information that I refer to when I’m looking at similar documents in my own family research collection. Be sure to stop by Genea-Musings as time allows today!

Make no mistake about it, genealogy is a lot of work that requires accurate genealogical investigation. A blog that immediately comes to mind with its accurate, accessible answers to analyzing genealogical evidence is, a3Genealogy.com, penned by Kathleen Brandt. Kathleen is an International Genealogy Consultant, speaker, and writer who specializes in military, naturalization records, Native American and African American Ancestry. Pick any post or topic on her blog to read and you will instantly be pulled into the information and/or instructions she gives about the subject. Some key elements I’ve taken away from her blog that I use in my own research: – 1) always determine the reliability of your documents; 2) decide which facts are accurate/correct in each document you’ve found; 3) defer making any judgments until all the facts are in (this is a tough one for me – LOL!), and 4) give an explanation that includes all the facts and be sure to analyze all information from various perspectives. Yep, Kathleen Brandt definitely knows her stuff! Don’t delay; plan on visiting a3Genealogy.com right away!

When I say family historian, Robin Foster’s passion for “all things genealogy” and  technology rivals mine, you better believe it! The title and subtitle of Robin’s blog – Saving Stories: Connecting to the Past, linking to the future – definitely expresses one of her goals which is to preserve oral history and historical records using social media and technology. So how is she accomplishing this goal? She publishes genealogy related online newspapers at Paper.li;  she’s the blog editor/owner of About Our Freedom, Over Troubled Water, Genealogy Journey, and Go Social with Genealogy; she’s the National African American History Examiner at Examiner.com; she’s the host of “Over Troubled Water” BlogTalkRadio Show and Genealogy on Location; she’s a FindAGrave Contributor (and a BillionGraves Contributor too); she’s social via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube. She has published an 8×8 personal storybook, Eyes to See: My Testimony to the World, via Heritage Makers where she is an award winning Book Publishing Consultant. Can you say WOW?! All I could say was WOW when I first started following Robin online last year. And I have a strong feeling that I haven’t listed for you today ALL of the online networks and blogs that she contributes to – LOL! So if you enjoy genealogy and technology, refer to any of the links I mention above and connect with Robin Foster today!

 

Tuesday’s Tip: Five Drawbacks I’ve Encountered Using Census Records

Archives.com

Archives.com has recently added the complete 1790-1930 U.S. Census to its already billion-record database. This is great news indeed! And to help them promote this new addition to their service,  they have asked Geneabloggers (via contest) to share any tricks, tips, or words of wisdom for first time users, or, offer some sage advice on what to look for to solve those family mysteries via census records.

Using census records in family research is a MUST and is pretty much a straight forward process. But, there are times when using census records can be  down-right frustrating when there are transcription errors, not enough information, ancestors “twisting” the truth about their lives or they go MIA (missing in action) from one decade to another for whatever reason.

Below are five drawbacks I’ve encountered using census records. I know that my information below is not an exhaustive list of all the problems new users will face,  but they are basic and applicable enough for them to refer to as they seek to learn more about their families via census records:

  1. There’s inconsistent and/or phonetic spelling of surnames.
    These inconsistencies are probably due to the limited education of the census taker recording the facts, and/or the ancestors giving those facts (this is especially true with Emancipated African Americans who could not read and write due to slavery).
  2. The flourishes used in old handwriting sometimes make it difficult to read names.
    Distinguishing a capital “I” from a capital “J” when the name is written as initials, and when the open top of the letter “a” looks more like a  letter “u” or the loop top of the letter “a” looks more like the letter “o,” are just a few of the handwriting problems new users will observe in these records.
  3. Name changes by new immigrants in this county and newly Emancipated African Americans is a common occurrence too! In addition to name change dilemmas, the use of nicknames instead of actual birth names can also be a problem.
  4. Ancestors giving false information (such as their age, their ethnicity/race) for personal or political reasons is a common occurrence in these records.
  5. The 1850 Slave Schedules are one of the most important census records for African American researchers. Unfortunately slaves are not listed by their names;  they are listed by age, gender, and color.  And with regards to color, some slaves are listed as “Mu” for mulatto one decade and listed “B” for black in another decade.

Genealogists LOVE U. S. Census Records and use them regularly.  April 1, 2012 cannot get here fast enough for those of us waiting on the release of the 1940 records. New users of these records who are serious family historians will develop a love affair with them too. But as we all know, no love relationship is free of problems. But having a heads up about some of the most common drawbacks associated with census records is helpful!