Weekly Planner: Check a Library Catalog

Do some investigating in a local library. Have you been meaning to check out that local university library? You may even be able to access their catalog from home, so take fifteen minutes to explore. Then when you have another fifteen minutes free, you can pop in and check out a resource you’ve found.

A printer-friendly version of this article can be found in the Ancestry.com Library.


Using Ancestry.com: The Ancestry.com Database Card Catalog, by George G. Morgan

Ever since the Ancestry Database Card Catalog function was introduced recently, I’ve been exploring the databases’ contents in a whole new way. I’m finding more resources in the 27,000 databases than I ever could by just browsing the titles. You can too!

You’re probably already conversant with your local library’s online catalog. If you are, you’re ready to start taking advantage of the Ancestry.com database Card Catalog. Your library’s online catalog allows you to search for materials in multiple ways: by author name(s); by title; by subject area, such as Fiction or Genealogy; and by keyword that helps narrow your search. The new tool at Ancestry also helps you quickly locate the database you want or need. To access the search template from the homepage, click on the link labeled “See all databases.” Continue reading

“Estimating Effectively,” by Juliana Smith

Estimating. We do it all the time, sometimes without even realizing it. We may estimate how much money we’ll need for groceries, how long it will take to reach a destination (add an hour during construction season!), or how much extra yard work we’ll have to do to work off that piece of carrot cake we ate at last week’s conference!

We do it with our family history too. Last week we touched briefly on using estimates in targeted searches (http://www.ancestry.com/s23560/t7807/e/rd.ashx), and this week I thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at some of the ways we can make effective use of estimates in our family history. Continue reading

Your Quick Tips

Power Outages
Anyone who lives in an area with frequent power outages should invest in an APC Battery Backup/Surge Suppressor unit ($50-$100). This unit allows one to save any open files and shut down the computer after a power outage begins. If it is only a quick lights off/lights on outage, the computer is still up and the user can go on with his/her work.
Bob Walter Continue reading

The Year Was 1888

The year was 1888 and it came in with a roar. Following an unseasonably warm morning, on January 12, a violent cold front brought with it a disastrous blizzard with raging winds and sub-zero temperatures that swept across the northern prairies of the Midwest. Caught in the storm, often referred to as the “Children’s Blizzard of 1888,” it has been estimated that between 250 and 500 people perished, many of them children on their way home from school. (See the end of this article for links to more information.)

And Mother Nature wasn’t finished. In March, another blizzard struck the eastern seaboard states. Known as the “Great White Hurricane,” the nor’easter dumped between forty and fifty inches of snow on the northeast region. Over 200 ships were sunk, and telegraph lines snapped, cutting off communication for cities like New York and Philadelphia for weeks. More than 400 people perished in the storm. Photographs from the aftermath in New York City are available on the NOAA website. Continue reading

Photo Corner: Charles Merle McKinney and Lorena Iliene (Sowers) McKinney; and Marjorie Carrie Gross Good

Charles Merle McKinney (age 22) and his new bride Lorena Iliene (Sowers) McKinney (age 17), of Philo, Illinois, ca.1921


Contributed by Deborah L. Wright
Deborah’s maternal great-grandparents, Charles Merle McKinney (age 22) and his new bride Lorena Iliene (Sowers) McKinney (age 17), of Philo, Illinois, ca.1921.


 Marjorie Carrie Gross Good, born 10 July 1896, about nine months old, in Blackwell, Oklahoma Territory.


Contributed by Linda Tomer Anderson
Linda’s maternal grandmother, Marjorie Carrie Gross Good, born 10 July 1896, about nine months old, in Blackwell, Oklahoma Territory.



A printer-friendly version of this article can be found in the Ancestry.com Library. 


New Publication for San Francisco Research

Great-Great Grandpa Found at the Golf Course
Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research
Research Tools for Finding Facts When Official Records Have Disappeared

Oakland, CA –  15 June 2006 – Raking the Ashes, a research book of interest to anyone doing California and San Francisco genealogy, has just been released and is available from the California Genealogical Society for $19.95.
Author Nancy Simons Peterson painstakingly pursued the trail of clues in available records to search for great-great grandpa and subsequently conducted a comprehensive survey of San Francisco’s extant sources and records lost.

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NGS Conference, Etc.

Wow, this week has been quite a ride. But I’m back from NGS and have started the newsletter for the 19th down the road to publication, so now it’s time to catch up on the blog.

It was great to see many of you at the NGS Conference in Chicago! My daughter and I had a wonderful time and I have a few photos that I’ll be adding to the bottom of this post. Continue reading