Family History Beginner’s Workshop in Boston!

Just getting started in family history or have a friend who wants to begin but doesn’t know where to start? We have the answer.  

Join and the Federation of Genealogical Societies for the free Starting Your Family Tree: A Beginners Workshop, Saturday 2 September 2006 from 9 am to 5 pm at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Enjoy four great workshops taught by expert genealogists Loretto Szucs and Suzanne Russo Adams, and experts, Peter Drinkwater and David Van Valkenburgh. Learn to the basics of family history, including finding and using family history records, getting organized, and sharing your family history online.

Starting Your Family Tree is part of the 2006 FGS annual conference, also held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Admission to these beginner’s workshops and exhibition hall is free. You can pre-register online (and receive a free gift) or register at the door.

We’ll see you in Boston!


Weekly Planner: Family Questionnaire

Create a questionnaire and pass it out to relatives at a family reunion, via e-mail, or via “snail mail.” Ask about favorites, memories of events, memories of other family members, places they’ve lived or visited, pets, recipes, schools, hobbies, and anything else that comes to mind. Gather the responses, make photocopies and share them with all the contributors. You will be helping your family to get to know each other better and stay connected, as well as preserving an important part of your family history that may never be recorded anywhere else.

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Using Turning Changes Into Results, by Juliana Smith

Newsboys, 1908Well, I’m back from a week away from the computer and wow, how things can change in such a short time. It was a week of changes at and I made a few changes around the house. (I wrote a bit about the changes this week on the blog).

While I was off, I cleaned out the basement. We had some storage issues that needed to be addressed so I hauled everything out and started going through things, sorting, tossing, combining, and generally putting things in better order.

When my husband came home from work I could tell by the look on his face he was none too pleased with my efforts thus far. I kept telling him to be patient–I had a vision! I was going to rearrange the furniture in his space and it would give him more room and solve some of our storage problems. He remained skeptical. (To be fair, he’s seen some of my visions that didn’t quite play out as well I’d hoped.) Continue reading

The ABCs of mtDNA, by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak

When it comes to genetic genealogy (which I often refer to as genetealogy), Y-DNA is by far the most popular type of testing–and understandably so. Since Y-DNA is passed from father to son down through the generations (just like surnames) its application is fairly obvious. But over time, mitochondrial DNA (usually shortened to mtDNA) testing has been gaining in popularity. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Recording Locations, from George G. Morgan

For each of your ancestors’ vital dates (birth, marriage and death), always record the precise location as it existed at the time of the event. That means listing the town, the county or parish, and the state for U.S. events. For foreign locations, the town, province, and county should be recorded. More important, because boundaries and jurisdictions change so much over time, make certain you have the correct county or state, or province, or country listed as it existed when the event occurred. This is important to you for purposes of locating copies of records and important for future researchers who want to confirm your research and obtain copies for themselves.

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Your Quick Tips

Ancestral Greeting Cards
I have begun copying old photos and mounting them on cardstock to create greeting cards for my grown kids and other relatives. They can add them to their family history notebooks, if they wish. Especially good are crazy snapshots of their parents taken when they were young. You can buy envelopes at office supply stores in many sizes.

Pat Blake LaRock Continue reading

The Year Was 1873

The year was 1873 and much of the world was entering into a long period of economic depression. The beginning of the “Long Depression” is typically marked by the crash of the Vienna stock market, which sent ripples across Europe and eventually the United States with the fall of Jay Cooke & Company. The Cooke investment bank was heavily invested in the overbuilt railroad system which was beginning to fail. With the fall of this prominent company, a financial panic ensued and the New York Stock Exchange had to close for ten days. Railroads, factories, banks, and businesses had to close their doors resulting in skyrocketing unemployment rates. The Long Depression would last into the 1890s. Continue reading

Photo Corner: Edith and Lily Parker; and William Grover Johnson and Eva Ellen Neely

Edith Parker and daughter LilyContributed by Pam Hammerstein
Pam’s great aunt Edith Parker and her daughter Lily.  Pam’s message said, “They immigrated to America possibly New Jersey and I have been unable to trace them since and I was hoping that if you put the photo on your newsletter someone might recognise it.” A photograph of Edith’s mother, Roseanna, stepfather, William Hatherley Clarke, and one of their children possibly William as a baby can be seen here.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

William Grover Johnson and Eva Ellen NeelyContributed by Sandi Britton-Suggs
Taken in 1907 in Pulaski County, Kentucky of Sandi’s grandparents, William Grover Johnson and Eva Ellen Neely. William was born 02 Feb 1886 in Pulaski County, Kentucky and died at Clarendon, Texas on 09 Feb 1969. Eva was born 24 Dec 1889 in Pulaski County, Kentucky and died 11 Feb 1979 in Clarendon, Texas. They were married for 62 years and had three daughters and three sons.  William was a coal miner in Kentucky and after moving to Texas in late 1919, owned two farms and grew cotton and maize. They are buried next to each other in Rowe Cemetery, Hedley, Donley County, Texas.