If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: mailto:Juliana@Ancestry.com
This week’s tips include using the Ancestry.com Ranked Search usng only a given name, help for large photo-scanning projects and the benefits of searching Jewish bulletins online. Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!Â
Try Ranked Search Using Given Name Only
You have tried Ranked Search with the Soundex option on and still can’t get a hit. Try omitting the last name from a single record search. You may be surprised. I have found ancestors that were indexed in error as Rucks and other similar names.
Fort Worth, TX
Scanning Large Groups of Photos
We have just completed two separate projects of scanning snapshots from albums and envelopes that spanned more than 100 years. The objective was to produce slide shows where the pictures can be displayed on TV as read by a DVD player.Â This necessitates sorting them into date sequence in order to assemble them in a meaningful manner and zero in on any given period desired.Â The difficult part was that there were various books sometimes covering the same dates. The key to success is how each picture is named.Â Each picture becomes a separate file and each file must have a unique name.Â The name uses this format: 1949-10-15+123.
â€œ1949″Â = yearÂ
â€œ10″ = the month (October)
â€œ15″ = the day of the month
â€œ+” proclaims the end of the date sequence
â€œ123″ is a sequential number to differentiate between any other picture that may have been taken on 1949-10-15.
Scanner software requires that you assign a name to the documents being scanned.Â Most software would likely expect multiple documents so they automatically should index the sequential number after each document is scanned.Â Thus, if you start with a name of 1949-10-15+123, the next picture will be suffixed as 124, then 125, etc.Â We set up folders for all the years involved.Â As the pictures were scanned they were directed to be saved in the proper year’s folder.Â This way it is not necessary to physically sort the pictures before scanning; they fall into sequence automatically.Â So pictures that are added from a different album or another envelope days later still seek and find their correct position.Â Viewing the folder for any given year finds that all the pictures are in date sequence, which provides a chronological sequence of events in your life!
Search Jewish Bulletins Online
Many synagogue bulletins, Jewish Community Center bulletins, and Jewish newspapers are online and list life-cycle events such as yahrzeit anniversaries, baby namings, bar and bat mitzvah announcements, and wedding announcements.Â At least once a month I do a general search for the names of my ancestors. This is how I connected with a distant cousin who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A baby announcement in the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle mentioned that her granddaughter was named in memory of her maternal great-grandmother, Viola Nius.Â I have also discovered the date and place of death and place of burial of her grandmother, Fannie Nius, who was also my grandfather’s sister-in-law, because of the announcement of Fannie Nius’ yahrzeit in the bulletin of a synagogue in Pennsylvania.Â Because Fannie Nius died when her own children were very young, the only thing this cousin had known about her grandmother was her name.Â Â