Quote for Today

Szucs 4th of July.bmpYou have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
~ Erma Bombeck

New at Ancestry

Ancestry____logo.bmpPosted this week:

Weekly Planner: Celebrate Your Family’s Patriotism

Not all of us have Revolutionary War heroes in our family tree, but throughout the years, Americans have gathered to celebrate this historic event with family, friends, and community. Do you have a Fourth of July tradition? What are your memories of the holiday from your childhood? Perhaps you even have photographs of yourself and/or family members. Take some time to record your family’s patriotism, traditions, and your memories and thoughts on the holiday. Take a moment to share your memories with us here on the blog.

A Quick, Easy Project with AncestryPress, by Juliana Smith

APress Timeline.bmpThis past Father’s Day, my dad asked for my help with a project on AncestryPress. When we started the project, I noticed something new—the ability to create a three-generation descendant book.

I really like this idea. I have several projects going that include extensive family history research, but they’re not quite ready for primetime. I would like to be able to put together smaller books to give as gifts to family members. These would make great birthday, Christmas, or anniversary gifts, and they can be created relatively quickly.

The descendant format was perfect for the project Dad and I are creating that celebrates our immediate family.

A Little Family History
We want the book to include a little family history, but go heavier on photographs, biographical info, and memories. Since we’re only dealing with twenty people, I was able to manually enter the data into a personal tree on Ancestry within an hour or so, rather than trying to graft a piece off our main family history file. (Personal trees can be created free without a subscription so anyone can create a similar project, regardless of whether they are a paid Ancestry member or a free registered user.)

Once the information was loaded, I selected the Publish and Print option. AncestryPress then created pages for the book using the information I had entered. Continue reading

Married in 1820, by Michael John Neill

The problem was simple–“My ancestors were married in Kentucky in 1820 and I have no idea how to find their parents.” Unfortunately, there was no straightforward answer. Pre-1850 research in states that were not recording births and deaths can be challenging, particularly if the area was still a “frontier.” This week we look at some suggestions for one researcher dealing with a couple who married in 1820.

Knowledge of local records is helpful. If you are unaware of the types of records kept in Kentucky in the early nineteenth century, read the appropriate chapter of Red Book or the Kentucky Research Outline from the Family History Library. Even if you have researched in this state for a while, a review of the materials may help you notice a source that has been overlooked. It is also advisable to see if genealogical periodicals have published articles on similar families.

The Census
Try to locate the couple in every census from 1820 until their deaths. Depending upon the exact date of the marriage, the couple might have been living with their parents as single children at the time of the 1820 census, or in their own household. Look for households bearing that surname (or the wife’s maiden name) that include a male and female of the correct age. Even if they were married before the census date, they could have easily been living with one set of parents on the enumeration date.

In later censuses, it’s possible that you’ll find that a parent moved in with them, although in enumerations before 1880 those relationships will not be stated. In census records before 1850, the appearance of an “older” male or female may suggest Grandpa or Grandma has moved in. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Five Files, Just Five Files, from Paula Stuart-Warren, CG

I did it today. I reached into a box of file folders of mixed origin that were poorly labeled and removed five. I made myself a glass of iced tea and decided that it was time to watch some old Doris Day movies that I received as a gift. It was time to sort, re-label, and even toss some pieces of paper.

I also made a stack of items to scan. What was the impetus? Watching the sobering amount of flood damage in the Midwest made me think about all that was lost. Photo albums, baby books, receipts saved for tax purposes, business records, genealogy files, and other items–even moving them to the second floor of some homes and buildings did not preserve them.

The scans I make will be saved to CDs and sent to my sister. They will also be saved to an online backup system like Mozy.com. And as I cleaned up from this sorting session, I put another five files back on my coffee table for the next round of sorting some evening later in the week.

If you are among those who have flood damage, here are some websites with tips on saving items:

U.S. National Archives & Records Administration


Northeast Document Conservation Center

Many state archives and/or historical societies have conservation labs that offer suggestions for dealing with flood- and tornado-damaged records and photos.

Click here for a printer friendly version of this article.

Your Quick Tips, 30 June 2008

External Drive for Backups
I have found a great backup for my thousands of pictures, copies of documents, church records, and personal records like IRS materials. With my CDs getting out of hand I went to Office Depot and purchased a Maxtor One Touch external drive. It plugs into the USB port and is easy to set up. I purchased one the same size as my internal hard drive. I set it up to back up each evening after the virus check is completed thus I know I have a clean backup at the end of the day.

Several handy items with the program, it will back up the line of directories to keep everything where you originally put it on the hard drive, also if you have deleted a file, it updates your backup but it keeps that deleted file in another folder which at the end of the year or whenever, you can clean out all the deleted files if you want. I have checked the backup several times and have found it to be as expected. I just love being able to push the button on the hand size drive and know all is as it should be.
Mike Yakstis Continue reading

Photo Corner, 30 June 2008

Leona Robinson HeintzelmanContributed by Dave Selner
This is my maternal grandmother, Leona Robinson Heintzelman, age 8, pictured on the front steps of her home in Omaha, Nebraska, March 1909. (Click to see the complete photo on the blog.)

Click on an image to enlarge it.

20080630Weatherwax.bmpSubmitted by Dawn Weatherwax (Higgins)
This is a picture of my grandfather Goerge Weatherwax. We don’t know the date for sure but we suspect the photograph was taken about 1926 in Indiana.

Links to Your Revolutionary Past

GeoWashington.bmpThis week my brother-in-law and his wife will be in town so I’m taking a few days off to enjoy their company. But with Independence Day just around the corner, I thought I’d poke around a bit to gather some Revolutionary War articles and resources to help you uncover those Revolutionary ancestors in your family tree. Here are some resources to get you started:

Ancestry Resources

More Resources