Friday, June 26, 2009

A New Way to Search

Live Roots is a great research experience that you won't want to miss.  Their second release has just made it to Internet.  There are changes between the original release and this one.  A search result will bring up results from the partner services within Live Roots.  This may be anything from results in books/microfilm in the Family History Library Catalog to auction items on e-Bay.  They also show subscription database connections.  

Basically this brings up a number of resources and links that you would possibly not find directly on Google and also have to spend a good deal of time searching web site by web site.  

The second release adds project management tools for registered members.  You can view recent activity, profiles of your brickwall ancestors, related resources, research history (a very dynamic research log), availability to catalog your own private genealogy library, a research notepad and more.  

One web site that does it all?  Yes!  Begin with the first release and explore Live Roots.  To access the second release you have to become a Team Roots member.  This is a free service with password protection.  

While you are exploring Live Roots, take a tour around  Incidentally, I write a monthly article, Tracing Lines, for them.  Add it to your list of monthly reads.  

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Genealogy Events

Ah ... summer!  It's that time when we love to travel, go to family reunions, locate cemeteries and go to genealogy events.  There are many great genealogy conferences, jamborees, seminars, and expos being held between the last days of winter and the return of winter.  Sometimes it is difficult to work all of them into a busy schedule.  

It would be nice with one click on Internet to locate a listing of ALL genealogy events. However, if you are traveling and want to take in something of interest, here are some hints. The USGenWeb Genealogical Events Project has a few states with listings, contacts and links. Search the GenForum Upcoming Genealogy Events Forum for something of interest. 

The National Archives in Washington, DC offers many workshops throughout the summer of 2009.  These pertain to anything from military and land records to beginning research in the National Archives.  

Until the snow flies, these are some genealogy events you might want to consider attending.  

July 10-11  Lincoln, Nebraska  A Genealogy & Land Records Symposium; Homestead National Monument and Southeast Community College 

July 16-19  Lufkin, Texas  13th Annual Genealogy Conference; Steps to Success, sponsored by Angelina College 

July 17-18  Sheridan, Wyoming  Family History Expo (You Go Genealogy Girls will be attending; don't miss our blog!)  

July 18  Waltham, Massachusetts  The Massachusetts Genealogical Council's annual seminar 

July 18  Tucson, Arizona  one day seminar on locating immigrant ancestors; Arizona State Genealogical Society  

July 24-25  Milwaukee, Wisconsin  Annual Seminar of the Federation of East European Family History Societies and the Society for German Genealogy of Eastern Europe 

July 28-31  Provo, Utah  Conference on Family History and Genealogy sponsored by BYU; Strengthening Ties That Bind Families Together Forever

August 2-7  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  29th Annual IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy  sponsored by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia 

Aug 26-30  Orkney Springs, Virginia  Land Cruise sponsored by Wholly Genes, Inc.  

Aug 28-29  Sandy, Utah  Family History Expo

Sept 2-5  Little Rock, Arkansas  Federation of Genealogical Societies and Arkansas Genealogical Society; Passages Through Time 

Sept 11-13  Spokane, Washington  Washington State Genealogical Society Annual Conference

Sept 25-26  Springfield, Missouri  Ozarks Genealogical Society Annual Conference 

Sept 26  Bangor, Maine  Maine Genealogical Society Annual Conference

Sept 26  Naperville, Illinois  Fox Valley Genealogical Society Annual All-Day Conference "Colonial Connections"  

Sept 26  Tampa, Florida   Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa) Fall Seminar 

Oct 2-3  Neenah, Wisconsin  Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Annual Fall Seminar 

Oct 10  Winchester, Virginia  The Virginia Genealogical Society and The Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society Conference 

Oct 16-17  Redding, California  Family History Expo 

Oct 26-31  Salt Lake City, Utah  Family History Expos sponsored Family History Library Research Retreat

That's it folks.  The snow starts flying by the end of October here in Nebraska!  

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Love Those Obituaries

Genealogists love obituaries, or obits are they like to call them.  This has been a week of locating interesting obituaries.  

Earlier in the week I was reading my hometown newspaper online and discovered that a friend of my late father's had passed away.  This is one of those online newspapers that requires a subscription to read the entire obituary.  However, I knew that the local radio station's web page also posted obituaries, in full.  Clicking to that I started to read the obituary.  Not far into it music began to play.  I was startled and thought perhaps my iTunes had strangely began playing on its own.  Instead I recognized it to be from the jazz era and music that my father also enjoyed.  He and the friend had served in World War II ... my father in the Pacific Theatre and the friend in the European Theatre.  They both survived and lived long lives.  My father also played trumpet in professional jazz bands.  The tune was "Memories of You" being performed by Benny Goodman.  The obituary and the music brought back memories.  Then I realized that genealogy is about memories ... our own memories and those of our ancestors and even friends.  

While in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City I discovered a book that indexed newspaper obituaries and death notices of the Rushville Times, Rushville, Schuyler Co., Illinois.  These were from the early 1900s.  I was somewhat startled to see the name of an old uncle, W.W. Tharp who died in 1904, I thought in Oregon.  He was buried in Latah Co., Idaho next to his wife, Lucy.  The index entry made mention of Eldon, Iowa which is in Wapello County.  As soon as I got home from Utah, I wrote to the Schuyler County Historical Jail Museum and Genealogical Center in Rushville, Illinois.  According to their web page, they have the Rushville Times and will do research.  Within a few days I received a photocopy of W.W. Tharp's obituary.  He had been living in California, Oregon and Idaho since the 1850s.  Shortly before his death on 18 December 1904 he visited relatives in Schuyler Co., Illinois.  After traveling to Eldon, Iowa to visit his younger brother, George W. Tharp, he became ill and died. Good lesson ... never assume where your relatives and ancestors may have died.  

Browsing through obituaries on NewsBank Inc., America's Obituaries and Death Notices for the surname Zehring in Indiana, I spotted one for a lady who passed away on 31 May 2009. Because the surname is unusual, I thought perhaps I could figure out her connection to the family by reading her full obituary and then trying to retrieve records.  Using census and Indiana marriage records, I began the task of determining the father of her husband and then progressing backwards.  The husband's father was born in 1882, but eventually I discovered his parents.  In the process, I located many marriages and census enumerations for other Zehring relatives.  One obituary can lead to many discoveries ... it just takes time to find them! 

Incidentally, if you are interested in NewsBank Inc. and other subscription databases, you can use all of them with an out of district library card from the Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Missouri.  You don't need to go there, just research the databases at home on your computer.  The out of district card is $20 annually and a good buy.  Of course, if you want to go to the library, that's okay, too!  

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Laramie County Library-Cheyenne, Wyoming

The Laramie County Library in Cheyenne, Wyoming is a great place to stop and stay.  I was there a few weeks ago doing some research on my way to Salt Lake City.  The genealogy section is extensive and contains not only Wyoming materials but for other areas east of the Great Plains, such as New England and Virginia.   

2200 Pioneer Avenue 
Cheyenne, WY 82001 
Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
Friday, Saturday  10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Sunday  1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

This excellent collection, including microfiche and periodicals is cataloged on WYLDCat (Wyoming Libraries Database catalog).  Their surname index is also cataloged.  Some of the highlights of their genealogical collection: 
microfilm from the Family History Center (indefinite) 
10,000 volumes of books and periodicals 
state, county, town histories 
probate, land, church, vital records and cemetery records 
census film 
family histories and newsletters 
The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 
Rhode Island Vital Records 
The War of the Rebellion series 
American Genealogical and Biographical Index
Massachusetts Vital Records  

Their microfiche collection is extensive and consists primarily of University Microfilm's Genealogy and Local History collection.  They have thousands of titles, which include family histories, local histories, periodicals and vital records from the thirteen original colonies.  On microfiche they also have the Boston Transcripts.  

The library has ample parking and easy access.  If you are traveling I-80, take a break and visit the library.  Or plan a special trip there.  You will be glad you stopped!