Thursday, July 29, 2010

Genealogy Software Reviews

If you are in the market for genealogical software, there are many ways to learn about software and the features. Most of the software is available for PCs, but there are also excellent programs available for the Mac. You can visit with other genealogists about what they use, check out the developer's web pages, but a comprehensive place to look for information is GenSoft Reviews.

They review 523 programs for genealogists. These include everything from foreign products to the well-known Legacy, Roots Magic, Family Tree Maker and Reunion for the Mac. Some of the programs are free, some shareware or for purchase. There are links for obtaining more information. Each program is given a dated review. The stars accompanying the review are for the enjoyment of using it, use it often, easy input, useful output and overall rating.

Looking at this it seems like ages ago that I was hand-designing my genealogy charts on my first computer. Maybe it was ages ago! There are plenty of products on the market today to satisfy the genealogist's needs ... just start looking at them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Research in Missouri

Genealogists never have enough time in the day. When there are web links all in one place, it just makes my day. I was thrilled to find Tom Caulley's Missouri Genealogy "Omni" Research Site.

The web page begins with National Wide/World Wide Research Sites that are helpful to researchers, such as USGenWeb, RootsWeb E-Mail List and FindAGrave. Next are Statewide Research Sites, such as the Missouri Archives Digital Heritage Collection, Missouri Archives Death Certificates 1910-1959 and Missouri Archives Soldier's Records 1812-WWI.

There are 114 counties in Missouri and each county has 15 to 17 research links. Caulley has added information on the date the county was created, parent counties, links, plus a Missouri map showing the location of the county. There is also an area for counties whose names were changed, along with links to further information.

One of the most interesting areas on the web page is Missouri Counties in Order of Formation. Did you know that those original five counties in 1812 were Cape Girardeau, New Madrid, Saint Charles, Sainte Genevieve and Saint Louis? Again with links, this segment is extremely helpful, as well as the maps showing their location when created. When using the maps, be sure to click on them for a larger image.

I wish all states had this type of web page. Get the hint ambitious genealogists?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Out for Research

My granddaughter (age 12) and I are leaving for a research, family, fun trip. We will do genealogical research in courthouses and libraries plus visit cemeteries. On Saturday we will help to host a group of genealogists for Genealogy in the Park. Now how much fun will that be? We have Lil' Red packed and ready to hit the road. If you don't know about Lil' Red, follow the genealogy episodes of The You Go Genealogy Girls. We even have packed jelly beans!

She's my budding genealogist. Very willingly she will walk through cemeteries with me and look through out courthouse documents. While I view it as a history/geography lesson for her, I secretly hope that she is learning genealogy and will carry on someday.

Recently she announced that in 2011 she WILL be attending a Family History Expo with granny. That will be such fun! Hope she doesn't change her mind before 2011.

More next week on genealogical research!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Patriotic Ancestors

In that small log cabin in the woods of northwestern North Carolina, July 4th, 1776 dawned like any other day. There was no present knowledge of what was happening further north in the city of Philadelphia. Yet in time my ancestor would be caught up in the fight to gain independence from England. Little did they know at the time that their intentions would result in a strong nation known as the United States of America.

Along with his brother, he fought at King's Mountain and was instrumental in the capture of Tories who had been pillaging and killing people in northwest North Carolina. My 6th great grandfather survived the Revolutionary War and died an old man in 1835. Today I like to think about him and the changes it made in his life as well as the legacy he left me.

In particular, today is a day we should celebrate not only with fireworks, but with homage to the men and women who remained loyal to their belief that a new nation could and should be formed. There were no fireworks over my ancestor's log cabin and no patriotic songs being sung. Before and after the war, they went about their business.

Do you have Revolutionary War ancestors? Recently released the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900. is offering free searching of their Revolutionary War collection until July 7th. You don't have long to take advantage of this free offer. Keep in mind that's Revolutionary War pension files contain every document within the file and are fully indexed.

If you suspect or know about a Revolutionary War ancestor, be sure to check out what is available online at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). There is a lot of good material to read there as well. The following are some of the best web pages for the Revolutionary War on Internet. I am sure you'll find more. However, if you put "Revolutionary War" into a Google search, you will come up with over 35 million hits. So begin with my list!

Keep in mind that not every man or woman took arms to serve in the war. Some provided comfort and sustenance for the troops and thus receive the designation of being patriots during the Revolutionary War. My 4th great grandmother supplied beef to the army in South Carolina and was awarded payment from the State of South Carolina. No matter what your ancestor did during that time period, he or she is worthy of at least one firecracker and one patriotic song today. For their strife ... God Bless America.