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Posted in Genealogy Toolkit

Dayna’s Genealogy Toolkit

Dayna Jacobs, AG®   https://ongrannystrail.com/

toolkit piktochart

This toolkit is full of my go-to links that are (mostly) not record repositories, but rather are tools to help me find, interpret, and organize my research and records. I think you’ll want to keep them handy, too.

Abbreviations & Acronyms for Genealogy – What do they mean?

Animated Atlas – U.S. History Timeline

Archive Grid – Enter a zip code to identify nearby archives

BLM-GLO Records – Find U.S. federal land patents and locate parcels on a map

Cheat Sheet – Boolean Genealogy Searches – Online searches made easy from OGT

Cheat Sheets – Family Tree Magazine – A variety of helps

Cheat Sheet – Table of Wars and Ages of Servicemen –  Determine which war your ancestor might have been involved with

Citation Creator – EasyBib – Help for source citations

Cloud Convert – Convert files from one format to another

David Rumsey Digital Map Collection – Excellent map resource

Earth Point township and range tools – Locate land in the public domain

Easy Google Genealogy Searcher – Google search templates for genealogists

Encyclopedia of Genealogy – by Dick Eastman

Evernote – Organize your research

Free Forms and Charts – Family Tree Magazine

Free Forms and Charts – Rootsweb

Genealogy Gophers – Searches in genealogy books digitized by FamilySearch

Geographic Names Info System (GNIS) – Supercharged online gazetteer

Historical Map Archive – A look back in time

Internet Archive – For digitized county and family histories

Learning Center – Free online courses at FamilySearch

Linkpendium – Links to genealogy resources organized by locality

Map of US – Interactive map of the U.S. and county boundaries by year

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – Order land entry files and pension files

Newspapers – Library of Congress: Chronicling America

Research Report Template – Download this editable template from OGT

Research Wiki – FamilySearch – Huge knowledge base for researchers

Surname Distribution Maps – See where surnames are clustered geographically

The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy – Online version of a classic

Timeline Template – Download this editable template from OGT

Topoview – Download historical or current topographical maps from the USGS

Town and County Database (Rootsweb) – Enter the name of a town to find the county

Vital Records – Where to write

Worldcat – Find libraries and items for interlibrary loan

The ICAPGen ℠ service mark and the Accredited Genealogist® and AG® registered marks are the sole property of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists.  All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Research tips

How I digitized my research and gave it all to you…Part 2: I used my phone!

In a previous post I discussed how I digitized my genealogy files and added them to the FamilySearch Family Tree as a way to share them with relatives and archive them for posterity.   As awe-inspiring as that post was, I am happy to report I’ve found an even easier way to accomplish this!

And if the idea of sharing ALL your files with anyone is too overwhelming to think about, how about an easy way to just share a few? We’ve all got a few documents or photos that nobody else in the family has, and we can all benefit from sharing those unique sources.  Whether you have just a few items or a file cabinet full, the methodology is the same for digitizing it and sharing it using the FamilySearch Family Tree or Memories app for phones and tablets. Yep, I’m not exactly ditching my full-size scanner, but I want to show you how you can use any scanner app to easily digitize records and upload them to the FamilySearch Family Tree.

Lately I’ve been giving serious thought to what will happen to all my files after I’m gone, and I do not want anyone else to have to sort through them to determine what’s worth keeping.  (Yep, I still have a few binders left—I didn’t actually give it all to you the first go-around.) At the Family History Center where I volunteer someone recently dropped off a huge amount of boxes containing their parent’s research.  It is largely useless to anyone in this format, even though everything was in tidy file folders.  It made me sad to see.  Trust me—nobody wants your boxes of stuff!  That does not mean it is not extremely valuable to someone.  It’s just that the “stuff” will never be seen by that someone.  What I’m suggesting in this post is a way to almost guarantee it will be seen by that someone who cares, and all your years of researching will be passed on in a way that will interest those who see it.  It will have context and meaning.

I should start off by giving you a little background on why I choose the FamilySearch Family Tree to share my files.

First, the Family Tree is a collaborative (shared) tree, meaning whatever I add will be viewable to my relatives, and whatever they add will be viewable to me.  If my cousin adds an old newspaper clipping to our grandfather’s page, it will show up for all of us to see on “our” trees.  We do not have to share files back and forth because there is only one tree.  If my children log in to their accounts, they will see those same pictures attached to their great-grandfather.

Second, the FamilySearch Family Tree is not going away.  The things I share there will be available to my kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’ kids’.

There are several ways to add your digitized files to the Family Tree.  It can be done from within the FamilySearch website directly onto the tree, it can be done using the Family Tree app on your phone or tablet, or it can be done using the FamilySearch Memories app.  Today I’d like to show you how to add these documents using the phone apps.  To try this out yourself you will first need to create a free FamilySearch account.

How to add documents to the Family Tree using FamilySearch Family Tree app

The Family Tree app looks like this.  It is free.  FT

You will also need to download a scanner app to your phone or tablet.  Two I like are Genius Scan and Turbo Scan.  I think they both have a free version.

Download the apps to your phone or tablet, find a document you’d like to attach to your online tree, and follow these steps:

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  1. Take photo of document with a phone scanner app such as Genius Scan. It squares up the corners of the document and crops background so all you have left is a scan of the document.  (Can use other apps if preferred.)
  2. Export to your camera’s photos (click on square with arrow).  NOTE:  The save to photo option only appears if you choose JPG format.
  3. Open the FamilySearch Family Tree app to the person you want to add the document to.
  4. Select “Memories”
  5. Click the green plus sign
  6. Click “Add document”img_7086
  7. Your camera roll will appear.  Tap on the document you want to attach.
  8. Click “Upload”
  9. SAVE
  10. Delete the document from your GeniusScan and camera roll if desired.

The document will now appear as a “memory” in the Family Tree. There, you can open up the image and assign a title, add an event date and place, provide a description, and tag everyone in the document so it will appear as a memory in their Memories area.  You can even record an audio file that will be attached to the document!

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How to add documents to the Family Tree using FamilySearch Memories app

The FamilySearch Memories app looks like this.  It is also free.  memories

Download it to your phone or tablet, find a document you’d like to attach to your online tree, and follow these steps:

  1. Take photo of document with a phone scanner app such as Genius Scan. It squares up the corners of the document and crops background so all you have left is a scan of the document.  (Can use other apps if preferred.)
  2. Export to your camera’s photos (click on square with arrow).  NOTE:  The save to photo option only appears if you choose JPG format.
  3. Open the Memories app
  4. Tap the green plus sign
  5. Tap “Add Document”
  6. Your phone’s camera roll will appear
  7. Tap the document you want to upload to the Family Tree and then tap “Upload”
  8. SAVE
  9. Your document will now appear in your app’s photo/document gallery
  10. Tap the document and then add a title
  11. Notice the microphone?  You can talk about this document and the audio file will be attached to the document
  12. Last and most important step:  Tap the silhouette with the green plus sign and then tap the image.  This will allow you to “tag” the image with the name of the person in the tree you are attaching this file to.   If you do not tag it, it will just be a floater in your photo gallery, and will not be attached to an individual’s Memories area.  Above, in the Family Tree app this step is not necessary because you first choose the individual before adding the memory.

What do you think?  Have you used either of these apps this way?  The apps allow you to take a photo of a document from within the app, but I prefer using a scanner app first because it creates a nicer-looking document with squared corners and no background.  The Memories app does allow for a speedy workflow, scanning a bunch of documents first, then opening up the gallery and tagging each image, but try out both methods and see which one works best for you.

 

 

Posted in Census, Non-population schedules, Research tips

Looking for Easy Access to Federal Non-Population Census Schedules?

As genealogists we all use the federal population schedules (you know…the censuses).  They are one of the most reliable tools in our research toolboxes when searching for ancestors in the United States—the hammers and duct tape of genealogy.

What are non-population schedules?

But what about those non-population schedules–you know (or maybe you are hearing this for the first time), the schedules for manufacturing, agriculture, mortality, and what were called “defective, dependent, and delinquent” classes.  Maybe they are the 1/4″ socket wrench in your toolbox that doesn’t get used much, or maybe they don’t get used at all because you don’t know where to find them.  (For a thorough discussion of non-population schedules see this article and links on the National Archives website.)

Well, maybe an agricultural schedule won’t give you the names of an entire household or your ancestor’s birthplace or date of immigration, but who wouldn’t like to know the value of their ancestor’s farm and farming implements, what crops they grew, and what kind of livestock they raised?

We can use these non-population schedules to inform us in the absence of land and tax records and for help in distinguishing between two people of the same name.  Other non-population schedules provided valuable health and sociological data.  The 1850 and 1860 agriculture schedules are also useful for those researching enslaved ancestors.

Here’s a snippit of the 1860 Agriculture Schedule for San Saba County, Texas, and the first two individuals on the page are my second and third great-grandfathers–Thomas Gooch and his father-in-law William Jennings.  The third individual is Thomas’s brother-in-law Strampkey Jennings.

Agriculture Schedule for San Saba TX 1860

How do we find them?  (The easy way!)

So how do we find these non-population schedules?  The easiest way I know is to access tables in the FamilySearch Wiki which have links to online images and indexes for each state.  Here’s what the table for California looks like, and a link to the page if you want to access the live links.

Non-population schedules for California on FS

In the FamilySearch Wiki these tables exist for every state.  Just enter the search terms     “[State] census” and scroll down the results until you see the table.

The table contains links to images at Ancestry and FamilySearch.  Pay attention to the different columns; if you have a personal Ancestry account use the “Ancestry Home” column, but if you are accessing it from a Family History Center or a library that has the institution version of Ancestry click on one of those columns for free access. FamilySearch has limited availability, but it is free.

 

Posted in Familysearch, Research tips

New Useful Tool on FamilySearch You Will Love

 

“Various Tools” photo by George Tsartsianidis on Getty Images

I just discovered a new tool on Family Search Family Tree that is soooo helpful.  I don’t know how long it has been on the site, but they are adding new things all the time so maybe it hasn’t been long, or I just haven’t noticed it.  But  it is something that allows you to take all the information that has been indexed from a record, copy it to your clipboard, and paste it in whatever word processor or genealogy program you want, all nicely formatted and with a complete source citation.

Wow, if I had had this years ago it would have saved me a ton of time!

Here is how to access this new tool:

1. Open a person’s page in the FamilySearch Family Tree. Click on FamilySearch on the right side of the page in the “Search Records” area.  This will tell FamilySearch to search for records which match this person in its vast database.

2.  When you see a record that looks like a match in the search results list, click on the document icon to bring up an abstract and possibly an image of the record. (If you see a camera icon you know there will be an image available.)

3.  When the record abstract comes up, click on the “Tools” box.

4.  Under the “Tools” drop down menu click on “Copy to Clipboard”.

5.  Open up a word processor or the notes area of your genealogy program and “Paste”. An abstract of the record, complete with source citation will appear in your document or program!

Keep in mind this only works with records found in the FamilySearch database, and not the other websites linked to the “Search Records” box, but you can experiment with copying and pasting directly from records on Ancestry, Find My Past, and MyHeritage.

Posted in Conferences and workshops, Research tips

RootsTech 2018 – And You Are [Not] There

I was not invited to Prom in 1975.  Not that I am bitter.  But have you ever felt left out?  Sometimes I feel that way when RootsTech rolls around. It’s like Prom for 20,000 genealogists, minus the disco ball and awkward photos (it was the 70s, ya know!)

It seems like everyone is going, and maybe you wish you could be there but it’s not happening for one reason or another.  I hear your *sigh* and want you to know I’m here for you.  There’s no need to feel like everyone else but you is going to the party. I’m not bitter.  In fact, I’m kinda excited, because RootsTech has made it possible for all of us to join in the fun!  Here is a link to their online streaming schedule so once a day you can put on your tuxedo or ball gown, settle in to a comfortable armchair, and soak up the RootsTech vibes. Continue reading “RootsTech 2018 – And You Are [Not] There”

Posted in Conferences and workshops, Institutes, Research tips

SLIG 2018: Need to change up your lunch options?

After five days at SLIG you might want to add some variety to your life by trying out a new lunch spot. Did you know there are some great little places within a block and a half of the Hilton? Just head east on Broadway (300 S.) and cross Main Street to find a cluster of eateries you might not know about. Some I have tried, and some come highly recommended by my son, who worked a few blocks away for ten years. On Main Street you will find J-Dawgs for amazing and cheap hot dogs. Continue reading “SLIG 2018: Need to change up your lunch options?”