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 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.

As it turns out, this year I actually am going to RootsTech, but I’ll be busy manning two different booths in Expo Hall, so I’m going to take advantage of the recorded sessions that will be available after the event.  If you happen to be coming this year, stop by the Utah Genealogical Association booth or the ICAPGen booth and say hi.  I’ll be the one in the fancy ball gown.

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.

Then there’s The Robin’s Nest for sandwiches, soups, and salads:

Around the corner on Broadway are Spitz Mediterranean street food, Rich’s Burgers and Grub (highly recommended but maybe a little pricey); Toaster’s sandwiches, and Padeli’s street Greek. I might have to have a falafel taste-off between Spitz and Padeli’s. There’s also Barbacoa Mexican food on the corner of Broadway and Main. Wow, I’m making myself hungry again!

Posted in Conferences and workshops, Institutes

SLIG 2018: Genealogy and Chinese New Year

On a lunch break from SLIG yesterday, I decided to go out for Chinese food and got a nice surprise when I opened my fortune cookie. What genealogist wouldn’t want to have a fortune like this?

I’m looking forward to the Year of the Dog!

Posted in Conferences and workshops, Institutes, Technology

SLIG 2018: (I don’t) know it all


And the good news is that I don’t need to know it all, because genealogy is an “open book” test. You don’t have to have all knowledge in your head, but you do need to know where to look to get the answers. And coming to SLIG is like reading 20 books in one week! So, halfway through my third day here (remember, I attended SLIG Tech Day on Saturday) I’m fully immersed in my little world of research methodologies and resources.

Fortunately for me, there is enough empty space in my head I am not yet in danger of overload. We’ll see how I feel by Thursday night. Also fortunately for me, there is a shop at the Hilton that sells Snickers and Twix. I think they stocked up on these special “Know-it-All” Snickers just for SLIG!

I mentioned that I would let you know how it’s going with my tech gear. Not bad, actually. At first I tried to follow the syllabus material via PDF on my laptop, but found it a little awkward to navigate the document. I’ve been keeping handwritten notes on my iPad using the Penultimate app and that has been very smooth and easy. I like it a lot!

I tried following and annotating the syllabus in it’s printed form for a few classes, but because I like having a digital version of notes and materials I switched over to the PDF version in my iPad’s iBooks. It is very easy to highlight and make brief notes right in the document using my Apple Pencil, and switching back and forth between the iBooks document and my handwritten notes in Penultimate has been super easy. I found that by doing it all on my iPad I was able to focus on the presentation more and really digest what what being said, and it helped me to follow the syllabus material more closely. I think I’ll stick with this routine for the rest of the week. Plus, there is less clutter on the table in front of me this way!


Posted in Conferences and workshops, Family History Library, Institutes

SLIG 2018: Getting around town

If you’re not a local, or even if you are and you don’t want to worry about bringing a car, you’ll be glad to know Salt Lake City has great public transportation as well as Uber and Lyft options.   If you are coming from the Salt Lake International airport, hop on the Trax green line rail and ride it all the way to the Gallivan stop. Walk around to the west side of the block and you’ll be at the Hilton—SLIG’s home.

There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance, but if you’d like to pick up some groceries for the week just hop back on the Trax at the Gallivan stop and head north to the City Center stop.  Then walk a block and a half east to the Harmon’s grocery store where you can stock up on snacks or prepared foods.

When your classes end for the day and you want to spend time at the Family History Library, SLIG provides shuttles from the Hilton to the library and back again.  If you’d rather walk you can head straight north three blocks from the Hilton—about 3/8 of a mile.

If you’d like to explore downtown Salt Lake City, Temple Square, or the City Creek mall, the Trax rail is free in that area.  UTA has a website with maps and schedules to help you plan.

The Temple Square stop will deposit you near the Family History Library, Symphony Hall, the LDS Church History Museum, and Temple Square of course.  You can attend live broadcasts of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sunday mornings, or tour the grounds. The State Archives are very nearby, as well as other excellent research repositories and historic landmarks.

My new warm coat, as seen in a mirrored window!

If you forgot to bring a warm coat, or you realize your California winter coat is just too wimpy, City Creek or Gateway mall can save you! And I can always make time for a little shopping…