Posted in Maps, Research tips

My Week at SLIG – New tools to share with you: TopoView


I recently attended a week full of classes at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and have come back with my head swimming–it’s full of ideas for tools, websites, repostitories and methodologies I want to share with you.

I’ve always been a fan of USGS topo maps—I used to order the 24,000 scale maps directly from the USGS and was quite pleased with my collection. I love looking at these “close up” maps that have dots representing buildings, and have cemeteries and tiny details labeled. Then I discovered the ability to download maps from the USGS website.  Even better!  But even then the interface did not feel entirely useful or slick.  In recent years I have been on the website for the The National Map, by the USGS, and have been happy to see it become more user-friendly. Check out the homepage for The National Map and you will discover the Historical Topographic Map Collection. Continue reading “My Week at SLIG – New tools to share with you: TopoView”

Posted in Land and property, Military, Research tips

7 Key Pieces of Evidence from John Gooch’s Bounty Land Warrant File

Back in April of 2016 I wrote about a new discovery I had made in my 30-year search for facts about John Gooch, my 3rd great-grandfather. After all these years, new information rarely surfaces, so I was excited to find him in a new online database for Bounty Land Warrant Applications on Fold.3.  John Gooch’s life has been a study in correlation of indirect evidence, and the facts provided in this new record added substantially to the study.

John Gooch – War of 1812 Service Record Index  (Fold3 database)

Years ago I had found evidence on an index card of a John Gooch who served in the War of 1812 in the North Carolina Militia, but was never quite certain it was my John Gooch, who died in Austin, Texas. I was pleased to see that direct evidence in the Bounty Land Warrant Application file was exactly what I needed to verify this connection. Continue reading “7 Key Pieces of Evidence from John Gooch’s Bounty Land Warrant File”

Posted in Research tips

Free Digital Newspaper Projects Out West

Free newspaper projects online Out West3

I’m always looking for free resources online, and I especially like finding historical newspapers.  More and more states have newspaper projects, and the West has some pretty good coverage.

Newspapers are an excellent record group for Western States researchers since they existed in many places before official vital records, statehood, or censuses.  There are many individual digitization projects in this region, so you are bound to have some luck Googling “digital newspapers in (city, county, state)”, but I wanted to compile a list of major statewide resources.

The Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website hosts many of these statewide newspaper projects through their National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), so some of these links will take you to a state’s own project through their state library or archive, and some will take you to the NDNP link.  It’s best to check both links, as there may or may not be overlap in the online collections.  Here are links to the projects:  Continue reading “Free Digital Newspaper Projects Out West”

Posted in Biographical, Familysearch

“Define Your Dash” with FamilySearch’s New #52Stories Project

"Define Your Dash" image from the FamilySearch blog
“Define Your Dash” image from the FamilySearch blog

I’m really excited about this! FamilySearch has just announced the #52StoriesProject, which is a fun and easy way to begin to write your personal history.

FamilySearch has 52 weeks’ worth of questions, each template with a different theme such as Goals and Achievement, Love and Friendship, and Events and Milestones.  Here’s a glimpse of one set of questions in the Home and Hearth category:  Continue reading ““Define Your Dash” with FamilySearch’s New #52Stories Project”

Posted in Online learning

Improve Your Research Skills in 2017 with Free Online Classes

Ah, a new year is on its way!  What are your goals?  Is this the year you take your research skills up another notch? I feel I’ve been at a plateau the last few years and it’s time to make an effort to improve. One of my strategies is to watch genealogy classes online while I am on the treadmill at the gym, thus killing two birds with one stone.

A number of years ago I had a brilliant idea along those lines—hook up treadmills to the microfilm readers at the Family History Library. Running forward would crank the film ahead, and running backward would crank it back. What do you think? In the meantime, I’ll get my exercise with the help of webinars, YouTube videos, podcasts and a pair of earbuds.

Here are links to some of the sites with instructive genealogy presentations: Continue reading “Improve Your Research Skills in 2017 with Free Online Classes”