Thursday, March 15, 2018

March 14 DIRT Meeting

Our focus was on Immigration, click here for the  handout, which includes some useful weblinks.  During the session each of the members used their own computers to explore some of the sources such as National Archives, Ellis Island and Online Passenger Lists.  We then explored the power of using The Family History Guide (click here) to find State and Country resources, with each member exploring the website and asking questions.
March 7, 2018 DIRT Meeting for beginners

We discussed what people discovered with Family Tree Maker and using the hints from FamilySearch.  Great discussion about sources and merging files.

Our main focus was on "The Family History Guide", CLICK HERE, this is a great organization of sources for all sorts of research materials.  Each participant used their own computers to do FamilySearch education, investigate country level resources and then dive into the State level resources.  Everyone found new sources of information and places to do further investigation.  It was a lot to digest, so we will do some further discussion and use of this website.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February 28 Meeting:

I want to thank Brenda Larsen for the excellent presentation/discussion that she lead on "Lineage Societies" and the use of the "DAR Database" for doing research.  Please see links below for additional websites on the subject.  Then we had a brief overview of "Researching Your Revolutionary War Ancestors".  This short overview covered the time periods of the war and what/where documents can be found to help with your genealogical research.  We reviewed the three types of records (1) Compiled Service Records, (2) Pensions and (3) Bounty Land Records.

Weblinks recommended during presentations

·         DAR Databases: Click here
·         SAR Patriot Index: Click here
·         Revolutionary Service Records: Click here
·         Fold3: Click here
·         Hereditary Societies with Functional Websites: Click here
·         Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension & Statement Rosters: Click here
·         Seabrook history: Click here
·         Ellis Island: Click here
·         U.S. National Archive: Click here
·         Library of Virginia: Click here
·         Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution: Clickhere

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Denise Doyon submitted this link to 5 free sites: Click here
This includes (1) FamilySearch, (2) Digital Public Library of America, (3) The Library of Congress - Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers, (4) Digital State Archives and (5) Google Books.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February 21st Meeting

During this meeting we discussed in detail how to download images and documents from to the personal computer.  How to best use the FamilySearch hints in Family Tree Maker as well as some of the primary entry process in Family Tree Maker.  All the attendees used their own computers to find their own information and experiment with how to do the discussed processes.  Then there was the discussion of how to organize the digital genealogy, the use of Worldcat / Interlibrary loan to get historical books. and finally the master genealogy checklist.  Use the following links to get to the key information:

Organizing your Digital Genealogy handout: click here
Genealogy checklist: click here
Homework: click here click here

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February 14: Happy Valentine's Day

Our main focus for this meeting was on:

(1) Death Certificates and what can be learned from them, each participant had great insight on what to look for and how to identify discrepancies.  One recommended website was USGENWEB.ORG: Click here

(2) States Research Project - each group from last meeting reported on what they found when researching vital records in a specific state or county

(3) Quick demo with Family Tree Maker on how to print out charts, descendants lists and making a book

(4) The research log (link) mentioned in the February 7th meeting has been updated.

Great discussion.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

February 7th Meeting- Beginners Part II

Another great session with 15 attendees.  We started the meeting by discussing the Pedigree chart / Family Group Sheet homework.  It was great to hear the new discoveries of information and gaps.  It was stressed to Start with Yourself, create a good foundation with source documents and then work slowly backward in time?  How many of you have your own parents birth, marriage and death (if appropriate) certificates?  What about those Aunts and Uncles?

As you begin to use search databases, interviews, and other means to get information - you should (must) use a research log to keep track of not only the path to finding new information, but also those deadends so you do not repeat that same search in the future.

Here are some example Research logs - use one per person to research

pdf document for printing out log: Click here
MS Excel spreadsheet with tabs for each name to research: Click here

A demonstration of Family Tree Maker was given.  It is important to start your tree and grow it.  You can use an online "internet" tree like or or others (which you may do anyway for searching of other trees).  You may also want to have a genealogy software program on your computer for disconnected work and having more control over your tree and the ability to publish information for others.  Here is a short video on why you may want to use Family Tree Maker: Click here  Decide if you want to purchase this software and download this to your computer: Click here

Next was the use of (free tree building and database for searching).  Everyone then created an account in FamilySearch and looked up some family members to experience using for searching records and the worldwide family tree.

TIP: Once you have a account and have connected your tree, whenever you are in someone else's "person" view, near the top of the page below the person's name, you can select the 
and if you are related to the person, it will show the family tree relationship, this is great when finding people from your DNA searches to find relationships.  Try it - have some fun finding cousins.


  1. Use the research log for at least two of your ancestor searches
  2. Use to research at least two of your ancestors (grand parents) and find new information
  3. Decide if you want to purchase the Family Tree Maker software or continue with just paper
Have fun, see you next time.