Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mark Your Calendars!

Washington, D.C. Field Trip

We are trying to determine if there is any interest in exploring the possibilities of a field trip to Washington, D.C. in the Fall of 2016.

The National Genealogical Society is traveling to Washington next month for an educational and research trip.  We are thinking about something similar as far as an agenda. Obviously, we will be doing it on a much smaller scale - but, at the very least, would like to include a trip to the Library of Congress and the National Archives to include a personal tour for the group and access to genealogy research materials.

If you would like to take a look at the NGS agenda you can access their website by clicking here.  In the meantime, please take a look at the poll in the right-hand column of this blog and VOTE. Whether or not we start exploring this trip is going to depend on how much interest exists.

The poll closes at the end of November and we will update you with the results as soon as they are counted!

17 Genealogy Things To Do If You Only Have A Few Minutes

I love posts like this!  This one comes from Diane Haddad at  She posted it back in September of 2014 and I found it stashed away in my Evernote inbox.  This is a great little list of things you can get done in a short amount of time.  Click on the Family Tree Magazine link above start getting more genealogy stuff done.

It's amazing what you can do in 5 minutes!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New Family Tree Legacy Educational Website

For those of you who are looking for courses, classes, seminars and other genealogy-related education, it doesn't get much better than Legacy Family Tree. They often offer free seminars, but access to many (most) of their educational resources require membership.  I do not have an annual membership because I don't attend that many courses. What I do instead is periodically check out what is coming up and if there is something I really want to sign up for, I get a $9.95 membership for just that month. That means I am paying $9.95 for a course.  Not a bad deal.

They have just launched a new education website. You can find out more information about Legacy Family Tree resources by clicking here.

The 1939 Register

Ellie Burnaford was kind enough to share this link to the 1939 register.  For any of you digging for your roots in the U.K., this could be a very valuable resource.  It will be become public and searchable on Monday 2 November on FindMyPast.

This register is a comprehensive survey of the civil population of England and Wales.  The lives of 41 million people, captured in one day in September 1939.  It provides and interesting snapshot of a nation on the eve of war.

The survey contains the names addresses and occupations of everyone in England and Wales at the time and was used as the basis for rationing, identity cards and, in post-war Britain, the NHS.  Want to know where your family was and what they were doing when the register was taken?

To read the original announcement on FindMyPast, click here.

Hope you will check it out!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

300 Awesome FREE Things

Just before I left on vacation, I cleaned out my Evernote Inbox.  This is the place where I stash everything I come across that I want to do something with "later".  When I started purging - I had 172 notes.  I started with the oldest and worked my way up to the newest and found this little gem.  I had forgotten all about this "TheNextWeb" post.  So here it is!

Scroll through the list and see if there is anything you can use!

Happy Hunting!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Building A Genealogy Reference Library

For those of you who are looking for a nice list of reference materials for your genealogy library, Linda Stufflebean recently did a great post on her blog Empty Branches on the Family Tree.  Hope you will take a moment to check it out and see if any of these references might help you out.  Some of them can be found at our local library - or can be purchased on Amazon as a used book.  

Happy Researching!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

10 Tools For Your Genealogy Research That You Never Thought You'd Need

Lately, the genealogy blogosphere is so chock-full of good stuff, it is making my job very easy.  I am pleased to be able to give you the link to a recent article in about tools to aid in your research that you probably never thought about.  Some of them were new to me!  Hope you find it interesting.


Just wanted to take a minute to post a "thank you" to all our new members - we are thrilled you have decided to join us!  Also, a big thanks to our long-standing members who have supported D.I.R.T. through its first year and helped it grow.

We will be a year old next month and it is wonderful to have the chance to work with a group of people who are excited about family history and digging into their roots.

We have had a few suggestions going forward:

  • A number of you have asked to learn more about using Evernote for genealogy.  We will work on putting together a presentation.
  • There has been a request for a second cemetery walk field trip (and we haven't even done the first one!).  This would be a great trip to do in the Spring of 2016.
  • Another trip to the Family History Library?  Absolutely.
  • There has been a rumor that some are thinking about a field trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the National Archives, the Library of Congress and other repositories of ancestral records.  No reason why we can't start talking about that as well.
We welcome your suggestions, ideas, comments and contributions.  This is YOUR group.  We look forward to working with all of you in the coming year to explore more of the world of genealogy and hopefully, help everyone move forward with their research.

Linda and Denise

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Some Brick Wall Strategies

Devon Noel Lee writes a blog entitled, The Patient Genealogist.  She is my kind of gal!  She home schools her five children, srapbooks, writes books, and is researching her family tree.  She has an awesome website and she recently posted on some brick wall strategies that I thought you might find interesting and useful. Everyone has a different approach - but learning about how others approach a problem will often help us find our own solutions.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Well-Rounded Genealogist

We are still pumping water out of our garage and cleaning up the mess left behind by the swamp in the undeveloped lot next door that emptied its contents into our driveway over the weekend.  My writing time is limited these days - but I did stumble upon a recent post by Jacqi Stevens in her blog A Family Tapestry.  That I thought you would find interesting.

When we start out on our family history journey, it's all about names, dates, places, etc.  While we are looking for B-D-M information and connections, we often find lots of other information that we tend to dismiss in our quest to find the data.  Don't let the background details pass you by.  Take time to read the items, not just for the corroboration of a date or place, but to learn about the things going on in the world, and in the lives of your ancestors.  If you really don't want to take the time to read through these items, then save them via Evernote or OneNote or some other program that allows you to organize research so that later on, when you need some of that social history, you will know where to find it.

Take a look at Jacqi's post and remember, it's not just about the data!

-- submitted by Denise Doyon

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What is a GEDCOM File?

There was some chatter at our recent genealogy social about GEDCOM files, what they were, why they were needed, what does one do with it, etc.  For those of you who are interested in learning more about the tech side of genealogy, please see this post in "RootsBid" giving a detailed explanation. While you are there, you might want to wander around and check out the website.  It is a place where genealogists can bid on doing work for other genealogists!  You can post your project and/or bid on work you can do for someone else.

Monday, October 5, 2015

6 Must-Do Genealogy Projects for October

It's still pretty wet and soggy here on Seabrook, and we will be pumping water out of our yard for at least four or five days.  Lot's of clean-up ahead so not a lot of time for blogging.

Many thanks to Linda for sharing a recent Ancestral Findings post on some great October genealogy projects.  Hope you will click on the link above and check it out.

Stay safe out there!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hope Y'all Are Staying Safe

This was the scene from my back deck on Saturday.  Our house is on the 11th fairway of Crooked Oaks and it looks more like a lake than a golf course.  Our turtle, Bella, anxiously waits for the water to rise high enough to allow her to venture out into the world.  Fortunately, the water never got that high.  But there were places on the island that were unsafe for cars, people and pets.  Hope all of you stayed safe during our Thousand Year Rainfall Event!  My husband and I conveniently decided to come down with a horrible head cold late last week, so we spent the weekend indoors, vegging out and getting better.  I try to remember that no matter how bad a situation may be, you can always find a bright side.  For us, it was catching up on things we never seem to have the time for.  We cleaned out some closets and kitchen cabinets and crossed a few things off the "honey-do" list.  The two inches of water that accumulated in our garage will give us the opportunity to do some cleaning up and sorting through things once the water subsides.

There haven't been many genealogy posts here for the last week or so, but I look forward to catching up very soon.  Hope all of you have stayed safe over the last few days and maybe even found time to do some work on your family history research!

One of the brightest things to come out of the last week was that Linda Mecchi became a grandmother and added another twig to her family tree!

Keep dry and stay safe.

-- submitted by Denise Doyon