Friday, May 11, 2018

Received at the Library

The NGS magazine for Jan.-Mar. 2018 explores the Great Lakes region (where the National Genealogical Society's conference was just held), in particular, resources for Dutch genealogy because of the many Dutch immigrants who settled that area.  In addition, you will find great tips in articles on searching courthouse indexes,  "wizardry for effective newspaper searches," note-taking software, and effective communication with DNA matches.

Family tree magazine for May/June 2018 features a photographic tour of Ellis Island, to walk you through the experience of the many immigrants who arrived in America at this port.  A helpful guide walks you through the process of passing on heirlooms to the next generation, or disposing of them appropriately.  Arkansas and Michigan are featured in state guides.  "DNA direction" suggests how to use  your results effectively.  "Holes in history" suggests ways around major record losses caused by fires (1890 census, Ellis Island, etc.) Journalist Jennifer Mendelssohn is featured in an article about the relevance of genealogy to today's political rhetoric about immigration.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Received at the Library

In honor of tax time Internet genealogy for April/May 2018 has a couple of articles designed to help your budget. In "Save money on your genealogy!" the author has great suggestions for looking for discounts and taking advantage of free services, such as educational websites and social media sites like Thomas MacEntee's genealogy bargains (  [For signing up for MacEntee's newsletter today, I scored a free e-book called DNA buying guide!]  Another article visits the Internet Archive, an enormous free site with 15 million searchable books and texts.  In addition to printed material it contains audio, video, images, software and more.  Although US based it contains a good deal of international material in many languages.  A project is underway to provide links from Worldcat (the most comprehensive library catalog in existence) to books in the Internet Archive.  This site also includes snapshots of old websites (over 310 billion, yes billion, of them) in the Wayback Machine feature.  An extensive article gives a tutorial on interfacing Roots Magic software with Ancestry and other sites.  A review explains Writely, an app designed to get you moving on your resolve to write your family history with daily reminders and more. A new photo service called MemoryWeb is also reviewed.  Other articles cover the rewards of oral history interviews, pharmacy records, and using shoes as an example of a theme to unite family history stories.

The spring 2018 edition of American Ancestors is a special issue entitled "Your guide to the Mayflower 400th Anniversary."  Activities that NEHGS (publisher of American Ancestors) will undertake to celebrate this milestone include "events, tours, books, articles, exhibitions, educational opportunities, ceremonies, commemorations, and more" according to the society's president.  An estimated 35 million people are descended from the Mayflower pilgrims.  A new feature of this anniversary is acknowledgment of the role of the Wampanoag in the Pilgrims' story, celebrated in a traveling exhibit.  Partner organizations have also formed in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to help highlight the Pilgrims' origins in the Old World.  Mayflower-related articles include essays on a couple of my own forebears, Stephen Hopkins (his baptismal church) and Priscilla Alden (her female descendants).  If you are gearing up to try to connect yourself to these pioneers, see the article "A Guide to Proving Mayflower Ancestry."

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

May CCGS Meeting to Feature a Presentation by Seema Kenney on Using DNA as a Research Tool

Whether you've already taken or are still considering a DNA test to determine your kinship with someone or to trace your lineage, knowing how to work with the results you receive is crucial! Receiving the test results is one thing, understanding them and using them as a research tool are totally different things. Join us at the CCGS meeting on Tuesday, May 15, for a presentation by Seema Kenney on DNA Results as a Research Option.

Seema Kenney

Seema Kenney is an experienced software instructor and a professional genealogist. Her known roots are deep in New England as well as England, Germany, and Sweden. She has a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University; completed the ProGen study program; and she is an active member and officer of several genealogical societies.

Our CCGS meeting will be held at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rte. 6A, Brewster, on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 10 a.m. Please consider arriving early for socializing and refreshments beginning at 9:30.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Received at the Library

While we probably are all experienced in using, the cover story in Internet genealogy (Feb./March 2018) shares ways to find hidden treasures.  To cite just one example, were you aware that Ancestry contains lots of databases that don't include personal names (think the Sears Roebuck catalogs, or postcards)?  Ten interesting examples of databases that aren't traditional genealogy data are listed.  In "At your service: the generous genealogist" Sue Lisk recommends ways to help others that will expand your skills and horizons, such as mentoring other family historians, transcribing or indexing records, documenting family stories or grave sites.  "Do you have lost Irish ancestors?" centers around researching emigration from Cobh, the deepwater port for Cork City, from which about half of Ireland's emigrants departed.  George Morgan (co-founder of the Genealogy Guys Podcast) is interviewed about his work with the Florida History and Genealogy Library to digitize items from their collections.  "Digital Library on American Slavery" focuses on but goes beyond North Carolina, and includes the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.  Check out the National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair, an online conference featuring NARA records since 1913, just one of the internet resources mentioned in "Net Notes" in this issue.

In Your genealogy today (March/April 2018) "Hints from Houdini" offers 5 techniques to improve your research that take inspiration from the famous magician: be imaginative, confident, skeptical, resilient, and focus on the women!  Joe Grandinetti makes some great finds in Ireland tracing his mother's lineage in "Return to your sources."  In "Electricity and family history" we are reminded that something we take so much for granted today was a common feature of our ancestors' lives only with the 20th century.  Using North Carolina as a case study, Diane Richards discusses the intricacies and eccentricities of state records, and how history affects them. Another article covers researching Scots-Irish ancestors in 18th-century Virginia..

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Received at the Library

The featured article in Internet genealogy (Oct./Nov.2017) "Always an apprentice!" gives tips for improving your family history research: use maps, historical apps like WhatWasThere and HistoryPin, and find local histories and other books that give the flavor of your ancestors' lives.  Two articles elucidate slave records in Britain (including British Caribbean colonies) and in the American South ("Slave Insurance Records").  "Reaching the end of the roll" reviews the end of the LDS microfilm project, and covers workarounds while we await the completion of digitization in 2020.  YMCA WW1 Service Cards are an interesting new resource added to FamilySearch, giving information on over 27,000 civilian volunteers who aided the war effort.  FindMyPast has added a collection of Catholic parish records ultimately expected to contain 100 million records.  The 2017 release of genealogy software package Heredis is reviewed.

The Dec./Jan 2018 issue of Internet genealogy explores several less traveled avenues for your research.  The lead article treats lesser known manuscript and archival holdings in "Online finding aids reveal genealogical gems."  The author suggests that ledgers are particularly useful, but names a host of other records that can reveal genealogy facts, such as petitions, bank records, benevolent society records, and more, and she suggests ways to find them.  (A friend of mine works on transcribing records in Provincetown, and found the Pharmacy ledger particularly fascinating.) Another article treats military periodicals, which are scattered across the internet -- search using the unit's name/number, and don't forget state newspaper archives.  If you like to think about the big picture of our genealogy enterprise, you'll enjoy "The global village in 21st century genealogy," which looks at the theories of Marshall McLuhan in light of the internet.  As always, there are software and website reviews: the PRONI historical map viewer covers Northern Ireland; ProStamm is a new genealogy software; Jambios is a new platform for telling stories online in book format.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Received at the library

Family tree magazine always has interesting articles.  The Dec. 2017 issue treats DNA and adoption, the subject of our January meeting.  The featured article is the 75 best "state champions," the best state sites for genealogy (ours is, well worth a look).  A collection of Sanborn fire insurance maps that will eventually reach half a million maps from all 50 states is being digitized by the Library of Congress and is available free on their website  A fascinating article on the history of mirrors reveals that King Henry VIII was an avid collector at a time when a small mirror was worth as much as an entire country estate!

The cover story for Your Genealogy Today (Jan./Feb. 2018) is about making sense -- or not -- of family stories.  "Small town genealogy" looks at how towns are preserving their history, an effort that probably many of our members are engaged in, whether here on the Cape or elsewhere.  "Constables and town watchmen" explains the history of these positions perhaps filled by our 17th-19th century relatives before the establishment of professional police forces.  A useful tool for organizing your research is timelines, or chronological spreadsheets, which can help you identify puzzles and gaps for further research as well as keep track of your research.  Another useful tool is the Genealogical Proof Standard, which can help you "Avoid common mistakes."  Diane Southard, somewhat tongue in cheek, compares contacting your DNA matches to a first date situation.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

April CCGS Meeting (Tuesday, April 10th) Will Feature Noted Genealogist Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D.

The featured speaker at the upcoming CCGS general meeting on Tuesday, April 10th, will be the preeminent genealogist Dr. Thomas W. Jones. Dr. Jones' presentation to CCGS, entitled "Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Ancestor", will touch upon the common frustration that we genealogists commonly encounter in not finding ancestors in the records and places where we logically expect them to be. In his lecture, Dr. Jones will explain seven reasons why such ancestors seem to have disappeared, provide examples of each from actual case studies and suggest strategies to help attendees find their elusive ancestors.

Thomas Jones

Tom Jones is an award-winning author, editor, educator, and researcher focusing on methods for challenging genealogical problems. He coordinates courses at GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh), IGHR (Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research), and SLIC (Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy), and he speaks often for local, state, national, and international genealogical societies. Since 2002 he has co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and he authored Mastering Genealogical Documentation and Mastering Genealogical Proof.

Please note that the April meeting is taking place on the second Tuesday of this month.
Our meeting will be held at the Brewster Ladies' Library, Rte. 6A, Brewster, on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 10 a.m. Please consider arriving early for socializing and refreshments at 9:30.

Received at the Library

The NGS magazine for Jan.-Mar. 2018 explores the Great Lakes region (where the National Genealogical Society's conference was just held...