Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Do-Over Log Jam

One of my first ventures into the trenches of Genealogy in 1997 (about) was meeting with my mother's cousin who had done TONS and TONS of work on our shared line.  She very generously shared by copying all her files that included newspaper clippings and handwritten memories.  So I started as a name collector with that huge file of handwritten family group sheets.  But what I did NOT do was sourcing.  I had no idea where that name or date originated.  I negated the work done by others by not giving credit to the original.

As I go back through those pages plus other collections, I'm looking at a lifetime of work by many as well as record of who came before me.  I'm not a name collector.  Rather I'm honoring the work of my relatives.  The years and years of their efforts (typing, organizing, going to libraries) are worth the hours of effort by me.  Their love of family and history deserves preservation.  What I'm hoping to pass down to my descendants is a well organized record of my work, including names and faces and stories of those who came before,

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 21 August 2017

 So today the solar eclipse finally happened. I say that because about a week ago, locals figured out they needed special glasses to view the eclipse safely.  And the news said: "Hey, the library has glasses!"  But not ALL libraries did.  So we were bombarded with requests.  (Similar to tax season.)  And the branches that did have glasses and events definitely experienced even MORE disruption, rudeness and lines!

(I had purchased 6 glasses from Amazon about a month ago.  And they were not some of the bogus ones that were being sold either.  And since I had gotten them "early", I didn't purchase them at an inflated price.)

Claire had her Senior Orientation and I had the day off work.  Peter & Eric were both at work but had glasses if they could take time to take a look.  My mother and her husband Lloyd also came over to share in the experience.  It was actually amazing even if it wasn't a total eclipse in Michigan.  Luckily the clouds were not to bad either.  So note to self:  be prepared in 2024!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why I deleted my Ancestry.com Family Trees

I have had an account with Ancestry.com since Mar 2002, that is 15 years folks.  Some of that time was via a membership and other times not.  My mother did a DNA test through Ancestry.com and she also got one for me, a few months later.  When my mother first got her test results, I was able to see the PUBLIC family trees managed by people who were related to my mother.  A lot of people don't have them but it was nice to have the option to browse DNA matches tree.

A few months later I did my DNA test through Ancestry.com and guess what.  Yep, I couldn't view the family trees from anyone except my own.  When I click on the link, it sends me automatically to a membership screen (see below).  All I wanted to view was a tree that someone created and posted in the public trees.  Why does this require a subscription?  Why does Ancestry think that my research should only be viewed by members?  

Since my DNA results are there, I do still have an account.  But I will not be purchasing a membership anytime soon. Frankly, Ancestry has gotten so huge that even a basic search returns too many results to manage because it includes tons of internet sites as well.  So if you are interested in finding relatives via DNA testing, I would recommend using a different company.

UPDATE: Aug 20th - just found out why my mother could view trees and not me.  Nothing was changed by Ancestry EXCEPT my mother actually bought a membership.  I'm not even sure she knows what that means.  So still would not recommend Ancestry.com DNA.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Found this picture of my family and it made my day!

I was casually looking around for some genealogy stuff, switching between windows, when I needed to go to Family Search.  I have an account, of course, but I never really looked at some of the newer functionality of the site.  But this time when I logged in, it sent me to a photo screen based on a simple tree I had put up awhile ago.  The first picture totally got my attention and it was amazing!!  A cousin I didn't know, had this picture with her family genealogy and I had never seen it or even heard of its existence!!

As soon as I saw this picture, I knew which family.  The young man on the viewers left is my great-grandfather Ben.  The reason I recognized him is because I have a wedding picture of Ben and his bride, Emma, which would only be about 5 years from this photo.

So at this time of the family, the father, Minne had died 5 years before of "lung fever".  The only other direct family to pass away was one of the little girls, Klaaske in 1900.  Since Klaaske passed away from "strophia" (some form of muscle atrophy ), this picture is probably around the time of her death (before or after) in 1900.  The only other picture of the mother, Marie, is when she is much older and her face is shaded by a hat.  But you can see the lower part of her face and it does seem to resemble this picture too.

Now that I'm looking at the picture again, there is a weird blank spot between the boys.  May be this picture was altered?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

3 Rules of Genealogy (for beginners)

1st (and easiest) rule of Genealogy : Always start with yourself and work backwards

2nd (harder) rule of Genealogy : Always site your sources so you can find that information again if needed

3rd (hardest) rule of Genealogy : Always site your sources so that ANYONE can find that information again; including yourself when you forget what you meant in rule #2

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Genealogy Redo Progress

I started the Redo in March 2015 and it has felt like a really long journey.  I'm still in the "organize what you have rather than find more" stage which has been really hard to accomplish.  But I finally feel like I am making some real progress.  (Although there is a long way to go.) I had a ton of saved documents that were only divided by family.  So I finally decided to sort by type of record, i.e. newspaper, census, dutch records etc. and that has helped out a TON.  I also labeled them by number, 1-13 and I'm on number 5 already!

So being "done" with a section means that the each item is saved as a jpg on my external hard drive, saved as a pdf on my dropbox account, and logged into the corresponding family research log.  Then it is also add to my roots magic family tree and each person & fact has a source attached.  I know everything is not perfect because I do make mistakes but I do love seeing those files lining up by numbers!

PS: this is my 200th posting!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Jumping on the DNA bandwagon pt. 4

Now it was my turn to take a test and my mother graciously paid for it.  I went with Ancestry.com (and now regret that) since that is where my mother did her test.  This way I could find out my father's family there too.

So this is my results.  Not surprised now by the Scandinavia.  But confused about the "Thousands of Years ago" heading.  Shouldn't these results be closer to home since my DNA probably doesn't have much left from my great-great-great grandparents?  And the other reason I regret using Ancestory.com.....I am now blocked from viewing public trees of my DNA connections.  When my mother did her test, this was still available.  And was one of the reasons I even liked this service.  But now I have to subscribe to the ancestry mega machine to even see how I might be related to a DNA match?  So not interested.

My next DNA goal is to upload raw results to other sites.  I know very little about this at this time so it will be another journey in my family tree quest.