March is Women’s History Month! Over on my Ask Ancestry Anne column at Ancestry.com, I’m running through The Accidental Genealogist’s blog prompts for the month, so check in with me there if you want to play along.
Here is something fun from my friends over at Archives.com for Women’s History Month. I dare you not to find something inspiring in here. Dare you.
I have a few speaking engagements coming up that you might be interested in. I usually post my slides when I’m done, so if you can’t attend, you can view them later.
March 16, 2013: Ancestry Day, Blue Springs, Missouri
The Midwest Genealogy Center is sponsoring an Ancestry Day with Ancestry.com in Blue Springs, Missouri.
I will be doing two presentations:
- Find them Fast: Searching Secrets to Help You Find Your Ancestors Stories on Ancestry.com
- Putting Your Ancestors in Historical Perspective: Extracting Stories from Military Records on Ancestry.com and Fold3
Also, the ever amazing Lou Szucs will be there as well speaking on:
- Extraordinary Clues in Ordinary Records
- Hidden Treasures at Ancestry.com
March 21-23: RootsTech, Salt Lake City, Utah
I will be doing one lecture and participating in a panel at RootsTech this year:
April 5 – 6: The Fairfax Genealogical Society’s Annual Spring Conference and Spring Expo
I do not have the schedule for the Fairfax Spring Conference yet, but will post them when I do.
Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:
Two on Archives.com
Slavery-Related Court Petitions Online Database from Genealogy Decoded
Two from The Legal Genealogist
That Was Constructive Criticism, You Fool! from Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog
Two stories continued:
And a couple of my posts on Ancestry.com Sticky Notes
Haven’t done one of these in awhile, but lots of good blog posts out there. Here are a few you don’t want to miss:
From the Legal Genealogist
From Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog
After 4 years at Ancestry.com I’m working at a different job and therefor not paying as much attention to my blogging the last few days. I’m now the product manager for Institutional and Library version of our product working with Kim Harrison. I’m super excited about learning how we can best serve libraries and other organizations who use our products to assist their patrons with genealogy research. It’s a different way to look at Ancestry.com and it has given me a new perspective on what we do.
When I haven’t been doing that, I’ve been working on cleaning up my sources. Well, I’ve also been watching the Olympics and cleaning up my sources. I really thought that this was going to be tedious, but not so. I’ve been working on them by source, and I’ve been noticing something when I’m done with a group, for instance 1840:
You can quickly tell who lived close and who did not, assuming of course that the records aren’t in semi alphabetical order, which should be in the source as well.
And by the time I get to 1850, I see families and their proximity to one another:
You just don’t see that in a family tree. You see who your ancestors are, but you don’t see them in proximity. This combined with Thomas MacEntee’s article: uencounter.me – A Way To Plot Cluster Genealogy Research makes me think what if I did genealogy for a week, and didn’t use a family tree. What might I learn?
But first I have to finish my sources. I am on a mission.
Oh, and punctuation. I know where the colon goes in the piece of documentation that is: (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 Aug 2012), but I’ve been writing it as (http://www.ancestry.com accessed : 4 Aug 2012). And I taught it in my livestream class that way. No one is perfect, I suppose.
This weeks theme will be sourcing. And I’m discovering the more I do it, the more I like it. Who knew?
I don’t know if these are treasures, but these are the PDF’s of the sourcing presentations I’ve done for Ancestry.com
From Citing Sources Part 2
I posted a series of Search Tips specific to Ancestry.com and thought that they might be worth rehashing here. Here are my top 20 search tips:
- Shaky Leaves — Ancestry.com will do searches for you
- Place Pages — 30,000+ data collections organized by country, state and county. Great way to find data collections you may never have seen
- Card Catalog — How to find where your ancestors may be hiding in 30,000+ data collections
- Finding Local Histories — Local histories give you context and hide many hidden gems
- Finding Surname Histories — You never know who may have documented part of your family tree
- City Directories — New technology have made these goldmines easier to search
- Ancestry.com Wiki – Red Book and The Source for free
- Message Boards — See what other people are looking for and ask a question yourself
- One World Tree — There are hidden treasures in here; find out how to uncover them
- It’s a Big Web Out There — Suggestions to Ancestry.com members on where else they might look
- Name Filters — How to narrow down your searches and get known name variations
- Location Filters – My favorite filter; adjacent counties rock!
- Wildcards — Tried and trued, but it still works
- Limit Your Scope — Start with a small search and then expand out
- Category Searches – Search one record type at a time
- Use Facets — Don’t ignore the left side of your search results page
- Search From Your Trees — User your online tree to populate your searches
- Read the Search Form — Effectively searching a data collection requires you to understand what is in there and what is indexed
- First or Last Name Searches — If you can’t find out who you are looking for, try one of these techniques
- Look for Family Members — If your direct ancestor is hiding, look for his or her family