Zann Nelson, is a historian, writer, horse & cattle farmer and has been involved in Grass-roots political causes and museum management. She is now following her one true love: the investigative work of unknown histories. We were fortunate to attend a presentation of Connecting the Former Enslaved with the Freedman and now Vann has given us permission to publish her presentation on our website. She has a blog where you can enjoy more of her work: http://historyinvestigator.net Please be patient while this presentation loads, it may take several minutes as it is a large powerpoint. Connected the Former Enslaved… Continue Reading »
Dave Thomen gave a very interesting and educational presentation on Using Photos in Genealogy, including tips on how to identify the type and date range of photos. He also gave us permission to use the presentation on our website, it can be found at the link below. Since it is a large file with lots of photos, make sure you are patient while it loads. USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS IN GENEALOGY by Dave Thomen
Presentation by Ray Maki Records are based mainly on Life Events – “Hatch / Match / Dispatch”. Birth Certificates, Newspaper Announcements, Church Records, Civil / Church Marriage Records, SS Applications, Death Certificates/Indexes, Obituaries, Cemetery Records, Grave sites, to name a few, are all sources of hints for maiden names. Determining when records became available in the locality you are researching, is timesaving, in that you are not searching for records that are not available. familysearch.org has a Wiki Search Function, where you can search many facets of what was available and when; e.g. no births were recorded by New York… Continue Reading »
Writing Your Family History, by Mary Maki, FRGS member and Secretary. As genealogists we know that birth, marriage, and death dates are not enough. We want to learn about our ancestors. We want to tell their stories. We want to bring them to “life.” Writing helps us to do that. It helps us make sense of our research. It tells us what we are missing—names, dates, and especially citations. Most of us have our family trees online. It is possible that future generations may not be interested in online family trees, but if there is a well-written book about their… Continue Reading »
All databases at Ancestry.com are not created equal…that was one of the main take-aways from Elizabeth Ernst’s thought-provoking presentation at the April FRGS meeting. The pedigree and accuracy of the source data for the databases in Ancestry can vary widely, making it crucial for a researcher to examine the source information when deciding whether and how much to rely on the returns for any given search. Elizabeth presented tips on how to evaluate Ancestry’s databases and shared her opinion about which databases can be relied upon and which databases should be taken with “a grain of salt.” Elizabeth also discussed:… Continue Reading »
City Directories were the featured topic in a presentation by Trip Wiggins at the FRGS February meeting. City Directories can be wonderful sources of information for the family history researcher. Popular from the mid-19th century into the late 20th century, these directories were commercial publications intended to be purchased and used by businesses to help them find customers. The directories typically would contain information about most of the residents of a town or city, including household name, names of persons living in the house, occupation and employer. The directories also could include a history of the region, lists of churches… Continue Reading »
We will be taking a break over the Summer, so there will be no meetings in July or August. We hope to see you all in September, refreshed from vacations and ready to dive back into those Irish Records. Perhaps some additional records will have been transcribed and indexed by the time we meet again. Happy Summer!!
The FRGS January 2017 monthly meeting featured an informative and enlightening presentation by Joe Rudzinski on the unique challenges involved in searching for your Eastern European ancestors. Mr. Rudzinski talked about the diverse languages a researcher deals with, the many different name spellings one encounters, and the often-drastic name changes that occurred when Eastern Europeans immigrated to America. He presented tips on the most productive websites and other resources to use in searching for Eastern European ancestors. He concluded with a discussion of the increasingly important role that social media, particularly Facebook, is playing in successful family history researching. Details… Continue Reading »
If you have not had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Dr. Shelley Murphy, then make it a priority. She knows her subject and can present it in a cogent and entertaining manner. Her presentation at the FRGS 4th Annual Fall Genealogy Conference, “Getting Started with Genealogy,” was relevant for those searching European, Native American or African American ancestors, and those in the audience probably represented all three. Dr. Murphy encouraged us to know the laws that were in place at the time of our ancestors, to learn what resources are available and where to obtain records, to make… Continue Reading »
“Often researchers cause their own research problems by making assumptions.” So began Charles S. “Chuck” Mason, Jr., CG, in his presentation “Don’t Make These Mistakes” at the FRGS 4th Annual Fall Conference. Beginners certainly can fall into this trap, but the caution applies equally to family history researchers who have been at it for a while. Chuck presented a series of mistakes that can lead genealogists down the wrong road or cause them to overlook potentially valuable research areas. One of the most common mistakes made is looking for records that were never created, for example, looking for vital records… Continue Reading »
Shannon Combs-Bennett presented two DNA sessions: A Crash Course in Genetic Genealogy that covered DNA basics and what types of tests are available; and a lecture on what to do once you’ve had your DNA tested, including how to organize the results and tips on responding to or writing queries to new cousins.
FRGS First Vice President Julie Cabitto told attendees how FamilySearch is organized in terms of how it collects and publishes the vast amounts of genealogical data available on its website. She also shared valuable tips on using FamilySearch efficiently and effectively and talked about some of FamilySearch’s successful projects, e.g., the recently completed indexing of Freedmen’s Bureau records. Julie, also is the assistant director at the LDS Family History Center in Fredericksburg,
Library of Virginia Archivists Joanne Porter and Callie Lou Freed presented information about the library’s holdings of Chancery Cause records and how they might be helpful in conducting research on Virginia counties where records have been forever lost. They also gave information about how to access additional genealogical resources available at the Library of Virginia, including the Burned Jurisdiction Database, The Virginia Heritage Project, the Out of the Box Blog and others.
Member Elizabeth Ernst presented information on researching Quaker ancestors. She told us that Quakers dress normally, are mostly pacifists,Civil Rights Activists, mostly abolitionists, and educators. There are approximately 359,000 Quakers worldwide with 87,000 in the U.S. George Fox (1624-1691) of Leicestershire, England was the founder, and he believed “There is that of God in Everyone.” One of his most important converts was William Penn. In 1681, the King of England gave Penn 45,000 square miles in the new world for a Quaker colony. That colony was to be called Pennsylvania. Quaker records were kept in the monthly meetings (not quarterly meetings). The monthly meeting records… Continue Reading »
DAR Librarian Elizabeth Ernest provided FRGS members with an extensive overview of the DAR’s holdings. The DAR is a non-profit volunteer women’s organization with over 180,000 members. The library holds extensive collections, categorized by subject: Print, Special Collections, and Digital Collections. Their GRS (Genealogical Research System) contains member applications and supporting documents. Much of this information is available online. Their GRC (Genealogical Records Committee) has over 20,000 volumes donated by state chapters. The DAR’s newest project is the Patiot Records Project, an ongoing volunteer effort to index names. Currently eight states have been completed. For much more information check their website… Continue Reading »