The Online Genealogist

John Brugliera

Archive for the month “August, 2014”

The Online Genealogist sez “Know Your Geography!”

Burlington-Plattsburgh

I don’t usually call out others on their blog postings, but being the huge map hound that I am and more so given the source, I just had to here.

G-Bank

And my comment…

G-Bank 2

My question is this…  If a great point is made using a poor example, does that bring the credibility of that point down a few notches?

After knowing the geography, is it really such a great point; especially coming from a blogger that represents a subscription website featuring newspapers from all over the country?

G-Bank 3

Given Mr. Kemp’s impressive resume, shouldn’t he have known this and chosen a better example for his sorta-almost-kinda-great point?

Now, if this had been penned by a newbie genealogist or obviously-hired content writer {ahem}, I wouldn’t even be blogging about it.  But we’re barraged with so many tips and the like online, we have to really be selective in what to use…and what to TOSS.

Sorry, Tom – I’m not meaning to put you in front of the virtual firing squad or anything, but your post happens to be a PERFECT example of the point I’m trying to make here.  Which will hopefully be great.  “Any last words?…”

 

And if you don’t know that Burlington, Vermont is in Chittenden County, but Chittenden, Vermont is in Rutland County or that St. Louis and East St. Louis are in different states, you may need to hire ME – The Online Genealogist!

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

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Who Do You Think You Are? Inside scoop!!!

BoDonaldson

Wasn’t that Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods’ second-highest-charting single, which reached #15 on Billboard Magazine’s US Top Pop 100 chart in the summer of 1974?  It was a follow-up to their #1 Billy Don’t Be A Hero that spring.  THAT Who Do You Think You Are??

Then that’s it.  That’s all I know about it.

Anyway, there’s supposed to be this show on television – the name of which escapes me now – that’s a cross between Roots and Antiques Roadshow with a heavy dose of The Amazing Race.  But subscribing to basic cable, I don’t get the “special channel” it’s on.  (Didn’t it used to be on NBC??)

But I see on their website, which shall remain nameless, the first three full episodes of the season.  So I watched.  All three.  Not at once.  Consecutively.

WDYTHY

[Meanwhile, after viewing 135 minutes of the afore-non-mentioned show…]

Wow.  Unfortunately, the “easily hopping from one set of original records to the next” isn’t a reality for most of us.  Yeah, we HOPE to get there “one day”, but by the time we’ve climbed up several generations, that’s dozens of locations spanning either the country, or most likely, the globe.

Anyway, that’s what struck me the most after watching the shows.  And that some genealogy newbie will assume it’s “that simple” and quickly done, when it usually isn’t.  Which, to me, is the best part of genealogy!

The hunt and subsequent challenge of piecing together pieces and parts of a particular person.  Giving them a biography that they would’ve never had otherwise, as most were certainly not famous or extraordinary. “Jus’ normal folk like you and me!”

I always wonder if they’re “somewhere” cheering us on, like they “know” we’re researching them.  I’ve had some INEXPLICABLE genealogical finds over the years, where I’m left thinking “Getting a little help, perhaps?”  Hmmmmm…  (Whole other blog post…)

And now you’re left going “What the %@!!# is he talkin‘ about?”, as I seemed to have gotten off track there somewhat.  Though, I’m sure you’ve all had at least one of those moments.

…Oh yeah, opinion of the shows – which I fully refuse to promote for free!!…

Eh, they were OK.

 

And if you think genealogy is also OK, but you can’t fly around the world to research, like on that SHOW there; hire ME!!  I’ll do the virtual flying around for you!!  (And yes, despite the naysayers, it can be done.)

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

 

The Online Genealogist’s Mixed Bag

BBW

This makes too much sense.  Even in my area cemeteries, there’s always someone walking, jogging, biking through.  But way too small to be charging admission!

I can see the slogans now… “It’s a gentle, peaceful walk”… “Celebrate life amongst the dead”… “This ain’t your mother’s Scooby-Doo graveyard!”…  OK, so they need some work.

Going from buried people to buried records.  Staying in New York City, but visiting Massachusetts.

NYT

It’s amazing what is still collecting dust in church attics and rectory cellars.  And how many churches can YOU think of that have gone up in flames over the years?  More fingers than I got!  Churches and fire are kind of like trailer parks and tornadoes.

And, yes – a courthouse made of bricks CAN burn.  So sad.

Telegraph 01 Telegraph 02

And just after you’ve gotten used to FamilySearch‘s indexing program during their recent key-athon; they’re going to “improve” it and gives us “more features”.

fsb

Bring on the next key-athon, I say!!

 

Until later…

 

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

 

 

Genealogy research without these will leave you LOST

 

 

GenInTime

In reviewing GenealogyInTime‘s Top 100 Websites for 2014, one of MY most-used sites for research wasn’t on here – Old Maps Online.

OMO

Old Maps Online is more of a collection of historical map collections; I’m talking AMAZING collections, most notably Cartography Associates’ David Rumsey Map Collection and Boston Public Library’s Norman B. Leventhal Map Center.

If you don’t use maps in your research, why the heck not?  Historical maps often provide excellent clues when tracking your ancestors; especially if they remained in one place for an extended period of time.

Streets, rivers and hills; roads, streams and mountains; any of them could be named after your ancestor.  Williams Drive, Pierson Hill, Carson’s Crossing, Skinner River.  All named for somebody.  Or a family of somebodies if several generations lived in an area.

You could also check out some of those very detailed county atlases from the late 1800s and find exactly where your ancestor lived.  I love aimlessly browsing through these.

David Rumsey

Given the time that these county atlases were published, many can be used as an 1890 Federal Census replacement of sorts.

Maps should be one of your FIRST stops in a research project.  Whether you know the area or not.

I’ve discovered SO MUCH by utilizing geographical genealogy!

 

And if you’re having trouble finding your way in ANY aspect of your genealogical research, I can help to point you in the right direction!

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

 

“It jumped up to 60% of genealogy records online overnight!” and other comical items

hahaha

Yes, it’s time for more geneologyuks!

I came across some entries within the 1890 Boston city directory that gave me a chuckle.

Isaac was the only one that did NOT get a name-appropriate job…

Boston Directory 1890 1158a Sellar

“Henry A. Sellar, clerk”…we all nod in agreement.

I can understand the laborer, but are you sure you want an inexperienced carpenter or boilermaker??

Boston Directory 1890 966a Newby

Are they referring to the cans or the company itself??

Boston Directory 1890 678a Intelligent

For DUMB-ASS tin cans, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Do you think Joseph’s surname caused confusion for some?

Boston Directory 1890 976a Nope

“Could you tell me your last name?”  “Nope!”  “Why not?!?”

And only we baby-boomers will get this one…

Boston Directory 1890 983a Oates

Shouldn’t he be “Holland Oates, musician”??

Let’s go back 10 years to 1880 for more fun marriage notices from The Sun (New York City).

If only these names were switched…

NY Sun 18800118 05a

This could be the beginning of a sonnet…

NY Sun 18800123 03a

And who said “Three’s a crowd”??

NY Sun 18800126 03a

Yes, that one looks quite odd; until you actually read it.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Sometimes I can go for several newspaper issues without finding some good combos and names, but I hit the jackpot here on Jan. 31, 1880!

NY Sun 18800131 03a

Are we sensing a THEME here?  (Be even funnier if the first two couples were switched – heh.)  And we also get a bonus combo with some Hudson River wordplay!

I’ll leave you with this divorce notice; no explanation required – ha!

NY Sun 18800130 03a

In a JAM??  We all nod in agreement.

And if you’re having trouble finding those 65% of genealogy records online, I can help!

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

The Online Genealogist is tired of hearing “Only 10% of the genealogy records can be researched online”

CGS_Iceberg                 Many thanks to CGS!

Nearly any time a “traditional” genealogist bashes the majority of research being done online, this is often used to back up their argument.  “Yeah!  Just a TIP of the ICEBERG!!”

Where are the citations to back up this wonderful graphic?  How is the tip size being calculated?  Where is the research and study data?  I’ve heard no crunching numbers.  And who keeps passing this along as fact?

First off, the 10% figure is nowhere to be found in this blog post.  Must be one of those extras added as the tale traveled.  Looks to be less than that on the iceberg itself, but as I won’t be breaking out my compass and protractor; 10% will work.

And I believe we’re strictly talking about United States records here?  The worldwide figure for records online is probably a tiny .0010% number.

With that, how accurate do I believe the iceberg portrayal to be?  Oh, about 10%.

First off, did you notice the date of that blog post?  Being into genealogy, of course you did!

27 Mar 2009

This was created over five years ago.  As a poster.  Which is still being sold online.

Genealogy records are being digitized as I type.  (And surely much much faster.)  Can you count how many have been added over the last 5 years?

No, I didn’t think so.  Neither can I, but I’d bet the big bucks that massive mystery number will at least double going into the next 5 years!

So, what percentage would I give the iceberg tip now?25Seriously!

But wait – it’s going to grow even more!…

There should be adjusted percentage points when the USEFULNESS of each record set is taken into account.  Which records will be most beneficial for the largest number of researchers?

Many of the biggies are online now.  Most US censuses, a nice variety of vital records, lots of city directories, a huge selection of newspapers and hundreds of wonderful historic maps are easily accessible via the internet for the viewing!

Q:  Which would be more likely to help us in our research, the 1880 Federal Census for Chicago -or- Member Directory of the Greene Street Philatelist Club of Beaufort, South Carolina, Autumn, 1727?

A:  Duh!

Q:  Shouldn’t census records alone make that iceberg tip even larger?

A:  Why, yes.  Yes, they should.

With the Usefulness Factor included, how large should the iceberg tip be NOW?

50Really!

Not much of an iceberg tip now, is it?

There’s more information online than you think.  WAY more.  I know this because I keep finding more things online!

How many have gone to ancestry.com, typed in a name, got only a couple of search results and then cried “Online genealogy researching SUCKS!”.  Or they do a quickie Google search, not realizing how much of the internet Google can actually get at?  Isn’t it something like…10%?

No big secret to online family history research.  You have to know where to look.  And be able to get there quickly.  Oh yeah, and know genealogy.

OK, so maybe that 50% is slightly high, but regardless – that iceberg tip is no longer a valid analogy for online genealogy research material availability.  (You knew I had to be going somewhere with this fuzzy math.)

In any case, the above outdated and misleading poster needs to be TOSSED!!!!!

Or modified, at the very least…

Genealogy Research 2014with apologies to Elizabeth Gorrell

Others say it’s only 5%…*sigh*

 

If you don’t believe this, put me to the test.  I’m always up for a challenge!

 TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

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