The Online Genealogist

John Brugliera

Archive for the tag “eCollection”

Genealogical Guffaws & Ha-Ha History

Time once again for The Online Genealogist to dip into his bag of garba- er, TRICKS and bring you the “best” and “funniest” items you will ever “see”!  Gotta love the quotes; no disclaimer required!

For you newbie readers of this garba- er, BLOG, that would be any family history-related tidbit found in print, such as newspapers and city directories.  But mostly, newspapers and city directories.  Most anything that fits into the “Ya just can’t make this up and if you did; why would you want to?” category.

And newspaper marriage combos are my favorites!  I could be so lucky to find most humorous pairings like STRAW-HOUSE, MOORE-RONN or KNOTT-PFUNNIE; so instead, you get this garba- STUFF!  From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Bklyn Eagle 18600810a Church-Church

Two Churches married by a Rev. Bell… in a church!

Not living up to his name…

Bklyn Eagle 18600801a Elder

…and an oxymoronic exit from this earth…

Bklyn Eagle 19260127 Lively death

Ah, yes – a Lively death.

On the flip side, here’s a boring couple for ya…

Bklyn Eagle 18601201a Moore-Knapp

They’re a hit a parties!  Zzzzzzz.

Besides the splotchy print, what is wrong with this marriage announcement?

Bklyn Eagle 18610520a Doherty-Rev. Pise

Score 50 points if you answered “Wait a minute!… Who’s gettin’ married here??”

Fortunately, it was corrected the next day.

Bklyn Eagle 18610521a Doherty-O'Donnell

…after a lengthy tongue-lashing from the furious bride, I’m sure!

Well, well, well…

Bklyn Eagle 18620307a Crowell-Cornwell

Many confusing introductions at THAT reception.  Ya think??

Is this a marriage or chess commentary?!?

Bklyn Eagle 18700203a Bishop-Trappall

Of course, BISHOP-KNIGHT would’ve been funnier.  Though maybe not for Miss Owatta Knight.

This is probably more common than you’d think…

Bklyn Eagle 18620528a Walsh-Walters

…marrying the girl that sat behind you in school!

What’s worse than two families flipping out, worrying about the upcoming marriage?

Bklyn Eagle 18600906a McFarland-Ashfield(x2)

…having to go through that hell, times two!!

Jeez, the McFarlands and Ashfields took up so much room that last newlyweds Arnold and Amaret were left with SQUAT!

Not looking for Lois and Clark; but super, man.

Bklyn Eagle 18700429a Kent-Lane

From the 1915 (!) Lebanon, NH city directory, it’s not Sam Carpenter, house-builder, but…

Directory Lebanon 1915 175a

Staying in Lebanon, but this coming from the Granite State Free Press.

GSFP 19420914 01a

We can only hope!

Here’s another “Fire the ad agency!!”-worthy ad in the Norwich Bulletin

Norwich Bulletin 19141113 07a

See comment below barber Pat… above.

It’s May 18, 1861 and this Bangor Daily Whig ad says Uncle Sam is NOT looking for soldiers to sign up for the barely-started Civil War.

Bangor Daily Whig 18610518 02a

“You’ll never see combat!  Only fifes and/or drums!!”  Yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

And the typesetter is getting a little tipsy at the Omaha Daily Bee

Omaha Bee 19150612 18a Crooked Type

Oh, today’s e-editors have NO idea.

Should you be worried if your newspaper editor may also be QUACKING?  From the Bradford page in an 1858 Vermont atlas…

Dr. Editor Mann

Voodoo doctor?  Super, Mann!

Even so, sounds better than his colleague Dr. Farr; a mechanical dentist.  I can hear the machinery nearing a patient’s mouth now.  Oh, the screams.

And the July 19, 1856 issue of the Boston Transcript shows that it was NOT a good day to be a George Russell in New England.

Boston Transcript 18560719a

And so ends this Ancestry.com-free blog posting!!!

JohnBrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

The Online Genealogist questions Annecestrees* answer

No, I’m not aiming towards an Ancestry.com mutiny with this recent run of posts; it just so happens that they’re so HUGE and have SO much going on!  And as I will point out, it’s a double-edged sword.

Check this out…

Ask Anne

Ahhh, yes.  This is the genealogical equivalent to a debate on religion or politics.  There are some strong opinions out there, for sure.  Foreshadow, foreshadow…  And check out the pages and pages of comments!  Which I will read AFTER this post.

I fully agree with Ancestry Anne’s answer… to a point.  You just knew that was coming, eh?  If you’re the number one genealogical website, shouldn’t there be some types of *gasp* standards set for the massive amount of Public Member Trees (PMTs) they host under their Ancestry.com name?

I can’t go merrily updating James Brown‘s Wikipedia page claiming that he has risen from the dead and will be appearing for a limited engagement at Bellagio’s poorly-named O Theater in Vegas.  Wikipedia won’t allow me to do that!

Why do we use Wikipedia?  Because, overall, it is the most reliable encyclopedia of EVERYTHING; because they have standards.  Why doesn’t Ancestry.com have the same mentality when it comes to their PMTs?  Huh, Anne??

Ancestry has no checks and balances when it comes to the “factual” information their members are adding to their trees.  Heck, I could totally manufacture a tree on there.  I’d link existing families to other non-related families; what’s to stop me? Or create a completely ridiculous, totally fabricated member tree; like so…

X-Men

But who should I be: Fantomex or Shard?  Hmmmmmmmm…  Yes, some would suggest Bird-Brain – heh.

OK, a show of hands…  How many of you clicked on one of the three hyperlinks, bringing you to their Wiki page?  Come on, admit it – when you did see it was Wikipedia, was there an immediate sense of relief because you KNEW that the information on their website was probably 99.999999% accurate?

Now, if you tried to post erroneous info on Wolverine‘s Wiki page, rabid fans would be looking for a bounty on your head!  But what if the X-Men links led to a “legitimate” Ancestry.com Public Member Tree?  Would your confidence level for Ancestry be comparable to that of Wikipedia’s; or more towards their “leftover” .000001%?

Don’t get me wrong, Ancestry.com is usually the first site I hit for family history research.  But when it comes to their PMTs, I was already following Ancestry Anne’s suggestion of having little trust for the information provided on “her” website.  OK, that’s not quite how she put it, but in so many words…

Did Anne’s watered-down quasi-excuse address any of these issues?  Heck, no!  It’s Ancestry’s 800-pound pink hot potato in the room.  Huh?!?  “Since we can’t control how accurate our PMT info is, we’ll wash our hands of it and say ‘You’re on your own!'”.  Think you’d see anything like that from Wikipedia?

“We’ll return to The Online Genealogist’s post in just a moment; right after this timely semi-related chuckle…”

MAD

Granted, many Ancestry Public Member Trees are fantastic; wonderfully documented timelines with viewable source images included for all to see.  But those are the exceptions and not the rule.  Tell me again, why isn’t ANY kind of proof a requirement to add a “fact”?  Have the PMT “lunatics” taken over the “asylum”?

I feel as if I’m beating a dead horse, as I know this has been a major bone-of-contention for long-time Ancestry subscribers.  Most of who would’ve never included so many bad clichés in one blog post.  Then again, maybe we DO need to yell our heads off so the PMT Dept. can hear us!

So, Ancestry Anne – if there’s even such a person – did you have to bite your tongue… uhhhhhh, bite your FINGERS, while replying to “Vicki”?

Ancestry – you expect the gazillion documents in your collection to be accurate and reliable; why not the similar high-quality standards for your PMTs?  I know of several members who have brought this issue to your attention with specific examples, yet to see no resolution.

And, no, I refuse to play the New Membership Trumps Public Member Tree Accuracy card.  Doesn’t even need to go there.  Or did I just inadvertently use it by saying I wasn’t going to??

Example

Here’s a typical scenario:  In comes a new (free) Ancestry.com member.  She adds her known family information and receives several “shaky leaf” hints.  Unknowingly, she attaches herself to an erroneous PMT, which propagates further as it shows up in other members’ hints; repeatedly… “Wow!  I found a bunch of new relatives!  Where do I join?”

So, again – Anne’s advice is sound and should be heeded, but with the above added caveat lector, emptor, venditor and a bunch of other Latin words.  Tiny  Jeez, I’d be completely lost without the internet.

Time for Ancestry.com to roll out their new PMTs slogan?… “Don’t fully trust our Public Member Trees; just use them like really good hints!”  OK, so it could use a bit of tweakage.

Now to spend a few hours reading this post’s 127 comments accumulated over the past 12 days…  I’m surely not the only one to bring up these issues.

And here’s hoping you never receive a shaky leaf for your newest “relative”, Fantomex!

* combo of Ancestry Anne, Ancestry.com Public Member Trees (PMTs) a.k.a. “Ancestry’s Trees”.  Which I realize should be Tiny

 

JohnBrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

 

 

Just in case you have a few billion dollars kickin’ around

Big news of the day is that Ancestry.com is pondering a sale of their website.

Two people talk at the Ancestry.com booth at the Rootstech Conference sponsored by Family Search in Salt Lake City, Utah February 7, 2014 REUTERS/George Frey

Two people talk at the Ancestry.com booth at the Rootstech Conference sponsored by Family Search in Salt Lake City, Utah February 7, 2014 REUTERS/George Frey

Hell, if I had the money, I’d put in a bid!  Better yet – why don’t subscribers pool their funds to buy it?  Owner benefits would include a free lifetime World Explorer Plus membership!

Going in another direction, what if the LDS folks snatched it up?  Combining Ancestry.com with FamilySearch.org would be HUGE.  Sure, there’s much overlap; but each offer their own great collections of exclusive information.  And both have already been partnering with other major genealogical websites!

I would have NO problem with paying for a subscription to AncestryFamilySearch.com.  That “extra” money would go towards the acceleration of LDS’s digitizing microfilm for online databases; a massive undertaking.  How incredible would THAT be??

Yes, many would yell “Monopoly!”, but don’t these two websites, the TOP TWO of 2015 (and located less than an hour’s drive of each other!), combine to be a sort of monopoly anyway?  And what would be wrong with that??

aFS

Logo courtesy of Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org and Photoshop and John B.

Finding the majority of your sources on AFS.com would surely make online research just that much easier.

Yes, it’s always nice to imagine the possibilities.

 

 

JohnBrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

 

 

The Online Genealogist is thankful for… online genealogy!!

OG 01

When I began my family history research in 1989 and someone told me I’d be The Online Genealogist in 2014, I’d reply with “On WHAT line?  My paternal or maternal??

Boy, have we come a long way in 25 years!  When historians look back on genealogy as a whole, there’s probably NO other quarter-century period where SO much has changed.  I say for the better, but others mainly those stubborn non-technical types wouldn’t be so quick to jump up and down in excitement for online genealogy and what’s in store for the future.

OG 02

So I thought now would be the perfect time to compare family history research, then (1989), now (2014) and in the future.  Remember that old song In The Year 2525?  Well, we won’t go THAT far ahead… How about 2025?  Which, of course, would be all speculation on my part.

OG 03

Then:  The majority of genealogical research is conducted in libraries.

Now:  A large percentage of genealogical research can be conducted via the internet.

Future:  The MAJORITY of genealogical research can be conducted via the internet.

Then:  The research you’re undertaking is heavily dictated by what repositories you can physically visit and when.  You’re at the mercy of the hours they’re open and when you can get there.

Now:  The research you’re undertaking is heavily dictated by the research path you’re following online – 24/7.  A MUCH more natural and efficient way to conduct ANY type of research!.  The “old” method is seriously backwards and counter-intuitive.  Instead of going with the flow, you’re often swimming upstream; researching what you can where you’re at when you can.

Future:  Even more “now” research and less “then”, which is inefficient and “highly illogical”.  Thank you Mr. Spock!

OG 04

Then:  A specific research plan can take weeks – even MONTHS – to complete.

Now:  A specific research plan can take a few hours – even MINUTES – to complete.

Future:  A specific research plan can take minutes – even SECONDS – to complete.  OK, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you surely get the gist.

Then:  Roots.

Now:  Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, Who’s In My Line?

Future:  Instant Connections, Ancestral Challenge, Genealogy Update.

OG 05

Then:  Hours and hours are spent traveling to and from each research repository.  Which adds up to dollars and DOLLARS.

Now:  You only travel for research if you can’t find what you’re looking for online.  And more often than not, you won’t be leaving your chair.

Future:  You only travel for research if you absolutely MUST.  More will be found online, thus less time spent in your car or on a plane.

OG 06

Then:  You’re overwhelmed with paper copies.

Now:  You’re overwhelmed by all the original records online.

Future:  You’re overwhelmed by immediate access to ANYTHING and EVERYTHING genealogy.

Then:  You need to make the most of your library visits; often working on several ancestors at once.  See counter-intuitive above.

Now:  You can research your ancestors ONE AT A TIME online.  Which is 100 times more productive and a whole lot less confusing.

Future:  You’ll research your one ancestor with much more ease and less mouse clicks.

OG 07

Then:  You either transcribe a document or make a paper copy of it.

Now:  You either download an image of a record or physically take a digital photograph of it.

Future:  99% digital, bay-bee!

Then:  Correspondence is mainly done via the United States Postal Service.  You can expect a reply in maybe a month or two.

Now:  Correspondence is mainly done via email.  You can expect a reply in maybe a week or two at the most.

Future:  Less and less correspondence will be required, with the immense amount of online offerings available.

OG 08

Then:  NOTHING is online because there IS no online!

Now:  5% of genealogical records are online.  Pffffft!

Future:  More than 6% of genealogical records are online.  Heh.

Then:  DNA is unreliable and not accepted as evidence in court.

Now:  DNA is heavily used in our justice system as well as for genealogical research.

Future:  More and more people will have their DNA tested, thus making it a more reliable and essential research tool.

OG 09

Then:  An Everton’s Genealogical Helper subscription is a MUST-HAVE.

Now:  An ancestry.com subscription is a MUST-HAVE.

Future:  An All-Access Online Genealogy subscription is a MUST-HAVE.

Then:  “Dear local genealogical society…”

Now:  Dear Myrtle!

Future:  “Dear XJ-1B Automated Genealogy Assistant, please locate for me…”

OG 10

Then:  “I found dozens of ancestors!  But it took me an entire YEAR.”

Now:  “I found hundreds of ancestors!!  In just a few months.”

Future:  “I found THOUSANDS of ancestors!!!  In a non-stop two-week online marathon session!”

Then:  Contacting and connecting to newly-found living relatives can be a chore.

Now:  Ancestry.com shaky-leaf hints, Facebook, email, Skype, etc.

Future:  ?????

OG 11

So, as you can see, I am VERY optimistic regarding the future of genealogical research; especially online.  The speed and sheer numbers of digital records being added DAILY is mind-boggling.

In this day and age, those not embracing all this technology are at a serious disadvantage.  Even if you visit a repository in person, the first thing they’ll have you do is get onto one of their computers to access what they’re already offering online anyway.  So, there’s no excuse NOT to be keeping up with the times and taking full advantage of EVERYTHING online research has to offer!!

OG 12

Then:  The Yugo.

Now:  The Prius.

Future:  Flying cars!!!

Eh, there’s hope yet…

 

Then:  John Brugliera, Genealogist.  Zero clients.

Now:  The Online Genealogist.  Several clients.

Future:  The Online Genealogist Co., Inc.  Hundreds of clients!!

JohnBrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

How many genealogy pay sites does one really need to subscribe to?

Ancestry

I wonder if any fellow researcher has determined how much it would cost per year to subscribe to ALL of the major annual-payment genealogy websites.  What do you think that dollar amount would tally up to?

Just off the top of my head, I’d say $1,000 would be a good ballpark figure.  Of course, only the (wealthy!) genealogist who needs access to EVERYTHING would ever dole out that $1k each year.  So, we can probably agree that subscribing to ALL of them is not necessary.

So, how many and which ones should you cough up the dough for?

Fold3

Not to sound all wishy-washy, but it depends on YOU and what kind of family research you are doing.  Some of us are perfectly content in sticking with the multitude of free websites available, but others (such as myself) do realize that the information we glean from the pay sites is WELL worth the cost of admission.

Let’s take me, for example.  To me, subscribing to Ancestry.com is a no-brainer.  And I’m just talking the U.S. Discovery package here.  I was a World Explorer once, but with going pro (again), I really only needed the States stuff – which is sufficient.  The breadth and scope of Ancestry’s domestic offerings are just what the doctor ordered for researching successfully for myself as well as others.

When it comes to military records, Fold3 is tops in my book.  They’ve got everything from enlistment records to actual pension FILES; and everything in between!  And now, under the Ancestry umbrella, military searches on there may bring up results linking directly to Fold3.  Pretty slick, I say!

NEHGS

As my research specialty is New England, NEHGS’s American Ancestors was another must-have.  They’ve got the Barbour Collection (CT vitals), The Great Migration Begins 1620-1633 (earliest immigrants) and their NEHGS Register, with Volume One dating all the way back to 1847.  Yes, there was genealogy back then.  The major selling point for me, though, was the ability to access Deaths Reported in the Boston Recorder and Telegraph, 1827 & 1828!  <–Joke.  And a bad one at that.

Is that it?  Of course not!  Just today, I decided to sign up for WorldVitalRecords and GenealogyBank.  Both offer trial periods (free and not), and I’ve had them on my to-check-out list for a few months now.

WVR

GenBank

Why these two?  Well, WVR because of their world vital records (duh) and Everton’s Genealogical Helper, an old favorite that I just enjoy flipping through.  For you young folk, it was THE genealogy magazine, before this whole crazy interweb thing.  Yes, a magazine.  Kind of like a book, but more flexible and chrono-relevant. 

GenealogyBank has newspapers, newspapers and MORE newspapers.  But again, this was after finding that it had the best selection of New England newspapers, compared to all the other guys.  Newspaper.com, NewspaperArchive.com and MORE newspaper-prefixed dot-coms.  GB also appears to have top-of-the-line OCR (Occasionally Correct Reader) software.  I was very impressed on a few of the items found, given the original papers’ condition and film quality.

Whenever I’m checking out any potential pay site, the very first thing I do is enter my name in the “free search” box.  No first name; only the last.  It’s uncommon enough so that I can tell what they have by what results come up for it.  You may want to try one of your obscure family names to get the same idea.

Speaking of free searches, I use Mocavo only for the search results and then find the links on my own.  As it’s a Google for genealogy, most things can be found easily enough once you know what they are.  If that makes any sense.  Sorry, Michael.

Bottom line: try before you buy.  LOOK at what records they actually HAVE, which I know can be difficult to do with some of them at times.  Do a few of those oddball searches, and if you go “Oooooooooooooooooooooo!” upon seeing the results; you’ve got your answer (heh).

And going back to the aforementioned Genealogical Helper, here’s a page from 25 years ago!

GenHelper

Pretty scary, eh?

 

And if YOU’RE looking “for a CHEAP estimate”, contact ME… The Online Genealogist!!!  Replace “Brockton, MA” with “West Lebanon, NH” and “Southeastern Massachusetts” with “New England, New York and Eastern Townships (early Quebec)”, and we’re there!

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

Nothin’ like a few million FREE IMAGES to spice up your family story!

Flickr - IA

The Internet Archive folks recently posted over 2.5 million IMAGES onto the photo-sharing website, Flickr.  Extracted from thousands of books originally searchable by text ONLY at Internet Archive.  Now the images can be searched on Flickr!

Why is this a big deal for genealogists?  We get perty pictures to go with our family histories!  Even though they are mostly “old” images past copyright, you’ll  surely discover a visual gem or two to accompany your ancestors’ stories.

Whether it be something specific like a photo of a long-gone family homestead or generic such as a period steam liner used to illustrate an immigrant family’s trans-Atlantic journey – it’s probably in there.  Remember, we’re talking over two-and-a-half million images here!

So, if you had MacLarens in Windsor, Ontario around 1900, they may have been “manufacturing” cheese…

MacLaren

Or perhaps some of your family lived near Chicago’s Garfield Park.  Here’s a close-up of that area from 1921.  There are several other neighborhoods available for viewing/downloading!

Garfield

Maybe you’re the 3rd-great-grandchild of Dr. P. Edward Seguin, who set up practice in Royalton, Minnesota.  Do a Flickr search for him now and his photo comes right up!  He’s the one with the facial hair (heh).

Seguin 01

Then you hit a link and the original book is shown in its entirety; you’ll see the image in context and maybe find a few more words to go with your Man of 10,000 Lakes.

Seguin 02

Nice stash there, guy.  Oh, and check out his goateed colleague, George Allen Love, M.D. — Dr. Love!  (And yes, I love stuff “finding me” like this.)  Time to break out some Kiss!…

And while most early records aren’t OCR-friendly, they are definitely considered to be images.  Such as the below Allen County, Indiana Circuit Court Index from 1824.  (Hi ACPL!)  All images are downloadable, with Flickr’s excellent choices ranging from thumbnail to original.  I always grab the original, then re-size that as needed.

Allen 02

You can also download several stock photo-type items without the worry of being busted by the copyright police!  Like this large uppercase “C” for your the background of your Carlson Family homepage.

C

Anyway, you get the idea.  That is to NOT overlook this incredible Flickr/Internet Archive e-collection while gathering all sorts of images for your family story.

Then there’s this one image we will ALL use when we finish our family histories and they’re complete.

Adam & Eve

HA – GOTCHA!!!

Oh, and PhotoShop, etc. can also straighten images to make them even PERTIER!

 

And if YOU think that your ancestry can be traced all the way back to Adam & Eve, do NOT hire me — the Online Genealogist!!

TOG WEB

 

 johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

 

The DOAR is always wiiiiiiiide open at OpenDOAR!

This is one of those directory websites you could easily spend the day browsing through.

The OpenDOAR is the largest collection of links to most of the world’s major libraries, with an emphasis on college library eCollections and other online offerings.

OpenDoar 00

Listed mainly by continent, there’s a large page for each of them!

Image

The great thing here is that the link goes directly to the homepage for that repository’s online electronic databases.

Image

Image

All sorts of genealogical nuggets to be found here for SURE!

I have yet to get the dreaded “404 Error” via an OpenDOAR link, so it’s well-maintained. And as alluded to above, I’ve already hit several of them!

This is as far as I go for the show.  The fun here of course is BROWSING!  Just knowing what’s available for your specific research areas for future use is huge.

So, if you’re sitting around one rainy day and need an escape…

“Let’s go to FIJI!!…”

OpenDoar 04

Thank you, University of Nottingham!!!!

OpenDoar 05

OpenDOAR is DEFINITELY one to keep at the top of your bookmarks list!

T-O-G Biz 01

 

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