The Online Genealogist

John Brugliera

Archive for the tag “FamilySearch”

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

Great genealogy information and unique history snapshots are found in town records!

 

Leb Town Records 01
FamilySearch’s impressive online town records collection comes in very handy when looking for earlier vital records, town meetings, warnings out, etc.   As most volumes are NOT indexed by FS, you’ll need to browse and manually hunt down what genealogy items you are looking for.  Although many of the “physical” books DO contain varying indexes within.

I also find that reading through these town records provides an interesting picture of what life was like some 200+ years ago in a particular area.  Even more fascinating is when they’re your town records.

For instance, I can’t imagine Lebanon, NH bringing up these items during a recent meeting.

Leb Town Records 02

I’ve been living here for over 12 years and I have yet to see any swine running around loose on the streets.   And the punishment for stray piggies?

Lebanon Town Recs v.1 075

Talk about government pork – quite literally!  Also in The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same Dept…

Lebanon Town Recs v.1 002

Let’s meet to specifically dismiss the meeting – yes!!  Or better yet…

Lebanon Town Recs v.1 004

What?  A government getting NOTHING DONE?!?  Nah!  Can’t happen!  OK, I’ll try and dial the sarcasm down some.

But when they DO get some work done, it comes out like this.

Lebanon Town Recs v.1 007

These nine lines could easily be whittled down to three.  But not by the government.  I’d think using such big words back in 1768 would more likely “discommode the inhabitants”.

Also within Lebanon’s town records are road surveys, which are impossible to use now.

Leb Town Records 04

Lots of long-gone trees and rock piles!

Here’s another challenging item brought up in one of the meetings…

Leb Town Records 03

I’m guessing this pre-dates the first town library, as that would surely be the job of the head librarian.  Then again, if they had a library, this wouldn’t be an issue!

They could also use the library for a good dictionary or two.

Lebanon Town Recs v.1 025

Though it looks rather  intentional.  A Town Clerk doubling as the County Comedian? 

Lebanon Town Recs v.1 006

So, who Wood have thunk that town records would contain so much neat stuff??

 

I did, but I’m The Online Genealogist!!  Hire me as I have NO problem delving into town records!

JohnBrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

 

The Online Genealogist sez “Great Scot!…but still UK”

110 PercentRegardless of CNN’s bad math (heh), it appears that Scotland will remain as part of the United Kingdom.  Why do I care?  Because I’m roughly 3/16th of Scottish descent!

My great-great-grandfather, James Morison, emigrated from Glasgow around 1886-1887.  He and his family spent most of their American life in South Boston, MA – at ten different addresses.  Which was NOT unusual for immigrants in the late 1800s/early 1900s.

Being The Online Genealogist, I thought I’d share some of the best links for Scottish research.

I’ve definitely had the best results using Scotlands People.

ScotPeeps

Even though it’s a credit-based service, if you can pinpoint where your ancestor lived via other methods, it’s well worth the cost.

Besides the usual FamilySearch.com, Ancestry.com, Cyndi’s List (etc.), here are some other links I’m SURE you will find helpful!

NatScot

ScotLib

ScotLib2

GenReg

Origins

ScotArch

SGS

GenUKi

IGS

ScotLinksThese are ALL great starting points for your online Scottish genealogy digging.

Here are a few websites specifically for Glaswegian research.

GlasgowHist

HistGlasgow

GlasgowDirs

GCCSpringburn is the village of Glasgow where James Morison lived prior to coming to America.

SpringAnd yes, it’s always fun to brag that my great-great-grandfather IS “Jim” Morison – heheheheh.

Jim2

Do you need help to Break On Through (To The Other Side) with regard to your family history research? Assisting with tearing down your genealogy brick walls would surely Light My Fire!  OK, this is The End of bad Doors references.

Anyway, you could always hire ME!…The Online Genealogist!!!!  And NOT feel like Riders On The Storm.  Sorry, it slipped out.

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

A few recent genealogy items worthy of note

FaGraveFind A Grave (via Ancestry.com’s blog) announced that the 100,000,000th photo was uploaded onto their website.  Yeah, I could’ve written it as “100 Million”, but look at all those ZEROES!

That’s a great milestone and pretty impressive for a website that many originally blew off as a celebrity-worship “ooooo, this is where he’s buried!” novelty destination that would be gone in a few years.  But after 19?  Boy, did they prove ME – errr, THEM wrong!!  Find A Grave is a definite boon for genealogists, historians and the entire goth community!  Me eating crow.  Poorly.

And has THIS finally been successfully proven?

Mail OnlineMr. Edwards claims he was able to extract DNA from a shawl found by one of Jack’s victims. How??  Ya gotta buy his BOOK to find out!!

JackEh, in all fairness, the article is rather meaty and has several photos, so I will not mock.  Thank you, Mr. Edwards!  The free plug for his BOOK should make up for any ill will.  Fascinating stuff, for sure!

And NOT to sound like a broken record regarding online records, but here’s MORE!!

FamilySearchScroll down a bit for the numbers.  FamilySearch.com is surely living up to their promise of a continuous flow of digitized records – indexed and non-indexed!  So, instead of waiting for the entire indexing process to catch up to the records (a few years??), they keep adding all sorts of goodies for us to BROWSE through.  Did I ever mention I love to browse? 

Well, even with all the indexes, I often end up browsing anyway.  Whether it be to find the actual ancestor I’m looking for or learn more of what and who’s around that ancestor if some promising results came up in the initial search.

These two FamilySearch items are of special note to U.S. researchers, as they are NEW sources; the others were updates to existing collections.

FS New 01FS New 02I’ll close out with something I came across today, from nearly 100 years ago, it’s the 1915 Norwich, Connecticut Tax List via the Norwich Bulletin!

NorwichThis is a great mid-decade resource for placing your Norwich, CT ancestor.  Check it out.  You could actually find someone you “know” in there!

But if your ancestors never lived in Norwich (99.9999% of us), I can still help you out!  Hire ME — The Online Genealogist!!!

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

 

 

Congratulations, FamilySearch.org!!!!

FS

On Monday, July 21, Familysearch.org held their Worldwide Indexing Event.   The goal was to get 50,000 batches keyed; at least one batch per contributor.  By the end of the 24 hours, they had over 66,000 batches submitted, 16,000 over their goal – NICE!!!!!!!

Of course, being The Online Genealogist, I contributed a few batches and subsequently part of that total.  So, yes…

IMH

Or, if I knew Italian…

IMH2

Congrats to FamilySearch and to all who contributed!!!!

Your reward (besides one of these badges)?…

A genealogy-related funny that I came across the other day!

bg140722

Yuk, yuk, yuk!!

And if your family tree has MORE than one branch, you’ll need some help…from ME!!!!

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

Join The Worldwide Indexing Event Tonight Into Tomorrow!!!

Capture

Just helping to get the word out on FamilySearch.org‘s Worldwide Indexing Event.

The LDS’ goal is to get participants to transcribe ONE BATCH for indexing.  Of course, you can do as many as you like, but they figure if EVERYONE that’s into genealogy does that one batch, it will help IMMENSELY with their ongoing effort to have indexes available for many of their wonderful FamilySearch collections.

And you KNOW The Online Genealogist will be there!  As I’m not huge on data entry, I’ve requested to be an arbitrator.  A tie-breaker, if you will.  As I can actually read many of these records (though not ALL are handwritten), I find it more to my liking and skill level.

Also, if you’d like to get all social at any time during those 24 hours, you can join DearMyrtle’s GeneaSleepOver!

DearMyrtle

There, you can drop in and say hi (via headset and video or on the sidelines with typed-in comments) to many others who will be joining this ambitious undertaking!

If you use FamilySearch.org at all (their website is FREE; no yearly subscription!), then it is your OBLIGATION to key in that one batch.  As that is ALL they are asking.

And most importantly – have some FUN while you’re doing so!!

 

But if you have NO interest at all in doing anything genealogy-related online, then I’m your man!!!

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

 

 

 

Family History Humor, featuring Jean E. Allogee

 

 

Hiney

While researching, I frequently come across records that give me a chuckle; mostly bad name puns and the like.

Or those that are comical all in themselves.  Such as the above 1850 Federal Census extract for Rome, PA.

Yes, Henry Hiney, his wife Sally Ann Hiney and their presumed five children.  George Hiney at the bottom (sorry) could be a younger brother of Henry Hiney.

But the kid’s names are even better… Zepheminah Hiney! C.C. Hiney!!

City directories are a GOLDMINE for such silliness.  Or if not, I just add my own.

Like Jesus Christ is NOT in Buffalo!

No Jesus Christ

He should be between Jacob the carpenter and the John on Clinton Street.

But then I thought, Well, DUH!  Of course Jesus would be UNLISTED!!

And what’s a directory without a few good name and occupation combos?  This from the 1911 Boston Directory.

George Speede Boston 1911

Now, what ELSE would George L. Speed be doing for work??

And a 1932 Columbia, NH entry.

Columbia Directory 1932

E.E. Cass: “You wanna work on my farm and your name is Guy LeGro??  You’re HIRED!!

You know, that’s how many surnames came to be in the first place.

“I am a blacksmith and will forth hence be known as Mr. Smith!”

“Yes, and I own a mill.  Instead of ‘Very Friendly Mill Man’,  I hereby change my name to Bud Miller!!”

“Oh, but I am a DOG CATCHER!  Forthwith and beyond -”

Wait, that doesn’t work out; damn!  Eh, you get my gist.

And maybe we could have farmer Guy above “translate” this ad page from the 1915 Lebanon Directory.

Leb 1915

“Yeah, I need my horse renovated…”

“We’re Rogers & Hubbard!  Your one-stop shop for bone-based fertilizer!”

Cow invigorator??  I don’t even wanna know what that’s supposed to do!  Boviagra?

And don’t forget “Books free. Good books too.”  Ha!

I saw this in unsold ad space in a 1928 Lancaster, NH directory.

LOOK

A raise of hands…

How many of you have come across typographical errors in city directories?

Yep, everyone but that one dude in the back there.  “Yo!  Henry Hiney!!  Research much??”

So, how many people have THEY offended over the years in hundreds of localities across the country?  They should be apologizing here instead of looking for ad dollars!  OK, rant over.

From the Federal Naturalization Index…

Superfine

Lewis Superfine from Russia!  Wonder what his Russian name really was.

And I’ll leave you with this almost-triple-play…

Russell

Yes, it’s Russel Russ, of Russell, NY!

 

Thank you ancestry.com and familysearch.org for most of the above images!

Besides being screen captures, these items have not been altered in ANY WAY.  “If you don’t believe me, you can look it up yourself!” (King of California, 2007)  That’s why I always include WHERE they’re extracted FROM.

 

Because that’s just what The Online Genealogist does.

And don’t forget my Free Quickie Online Ancestor Search!!!  Details upper right.

I would love to research for you!

 

TOG WEB

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

FamilySearch.org reaches ONE BILLION IMAGES online!!!

Image

That’s a VERY impressive milestone for the LDS and their wonderful FREE website!

And there’s no sign of them slowing down at all.  If anything, they’ll be adding MORE images online.

It took FamilySearch 7 years to reach 1 billion; they estimate it will be 3 to 5 years to reach 2 billion.  And it’s a mix of digitizing their 70+ years of microfilm (see below), and all-new never-available-before-anywhere brand-spankin’-new titles!

And they’re not alone.  Institutions and groups from small town historical societies to major universities have been busily (and often quietly) scanning their various documents and making them available online.

So, thank you LDS for pioneering the preservation, recording and sharing this incredible amount of family history material; both online and off!!!!!!

Image

It’s also great news for me as well, being The Online Genealogist and all.

 T-O-G Biz 01

johnbrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

Post Navigation