Family History Research

Follow Friday – PBS Ancestors

I came across a great resource last week while looking for information for my Kids Genealogy Blog. The resources is PBS’s Ancestors site.

Look around there when you have some time but pay specific attention to the “FREE CHARTS” on the left-hand column toward the bottom. There are some fantastic resources in there especially if you are a beginning genealogist.

Take a look when you have time and post your comments about the forms.

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Mappy Monday – NGS HSC Land Assignments

Well with two assignments left on the NGS HSC CD1, I ordered CD2. There are two assignments on land records I will need to complete. I was planning on heading to Springfield, IL, to research at the State Archives. I want some death certificates. Thought this would be a good time to also research and do these two land assignments.

One is on State and Federal Lands. I have to do a plat drawing based on a metes and bounds description provided. Then I have my choice of another assignment. Choice is probably not the best word because the assignment is based on whether or not I live in a federal-land state or state-land state. Illinois is a federal-land state so I’ll do that one. I have to survey land records at a repository – Illinois State Archives in this case, then write a report about it. I also have to provide copies of some of the records I find.

The other assignment is half done and I haven’t done anything. It is on land records and deeds. I have to visit a land office, in my case go back to the Chicago Recorder of Deed’s Office and ask them a few questions like what is the earliest record you have and what is it? A warranty deed, deed of trust, etc. Most of the other things I have to write about I already know because I have done research there.

The second part of this assignment is probably going to require me to get clarification, if NGS will provide any, on the assignment. They want you to visit a repository where there are deed indexes. The information states most indexes are by grantor and grantee so pick a surname and search that surname for a period of 10-15 years. Copy down all the entries for that surname from both grantor and grantee indexes. Well in Cook County, IL, the books are arranged by PIN/Legal Description as just the first step in a long process to locate and actually view the deed. Once you get to the book that shows the information for a piece of property it lists the grantor/grantee and all the other info they want. I will have to ask if it is ok to just use a piece of property to do this assignment since that’s how it is laid out in Cook County. The rest is easy – create a spreadsheet of the findings. Well I have already done that on a few pieces of property.

If NGS says I have to find a repository that has grantor and grantee index books then this will take a lot longer to complete.

I’ll keep you posted on how these assignments go. Should be interesting!

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Talented Tuesday – Presentation Time

Well in just over a week I will be giving my first genealogy presentation in years and years. This is also the first one since I started my Generations business last summer. Let’s be honest, I love to research, read and write. Plus I’m really good at that. Public speaking has not been a favorite pastime for me ever. I’m sure once I make it through this first presentation I will probably think about creating another one. At least that’s what Thomas MacEntee told me when I told him I was doing this months ago and was nervous about it. He said I may really enjoy presenting. We’ll see. I trust Thomas and know he would not steer me in the wrong direction.

I will be presenting April 9th at the Fountaindale Public Library’s Genealogy Day. I’m the first presenter. My presentation is “Visualizing Your Genealogical Data” and showing people how to use Excel, OneNote, Maps, and Blogging to view your data differently to break down brick walls and further research.

Here’s hoping it all goes smoothly!

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Motivation Monday – Scanning, Sorting

I have been reading so many posts recently about what to do with our genealogical treasures when we die, sorting and scanning photographs and documents, and photographing memorabilia. Then I received the most wonderful letter and package from Ginny, Bob Brouk’s widow. Bob is the focus of my book To Soar with the Tigers. Ginny sent me a few of Bob’s things that he bought while in Rangoon. I needed to make room in my curio cabinet for these items so they wouldn’t be broken. I also knew I needed to photograph them to put into a scrapbook I plan to make this year of that kind of stuff.

The guilt over not finishing my scanning and sorting and documenting all my “stuff” has been simmering for a while and is coming up like a volcanic eruption now. It is time to take care of this, even though I don’t plan to die any time soon.

I spent a good part of my weekend sorting through my boxes of memories. I sorted the stuff into boxes for person. My mom, dad, uncle, husband’s mom, dad, husband himself, then myself and each of my kids. I tossed some stuff I just didn’t need to keep, photographed and scanned other things. I still have many old photos to go through but it will get done.

What did I find? A picture of my high school sweetheart and I when we went to his Junior Prom. That was a blast from the past. So young, thin, full of life. Now…..well we won’t go there. HA! My mom gave me her high school year books and a bunch of other items that I had to just box up until I had time to go through them. I learned a few things about her life I didn’t know. I knew she was a good writer, but she could also draw. She gave me several reports and things she created in school, many of which had drawings. Gorgeous. Sadly, this gift did not get passed to me. I can only draw stick people. HA!

There are many photos from my husband’s side of Lithuanian relatives that are unmarked. It is doubtful we’ll know who these people are but I will scan some of them and post anyway. They are beautiful and who knows – maybe someone will see the photo and tell me who it is some day.

So if you are not going through your “stuff” to organize and label it in some fashion, think about doing so now. Don’t let too much time pass and get rid of the stuff you really don’t need to keep. It will make it easier for whomever you Will your belongings to later.

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