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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in research tips (29)

Thursday
Apr282011

* finding a death record gives new meaning to my birthday 

Birthdays have always been a big deal to me. "I'm the birthday girl" worked wonders during the few days surrounding the anniversary of my birth. This self centered view of "my day" was forever changed when I learned I was born on the day my gggg grandmother died in 1853. That's right- today is my birthday! Thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes- who ordered the delightful afternoon sunshine after the rain?? Thank youuu! My gggg grandmother Harriett Potts Wright died on April 28, 1853 in Bordentown, Burlington County, New Jersey. I was born April 28! What are the chances....

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Wednesday
Mar162011

* ancestry.com webinar: finding your irish ancestors 

Do you have Irish Ancestors? Want to learn more? In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Ancestry.com hosted a free webinar "Finding your Irish Ancestors in America and Ireland". I have quite a few Irish ancestors and I've been looking forward to this webinar. What I learned from the webinar....

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Friday
Jan212011

* Pointers for family picture labels

Don't: Write on the front of a picture

Example: Picture of my Shaw Ancestors

Sure labeling a picture this way makes it easier to identify people, but the integrity of the photo is somewhat compromised. Demonstrate your appreciation of their memories, only write on the back of the original picture. You can make a copy, write in the names, and save it with the original.

 Don't: only write the first name, who is Aunt Ann?

 

This picture alone would be quite a mystery, no mention of whose Aunt this is or a maiden or married surname. Always include the last names, especially the maiden names! Sometimes finding a woman's maiden name can prove to be the most difficult task. You can never assume pictures will stay within a a direct family line, any facts you can include will help tell the story.

Do: Write your name when adding or modifying a label.

Do: Write the date

Do: use Acid Free/Archival Safe Ink

Do: write the location!

I WISH more of my family photographs had some indication of location. Back in the day the family would stick together and live in a relatively local spot, this is probably one of the reasons they didn't jot down the city name or street. With sites like whatwasthere.com and historypin.com you can upload images, mark their location on the a virtual map, and compare the old picture vs the google street view from today. If only we could go back in time and explain this in the late 1800's- wouldn't they be surprised!

Do: ask family members for help!

It's really important to take the time and read over whatever inscriptions you find on family pictures and documents. The smallest detail can be the key to unlocking the secrets of your family. If you have a grandparent or great aunt or uncle nearby you could ask them to take a look at your pictures. This is a time sensitive opportunity- take advantage while you can!

Have fun preserving your pictures!

Monday
Dec202010

* Do you know your family health history? Family Health Portrait Can help!

Documenting your family health history can often be forgotten when researching your family. Knowing and having access your family health history can be vital for doctors to properly evaluate your health needs when faced with sickness or an emergency situation.

A new FREE online tool from the Surgeon General, My Family Health Portrait, can help you record your family health history. You fill out the easy to use form and it creates a pedigree family health history chart. When you are finished you can download the chart and save it to your computer and share it with family members or your doctor! Family Health Portrait is completely private and secure, the data you enter is not saved on their site and no government record is created. (HHS Privacy Policy Notice) If you already have a Microsoft Health Vault account you can copy your records to your Family Health Portrait and then save the new information added to your Family Health Portrait can be saved to your Microsoft Health Vault Account.

The holidays are a perfect time to talk with your family about genealogy and family roots, why not take this opportunity to start the conversation about your family health history. I know I will be talking with my family about our family health history. Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!