30 March 2010

Change in WDYTYA? schedule

Ancestry.com provided this update in today's email:

Change in Episode Schedule
NBC has altered a few of the Who Do You Think You Are? episode dates. The updated schedule is as follows:
-          April 2nd – Brooke Shields
-          April 9th – Sarah Jessica Parker (Repeat)
-          April 16th – No episode
-          April 23rd – Susan Sarandon
-          April 30th – Spike Lee

26 March 2010

TV reminder: Who Do You Think You Are? is on tonight.

Don't forget to watch the show tonight (7 central, 8 east and west coasts) as Mathew Broderick's family history is covered..

I might miss it live as I will be having dinner with some members of the Monroe County Genealogical Society in Michigan. I am presenting a seminar on Saturday at the Monroe County Community College. I hope to see some of my readers there!  Be sure to introduce yourself to me.

If I miss the show, I will just have to watch it on the NBC website or at hulu.com.

19 March 2010

WDYTYA episode 3 Lisa Kudrow

Lou Szucs from Ancestry.com reminds us to watch the show tonight and tells us about it being a ratings hit. I am looking forward to this episode.

Lou reports:  It appears the success of the Who Do You Think You Are? premiere wasn't just a one-hit wonder. In fact, more Americans tuned in to watch the second episode than the first! For a look at the second episode's ratings, click here.

This Week's Episode

You won't want to miss this week's episode. Lisa Kudrow sets out to learn the hard truth about what really happened to her Jewish ancestors who remained behind in Belarus during World War II. Despite the cold details of how the Holocaust impacted her family, Lisa's episode ends with a silver lining.

17 March 2010

My Irish surnames on this St. Patrick's Day

I live in the U.S. but I have ancestral ties to Canada, Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Germany, Scotland, and Sweden but the Irish ancestry is prevelant. They are from several counties in Ireland:

County Kerry (Dingle Peninsula):  Bowler, Fitzgerald, Walsh, Welch (mine ended up in Winona and Ramsey counties in Minnesota; a branch resided in the Boston, Massachusetts area)

County Limerick: Cook, Green, Moriarty/Moriarity (my branch of the  Cooks ended up in Rice and Ramsey counties in Minnesota)

County Tipperary: Hanley (mine ended up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and Winona and Ramsey counties in Minnesota; a branch ended up in North Dakota)

C-SPAN Archives includes a favorite word

C-SPAN has put its video archives online. As the website states "The C-SPAN Archives records, indexes, and archives all C-SPAN programming for historical, educational, research, and archival uses. Every C-SPAN program aired since 1987, now totaling over 160,000 hours, is contained in the C-SPAN Archives and immediately accessible through the database and electronic archival systems developed and maintained by the C-SPAN Archives."

C-SPAN provides a great insight into the political process, good, bad, ugly, and sometimes humorous. It's free to check. I decided to search for just one word: genealogy. I actually got 1 hit on a person, 7 program results hits, and 205 transcripts. Some don't apply to the word as family historians use it, but it's worth checking out. An interesting transcript I read was   Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave.

12 March 2010

Transcribing helps in understanding documents

I am presently transcribing part of a neat document in order to clearly understand all that it says. It is a very long sparagraph that lists many individuals and some descendants for each. The individuals are not necessarily related to each other, but rather were a small community of people. Due to the length of the paragraph, it was difficult to sort out everyone without glancing back at the paper multiple times. I was entering the information into The Master Genealogist, but the double checking was slowing down the process.

It is further confusing as some women are only listed with the married name, such as Mrs. John Doe. For a few individuals the descendants are listed with a later place of residence. Some people are listed as grandchildren but often the phrasing was not clear as to the parentage of the grandchildren. That missing generation means additional research is needed. Then the paragraph comes back to show some family links between a few people listed in the document.

10 March 2010

WDYTYA Episode 2, Emmitt Smith

Suzanne Russo Adams from Ancestry.com reports that the tune-in numbers for the first episode of Who Do You Think You Are? have been tabulated by the ratings companies. They show that "more than 6.85 million viewers tuned in to watch it, making it the No. 2-rated show that hour." Wow. Impressive numbers for something billed as genealogy.

07 March 2010

Who Do You Think You Are? Watch the online video

Did you miss the March 5th premier of Who Do You Think You Are? Maybe you want to watch it again? Just click here to see the video of the show on the NBC website.

Next seminar: March 27th, Monroe, Michigan

If you live in or near Monroe, Michigan I invite you to attend an all day seminar I am presenting for the Genealogical Society of Monroe County, Michigan. Monroe is located in the southeastern tip of Michigan. The date is March 27th. For more information and registration details, please request the flyer as an email attachment from germangenes@charter.net or from me at PaulaStuartWarren@gmail.com.

Untrodden Ground: Sources You May Not Have Encountered
Genealogical guidebooks often repeat each other in the sources they teach us about. However, there are many other useful sources. Resources related to occupation, religion, poor ancestors, traveling companions, and records beyond death are filled with family data.

Major Midwestern Archives & their Records
Highlighting some major Midwestern archives and their holdings, finding aids, websites, special indexes, and available assistance for those not visiting in-person. An overview of each state archive will be covered – but those in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio will be covered in greater detail, showing the wealth of material available and how to access it.

New York State: The hanging Face of the Modern Era
New York research is not a simple matter.  However, New York research is not as bleak as many have complained. Today’s genealogists are fortunate to have an expanding array of publications, indexes, ebsites, and advice to help them along in the search. This lecture focuses on some of the “new” things in New York research that have come about in the last several years.

Newspaper Research: The Dailies, Weeklies, and Beyond
Newspapers are one of the most important research sources. The neighborhood, ethnic, cultural, foreign language, and religious newspapers are often overlooked. Learn how to locate the newspapers all over the U.S. and wring more information from them. Examples will also make you aware of newspaper indexes, both published and unpublished, and massive microfilming and digitization projects.

05 March 2010

NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? It has debuted! WOW

I am typing this as I watch the premier show. I am impressed. Sarah Jessica Parker is the featured celebrity tonight and I am loving that they aren't jumping from celebrity to celebrity with small snippets of each. That bothered me a bit with the "Faces of America" series that was on PBS recently.

While they can't show each step of the research I am thrilled that they are showing a variety of records, both online and off. Visits to libraries, specific localities, historical societies, museums are shown. The starting point of talking with family and looking at home sources is represented in the visit with her mother. The audience gets to see Ancestry.com, census, newspaper articles, maps, old letters, original court records, and that not all is online. I did gulp a bit when I saw her pencil a bit too close to an original document. For those of you who have never used such documents, you might have to wear gloves when you use the records at some archives. This is to protect these one-of-a-kind records

If only we all could run from one part of the country to the other to research. Sigh. However, this does show that our answers are not all in one place. Nor does one person have all the knowledge. She worked with professional genealogists, historians, archivists,a librarian.

As a genealogist I was happy to see the range of emotions of the family history discovery that SJP went through -- excited, sad, bouncing off the wall, guilt, scared, and more. We saw the neat feelings of walking where your ancestors walked.

SJP's reactions to finding her ancestral places in history were shown beautifully. The editors did a great job with this show. My friends Natalie Cottrill and Joshua Taylor did great work on their portions of tonight's show.

I saw some reviews of the show in newspapers from across the country -- most were negative. I hope some of them change their minds after watching it on TV or learning more about SJP's reactions and feelings. On the other hand, I have no interest in stamp collecting, refurbishing antique cars, or bird watching. But I know the folks who do are passionate about what they do and I respect them for that. 

Will I watch the rest of the series. You bet! As a non-genealogist Facebook friend of mine just said, "It's a cool show." Thank you Ancestry.com and others for the support that enabled this to be on in prime time!

04 March 2010

Cyndi's List of family history websites is 14 years old today!

Right at your fingertips -- more than 270,000 live and quick links to websites related to family history. How long would it take to you compile such a list? And sort each link into the proper category. And check the link to make sure it is what it should be. And update the link when the webmaster or site owner changes their URL. And change the description of the website when that needs to change. And. And. And. Well, breathe easy. You don't have to do this work -- it has been done for us at Cyndi's List.

Today is the 14th anniversary of this list. Cindy Ingle Howells began this list of helpful websites for herself and for fellow members of the Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society in Washington State. Lucky for the rest of us she began to share the list with other genealogists.  

The links are categorized. Among the 180+ categories are: adoption, Africa, Beginners, Canada (and by province), Census, City Directories, Ellis Island, Genetics, Lutheran, Military, Newspapers, Organizing Research, Passports, Poorhouses, Schools, Scotland, Ships and Passenger Lists, nd divisions for many other countries and for each of the states in the United States. Bookmark this list now and use it as the great tool it is for finding helpful websites.

March 8th: deadline to save $35.00 on NGS Conference registration

The National Genealogical Society reminds us to register now for the 2010 NGS Conference being held 28 April - 1 May in Salt Lake City.  The early-bird registration discount ends on Monday, 8 March 2010. In addition to enjoying a $35 discount, only early birds have the opportunity to order a printed syllabus. (Everyone will receive a syllabus on CD.)

"The opening session at this year’s conference will be held on Wednesday morning, 28 April 2010, at 8:00AM. The keynote address is the premier of a video tour that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the world-famous Granite Mountain Records Vault.

03 March 2010

Faces of America ends tonight

Tonight, Wednesday March 3, 2010 is the series finale for Faces of America on PBS. It's been an interesting, but somewhat low key, overview of tracing the heritage of a variety of celebrities. I love seeing the family history background of a variety of people. For such a show the emphasis is naturally on the history that will be a neat part of the show. Yet it still show that in our family history quest, we all use the same types of records. And that until you delve into the records you just never know what you might find. That includes the exciting, quiet, highly mobile, bank robber, oft-married, married, unmarried, poor, rich, fighting, or ill ancestors or collateral lines.

02 March 2010

March 5th, 2010: 7:00 p.m. Central Time

I don't know if I can wait three more days. This Friday evening the U.S. edition of Who Do You Think You Are? premiers on NBC TV. In the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that is KARE, channel 11. At 7:00 p.m. my bowl of popcorn and I will be sitting in front of the television.

As a firm believer in the pursuit of family history and our place in history, I applaud Lisa Kudrow's dedication that enabled this series in the U.S. As a genealogical educator I applaud the sharing of the journey. I also congratulate Ancestry.com for their sponsorship of the series. Last weekend I presented a genealogy seminar in Whittier, California and this series was the talk of the day.
I did an earlier blog posting about one of my friends who is featured on the March 5th show as one of the people who worked on Sarah Jessica Parker's family history. Josh Taylor works at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Click here for a clip from that show.

Many print, radio, and television outlets are spotlighting this show over this week and the coming weeks. Ancestry.com, a major sponsor of the show shared this info today:

Here's a list of a few shows to watch for (all dates/times are subject to change):
*        Wednesday, March 3
o       Today Show (NBC) - 8-9 am
o       The View (ABC - check your local TV listings)
o       The Joy Behar Show (HLN - Headline News) - 9 pm ET

*        Friday, March 5
o       Today Show (NBC) - 10-11 am

*        Monday, March 8
o       Martha Stewart (check your local TV listings)

*        Tuesday, March 9
o       Oprah (check your local TV listings) [this will be an entire hour about family history]
o       Craig Ferguson (CBS late night)

*        Friday, March 19
o       Bonnie Hunt (check your local TV listings)