30 November 2011

Do you love Cyndi's List as much as I do?

Now you can be reminded of this remarkable website when you sip hot chocolate, tea, coffee, when you dream your research plans during the night, as you decorate and marvel at your Christmas tree, or share it with others when you wear your Cyndi's List t-shirt or sweatshirt to the library or grocery store. One person who purchased the pajamas said she is looking forward to great research ideas forming as she sleeps!

Cyndi Howells, the Cyndi who does all the work for us on Cyndi's List, announced the opening of the Cyndi's List Boutique this week!

"I'm pleased to announce the launch of the new Cyndi's List Boutique on CafePress.com. You'll find t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, mugs, glasses, and even Cyndi's List pajamas and a stadium blanket to snuggle up with as you do your research from the comfort of your home! We plan to have more genealogy-related graphics available in the boutique in the future. Get your Cyndi's List gear today! Or put it on your wish list and tell Santa he can find it here: http://www.cafepress.com/CyndisList

The Cyndi's List Boutique on CafePress is your one-stop shopping place for Cyndi's List genealogy t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, computer items, and more!"

Check out Cyndi's List here and "like" the CL page on Facebook!

29 November 2011

Ancestry.com adds mobile apps for iPhone, iPad

A neat press release from Ancestry.com today. Doesn't do much for my Blackberry but others will enjoy this. 

New ‘Ancestry.com Mobile’ iOS App Gives Users the Ability to Access Billions of Historical Records to Build Their Family Tree

PROVO, UTAH (November 29, 2011) – Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced the availability of a new, upgraded version of its Ancestry.com Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with features designed to enable more rewarding discoveries as users build, update and share their family trees. The Ancestry.com mobile app, which to-date has been downloaded more than 1.7 million times, is now available for free from the Apple App Store.

This upgrade adds three new features to Ancestry.com’s existing family history app:

Ø  “In-app purchasing,” which allows non-Ancestry.com subscribers to view, then buy fascinating historical records about their ancestors – such as World War I draft cards, Census records, birth/death certificates, and school yearbook photos, from among billions of historical documents in the Ancestry.com database

Ø  A “Shaky Leaf” hinting feature that employs predictive analytics to suggest possible new connections between a user’s family tree and undiscovered documents in the world’s largest family history database

Ø  A new merge feature, which automatically identifies and extracts information about family members from historical records so users can quickly and easily update their family tree

“Our goal with the new Ancestry.com mobile app is to enable more people to discover their family history through our billions of historic records, and allow them to share their findings easily with others,” said Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product at Ancestry.com. “Our ‘Shaky Leaf’ hinting feature has resulted in tens of millions of successful family history discoveries online and it’s now accessible to our growing mobile user base.”

For users new to Ancestry.com, the latest iOS app provides an easy way to get started by giving access to relevant historical documents on the site without a subscription.  For existing Ancestry.com members, the new app gives them the ability to grow their tree using Ancestry.com records and share them with others while on-the-go.

The Ancestry.com mobile app offers many of the most popular features available in the online version of Ancestry.com’s industry-leading family history website, including the ability to add and edit family information, view and share documents and photos, take and attach photos and create and navigate multi-generational family trees.

To get started, download the free Ancestry.com mobile app to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and either register for a new, or log in to an existing Ancestry.com account and choose a family tree. Ancestry.com subscribers can download family history records in the app free of charge. Non-subscribers pay a special introductory price starting at $0.99 for each record purchased through the Mobile app’s “in-app purchase” feature.

23 November 2011

Is my computer going to the laptop cemetery? Mozy and Dropbox first!

 I have been babying this laptop for more than a year. I purchased it in August 2006 and really like this Toshiba Satellite A-105. For the last few years I have had a cooling pad underneath. This pad plugs into the computer via a USB port and the fan really does keep the overheated battery a bit cooler. I am good about backing up, clearing out cookies and other garbage, and doing defrag. Today it is making some new noises and that made me do an extra backup to Mozy and to an external hard drive. Then I double checked to make sure some vital files were backed up in Dropbox. All of this is so easy.

All this ensures that my personal files, research client files, genealogy databases, articles in progress, and other projects won't be lost in case the computer dies. Of course, the restoration of the programs and files to a new computer isn't a quick process, but at least I have the files from which to do just that! Backup your files today!

Dropbox is also great for sharing files with others. A lot of my volunteer work and some client work are shared via Dropbox. Check out Dropbox at http://db.tt/1XkTiSA and see how easy it is. I own no stock in the company but I could get some extra storage space if you sign up for Dropbox through this link.

22 November 2011

Geneabloggers Party like 1621!

One of my fellow Geneabloggers has included me in a special Thanksgiving greeting and I am laughing so hard. Sheri Fenley made a video card for Geneabloggers. I am in it along with Randy Seaver, Bill West, Marian Pierre-Louis and Lisa Alzo. "Party like 1621."  Still laughing. I apparently had talents back then that I don't have today. Thanks, Sheri! http://sendables.jibjab.com/view/TdhY0nb4Aj7DdmB7sXyJ

Click here to view Sheri's blog, The Educated Genealogist.

18 November 2011

Research in animal bounty records

Chippewa County, Minnesota has announced that it will again pay bounties for coyotes due to the damage they are doing to farm animals. According to TwinCities.com "The Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to pay $10 for every coyote trapped or shot in the county and brought to the sheriff's office from Dec. 1 through April 1 each year. Those that kill a coyote will be able to sell its pelt, which is worth about $15."

Historically many towns and counties have paid bounties for such animals. If you have Minnesota ancestral ties you might find details of a bounty paid to an ancestor or other family members. Within the state archives collection at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul researchers have access to bounty records from a variety of locations. These records put the person in a specific place at a specific time. They might even help to prove that a person was still alive in a given month and year. The information varies but usually contains the name of who the bounty was paid for and the amount along with details on the animal or pelt. A few examples from the Minnesota collection:
  • Wilkin County: wolf, fox, crow, lynx, bobcat, and bear bounties (1928-1965)
  • Rice County: wolf bounties 1897-1900
  • Eagan Township, Dakota County: wolf bounties (1889-1918)
  • Sherburne County: wolf bounty certificate books (1878/1879, 1893-1897; 1897-1899)
  • Bemidji Township, Beltrami County: gopher and wolf bounty records (1901-1960)

16 November 2011

Guide to using Archives

The Society of American Archivists has a helpful online guide Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research. It has many great tips for potential users. I have read most of it and felt like I was reading my own advice when I teach about the gems found in archives and special collections departments. It's worth reading.

Several entries from the Table of Contents

11 November 2011

Need a speaker for a seminar or other event?

I am updating my 2012 and 2013 speaking calendar and have some dates available that might fit with your organization's needs. If you are looking for a speaker, just email me with the name and location of your organization and the date or dates you are thinking about. PaulaStuartWarren@gmail.com. I have spoken at events of historical, genealogical, church, civic, fraternal, and other types of organizations. Occasionally I am available on short notice.

I will let you know if those dates are open on my speaking calendar and will send you my biographical and experience resume, an extensive list of the lectures I could present, capsule descriptions of the lectures, and the details on costs and arrangements. Once we have agreed on the date, I will send my standard contract so that we both know that the date is reserved for your group once that is signed and the advertising can begin. I am also willing to assist with publicizing your event. Some of my upcoming events are listed in the right-hand column of this blog. A few events do not get listed as they are not open to the general public. I am also willing to work with organizations that may want to hire me for more than one event and share the expenses.

10 November 2011

John Bye retiring

It's been a few years since I visited the The Institute for Regional Studies and University Archives at the North Dakota State University in Fargo. Researching there was always a pleasure. I just read that the Director, John Bye, has retired. John was helpful to me on my research visits, made suggestions, and was rightfully proud of the collection. Over the years I ran into John at history events.

At NDSU I researched distant cousins of my own and also worked on client requests. One outcome of the research there that included advice from John was the short history Helendale Farm and the James. B. Power Family that I co-authored in 1998. Helendale Farm was one of the renowned Bonanza farms in North Dakota.

Read more about John and see links to further info at http://library.ndsu.edu/archives/whats-new. I wish John a relaxing time in retirement. I know that somehow he will remain an active historian.

Association of Professional Genealogists Announces Election Results

WESTMINSTER, Colo., November 9, 2011−The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) today announced election results for its 2012–2014 executive committee, as well as for nine regional directors and two new nominating committee members. Kenyatta D. Berry of Santa Monica, Calif. was elected president. Berry, a genealogist, entrepreneur and lawyer with more than 15 years of experience in genealogy research and writing, served as APG vice president during the last term. She will succeed Laura G. Prescott of Brookline, New Hampshire.

“I am honored to be elected and excited at the depth and breadth of experience represented by our incoming officers, board and committee members,” said Berry. “APG made great strides during the last administration,

09 November 2011

November 12 FGS Radio Show

Click here to create a reminder to listen to this Saturday's FGS Radio show. The reminder will arrive in your email inbox.

Show time for Saturday, November 12, 2011
2-3pm Eastern US
1-2pm Central US
12-1pm Mountain US
11am-12pm Pacific US

08 November 2011

Dispute in the ownership of a 1775 currency plate from New Hampshire

I read an interesting story in yesterday's [St. Paul] Pioneer Press about a Minnesota man, Gary Eldon Lea, who made a purchase at an estate sale in Fillmore County. "It was a 13-by-8-1/2-inch copper plate created in 1775 to print currency for pre-Revolutionary War New Hampshire."

According to the story, he subsequently put the item in an auction but the New Hampshire state attorney general asked that it be removed from sale because "Once it is state property, it's always state property, unless the state disposes of it properly in some way,"

The state found details about when the work was contracted for but not when the plate was disposed of. I know that governments don't always keep every single piece of paper created. And in many cases, especially in early years, paper trails weren't even created. Many newspaper stories over the years have told the stories

07 November 2011

New website for The Newberry

The Newberry library debuted its new website look last week. It has a nice clean look and is filled with collection details, finding aids, catalog, visitor information, and much more. If you have never researched there, add it to your bucket list.

I have researched in manuscripts, photographs, maps, and books at Newberry. Their American Indian and railroad materials are superb. They cover far beyond the city and state where this private but very large library is located. A few years ago I was one of the lecturers during a day devoted to railroads. It was wonderful to