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Family History Month Day 17 – Visit AfriGeneas

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AfriGeneas OnGenealogy Family History Month

On Day 17 of Family History Month 2017, visit AfriGeneas and see what they have to offer!

AfriGeneas is a free website for anyone with African ancestry to help them find the resources they need for their family history research. Many of the collections are uploaded by volunteers and you’ll need to register with AfriGeneas if you want to volunteer and upload files. AfriGeneas also has message boards/forums for exchanging information.

Some collections you can explore at AfriGeneas include:

AfriGeneas Slave Data

 

AfriGeneas Searchable Surnames

State Resources at AfriGeneas

Country resources at AfriGeneas

And don’t forget to follow AfriGeneas on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Best in your searches whether they’re fee or free!

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October 16, 2017 |

Family History Month – Day 16 Sign up for the Worldwide Indexing Event!

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Get ready for the Worldwide Indexing Event October 20-22!

 

Family History research can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

 

Needle in a haystack Family History Month

 

 

Indexing creates a digital, searchable record of an older historical record, and is like tying a ribbon to that needle in the haystack, allowing it to be found with ease.

Tying a ribbon to a needle is like indexing

 

The Worldwide Indexing Event October 20-22 is a great time to give back to the family history community.

I once heard an indexer explain what motivated him. He was indexing records for children in an asylum.

They were called “inmates.”

Inmates.

He had this visual image of a child behind prison bars, unable to find his or her family. Even if someone knew to look for these children, finding the right record source would be like searching for a needle in a haystack. He realized that every name he indexed was like tying a ribbon to one of these needles.

By donating a bit of time to type old records into computer fields and make them searchable online, we help family find their kin. Images are great, but indexes make searching the images or scans much faster and simpler. How many people will patiently flip through images, like the one below, hoping to see a family name? Diehard researchers will do this but indexing opens family history work to the masses because it simplifies the task.

I’ve been indexing some birth records and I came to one page where a lot of the given names were missing.

Indexing birth records

I saw one set of children was listed as “Twins” but the male twin was unnamed.

Twins

I went to MyHeritage and looked up the female twin, “Helga M. Carlson,” in the census.

 

 

There is no male twin for Helga in the census record so I assume the male twin died. If you went off the census records alone, you wouldn’t know the story of this family included this lost child.

Most people use censuses because they give us a glimpse of the family. But if a child dies before their first census, the family picture we assemble from the census is unwittingly incomplete. Indexing other primary records helps people more thoroughly create a portrait of their families.

 

Worldwide Indexing Event

When we’re indexing, if the records are hard to read (pictured above), we can either select a new project or use the “Project Helps” for clues to guide us. In the batch above, I couldn’t read the writing even after I’d adjusted the contrast and brightness, so I sent this batch back.

In selecting a project, my rules of thumb are:

1) Can I see the writing?

2) Can I read the writing?

3) Can I make educated guesses?

If I can see and read the writing, I scan the whole page to get an idea how the record taker wrote certain letters, so I can make educated guesses where the handwriting slurs. Anything we index will be reviewed by another indexer so we’re not the final arbiter of the spelling of a name, which gives me some peace of mind.

I was doing a batch of records from Michigan (below) and couldn’t decipher the residences. (And I have family from Michigan and know a lot of the place names there.) I could make out “Twp” for Township so I Googled “Townships in Michigan” and found a Wikipedia article with a list of townships. I went to the C’s and then the M’s and found the townships I needed: “Chocolay” and “Michigamme.”

Web Indexing example

 

 

 

To join the Worldwide Indexing Event, go to FamilySearch.org and you can look for an Indexing Project by Country

 

 

Find an indexing project by country

 

 

 

Or by Project Type, Project Name, or Project Language.

 

 

 

 

Find an indexing project by type or language

 

 

One popular project is the Freedmen’s Bureau Project. These are records of “freedmen, slaves, refugees, and others” being assisted by the US Freedmen’s Bureau shortly after the U.S. Civil War. These will be some of the first records ever created for some African Americans and is a vital project to help families find their ancestors.

If you want to get better at searching online records, join the indexing effort. You’ll experience the flip side of the problem and will gain new insights into how to search for an ancestor. Best in your research!

 

 

 

October 15, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – Visit BlackPast.org

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BlackPast Family History Month OnGenealogy

 

BlackPast.org is the largest free African American history website and includes genealogy resources and links. They have over 4,000 encyclopedia entries, 300 African American speech transcripts, 140 primary text documents, timelines, links to digital archives, museums, research and genealogical sites, and many more resources for African American research.

BlackPast home page OnGenealogy

 

BlackPast.org has three major divisions: 

“African American History (AAH)
 –All sections in this division focus on the historical experiences of African Americans, that is, persons of African ancestry in the United States.”

African American History in the West (AAW)–This division brings together all of the information on the website related to African Americans who have lived in the nineteen states that straddle or are west of the 100th meridian.  See the map to the right.”

Global African History (GAH)–All sections in this division address the history of people of African ancestry who live outside the United States and its territories.”

“Each division has similar information that appears as a list in the left column of every page (except the opening page).  For example, all have BibliographiesOnline Encyclopedia, Major Speeches, Timelines, and Primary Documents that are relevant to their divisions.  They also have a section called Research Guides and Websites that link to relevant sources off the website. Some features, however, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, are specific to AAH and AAW.  The feature called Perspectives allows scholars from around the world to explore topics of interest to the BlackPast.org audience.”

“BlackPast.org also has Special Features found only on the opening page.  They include BlackPast.org By the Numbers101 African American FirstsMajor Black Officeholders Since 1641the Barack Obama Page, and the BlackPast.org Blog Roll.”

BlackPast.org also has a specific Genealogy Page with the following resources/links:

October 15, 2017 |

Family History Month Day 14 – OpenArchives for Netherlands research

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free Open Archives Family History Month OnGenealogy

On Day 14 of Family History Month, check out OpenArchives for Netherlands research.  The Netherlands has an open data policy and most government records are free to access. OpenArchives is a newer company that has built a very user-friendly system for searching Dutch family history records.

OpenArchives Family History Month OnGenealogy

 

 

OpenArchives searches are free and may link to free scans.

OpenArchives also has subscription offerings allowing users to download records as PDF files, GEDCOM files, CSV files, or XLS files. Subscribers also enjoy the benefit of the system’s automatic searches for related family members and children of any primary search you enter.

See the OnGenealogy listing for searchable collections available at OpenArchives.

OpenArchives receives data from the following archives:

  • AlleFriezen

  • AlleGroningers

  • Amsterdam City Archives

  • Archive Delft

  • Brabant Historical Information Centre

  • City archive Breda

  • City archive Deventer

  • City Archives Enschede

  • City Archives Rotterdam

  • Drenthe Archive

  • Dutch Institute for Military History

  • Eemland Archive

  • Gelders Archive

  • Heritage Achterhoek and Liemers

  • Heritage Leiden and environs

  • Historic Centre Leeuwarden

  • Historical Center Overijssel

  • Municipal Archive Borsele

  • Municipal archive Ede

  • Municipal Archive Goes

  • Municipal Archive the Hague

  • Municipal archive Hengelo

  • Municipal Archive Kerkrade

  • Municipal Archive North Beveland

  • Municipal archive Roermond

  • Municipal archive Schiedam

  • Municipal archive Schouwen-Duiveland

  • Municipal Archive Tholen

  • Municipal archive Venray

  • Municipal archive Wassenaar

  • Municipal archive Zaanstad

  • Municipal archive Zeist

  • Municipal archives of Venlo

  • Municipality Lisse

  • Municipality Steenwijkerland

  • National Archives

  • National Archives / Archives South Holland

  • Nieuw Land Heritage

  • North Holland Archives

  • Regional Archive Alkmaar

  • Regional Archive Langstraat Heusden Altena

  • Regional archive of Zutphen

  • Regional Archive Tilburg

  • Regional Archives Dordrecht

  • Regional Archives Nijmegen

  • Regional Archives Rijnlands Midden

  • Regional Archives Rivierenland

  • Regional Historic Center Limburg

  • Regional Historic Centre Eindhoven

  • Regional History Center Vecht and Venen

  • Rijckheyt, center for regional history

  • Tresoar

  • The Utrecht Archives

  • Waterlands Archive

  • West-Brabant Archive

  • Westfries Archief

  • Zeeland Archives

Follow OpenArchives on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for their most recent offerings. OpenArchives is owned by Coret Genealogie and you can check out their other genealogy sites including online tree building and resource guides. Best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free!

 

October 14, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth Day 10 – Use ArchiveGrid to find Collections

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ArchiveGrid OnGenealogy Family History Month

 

ArchiveGrid is a free, online resource for finding archival materials worldwide, primarily manuscript collections, historical documents, personal papers, and family histories.

 

They have over 5 million records contributed by more than 1,000 libraries and archives. “ArchiveGrid helps researchers looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums, and historical societies.”

ArchiveGrid for Genealogy

Useful searches include:

  • surname

  • location

  • topic (genealogies, history, land, deeds, maps, wills, etc.)

Search results will show descriptions of the items and links to similar collections.

If you didn’t inherit the family bible and papers, someone else did. And maybe they donated them to an archive or historical society. It’s worth a shot to check ArchiveGrid. Best in your searches! #FamilyHistoryMonth

 

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October 10, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – On Day 7 Discover IntoThePast

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Family History Month IntothePast for European records

IntoThePast is a site in development that was introduced at RootsTech 2017 (the largest genealogy and family history convention in the world).

IntoThePast will specialize in hosting European records, primarily archival handwritten records, that have been digitized and made searchable with their proprietary Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology, SearchInk.

IntoThePast with SearchInk
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“IntoThePast.com is an online meta-search engine that allows users to search for parish records with a focus on European records. IntoThePast.com is powered by the SearchInk Handwritten Text Recognition technology.”

IntoThePast will be the website where archival materials are hosted and presented to the public for searching. SearchInk is the technology that converts handwritten text to searchable content. ARQI is the company that negotiates with archives to digitize their materials. And Qidenus Technologies is the parent company that has developed the patented products for book digitization.

IntoThePast will offer subscription services and it remains to be seen if they’ll offer a level of free service. It’s definitely a site worth watching if you have European ancestry!

IntoThePast join their launch listFollow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and go to their website and join the launch list to enjoy 6 months of free premium membership.

October 7, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – On Day 6 try Storyboard That

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family history month storyboard that

On Day 6 of #FamilyHistoryMonth try the free version of Storyboard That, a site that allows you to create storyboards and comic strips online.

This would be a fun way to illustrate or tell a personal history.

I’m using it to create comic strip versions of my children’s daily lives. My kids aren’t inclined to journal so I have them draw at least one picture a week of something funny or embarrassing that happened. Now I can take their drawings and put them into digital comic strips that we can enjoy forever.

Here’s one I made from my own daily life:

A Storyboard That at OnGenealogy
I asked my son to get rid of the garbage in his room so he threw out items that were sentimental to me.

Panel 1: “Your room is a wreck. Here are some garbage bags. Throw away anything you don’t care about.”

Panel 2: Two hours later. “I’m done.”

Panel 3: Thrown away: his baby book, all K-6 artwork, anything sentimental.

Storyboard That’s award-winning, browser based Storyboard Creator is the perfect tool to create storyboards, graphic organizers, comics, and powerful visual assets for use in an education, business, or personal setting. The application includes many layouts, and hundreds of characters, scenes, and search items. Once a storyboard is created, the user can present via PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Apple Keynote, or they can email the storyboard, post to social media, or embed on a blog. Storyboards are stored in the users’ account for access anywhere, from any device, no download needed. Storyboard That helps anyone be creative and add a visual component to any and every idea.”

I want to try writing my own personal history through storyboards. I think this will make it more fun for me to write and more enjoyable for others to read someday.

experimenting-with-a-family-recipePanel 1: “Do you want my opinion on the brown sugar on the bottom of the banana bread?”

Panel 2: “Sure!”

Panel 3: “It’s a nightmare. And that’s being generous. I’m going to amputate the bottom.”

 

Storyboard That has several pricing options, including a free option with a watermark on your finished product. Other options include a Personal plan, an Educational plan for schools and teachers, and a Business plan.

I started with the free option, but I liked it so much and didn’t want the watermark on my comics, so I went with their Personal plan. Storyboard That’s Personal plan permits light usage for books and blogs. (It may be necessary to purchase a business plan for serious publishing endeavors-refer to their Terms of Use and Storyboard Copyright). They’re currently offering a sale on their Personal Plan, $19.99/quarter or  $59.99/year. They appear to have very generous terms for month-to-month usage and cancellation. (I’m not affiliated with them; I just love their product.)

Storyboard That has many language options. If you don’t see the language option at the top of the page, scroll to the bottom where you’ll see “Prefer a different language?” in a dark blue header and select the language of your choice.

Check out Storyboard That tutorials on YouTube or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google+ for the latest news and offers. And best in your choices whether they’re fee or free!

 

October 5, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth Day 4 – Free FindMyPast Offerings

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family history month findmypast freebies

 

FindMyPast is a family history company based in the UK and its primary focus is UK records but it also has U.S., Canada, and other collections as well.

 

FindMyPast has some exclusive images from UK parish records which are quite helpful if you have ancestry here. Some FindMyPast freebies include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
1940 US Census free at FindMyPast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • US Billion Graves Index free at FindMyPastUS BillionGraves Index, FindMyPast lets you search the US BillionGraves index for free to find an ancestor’s burial site, which may include a birth and death date; you’ll need to register for free in order to see search results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • US and Canada free BMD at FindMyPastUS & Canada birth, marriage, and death records (BMDs); you’ll need to register for free in order to see search results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By registering for free at FindMyPast, you’ll get to try out their search system and use some of their collections. FindMyPast specializes in UK records with many original scanned images that won’t be found at other genealogy sites. These scanned images are only available with a subscription service.

Follow FindMyPast on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, YouTube, or Google+ for the latest offers and updates and best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free!

October 3, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – see the latest free MyHeritage products

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Family History Month free MyHeritage products

 

 

On Day 3 of #FamilyHistoryMonth see the latest free MyHeritage products!

 

 

free MyHeritage family treeMyHeritage is a fee/subscription family history site specializing in

  • online family tree hosting and building

  • online digitized record searching

  • and DNA testing and matching.

In addition to these subscription services, they offer some free help to anyone with an interest in genealogy or family history.

 

Some free MyHeritage offers include:

 

  • free MyHeritage offersFree family tree building for basic sites with a limit of 250 people and 500 MB storage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • free MyHeritage DNA ethnicity estimate and DNA matchesUpload your DNA from Ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA, or 23andMe, and receive free Ethnicity Estimates and DNA Matches at MyHeritage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • free Family Tree Builder softwareFree genealogy software, Family Tree Builder, for download and use on your home computer, works with both PC and Mac computers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • free SuperSearch at MyHeritageFree SuperSearches with records from BillionGraves or the Social Security Death Index, other results are for subscribers only, but you’ll get an idea what’s available in more than 6 billion records at MyHeritage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Free MyHeritage book searchesFree book searches in a collection of more than 400,000 books and 85 million pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • free Legacy Family Tree WebinarsFree weekly webinars at their subsidiary, Legacy Family Tree, you’ll need to pre-register to participate and the webinars remain free for one week after publication. Legacy Family Tree is a new acquisition by MyHeritage and you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MyHeritage offers several subscription packages and you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ for the latest promotions and product lines. Best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free!

 

 

October 2, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – check out what Ancestry offers for free!

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On Day 2 of #FamilyHistoryMonth, see what Ancestry offers for free!

 

Ancestry.com is a fee site, primarily for building family trees, searching historical record sets, and comparing your DNA to other samples, but they also offer some free tools.

 

Some of the best free genealogy stuff at Ancestry.com includes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can scroll to the bottom of the page, find “Included data collections,” and use the scroll feature on the right side of the window to select a particular record set (collections are in alphabetical order) to limit search results to the FREE database only

free Ancestry Collections list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

Follow Ancestry.com on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Plus  for the latest offers and news.

 

 

Ancestry.com has some great free resources and this is a good way to test the water and see if you’re interested in taking the plunge and subscribing to one of their packages. Best in your research, whether it’s fee or free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 1, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – check out FamilySearch!

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Family History Month Day 1

October is Family History Month in the U.S. and OnGenealogy will celebrate the month by spotlighting a different genealogy website each day!

 

On Day 1 take a look at FamilySearch.org and all it has to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FamilySearch is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is free for everyone to use.

Things to do at FamilySearch:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy #FamilyHistoryMonth and best in your research, whether it’s fee or free!

October 1, 2017 |

RootsTech 2018 registration and other September specials!

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RootsTech 2018 registration opens Wednesday, September 20th!

  • Read the FamilySearch media release for more details and discounted pricing

  • Visit the OnGenealogy Events page for updates and hotel information

  • If you can’t attend in SLC, we’ll share their livestreaming, free class list when it’s announced!

 

 

 

Save Your Photos Month is wrapping up!

 

Some fun ideas for September from the web include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various Photobook companies are offering specials

  • QPhoto.co.za in South Africa is offering up to 30% off photo products

  • Mixbook is offering 50% off first time orders and has other sales as well

  • Chatbooks turns your Facebook posts into photobooks

  • Caroline Guntur the Swedish Organizer Organizing Your Photos offersThe Swedish Organizer has a free email course for organizing your photos. She is also offering 10% off her Digital Photo Organizing Masterclass. Join her email list for regular offers including a great freebie download, A Checklist for rounding up all your Digital Photos (something you need to do prior to organizing everything).

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

ScanMyPhotos September specials

  • ScanMyPhotos has several photo specials available and is still offering a deal on photo scanning that must be purchased now but can be redeemed any time in the next 6 months. Buy two boxes, get the third free. They ship you empty boxes for your photos, you ship them back and they scan and return all your photos. This amounts to around 6,000 photos scanned for $0.05 per photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Genealogy Deals:

 

Books

 

Blaine Bettinger Intro to DNA Crash Course free download book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handouts

Forces War Records free tutorials and guides

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Genealogy Webinars this week:

Free Legacy Family Tree Webinars for genealogy and family history

 

 

 

 
 
FamilySearch free genealogy webinars

 

 

 

 

 
BYU Family History Library Webinar Series

 

 

 

 

 

Best in your research, whether it’s fee or free!

 

September 18, 2017 |

Stack Exchange for Genealogy

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Stack Exchange is a Q&A network for computer programmers that has expanded into Q&A for other topics, including genealogy and family history.

Stack Exchange for Genealogy and Family History

 

Anyone can read questions and answers on Stack Exchange, but in order to post questions or answers you’ll need to be a registered user.

You don’t have to be that heavily invested to benefit from Stack Exchange. I often go to Stack Exchange when I’m digitizing photos to remember the recommended file type and size. It’s a great site for a quick refresher on various genealogy topics and is worth checking out.

If you become a registered user and want to post questions and answers you should understand more about the community. Registered users gain or lose Reputation or trust withing the community based on how other Stack Exchange users rate their questions and answers. A higher reputation earns you Privileges. Stack Exchange has an information page about gaining and losing Reputation and the Benefits of participating. Basically, voting/ranking helps direct other users to more trusted responses and benefits the community.

Stack Exchange is still primarily used by programmers, with over 40 million participating each month, but whatever your profession or hobby, it’s worth checking to see if it’s on Stack Exchange. (Genealogy falls under the Life/Arts heading.)

Stack Exchange topics

October 17, 2016 |

Family History in 15 minutes a day

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Family History in 15 minutes a day

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy . . . for the kids, lol.

School’s out and for us it’s all about keeping the kids busy, happy, and creating great memories. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for “genealogy.” It’s not going to be the summer of starting projects that turn into all day genealogy binges; I’ve counted the Saturdays till my oldest is gone, and it’s too few; this summer I have a new challenge: a 15 minute limit.

What can actually be accomplished in 15 minutes? Here are a few of my 15 minutes a day accomplishments:

  • Read the MyHeritage blog about their recently released Sun Charts-needless to say I want one.
  • Made a Sun Chart for my side of the family. (MyHeritage generates these automatically, but I gazed adoringly for at least 10 minutes.)
  • Inspired by Sun Charts, I called a sister-in-law and got the birth information for all her children and added them into my MyHeritage tree.
  • Called a second sister-in-law and got the missing birth information for all her children and added them into my MyHeritage tree.
  • Called my only living aunt and got birth, marriage, and death information for my uncle, cousins & spouses and added them into my tree.
  • Over several days I became a cyber-stalker and downloaded immediate and distant family’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you-name-it-social-media-account photos to my tree. (Did you know people can download your photos from Facebook, etc. I’m mildly freaked out every time I do this.)
  • Participated in #genchat (Friday night Twitter chat group) and learned more about DNA genealogy and found some new friends and new Twitter accounts to follow. (Disclaimer, this felt like 15 minutes but actually took an hour. If you don’t have that kind of time you can search #genchat on Twitter and spend 15 minutes reading past chats w/o participating.)
  • Participated in the FamilySearch July 15-17 WorldWide Indexing challenge and I kid you not, found a batch that took ~15 minutes.
  • Talked to my uncle on the phone & got more health info to add to my TapGenes family tree.
  • Learned about a free webinar I missed, arghhh, and searched for more free webinars to try to catch.
  • Gathered all the miscellaneous spiral notebooks in the house and searched them for random genealogy notes-will sort and organize later, but literally, this was a feat.
  • Made plans for a family reunion in a few weeks.

So, I haven’t broken down any brick walls, but I’m having fun reaching out to living family and keeping our family tree up-to-date and accurate. It’s nice to have a daily goal that’s attainable and keeps family at the forefront of my thoughts each day.

I know it doesn’t look like much but check your tree, does it include all the new babies and cousins? 15 minutes a day might just get you where you want to be without pulling you away from family. Good luck!

 

July 22, 2016 |
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