Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Document, Document, Document

The thrill of the hunt. Your first official find. You are looking on the web and find your grandfather on the census. This is great. You are so excited. You add the birth date and his parent’s information. You are on a roll and want to find more so you forget to document the census. How does this hurt you?

The first way that this affects you and your tree is making it less reliable. If you or someone else is not able to trace your steps and prove the information you have, then the genealogy tree is unreliable. There is a lot of information online and not all of it lives up to the genealogical standards of proof. Our genealogy work should always live up to these standards because they are universal.

This does not mean that you can not have a working tree where you put information that you find that you are working to prove or disapprove. You just need to make sure that it is marked as that. The information that you share with others should be information that you can prove with the Genealogical Proof Standards.

What are genealogical standards?

Genealogy is all about proof. Your conclusions about ancestors must have acceptable conclusions or "proof" that the right people are related or attached to a certain event. These proofs are called the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). The GPS consists of five parts:

1. You have searched all the available records for the person in the era and places they were known to be located.
2. You have full source citations of all the information you have found for the person.
3. You have analyzed and connected all collected data.
4. You have resolved all conflicting data.
5. You have a soundly written conclusion.

Where can you find more information on this topic? Keep an eye on future blogs here and visit the Board of Certification for Genealogists

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dutch Genealogy and Immigration

I started doing Dutch genealogy about 10 years ago. My husband’s family is from the Netherlands. His Grandma T. immigrated here on May 15, 1925. She came to the United States with her parents and several siblings. His grandma did not remember much from her trip and the date of her arrival kept on changing. I would search all the Dutch sites I could find for her and I searched ancestry.com to no avail. All of my questions over the years had not jogged any memories that could help me or that she was willing to part to me.

You can imagine my joy when I was searching in the 1930’s census and located her in Michigan. The census gave her date of immigration. I was so excited. I started searching all the ships for that time frame to no avail. I searched her name, her parents’ names, and even her sibling’s names. I could not locate the ship she arrived on.

We traveled to Michigan one year for her 90th birthday party. One of my husband’s cousins was around 14 and had done a school paper on her grandma. I guess grandma liked her better because as the cousin was reading her paper to about 100 people gathered for the birthday party, I was in the back corner scribbling frantically. That night I went back to the hotel and put this new information into ancestry.com. To my joy and frustration, her records just flew across the screen. Not only was I able to locate her immigration records within minutes but I was able to visit on of my favorite Dutch Genealogy Websites and locate her birth record. Within the week, I was able to document and trace back to the early 1800’s with no problems.

So, you ask, what was shared that opened this waterfall for me. Her real name, Dieuwke DeVries! When she immigrated to the United States, upon arriving they asked for her real name, but after that she went by Josie. I had asked her if she had a Dutch name and she would always change the subject. So just keep that in mind when you are looking for immigrants. They were able to change their names in order to fit better in America.

The Dutch have awesome records that you are able to view online. Just be aware that they are in Dutch but many of them can translate into English and other languages.

I have included links some of my favorite Dutch websites below.

Tresoar Frisian Historical and Literary Centre


Wie Was Wie

Happy Hunting,
Tina Stedman

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Southeastern Ohio Digital Shoebox Project

I have a lot of family from Southeastern Ohio especially Jefferson County in Ohio and Washington County in Pennsylvania. I came across this gem of a website many years ago. Many of the libraries have started the project of scanning in all of their genealogy books and photos.

This site has actual birth records, marriage records and obituaries. Histories of the some of the counties along with some wonderful old pictures are available. You are able to download or print these documents. The documents come in PDF form and text form so they are searchable. Just make sure to document where you got this information so that if you need to find it again, you can.

One of my favorite reads was the Minutes of the Session of the Island Creek Presbyterian Church, Part 1 1826-1838. In the minutes, Mary Robeson is bringing charges of libel against another church member, Ann Peoples. I am researching the Peoples family in this area. As of yet, I have not matched this story into my family tree but I know that it will eventually. What I find so interesting is that today, this case would probably have been heard in a courthouse but this case was brought before a church board and tried. What a difference almost 200 years brings to how we handle disagreements now.

If you have family in this area or just want to find some interesting history, check out the Southeastern Ohio Digital Shoebox Project. It will not disappoint you. Just make sure that you have scheduled a few hours to search through this wonderful site.