Keeping Up-to-date Keeps Us From Falling Behind

Keeping up with the world of online genealogy sometimes pays off with gems of common sense such as this by Genealogy and technology blogger James Tanner:

What I am saying is that genealogy, as it is today, is a technologically sophisticated pursuit that requires some pretty technological tools. If you are going to survive in the genealogy world today, you need a set of computer skills and part of that set of skills is the ability to keep your tools (computers and software) up-to-date.

Writing on his blog, Genealogy’s Star, Tanner was talking in general about when to upgrade and buy new computer hardware, but his observation on the skills and tools has certainly become more and more true. You can read his entire blog article at this link: http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/2012/05/anticipating-market-when-do-i-buy-new.html.

Indeed, as he suggests, we have to be prudent in spending on this hobby (avocation, addiction?), but it costs little or nothing to bring our computer skills up to date.

More on Sissy Spacek’s New Book and Wood County

County Line Magazine has a more complete review of Sissy Spacek’s new memoir with more details about people and places in Wood County. You can access County Line Magazine online at http://www.countylinemagazine.com/index.php. There will be a link to download a .pdf file of the May issue of the magazine. The review is on pages 10 and 11 and includes pictures of Sissy and her family.

Sissy’s Biography Reviewed

Here’s a review of Sissy Spacek’s new bio: http://www.austinchronicle.com/screens/2012-05-04/new-in-print/

Publicity for tonight’s WCGSTX Meeting

Status Update
By Wood County Democrat
McKinney to speak at WC Genealogical Society meeting Monday in Quitman

The Wood County Genealogical Society invites the public to hear guest speaker Lisa McKinney at the Quitman Public Library on Monday, April 16, at 7 p.m.
McKinney will explain what information is available for family researchers in the 1940 census and methods and sources to most effectively find that information.
As with all the regular monthly meetings of the Wood County Genealogical Society, members will be available at the library from 6-7 p.m. to help the public and other members with starting research of their ancestors and family tree or with research problems. A limited number of work stations will be available on a first-come, first serve basis to use the free library version of Ancestry.com. Personal Wi-Fi-enabled laptops may also be used.
Additionally, a social Dutch-treat gathering of society members and guests is open to anyone interested in genealogy on each third Monday meeting day at 5 p.m. at Peralta’s Mexican Food Restaurant in Quitman.

TSGS Conference In Fort Worth In November

The next Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS) State Conference is in Fort Worth Nov. 1-3, 2012. It will feature Curt Witcher as keynote speaker. Exhibitions, society management, and research sources and methods are among items on the agenda.

Another Genealogy Series Begins Next Sunday

Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr., cultural critic and Harvard scholar, premiers Sunday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m. (CDT) on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). The 10-part series delves into the genealogy and genetics of famous Americans, combining history and science in a fascinating exploration of race, family, and identity in today’s America. Professor Gates shakes loose captivating stories and surprises in the family trees of Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey, Jr., Branford Marsalis, John Legend, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters and Rick Warren, among many others. — from pbs.org news release

1919 Tornado at Winnsboro, Texas

Members of the Calhoun, Alston, White, Little, and Morgan families were killed in the April 1919 tornado striking Wood County, Texas in and about the Winnsboro area. For details, click here –> 1919 Tornado.

Germans Top Ancestral Groups

What is the top self-described ancestral descendancy of Americans in the Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey? It’s those Europeans from Germany according to compilation of data for a report today of Bloomberg News at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-06/u-s-ethnic-mix-boasts-german-accent-amid-surge-of-hispanics.html.

Information from the report included these results:
German, 49.8 million
African-American, 37.7 million
Irish, 35.8 million
Mexican, 31.8 million
English, 27.4 million
Italian, 17.6 million
Asian, 14.7 million

The report did not have full results of all European ancestry (specifying only three other countries: England, Ireland, and Italy) nor for all Hispanic ancestry (listing only Mexico). There was also no breakdown of African-American or Asian ancestral groups.

Free Use of Ancestry Library Edition at Quitman Public Library

Wood County Genealogical Society members and the general public who wish to access Ancestry.com at no charge may now do so at the Quitman Public Library at Quitman, Texas.

As expected, you can go to one of the library internet-connected computers (in the area of the front desk) and log on and start searching. This also includes the computer in the genealogy research room.

To log on, type ancestrylibrary.com into the address url at the top of the browser page of any library computer. This should take you directly to a search page at Ancestry.com. If you first are taken to a page asking for password and user name, don’t fill in either. Just click the LOGON button.

Even more exciting news for WCGS members is that you can bring your own laptop computers and log onto the library wifi connection to access Ancestry.com, and use your own computer. The logon process uses the same ancestrylibrary.com as the address url.

This means that we can bring and use the library six laptop computers as well as personal computers on meeting nights in the Shamburger room. If we have a regular program at 7 p.m., then we can log on from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Reminder: This will not work from home or any other location. You must be on a library computer or at the library using the library wifi connection for your own computer.

Happy searching!

Ideas for getting un-stuck in my family history journey

What do I do next? Ideas for getting un-stuck in my family history journey

[Outline for the February program at the WCGSTX Genealogical Society meeting.]

The meeting was to help members examine how to get started again or on another part of the personal research journey by examining (1) their progress in research (2) in display of their results or (3) with the ultimate placing of of their materials for posterity.

At the end of the program, members were given a worksheet to get started and to share at the March 6-7 p.m. meeting before the business meeting. Those who cannot attend in March can post their plans for getting started in comments below.
Click to go to the worksheet which you may then print out on your home printer.—> The link:(https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B1aUvMGSc0DkcHp3Y1o3T2pTLVNxZF9wUFQ5UUgzZw)

Research
a. Where I am in my family history research
i. People
1. Ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc)
2. Descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.)
3. Collateral relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins)
ii. Details
1. Surnames and/or given names
2. Vitals (birth, death, marriage, etc)
3. Additional information (anecdotes, bios, locations, events, etc.)
Link for ideas on how to approach getting over research brickwalls at FamilySearch.org. (https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Solving_Tough_Research_Problems%E2%80%94Overcoming_Brick_Walls)

b.Where I would like to go with my research
i. Find “lost or unknown” people (and details?)
ii. Fill-in details of known people

c. Where I am in family history display (for myself and/or others)
i. Personal file collection of family group sheets, information, and copies of documents, photos
ii. Framed or posted family tree with or without pictures and/or vital details
iii. Scrapbook(s) of family or individuals with various items including some or all but not limited to group sheets, information, documents or copies, photos.
iv. Written manuscripts of my research including various items including some or all but not limited to group sheets, information, documents or copies, photos using various formats from loose leaf to various bindings
v. Published and printed hard or soft-bound books or DVD (www.lulu.com)(a POD publisher)
vi.Personal pages of family history on the internet which can range from family trees, additional information, pages for an individual, or personal logs or journals of stories, details about the family (http://www.google.com/sites/overview.html), (www.wikitree.com)
vii. Adding family trees and supporting illustrations (as allowed) on the internet (www.wikitree.com)
(WorldConnect family trees http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/) (FamilySearch Trees https://www.familysearch.org/upload)
viii. Placing individuals’ information on internet sites such as Find-a-Grave (http://www.findagrave.com/), or surname or geographic location web pages (Search for my state and county at USGenWeb: http://usgenweb.org/states/index.shtml).

d. Disposition of my research when I am deceased
i. Leaving for relatives
ii. Donating to libraries or other repositories
iii. Uploading to archival sites online (Permanence???)

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