Here’s the link for Camp County obituaries in the Northeast Texas Digital Collections: http://dmc.tamu-commerce.edu/cdm4/results.php?CISOOP1=any&CISOBOX1=Camp+County+Obituary&CISOFIELD1=CISOSEARCHALL&CISOROOT=all
Wood County Genealogical Society through our association with the Quitman Public Library has entered into an agreement which makes it possible to preserve many genealogical and historical documents in our care and solves the problem of how to make such items available to the public at large. As participants with the Northeast Texas Digital Collection of the Texas A&M at Commerce Libraries, we are able to scan and upload public domain documents at no charge to the society. Once online, they are available for researchers who have a family or historical interest in Wood County.
Texas A&M-Commerce Heirloom Archivist, Michael Aday, met with society members this fall and outlined how the program worked. He has returned and started scanning items for our area. We will later set up a workshop where he will teach society members how to do our own scanning and uploading.
A visit to this address link: http://dmc.tamu-commerce.edu/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/quitman will let members (and the public) see how the work is progressing.
As a special note to members who have been discussing what to do about our obituary collection, I suggest that while there, you also search for Camp County, Texas obituaries to see how they have approached that issue.
One of the measures of what is being researched in our genealogical collection at the Quitman library is topics of books left (at our request) for re-shelving. A Tally is kept of each book placed back on the shelves. The following information is from member’s tally from November 2008 to early May 2010. We realize that sometimes people do re-shelve books and they do not appear in this report, but this is a good look at where most research is being done.
Chart 1 is a summary of the tally of materials by topic. Charts 2 and 3 are showing relative use by percentage of materials in that topic area.
Just starting out in your family history search or wanting to to refresh your memory on researching how to and techniques is often available from classes or one-on-one tutoring. There are some online sources, however, which you can access at home (or library) on your own computer and at any time convenient to you.
Among the various choices, four seem to stand out in terms of organization, simplicity of use, and overall value.
Researching Your Family Tree at learnwebskills.com meets all of these criteria and offers exercises to practice what it teaches. It is easy to follow, and you can do one exercise, go off and do other life things for an extended time, and pop right into the next step with little difficulty. The lessons offer a LearnGen Group at Yahoo groups.com which does not seem to be too active, but you could always share you results and questions with us here with an email to the bulletin. (Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org). You can access the Researching Your Family Tree lessons at http://www.learnwebskills.com/family/intro.html.
A long time standard of the genealogical community online is Kimberly Powell of genealogy.about.com. She has posted information and tips on a regular basis for many years. Her Introduction to Genealogy series takes a slightly different approach to the beginning or refresher lessons, but they are rich in content and easily understood. Either by themselves are in conjunction with the Researching Your Family Tree lessons above, they are going to give lots of information, tips, and ideas. You can access Kimberly’s lesson series starting at http://genealogy.about.com/library/lessons/blintro.htm.
The Rootsweb Guide to Tracing Family Trees has also been around for a while and proved it’s worth. Like the others, it offers lots of basic information and is easy to follow. Rootsweb is a premier free website devoted to genealogy and is the source of all kinds of resources which help beginning and advanced researchers. You can access the Rootsweb Guide to Tracing Family Trees at http://rwguide.rootsweb.ancestry.com/.
Also, if you have high speed internet at home (or can go to a library computer) you can access the RootswTV video series Research Process Overview. It’s a movie (and a talkie) which covers the basic getting started concepts and interviews various genealogists to illustrate the topic points of every lesson. It is also graphics-rich so that you can see examples of topics and techniques. You can access this RootsTV series at http://www.rootstelevision.com/players/player_howto3.php?bctid=232.
A Genealogy Tip By Joan Young
Genealogists have been commenting as long as I’ve been online that activity always drops off dramatically near the end of the year as the holiday season approaches. Each new year brings with it renewed interest in posting on mailing lists and message boards and updating family trees. Families traditionally gather over the holidays. This instills renewed interest for many family historians. Researchers receive holiday gifts of new computers and software and become eager to make use of it. This year will, undoubtedly, be no different. We can all benefit by approaching this new year with a plan of action rather than diving in unprepared.
Developing a Plan
First, take inventory. Make an outline of what you know and have learned over the past year (or decade) and what you hope to learn this year. Make a list of all documents you have obtained (wills, vital records, deeds, for example).
Next, make a list of your goals for the new year. What are you looking for and what do you hope to accomplish? Be specific when writing down your plans. Make note of the online resources at your disposal to help you reach your goals. Web sites such as Cyndi’s List and Linkpendium can prove invaluable for locating online resources.
Finally, do a search for your previous archived mailing list and message board posts as well as any family trees and data you have placed online. You may use a site such as Google or search the specific archives or board systems. If you have a genealogy Web site, review your pages and pinpoint corrections and additions you need to incorporate. Review posts and existing trees. Is your e-mail contact information still valid and is your online data still accurate and complete in view of what you learned over the past year? Make a list of necessary updates and corrections.
For posts and submissions that are still current but have outdated contact information, edit your e-mail address where possible. Even the most complete and well-written list or board post or family tree will serve no purpose to help you connect with your cousins if your e-mail address is invalid. You can update your e-mail address for the RootsWeb/Ancestry message boards and WorldConnect trees at: (http://email.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin13/DM/y/nBEN80WKNnf0HQR0zHg0GQ ) or by following the masthead links at the top of the main Ancestry page . Click on COLLABORATE, then PUBLIC PROFILE, and then MY SITE PREFERENCES. You will see a link for changing your e-mail address on the MY SITE PREFERENCES page as well as options for its display.
For mailing list archives where editing your address isn’t possible, post a new message with your current contact information. Remember that mailing list archives such as those at RootsWeb are merely a record of what took place on a given date. You can provide updated information and queries as well as a current e-mail address in your new posts.
If an online tree needs attention, download a GEDCOM file of the old tree and import it into your genealogy program on your computer. After you have made all necessary additions and corrections, create a new GEDCOM and upload it to replace your outdated tree.
If you have gathered public documents, perhaps a pension file or deed, over the past year consider transcribing them and placing the data online. RootsWeb/Ancestry message boards are a perfect place to post your finds. Choose the appropriate data classification when posting so that others may easily find the documents.
Get the new year off on the right foot by making a resolution to establish a plan. Follow through with your plan and your efforts will surely be rewarded.
Permission to reprint articles from RootsWeb Review is granted unless specifically stated otherwise, provided:
the reprint is used for non-commercial, educational purposes; and
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Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 13 January 2010, Vol. 13, No. 1