- Wm Tyler Bentley's story
- Abraham & Annie Berk's Story
- Isaac & Henrietta Birk's story
- Mary A. Demarest's story
- Farkas & Kunstler Families
- Rachel & Jonah Jacobs' story
- Robert & Mary Larimer's story
- Meyer & Tillie Mahler's story
- Halbert McClure from Donegal
- Wood family of Ohio
- McKibbin & Larimer
- Schwartz family, Ungvar
- John & Mary Slatter's story
- Steiner & Rinehart story
- Genealogy--Free or Fee?
- Sample Templates
- My Genealogy Presentations
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Have you heard about the new genealogy show--Family Tree Live--coming to London in April?
Friday and Saturday, two days packed full of interesting, informative, and entertaining talks and panels about #Genealogy and #family history.
Please take a look at the lecture program, downloadable and printable by day.
On Friday, April 26, I'll be presenting #Genealogy and #familyhistory: How to use social media for genealogy, at 12:15 pm.
On Saturday, April 27, I'll be presenting Planning a Future for Your Family's Past: Do You Have a Genealogical Will? at 10:00 am.
Then on Saturday at 11:30 am, I'm part of a panel talk: Crash Course in Writing Your Family Story. "Four experts in forty minutes! Get top tips from those who know in one crammed session."
Save the dates. Hope to see you in London in April!
Friday, May 4, 2018
As family historians, how can we write about ancestors in a way that is both honest and ethical?
After all, every family has a secret or a story that the current generation knows nothing about. Maybe an ancestor hid an early marriage or had some other hidden relationship . . . or committed a crime . . . or behaved in a manner considered, then or now, to be shameful or questionable or downright wicked.
Our genealogy research can turn up things that families never expected would be known. Especially if we want people to share stories and documents with us, I believe we have an obligation to use that information in a responsible way. It's a balancing act between the honesty we genealogists owe to future generations and the ethical responsibility we owe to those living today.
My personal approach is: If disclosing something about an ancestor would be truly harmful to someone living today, I don't write about it, either on my blog or in any "public" family history.
This has been a real issue only once in my 20 years of genealogy research. In that instance, I put the information into my private genealogy files so the story won't be lost forever. This allows me to be honest with future generations and act responsibly by avoiding potential damage today.
My "genealogical will" leaves my files to relatives who will safeguard them for the sake of descendants. Years from now, when these genealogical heirs sift through the files, they can weigh the consequences of disclosure in light of how much time has passed and whether anyone would be harmed if the story is told then, not now.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts on this delicate balancing act.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
|Saving my parents' wedding album by making a photo book for their 3 grandchildren|
After so many decades, their wedding album was pretty beat up-looking (see below). So I decided to preserve it and share it with Harry & Daisy's three grandchildren now, along with the story of their courtship and marriage. This is also an easy way to be sure that a single heirloom album can be enjoyed by multiple heirs for many years to come.
Here are the steps I took, little by little, to make a pretty and romantic photobook from the wedding album:
1. Remove each 8 x 10 inch photo from its sleeve in the binder and scan it at high resolution. (I could have scanned without removing the photos, if the album was too deteriorated, but not necessary in this case.)
2. Clean up the images electronically and upload them to a photo book website (I like Shutterfly but others are also excellent).
3. Arrange the photos in sequence, adding the story of courtship and wedding as captions. Also, identify everyone in the photos by full name and relationship (so these details aren't forgotten by future generations--keeping family history alive!).
4. Add a touch of color to each page for visual interest (younger folks may find an all black-and-white book a bit boring).
5. Press the "order" button to buy multiple copies for multiple heirs.
6. The original wedding album will be passed to an heir in the next generation, as designated in my "genealogical will."
On Thanksgiving, I'm feeling thankful for my parents' wedding 70 years ago.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
|Farkas-Marks wedding, 1930s, New York City|
Please think about writing your Genealogical "Will" to be sure all your hard work and carefully-researched materials are preserved for future generations. This may well be the most important step in the entire process, to avoid family historians having to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel when you already have so much to share with your family.
I'm lucky: I have a volunteer from my side of the family and another from hubby's side of the family to take custody of all the archived records, files, photos, and family tree data, both hard copies and electronically. I'm also leaving each of these genealogy heirs a sum of money to help them preserve all my genealogical data so it gets passed down for many years.
So start by identifying your genealogical heirs. Then, with a written document, be sure your genealogical heirs know the location and disposition of:
- Photographs (all captioned, right?!) Above, a treasured framed photo in my possession of a Farkas family wedding, showing my grandma (seated second from right) at her sister Jeanne's wedding) and grandpa (third from right, standing). I've willed this to my genealogical heir so it will always be in the family.
- Family histories in bound or printed form
- Diaries and notebooks from ancestors and relatives
- Online family trees
- Correspondence about genealogy with relatives, historical societies, etc.
- Original documentation (marriage/death/birth certs for instance)
- Computer files with family tree data
- Audio files (I have microcassettes) containing oral histories
- DVDs, flash drives, and other electronic media containing digitized versions of genealogy data
In addition, I've gifted items (like a WWII war bonds wallet and an 1800s handwritten notebook of debits and credits) to historical societies and museums to be archived and maintained for the future.
To help plan your genealogical "will," check out the following links I found through a quick online search (not an endorsement, just a suggestion for more reading and follow-up). Also consider getting professional advice about your own personal situation!
- Thomas MacEntee's compact book about how to arrange for your genealogy research to be preserved "after you're gone" (see his YouTube video here).
- A template for a genealogical "will," from Devon Family History Society.
- A template from the Northern Neck of Virginia Law Page for a genealogical "will."
- Guest post on Geneabloggers by Paul Brooks about this topic.
- Genealogical will file posted to Gen Do-Over's Facebook page by Carol Corbett Ellis-Jones.