Showing posts with label ten-minute genealogist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ten-minute genealogist. Show all posts

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Even More 10-Minute Genealogist Tips

Have only 10 minutes to squeeze in some genealogy research? Here are even more ideas* for what I do when all I have is a few minutes:
  • Take another look at some old document, checking for new clues. Have you wrung everything out of every birth cert, obit, news clipping, or photo? Every time I think there's nothing new to notice, I'm surprised. Or once I've learned some new fact or name, I can review old documents with new eyes. Case in point: The 1905 obit for Elizabeth Rinehart Steiner, which mentioned two granddaughters whose names were unfamiliar to me: Mrs. John Rummell of Galion (Ohio) and Mrs. A.T. Welburn of Detroit. After my recent trip to the Allen County Public Library, I came back with more info about Elizabeth's son Orville J. Steiner, whose younger daughter Capitola Steiner married Arthur Welburn and whose older daughter married John R. Rummell. Bingo! I dug out the obit, and used its date to narrow my search for when and where these two ladies got married.
  • Browse for new blogs to read and follow. Although I follow dozens of bloggers, I also keep an eye out for other blogs that can give me new tips and trigger ideas for breaking through brick walls. In addition to looking at Geneabloggers, I've surfed for blogs among those listed in Family Tree Mag, the Genealogy Blog Finder, Cyndi's List, and blogs followed by or mentioned by bloggers I respect and enjoy. Or if you attend a talk by an expert, check out his or her blog. For example, after attending two of Harold Henderson's FGS sessions, I now follow his excellent Midwestern gen blog.
  • Set up a Google Alert for one or two surnames you're researching. This is a long-shot, but take a few minutes to set up an alert so that if someone blogs about your ancestors' surname, you'll get an e-mail alerting you to the post. Just follow the really simple directions here. My alerts generally follow the pattern surname AND genealogy. Why? Because I don't want lots of alerts that have nothing to do with genealogy. Of course, if you have a very unusual surname to research and you're seeking cousins out there today, go ahead and use the surname without genealogy, or add a locale to your search phrase. I don't have any success stories on this yet, but my fingers are crossed. Good luck!
* My other 10-Minute Genealogist posts are here and here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: More Ten-Minute Genealogist Ideas

Two months ago, I posted a few ideas on what I can accomplish when I have 10 minutes to spare for genealogy. Here are three more thoughts on doing research in bite-size periods in between real life:

  • Search Find-a-Grave or post extra info there. Find-a-Grave is frequently my go-to source for "possible" birth and death dates, as well as "hints" on family relationships. I double-check everything, especially info that isn't accompanied by a photo of the gravestone, because after all, anybody can transcribe incorrectly. But this is good jumping-off info for other searches and has helped me connect relatives in several cases. I also give back by posting extra info when I locate a family member on the site. See my extra info for James Edgar Wood, above. The write-up and photo took me more than 10 min but less than 15, but if cousins go looking for our ancestor, they'll find him and me!
  • Search for brick-wall ancestors in new or updated Family Search collections. So many updates are being posted to Family Search that it pays to check back every now and again. Also, being occasionally less than methodical, I've discovered document images on Family Search that I never noticed were there before, like marriage records or death certs. 
  • Check my "to do list" on my personalized home page of Ancestry to see what I'm still trying to find out after all these years. Once I learned how to personalize the home page, I immediately posted a listing of "most wanted" ancestors for myself, along with what I want to know. If I have a spare few minutes, I check this list and challenge myself to be creative in doing a search I've never done before. These are very elusive ancestors, however, so no luck just yet. Oh, it helps to personalize some frequently-used links on the home page, too, so I can skip directly to those databases.