30 June 2016

Using Genealogy as a Platform to Teach Children the Elements of Researching Family and History



Using Genealogy as a Platform to Teach Children the Elements of Researching Family and History

A recent newspaper article, Students hunt for treasure in town records, caught my eye.  I’m always interested in new ideas for getting our youth excited about researching ancestors and exploring history.

Often. though, such programs have struggled to be included in schools as part of a curriculum because of the challenges to how can best include children who are adopted, in foster care, or in other non-traditional circumstances. Researching the genealogy of a historical figure seems like a possible workable solution to those issues. 

Have everyone research the identified figure using genealogical research techniques.  It becomes a shared project not connected directly to anyone’s family.

I also enjoyed reading how the students actually visited the local town hall to look at original records!  How many adults haven’t even done that!  What a cool field trip idea.

The article concluded by saying …

“These people become real to them,” Kinsey-Warnock said. “They’re not just old dead people any more. It makes the children want to find out more, and they do the research on their own. They’re learning history in the best way, and they’re going to remember.”

I tell anyone who will listen that learning about history through researching people is my favorite method!  It makes the people more real and in many ways, I find it makes the history more real when connected to people. I think when I was a child, if we had talked more about people and less about just dates and places, maybe I'd better remember some of that history I was taught!

As I research families (my own or for clients), I am constantly learning new-to-me history in a most fascinating way -- through the people involved in it! Seems like what works for me might also work for others.


Have your children, grandchildren, or just children you know, either via a school program, scout program, church program or via some other activity, been involved in a research project into a historical individual or a family member?










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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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29 June 2016

When Was The Last Time You Used a "Physical" Library Card?



Library Cards -- Opened So Many Windows Into Literal and Imaginary Worlds


This was a recent post title on The Atlantic.

Definitely inspired some nostalgia in me.  I remember visiting our town library and the musty smell of the books back in the research section (a very dark room compared to the children’s book section which was all bright) … I loved to always see new books listed on my library card.  It was always special to go to the library and take out books.  We only owned a set of encyclopedias, some Nancy Drew books and Reader’s Digest Condensed Books.  I loved what we had and one can only re-read the same stories so many times before you crave something new!

Our library used the system mentioned here from the article …

Of all of the charging methods, the two-card system—invented around 1900 in Newark, New Jersey—is probably closest in concept to the present-day library card. It also seems to inspire the most nostalgia … In a two-card system, each book had a card attached on which checkouts were recorded, and each borrower had a separate card listing his or her selections. The practice of keeping individual book cards continued until the era of computerized checkout systems.

And, the concept of privacy was non-existent.  You could always see who had taken out a book before.  It wasn’t even something I thought of.  On the other hand, it’s not like the library carried books that anyone would be embarrassed or concerned about taking out.  My library just didn’t carry anything like that.

I hadn’t really thought out this until the article mentioned …

The library cards of today, squares of plastic with bar codes for quick scanning, have an additional advantage beyond the ease of the system: They allow for greater user privacy. When a book is checked out, the book’s information is linked to the borrower’s in the computer, but as soon as a book is returned, the system erases the link between borrower and book.

Who knows how the future will handle our access to library materials.  My most recent use of my “library card” was just a virtual use.  I input my library card number and pin to log-in, I then signed up for an e-book, I received an email of its availability, I then accessed the book via my Kindle and my transaction was done.  I honestly don’t know where my “physical” library card is.  I have not used it in years, maybe even longer!

Some related posts about library cards and systems, you might read:
+ Vintage Library Cards (The Library History Buff)


Do you still have and use a physical library card?

What is your fondest memory of your local library?









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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
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28 June 2016

Record Retention -- Important to ALL of us whether managing a personal collection or a large archive

Created by carmichaellibrary, https://www.flickr.com/photos/carmichaellibrary/5670360555/.
[CC-BY-ND-2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)], via flickr


Record Retention – Important to ALL! 

We often talk about preserving documents.  A large part of knowing what to preserve and for how long (in perpetuity, for 10 years, or what duration), comes from a record retention policy.

Every household, has an explicit or implicit policy about what records to retain.  Do you keep your tax files? car maintenance documents? medical files? birthday cards, newspaper clippings, etc.  Do you throw out and/or shred credit card slips, bills, etc.  Every time you make a decision to keep or throw out/destroy documents you are implementing (or not) a policy regarding what records you retain.

The same happens in government offices, corporate offices, and in any place where paper is generated and/or received (as well as digital files, and other media formats).  And, obviously, in archives and libraries and other repositories who are in the business of collecting records.

SO, we ALL need to think about records retention.  We ALL also need to appreciate records retention as often such a policy determines why we might NOT find some of the records we seek.

This all came to mind when reading A Beginners Guide to Record Retention (posted by the Library of Congress).

Google search on “Records retention” and archives and you will see many entries for the various state archives (NY, WA, UT, NC, OR, and AZ showed up on the top of my search list). Search on the same except substitute libraries and I came across Library of Virginia, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, etc.

University Records also fall under a records retention schedules, as well as local government entities, and more.  Again, if records are created, there is a very good chance that there is a records retention policy in place.  Sometimes these are to meet legal requirements, sometimes to meet technical needs, and sometimes the needs of the entity and/or its users.  Obviously, as genealogists we like to see the preservation of documents whose “function” may have been served years, decades or centuries ago, and yet are of interest to us. 

Often though, these desires have to “realistically” be balanced with storage space and other factors. Ultimately, we CANNOT keep everything and we do try to judiciously keep what we think will have perpetual value.



If you have a personal “record retention” policy – what are some of its elements?

What advice would you give to those looking to create a personal “record retention” policy?








Editor's Note: Corrected it's to its in University Records paragraph, 5:16pm 28 June 2016


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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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27 June 2016

FREE Access to WWI Military & British/Irish Census Records at Findmypast Starts TODAY (ends 4 July 2016)


FREE Access to WWI Military & British/Irish Census Records -- FindmyPast (27 June - 4 July 2016)

From Findmypast

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, we've made our 65 million world military records and over 265 million British and Irish censuses FREE for a week. Find your family making history in the most comprehensive collection of British Army records from World War 1 available online.

Dick Eastman (Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter) provides a good overview of this offering.

Even though I am half English, I have yet to find a British WWI veteran in my family tree.  My grandfather did serve during WWII.  On my father’s side, they were all recent emigrants to the USA, as WWI commenced, and so they didn’t serve.

Do you have a WWI Veteran in your family?  What neat records have you found documenting their service?












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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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26 June 2016

FamilySearch plans Outage TOMORROW (27 June 2016) -- possibly down 24 hours!


FamilySearch Planned Outage – 27 June – Possibly 24 Hours!

From FamilySearch …

FamilySearch has been working hard to upgrade our website to accommodate the ongoing growth of new features, such as hinting in the Family Tree. As a part of this process, FamilySearch.org will undergo a technical upgrade on Monday, June 27, starting at 12:00 a.m. MDT (6:00 a.m. UTC). The site may be unavailable for up to 24 hours as we test the system improvements.

Thank you for your patience as we make these changes. We are excited about this site upgrade and the increased capacity to help people around the world discover their ancestors.

Thank You,
FamilySearch.org

Want to know more?
Join the conversion on our FamilySearch Facebook Page.








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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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24 June 2016

Want to De-Code Secret Civil War Telegrams? Now is Your Chance!



Want to De-Code Secret Civil War Telegrams?  Now is Your Chance!

This sounds like so much fun. 

As shared on the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) Facebook page

Here's your chance to help de-code secret telegrams sent during the Civil War.

With support from the NHPRC, the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens has launched of an innovative crowdsourcing project to transcribe and decipher a collection of nearly 16,000 Civil War telegrams between Abraham Lincoln, his Cabinet, and officers of the Union Army. Roughly one-third of the messages were written in code.

The “Decoding the Civil War” project is a partnership among Zooniverse (the largest online platform for collaborative volunteer research), North Carolina State University’s Digital History and Pedagogy Project, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The Huntington acquired the exceptionally rare collection of telegrams in 2012, composed of a nearly complete archive of Thomas T. Eckert, the head of the military telegraph office of the War Department under Lincoln. The archive was thought to have been destroyed after the war and includes crucial correspondence that has never been published. Among the materials are 35 manuscript ledger books of telegrams sent and received by the War Department, including more than 100 communiques from Lincoln himself. Also included are top-secret cipher books revealing the complex coding system used to encrypt and decipher messages. The Confederate Army never cracked the Union Army’s code.

But you can help by joining in at https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/zooniverse/decoding-the-civil-war. They are looking for 75,000 volunteers.


I felt it important that I check out the user experience for y’all (wink wink) and it was great.  You are first shown an overview of the process.  I found the tools very easy to use. There are a variety of document types and each time I clicked next I was taken to something different.

I am quite impressed with how far crowdsourced projects have come in such a short time!

Whether you have just a few minutes (you literally can do some of the pages in just a few minutes) or longer, you might consider helping with this project.







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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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23 June 2016

Plagiarism and Fabrication: Genealogical Land Mines


Plagiarism and Fabrication: Genealogical Land Mines

Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist, and Robert Charles Anderson, Director of the Great Migration Studies, joined host Jane E. Wilcox on The Forget-Me-Not Hour on Wednesday 22 June to talk about plagiarism and fabrication in genealogy. We may be stepping on genealogical land mines in our research resources if we come upon word-for-word copying of another's work (plagiarism) and works that make up facts (fabrication). Bob and Judy explained what each is, gave examples in genealogy and other disciplines, and shared their thoughts on how we as researchers can avoid the two mines in our research. They also talked about transcriptions and abstractions, forgeries and copyright infringement. A great discussion!

Listen on-demand at http://tobtr.com/8869241








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copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
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NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to UpFront@ngsgenealogy.org. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
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Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
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Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com
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