24 April 2014

Thomas W Jones, CG, FASG, author of Mastering Genealogical Proof guest on Fieldstone Common



Last week, Marian Pierre-Louis interviewed Thomas W Jones, CG, FASG, on her internet radio show Fieldstone Common about his book Mastering Genealogical Proof.

Besides a link to the podcast (look below all the various social media share buttons), the webpage associated with the interview gives a biography of Thomas, gives a summary and publication information for the book, a summary of the interview and links mentioned during the interview, and additional information.

It’s a nice way to hear the author talk about this book as he shares some insights into “how to formulate questions, the process of analysis and correlation and what to do when there are evidence conflicts. He even discusses how to approach citations so they are not so scary!

For more information about the book and how to order this book, visit this NGS publications webpage.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com


Read more

23 April 2014

Do-it-yourself book scanner preserving Pittstown PA history one page at a time!


It’s amazing what one or two or a small group of people can do when a passion of theirs will benefit many.

A recent example of this that I read about, Book scanner preserves volumes of history (thetimes-tribune.com) caught my eye since it’s based on one person working with the local historical society and the city to use a “do-it-yourself” version of a scanning apparatus to digitize that cities history.

He opens whichever book he is working on that day to the proper page, places it in a cradle, and lowers a V-shaped plastic panel to keep the page in place. He pushes his foot against a black pedal, and two Canon digital cameras fire simultaneously, recording the yellowing, faded page in a digital image.

Digitization efforts are most often stymied by a lack of funds which can be compounded by a lack of personnel to carry out such.  In this case, a cost-effective process (this particular apparatus was built pro bono though it was based on a do-it-yourself idea), combined with a dedicated volunteer and a cooperating historical society and city government “are” preserving Pittston’s history. Over 30 books out of 150 have already been digitized.

Unfortunately, as we often hear about and learn, some of our history is disappearing even as I write this.

The left wall of City Hall's archive room is empty - Mr. Hines said water damage from a leaky ceiling once destroyed volumes of records, turning them to "black dust."

Might this be an option in your community?  Has your community participated in a similar effort?




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com


Read more

22 April 2014

Libraries are AWESOME -- are you taking advantage of all that your library (and the library in a locale you are researching) have to offer?

source: Google image collection of libraries
As a recent article states – Libraries are AWESOME!  Read the article Libraries are Surprisingly Popular, and Oh Yeah, They Also Make You Awesome.  I found it neat that one of the conclusions drawn has to do with finding and processing information (doesn’t that sound like what we genealogists do constantly?!?!)

LIBRARIES ARE MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER
Maybe the most surprising data point to emerge from the Pew Research study is that most library users are technologically engaged. That may sound counter-intuitive, but the truth is that in the age of information, places where information can be organized and contextualized are key.

Take a few minutes and jot down what your local library does for you and then you as a genealogist and family historian.  I quickly came up with this “short” list (not meant to be comprehensive and what do you expect when I spent about 30 seconds creating it).

·    Access to Interlibrary loan (ILL)
·    Remote access to electronic databases
·    On-site access to specialized electronic databases
·    Availability of books, journals, newspapers and more
·    Ability to order and then view Familysearch microfilm
·    Access to local manuscript and related resources (in person or via research requests)
·    Access to digitized collections, indexes, finding aids for local history resources 
·    Insights from a professional who specializes in information acquisition and interpretation
·    Options to attend programs – historical, genealogical, skills acquisition and much more
·    Many more services that benefit genealogists at your local library.

Whenever I research a new-to-me locale, I always check out the local library, nearest college library and then state library -- they all have so much to offer!  

As already stated libraries are awesome!

What makes your local library awesome for local genealogists and family historians?





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com


Read more

21 April 2014

SimilarSiteCheck -- a neat & sometimes useful search tool and not just for genealogical research!


Search, search, search ... we are always searching for new information and sources.

We do much searching on the internet.  You may use Google, Mocavo, or any of a myriad of other search engines as we ferret out the genealogical gems to be found in the online and offline worlds.  We frequently run into duplicated information, “hits” completely unrelated to what we seek, spam websites and much more.  We are always seeking “better” ways to search the internet for what’s valuable to us.

ResearchBuzz introduced me to a site called SimilarSiteCheck.

“In order to find similar websites for a given domain Similarsitecheck analyzes the entire content as well as external links for the webpage. During the analysis we collect the most important keywords and phrases for a webpage. To actually calculate the alternative websites we search for the found keywords and phrases in our database, compare the sites and get a similarity score for the domains.”

What a neat idea. Any tool that might improve the efficiency and effectiveness of doing online searches gets a thumbs up from me. This website is German-based with an interface in either English or German.

It’s incredibly easy to use.  You enter the URL for a website of interest and then click the arrow.  The results are returned below.

Do know that for some websites, I did run into issues.  I tried the websites for both the State Library of North Carolina and the State Archives of North Carolina and the site seemed unable to handle these. I would get messages of “invalid domain.”  I also tried the Library of Congress website with the same issues.  It might be that government entity website platforms just are not compatible.

I then tried www.familysearch.org and it gave a result of 49 similar webpages.  Possibly because it is German-based, the results seemed skewed to a lot of UK websites.  It might also be language usage – are the terms family history et al used less on US websites?

I then entered the URL for New River Notes (a regional NC/VA website) and the results were kind of all over the place as you can see from this image.  Though I might want to rend a cottage or condominium, those are not websites that will help my genealogy research.  I tried a few other searches and received equally entertaining and eclectic mixes of suggested websites.



So, as with many tools, it might not be helpful.  On the other hand, if it guides you to just one “new-to-you” website with valuable information, then it’s helped.

When you play around with it, let us know if it guided you to a website which is new to you and relevant.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com


Read more

18 April 2014

The newest genealogy-related Apps for your ios device (few are yet available for android!)




It seems as if every other e-mail is telling me about a new “app” available for an iphone (or related).  Grumble, grumble, grumble.  As the owner of an android-based phone, it frustrates me incredibly when I read all of these announcements.  My first question is always, “when” will the android version become available?

It also puts me in a bind as far as this blog, since I really like to report “news” that has broad utility and ideally that would be announcing the availability of a genealogy-related app for both platforms.  Unfortunately, that rarely happens.

That said, here is a summary of the recent news about new and mostly “ios apps” that might interest our genealogical community.
BillionGraves iOS App (available in 25 languages) [20 Apr 2014, BillionGraves does have an android version available
Find-a-grave [20 Apr 2014, an android version is being worked on and there is a 3rd party app available]
TreeView Mobile (the Genealogist) (both ios and android)

And, in the works and coming soon is:
Capture (by findmypast)

I “hope” to soon hear that an android version is available for each of these apps

Have you recently learned about new apps (ios and/or android) connected specifically to something genealogical?  If so, please share!



Editor’s Notes:  Past Upfront with NGS posts about “apps” to use with smartphones.


[20 Apr 2014] Editor's Note: Thanks to Tamura Jones for pointing out a couple of things that needed updating in the above post.  Additionally, the above post was just discussing a few of the "newer" apps announced.  Tamura has a couple of webpages devoted to keeping you current on available Android-based genealogy apps, please do check them out:
http://www.tamurajones.net/FreeAndroidGenealogyApps.xhtml
http://www.tamurajones.net/PaidAndroidGenealogyApps.xhtml



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com


Read more

17 April 2014

Tiki-Toki a fun free timeline creation tool that can create a visual masterpiece of your families history!


Diane's Tiki-Toki Test Timeline with an image backdrop and event dialogue box
We often use timelines/matrices in our research.  They are a great way to envision the passage of time and who is doing what, where, when and with whom!

A Michigan State University blog post titled Tiki-Toki: Online Timeline Creation Tool introduced me to the free web-based timeline tool, Tiki-Toki. It is quite powerful; more so than my little example will illustrate.

To see how it worked I created a test timeline of a few data points.  My timeline is so primitive that I didn’t include any digital images (e.g. of documents) nor did I engage the 3D presentation elements and there is only so much one can do in about 20 minutes!  I did like that I could add multiple events on a single date and they would stack up.  I often will have a data point from my research and then observations I might make relative to that data point.  I don’t want them integrated since the observations are often of a “generic” nature and have relevance beyond the one data point.  In my next iteration, I will use what is called the category bands view and then I put my data points in one band and my notes in another.

Diane's Tiki-Toki Test Timeline without an image and just a colored background and event dialogue box
I thought maybe the first version with the image background was too clutter though I do find it easier to look at than this version -- maybe a change in color scheme is needed!??!!?

I found it pretty intuitive to use and it does help to view the timeline created giving a history of the tool, http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/43/Beautiful-web-based-timeline-software/#vars!date=2010-10-11_14:33:00!  which does highlight its various features.

Do know that to save as an image or PDF there are other “free” applications that you will have to download to perform these actions.

From my example, it’s clear that I will need to play around with this a bit more and if I were to add an appropriate backdrop, include snippets of the original documents acquired along with fully developed source citations and more, this could be a very neat (and visually interesting) way to share a timeline.

And, if I used the 3D elements, I could, for example, have a path of data for each of a bunch of like-named individuals.  This way I could see them in the context of time (and space) in context with one another.  

If you decide to play with Tiki Toki, please share a link to your efforts!

Do you have a favorite (and easy-to-use) timeline creation tool?



Editor’s Note: Other Upfront with NGS articles related to using timelines as a genealogical research tool.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com


Read more

16 April 2014

Registration for the NGS Conference and All Ticketed Events Closes 22 April 2014


Arlington, VA, 16 April 2014: Have you registered for the NGS Family History Conference in Richmond? The deadline for pre-conference registration is 22 April 2014. Registration will be available on-site beginning at 12:00 noon, 6 May 2014, in the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Registration for all meals, social events, and workshops closes on 22 April 2014. No ticket purchases will be available on-site at the conference for meals, social events, or workshops. Likewise, registration for Librarians’ Day also closes on 22 April 2014. For conference information and to register, go to http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/attend/.

Breakfast, Luncheons, and the NGS Banquet
Participating organizations sponsor several luncheons during the conference. Seats are still available for several of the luncheons, the NGS First-Timers Breakfast, and the NGS Banquet. Make your reservations now at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/attend/. The NGS First-Timers Breakfast is $24, luncheons are $32, and the banquet is $51. Menus are in the registration brochure at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Registration-Brochure-Final-Rev-11.pdf.

Live Streaming
If you are unable to attend the NGS 2014 Family History Conference, ten lectures featuring some of the most popular topics and nationally known speakers will be available to you via live streaming.  Details about viewing the live streaming program and the costs can be found at http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/attend/live-streaming-at-ngs2014gen/. Registration for the live streaming program closes on 30 April 2014.

Society Night
On Wednesday evening 7 May 2014, many Virginia genealogical and historical societies will be available in the Richmond Marriott from 5:15 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. to answer questions about local repositories and resources, discuss their group’s activities, and sell their publications.

Richmond Area Tours
There are a few seats left on the historical tours prior to the NGS 2014 Family History Conference through Richmond Discoveries’ Tours on Tuesday, 6 May 2014. To register go to http://www.richmonddiscoveries.com/ngs.php.  The password is NGS2014 and is case sensitive.

Add Items to an Existing Registration
To add meals to your current registration, log on at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org, click on My Account, select My Events, and then click to Add Sessions. To add pre-conference events, click on My Account and then select Upcoming Events.

You really don’t want to miss this year’s exciting conference program from 7–10 May at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and Richmond Marriott.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records.  The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.  Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.






~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to UpfrontNGS@mosaicrpm.com


Read more