Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28 - Page through inherited cookbooks.

March 28 – Page through cookbooks you’ve inherited and ask your relatives to do the same. You might discover handwritten recipes and notes from Great-grandmother or Aunt Esther.

I went through my mother’s cookbook, which wasn’t the one I remember as a child. She used to have a Betty Crocker cookbook, hard cover and large size. But the one she used in her final years was a paperback version of the same cookbook. When she moved to a smaller house, she cleaned out her collection of cookbooks and downsized them. I purchased the paperback version shortly after I got married because I loved her cookbook and could not afford the big hard cover version. I purchased the hard cover version a few years ago, but find myself using the paperback version because it is so much easier. I will be taking my mother’s version to my 2nd home to use. I know there are some handwritten pages in the book, but I haven’t investigated it. Now I am curious to see whose handwriting is on those pages but the book is packed and ready for the new 2nd home. I won’t be able to look until June when I get to the house and unpack.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 27 - Finding a realtive's diary

March 27 – A relative’s diary may be listed in bibliography of American Dairies by Laura Arksey, Nancy Pries, Marcia Reed and William Matthews (Gale Group, out of print). Check the FHL online catalog and historical societies, too.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 26 - Jot down a store about her favorite female ancestor.

March 26 – Choose your favorite female ancestor and jot down some stories about her.

Today seems I am missing some of my female ancestors and relatives in general. Next month will mark 13 years since my sister died. She lost her battle with breast cancer at the tender age of 45 and I was only 34. She was the artist of the family and I have several of her paintings and drawings.

 I miss my mother who has died 10 years ago this coming September. She was my friend and I miss being able to talk to her. I loved going on shopping trips with her. She was a great mother and grandmother.

 I was only in third grade when my grandmother, my mother’s mother passed away. I remember her perfume and her wonderful hugs. She lived in the upstairs unit of the duplex that she own with her daughter, my aunt. I remember being the first one out of the car and running up the stairs to get the first hug from her. She always had a tub of toys for me to play with and now I have a tub of toys for my granddaughter to play with.

March 25 - revisit online message boards

March 25 – Revisit online message boards for responses to your queries.

Some sites now offer a way for responses to be sent to you via email, check to see how to turn on this function.

March 24 - Visit the library

March 24 – Grab your research binder and hit the library to find those resources and tackle items on your to-do-list.

Don’t forget to visit the library help desk and make sure you haven’t overlooked any valuable resources. They are there to help you and they do enjoy sharing their library resources with you. Don’t forget to thank them.

March 23 - visit your public or university library web site

March 23 – Visit your public or university library Web site and search its catalog for books and microfilm you need.  Print information for promising resources.

While you are on the library web site, check out what kind of on-line databases they offer. Do you have to visit the library to access them, or can you access them for free from home with a library card. Check out all their resources.

March 22 - try GenSmarts

March 22 – Get a free trial version of GenSmarts software from This utility works with your genealogy software to analyze your data and suggest next research steps.

This software is worth looking at. I love software packages that offer a way to try before buying.  Remember that genealogy can be as expensive or cheap as you want. You don’t have to buy everything, try to use your free options first.

March 21 - Make a list of Books to research

March 21 – Download our free Research Checklist of Books, and list titles that might mention ancestors. Put the form in your research binder so it’s handy next time you’re at the library.

Use Google Books search to find books. You might even find some that you can view completely.

March 20 - search for female ancestors.

March 20 - Home sources can be a gold mine for female ancestor information. Look in your own attic and offer to help relatives search theirs for dairies, wedding-guest registers, baby books, family bibles, insurance papers, letters and the like.

What a great way to get to know your relatives a little more. If you volunteer to search relative homes, keep the visit short and sweet. Bring your camera or hand held scanner and photograph or scan documents and pictures that are found. Remember relatives might not want to give you their things and by scanning them on site, you won’t have to remove anything from their home. Oh knows, they may just give you the items.

March 19 - Spring Clean your genealogy

March 19 – The windows can wait, spring-clean your genealogy research. Sort that pile of papers, file emails and delete extraneous Web bookmarks.

 I learned in a time management seminar that if you can do this all in one sitting, then spend 20-30 minutes a day until you get it all done. This can take a big task and break it into small manageable task. Then after a week of 5 days, you would have spent about 2 ½ hours on this task. Imagine how much you could accomplish.

March 18 - What's your family story?

March 18 – Consider entering a family story or genealogy how-to-article in the International Society of Family History Writes and Editors’ annual contest.

Well I was so busy after the wonderful cruise that I had, I haven’t found time to do my daily blog. However, I did promise to report on my cruise. The cruise was wonderful, my hubby and I were able to bond and it was wonderful spending time with my brother and our family friend. The cruise however ended on a rainy day. The last day at sea was raining and windy. We landed in San Diego to pouring rain and had to wait in the Rain for about an hour for the hotel shuttle. Then we drove back in rain all the way home (5 hour drive). The weather was cold.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 17 - Happy St Patrick's Day

March 17 – Your Irish eyes are smiling today Pay homage to Emerald Isle ancestors at Web sites such as Irish Ancestors and Eneclann <>

Today is St Patrick’s Day and since I am half Irish I will be enjoying the day with some Guinness. I love Guinness over any pale ale. Today is also the last day of my cruise and I will be heading home. I hope I had a good cruise, but check in tomorrow to find out.

Oh by the way, when I say tomorrow, I mean March 18th, if you are not reading this on March 17th. ;)

March 16 - Search online databases

March 16 – Go back to your online databases and search them – again.

In my classes, I always tell people to revisit on-line database. You might not want to this every week, but perhaps each month, around your day of the month that your birthday would land on. Therefore, if you were born on the 10th of May, each month on the 10th, go back to your online databases and search them again. 

March 15 - Look for historical photos and postcards.

March 15 – Seek historical photos and postcards from your ancestors’ time. Check auction sites such as eBay, photo-reunion sites such as Dead Fred and Ancient Faces, flea markets and antiques stores.

March 14 - explore a state archive or library web site

March 14 – Pick an ancestral state and explore its state archives or library Web site. Search for family and county histories in the online catalog and look for research tips, records databases and indexes.

I always recommend visiting the website of any archive or library that you wish to visit. Find out ahead of time the hours they are open, the resources they have and any other information that might be useful for your visit. Also, check out where you can grab lunch or supper that is nearby. Use Google Earth/Maps and view the area for interesting things and get a feel for the area.

March 13 - Generate surname maps.

March 13 – Visit to generate maps showing where Americans with your surnamed lived in 1850, 880, 1920 and 1990.

Warning - this seems to only work with more common surnames.

March 12 - Dream about your genealogy vacation.

March 12 – Wish you could visit your ancestral homeland? Take a genealogy cruise? It’s OK to dream – surf over to your target country’s tourism Web site or

March 11 - Create a timeline for a female ancestor.

March 11 – Enhance a female ancestor’s timeline with events that changed her file. Suggestions; the Declaration of Sentiments (1848), formation of the Women’s Trade Union League (1903) and 19th Amendment granting women suffrage (1920).

March 10 - read profiles about Women.

March 10 – Read profiles about famous and courageous women in Women Who Dare Knowledge Cards, from the Library of Congress Shop (888-682-3557)

I was sent an email about the women who were arrested for protesting infront of the White House wanting voting rights for women. These women were beaten in jail.

 Today my cruise actually leaves for the Mexican Rivera. I won’t be doing any genealogy research but I have packed my iPAD and I have Family Tree Magazine’s old issues on my iPAD for reading. I plan on enjoying my vacation by soaking up the sun, visiting with my hubby, brother and female family friend. Yeah vacation!

March 9 - Ancestral Addresses

March 9 – Look up your ancestral addresses in city directories, similar to telephone books. You’ll find directories for local and major cities at libraries; some are in’s US Records Collection.

March 8 - Look into family history publishing software

March 8 – Look into software that helps you write family history, such as Personal Historian or open a Word document and type away.

Today I am leaving for San Diego for a cruise that will be leaving on Saturday, March 10th. Therefore, I have posted my daily post in advance. Now no peaking, just look at today’s post and come back tomorrow to look at tomorrow’s post. Okay, seriously if you are following the tips, you might get overwhelmed if you try to do more than one day’s work of tasks, but the choice is yours.

I might be evaluating genealogy software packages for a program that I will be presenting at my local genealogy society in April.

March 7 - Identify mystery photos of women in your family

March 7 – Use the photo-identification tips in the August 2004 Family Tree Magazine to investigate a mystery photo of a woman in your family.

 Today would be my grandmother’s birthday. I always think of her on this day. I was only able to share nine of her birthday’s during my left time.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March 6 - Browse the USGenWeb Project

March 6 – Browse the USGenWeb Project www.usgenweb.or sites for your ancestral counties. You may find message boards, transcribed records, family trees, historical information and more.

This is one of my favorite sites. Remember that these sites are maintained by volunteers and each county is a unique site. Based on the information the volunteer was able to find or link too, will determine how much information you will find. Come back regularly because sites are changing. You might want to make sure you revisit your ancestor’s counties every 3 to 6 months.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 5 - do some fantasy book shopping.

March 5 – Do some fantasy book shopping on sites such as . List tomes you want on Family Tree Magazine’s downloadable Book Wish List.

Today I taught my biggest genealogy class to date with 9 students. I taught “Finding your Roots Online”, a class that covers Google’s search tips, along with and where to find vital records. I closed the four hour class with genealogy software. I’m a firm believer that there is no ideal software package for everyone, since we all think a little different. I always recommend that people try the software before buying. Tomorrow will be my last class until Fall.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 4 - What'll happen to your research when you're gone?

March 4 – What’ll happen to your research when you’re gone? Arrange to leave it to a relative or a historical society.

Not only make arrangements, but you need to let your spouse or whoever is your next of kin. Just like being an organ donor, you need to let family members know. If you don’t know who might be going through your stuff, leave a note or will and be specific. I found out my cousin threw out all the personal belonging for his father, (my uncle) because he was adopted and didn’t want it and didn’t know who might. I was devastated!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March 3 - List all your female ancestors' maiden names.

March 3 – List all your female ancestors’ maiden names. Then search for them in online genealogy databases.

This will be a great month to expand our research where our female ancestors are concerned.

Friday, March 2, 2012

March 2 - Find the women in your family tree

March 2 – Print ancestor charts and family group sheets for the women in your family tree. Make plans for finding missing facts.

Sometimes we have a habit of giving up too soon on our female ancestors. I find that I come back to them, time and time again trying to glean a little more information about them. You might have to find all their children and hope maybe one of the children has given their mother’s maiden name, so that you can take the research back another generation.