Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 31 - Visit a cemtery

October 31 - This Halloween, do some ghost busting and visit a cemetery. Banish skeletons from your past with the Skeletons in our Closet Newsletter <>.
Even though this link doesn't work anymore, you can still do some ghost busting and visit a cemetery. Soon in many parts of the country (if not already), it will be too cold to be visiting a cemetery. I love going this time of year, the leaves are beautiful, and the ground is not soft like in the spring.
Don't forget to take your camera and snap pictures of the gravestones. You can always add them to if its not already on their website.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 30 - Cram in a research session

October 30 - Before you're too busy with holiday errands, get yourself to the library for a hot-and-heavy research session.
Yep the holidays are coming faster and faster every year. Once Novemeber arrives, my head starts to spin. I need to get the house clean for Thanksgiving and ready for Christmas Decorations, which I usually start the Friday after Thanksgiving. I have already have some presents purchased, so I will find time to start wrapping those. Its easier to keep up with the wrapping and not letting it wait to the last minute. (Will not do that ever again).
Need a break from all the Holdiay hustle and bustle, then schedule little short boost of genealogy tasks. Instead of starting new projects, think about wrapping up any outstanding projects you started this year. Such as redoing your files, or just making sure everything is filed back where it belongs. Make inventory of your books, and perhaps write a wish list of books you want to have. I give these to family members who always ask what I want for Christmas.
By wrapping up all your projects, you will be ready for the new year and be organized too! Because we all know when the new year arrives, we will be thinking about tax day until April. Then summer vacation, then school starts and then we are right back to the holidays.
P.S. Happy Birthday to my eldest son, Robert who turns 27 today.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29 - go beyond your family tree software

October 29 - Look beyond standard family tree software to add-ons that locate defunct towns and create pretty charts. Try Progeny Software and The Gold Bug <>.
Software packages have come along way since this tip was written in 2006. Also, I like using more than one software package, because perhaps I like the reports of one, but like inputting information via another. No problem, just pick one software package as your main package and do all your editing of data in this package. Then export via GEDCOM file to another program and run whatever you like from that application. As long as you are always inputting via your main package, you won't have any problems.
P.S. Happy Anniversary to my hubby who 29 years ago, married me on the 29th. This would have been my parents, 52nd anniversary had they both still been living. My Love to both of the them who are never far from my heart or thoughts.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28 - Honoring Our Ancestors

October 28 - Apply for an Honoring Our Ancestors grant <> to help fund your society's transcription project or workshop.

This is a great way for promoting our love of genealogy.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 27 - Family Tree Quilt

October 27 - Start a family tree quilt, wall hanging or other keepsake project.
This is one thing that I have always wanted to do, but always seem to put it off. I think I will put this project on my calendar, and I will do this after the first of the year, since, I know I won't find time untl then. Just remember, if you have a project you want to do, put an appointment on your calendar. If you don't make time, you won't find time to do your important things.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October 26 - Deciphering old hand writing

October 26 - Get help deciphering old hand writing. See <> and check out Kip Sperry's Reading Early American Handwriting (Genealogical Publishing Co.).

I have to admit this is my hard task. Some hand writing is very difficult to read. Now that alot of old documents are available online, I come across old hand writing even more. My tip: Transcribe old documents and leave the transcribition with the document, this way you won't have to struggle with the old hand writing more than once per document.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25 - Learn how to presever your heirlooms

October 25 - Don't let the past slip away—spend a half-hour learning techniques to preserve your heirlooms. Two excellent sources: <> and Caring for Your Family Treasures by Jane S. Long and Richard W. Long (Heritage Preservation).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October 24 - UnsolvedAncestry

October 24 - Go to UnsolvedAncestry <> and offer a reward to whoever can smash your brick wall—or earn a few bucks solving someone else's problem.

Since 2006 - this website is not longer available. However to find other similiar alternatives check out the following website which explains the alternatives. Keep in mind some of those might be gone too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23 - Share your GEDCOM

October 23 - Generate a GEDCOM with your genealogy software and post it to a pedigree database such as Ancestry World Tree <> or Gen Circles Global Tree <>.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22 - Favorite Ancestor Profile

Otober 22 - Type up a one-page profile about a favorite ancestor. Add photos, print it on nice paper, frame it and you've got a great present. Refer to the December 2005 Family Tree Magazine for more heritage-themed gift ideas.

October 21 - Sweetest Day

October 21 - Celebrate Sweetest Day by writing about a sweet moment in your life, such as your first kiss, best prom date or the day you met your spouse.

October 20 - Family Recipe Book

Otober 20 - Ask relatives for their favorite recipes, as well as photos or stories of times the foods were served. Put together a family cookbook or recipe box. Consult Kathy Steligo's Meals and Memories: How To Create Keepsake Cookbooks (Carlo Press) for guidance.

October 19 - American Memory Project

Ocotber 19 -  Search the Library of Congress' vast online American Memory Project <> for digitized historical maps, photographs, documents, newspapers and oral histories.

October 18 - Scrapbook or collage

October 18 - Design a scrapbook layout or collage with family cemetery souvenirs. Include tombstone rubbings, photographs, obituaries, graveyard history and a map.

October 17 - Family Medical Tree

October 17 - Start a family health history tree using medical records and the free My Family Health Portrait software <>. It may save your life—or a loved one's.

October 16 - An Online family communication center

October 16 - Set up an online family communication center. In about three minutes, you can create a password-protected Web site at <> for about $29.95 per year.

That might have been your only choice back in 2006, but there are more choices today. Such as

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 15 - Visit a FHC

October 15 - Trek to a local FHC to read microfilm and use online databases for free.

I have only been to my local FHC once. Every time a read a tip on visiting my local FHC, I realize that I am lucky to have such a resource and that I need to visit mine.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 14 - Wearable Scrapbook

October 14 - Create a “wearable scrapbook” with photo jewelry from Memory Maker <>.

This sounds interesting. I had a heart that I could put a picture in, but the picture was hidden. They have a beautiful bracelets that have personal photos on. I would love one with my children when they were younger along with my granddaughter's picture.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 13 - Interview a relative

October 13 - Stop by the StoryCorps project's Web site <> and make an appointment to interview a relative at a MobileBooth. Or download a do-it-yourself guide to recording an interview.

This tip is probably the most important and the most difficult to do. Especially for relatives you are not that familiar with. I remembering interview a few relatives and they were more scared of what I was going to ask then I was scared of asking them. When you do record a relative, keep it short, they can tire quickly. Have your questions prepared ahead of time. I find I start off with real easy ones, like confirming their birth date and place. Perhaps their marriage date and place. I might as who their in-laws were. Simple questions, then I will ask about their grandparents. I like them to share one of their favorite memories of their grandparents. That usually gets them talking and relax.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October 12 - Family History CD or DVD

October 12 - Retrieve that plan you sketched out and create your family history CD or DVD. Get step-by-step help from <>.

I just love this idea about sharing your family history via a CD or DVD. Start working on them now and you could have all your Christmas presents done before Thanksgiving. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 11 - Family Photo Calendar

October 11 - Design a family photo calendar using a free template from one of the Internet sites at <>, or get help from a copy shop or photo processing center.

There are so many sites that let you create photo calendars. You could even use a site like and create many different items, not just photo calendars. Think outside the box, instead of sending Christmas cards with your family photo, how about an ancestors photo?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 10 - Share your excitment

October 10 - Share your excitement with a relative who doesn't “get” your genealogy passion by framing an old record about one of his or her ancestors.

This tip makes me laugh because I have many relatives who do not get my genealogy passion. Many years ago, I printed special histories for my six half siblings with their father's ancestry. I knew they didn't have a passion, but I wanted to share my findings with them. Their father died when they were quite young, in fact, one of brothers wasn't even born yet, my mother was pregnant with him and he is born on their wedding anniversary.

Any way you can think of sharing your genealogy passion with your relatives is a good one. They might not get your genealogy passion but what if another relative sees it and they do get your passion. One thing leads to another and before you know it, you have a partner in crime. :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 9 - Italian Americans

October 9 - Italian-Americans traditionally celebrate their heritage on Columbus Day. See the June 2005 Family Tree Magazine and use the resources at <>.

Well, Columbus day was yesterday and it was Canadian Thanksgiving too. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8 - Genealogy Classes

October 8 - The genealogy class you're eyeing doesn't fit your schedule? Sign up for a free online course at <>, Barnes & Noble University <> or other Web sites.

Check out webinars. They offer free ones and if you can't join them, you can listen after the fact. Most free webinars are offered for free for a week. Some are quite interesting. I like getting other researchers views on topics.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 7 - Family History Workshop

October 7 - Reach out to your local community by organizing a family history workshop at a senior citizens center, Rotary club, library or historical society.

This month I hope to teach a couple of genealogy classes at my local community college. On Wednesday the 3rd, I did a free talk about genealogy to spark interest. My two classes, a beginning class is scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday, October 16 and 18th and my online genealogy research class is scheduled for Monday and Wednesday Oct 22 and 24th. So I need all the positive thinking I can get so that my classes get enough enrollment so I can teach.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

October 6 - Start a genealogy spark

October 6 - Interest a youngster in family history with old photos and a family tree chart. Tell a story about an ancestor's life or your own. 

It is difficult to get youngster's interested in family history, but not impossible. I remember when my daughter was reading the Little House on the Prairie books, I looked up the Ingalls family in the census records. I showed my daughter how Laura's little brother was born between census years and if it wasn't for her writing about her brother, we might have never known he ever lived. I started a little spark that day and she seems to be the only one of my children, slightly interested in genealogy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

October 5 - Christmas anyone?

October 5 - Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner. Create heirloom photo ornaments as gifts. For instructions, see <>.

I believe it because Christmas decorations are out. I even heard Christmas music coming from the Christmas department because someone turned on one of the displays. Even though I think stores are putting out Christmas stuff way too early, if you are making your presents, its not too early to think about it. It takes time to make presents. I remember when my mother crochet afghans for her children. She had 6 out of the house and three of us were still at home. When October rolled around and she still had three to make, I was asked to help her make a couple. It was fun making the afghans, and I can't even remember which ones I made. ;-)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 4 - Inflation

October 4 - What did your ancestors earn in today's dollars? Let the Inflation Calculator <> tell you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 3 - Canadian roots

October 3 - Visit the Ontario Virtual Reference Library <> for resources on your Canadian roots (start with the Genealogy category).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2 - Jewish Roots

October 2 - Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, is today. Access Yizkor books, cemetery information, databases and more at Jewish Gen <>.

Well that was back in 2006 and Yom Kippur was Wednesday, September 25. For future reference, 2013: September 13, 2014: October 3 and 2015: September 22. Youm Kippur observances begin at sundown on the first secular date and conclude the following day at nightfall.

Inspite of us missing Yom Kippur, please check out Jewish Genealogy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1 - Family History Month

October 1 -  Set the stage for Family History Month by listening to inspiring tunes such as Neil Diamond's “America” or “Lady Liberty” by Orleans. Steve Lanza's Ancestral Songs album is another good one.