Wednesday, May 25, 2011

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 20 - General Land Office Records

I have always been an advocate of using Land and Property Records as sources for genealogy and family history research.  The Bureau of Land Management and the General Land Office now "provides live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1820 and the present". 

This includes many of the early Brown County Federal Land Grants, no longer to you have to send away for paper copies, just download them via pdf files.

As an example, I looked up the Brown County Federal Land Grant for George Grove.  George Grove was one of the first settlers in the area near Bean Blossom, and before it was called Bean Blossom, it was known as "Georgetown" after Mr. Grove.

Friday, May 20, 2011

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 19

This week let's look at NARA (National Archives and Records Administration), also known as

(Not to be confused with

NARA is enthusiastically embracing social media and digital records preservations.

Start Clicking the links and read everything you can.

The Digital Vault is impressive in its presentation, and there is lots of interesting information.

In addition, NARA has 11 different blogs, as well as Facebook, and Twitter accounts. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Follow Friday - Family Photographs

          For this weeks FOLLOW FRIDAY challenge, I would like to showcase two very talented friends from the west coast.  Amy, Sofia and our respective spouses and families attended college together back in the late 1980's in Wisconsin.  We were young married couples and shared in the births of our first children, along with holiday meals, basketball games, baby showers, etc.  Although we are far apart, we are still close thanks to social media!
          So what does this have to do with GENEALOGY.....  PICTURES!  PICTURES!  and more PICTURES!   You will discover when searching for the elusive ancestor, that your biggest thrill is to discover a fading tintype of that ancestor or their family.  SO TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES and LABEL THEM!!!

Amy Sobrito of  2ndStory ,  

and Sofia Valenzuela of Still Sofia ,

both photographers use natural light photography methods and well....they just ROCK! announces New Web Search Feature

Lots of NEW Genealogy Product Announcements coming out of the National Genealogical Society Annual Convention in Charleston, SC.  One of the major announcements  from is the introduction of a NEW Search feature, that will not only search the Ancestry collections but will also search "select websites and brings back any matching results we find, along with a link to the site to enable you to go straight to the original record. Where relevant, we will include these results into your main search results. We will also list each collection we have within our card catalog, which will allow you to search those collections directly from within"  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 Publishes First Digital Versions of War of 1812 Pension Application Files Publishes First Digital Versions of War of 1812 Pension Application Files

     Click on the link above to go to the complete story.  Only the first 1400 images were released today in conjunction with the National Genealogical Society National Convention in Charleston South Carolina, but more will be added each day.

     The Indiana Genealogy Society is still collecting funds for a matching gift challenge to raise money to digitize the War of 1812 pension files at the National Archives and put them online for FREE access.

Indiana Genealogical Society
From now until June 30, 2011, the Indiana Genealogical Society will MATCH any donation (up to the first $10,000). That means that if you give $10, IGS will give $10; if you give $100, IGS will give $100.


Friday, May 6, 2011

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 18 Social Media

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy

Social Media for Genealogists and Genealogy Societies

Last week I was introduced to BLOGTALKRADIO, my friend and mentor Thomas MacEntee has put together several genealogy programs that are available via Blog Talk Radio, and GoToMeeting Webinars.  Available programs are listed on the calendar available through the GeneaWebinars site.

Thomas is literally changing the way genealogy societies and family history researchers do business!  Genealogy has some very ‘cool’ techie tools that are making genealogy appeal more to the technology driven younger generation. FACEBOOK, TWITTER, BLOGS, LINKEDIN, Blog Talk Radio, GoTo Meeting Webinars, Dropbox, WEEBLY,and NOOK just to name a few, are changing the ways genealogists and genealogy societies do research and interact with each other.  There is even a SECOND LIFE Chapter for the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), as well as an entire area of SECOND LIFE known as ‘Just Genealogy’.

While Thomas applied this lesson to genealogy societies, look at these ideas in terms of your family.  Have you thought about a Facebook page for your Family Reunion Association?  My family has a “Harry Ketchem Smith Family” Facebook Page, we are posting old family pictures, updating a family members spread sheet, providing links to our family trees on Ancestry, etc. There are many ways to convert this information from the society level to the individual level.

The availability of Social Media and Social Networking is quickly changing the landscape of what we have always known as being traditional genealogy interactions.  The advancement of social networking and social media within the genealogy setting is opening up  lots of new doors, to a new generation of genealogy enthusiasts. 

Start networking with other local genealogists on the Brown County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and look for new ways to connect with others who share your passion for genealogy and family history.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Motivation Monday - "Stuff I gotta get done this week"


Taking the lead from Tina Lyons at the GenWishList Blog (Tina is also the new Indiana Genealogical Society Vice President, as well as a fellow Geneablogger), I am trying to stay focused on all my  genealogy projects by organizing them into a list.  I started a couple weeks ago, after the IGS Annual Meeting by just listing projects. NOW, I need to sort these projects into a Timeline with real world goals and deadlines.  Here is how this week is shaping up in terms of “Stuff I gotta get done!”

1. Prepare new edition of Tales & Trails book for printing. ASAP-YESTERDAY!!! edit new edition for 175th Brown County Anniversary.

2. Write IGS Newsletter – Brown County Submission for District News (5/15)

3. Finalize MAY Presentation for BCGS, “Real Estate Genealogy: Does your house have a history?” (Due May 10th) 

4. Investigate getting a new CPU for library genealogy computer.

Well, this ought to keep me busy for a few days!  We will!