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What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; Part 4 of 4

This week we are reviewing four great books designed to help the family historian overcome a common research stumbling block. Reading vital records, court documents, certificates, court records, and so on are a common part of genealogical research. But, how often does the researcher find words, abbreviations, or acronyms for which they are unsure of the means. These four great books can help with the genealogical research language barrier.

To read parts two and three follow these links:

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 1 of 4

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 2 of 4

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 3 of 4

 

In this blog, we review Ancestry’s Concise Genealogical Dictionary, compiled by Maurine & Glen Harris.

The Genealogical Dictionary has long been well received at Family Roots Publishing. Perhaps not as well sold as What Did They Mean By That, but is popular due to the “concise” and easy to ready style of the book.

Having been a publisher and author, overall design aesthetics are important to me, and this book is well designed. I find this book, with its slightly smaller form factor at 5.5″ x 8.5″ (instead of the 6″ x 9″ of the other books), its two column printing, and its easy to read fonts and design all printed on bright, thick, white paper my visual and tactile favorite of the group. Perhaps, this is a contributor to its success.

Definitions are easily the shortest and most direct of the three dictionaries. However, as I have demonstrated in the previous parts of this blog, each book provides its own flavor and value.

Most of the books 256 pages are definitions. The last 23 pages, however, are abbreviations. One unique aspect to this book is the inclusion of numerous Latin words with the English translations. These words are common to many documents encountered by genealogist and are included alphabetically with all other entries. Latin words are marked by “(Lat.)” just after the entry. For example:

natus: (Lat.) birth; age; son; offspring.

Together, the four books discussed in this blog series provides the Genealogist with a fantastic reference set to words and symbols found in genealogical research: in both the field of study as well as in documents and records studied. While there is some overlap found between these books, there is plenty more unique to each.

 

To order copies of each book, please visit Family Roots Publishing. Or, get all four as a set and get 20% off:

Abbreviations & Acronyms: A Guide For Family Historians (Revised 2nd Edition); Family Roots Publishing Item #: TP269.

A-Zax: A Comprehensive Dictionary For Genealogists And Historians – 3rd Edition; Family Roots Publishing Item #: GE138.

What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms, Old and New; Family Roots Publishing Item #: HBD7169.

Ancestry’s Concise Genealogical Dictionary; Family Roots Publishing Item #: TP06X.


20% off the complete set:

Complete Genealogical Terms & Phrases Reference Set (all four of the above listed books) at 20% off. Family Roots Publishing Item #: REF001. ***Must order the set in order to receive the discount***

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What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; Part 3 of 4

This week we are reviewing four great books designed to help the family historian overcome a common research stumbling block. Reading vital records, court documents, certificates, court records, and so on are a common part of genealogical research. But, how often does the researcher find words, abbreviations, or acronyms for which they are unsure of the means. These four great books can help with the genealogical research language barrier.

To read parts two and three follow these links:

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 1 of 4

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 2 of 4

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 4 of 4

 

In this blog, we review What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms, Old and New, by Paul Drake, J.D.

What Did They Mean By That has long been the most popular dictionary of the group at Family Roots Publishing. There is probably good reason for this as it stands out in our collection in a couple of ways. First, this book is the biggest dictionary in the group, at 6″ x 9″ and 350 pages. This is also the only book to list all entries paragraph style, instead of using columns. The book feels a bit more like an encyclopedia than it does a standard dictionary. Most entries provide more than just a standard definition. Rather, entries provide an explanations, examples, and observations. Take this example from all three dictionaries for the word maiden:

  • A to Zax defines maiden – 1) a ship’s first trip after construction is referenced as the “maiden voyage;” 2) a fortress which has never fallen to an enemy.
  • Ancestry’s Concise Genealogical Dictionary defines maiden — 1: a young unmarried woman; 2: a Scottish guillotine used for beheading criminals.
  • What Did They Mean defines maiden – a young adult woman, not necessarily a virgin, at least not in the eyes of the criminal law, e.g., “Anna’s indictment in Vermont for adulterous conduct referred to her as a maiden.”

While still a relatively short entry, What Did They Mean clearly had the longest entry and is the only one to provide an example. Note also, each book add different definitions for the same word. One doesn’t even reference a woman. This example not only shows the longer style in What Did They Mean, but also shows how different each dictionary is.

This dictionary has other unique features as well. What Did They Mean By That is the only book in the group to include pictures. While not on every page, the pictures do provide both an element of interest as well as prove educational. Some of the images are pictures and some are document samples. There is also a small chart at the beginning showing a comparison between Saxon and English alphabets.

As I said, this is by far the top seller among our dictionaries. The easy reading style and completeness are clearly contributors. This book is perhaps the best in the group as a desk reference, while the other two perhaps make better field companions, due to size and more concise nature of entries.

Together, the four books discussed in this blog series provides the Genealogist with a fantastic reference set to words and symbols found in genealogical research: in both the field of study as well as in documents and records studied. While there is some overlap found between these books, there is plenty more unique to each.

 

To order copies of each book, please visit Family Roots Publishing. Or, get all four as a set and get 20% off:

Abbreviations & Acronyms: A Guide For Family Historians (Revised 2nd Edition); Family Roots Publishing Item #: TP269.

A-Zax: A Comprehensive Dictionary For Genealogists And Historians – 3rd Edition; Family Roots Publishing Item #: GE138.

What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms, Old and New; Family Roots Publishing Item #: HBD7169.

Ancestry’s Concise Genealogical Dictionary; Family Roots Publishing Item #: TP06X.


20% off the complete set:

Complete Genealogical Terms & Phrases Reference Set (all four of the above listed books) at 20% off. Family Roots Publishing Item #: REF001. ***Must order the set in order to receive the discount***

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What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; Part 2 of 4

This week we are reviewing four great books designed to help the family historian overcome a common research stumbling block. Reading vital records, court documents, certificates, court records, and so on are a common part of genealogical research. But, how often does the researcher find words, abbreviations, or acronyms for which they are unsure of the means. These four great books can help with the genealogical research language barrier.

To read parts two and three follow these links:

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 1 of 4

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 3 of 4

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 4 of 4

 

In this blog, we review A to Zax: A Comprehensive Dictionary for Genealogists and Historians, by Barbara Jean Evans.

Like all three of the dictionaries in this blog, A to Zax has thousands of words which are either “old fashioned” or are little used today. This dictionary includes terms in areas including:

  • medical
  • geographical
  • foreign
  • historical
  • legal
  • relational
  • occupational
  • household
  • religious
  • colloquial
  • monetary
  • ethnic

This book also sets itself apart by including nicknames and a list of Dutch given names. While there are many terms and abbreviations defined in the book, some of the entries provide an encyclopedia type entry. For example, one entry lists the Kings, Queens, and other rulers of England from 802 to 1952 broken down by house or ruling group.

A to Zax comes in at 304 pages, with two columns per page, giving a traditional dictionary style feel to the book.

Together, the four books discussed in this blog series provides the Genealogist with a fantastic reference set to words and symbols found in genealogical research: in both the field of study as well as in documents and records studied. While there is some overlap found between these books, there is plenty more unique to each.

 

To order copies of each book, please visit Family Roots Publishing. Or, get all four as a set and get 20% off:

Abbreviations & Acronyms: A Guide For Family Historians (Revised 2nd Edition); Family Roots Publishing Item #: TP269.

A-Zax: A Comprehensive Dictionary For Genealogists And Historians – 3rd Edition; Family Roots Publishing Item #: GE138.

What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms, Old and New; Family Roots Publishing Item #: HBD7169.

Ancestry’s Concise Genealogical Dictionary; Family Roots Publishing Item #: TP06X.


20% off the complete set:

Complete Genealogical Terms & Phrases Reference Set (all four of the above listed books) at 20% off. Family Roots Publishing Item #: REF001. ***Must order the set in order to receive the discount***

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What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; Part 1 of 4

This week we are reviewing four great books designed to help the family historian overcome a common research stumbling block. Reading vital records, court documents, certificates, court records, and so on are a common part of genealogical research. But, how often does the researcher find words, abbreviations, or acronyms for which they are unsure of the means. These four great books can help with the genealogical research language barrier.

To read parts two and three follow these links:

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 2 of 4

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 3 of 4

What Do They Mean? Understanding Abbreviations, Words, and Acronyms in Research; 4 of 4

 

In this blog, we review Abbreviations & Acronyms: A Guide for Family Historians, by Kip Sperry.

“All fields of study have their own unique abbreviations, acronyms, alphabetic symbols, contractions, and shortening of words,” says Sperry in his introduction. Genealogy and history research are no different. In the practice of genealogical research there seems to be no end to the number of acronyms created in the field. Just knowing some of the larger societies and organizations looks like an can of alphabet soup: NGS, FGS, DAR, SAR/NSSAR, DUP, SUP, OGS, FFHS, FEEFHS, and so on. There is a good chance these same acronyms are used with different meanings in other fields of study and research.

Documents and papers studied in the process of genealogical and historical research also bring forth an plethora of new abbreviations, symbols, and acronyms uncommon to modern writing and speech. Shortening of names in records gives us examples like mart for Martin and Xper/XR/Xpofer for Christopher. Acronyms for organizations one’s ancestors may have belonged to like KWM or Knights of Wise Men are less common today but will appear in research. Abbreviations like hldr for householder or hlg for hireling are common in census, occupation, and similar records.

Abbreviations and Acronyms was compiled to provide the family historian and other historical researchers with a quick reference to the partial words and acronyms they are likely to come across in their work. This book also includes an appendix with references for symbols, numbers, and measurements.

Together, the four books discussed in this blog series provides the Genealogist with a fantastic reference set to words and symbols found in genealogical research: in both the field of study as well as in documents and records studied. While there is some overlap found between these books, there is plenty more unique to each.

 

To order copies of each book, please visit Family Roots Publishing. Or, get all four as a set and get 20% off:

Abbreviations & Acronyms: A Guide For Family Historians (Revised 2nd Edition); Family Roots Publishing Item #: TP269.

A-Zax: A Comprehensive Dictionary For Genealogists And Historians – 3rd Edition; Family Roots Publishing Item #: GE138.

What Did They Mean By That? A Dictionary of Historical and Genealogical Terms, Old and New; Family Roots Publishing Item #: HBD7169.

Ancestry’s Concise Genealogical Dictionary; Family Roots Publishing Item #: TP06X.


20% off the complete set:

Complete Genealogical Terms & Phrases Reference Set (all four of the above listed books) at 20% off. Family Roots Publishing Item #: REF001. ***Must order the set in order to receive the discount***

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Salt Lake Christmas Tour—– This week’s peek!

What do these photos bring to mind! The almost-here Salt Lake Christmas Tour 2011!! The friendship, the good breakfasts from Dick and Dee Cattaneo, the opportunity for hours in the Family History Library, and the jolly companionship of our loveable boss, Leland. What more could we ask for?

Do you realize that the FHL offers free access to so many databases that would cost you and I more than we can afford to have our own at-home subscriptions? Even if you just came and just sat at a computer all day you would surely make progress with your research. Have you picked out and printed out the problems you want to work on this time?? I looked at my pedigree (in the Legacy program) and picked five dead-end problems that I hope to find some time to study. I printed out the pedigree chart and the accompanying group charts (no man is an island!) and put them into separate folders. Those five folders are all I’m bringing. (That and a thumb drive with all my Legacy/ancestors on it.) That is all you need to bring, too, the charts for the problems you want to work. Decide that before you come and leave those big, bulky rolling carts at home!

OhMyGosh……. two weeks from tomorrow and I’ll be there. OhMyGosh!!

Donna, your excited and eager Mother Hen

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QuickSheet: Citing Ancestry.com Databases & Images

In another great QuickSheet from Elizabeth Mills, we get Citing Ancestry.com Databases & Images.

This laminated, four-page quick reference gives the researcher an easy guide to citing sources as found on Ancestry and other websites. Based on her books Evidence!: Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian and Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Mills provides an easy to follow reference to citing sources obtained through computer driven databases, using Ancestry as an example. The QuickSheet begins with a Basic Principles section and a Basic Template to help get the researcher started.

The remainder of the guide provides Models, or examples, for Common Record Types. For each model or source type there are three entries organized in columns for easy reading. The three entry options are Source List Entry, Full Reference Note, and Subsequent Reference Note.

Listed here are all the source types covered in this great, easy-reference QuickSheet:

Basic Format: Databases

Basic Format: Images

Articles (At Learning Center)

Online archive for print publications

Books: Database Extractions

Books: Images

Censuses: Databases

Censuses: Images

City Directories: Databases

City Directories: Images

Draft Registrations: Images

Family Trees – documented data

Family Trees – undocumented data

Immigration-Emigration Rolls: Databases

Immigration-Emigration Rolls: Images

Maps: Images

Military Records: Databases

Military Records: Images

Newspapers: Images

PERSI: Database

 

Order this great companion guide, along with Elizabeth Mills’ other books and guides at Family Roots Publishing. QuickSheet — Citing Ancestry.com Databases & Images – Evidence! Style is Item #:GPC3859.

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Art as a Glimpse to the Past

Most family historians collect stories, photographs, letters, and heirlooms as a means of connecting with their ancestors. These items can give the living a glimpse into the daily lives of those who have gone before. Try and explain to a child today what life was like before flat panel television, iPods, cell phones, and video games. Now explain how you only had one small screen but relatively large bodied television for the whole family to share and only 13 channels to choose from. To make it worse, tell them how your parents and grandparents didn’t have television or any other those other common place electronic devices.

You have heard these types of analogies before. As family historians, you probably appreciate the comparative struggles your ancestors went through just to survive. But, the basic point is, the day to day life of our ancestors was different from our own.

We are accustom to discovering what that daily life was like through the collection of documents, images, and heirlooms we collect. Added to this are the histories we learned in school are have read in books. But what about art?

Paintings, sculptures, drawings, and more can give us a perspective on life in other times. Let me give one example.

Currently on display, through a collaborative joint exhibition between the Utah Museum of Fine Art and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ Church History Museum, are the works of LeConte Stewart. Stewart is considered one of the great Depression Era artists. His work is considered to be among the best at showing what the “raw side of life” was like during the Great Depression. Viewing his work is like looking into history and seeing the struggles faced by those living through these trying times.

Over the years I have heard my own Grandfather talk of the struggles his family faced during the depression. I have seen how he handles money and buying decisions as a result of difficult lessons learned early in life. I have even seen a few photographs and of course have studied the Depression in school. But, seeing art depicting the struggles brings those trying times into some focus—adds clarity.

There are many artists of the centuries whose work depict the daily lives of those living at the time. Some work examines the struggles some face, while other works depict happier times, how people relaxed and sought refuge from their struggles. All can give us a glimpse of the past and a greater appreciation for the daily lives of our ancestors.

 

Running through January 15, 2012 you can see the works of LeConte Stewart. Many of these works are owned by private collectors and may not be seen again for many years.

The Church History Museum is hosting LeConte Stewart: The Soul of Rural Utah

The Utah Museum of Fine Art is hosting LeConte Stewart: Depression Era Art

Exhibits have been up since July and end in January. For more information, please visit the websites for the Church History Museum or the Utah Museum of Fine Art.

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QuickSheet to Evidence Appraisal

“Sources give us information, from which we select Evidence for evaluation. A conclusion based on thorough research, careful documentation, and sound analysis might be considered Proof.”

Elizabeth Shown Mills, who brought us two of the most referenced books on the subject of citation and evidence analysis (Evidence!: Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian and Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace), has also given us a couple of great QuickSheets to help the researcher quickly, yet efficiently, cite and analyze evidence.

QuickSheet — Genealogical Problem Analysis: A Strategic Plan – Evidence! Style is a excellent complement to Mills’ two books. This sheet covers the basic premise of evidence analysis for the genealogist, basic elements to appraise, 10 steps to a solution, and a life stages worksheet.

This guide will help the researcher evaluate records and sources to determine which facts are accurate, if the source is reliable, to determine new possibilities from materials gathered, and many other great strategies to getting the most out of records with the highest assurance possible for validity. Practicing Mills’ approach will change the readers mindset towards their own research. In practice the researcher will become better organized, with improved research skills, and ultimately a higher confidence level on the accuracy on one’s family history.

Order this great companion guide, along with Elizabeth Mills’ other books and guides at Family Roots Publishing. QuickSheet — Genealogical Problem Analysis: A Strategic Plan – Evidence! Style is Item #:GPC3862.

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“Day of the Dead celebration grows in national popularity”

Early this weeks I posted a blog about cemeteries across the country celebrating Halloween in unique ways. Well it appears that cemeteries and many people in general are beginning to celebrate in the U.S. a similar holiday with increasing attention. November 1 is known in Mexico as Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead. The same day is also known among Catholics as All Souls Day. November 1 for many is like a second Memorial Day, a day to remember the departed. The day gives people the chance to reflect on their ancestors and the lives they led.

Studying the past, remember the dead, and celebrating the lives of our ancestors is what family history is all about. This is why we conduct genealogical research. The more cemeteries, organizations, and families celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos with a reflection upon the past the more exciting these days become. I look forward to an further increase in the celebration of these days in the future.

Here is one article I found discussing the growth of Day of the Dead celebrations in Texas:

Day of the Dead celebration grows in national popularity

Fernando del Valle

Valley Morning Star

LAS RUSIAS — For two days, Mike Salazar worked to repair the broken bricks that surround his family’s gravestones.

Monday, his wife Aurora placed flowers that fluttered at the foot of the old tombstones at the edge of the cemetery along U.S. 281.

Today, they’ll pray for their loved ones as they celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, in the historic cemetery that dates to some of the region’s earliest settlers.

“There’s a lot of history here,” said Salazar, a retired inspector for the Texas Department of Transportation. “This is something we do for those who went before us. We have to honor the dead. It’s unfortunate we only try to do something for the graves for the day we honor the dead.”

Like many Mexican Americans, Salazar celebrates Dia de los Muertos, a holiday steeped in Meso-American tradition, with All Souls Day, the Roman Catholic holy day.

Across much of the United States, the folk art and tradition that surrounds Dia de los Muertos has helped spread the holiday into mainstream America, said Melissa Tijerina, special events officer at the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg.

“The event in Texas and different parts of the country has grown,” she said. “More people are interested in the history of it.”

For eight years, the museum has staged an exhibit that’s grown along with the holiday’s popularity, Tijerina said.

Through Sunday, the museum will showcase 13 altars that area residents decorated to honor their loved ones, she said.

The altars hold mementos that the deceased treasured in life — everything from cowboy hats and tequila to mole and fresh fruit, she said.

“It’s a tradition fused in European and Meso-American traditions,” Tijerina said. “Dia de los Muertos is a sort of veil between life and death. It’s not a morbid occasion. It’s a celebration of life rather than death. We take a day to remember our passed loved ones and reflect on what they meant to us.”

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Ancestry.com and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Release First Searchable Online Records Collections From World Memory Project

The following news release was received from Heather Erickson at Ancestry.com:

Information on Holocaust survivors and victims of Nazi persecution available online at no cost through efforts of World Memory Project.

WASHINGTON, D.C./PROVO, Utah, November 2, 2011 – The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Ancestry.com announced that material from four Museum collections containing information on more than 30,000 victims of Nazi persecution is now available online at Ancestry.com and can be searched at no cost. The collections contain information on thousands of individuals including displaced Jewish orphans; Czech Jews deported to the Terezin concentration camp and camps in occupied Poland; and French victims of Nazi persecution.

The collections are being made available through the World Memory Project, launched in May 2011. The project is recruiting the public to help build the world’s largest online resource on Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of non-Jews who were targeted for persecution by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, allowing victims’ families and survivors themselves to discover missing chapters of their history, learn the truth about the fate of their relatives and honor those who were lost.

World Memory Project contributors are continuously keying information that will form new searchable databases of historical collections when complete. To date, more than 2,100 contributors from around the world have indexed almost 650,000 records. Anyone, anywhere can contribute to the project by simply typing information from historical records into the online database.

“World Memory Project contributors are helping Holocaust survivors and their families learn the truth about what happened to loved ones,” says Lisa Yavnai, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum WMP project leader. “It is an incredible gift that anyone can give to those who survived the horrors of Nazi Germany. In a few months, the contributors’ efforts have resulted in more online searchable records than the Museum alone could have produced in many years.”

The World Memory Project utilizes proprietary software and project management donated by Ancestry.com, which hosts its own online archival project to transcribe historical records. Once Museum records are transcribed, the indices are hosted exclusively on Ancestry.com and are permanently free to search. The Museum provides copies of documents upon request at no cost. The original documentation remains in the Museum’s archival collection.

“We’ve been inspired by the steadfast efforts of the thousands of contributors who have in some cases spent hundreds of hours transcribing this important material,” remarked Tim Sullivan, CEO, Ancestry.com. “These early results would likely have taken years without the dedication of the many individuals who have embraced the mission of the World Memory Project.”

To find out more about the World Memory Project or to learn how to become a contributor, please visit www.WorldMemoryProject.org.
What World Memory Project contributors are saying:
“I chose to try to make available to the public a few documents from Poland during WWII. I found it to be a very emotional and most privileged moment in my life.” ─ Valentina, Australia
“I feel privileged and honored to bring historical accuracy and facts to the many families out there today who may not have known, until now, what became of their family members. It was extremely important to me to key in these documents with the utmost care.” – Donna, United States
“…It brought home to me the fact that each of these names had been a person who probably once reached out with their hands to others for help, and for many of them, that help never came… Ultimately, though, I took comfort in the idea that, while he might have been among those who were taken from the world through bigotry and hatred, at least I was helping in a little way to make sure he and others like him were not forgotten.” ─ Kerri, United States

About the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum www.ushmm.org
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanent place on the National Mall, and its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.

About Ancestry.com www.ancestry.com
Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world’s largest online family history resource, with more than 1.7 million paying subscribers. More than 7 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 28 million family trees containing over 2.8 billion profiles. Ancestry.com has local Web sites directed at nine countries that help people discover, preserve and share their family history, including its flagship Web site at www.ancestry.com.

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Join Us at the Georgia Family History Expo November 11 & 12

The Georgia Family History Expo will be held at the Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, in Duluth, Georgia on November 11 and 12 – less than 2 weeks away!

The hours on November 11 are 1:00 to 9:00 pm and November 12 are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The program includes a 56 great genealogical lectures – plus opening and closing keynote addresses!

Registration begins at 1:00 pm on Friday and the Keynote will begin at 2:00 pm. This gives you plenty of time to check out our exhibits before things kick off. Family Roots Publishing will have our full display of hundreds of top genealogy guidebooks there again this year.

The Exhibit Hall is one of the greatest parts of the Expo. Be sure to tell you friends and those curious, but not committed to classes that the hall is open and free to the public. They will have lots of fun browsing in the Exhibit Hall.

The prize drawings are tops! Exhibitors, advertisers, and local vendors donate gifts for the door prizes. You will want to be sure you get yourself registered so you qualify to win prizes.

You will absolutely enjoy the education opportunities offered in the myriad of classes. Be sure to study the agenda and speaker bios so you can make your best choices once you arrive.

Free Book Scanning Service at the Georgia Expo
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah is world renowned as the largest research collection under one roof anywhere in the world! You can access their collections through more than 3,000 FamilySearch Centers throughout the U.S.

At the Atlanta Family History Expo, FamilySearch is offering to scan your family history book and give you a digital copy on a flash drive, provided by FamilySearch for your convenience.

Benefits of scanning your book:

  • Share it with others easily and inexpensively
  • Have a copy of your book preserved by FamilySearch
  • Provide access to others who may share your ancestral lines by making the book available free of charge on FamilySearch.org

How it works:

  • Sign-up and reserve your time for your book to be scanned (300 page limit)
  • If your book is copyrighted, print out and have the copyright holder sign the permission form in order for scanning to be performed
  • Bring your book and signed permission form to the FamilySearch Scanning booth at the Expo on day of your reservation. Please drop the book off before 10:00 am, if possible, to allow maximum time for scanning
  • Pick up your book and the digital copy on a flash drive provided by FamilySearch at the end of the day

Sign up online to reserve a day for your book to be scanned:
Friday — http://familysearchbookscanning.eventbrite.com
Saturday — http://familysearchbookscanning2.eventbrite.com

Yes, you can miss the commute!
Remember, the Expo is scheduled to allow you driving time to get to the Expo on Friday missing the morning commute! We finish early enough Saturday so that have time to travel home after the Expo if you wish. Don’t delay, register for the Expo now!

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A Small, Green, and Incredibly Useful Guide to Catholic Records

There is a very good chance that somewhere in your family’s past you have Catholic ancestors. If so, then a small, green handbook compiled some years ago by the Indiana Historical Society may be just the little treasure you need to finding and using those Catholic records.

The Catholic Church has been keeping records for hundreds of years. Key records which often provide vital family data include baptisms, confirmations, marriages, event records, and more. This guide is a primer to understanding and finding these records. The booklet contains three parts, as follows:

  • Genealogical Use of Catholic Records in North America; by Monsignor John J. Doyle – Archivist and Historian of the Indianapolis Diocese
  • Genealogical Research In Protestant and Catholic Church Records in Ireland; by Donna Hotaling
  • A List of References for Catholic Research

These documents were papers given for the family history sessions at the annual meeting of the Indiana Historical Society, November 5th, 1977. This booklet was first printed in 1978 and reprinted in 1992. Though small and relatively old, this short booklet provides a great starting point to accessing Catholic records.

For under $5, you get get your own copy of this booklet on Catholic Records from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: IHS018. The guide is a great companion to U.S. Catholic Sources: A Diocesan Research Guide, also available from Family Roots Publishing.

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Cemeteries Celebrate Halloween in Unique Ways

Cemeteries across the country are celebrating Halloween and Saints Day (or Day of the Dead) with tours, ceremonies, and other events. Events range from celebration of historic figures to the restoration of cemeteries. History is often played out in costumes and stories. Here are just a few of the events happening this Halloween:

In Houston, historic cemeteries opened their gates over the weekend as part of the city’s 175th birthday celebration. In one event a ceremony was held honoring the first sheriff of Harris County, John W. Moore, buried in founders cemetery in 1846. [see sources below]

At Westminster Hall and burial ground in Baltimore, the crowds line up to celebrate one its its city’s most famous purveyor of fright, Edgar Alan Poe. “Indeed, touring the catacombs and burial grounds, which date to 1786, has become a Baltimore tradition in itself. Normally, the Halloween festivities are a major fundraiser for Westminster Hall, but this year, all proceeds from the tours will be put toward the operation of the nearby Poe House and Museum. It has faced the possibility of closing since the city withdrew its financial support last year. A consulting firm is studying ways the home could be made profitable; its report is expected early next year.” [see sources below]

New Orleans, where they have always celebrated death with unique fanfare, will host two events at the historic cemeteries St. Louis No. 1 and No. 2.  At St. Louis No.1 “on Basin Street will be the site of an event called “Dearly Departed,” billed as ‘a cemetery exploration with costumed historical characters,’ on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon. Among the famous figures buried in St. Louis No. 1 are 19th-century developer Bernard de Marigny and, of course, voodoo queen Marie Laveau.” St. Louis No.2 will sponsor a tour. Save Our Cemeteries, a preservation group, will have information tables at St. Louis No. 1 and St. Louis No. 2, as well as Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, 1400 Washington Ave. in the Garden District. [see sources below]

Take a moment to Google historic cemeteries in you area. You may just find they are hosting an historical even worthy of All Hallows Eve.

Sources:

Cemeteries open gates to Houston’s past; By Hallie Jordan, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Being for the benefit of Mr. E.A. Poe; By Chris Kaltenbach; The Baltimore Sun

For All Saints Day in New Orleans, traditions new and old; By Annette Sisco, The Times-Picayun

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A Field Guide for Genealogists Complements Most Any Other Handbook

Back in July, Leland wrote A Review of “History For Genealogists – Using Chronological Time Lines to Find and Understand Your Ancestors.” This book is one of Leland’s favorites, and Judy Jacobson has proven to be one of his favorite authors on Genealogy. After going through A Field Guide for Genealogists, also by Judy Jacobson, I can see why Leland is such a fan.

Imagine a book part encyclopedia, part dictionary, part facts and figures, and part pocket reference guide and you have A Field Guide for Genealogists. This book is as fun as it is valuable to any family historian. The knowledge areas covered are extensive and rarely found with such detail in other research guides. Take for example the chapter on photographs. Yes, Jacobson covers the different types of photographs made over the years. And, yes, she provides practical ways to identify and roughly date a photograph. But, she goes much further. For example, pages 96–101 provide ways to identify time periods and individuals by hairstyle. Year ranges and style details are given for both men and women. There is even a practical guide to gender identification for children, especially prior to 1900. Prior to 1900 many young children would be dressed similarly. Skirts and short hair were the norm for both boys and girls. However, did your know that girls often parted their hair in the middle and boys did not? Jacobson did, and she explains this and many other interesting facts in the book.

Reading through the pages of the Field Guide, the reader will find lists for major U.S. epidemics by year; sources of surnames and their meanings; less common occupations; French, Spanish, and Russian measurement conversions; resources to look for in museums; and much more. If you are a facts and figures person, or you love top 10 lists, or if you have ever Googled a topic just to see what everyone is talking about, then you will have a tough time putting this book down. This book fills in the gaps left behind by other resource guides and research how-to books.

For those who want to learn even more about a topic, each chapter of the book ends with a sources and additional reading list. However, I doubt most researchers will need to look further than the details provided within. Take a look at the following table of contents and see just how extensive this book is:

Table of Contents

The Laws of Genealogy

Preface

Genealogy in General

  • Practical uses of genealogy
  • What you need to know about an ancestor
  • What to ask relative about ancestors
  • Home sweet home
  • When you think you have hit a dead end
  • Where to find the information in records
  • Avoiding genealogical headaches
  • Genealogical terms
  • Familial terms
  • Household goods
  • Abbreviations
  • Organizations which might have genealogical information
  • Acceptable proofs of relationship
  • Unacceptable proofs of relationship
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Names

  • Given names
    • Six most common males given names — Boston, 1630–1634
    • Three most common female given names — Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1630–1670
    • Translated male given names
    • Abbreviations for male given names
    • Unusual nicknames
    • Female nicknames
    • Male nicknames
    • Two kids, on name
    • Sources of early American given names
  • Surnames
    • Sources for surnames
    • Surname Prefixes, suffixes and conjunctions
    • Reasons surnames have changed
    • Where to find a maiden name
  • Titles
  • Place names
    • Place name prefixes and suffixes (European origins)
    • Sources for place names
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Libraries

  • Cataloging systems
  • Types of libraries
    • Public libraries
    • Genealogical libraries
    • University libraries
    • Specialty libraries
  • Types of Genealogy Books
  • Places other than usual genealogy books to find information in university or public libraries
    • Newspapers
      • Places in the library having genealogical information taken from newspapers
      • Genealogical information found in the newspaper
    • Periodicals
    • Published and unpublished histories
    • Obituary collections and cemetery records
    • Church histories
    • Indexes
    • Biographies/Diaries
    • Vertical (V) files
    • City and county directories
    • Local county censuses
    • Mortality schedules
    • Directories
    • Governmental records
    • Encyclopedia/Dictionaries
    • Maps and gazetteers
    • Non-paper sources
  • Getting a book your library does not own
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Photographs

  • Identifying people in photographs
  • The basics of dating a picture by the photographic process
  • Types of photographs
  • Hair styles
    • Differentiating between boys and girls
    • Hair styles among the poor
    • Men’s hair styles
    • Women’s hair styles and head dressing
  • Clothing
    • Children’s clothing styles
    • Men’s clothing styles
    • Women’s clothing styles
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Diseases and Calamities

  • Those old time diseases
  • Epidemics in America
  • Important international medical events and medical curses having an influence on populations and migrations
  • Disasters in the United States
  • World’s worst disasters
  • American military actions
  • Major Revolutionary War events and battles
  • Foreign military and armed engagements
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Courthouses

  • Problems to expect working in a courthouse
  • Remember
  • Types of county courthouse records which could be useful to genealogists
  • Two most under-used county records and why they are important
  • Information which might be found in records
    • Probate records
    • Birth records
    • Marriage records
    • Tax records
    • Land records
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Land Records

  • Information available in land records
  • Land surveying
    • Rectangular survey system
    • Land and survey teams
  • Homestead and bounty lands
    • Revolutionary War bounty lands
    • States which gave additional land to war veterans
    • Homestead-type acts
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Law

  • Two sides of the law
  • Legal terms
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Deciphering Documents

  • How to decipher handwriting in old documents
  • Hints for deciphering records
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Graveyards

  • Finding the cemetery
  • Interpreting the cemetery
  • Pinpointing grave sites
    • Grave markers
    • Ways to find unmarked graves
  • Epitaphs
  • Terms of death
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Measurements

  • A quick history of measurement
  • Measurement prefixes
  • Measurement terms found in old records
  • Foreign measurements found in America land records
    • Spanish measurements used in North America
    • French measurements used in North America
    • Russian measurements used in North America
  • Metric
  • U.S. system of measurements
  • Conversion
    • To meters
    • From meters
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Time

  • Christian time
  • Calendars
    • Types of calendars
    • When was he born?
    • A couple of things to remember when reading dates
    • Approximating a date
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Money

  • Time line for money as it relates to the United States
  • Consumer price index conversion factors
  • Value of the British Pound Sterling
    • In years prior to settlement in the New World
    • Number of dollars equaling one pound 1800–1996
    • Value of a British Pound Sterling c. 1775
  • Value of one Spanish Dollar
  • Value of Halifax Currency in 1780
  • Money glossary
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Museums

  • Where to look in the museum
  • What to look for in a museum
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Occupations

  • America’s earliest professionals
  • Less obvious occupations of old
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Groups

  • Early immigration groups
  • Native Americans
    • American Indians
      • Seven most populous Indian tribes in the United States
    • Alaskan natives
  • Of unknown or mixed ethnicity
    • Signals that a family has hidden their racial or ethnic origin
    • Groups of mixed race
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Time After Time

  • Transportation time lines
    • Air
    • Sea
    • Rail
    • Road
  • Order in which states were admitted to the Union
  • United States history time line
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Archives

  • Definition
  • State archives
  • National archives and records administration
    • Black studies
    • Census
      • Information given in census years
      • Using the census to get the most out of it
      • Problems with using the census
    • Soundex
    • Civilians in war
    • Diplomatic records
    • District of Columbia
    • Federal court records
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • Federal land records
    • Immigrant Affairs
    • Military records
      • A listing of categories
      • Civil War
      • World War I draft cards
      • Military burials
      • Military pension applications
    • Native American Affairs
    • Pardon applications
    • Passenger lists
    • Passport applications
    • Territorial records
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Research in Washington, D.C.

  • The basics of getting around
  • Before going to Washington, D.C.
  • Once you get there
  • Genealogical sources in Washington, D.C.
  • Genealogical sources near Washington, D.C. and their locations
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Researching Genealogy on the Internet

  • Internet address ingredients
  • Internet sources
    • Types of sites
      • Search engines
      • gateways to genealogy
      • Genealogical publications on the Internet
      • Genealogical societies
      • Genealogical supplies
      • Miscellaneous genealogical sites
      • Collections or encyclopedic-type sources
      • Translations sites
      • Dictionaries
      • General information sites
      • All about the Internet
  • Topic sources and additional reading

Miscellaneous Sources and Additional Reading

Index

 Make this book a part of your active genealogy library, order a copy from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: CF9411.

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53 New Databases. 120 Million More Names. Ancestry Grows by Leap and Bounds.

This past week Ancestry.com released a massive new addition to their website. The genealogy research site added 53 new databases and 120 million names to the U.S. Vital Records collection. The news was shared in a press release, on the Ancestry Blog, and posted on the Ancestry homepage with a link to a listing of the new records. All three are covered, with link, below.

An excerpt from the press release provides further details [the entire release can be read here]:

The new additions encompass 23 states, include more than 50 million historical records dating from the 1600s (some of the oldest U.S. records available) through to 2010 and have been made available through partnerships with state and local archives, county offices and newspapers. Many notable Americans can be found in the collections, including John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Judy Garland and many more.

Interesting facts presented by these records include John Wayne’s birth name as Marion Robert Morrison, changed to the legendary stage name when he began working in Hollywood. “Gone with the Wind” star Clark Gable hailed from the small village of Cadiz, Ohio according to the Ohio Births and Christening Index (1800-1962). The Minnesota Birth and Christening Records (1840-1980) show that “The Wizard of Oz” star Judy Garland’s given birth name was Frances Gumm.

These new vital record collections are available to all current Ancestry.com subscribers and can be found at www.ancestry.com/vitals. As always, Ancestry.com is free of charge for 14 days to all new users.

 

Ancestry’s Blog put a more personal twist to the addition [read the entire blog post here]:

Did you notice what happened this week here at Ancestry.com? We released over 50 databases containing indexes to millions of vital records from all over the United States. Some of these records date all the way back the 1600s and the most recent of them are from last year. (You can find the complete list by viewing our recently added or updated collections list. Most of these databases were released on 17 Oct.)

I love discovering my ancestors and tracking down their descendants. I climb up a branch of my family tree to a set of 3rd or 4th great-grandparents and then back down again finding all of their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, right down to those living cousins. I enjoy chasing families through census records, seeing where they pop up and what their family looks like decade after decade.

But, birth, marriage and death records provide more concrete boundaries to the lives my ancestors and their families lived. These records provide anchor events that I can use to build complete family histories as I chase my relatives up the family tree and out the branches. If census records are the cornerstone of good genealogy research, then vital records are the capstone.

 

View and access the new records here. With so many databases to choose from you may have difficulty knowing where to start, which is probably a nice change for most researchers. Don’t forget, new uses can get a 14-day free trial.

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