03 May 2016

DO LDS MISSIONARIES AT FAMILY HISTORY CENTERS TRY TO CONVERT RESEARCHERS OF OTHER FAITHS?

Q:  My friends say I should start going to the closest Family History Center and order in films (to continue my genealogy research) but I'm not Christian and I hear that the missionaries there try to convert people.  I don't want to be rude but I don't want to talk religion.  I just want to do my work.
Do they really do that?

Michelle


A:  I think they do pray for people who are doing research at the Family History Centers when they go on breaks in the back room and take an active interest in you and your religious beliefs.  But that doesn't mean you have to bring it up or get into it with anyone. 

When you walk in they often ask if you are member of the church or not.  Answer honesty.  They're collecting stats on usage of the centers.  Also they have some resources that are open ONLY TO CHURCH MEMBERS and you have to respect that.  Additionally, we respect their religion and lifestyle beliefs by dressing modestly and not bringing coffee or caffeinated  tea or soda drinks with us when we bag our lunches.  We try to keep the area we're working in clean and neat and obey the rules of the library.

But then when you say no, you are NOT LDS,  they know then that you are not a member of LDS.  I can't say for sure that they will or won't try to convert  you, but the next questions is not "and so what religion are you?"  AS I UNDERSTAND IT, by opening those research centers that are so vital to many of us to EVERYONE, they are supposed to JUST LET YOU RESEARCH.  If anything the libraries are great PR for the church, because just about everyone (I say that having encountered a few stinkers over the years) that works there has been CHOSEN for a SPECIAL MISSION.  These people feel honored.  Many of them finance their own apartments to live away from their homes for a couple years in order to be there and be helpful.  Some are or have become expert genealogists, others not so much.

I know that many genealogy clubs and groups come into research, such as the local Jewish genealogy group, and don't seem to have any religious conflicts or issues.  I would like to think that is always the case, and that one of the things genealogy research teaches us is a respect for different beliefs and cultures.

These days due to the availability of some of the same electronic resources available at LDS at other libraries and societies, much of  your research work can be done without going to LDS but the microfilms they have are of great value!

AWG

17 April 2016

THERE ARE ERRORS ON THE 1940 CENSUS WITH A NEIGHBOR REPORTING - CAN I STILL USE IT AS A DOCUMENT? QUESTIONS FROM READERS

Question:

On the side next to my ancestor's family on the 1940 census it's noted that the information was given by a neighbor.  I know that there are errors in the information.  One child is recorded as male, but was a female.  My grandmother's name is in error, but I know it's her because she's the right age and between two siblings whose names and ages are correct.  Strangely, at the bottom my grandmother is also listed in detail, that she's employed and where and so on.  How would the neighbor know that detail?  Why would a census taker talk to a neighbor and not verify these things with the family?

Can I still use this bad census information to proof?

David
New Jersey


Answer from Ancestry Worship Genealogy

Yes, you can use it as part of the proofing process.  Simply you write it much like you just explained it to me, sighting the correct information and the errors.   You would then use other information to substantiate the correct information.

The census takers did talk to neighbors, when they could not find the family itself welcoming, at home, or when the language differences made it difficult.  May I suggest that the neighbor might have been someone who was trying to do their best to be cooperative?  Sure, this neighbor could have been a busy-body, the town gossip, or she could have been the landlord.  (Can you find her on the census nearby, such as in the same building, next door, or down the street, perhaps in a single family home?  Could be interesting and informative!"

In the last US Census, census takers had to try an address twice and then engage their supervisors.


16 April 2016

KEEPING TO PROFESSIONAL GENEOLOGY STANDARDS WHEN YOU'RE NOT A PRO

 
Get a copy of this book!
 
If you're a do it yourselfer, well, you can do a budget job, but you should try not to do a sloppy job.  If you're going to do a family history project, strive for pro standards.  Really, nothing less will do.
 
I'm going to pick on the Latter Day Saints here.  They have the world's biggest collection of submitted genealogies in the world and I know it's a temptation, especially if you are not personally that into the research work, or it's just not your best subject in this life, to lean on these pre-submitted genealogies, some of which are old enough that the contact information provided in them is no longer any good.
 
For the LDS members to me it is even more essential that each and every person and familial connection be proofed since there are spiritual rituals and services done based on this proof.

Sadly, years ago when I was still tempted to accept a submitted genealogy, I came across some interconnections between submitted genealogies and well, very sloppy research.  All three submitted in one case contained errors.  Which is why, I think that even when or especially when you are an LDS member, that you be thorough. And sometimes that means that it's going to take a longer time and more effort than you have in you, or that you'll have to stop!
 
THIS BOOK STRESSES THAT WE MUST ALSO PROTECT OTHERS, keeping confidential any personal or genealogy information, and that we can submit only that which is substantiated with facts.
(In a family history writing project, one may document oral histories and so on, but also point out what is and isn't proofed)
 
C 2016 All Rights Reserved Ancestry Worship - Genealogy
 

13 April 2016

SHOULD YOU COLLECT SURNAMES as part of your PERSONAL FAMILY HISTORY PROJECT?

Question:

Is it ever worth it to collect families by surname?  I've been running mine on Ancestry, the popular databases, and there are dozens in many countries.  How can I connect them?

Annie

Answer from Ancestry Worship Genealogy

Probably not.

Back in the day, I met one woman, pre-databases, who had spent years documenting thousands of families with her Spanish surname.  I thought that was kind of crazy, and it's probably unlikely that she ever got that name, fairly common, back to one patriarch.  Plus this is not genealogy...

Genealogy is when you go back generation after generation, as far as you can go, documenting.  In the process you might document a great number of family groups whose connections take a long time or never to prove, on the chance that they are related.  However, you might document them only because they lived in the same place as a proven ancestor or have some other viable connection.  For instance, if you find on Naturalization Papers a different town than the one named on a Steamship arrival to the USA, for the same person, you likely would investigate both places looking for family members.

If your surname is quite uncommon, it might be worth it to see if they are related, since an unusual surname might after all originate with a particular patriarch. HERE IS WHERE DNA COLLECTION SURNAME PROJECTS might be useful.  Once you have proven a relationship that way, you might find yourself working with others who are related to put the family story together, with their help in their other countries.

For instance, I know someone who has a Polish surname for which there are no more than 600 people alive in the world, some in the United States, Canada, France, England, as well as Poland, possibly the Ukraine and Slovakia.  This is a history of people fleeing Poland as immigrants fairly recently to other countries.  Because some of their members were on borders, they have had seizures of persons and properties by Russians as well as Nazi's...  This surname appears, though not Jewish, in concentration camp records,  also among men killed in the forest who were soldiers, and among men taken to Siberia.  The family was being liquidated.

Christine

07 April 2016

WHAT DOES "LONG ILLNESS" MEAN on OLD FRENCH DEATH RECORD : SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

Question for Ancestry Worship Genealogy

I've been reading old records from a parish in or near Paris from the 1800's and the priest keeps writing in "Long Illness" in the death records.  What does this mean?

Alice


Answer from Ancestry Worship Genealogy

"Long Illness" can mean anything from cancer to TB to any other illness that takes a long time to kill a person.  It can also simply mean Old Age, and all the debilitations through the years; that a person just wasn't themselves or feeling good for a long time.  A Long Time itself is subjective.  To me a Long Illness is years on end, but to some people six months is a long time to suffer.

It's therefore a mystery illness, particularly one that was not well understood at that time and place.  You may have to be satisfied with that.  However, here are things you could check into before you write it up.

1) At that time and place were death records only kept in the village or town or only at the church?  Were the records duplicated or also kept in the Dioceses archives or perhaps sent to a larger administrative center, and kept as a civil record?  See if both records agree or one has more to say about the death.

2) Where is the person buried?  Does the cemetery have any records that might not only give you a grave location but also testify to the reason for death?  (In the USA the death certificate and burial/cemetery record usually back each other up.)

3) Was the death covered in a newspaper article or other published account, for instance if the person was a member of a club, university, team, or union, or employed with a large company, or notable as a dignitary or politician, lawyer or doctor ? Possibly their obituary will give more information.

4) At the time and place of their death were there any prevailing illnesses or plagues?  For instance, you say that the priest keeps writing "Long Illness" and that makes me think that maybe there was TB in that town.  Knowing this would not prove that your ancestry died the same way,  but it would be OK to add a paragraph about diseases of that time and place for the purposes of historical interest!

C 2016  Ancestry Worship Genealogy - BlogSpot

02 April 2016

GENEALOGY ROAD SHOW : A NEW FRIEND WATCHED IT and NOW UNDERSTANDS WHAT I DO!

I met an interesting man a few months ago, for whom English is a second language.  When he failed to understand what it is I do, I didn't know if it was a communication problem or what.  Despite his big smile and sparkling eyes when he saw me, he also said some things that would lead me to think that maybe he was underestimating me dramatically.  I was thinking that maybe I shouldn't have this man a friend, that maybe he is too sexist for me. 

Then recently I ran into him and this time he pointed at me and said, "Genealogy Road Show!"  I understand now.  Two and two together!"

That wasn't all.  Apparently he also made a point of learning where the local genealogy resources are.  He asked me not only if I watched the TV show but if I used these resources.

Well, I don't watch the show and I do use all the resources that he mentioned - and more.  So I briefly told him that one place seemed to specialize in German heritage into the United States, while another had very little on a particular ethnic heritage of mine but that I'd found something valuable to my own personal research the last time I went there.

But this is progress, this understanding.

So I decided to watch a Genealogy Road Show on YouTube. 

My feeling is that by showing only the resolutions to a specific question the show is kept fast paced and at a certain height of interest.  It's so opposite than the reality of long hours of deep concentration that genealogy research often requires.

I have no doubt that all the experts with the latest databases and relationships within archives can cut through to the questions in record time, but the show does give a VERY FALSE IMPRESSION of how fast and easy genealogical research can be done.

I suspect that there is a lot of pre-interviewing and pre-researching done before selections are made of what guests and what specific questions will actually be filmed and aired on the show.  If it's going to take too long - and go out of budget - then that one will not be a go.

You should not feel yourself a failure as a researcher or feel that your professional is going slow based on this show, which is ultimately misleading to those who might not consider that maybe 90% or more of what goes on there happens off the show in the planning and editing! 

22 March 2016

"IRISH" GENOME REVEALS MAJOR GENETIC CONTRIBUTION FROM EASTERN EUROPE!

WASHINGTON POST - IRISH GENOME REVEALS MASSIVE MIGRATION FROM EASTERN EUROPE    full article by Rachel Feltman





Ever wonder how it is that there are "Black Irish?" - the Irish with dark hair and eyes?  The ancient legends tell us that there were people who came from the sea - the sulkies - the sea lions, which you might remember from the wonderful film called "The Secret of Roan Inish."  But there is now a scientific explanation...



EXCERPT FOR THE ARTICLE LINKED TO ABOVE:




Just over 5,000 years ago, there lived an Irish farmer with black hair and dark eyes. Her DNA spoke of ancestors mostly Middle Eastern in origin, and she would have looked more like a southern European woman than a red-haired Irish lass.




But just 1,000 years later, her world was full of blue eyed easterners. This quick transition to Ireland as we know it, genetically speaking, is likely due to a massive migration that occurred sometime during those 1,000 years. The evidence comes from a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where geneticists from Trinity College Dublin and archaeologists from Queen's University Belfast sequenced the genomes of four ancient citizens of Ireland to unlock the secrets of their origins....


Study author Dan Bradley, professor of population genetics at Trinity College Dublin, explained that recent technological and methodological advances in ancient DNA analysis allowed his team to produce full genomes for the four skeletons used in their research. They were surprised to see how different the Neolithic woman, who was found in Belfast in 1855 and lived over 5,000 years ago, was from the three male skeletons analyzed, who were found off of Rathlin Island in 2006. With just 1,000 years separating them, their genomes shouldn't have looked so strikingly different - which suggests that some major migration really must have occurred.


(The major migration was likely from an area now in the UKRAINE!)



19 March 2016

USING BIRTHSTONES TO FIGURE OUT A PERSON's BIRTH MONTH

AMERICAN GEM SOCIETY - ON BIRTHSTONE RINGS

EXCERPT:

The origin of birthstones is believed to date back to the breastplate of Aaron which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The current list dates back to 1912 with only one addition since then – the tanzanite was added to December.

There are numerous legends and myths about birthstone healing powers and their therapeutic influence. According to these legends, wearing a gemstone during its assigned month heightened its healing powers. For the full effect, individuals needed to own all twelve and alternate them monthly.

Those of you who have had the experience of trying to find enough information about a member of your family who little is known or remembered about, have probably tried using old photos, looking at the clothing they wore, the hair styles and facial hair, the local architecture, signage, anything at all in the picture to put them in a time and place when that photo was taken.  But I just met someone who used jewelry, and because this person had a number of pieces in a semi precious stone, correctly found that these correlated with a birth month!

It's worth a try!

17 March 2016

FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, and LUCK : WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF FINDING A FOUR LEAF CLOVER?

Image From Graphics Fairy
 
 
What Makes Four-Leaf Clovers Lucky Anyway?  According to this web site, the tradition started long before St. Patrick's day, but with the Druids.  Lot's of interesting information!
 

08 March 2016

12,000 BLUE EYED "ARYAN" CHILDREN TAKEN BY THE NAZI'S ' WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM?

DAILY MAIL UK ; 12,000 BLUE EYED CHILDREN TAKEN TO CREATE ARYAN SUPER RACE  Andrew Malone for the Daily Mail

EXCERPT: 

Folker, then just four, did not know it, but he had been chosen to be part of the new 'breed' of supposedly genetically-superior German beings, who would replace millions of the 'impure'  -  Jews, gipsies, homosexuals, blacks  -  after they had been exterminated in Hitler's death camps.
 
Having being ripped from the arms of his parents when German tanks rolled into the Crimea in 1942, Folker was first taken by SS officers to a German medical institute, where doctors measured every part of his body, checking for any 'Jewish aspects'  -  for example, dark hair, pointed noses, circumcision  -  before he was declared suitable.

He had been selected to be a member of the 'Lebensborn'  -  The Fount of Life  -  Himmler's breeding programme to safeguard the future of the Thousand-Year Reich by providing 'pure' future generations to replace those lost by war.

Devised in 1935, the Lebensborn scheme operated on different levels to provide 'Aryan' children for Hitler's mad schemes of eugenics.

As well as the stealing of blond children from families in occupied areas, another part of the scheme involved special 'breeding clinics' where pure German SS officers were told to mate with suitable German women.


*****

I have a story to tell about this...

I once was introduced to an old Blue Eyed woman and was later told by her house-mate that she had absolutely no idea about her heritage and had no family.  My associate speculated that she was one of the children born in Hitler's breeding program.  She did look "German," to me and was about the right age.  The woman lived alone in a house in Los Angeles, had never married or had children, and was quite isolated. How she afforded anything was a mystery. 

When I read this article I thought about her, and others who have an unknown or unspoken heritage, for which they personally have no responsibility at all.

Sometimes people will challenge me, stating that I could not possible do their genealogy.  Often they are wrong, simply they are unaware of how much public information is out there.  However, in a case like this I would be stymied.