27 November 2010

ANCESTRY DATABASES - THE POSITIVES and THE NEGATIVES : WE NEED TO USE BOOKS AND MICROFILM TOO

Although the Internet and Databases are increasingly valuable to researchers, I don't believe that in my lifetime either will eliminate the need for good "old fashioned" research skills. THE WORST PART OF RELYING on EITHER databases or Internet is that your expectations of how fast you can do research and reality will part ways. That's because there is so much that is not available and some "instant" results may spoil you when what genealogy really takes is PATIENCE!

THERE ARE STILL AREAS OF THE UNITED STATES and THE WORLD that will not give what is considered private information to databases or for microfilming. In those places there are sometimes fees or the information can only be given if you already know the details.


I may have mentioned this before but most of my personal research was done without the use of Internet or databases such as Ancestry. When Ancestry came out I was eager to see how fast the same research would take and learned I was NOT able to duplicate it USING ANCESTRY !

Recently I noticed that corrections were coming up on ANCESTRY. Some of these are provided by subscriber-members.


Every few months I look to see what is new on ANCESTRY and other databases and sometimes I find bits and pieces of information that I did not have, or that would have required archive or library fees or to pay a local researcher. So to me that is worth the exploration.


This is one of the things I did recently when I visited LDS in person; I spent time on each of their database offerings to see what would or would not come up.


To be fair in my review, there were a few pieces of information that I WAS NOT ABLE TO FIND the old fashioned way that did come up on Ancestry. The reason is that while the databases are often of no use where typists have interpreted difficult last names (bad handwriting and no knowledge of surnames in various ethnic languages, especially Slavic names) on the other hand you can SEARCH using first names or other details which may then bring up a family group (and you can see just how horribly spelled the surname was).


This is how I busted a difficult problem for a student of mine who was seeking an African American with an unusual first name and for a student of mine who was seeking his Polish great-grandfather in the state of New York.

25 November 2010

THANKS TO VOLUNTEERS LOTS OF GENEALOGY INFORMATION IS FREE ON THE INTERNET

This week I looked into the LUZERNE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA genealogy offerings. I was really impressedwith the obituaries that volunteers have uploaded of those who DIED IN MINING ACCIDENTS. These on -line obits have details as to how each miner died.

17 November 2010

WHAT ABOUT THAT NAME POLLY? IS SHE REALLY MARY?

Everyone knows of people who don't go by the name on their birth certificate at all. Maybe it's as simple as turning their birth certificate name Karen into Caryn.

Maybe from the day they were brought home from the hospital everyone called the baby "Dinky" and it stuck, even though "Dinky" is really Angelica and 56 years old.

And then there is the fact that some people changed their names as simple as that; in the days before your social security number was really a citizenship enrollment number and you could be found through it and your credit you really could arrive in a new town, give yourself a new name, and start a new life.


When you're looking for genealogical records, it's important to know something about naming patterns by ethnicity, by family (once you have the chart together you may notice that a certain name has been passed from grandfather to grandson for generations), and through translation (so she was named Zsa Zsa Now she goes by Susan.)

Some Germans, for instance seem to have given their children up to 4 names, based on pattern, but then called the child by the second name.

In some families children are on census by their nicknames which seem to have no relationship to their birth names. In one family I researched the census taker assumed that a girl named Salley was really Sarah and listed her that way, which was incorrect. (The same census taker turned a girl named Toni into a boy named Anthony.)

Years ago someone who was stuck in their research could not find their Polish ancestor who they said was named Walenty in the New York census. The temptation is first to try various misspellings - or change the W to V (common), or to think maybe the man got called Wally. I found Walenty by researching to find that the English translation of this name is Valentine.

In colonial times a great many girls named Mary got called Polly. I have no idea why. I've just found it to be true many times. Patsy was really Martha...

So, if you can't find them by the name you expect, by all means try to find the name in translation, or by nickname!


C Ancestry Worship Genealogy/ Christine All rights including Internet and International Rights.

07 November 2010

SPAIN MAY CHANGE SURNAME TRADITION TO END SEXIST NAME BIAS

"Spain's Socialist government has found a new place to push for gender equality, seeking to erase all vestiges of male bias from the country's double-barreled last names.

Spaniards have two surnames, and under current law for registering babies, either the father's or the mother's can come first. Traditionally, however, it is the dad's and in cases of disagreement among the parents, the father's name automatically takes priority."

Read this news article now by clicking on the title of this post!

05 November 2010

WW II SOLDIER RETURNS CHILD ART TO DAUGHTER

Link now to Yahoo News:
An American soldier during World War II found children's art on a dead Japanese soldier. He had the art on his wall for years and has just found the Japanese soldier's daughter, who he returned the art to. A war story with a happy ending...
Japanese use items like these on ancestral altars to connect with the deceased.

02 November 2010

ALL SOULS - CHRISTIAN AND BUDDHIST or HINDU or JEWISH PRAYERS FOR THE DEAD GOLDFISH?

...to be released from Purgatory or Bardo to Heaven or Eternal Bliss...

I believe there is an afterlife. I also believe there is an experience best described as reincarnation. I eagerly read about the experiences those who "almost died" come back with. Although the tunnel of light and loving ancestors and friends who have passed on seems to be the most commonly reported experience, I have also read some very dark stories, some intent on converting the reader.

My most favorite reference to the near death experience is from prolific author and psychic, famous through television, Sylvia Browne. Sylvia has such a forthright personality. She tells it as she sees it, even if it's a little ouchy, at first.

OK, Sylvia Browne says that all the PETS you have owned and loved in ALL YOUR INCARNATIONS are also waiting for you when you make it through that tunnel of light to the OTHER SIDE... the very idea makes me smile.

CAN YOU IMAGINE YOUR PET FISH over there swimming, swimming, swimming in the ether? Waiting, waiting, waiting...

You know what? I can't. I am afraid that long ago I accidentally, through ignorance, killed some pet fish! One time I killed three fancy goldfish in their mucky mucky because I had the brilliant idea to put clean fresh water in their bowl! But maybe in eternal bliss they forgive me.

The turtle that never came out of hibernation in our basement: him too?



C Ancestry Worship Genealogy. All Rights Reserved including Internet and International Rights.