Monday, April 25, 2016

Serendipity Day

Did you get the answers to my trivia-quiz?  The sun never sets in northern Norway from May 12 until August 1st………….. no wonder one reason possibly why our Norwegian ancestors wanted to come to the sunny U.S. Midwest.  Robinson Caruso was the fictional character created by Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk.  And it was true, the Spanish Flu sprang to life at Fort Riley, Kansas, was carried over to Europe and then back to the U.S. Who guessed correctly?


Few weeks back I explained a bit about burned counties. (From James Tanner’s Genealogy’s Star blog, Monday, March 7th.) I referred you to the FamilySearch Research Wiki, article on “Burned Counties Research,” and the map that accompanied this Wiki article.  One thing we must realize is that a burned courthouse is not the end of the records or the research world. Tanner explained in that post that if/when you encounter a burned county, “look for records in adjoining counties and other jurisdictions….. here are some of the places you might start looking:”
·         University libraries, especially special collections sections
·         Local, county and state libraries
·         Adjoining counties
·         State and local archives
·         Local and state historical societies
“Remember,” Tanner added, “that the same type of information you are searching for may also be in alternative records kept in another level of jurisdiction. A good place to start is a record selection table. See the Research Wiki, “United States Record Selection Table.”


I have forever taught in my classes, “If it’s free, take two!” Free is always good, right? (Well, most of the time anyway.) There is a free newsletter, GenealogyInTime Magazine, that (if you subscribe) comes periodically to your email inbox. Their home page states, “When you subscribe to our weekly newsletter you will get:”
·         Ideas and inspiration
·         New record updates
·         Unique guides and checklists
·         Feature announcements
·         Brief and to the point (articles)
·         Popular and free (thousands already subscribe)
·         We are an independent voice…. We are not like other genealogy websites; we are different….give us a try!
Click to and sign-up and give it a try today……… it’s FREE, remember.


In a recent issue of GenealogyInTime Magazine, a list of the Top 100 most popular genealogy websites was featured. Before presenting the list, the GITM folks explain how-where-why they gather their information. They recognize that there are Four Levels of Genealogy Interest:
·         Person has a general interest in ancestors
·         Person knows a family member who researches ancestors
·         Person keeps a copy of the family tree
·         Person actively conducts ancestral research
GITM explains that “most of the traffic to genealogy websites comes from the core group of people actively conducting ancestral research.” (Duh, we would have guessed that, right?)
Here are the Top Ten Genealogy Websites on their list:
·         Ancestry
·         Find A Grave
·         FamilySearch
·         MyHeritage
· (United Kingdom)
·         Geni
·         GeneaNet (in France)
·  (Australia)
·         FindMyPast
James Tanner, in his Genealogy’s Star blog, for March 10th, added his comments on this list. His main observation was that “the four largest genealogy oriented companies now completely dominate the genealogical community.”   These are Ancestry, FamilySearch, MyHeritage and FindMyPast. One thing these four websites have in common is that they all “maintain massive online family tree programs.” Tanner adds, “I see a definite move away from programs that are locked into a single user, single computer or device mode.” Tanner’s second observation was that “Ancestry is making a decisive move into DNA and Health and apparently away from augmenting its record holdings.” His third:  “The free websites, FamilySearch and FindAGrave, are in an interesting matchup as the second and third most popular programs.”

This will likely be news to you, but Tanner’s next observation was “The free search engine program,, (has shot up) in popularity.” Tanner’s fifth observation was that “MyHeritage is consolidating its position as a world class program in the fourth position.” And his last, which he has been pointing out for some time, is that “Genealogy blogs are definitely on the decline.”
Well, you say, “He’s not God, how does he know and why should we pay attention to him?” My answer to that is this: He has the credentials and the experience that, to me, is proof enough that I will pay attention to what he says in his Genealogy’s Star blog posts. Check it out for yourself.


Funny for Today:  Butler County, Nebraska, July 15th, 1885: “To the Hon County Judge of Butler County, I the undersigned (or will be undersigned if I stay in my right mind long enough to get there) wish to make application for a license to marry. I am of age and am responsible and this is the first sign in insanity that has appeared in the family and I feel perfectly able to let a woman keep me. The young lady is the same age as all unmarried ladies (19) and is willing to take me for better...I cannot get any worse. She thinks she can supply the bread. I will trust to Providence to furnish the water. I can bring witnesses that will swear I ought to have been married years ago and hoping that you will grant the license, I remain on the verge of Insanity, Yours Truly, Samuel Stevens. 

No comments: