Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What Source Have You Used the Most?

April 12, 2014

Genealogy friend and now cousin, has this Saturday Night “fun” challenge. It’s been a while since I participated.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What Source Have You Used the Most? 

 

His challenge is:

It’s Saturday Night

time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Have you done a good job of citing your sources in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How are you doing?  How many source citations do you have, and how many people are in your tree?  What is the sources to persons ratio?

2)  Which master source (e.g., 1900 U.S. census, Find A Grave, specific book, etc.) do you have the most citations for?  How many?  How did you figure this out?

3)  Tell us in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or on Facebook or Google+ in a post.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog post.

Well, let’s see:

1) What’s that saying ?? “Fair to Mid-lan” or something like that. Doing OK.

For the most part, last year I spent my time cleaning up my Citations in my genealogy database management program. Getting all of my Sources into the Template format that my program offers. It’s been well worth the time, but it is still a work in progress.

That and the second round of the Mastering Genealogical Proof book, by Dr Thomas W Jones in the Google+ Dear MYRTLE Genealogy Community keeps me busy working with our source material.

Here is some information about my file:

  • 8,937 People in my file
  • 448 Sources of which 197 are in the Template format
  • 2,697 Citations
  • 871 Media files
  • 38,426 Facts
  • 7,920 Hints to follow on Ancestry.com

That’s a little less than 5 Facts per person. In this file, that’s not a good number. I have a lot of people that really need to be researched, but most of them, are not my direct line, so I don’t focus on them a lot.

Still have a lot of work to do on moving my Source material into the Template format. So, I am not quite 50% finished with that project. BUT, I have learned much since I first started this file, and look at records and my information differently now, so as I am cleaning up my Source information, I am picking up details that I didn’t see before or know that I should be looking into the information and recording what I should.

Also, the process of Evaluating what I had recorded before, I am now doing. Using a feature in my program, at times, has really helped with this. Also, using Evidentia, which I have talked about before, is also a great help in this process.

Of the 38,426 Facts in my file, there are 6 that do not have a citation associated with them. THAT has been a real help to me. The ability to go back and find out where I got my information from.

I guess to answer the question, I get about find about 20 people in each source. That sounds lopsided I guess, but having several authored works in hand, plus a large number of Family Group Sheets from one of my cousin’s family doing decades of research, my numbers are probably out of whack. BUT, I have a mission to document, on my own, all of those facts from those Family Group Sheets.

Most of my research is from within my genealogy database management program, searching on Ancestry, Family Search, Fold3, Find-A-Grave and Google Books. A couple of research trips have proven to be very helpful. Most of which have been blogged about here.

I did  a review of my Find-A-Grave Sources. I have 55 Sources, or Contributors on the website. 334 Citations, on 2,572 Facts. Of those facts, 243 were mine. I was wondering how much information I collected from the Find-A-Grave website.

2) I think it is good, to sometimes, “look at the numbers”. I went into be database and ran a Source Usage Report to see if that would help.

There were 397 pages of information, where the facts were not included and almost 4,000 pages where the facts were included. Not helpful at all. When I pulled a Source Usage. The file Bibliography is 13 pages long.

I could have go into my Sources Workspace and do a manual count. An example of a count that I did was in the 1940 Census, I looked have 23 Citations that accounted for 565 facts.

What I did find, is that I have 554 Direct Ancestors in my file.

I will add, that I am working very hard at two things in my research. 1) keeping a Research Log, and 2) keeping a ToDo list. This is becoming very  helpful.

It got me to stop for a few minutes to see where I am in documenting my file. I saw a number of places I need to go back and clean up. I also realized how much better my citations have gotten since I started.

This was a great challenge Randy. Thank you.


The RAGU Challenge

April 2, 2014

Oh, we have a Challenge from my cousin DearMYRTLE. Please read about it in her blog.

Dear MYRTLE’s 3-2-1 Cite Genealogy Contest

April 2014 Edition

We also have a Video on what this contest is all about.

Click on this image to view the video

The RAGU Challenge321

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow9oQQK_RdU

There is the 4 letter word CITE. Sounds like work for me, but so has trying to understand Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace and Mastering Genealogical Proof by Dr Thomas W Jones. But in the Dear MYRTLE’s Genealogy Community on Google+ we have been studying this book. What a great idea to study a book like this within a group of fine panelists and a great community.

So, the challenge is for us to blog about 3 Documents and write two Paragraphs about 1 Event. Then the kicker, CITE those sources.

Now to the task at hand, I thought I would take a different approach, and not go to my genealogy database management program for this subject. There will be a couple of follow up blog posts over there that are a fall out from this Blog Post.

I have done a number of blog posts on Evidentia! a genealogy program that approaches our research from a different angle, that is starting with the Source documentation BEFORE moving any information into our genealogy software. There is a link to the Evidentia! website on the right of this blog post. This is the first time that I am using Evidentia Version 2.

I chose an uncle of mine, William James Hart, as the information that I have on him may help with this challenge.

I have three documents as source information on him. One is a Family Group Sheet that was created by his natural daughter. I am not going to include an image of that, because there is information about living people on it. This daughter, Joanna Hart Yunninger and I have been trying to find the parents of her grandmother who was adopted. Every once in a while I’ll go looking for her. In that Family Group Sheet is all of the information about my Uncle. His full name, his date and place of birth.[1]

The second source was from the Find-A-Grave website. The image on the website is like the one I took, which is here.

This confirms the birth date of my uncle. William and Hart are the same as the Family Group Sheet. The difference is that the Family Group Sheet has his full middle name of James. So, “J” works for me, as does the birth and death dates.[2]The pictures are mine, but the citation is from the Find-A-Grave website which has a similar photo. I don’t own that photo, so it’s not included here.

PA-Lancaster_LittleBritian-Hart_WilliamJames-1

 

PA_Lancaster_LittleBritian-Hart_WilliamJames-2

 My third source is the 1940 U.S. Federal Census Record[3].

1940_Fed_PA_Butler_Lancaster-Hart_WilliamJames

2014-04-02_222543

This census has William J Hart, age 26, born in Pennsylvania.

This data was entered into Evidentia. This program, for me, asks the right questions that help me understand the Genealogical Proof Standard. Each piece of information from these three sources are entered as Claims from these sources. Each Claim is then a piece of Evidence for which we must analyze. What I like about this program is that you can’t move on to the next step until you complete the first, then second. We must right out our evaluation of each piece of Evidence. Then draw our conclusion.

My goal was to determine the Birth Information for my Uncle Bill. I used the three Sources, per the goal. Now for the two paragraphs I am going to include the Genealogical Proof Report as a result of these steps. I know this will meet the 2 paragraph requirement.

Evidentia512_thumb.jpg

Genealogical Proof Report
for the Birth of William James Hart

Summary of Findings

Based on the Family Group Sheet, provided by William James Hart’s daughter, Joanna Hart Yunninger, the 1940 US Federal Census, and the headstone on the Find-A-Grave website and my own photograph of that headstone; there is no conflicting information that would indicate that he was not born on 14 Jun 1914 in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Itemized Research Findings

5 assertions from 3 sources were considered in evaluating this claim.

The Joanna’s Family Group Sheet[1] asserts that Birth Date is 19 Jun 1914.

The source reviewed was an Authored work, introducing the risk of errors in interpretation. The information is believed to be Secondary (meaning the person providing the information received that information second hand, from another person or work). The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct (meaning it adequate to answer the question directly).

Joanna Hart Yunninger is the daughter of Williams James Hart and recorded his birth date to be 19 Jun 1914

The Joanna’s Family Group Sheet[1] asserts that Birth Location was West Grove, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The source reviewed was an Authored work, introducing the risk of errors in interpretation. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct.

Joanna Hart Yunninger is the daughter of Williams James Hart and recorded his birth place to be West Grove, Chester Couinty, Pennsylvania

The Find-A-Grave[2] asserts that his Birth date 19 Jun 1914.

The source reviewed was a Derived Record, introducing the risk of copy errors. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct.

The Find-A-Grave memorial and stone shows William J Hart’s brith date to be 19 Jun 1914

The 1940 US Federal Census[3] asserts that he was born in Pennsylvania.

The source reviewed was a Derived Record, introducing the risk of copy errors. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct.

The 1940 US Federal Census recorded William J Harts birth state to be Pennsylvania

The 1940 US Federal Census[3] asserts that his age is 26.

The source reviewed was a Derived Record, introducing the risk of copy errors. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Indirect (meaning the evidence is implied or circumstantial).

The 1940 US Federal Census recorded William J Harts age to be 26, which would have him born about 1914

End Notes

1. Joanna Hart Yuninger, Family Group Sheets, Hart Collection; Joanna Hart Yuninger, {[Address For Private Use], }[Owner Or Supplier's Location], 2000. Family Group Sheets. Joanna does family research for her father’s family, William James Hart.

2. Find A Grave, Database And Images (http://findagrave.com : Accessed 27 Nov 2009), Memorial Page For William James Hart, Find A Grave Memorial No. 45164446, Citing Little Britain Presbyterian Cemetery, Peach Bottom, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA.

3. 1940; U.S. Census, Ward 8, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Population Schedule; enumeration district (ED) 36-89, Sheet 8-B, dwelling 754 West Vine Street, family 135, lines 70-72, William J Hart household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 09 Apr 2012); citing NARA microfilm T657, roll 3532.

Prepared 2 Apr 2014

The RAGU Challenge

Evidentia© 2012-2014


And in my spare time …

April 21, 2013

A while ago, I had a thought. Yup, it hurt, but I thought I would share the journey that thought has taken me on. The thought was that people in Adult Care Centers want to be in contact with “family” and that they have stories to tell. Please remember that I do family research, which is what caused the thought.

Both of my parents were in one such center once we determined that they could no longer live in their house. My mother could no longer hear anything, but we were able to get her on email. I live about 90 minutes from her, so I was not able to really teach her how to use this “new fangled thing”.

I live in a town with two Adult Care Centers associated with my church and I know people who live in both. Many Sunday’s I go to one of them, to help out the local clergy person. My clergy person friend, said that they had residents who wanted to learn “computers”. Wow, that’s a very broad topic, but since I had retired, remembered the issues with my mom, I said “sure”.

So, a group of about 6 residents started to learn “computers”. Most of them had computers with access to the internet, but like my mother, didn’t have a lot of help learning how to use them. Our journey started.

I started up front, letting them know, that I thought that there are family, “out there” who wanted to hear their Story. They also know that I do family research, I wasn’t going to teach genealogy, but computers. They are learning how to use computers, how to search, how to use social media.

After we talked about searching, both on the computer and “on line”, I asked each one to tell me what they might want to search for. “An IRS Form”, a place,  pictures on my computer were the first searches they wanted. Introduced Google search and found the first two items, and showed them how to find ALL of the images on the computer.

Being a user of Google, and Google+, I showed them how I use Google+, which then offered an opening into Social Media. We talked about SKYPE, as a couple of folk had “tired it”, then I offered Hangouts. I demonstrated Hangouts On Air, with DearMRYTLE. I turned around and saw the expression on their faces, which indicated that a Hangout might be an easier way to communicate with family. I shared one of the comments from the DearMYRTLE (Google+) Community about having a family gathering at Easter, on a Google+ Hangout.

How can you talk about Social Media, without talking about Facebook? So we found a couple of their family on Facebook.

One of the future topics, that THEY want, is genealogy and THEY want to share their story with family.

 

As this project is moving along, I get an email from the other Adult Care Center. THEY want to start a Genealogy Club, and would I help. Our first gathering was this past Thursday, with 22 people showing up. Newbie’s, DAR Members, and folks with lot’s of experience. The activities director and I were overruled about having a monthly meeting, and will meet 2 days a month. They want to get started and/or knocking down some brick walls. The really nice thing is that they have a computer lab, that is under construction, but have computers available while the construction is taking place.

 

Why am I sharing this on my blog?

I am certain that there are other places “out there” that want OUR help. Both groups “get” that folks want to hear their stories, but are looking for a way to do that. All it takes is a volunteer to come in and share their experience.

What I have learned, is that I TOO can, have, and will learn from them, while I attempt to share my experience.


Revolutionary Challenge

March 7, 2013

In support of the Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor, and Verissima Productions, and the Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, I would like to make you aware of this project, a film called Revolutionary Voices. As an introduction to the project, I ask that you visit Judy’s Blog, A Revolutionary challenge. There is more information about this project, including a short video by Maureen Taylor, and other details.

Kickstarter.com posted this update, so that you can see what has happened since March 1, 2013.

I have made a contribution to this very worthwhile project. Please note, that you too can join in by making a submission as noted below on your Revolutionary War connection.

Thank you.

 

Project Update #2: Week One Wrap-Up

Posted by Maureen Taylor & Verissima ProductionsLike

What a whirlwind week it’s been! We couldn’t be happier with the $11,266.00 in pledges we have so far. Don’t forget, we don’t get any of the money pledged until we’ve reached our full goal, so there’s still lots of work to do!

We had an amazing response to Judy Russell’s “Revolutionary Challenge” posted to her Legal Genealogist blog last week (http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2013/03/02/my-own-last-muster/) as well as a great outpouring of support from social media and our direct email appeals.

But now the challenge really begins – many Kickstarter campaigns lose momentum after week one… let’s make sure to keep our pace strong! A second $10,000+ week would make a huge impact on the potential success of our campaign and our film. Here are two quick steps to help us make that a reality: 

1. Keep sharing – (so far, about 50% of our donors have come from sharing and social media efforts (http://infogr.am/The-Profile-of-a-Donor/). Please blog about us, tweet about us, write down the link and hand it out at your next historical society meeting– any and all kinds of networking will help us reach and surpass our goal! 

2. Tell your own Revolutionary Story. Do you have family ties to the revolutionary war? Are you a history buff with a great story or factoid? Do you own an artifact or photo that has a Revolutionary connection? Let us know! Anyone who has pledged to the campaign so far can send us a Kickstarter message or email (lastmusterfilm@gmail.com) that’s 1-3 sentences telling us about your ties to the Revolution. We’ll use Twitter & Facebook to highlight it as thanks for partnering with us to help make this campaign a success. Here’s your chance to show how far the roots of the Revolution spread! 

Thanks again for all of your financial and networking support! 

With Appreciation, 

The Revolutionary Voices team 

Fun Fact: Molly Ferris Akin’s story of bravery during the Revolution was oral history passed down in the family until a descendant wrote in down in 1984. You can start telling your own story now!


Not Everything is Online

November 7, 2012

I am working on a “How to” search presentation for my local Family History Interest Group.

Hurricane Sandy caused the presentation to be rescheduled / postponed until the library could get it’s power back and that folks could get to it safely. There are still road closures, trees down, folks without power, even a week after the storm.

This extra time provided me with some more time to research my two “case studies” for this presentation. Two folks from the group sent me “problems”, to be used as examples for the “Group” to help search for solutions.

In the Inferential Genealogy program that I have discussed here, having a specific goal or question to answer was very important. Both of the ‘case studies’ have specific questions.

Leading up to my presentation, several presenters at previous meetings have reminded us about “not every thing is Online”; being patient with results, and YOU are an expert for your own family.

The first case study, which will be in presentation form, meaning I will present a couple of searching techniques that I use and that will be used for the 2nd “group” or “community” search case study.

Both of these examples will illustrate that “not everything is online”. But in different ways. The first is Civil War records and a Civil War Pension files. The information that is needed to order these files are online, but the details are not. The “how to order” forms are online.

The second case study will reinforce that, but in a different way. This 2nd case study will bring in the “family expert” that would go with the data that can be seen online. In working with the person who gave me the 2nd case study, I have found that there were relationships that aren’t found “online” but the “family expert” knows what the real relationships are. Just looking online, does not reflect two “step” relationships.

The good news, in working with these two case studies, where to “go next”, or what repository to visit “next” becomes obvious. This second case study, the crowd or community search will provide this second person with one or two repositories that should be visited, but with a list of items to look for at that repository.

In addition, the Friends, Acquaintance, and Neighbors (FAN) concept will be introduced, just based on the specific example / problem that was presented to me, and the importance looking broadly and not being focused on an individual. For example, who are the people on the census page before and after “your people”. Hints to resolve this 2nd “problem” became obvious is the resolution of the specific question for this case study.

Note: I am writing this as a reminder to my self, of a couple of points to be made during the presentation. Comments are always welcome.


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