Press Release – Evidentia Software

January 4, 2016

I don’t normally do Press Releases in the blog, but, I use the program and have blogged about it. I even have a link to get directly to the website. So, if you  are interested in the software or the Companion to the program, here’s your chance. Mine is ordered

 

Evidentia Software is now accepting pre-orders for The Evidentia Companion

(Matthews, NC) January 4, 2016 – Evidentia Software is now accepting pre-orders for the book, The Evidentia Companion.  Written by lead designer Ed Thompson, The Evidentia Companion is the perfect complement to the Evidentia desktop application. The software helps users organize their information so it can be  used as evidence, then helps users find answers to their research questions.

The book details the 4 tasks that define the Evidentia workflow.  

  1. Identify a Source

  2. Catalogue the Source

  3. Analyze Evidence

  4. Write a Conclusion

With over 100 screen shot images, the book helps users become productive with Evidentia as quickly as possible, focusing on the features that support the 4 tasks.

In addition to the book, Evidentia Software is offering The Evidentia Quickstart Guide, a laminated quick sheet that supplements the book by distilling the 4 tasks into 4 pages for quick reference.

Evidentia Software is offering has created the coupon code “PRE-ORDER”, which will discount purchases from the website 15%. Bundled discounts are also available.

For more information, or to purchase the book and/or quick start guide, go to http://evidentiasoftware.com/companion.

Edward Thompson
Evidentia Software, LLC
ed@evidentiasoftware.com


Making a connection, using the Find-A-Grave website

December 31, 2015

As I posted earlier in the week, I mentioned going to Monocacy and the Worthington House there. I met several “cousins” there as we were able to tour the building.

EOS_0481

What we didn’t know for sure, is HOW WE are related. I knew how I was related to the owners of the house, be not sure how they were related.

I had taken a book with me, that I created in 1999,  for the opening of a Walking Trail at the Worthington House. During lunch, I shared that book with the cousins, Joe Worthington and his two daughters.

Joe found his ancestor in my book, very good news, but I had not searched down further on that line, because I was focusing at the time to Judge Glenn Howard Worthington.

He mentioned Lavinia a number of times and there was a cousin connection to the owners of the Worthington House. Hmmm.

My approach, in this case, is to try to prove him, Joe, wrong. So, I took what I had and did some research to do just that. As it happens most of the time, I am able to prove him correct, but I have information to start looking for the documentation to prove him right.“A Cousin”, “Lavinia”, “Dr Charles Nicholas Worthington”, and the owners of the Worthington House at the time of the Civil War.

In my database, I had a shaky leaf hint for John Thomas Worthington, the owner to the 1900 Federal Census. Right time, right place.

2015-12-31_194002

1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Maryland, Frederick County, Urbana; Supervisory District 4, Enumeration District 15;Sheet 12 B (penciled); dwelling 318, family number 30; line 79-82; Lavinia Worthington household; Roll: 622; Page: 12B;  FHL microfilm: 1240622; NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 622; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 December 2015).

There is the Lavinia and cousin John T Worthington, and his wife Mary R. Worthington. There is the cousin connection between Lavinia and John, but WHO is Lavinia.

I entered Lavinia into my database, as I normally would, with an unknown birth surname, as the census stated that she was a widow, and other information from the census record and a shaky leaf hint showed up for her.

It was to a Find-A-Grave Memorial (#16417102), confirming where she was buried and that was in the same cemetery where Dr Charles Nicholas Worthington was buried. The inscription in the transcription from the stone, and it is readable, “wife of Dr. Charles N Worthington”. Not completely happy there, I went to HIS memorial (#16416989).

This memorial confirmed what I have in my database, as to his parents, and his first wife. So, I have the right person, and now his 2nd wife.

Not only did it confirm what I had, but also backed up why Lavinia was listed as a Widow, as Charles died in 1898. Joe, is a descendant of Charles’ first wife. I only had one of his children, but the Find-A-Grave memorial listed their 5 children, only one of which was a male. So, I am one generation closer to making the connection to Joe and his family.


The Flip-Pal mobile scanner is at its lowest price ever. Have Santa order one today!

December 12, 2015

Dear Santa:
Why I want a Flip-Pal® mobile scanner for Christmas
I’ve been good all year, really I have.  I’ve really, really wanted a Flip-Pal mobile scanner and here is what I’ll use it for:

  • Preserving our family photos before disaster strikes so they are protected against harm and I have a digital image to rely on in case I need it.
  • Creating a variety of gifts using scanned photos. Stuff like calendars, photo books, tote bags and even ceramic tiles (yes,  I can picture Grandma on my kitchen back-splash!).
  • Writing about uncle John’s service in the military and scanning his medals and Army patches. I can never say “thank you” enough, but a book about him is a good start.
  • Starting an index project for my genealogy society by scanning documents and then getting a group together to build a searchable database. Then we can share it with other genealogists.

I know I’ll get a lot of use out of it so, pretty please, make my Christmas wish come true?

Flip-Pal mobile scanner sale $139.99. We’ve not seen the Flip-Pal mobile scanner at this price before.  Add the carrying case and make sure your order totals $149.00 or more to qualify for FREE SHIPPING.  Click here to save.  Sale ends December 22nd.

There is more… a fun way to share family photos by adding voice to them.

Check out the new StoryScans™ talking photos feature. For the first time, you can easily transform your images into endearing stories.  Click here to learn how you can add this new capability to your existing Flip-Pal mobile scanner or add the feature to your next purchase!

I have several Blog posts on how I use Flip-Pal

https://worthy2be.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/flip-pal-at-rootstech-2012/

https://worthy2be.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/flip-pal-mobile-scanner-sketch/


Letters in the Mail

March 14, 2015

What a day this has been.

While waiting for DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Law Study Group Hangout On Air today, I went out to pick up the mail. In the mail was an unexpected envelope from one of my “Texas Cousins”. In reality, my Dad’s Texas Cousins. I had no idea what was in side, but it looked like it might have letters in it.

Jody, his siblings and I have shared our research over the years. They have shared far more than I, but share non-the-less.

I am glad I was sitting down to open the envelope. Right on top was a card addressed “Cousin Russ”. I will guess that Mary, Jody’s wife, did not know that is the name I am known as on Google+. That way of addressing the Pennsylvania and the Texas cousins was the way it has always been, or at least as long as I can remember.

Over time, I will probably share some detail of the content of the envelop. What I can say now, is the first two letters that I actually read.

The first letter was from my Aunt (95 years young) to Jody and Mary, dated 26 September, 1972. The second was from her Sister, Anna, also to Jody and Mary, dated 12 August 1970. The fact that they were presented to me in this order, has an interesting twist. The content of both, I will share very soon. Not quite ready to do that right now. But, I will. Now it is time to really try to preserve what I have and be in a position to share these letters with “the family” later on (but soon).

First thing, after I had to replace my All-In-One Printer, was to scan these two letters. Next step is to trans-scribe them using Genscriber. Haven’t used it for a while, but it make the whole process very easy. I have the Image that was scanned (JPG) in one window and a place to type in another window. I will re-scan to a TIFF file, and save the typed version to a Word Document. Genscriber creates an RTF file, which can be saved as a .DOC or .DOCX file.

My file naming practice is to file any document as Surname_GivenName_Middlename and a description. In this case, I will use YYYY_Month_Day followed by a dash and a number, depending on the number of pages and scans.

In my other Blog, I talked about How to put a Citation on an Image. Why not use that method, so I did. I put a image of the front and back of this first letter and on the edge I put my citation that is in my Family Tree Maker program for this letter. This page is not for reading, but to be facing front, in a notebook, with THE letter behind it, in an archival sleeve.

2015-03-14_012701

The 2nd sleeve, I put the transcription of the letter facing front, but on the back, I included the same text but added the Date and how I received this letter, and facts about the people named in the letter.

The next sleeve, which will be in a notebook, will be scanned images of the letter.

This is the process that I am going to use to preserve these letters. Once they are preserved, then they will be added to my genealogy database.

Can’t wait to get through these 20+ letters, mostly from my grandmother to these same Texas Cousin’s.

Stayed tuned.


Mastering Genealogical Proof–Chapter 1 Homework

February 24, 2014

MGP-2 – My Chapter One Homework Assignment

We have started the second round of study of the Mastering Genealogical Proof in the DearMYRTLE Genealogy Community on Google+.

I am again reminded, in the Preface of this book, about how many of us started in the study of family history. One thing I learned at the beginning was “Cite Your Sources”. I have done that, thankfully. I knew why, at the time, mostly so that I could answer the question “Where did you get that information from”?

The first go time through this book, I learned lots. Mostly from the Conversation that took place with the Panel, and the Community as we worked through the book.

So why am I doing it again. To learn more.

Dr. Jones mentioned, in the preface, about being self educated. I got that one. But he continued about attending conferences to learn more. I can say “Been there, Done that”. I learn something every time attend one. Either a local meeting, of which I try to attend 2 different ones a month, and up to Roots Tech 2014. Each time, I pick up a GEM at each one.

But my learning experience is now taking form by ‘teaching’ at two local senior centers locally. I am not sure that it’s as much teaching as it is sharing my experience.

Without the tools, like this book, I would not have taken that next step. I learn from each class that I share. But the foundation is working through these home work assignment in my own way, based on the principals in this book.

One of the questions that was raised in the book is about the word Genealogy. I have seen a number of discussions about a genealogist and a family historian. Is there a difference? Should there be a difference?

If wasn’t until I was asked to give a presentation at a local Historical Society did I start to understand the difference. My thought was the methods that a Genealogist does in their research. I wasn’t there, that was for the professionals. I just wanted to get those names, dates, and places. I did that, BUT, what I realized was that I was capturing their Stories. The local Historical Society was capturing the story of the community, and I the stories of my families. For me it was a transition or the desire to find out who these people were and to try to tell their story for those that might follow.

The genealogists do have their principals of how they “work” and this workbook spells out the Genealogy Proof Standard. The five steps! Only five steps????

Looking for all of the records that you can find. I have talked about that in the blog from time to time. It’s exhausting at times. But the trick that I learned between the MGP-1 and MGP-2 Study Group, is to go back and look at what you already have. After all, we / I have learned new “stuff” from the first time I looked at that record.

I did cite all of my sources the first time, but were then detailed enough. Easy answer, NO. I am not a student, so I didn’t know how to cite correctly but my genealogy database program provided a feature to more accurately cite my sources.

That lead to the next step, which I “sort-a” did. I knew when something didn’t look right, or appear right. But didn’t know why. Somewhere along the way, I learned that I needed to evaluate what I was looking at. Does THAT make sense? I don’t though the bad out, but know that the information I was looking at isn’t mine person, or something is wrong with that piece of information. The puzzle pieces don’t fit together.

The next step is to identify and resolve conflicting information. One of my students taught me this one. We had conflicting information on what a persons name was. The son of the person with the conflicting information was in the room. We were looking at a census record when we saw the conflict, and the student asked me to scroll up the page and down the page. OK, I did. He pointed out that the Census Taker wrote everyone’s name the same way. Surname, Middle Initial, First Name. Easy resolution to that conflict. That resolution was put into the research notes for that fact, so that we knew that there was a conflict and how we resolved it.

The last step, isn’t so easy for me, and that is to write up a proof statement. It’s that writing down of the conclusion of your research that is very important. Of course, that conclusion may change with the next piece of information that you find. I have that in my own research, where the “paper trial” says one thing, but DNA test results shows another.

The most important lesson that I learned several times now, is the first step in this process. That is to have a Clear, Specific, stated Goal or Question to be answered.

For me, to get there, I have found that I need to cycle through these steps several times. Testing our findings, comparing and contrasting this new piece of information against what I had before.

One important thing that I learned / relearned this 2nd time through was the reminder that the jobs that I have had over the years, each had their own way of doing “things”. Standards of how we worked. Before I retired, I worked with a group that did this all of the time. We knew how things were to be done, we put measures in place so that we could tell if we were doing a good job, created plans to improve what we were trying to do.

The real life learning experience has helped me with my family research. We could do lots of things really well, but other things, not so much. In our case it was the customer experience. The customer was seeing our overall performance, and would be the judge of how well we did.

Our research is the same. Each step is related to the others. Researching very well, without evaluating that research, my not lead to the correct conclusion.

I look forward to our continuing discussion on this book.

 

Reference:
Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof  (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013),

[Book available from the publisher at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof ]


2014 Legacy Family Tree Webinar Schedule announced

December 23, 2013

Received this announcement this morning:

2014 Legacy Family Tree Webinar Schedule announced

This is exciting for me, a bit scary as well, but I am on the list in August 2014. The topic will be on how I use the Find-A-Grave website for my research. For those  who might have heard me speak about the topic before, it has been almost re-written with a few examples of how I use the site, what you may find, what you may hope to find, and a number of tips on what to look for.

Research is one way to use the website, but another is how to contribute to the Find-A-Grave website.,I’ll share a couple of examples of what I was able to provide another researcher and what another Find-A-Grave contributor did for me.

The announcement has two important items, for me at least, that are worth noting: 1) the ability to link or copy the Webinar Google Calendar to my own Google Calendar, and 2) the ability to sign up for multiple Webinars at one time.

There is a direct link on the right side of this page to get you to the Legacy Family Tree Webinar website.

LegacyFamilyTreeWebinars-2014

This is a great Educational Opportunity for those who research their family history and a great list of presenters. Not sure how I got on that list, but I’ll do my best.


How I file my digital images

October 27, 2013

I was listening to the Genealogy Guys podcast this afternoon, and Drew Smith and George G Morgan were responding to a listener’s email.

The Genealogy Guys Podcast #256 – 2013 October 8

I was going to just send them an email, but thought that I might share this in this blog, because the way I file my digital information (Digital Overload as some one say) has an impact on my three Blogs.

Some folks store their digital information by Surname, some by Location, some by Record Group, or some combination of all of the above.

I have chosen to create Surname Folders. I should be more specific Birth Surname folders and Record Type folders.

The key to remember is How am I going to find what I am looking for, OR where I am going to save that digital image. I will most likely use Windows Explorer to do this. I always have the Show File Extension option so that I can SEE the file type that I am creating or looking for. So SORTING now becomes very important.

For the Filename of Pictures or other images, NOT including images of Records I use:

Surname_FirstnameMiddleameSuffix (without any spaces). The Underscore helps visually see the Surname. I do not use All Caps for surname. That hasn’t worked for me, but others do.

Each person is grouped together. In my case, my grandfather does not have a suffix, he wasn’t born with one, my Dad was a Jr, and I am a III. That keeps us separated.

What follows now becomes important for each person. I add a dash followed by YYYY (full year) format, so that puts them in Date Order. That is IF I know the year of the digital image. I follow that with a Dash and Event.

The Dashes are to help separate or break up the text. If I had a more accurate date, I would use YYYY-MM-DD format, IF that becomes an issue.

No Date, then just the Event. Let’s say that I had 10 pictures from an 80th birthday for an individual and the birthday party was in 1998. The filename would have 1998-Birthday-01, 1998-Birthday-02, 1998-Birthday following the Birth Surname_Firstname_Middlename-

For file name sorting this works great.

But, what about a family photo? (not getting into the meta data here). I precede the filename with Family_Surname etc. so I know that there are more than one person in that photo. In this case, I may end up with multiple Surnames in that photo, so I would have multiple Copies of that image in a couple of Surname Folders. Luckily (or unluckily) I don’t have too many of them.

I also have some pictures of houses where people lived. I precede them with House_Surname etc. This continues to help with the sorting in windows Explorer as People photos would be sorted by person; all of the Family photos would be sorted together in a group, as well as houses.

Images of Records work much the same way, in the Surname Folder. For example Census Records

YYYY_Fed_PA_County_Location-Surname_FirstnameMiddlenameSuffix – For US Census Records

YYYY_PA_County_Location-Surname_FirstnameMiddleNameSuffix – For State Census Records

RecordType_YYYY_Surname_FirstnameMiddlenameSuffix – For Birth, Marriage, Death certificates.

Census, filed by Head of Household. Marriage Records would have two copies of the same image.

But, what if I don’t know the Female’s Birth Surname. For a death record, I would file that in the married surname folder UNTIL I found her birth surname. When I do that, I rename the file and move it to the Surname folder.

Since I have a Tombstone Tuesday Blog where I post headstones AND because I contribute to Find-A-Grave, I file in a Cemetery Folder with Cemetery subfolders.

State_County_Cemetery

with filenames of

State_County_Cemetery-Surname_FirstnameMiddlenameSuffix

Why do all of this?

When I want to include one of those images in my genealogy database, I know where to look and which file to choose from to be attached to a Person or a Citation (for those records). My database will make a Copy of the file in the folders above, and put them into ONE folder for that database. So, outside of my program, windows explorer will show me the files sorted in such a way that I know what I have.

Those filenames aren’t very helpful within my database, but I can put a Caption on that image, and the Filename helps me put that Caption in a more reader friendly format. Like Firstname Middlename Surname Suffix – 1998 Birthday Party – 1.

or 1940 US Federal Census PA Chester County West Chester – (name) Household

This format has worked for me, but I have also tweaked it a couple of times as more and more digital records have become available. I don’t what to have to Think about Where to file these records or scan or picture, nor what to call it. My driving force is the Sorting feature when trying to locate a file.

It has worked for my blogs, Find-A-Grave, and my genealogy database management program.

Thanks Genealogy Guys for a great topic.


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