FINALLY Get Organized–5 Generation Status

March 20, 2016

I started out in one direction, but changed, base on the FINALLY Get Organized project from DearMYRTLE. My project started by trying to prove or disprove a Mayflower connection. It didn’t take to long that the information suggested by the Mayflower Society at Roots Tech was not going to work. RelativeFinder.org and the FamilySearch Family Tree results had issues. Did a straight line back 17 generations and knew there were issues.

So I decided to change that project to a more worthwhile and meaningful use of my time. Just focusing on 5 Generations.

IMDoingIT

I have had other status reports and events as the project has moved along.

Because I am giving a presentation at the Fairfax (VA) Genealogy Society in April, I wanted to capture some real data on how the research process I use for Information Overload really works, when I use that process and follow those Shaky Leaf Hints.

Fairfax Genealogical Society: DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ’ presentation topics

Here is an update on a fresh database that I created on 08 Feb 2016:

People

231

Generations

17

Surnames

68

Facts

2,525

Places

253

Sources

96

Citations

339

Media Files

294

I have followed 228 Hints and have successfully used 156 of them. Having worked those 155 hints, 57 other hints disappeared, as expected. 14 Hints I have ignored based on the reliability of those hints. They are on my ToDo list if I need hint for those individuals. 2 were not for my person. That was due to limited data on that person in my file at the time I ignored that hint.

107 of the Media files were pictures that I had taken or scanned images that I have in my files. An additional 15 Media files were from the linked Ancestry Member Tree that had Photo Hints. As it turned out many of them were from may main file with 9,000 plus people in it.

All of my Citations are in the Template format, meaning that they are very close to the Evidence Explained format. (that is a work in progress). I have no undocumented Facts. Each of those 2,545 facts have at least one citation linked to them.

Research Log for each person and a ToDo list with 448 items. 235 Items on my ToDo list, of which 15 are notes about the file in general, not work items.

The fun is the stories that are starting to develop. For example, my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother had 10 Children. At no time was there a census record that found the entire family at the same place at the same time. However, one census record did have a child who only lived a couple of months. Another of the children who died early had a Shaky Leaf Hint that was an Index hint, that actually let to the record that the hint was base on. I had blogged about that From an Index to an Image.

Lesson Learned: Having some organization in how I named my files, made my finding those images, specifically, very easy. I knew where to look and new what the filename should be.

I have added some of the data learned from the Finally Getting Organized project to my upcoming presentation.


Just because they “died young” doesn’t mean there won’t be a record

March 19, 2016

As posted earlier, I followed a “shaky leaf hint’ from an Index record to the actual Image on Family Search using the FHL film number.

What I didn’t mention specifically was that he lived only 9 Months. So, that HINT on an INDEX record lead to this death record and that was in 1874.

This baby would have a younger brother, born in May of 1880 that would have made the 1880 Federal Census.

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The date of the  Census was 19 Jun 1880 and died in October of that year.

I just realized that these to records of a “died young” entries were brothers.

Lesson learned: Look for those records


FINALLY Get Organized–Office Organization

March 18, 2016

In my office needed, I needed a little organization, at least on the Shelf above my computer monitors. I took a few minutes to clean up my act.

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My lamp for Hangouts is clipped to this shelf just above the right monitor.

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Getting ready for a Monday with Myrt

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Coffee is front and center, ready to go. Trello on the Left (main monitor), the HOA on the Right.


From an Index to an Image

March 17, 2016

One of the things that I have been doing, is to capture a Family History Library Film Number, on the FamilySearch.org website, and add that film number to my ToDo list.

I was working on a young lad, had a Shaky Leaf hint and it was for one of these records. I wanted to test out my theory that adding the FHL Number to my ToDo list was worth the time and energy.

Bottom Line: It works.

Here is my Reference Note for the Index Entry

“Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915”, database, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 09 Mar 2016), entry for Henry Wilson Worthington III, death date 22 July 1875.

My ToDo list entry was:  FHL Film Number: 2026849

I went to Family Search, searched for the Film Number ONLY, and the result indicated that there WAS an image, so I entered the name, as provided in the Index, and there is was.

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“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11769-96749-42?cc=1320976 : accessed 9 March 2016), 004010252 > image 147 of 1214; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

BOTH the Index entry and the Family Search entries are in my database. The Reference Note in my program is

City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates for Henry Wilson Worthington III, date of death 22 Jul 1845,  FHL Film Number: 2026849; digital images, Family Search, FamilySearch.org (http://familysearch.org : accessed 09 Mar 2016).

Now, the citation just under the image, is in my Citation Text, so I don’t loose that, but when put into the program, provides a good, for me, Reference Note.


With a little help from our friends

March 16, 2016

The  other night, I was finishing getting caught up on Facebook when I cam across of post card image. it was posted by Genea-Blogger Becky Jamison.  Her Blog Grace and Glory is one to follow. I have the honor and pleasure of meeting Becky and her husband Larry at Roots Tech.

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Her Facebook post was about images from Kansas towns. The one that was posted was an old one. Since my Grandfather and his family were from there in the mid to late 1800’s I had to look.

Images of Kansas Towns and Cities

I just had to look. I have been focusing my research on a 5 generation file that I am working and blogging about for DearMYRLTE’s FINALLY Get Organized! project.

IMDoingIT

I had just found my Great Uncle in a census record in Manhattan, Kansas. The address was right near the Kansas State College, now University. I knew he went to school there so I followed that Bright Shiny Object (BSO) and looked around the campus, specifically the Veterinary Medicine part of the campus, because that is where he went to school.

A long night,  long story short, I sent an email to the email address on their website, asking for any information they might have on my Great Uncle.

Four hours later I received an email with a 7 page article that had been written about his life and his story. What I received was a marked up copy of the article, so I don’t have any way to cite the article, but I want to thank Colonel Dr. Howard H. Erickson, PhD for that wonderful telling of my Great Uncle’s life.

Most of the information in the article is known to me, but there were details that I didn’t know about.

I have written about Colonel Josiah Wistar Worthington before, and have tried to share what I know of his story. I have found his World War I and World War II Draft Registration cards.

As the article clearly states, my Great Uncle was not assigned to where the “War” was happening, as he joined the Army at the beginning of the war but had a comment that there must be more to come for him, and his military service. And there was.

The article also put into perspective the cost for the education at that time and place. One item, of many, said that it cost “$5.00 for a commencement fee”

There was an answer to one of those BSO questions that I have had, but didn’t have it on my ToDo list, was to understand WHY I found a Bureau of Land Management record for him when I visited the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) a couple of years ago. This article put him in the right place at the right time for my Great Uncle to go after land in 1912.

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Thank you Becky for sharing that BSO.


TechTuesday – Ancestry Photo Hints

March 15, 2016
Not too long ago, I made this blog post, on my Family Tree Maker blogs:
An Observation in Ancestry Member Trees (AMT)

I wanted to bring that conversation and experience over here, not the FTM2014 part but the AMT Photo conversation and how I am using those Photo Hints for my current project.

I just pulled my Hints from on Ancestry Member Tree:

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There are 10 Photo Hints right now. I hadn’t paid too much attention to them, until I made the discovery in that other blog post.

I started to pay attention to those hints. The 10 that are there now, are mine from another Online Tree. I am going to leave there, because they are special and I want to handle them specifically.

A couple of days ago, some of my photos from that other AMT showed up. Hey wait a minute, I already have that picture in my other file, why not bring them into the file that I am working on. So I did. So what, my own photos from another tree. BUT ….

I had just added a few new people, folks that I haven’t research at all, new to me, but were family, not far off of the branch I was working on. Not following up, (YET) There were a number of Photo Hints, so I looked at them. They were “my people” but for that branch. I accepted them, not yet sure who I submitted them, BUT I am marking them as Private in my database so that they can’t be seen online.

Why, you ask? This Post Card.

Hylton_Kenneth_Hays-1937_Post_Card_to_Aletha_Carr

Russ Worthington Photographs from AMT, 08 March 2016; privately held by H R Worthington, Hackettstown, New Jersey, 2016.  Kenneth Hays Hylton 1937 Post Card to Alethia Carr.

Notice, it is cited, but I hide the names.  This is important in that the addressee (TO; ) had the young lady’s maiden name and where she lived at the time. All I knew, before this post card was her married name, from another photo what had been a Photo Hint.

“Hays: was single in the 1930 Census, I had him and in West Virginia. The photos were marked, from the description with that photo that came to me from the hint. Sorry the other side of the Post Card wasn’t included because I think it was from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Three Photo Hints are helping me put the pieces together. Not now, but later.  Because of the relationship in my database that this post card helped my establish, I received about 5 more Hints to follow, when I am ready to research that twig.

Lesson Learned: Check out those Photo Hints.


Home Work for QuickLesson 1. Analysis & Citation

March 14, 2016

Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 1: Analysis & Citation,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-1-analysis-citation : accessed 06 Mar 2016)

 

Well DearMYRTLE has us working again. This time using Elizabeth Shown Mills, QuickLessons on the evidenceexplaind.com website.

ESM_QuickLessons

 

I really enjoyed reading and studying what this quick lesson has to say. Analyzing of what I am looking at, then crafting a Citation.

IF I don’t spend the early stages in looking at a document, trying to address these two questions Up Front, I may be going in a direction that I really do want to go, at this moment.

In order for me to craft that Citation, I find that I have to understand 1) What exactly, am I looking at, and 2) Where did I get it from. Some where along the way, I learned to read the details about the Record group that I have a record from. I quickly determine IF that record will answer my Genealogical Question at hand.

The “WHAT” might include an Index, a derivative from an online database, or is there an image to actually look at myself.

The “WHERE” did I get it from, is probably the easy answer. Much of the records I look at are from an Online website, ‘cause I can do that from home. It the What is an image, that may be good enough, but the other two, Index or a Derivative I may want to know where that website got their information from. How far away from the actual record am I.

When I start looking  and analyzing what I am looking at, I take the time to determine WHAT Claims will that record provide me and will it help me answer the question I am researching. That detailed description, usually at the bottom of the page will help me what I may find, it may or may not be about my specific person, but the record might have the information to answer the information or a lead to where that answer might me.

In studying this QuickLesson and thinking about how I research, I actually have several steps of analysis in my research process. I have been doing this for years, but never thought out it until I tried to study this lesson.

I do most of my record research from Shaky Leaf Hints. Sorry, if that raises any red flags or “no-no” reaction, but I do. I let my software AND my online database do some work for me, in fact a lot of work. Yes, they will give me the “low hanging fruit” or that 10% of information that is “online” but, you know what, I’ll take it.

I have a way to manage these record groups. If I have been there before, I open my Genealogy Tool Box and see what notes I might have about the record group that that leaf is presenting to me. I may have already seen and analyzed this collection before so I remind myself what I thought about the record before. If not, I spend time with the complete description of that record.

Because of how these details are presented, I can capture the pieces of information that I will need for crafting that citation. I can do that hard part up front. Oh, if I have already have a write up on this, I will already have the basis for a citation.

Now, what do I do what that hint. I use my genealogy database management program help be bring that information in, one piece at a time. That Process, there, presents me what I have in my database and what information has been transcribed from that record.

My software and online hints did their analysis, now I did my analysis. If there is an Image, before I go forward, I look at that image to make sure that the transcription is correct. Understanding that the transcription is for my benefit, but for what the shaky leaf hint is looking for to get me to look closer. Looking at the Image, myself, then puts the real burden on me.

Studying this QuickLesson suggests to me that my 3 level of analysis works for me. That Hint, the Transcription, and the actual document are the three levels that I use.

I am working on a project, for a presentation, that will allow me to analyze and document how good these Shaky Leaf Hints are. On the database I am working on, I have a better than 95% accuracy rate for those hints. I won’t say it’s higher, only because I don’t have enough data, but it proving to me that this process of Analysis of the information that I use is good information. Here is a brief study:

  • 243 Hints Presented
  • 112 Records Used
  • 12 Hints went away because of the records used
  • 8 Record Hints that I intentionally ignored
  • 5 Records were for the wrong person

As I calculate the usefulness of using this process I have a 95.7% good results. I still have 100 to go, and 5 hints that are at the bottom of my priority list. I think that is a pretty good use of my time. And, 44 of the 112 records were from State or Federal Census Records, where many people in the database had claims in those records. Not bad for a database of under 200 individuals (5 generations, plus a few extra people).

Not to miss a point n the QuickLesson, I do have a number of items on my ToDo list to follow up on. I am sure that some of those items will get me to go below the water line to find the answer to my question. But I can go after that information with a larger database of information to go find THE answer to my question.

 

 


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