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

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.

Open Thread Thursday: Does The Official Blogger Concept Need Updating?

February 23, 2012

Mr. Genea-Blogger, Thomas MacEntee posted this subject on the GeneaBlogger’s Blog.

I do hope that you read his post.

Having gone to RootsTech 2012 earlier this month and having followed “Official Bloggers” for the past couple of years, I agree with the concept and how it has been executed. The Official Bloggers have and do lots of great work for the Genea-Blogging community.

I wasn’t sure how I would fit in, with the “Official Blogger” group while I was preparing to go, but certainly felt part of the Genea-Blogging community in person and have felt part of that community while Online.

Watching the Official Group, they worked hard at letting the rest of the Genealogy community know what was happening. They were our News Reporters and I , for one, think they did a great job.

Thomas proposed a “Towards A Better Official Blogger Concept”.

Does it need to Change? Don’t know for sure, I would only suggest that when appropriate there be a rotation, by conference, of the “Official” group, but to give members of that group a break and open an opportunity for others to step in.

I can see what Thomas was talking about, in the “dislike about” piece of his blog, but I didn’t experience those items and haven’t.

A note of THANKS for the Official Bloggers, but also the Un-Official Group. The wide range of views from Roots Tech 2012 was very helpful. Even though I was there, the Blogging Community broaden the experience.

For me, the Genea-Bloggers are a community builders. The sharing and welcoming MADE Roots Tech 2012 for me. Meeting the 80+ Genea-Bloggers, in person …. PRICELESS.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy – Life Experiences

February 8, 2012

From Genea-Bloggers:

Week 5 – Life Experiences: Sometimes the challenges in life provide the best learning experiences. Can you find an example of this in your own family tree? Which brick wall ancestor are you most thankful for, and how did that person shape your family history experience?

This challenge runs from Sunday, January 29, 2012 through Saturday, February 3, 2012.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.


Sorry for running late on this, but it’s been a long, busy couple of days. Am finally catching up.

Being a RootsTech 2012, in Salt Lake City, was a real boost for me. The best part of the trip was to be able to spend time with Genea-Bloggers. I didn’t try to keep count as to how many of the 90+ Genea-Bloggers who were there that I met, but I think I met most of them. What an awesome group.

I have never been a writer, so this blogging “stuff” is out of my league. However, there are a couple of folks in my family tree who were writers, perhaps not by trade, but did a lot of writing.

My Great-Grandfather, Samuel Worthington, was one of them. I have copies of letters that he wrote “home” during the Civil War. Apparently, he also was a writer for his unit in the Civil War and was published in Ohio.

The second writer, was McHenry Howard. A little distant relative, but his writings provided a lot of detail for the 2nd Maryland Regiment (CSA), again for the Civil War. His writings gave detailed information on that regiment that put in perspective what a soldier’s life was like during that conflict.

But the real hero, for me, was my grandfather’s brother, Josiah Wistar Worthington, Col. V.C., U.S.A. His stories and letters are now in book format Hell and Beyond, a Diary of War and Captivity, Compiled and Edited by Frances Worthington Lipe.

This book is full of Uncle Wistar’s letters “home” telling his story of his captivity during the 2nd World War. He had been captured twice, and the poems, in the letters, helped communicate his experience without those letters being destroyed because of the content of them.

These three writers, brought home, their experience of their war to those their families. My experience of “war” was sent home in the form of audio tapes that I had sent home while I was in Vietnam. One of these days, I’ll have to get them put into digital format.

The Bucket List GeneaMeme

January 25, 2012

Genea-Blogger Jill Ball of Geniaus has started a Genealogy Bucket List GeneaMeme.

Since I am going to RootsTech 2012, I guess I should “get with the program”. So, here it goes:

The Bucket List GeneaMeme

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you would like to do or find: Bold Type
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
You are encouraged to add extra comments after each item 


  1. The genealogy conference I would most like to attend is… RootsTech 2012. After sitting home, participating in what was being streamed, there was no way that I would miss this year. Lots to learn, but want to catch up with some Genea-Bloggers that I already have met, but want to meet those whose blogs I follow.
  2. The genealogy speaker I would most like to hear and see is… That’s not an easy question to answer. Through PodCasts, Blogs, Webinars, I have heard some of the speakers already. Having been to the FGS conference in Philadelphia a couple of years ago, and the NERGS conference in Springfield, MA this past spring, the Genealogy Society of Pennsylvania Ancestry Day, and a couple of other conferences all add to the list of speakers that I had wanted to hear. But, I am looking forward to hearing the speakers talk about upcoming technical capabilities that are coming our way. A couple of online resources that I don’t quit understand (yet) but want to. I have been through the schedule a couple of times and have picked the ones I want to see / hear, but also think that a couple of them will change.
  3. The geneablogger I would most like to meet in person is… Wow, this is a tough one. As of this time, there are 88 Genea-Bloggers going to be there. The number keeps going up. The short answer, all of the Genea-Bloggers that I haven’t met before. But two Genea-Bloggers who I will catch up with, because I have met them, but Thomas MacEntee, to thank him for ALL that he does for the Genea-Blogging community; Randy Seaver, to have a chat about his Brick Wall; and I can’t forget my Cousin Dear MYRTLE. (just to name a few)
  4. The genealogy writer I would most like to have dinner with is…Most like to …. Too many to mention, too little time.
  5. The genealogy lecture I would most like to present is…. Me, present? I don’t think so.
  6. I would like to go on a genealogy cruise that visits….Missed the Legacy Family Tree cruise this fall, mostly because the port visits would have only made me (us) go back to spend more time. But, keeping an eye on England, Ireland, and Scotland.
  7. The photo I would most like to find is… A photo that was published in a Philadelphia (and area) newspaper, that was reported to have been about my Grandfather, and two of his siblings, on their train ride from Kansas to Pennsylvania, when no one picked them up. The police were trying to locate the family.
  8. The repository in a foreign land I would most like to visit is…When I am able to confirm where my Ancestor came from in England, the repository where I might find more details about his ancestors
  9. The place of worship I would most like to visit is…England, near Worthington Hall.
  10. The cemetery I would most like to visit is …… The family burial ground in Kansas, where my great grandparents are buried.
  11. The ancestral town or village I would most like to visit is…… Capt John’s “home town”, where ever that might be.
  12. The brick wall I most want to smash is… Actually, this one maybe on it’s way down. Capt John’s parents. Close, really close.
  13. The piece of software I most want to buy is….I’m Good.
  14. The tech toy I want to purchase next is …..I’m Good, unless it’s a handheld Cemetery GPS unit.
  15. The expensive book I would most like to buy is…I’m good, or I haven’t found it yet.
  16. The library I would most like to visit is…..Godfrey and the Allen County Library.
  17. The genealogy related book I would most like to write is….Not a writer, so I’ll pass.
  18. The genealogy blog I would most like to start would be about….I’m good. Never thought that I would have one, let alone three.
  19. The journal article I would most like to write would be about… I think I ramble enough
  20. The ancestor I most want to meet in the afterlife is…. My parents, and their parents. Too many stories that I missed while growing up.

A walk into the past

August 24, 2011

In a couple of days, we will be traveling into New England to meet up with some Genea—Bloggers.

New England Geneabloggers Bash

This past April, I decided to visit a Genealogy Conference and decided to visit the New England Regional Genealogy Conference in Springfield, MA. I met up with some Facebook and Genea-Bloggers for the first time and walked away with many more.

The Genea-Blogging community is always talking about how the “west coast” has these gatherings and the reports in Blogs, Twitter, and Facebook all sound like they are having a wonderful time.

A group of New England Bloggers will gather this weekend for a Bash. To say “can’t wait” is an understatement. Just to be able to sit down, face to face to chat will be wonderful.

As Patti and I are preparing for this trip (a first for her), Patti has been gathering the information she needs to join the Mayflower Society. She should have an opportunity to chat with other Mayflower Society members with hopes that she will be encouraged to continue with the “paper work” involved with that effort.

The drive will be between 5 and 6 hours, so now that we have made the drive, what do we do. Just come home, or make a vacation out of it. It’s funny, two retired people and a vacation. A new concept for me. Aren’t we already on vacation?

The choices were Maine or Cape Cod. I have ancestors from Maine, and Patti from New England and Cape Cod. As they say “six of one, a dozen of another”.

Earlier in my research, I had met up with a gentleman who was the grandson of a place I had been researching. Through Facebook, I had made “friends” with a couple of folks with the same Surname. They were from Maine, and this gentleman said he had living relatives in Maine. I was reminded of that, so I reached out to that FB friend, only to find out that I was not the first person who tried to make the connection between this gentleman and this FB friend. Not a connection.

HOWEVER, in a response, this Facebook friend sent me a ‘hint’ of a museum, in Maine, with the her Surname. Checking that museum out, online, I found that it was located at the Acadia National Park. That just happened to be the destination, for us, when / if we went to Maine. My maternal Grandmother had deep roots in that area, my family growing up would visit there in the summer, and my grandparents went there every summer to spend the summer.

A couple of years ago, we visited my grandmother’s “hang outs”. One of which was the Carroll Homestead at Acadia National Park.

Getting more information about the Museum, I had emailed the National Park Service, through the website, for the Museum and was forwarded to the Ranger in charge of programs for the Museum. In the email from the Ranger, it turns out that the Carroll Homestead is open on Tuesday’s and a descendent of John Carroll is part of the Open House to “tell stories” about the family.

With any luck, on Tuesday, I will meet a cousin to hear stories about our ancestors and to walk into the past, in the home of my 3rd Great-Grandfather.

With any luck, and a good internet connection, I’ll be able to blog about this “Great Adventure” and this Walk into the Past.


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