Monday, June 30, 2014

Finding Your Ancestors FAN Club

FAN Club means 'friends, associates, neighbours' and I've used this type of research often when locatin any records about my ancestors was totally unproductive. Trust me, it works! So, following is an article found in FamilyTree Magazine.

Genealogy Brick Wall Busters: 10 Places to Find Your Ancestor's Family, Friends and Neighbors
Posted by Diane

Our ancestors tended to move with and marry into particular groups of people, and tracing those "clusters"—even if the people aren't in your direct lines or even related—is a key strategy to break through genealogy brick walls. It can help you discover maiden names, places of origin, and other documents mentioning your ancestor.

Our Cluster and Collateral Research 101 Family Tree University online course, taking place July 7-Aug. 1, gives you a blueprint for solving genealogy problems with this type of research.

Where can you find names of those in your ancestor's cluster? Here are 10 places to start looking:

Home sources: Study old letters, diaries, address books, funeral cards, etc.

Census records: Check out household members and neighbors.

Witnesses to marriage certificates, wills and naturalization records, and those who provide testimony in court records and pension applications

Sponsors on baptism and confirmation records

Land records: Note who the neighbors are.

Traveling companions on passenger lists: Examine the entire list for people from the same place, or people who show up in other records as neighbors, witnesses, etc.

Rosters and newsletters of your ancestors' clubs. This example is a founding members list from a 1902 history of the Covington (Ky.) German Pioneer Society.

Newspapers: Look for names of family and friends in obituaries, wedding announcements and other articles.

School yearbooks

City directories: Use the listings by street in the back [or front] of some books to learn neighbors' names.

Hope everyone is dry after this crazy weather pattern dumped buckets of rain on us!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Is the Site Down or Is It Just ME?

Ancestry, Rootsweb, and FindAGrave are all down as of about 3pm today Monday June 16th.

Here's a great site to let you see if it's any site you're trying to get into, or if it's just you.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Ancestry Discontinues some services

This was announced a short time ago. Anyone who subscribes to these services will be affected, but this one that's causing the biggest stir is the DNA section. Read at


Genetic Genealogy Ireland

The most excellent presentation given at Southern California Genealogical Jamboree over the weekend about Pinpointing Your Irish Origin ... the entire presentation can be found at which has live links!! OMG it just keeps getting better and better!! I've been studying Irish research for about twenty long years. This is THE best I've ever seen! Even for someone like me, there is lots of try out here. Who cares about meals and housework!!! haha


More FREE Genealogy Videos & Webinars

I've been watching the webinars from Legacy ever since they began. They're free and presentations are done by very professional genealogists although, to be fair, some are better than others. Or it may just be that I listen better some days! haha

Anyway, if you're using or are considering purchasing the Legacy genealogy software they have a bucket of videos on their website, a few are even FREE at

AND for anyone who has been missing all the fabulous webinars from Legacy [this Wednesday is GERMAN INTERNET RESEARCH], check them out Be sure to read (nag nag nag) across the top where you can find the upcoming and archived webinars. They are free usually for about two weeks under the 'archived' tab. You can also purchase a yearly membership if you so chose. READ all about it! :)

For anyone nervous about attending a webinar ... don't be!! Just follow the VERY easy directions, and be prepared to not only be entertained, but to LEARN for FREE!!! How could you not be interested?

Happy Learning!

Live Streamed Sessions NOW

Thanks to Shannon Cherkowski for sharing this!! The jamboree sessions from Southern California Genealogical Society that ended yesterday ... now has make sessions available for those of us who forgot!! THANK YOU!!!! IDon't know how long this lasts, so maybe don't delay folks.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

FREE Webinars + slides

Shoot ............... I forgot to register for the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree free webinars! Today is the final day, so we can still catch some, BUT I did find where at least some of the presenters slides are displayed. The one I looked at showed all kinds of links (Irish) so I'll be spending my day there.

Today's webinars are at

Presenter slides are at

So it's nice out this morning here in southern Saskatchewan, but this afternoon is supposed to be cloudy. Take your choice, and enjoy whatever you decide to do today. You will never again be this young!! :)


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

27 Million Old Newspaper Images - FREE

I have talked about this site numerous times, giving the link from my presentations. I may have mentioned in here in the past! BUT it's important enough to mention again. All this incredible work is being done by one individual AND he's beating the companies charging for their services.

It is called Old Fulton Postcards, and I seriously encourage you to give it a try! Even though Fulton is in New York USA, I have found numerous articles that mention my relatives - even detailing a rail trip in the early 1900s from NY to Lumsden Saskatchewan!!

Read more here and then search ... for FREE!!


USA online Death Indexes & Records

This is a truly great site, all done for free and by one individual, Mr. Joe Beine Every State is listed with numerous links within each.

Slownik Geograficzny Krόlestwa Polskiego = Geographic Dictionary of the Former Kingdom of Poland
by Sara Allen
Researchers studying Eastern Europe will want to consult the “Slownik Geograficizny Krόlestwa Polskiego i Innych Krajów Słowiańskich,” compiled by Filip Suliemierski between 1880 and 1902. Loosely translated into English, the title reads “Geographic Dictionary of the Former Kingdom of Poland and Other Slavic Lands.” A copy of this 15-volume set is available on 173 microfiche in The Genealogy Center (filed under Poland). This gazetteer is an A to Z compilation of places in Eastern Europe that were once part of Poland or had Polish inhabitants in the 19th century, including the partitions of Austrian and Russian Poland, but not German Poland. It also incorporates portions of these other modern-day countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. The reader is cautioned that because of the 20th century turmoil in Europe, many place names, jurisdictions and boundaries have changed since the publication of the gazetteer. Therefore care must be taken to locate the places within their modern context. However, this source is still especially useful to genealogists because it names the parish location for most villages, which is needed in order to locate and research church and synagogue records in Eastern Europe. The dictionary also indicates those communities that had Jewish inhabitants at the time, which is helpful for those undertaking Jewish research.

Each entry in the gazetteer usually contains the following information: Type of locality (village, city, etc.), district, community, parish, population figures (including the number of Jews, if applicable) and more. For example, the entry for Drągi Wypychy notes that it is a village in the community and parish of Sokoly and district of Mazowieckie. In 1827, the village had 19 homes and 119 inhabitants. The gazetteer is written in the Polish language, and as of yet, has not been completely translated into English. There is a detailed translation guide at the beginning of Volume 1 that allows readers to translate key points of the entries, and was used to translate the Drągi Wypychy text above. Another option for translation includes copying out the text and entering the information into an online text translation tool such as Google Translate:

A digital version of this gazetteer is also available online at the University of Warsaw’s website ( Several online translations of selected entries are also available at the Polish Genealogy Society of America’s website (, Polish Roots website (, and other locations.

This gazetteer is just one of the many reference works The Genealogy Center owns for the European countries where many of our ancestors formerly lived. Careful examination of gazetteers, historical dictionaries, maps and encyclopedias for the area you are researching might help you solve geographical genealogy problems.

I know I seldom write about nationalities other than British Isles, German or USA BUT my hubby has paternal Ukrainian and Polish roots [surnames SANDALACK & SWYSTUN]. When I get sick to death of *my* families (haha) I spent time on his. The above is one of the newest I've seen for this part of the world. Best of luck guys!


Sad Horrific Irish Orphans Story

Has anyone seen Philomena? As heart wrenching as that story was, is was a movie. Now a true story has emerged of 800 orphans buried in a mass grave in Ireland. Most people struggle with cruelty to children, but this one is really, really sad. Thankfully their story is now being told and steps are being taken to at least make their names known. How in the name of religion did, and do, these things happen? Not judging any religious group, I'm just saying!