31 December 2009

New Years GeneaResolutions 2010

My 2010 New Years GeneaResolutions:
  • Order one record a month. I have a backlog of modern bdm certificates I want, but have a limited budget. Mostly this is for actually remembering to place the order
  • Finish updating my database. This involves going through person-by-person and making sure I have all of my information sourced and that my sources are cited. I'm not even half-way finished yet, so there's lots of work still to be done.
  • Update/rebuild my website. The family pages need updating. I'm also planning on redesigning the entire site. Can't complete this until my database update is done
  • Get my professional certification through the Board of Certified Genealogist (my goal is to have my portfolio done by April).
  • Apply, get accepted to, and go to graduate school. I'm looking at schools with a dual History/Archives program.
Carnival of Genealogy, 87th ed. - New Years Resolutions

    30 December 2009

    The Genealogical Proof Standard, step 2

    Plagiarize - to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source[1]

    Have you ever plagiarized something? If you do not cite your sources then you are plagiarizing someone else's work. A family tree posted online, a book of census abstracts, or a birth certificate; all of these things need to be cited, not matter how insignificant you think it might be. You also need to attach the record’s source citation to every item of information collected from it.
    Step two in the Genealogical Proof Standard:

    2.  We collect and include in our compilation a complete, accurate citation to the source or sources of each item of information.[2]

    When you are using a record you need to note the following, to (a) write your source citation, and (b) help you analyze the information you find:
    • Who
      • Who created it (author, transcriber, etc)
    • What
      • What exactly is it? (birth certificate, marriage record book, interview, online image, etc).
    • Where
      • Where is it kept? (Repository, Courthouse, Website)
      • What is the locator? (call number, page number, URL)
    • When
      • When was it created?
      • When was the information you are looking at created? (in cases of transcription, extracts, databases, abstracts)
    • How
      •  How was it derived? (in cases of transcription, extracts, databases, abstracts) 
    For analysis, it is also a good idea to know:
    • Why
      • Why was the record created?
    Who, What, Where, When, Why, How. Remember that from your school days? Creating a source citation does not have to be difficult. Try this: when you copy a page from a book, also copy that book's title page and/or copyright page and clip them together. Notate what database you used and the date you used it.

    It is like a treasure hunt: the source is your treasure and the citation is the map to finding it.

    There are several guides specific to genealogy available to aid you in citing records (as well as analysis):
       Lacky, Richard S. Cite Your Sources: A Manual for Documenting Family Histories and  Genealogical Records. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1980.*
       Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence!: Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co.,1997.
       Mills. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 2009.
       Mills. Quick Sheet: Citing Ancestry.com Databases & Images, Evidence! Style. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 2009.
       Mills. Quick Sheet: Citing Online Historical Sources, Evidence! Style. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 2007.
    *Lacky's Cite Your Sources was the first genealogy specific citation manual. It is in MLA (Modern Language Association) style, which is not correct per-say. In the field of history (genealogy=family history) we use the Chicago Manual of Style. All of Elizabeth Shown Mills' works use this citation method. If you have been using Cite Your Sources, then keep using it. Otherwise use one of Mill's manuals.

    Several universities have online guides to using the Chicago Manual of Style. These will show you how to cite books, journals and basic websites among others. It will not cover genealogy specific records (federal records such as censuses, home stead files, pension files; family Bibles, tombstones, online digital images, etc.). I suggest Purdue's OWL.

    To confuse you even more, there are three different ways to phrase your citation. I have used two of them in this post. (1) The first is the list of books I gave. It is in bibliography or source list style. (2) The second is footnote/endnote style, which I have used in my endnotes (the little numbers [#] which are explained at the bottom). For repeated use of a source in your footnote/endnotes you can abbreviate. (3) The third type is in-text. Example:
    "Sources are artifacts, books, digital files, documents, film, people, photographs, recordings, websites, etc." (Mills, Evidence Explained, 24).
    The in-text citation is what is in the parenthesis (). In-text citations are always paired with a bibliography.

    I know that writing citations for every little thing sounding like a daunting task. Get in the habit of writing down the information you need to write a citation for every source you use. You don't need to memorize the format for citations, just use one of the guides. Many software programs now also support Evidence citations, including RootsMagic and Family Tree Maker, where you just fill in the fields with the information and they spit out the proper citation.
    [1] Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (http://www.merriam-webster.com : accessed 6 December 2009), “plagiarize.”
    [2] The Board for Certification of Genealogist, The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Orem, UT: Ancestry Publishing, 2000), 1.

    29 December 2009

    Tombstone Tuesday - Old Woodlawn Cemetery

    Old Woodlawn Cemetery
    Rutter - Wilson family plot
    Sweet Township, Pipestone County, Minnesota


    1882 1957|1878 1959


    [ornament reads: "U.S. AMERICAN LEGION"]

    FLORA R.


        Old Woodlawn Cemetery (Sweet Township, Pipestone County, Minnesota; north of Pipestone, west of quarries), Rutter-Wilson-Landry, block B, lot 151, spaces 1-5; photo by author, 7 June 2009.
        Old Woodlawn Cemetery (Sweet Township, Pipestone County, Minnesota), lot card, block B, lot 151.

    27 December 2009

    The Genealogical Proof Standard, step 1

    I am presenting a lecture as part of the Southern California Genealogical Society's Lunch & Learn series on the Genealogical Proof Standard. It will be January 9th, beginning at noon (lunch, lectures start at 1pm) at the SCGS library in Burbank, CA. Charlotte Bocage will presenting first with a lecture on "So You Thought You Were Organized?" I invite you to come. In preparation I will be posting a series on the GPS. Please feel free to rip it apart, question anything you don't understand, point out anything that I didn't explain, etc.

    My B.A. is in Secondary Education—History. I consider myself first and foremost a historian. From this perspective it's hard a times to understand that people are trying to pass off information as researched when it was in fact not. Do you think of your genealogy as research? You should, because it is. You can view it as historical or scientific research, both have the same end. Now, look at the data you've collected for you family tree. Have you fully researched everything? The first step in the Genealogical Proof Standard is:
    1. We conduct a reasonably exhaustive search in reliable  sources for all information that is or may be pertinent to the identity, relationship, event, or situation in question.[1]
    First, what is a "reasonably exhaustive search?" Standard no. 19 in The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual reads:
    19. Reasonably extensive research is prerequisite—regardless of whether the problem is simple or complex—and includes appropriately broadening the search beyond the person, family, event, or record of the most-direct impact on the project. The search effort extends to discovery of information that does or might illuminate (or conflict with) the other items of collected data.[2]
    You want to find every possible record that your ancestor was mentioned in. It seems like a daunting task because it is. This is what keeps us researching year after year, decade after decade, and without getting bored. Have you read through all of the local newspapers for mention of your ancestor? Have you searched collateral lines? What about land, court, probate, military and church records? Have you read that county or city history? It might surprise you where information can be found.

    Mark Tucker at ThinkGenealogy has created a Genealogical Proof Standard road map that is extremely useful and amazing. I suggest downloading and/or printing it. He has suggested a few organizational tips for the first step of the GPS:
    • Set a research goal, it should be a
      • Statement
      • Question
      • Hypothesis
    • Create a research plan
      • Where will you be searching
      • What records will you be searching
    • Keep a research log
      • What records have you searched and what did (or not) you find in them? 
    If you know what you are searching for and what you have (or have not) found, if cuts down on the extra stuff. How many of us have searched a source several times because we could not remember if we had already done so? Also think of your research log as a check list. What sources have you not yet searched that might hold a clue?

    Do not settle for the sources you already have. Okay, so you have a birth certificate. Do you also have a copy of the birth announcement, posted in the local newspaper? Were there birth announcement cards mailed out to family? Is there a letter letting someone know of the birth?
    Keep looking!
    [1] The Board for Certification of Genealogist, The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Orem, UT: Ancestry Publishing, 2000), 1.
    [2] ibid, 8.

    25 December 2009

    December 25

    On this day in 1856 Alonzo J. Rutter married Mary E. Finch.

    On this 24^th day of December 1856 Alonso
    J. Rutter applied for License to marry Mary
    E. Finch & filed written consent of her
    Parents & produced the testimony of Charles
    Moris that the said Alonzo J. Rutter is
    over 21 years old.
    F. B. Doalitle
    County Judge

    X This certifies that on the 25" day of December
    AD 1856 I John Baldwin a minister united
    Alonzo J. Rutter aged 19 years and Mary E. Finch
    aged 17 years in the Holy Bands of Matrimony
    Witness my hand this 25" day of December AD 1856
    John Balduin A Minister
    of the Baptis Denomination
    Recorded 9 of May 1857

    I like how on the 24th Alonzo is over 21, but on the 25th he is 19 years old.  For the record, he was in fact 19, and his bride was 16.

    Merry Christmas

        Delaware County, Iowa, "Marriage Record, 1851-1861," p. 189, Alonzo J. Rutter-Mary E. Finch marriage license and return, December 1856; Delaware County Recorder's Office, Manchester.

    18 December 2009

    Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case

    I've had this on back order for a while, and it finally came today:

           Rose, Christine. Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, 3rd ed. San Jose, CA: CR Publications, 2009.

    Follow Friday - Favorite Blogs

    I'm calling these my "favorite" blogs because of the knowledge I learn from them. I love blogs for allowing us to share our stories. To those who go beyond that and share their knowledge, I am immensely grateful. We grow as genealogist and family historians by increasing our know-how.

    Genealogy and Family History
    Genealogy's Star
    Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

    16 December 2009

    Blog Caroling

    footnoteMaven has a tradition of blog caroling. I've decided to join in this year with my favorite Christmas carol: 

    Hark, The Herald Angels Sing!

    Hark the herald angels sing
    "Glory to the newborn King!
    Peace on earth and mercy mild
    God and sinners reconciled"
    Joyful, all ye nations rise
    Join the triumph of the skies
    With the angelic host proclaim:
    "Christ is born in Bethlehem"
    Hark! The herald angels sing
    "Glory to the newborn King!"

    Christ by highest heav'n adored
    Christ the everlasting Lord!
    Late in time behold Him come
    Offspring of a Virgin's womb
    Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
    Hail the incarnate Deity
    Pleased as man with man to dwell
    Jesus, our Emmanuel
    Hark! The herald angels sing
    "Glory to the newborn King!"

    Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
    Hail the Son of Righteousness!
    Light and life to all He brings
    Ris'n with healing in His wings
    Mild He lays His glory by
    Born that man no more may die
    Born to raise the sons of earth
    Born to give them second birth
    Hark! The herald angels sing
    "Glory to the newborn King!"

    The Open Hymnal Project (http://openhymnal.org/ : accessed 16 December 2009), "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

    15 December 2009

    Tombstone Tuesday - Old Woodlawn Cemetery

    Old Woodlawn Cemetery
    McLean family plot
    Sweet Township, Pipestone County, Minnesota


    Old Woodlawn Cemetery (Sweet Township, Pipetstone County, Minnesota; north of Pipestone, west of quarries), Alice & John A. McLean, block K, lot 38, spaces 4 & 5; photo by author, 7 June 2009.
    Old Woodlawn Cemetery (Sweet Township, Pipestone County, Minnesota), lot card, block K, lot 39.

    12 December 2009

    Advent Calendar - Charitable/Volunteer Work

    December 12 - Charitable/Volunteer Work
    Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women’s shelter during the holidays? Or perhaps were your ancestors involved with church groups that assisted others during the holiday?

    I remember the first year I was allow to go. My mom had made me a green elf costume to wear. My job was to direct everyone coming off of the buses to where Santa was. It was Christmas Eve and we were at Pitchess Detention Center, a California prison in north Los Angeles County. The families would park their car and take a bus back to the prison to visit. When they come back and get off the bus, we had Santa (and his elf!) waiting for them with presents. Few of those there that day knew what awaited them. Santa, on Christmas Eve was a treat. Asking him for a present and having him hand it to you? Priceless.

    07 December 2009

    December 7

    68 years ago today Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan. Thousands of lives were lost. The United States responded by declaring war on Japan. This was our official entry into World War II. All of us have someone who served during the war, as soldier or sailor, or civilian. Do you know how they contributed? Did a child lead a scrap drive? Did a mother plant a victory garden? Did a son, father, brother join the service? This generation is fast disappearing. We should not let their hard work disappear with them.

    In 2003 I visited Hawaii with my high school band. One of the place we went was Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona memorial is something I urge everyone to visit. It sits above the ship, which is visible. In the harbor are white mooring blocks with the names of all of the ships, placed where each ship was on the morning of December 7, 1941. Footnote has created an interactive USS Arizona Memorial that is currently free to access.

    06 December 2009

    SCGS GENEii Family History Writers Contest

    I recieved a reminder e-mail today and though I'd pass it along, This is open to everone:

    The Southern California Genealogical Society sponsors one of the very few writing contests designed specifically for family historians that is open to the general public.  Membership in SCGS is not required to participate in the contest.

    The GENEii Family History Writers Contest, now in its tenth year, offers cash prizes in two categories:

    Category 1: Family or local history articles of 1,000-2,000 words in length, published or unpublished. If previously published, entries must be accompanied by the written permission of the publisher allowing article to be reprinted by SCGS.

    1st Place, $200
    2nd Place, $100
    3rd Place, $50
    Honorable Mentions, certificate
    Finalists, certificate

    Category 2:  Family or local history articles of 1,000 words or less, published or unpublished.  If previously published, entries must be accompanied by the written permission of the publisher allowing article to be reprinted by SCGS.

    1st Place, $100
    2nd Place, $50
    3rd Place, $25
    Honorable Mentions, certificate
    Finalists, certificate

    The deadline for submissions for the 2009 contest is December 31, 2009.

    All of the details and contest rules can be found on the SCGS Website at www.scgsgenealogy.com.  The FAQs can be found at http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/2009contest-faq.htm

    You can read examples of some of the entries on the website as well. Look on the left-hand side of the screen for "Writing Contest" and click on that link.

    In November, 2005, Heritage Books, Inc. published an anthology of some of the most memorable entries to our contest in the contest’s first five years. The anthology is called Celebrating Family History, and is available for $25 plus shipping and handling through the SCGS website.

    05 December 2009

    SNGF: Letter to Genea-Santa - I want a letter

    Randy Seaver at Genea-Musing has posted this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:

    1) Write a letter to Genea-Santa and ask for only ONE thing. It could be hardware, software, a missing family Bible, a record that you desperately want, etc.
    2) Tell Genea-Santa what a good genea-girl or genea-boy you've been this past year and give examples.
    3) Exhibit your letter on your own blog, in a Facebook post commenting on this note, or in a Comment to this blog post.
    Dear Genea-Santa,
    I would like to find a letter. It was up for auction on e-bay several years ago and I have found part of the listing. The e-bay people don't keep records for that long ago so I have no idea what happened to it. From the listing (via the Way Back Machine, via a cousin):
    This stampless letter has a circular date stamp for CUBA N.Y., a handwritten 25 cent rate, and is addressed to Mr. Jotham Meriam, Clapp hill, Worcester county, Mass, and is a lengthy three+ page 'Dear Mother' letter written by 'your affectionate daughter' Mary Rutter. that line is inside, on the margin of the inner fold. The back page, on the folds adjacent to the front cover, is all written by Emerson Rutter to 'Dear Father' [in-law]. The headline is Cuba Jan 14 [?], 1839. I think that's the year date, it almost looks like 1831. Spelling is a bit phonetic in places. Some abstracts:"I feel dear mother that we are a great distance from you and all our relations but we are contented and happy, we are surrounded with christian friends ...""... we have joined this presbyterian church to day with many others, I know not the exact number but the was 21 baptized ...""... when I lived in Uxbridge and visited you I stod up for the unitarians and I new when I did it that I was injuring your feelings ...""I was separate from my husband 5 months which was a lonesom season, I left Carolines the 2 week in Oct ..."Mr. Rutter came out here last spring and got rite into business and has not ben out a day cense and the prospect is the will be enough for the future.""We live in the vile[???] which is in a florishing state ... ther was but one or 2 decent houses here they hav built 2 meeting houses this season, presbeterian and baptist. Mr. Rutter has ben the head workman on both there is 2 taverns and 4 stores besides grocery shops and it is but 15 years cense the wild beast romed here ...""... dear still lingers in the forrest where once was herd the howl of the woolf the sound of the chirch bel echos from hill to hill, and gathers the people far and near to the worship spot."[Emerson] "Soil is much better here than in Madison but the country is new and the farmers have not got fairley into the business of farming as yet as most of them ware poor people when they came in here but they begin to pick up their crumbs and they have everything to encourage them for the present.""The Genesee vally canall goes directly through this village from Rochester to the naviagable watters of the Allagany river, and it makes business ...""There is a railroad located through this village from New York city to Dunkirk through the southern toes of county ..." Condition of the letter rates average, there were some separations along some folds, which were mended lightly with archival tape, in order to hold it together well for reading. All the words are there, and readable. As usual with stampless letters, after writing on one or more sides of a sheet of paper, the letter was folded several times and mailed. An interesting letter good for genealogy and history research. See my other auctions for similar items. Terms and conditions: Shipping for a single cover or letter is $1.00 via USPS to USA addresses. Shipping to Canada and United Kingdom is $2.00. Other countries please write and ask first. Save on postage on multiple purchases.Unconditionally guaranteed authentic. Member of American Philatelic Society.Money order or cashier's check ships within 24 hours. Personal checks require 7 days to clear unless you've purchased from me before. Paypal is fine, use their main web site and my email address for payment via Paypal.Thank you for sending payment within 10 days. Powered by eBay Turbo Lister.
    I have been a good girl this year, making sure all of my information is sourced and cited. I started a blog to share my experiences with others and have begun to get involved with SCGS as a lecturer and possibly a librarian.

    03 December 2009

    Advent Calendar – Christmas Tree Ornaments

    Did your family have heirloom or cherished ornaments? Did you ever string popcorn and cranberries? Did your family or ancestors make Christmas ornaments?

    Ornaments are big in my family. We have very few of the generic round color ones, and most of those are old (or at least older than me). Each member of the family has "their" ornaments that they hang every year. These are things that person has made, a "first birthday/Christmas," or a wacky something. Usually we get one ornament a year per person that represents something that happened during that year. We have a lot of homemade ornaments, but they don't look like it; my mom used to have a craft company and made a lot of things. We have my maternal grandmother's glass bells and lanterns. One tradition that she started and that my mom carried on was the bells. Different bells are hung around the tree on the lowest branches. This alerts my parents to when my sister or I were getting into the presents. Or when the dog decided to sleep under the tree.
    Decorating the tree this year.

    01 December 2009

    Advent Calendar - The Christmas Tree

    Did you have a real tree or was it artificial? How big was the tree? Who decorated the tree? What types of Christmas trees did your ancestors have?

    Growing up we always had a real tree. I remember one Christmas we were living in a house with a vaulted ceiling two stories high. My mom made sure we got a tall tree, and at 19 ft. it was. We stood on a ladder to decorate the top. Everyone always participated in decorating the tree; we each had our own special ornaments to hang.
    When I was in high school we got an artificial tree. Most of my family has allergies and we has started getting the tree closer and closer to Christmas to avoid the brunt of them. We were after Christmas shopping at Michael's (a craft store) and my mom liked one of the trees they had on display. It turned out to be the only tree they had and it didn't have a box. I think we paid $10 for it; took it apart and stuffed it in the car. I do love our tree. It is 6 ft. tall and very full, with no bad side.