Archive for February, 2014
Researching and expanding the scope of your ancestors’ writings fills in the big picture details.
Everyone has a story to tell. The records and writings left behind by our ancestors are full of the details and events of their lives. Doing a little research can enhance and bring color to these stories. It can give us a true sense of who our ancestors were and how they lived.
As Barry Ewell, genealogy columnist explains, “I read in several journals and histories that my ancestors were cattle ranchers in Utah County. I am from the city and have no clue about cattle ranching. I took the opportunity to find newspaper articles about ranching in Utah. I checked the Utah State Government Brands & Animal Identification Department to find if they had a brand. I looked for photos from the early 1900s of cattle ranching in Utah and anything else I could find that would help me understand this profession as it related to Utah ranchers. Now as I write about my great-grandfather, I can better explain and provide details about what their lives as ranchers might have been like, the jobs they performed, the trials they endured and the satisfaction they may have felt.”
Our ancestors’ writings may contain facts that could benefit from further research. Perhaps a great grandmother mentioned in a journal that she visited a World’s Fair, maybe your great grandfather was present at a presidential inauguration? Looking into these interesting tidbits can enhance the story and tell us so much more about our ancestors.
There are many sources to turn to in researching facts mentioned in journals and other ancestor writings. For example, “census reports, government documents, photographs, maps, oral histories and other diaries and letters,” are all great places to start on your journey to color in the big picture of your ancestors’ adventures!
For more information, visit http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865594818/Genealogy-Expanding-on-the-writings-of-ancestors.html?pg=all
Looking for help with hard to find records or genealogical questions? Contact Heirlines professionally identify and document ancestry and kinship relationships and verify and certify the family tree with Certified Family Trees™ and Certified Forensic Genealogy Solutions™. We’re ready when you’re ready!
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Keeping it simple can make organizing and sharing family photographs accessible to everyone.
Question: Herbert L. Gleason, St. George, Utah, writes:
I’m not a genealogist, but I want to do something to help my family with their genealogy. I sure enjoy your articles. I just always need help with simple things.. all the detail just befuddles me…so, for me, just keep articles simple and to the point. Everyone just seems to get into so much detail right off the bat… can’t it be made more simple, like listing steps to follow, 1 2 3, etc.? Of course I know there is no easy way, but I sure look for it.
Thank you for your question. There is always something that can be done, even if you aren’t a genealogist. Let me give you an idea, with some easy steps to accomplish it.
Pictures – Every family has a drawer full of old family pictures. Photographs, portraits, snapshots, drawings; and nearly all of them of people and events that the younger members of the family have no clue about. This is a gold mine for family history and genealogy. However unimportant some of these pictures may seem to you, they may hold the key to solving a genealogy question, or they can tell or add to a family history story. Organizing and identifying these items will provide an important tool for your family history, and it can be a lot of fun to do in the process. My own father recently gathered many of his old photographs and put them into several multi-picture frames, illustrating the individual pictures with names, dates, and anecdotes. These decorate a whole wall of his home, illustrating his memories of his family history in their own unique way, and entertaining every family member and guest that comes into his home.
The following are a few steps to help you compile and prepare your family pictures so that everyone in the family can share in your memories of family history.
1. Gather all of the photographs together in one place, such as a box, or a suitcase or something where everything can be kept, and easily gotten to. If it is difficult to get to, you won’t.
2. Go through the pictures and separate out, all of the pictures that you don’t recognize or know, and put them in a separate box or file. Don’t get rid of them, at least not yet.
3. At your nearest office supply story or photography shop, get a good supply of:
— Manila envelopes – 9″ by 12″ size for sorting groups of pictures.
— Plastic sleeves for individual pictures – These can be pages with multiple sleeves, or individual sleeves. Find the cheapest sleeves available.
— A package or two of small stickem labels (I use 1″x3″ labels).
4. Put your pictures in the photo sleeves, and in the envelopes. You can organize the envelopes chronologically, or alphabetically, depending on how you want to arrange your photographs.
5. identify your photographs on the labels, and attach the labels to the sleeves or envelopes that you put your pictures in. Never write on the picture. If you want to add notes or anecdotes, do so on one of the labels.
If this seems like a lot of work, just say to yourself: “Thank Heavens, I don’t have to do the Genealogy!” Seriously, though, it can be a lot of work; but it can be a lot of fun too. If it is more work than you can handle, get your family together for a Family Home Evening, or even a series of them, maybe one each month or so. Assign one member of the family to take notes, or write the information down, and take out one of your envelopes. Only take out one; you don’t want to scare anyone away. Then go through the pictures one by one, and tell the stories the pictures bring to mind. Let the kids and other family members ask questions. In doing so you will be sharing family history with your family. Have someone tape the session with a recorder. In the end you can share your testimony with them, and imprint on their minds and souls how important family pictures and history can be in their lives.
Oh, and those pictures no one remembers who they were? Put them in a big bowl and set it out on special occasions such as Christmas, holidays, birthday parties, Sunday dinners, family reunions, or even funerals, and let family members and guests rummage through them. They can use them to make up stories, or play guessing games. Someone might even recognize a face, or a place that was previously forgotten, and discover a lost treasure… that is no longer lost.
James W. Petty, AG, CG, is the Board-Certified and Accredited Professional Genealogist, “Climbing the Family Tree Professionally, since 1969”. He is President of HEIRLINES Family History & Genealogy, Inc. (www.Heirlines.com), the “Salt Lake City, Utah BBB Accredited Business” trusted professional genealogy research services firm, providing US and International genealogical and historical research for a world-wide clientele.
For Heirlines-Quality professional genealogy services, resources, and products including expert family tree research, LDS family history assistance, and answers to genealogy questions, please see Heirlines website www.Heirlines.com, and blog Heirlinesprofessionalgenealogy.com. For more genealogy and family history help and advice, please follow James W Petty, AG, CG and Heirlines Family History & Genealogy on Social Media: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+.
Heirlines: We professionally identify and document ancestry and kinship relationships and verify and certify the family tree with Certified Family Trees™ and Certified Forensic Genealogy Solutions™. We’re ready when you’re ready!