Category Archives: blogging

Finding Our Ancestors Has Made it to Facebook

Yes, you read that correctly! This week we have started a facebook page to discuss all things genealogy (of course), a bit of history (because it goes with our genealogy) and whatever else comes up. I hope you will take a few minutes to go and like the page. The link is also located on the left side of this blog so you will always be able to find it.

Thanks for reading and following along on all we do.

1940 Census

the1940census.com
The countdown is on, we have 38 days left until the release of the 1940 census. Have you decided who you will be looking for? Keep in mind that the this census will not be indexed when it is released. The 1940 Census Project is looking for individuals to volunteer their time to help create this index. You can download the indexing software here.

If you have not helped to index any records in the past, now is a great time to start. Get some practice in this next month and be ready for the census release. If we all take the time to index for this project, the quicker we will be able to perform searches to find those ancestors that like to hide in these records.

I for one am ready to index. I have indexed for Family Search in the past and cannot wait to help out with this project. Keep in mind that this happens every 10 years, so why not get your practice in now for the 1950 project **hehehe*.

On a serious note, the 1940 Census Project is in need of assistance by all. Please stop by their website and offer your assistance. You can find them at the1940census.com.

Motivation Monday: Week of February 20

Since I did not really take time to plan out this post, I am just going to give an update on what I did complete this last week.

Research – Nothing really added this week, though I did through a picture of an obituary I had up on Twitter yesterday which I was needing some assistance with finding out about a company that was names in it. I received answer right away and need to do some more digging on this person. There will be a blog post in the future.

Writing – last week I was organized enough that I had 3 blog posts up and ready to go for the week. Not so much for this week. This is obviously going to be a work in progress for me.

Organization – I actually started cleaning up my desk and made a few decisions how I am going to handle all the paperwork that I have. Spent part of today at Staples getting some of the supplies I will need to do all of this. Woo hoo! I feel like I am making some progress. I actually went through 2 rather large piles of old papers and junk email that I had sitting in a bin waiting for me to take the time to decide if it was something I needed to file for the future. The good news is that I have a 30 lb garbage bag 1/2 full of crap that I can get rid of. Bad news is now I have some filing to do. Ughh. That will probably be a goal for March.

Education – I wrote my mission statement for my upcoming genealogy business and posted that for ProGen. I still need to finish my citations assignment. I want to reread the chapters that were assigned and be prepared to chat about everything on Sunday. Next Sunday will be super busy since that is also my Irish Genealogy Meeting at the Irish American Heritage Center.

Tuesday’s Tips: Social Media

Social Media is a scary adventure for some. When I first took the plunge into joining a social media website (which was facebook), it was meant to be a quick one. My goal was to find a friend that I had lost contact with. She was about 1 years younger than me and she was way into social media, which I never understood. To be frank, it scared the heck out of me. Anyhow, we had been neighbors and had both gone our own way. I wanted to check in and see how she was doing and I knew that I would be able to find her on facebook. So, I signed up with the intention of deleting that account once I made contact and had a good email address and phone # for this friend.

Best intentions never end up how we think. Before I could find this friend, a different friend found me and it went from there. Then, it was out-of-state family, oh yeah, my high school friends and lets not forget grammar school. One by one, I added more friends and knew I would never be able to delete the account. Oh yeah, I found my friend as well!

Then, I started blogging and found many genea friends that way. Facebook then got way to confusing and my family did not understand all of my genealogy related posts and I was getting way too many comments on how weird some of the stuff I was posting is. So, I decided to make a second account. I deleted all my family off of the first account and created a page directly for them, problem solved – no more comments on my weird obsession of genealogy and cemetery visits.

Then, I joined Twitter. I did not really understand it or like it either. So, I never used it. When I went to Jamboree last June, Caroline and I discussed Twitter at length and she did a great job explaining the idea behind it. She is the Twitter Queen! So, I got over my fear and started tweeting, I found some great friends there and have actually met a few in person.

So, why do you ask in Social Media my Tuesday’s Tip? Well, let me tell you. If you have a question, any question, about any subject in any area, you can tweet (on Twitter) it out there and hopefully get a reply rather quickly. To get more replies, put it on Facebook as well and see what replies you get there. Sometimes, the best advice is just a friend away, you just do not know which friend is going to have the answer. Don’t miss out on a great way to work together with other genealogists and find the answers together.

The URL for this post is: http://researchingoconnells.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/tuesdays-tips-social-media/

Motivation Monday: Week of February 13

As with each week I am recapping what I have completed each week to bring me closer to attaining the goals I have set for the month and the year as well. Posted below are all of my goals and what I did the first week of the month to attain these goals is in blue and what I have done this past week is in red.

Research: To put together a spreadsheet in Numbers (it’s a Mac spreadsheet program) to follow to great-great grandparents and their children through the census records. Once I have completed this for each of the families I will begin to form a research plan based on what I have and do not have, I will be doing this is Growly Notes to clearly label what my next step is and what my findings are as I go through the process. While setting these steps up, it is important to advise that my Ancestry subscription is up within a few days and I will not renew it right away.

I have pulled all the information into the spreadsheets for each family and have also marked what I am missing. For some of the information, I have already searched on Ancestry.com to find the missing census records. I started going through all of my research on the Richmond family and notating what I have and need to do next in Growly Notes, I need to continue this process for each family until all information has been added and a clear research plan is written. I received a 14 day trial membership to Ancestry with the purchase of FTM for Mac 2, so I have abut a week left to do this before I need to start heading to the library to do my research.

Well, I thought I had all of my families pulled into Numbers spreadsheets and as I started going through the families, I noticed that I missed a few of them. Now, to be honest two of the families are not families I have really done any research in and the third family I have minimal information on. The two families that I have not researched are because there are other family members that have researched them in the past or are currently researching them.  The good news is that once I started pulling information on these families together I found and posted some marriage records on my personal facebook page and one cousin who has research our Hilton family asked me to email it to him. Which means, he did not have the information. Thanks to Family Search for adding records all the time and keeping our research fresh!

As for putting information into Growly Notes, I have set up a template of all the information I want to capture. Each family has research notes started on them. I am pulling birth, marriage, military, death and burial information to start with. On some families, I have added work history if it seems that they changed jobs with each census.  By doing this, I have already started a list of things I would like to look up at the ACPL in March. 

WritingI need to write some posts for my blog that will be prescheduled to publish. In Nov and Dec, I had so many obituaries set to publish through January. It was nice to have that buffer of posts going out and not having to think about what I will write for the current week. I have printed out the editorial calendar from Geneabloggers and will utilize that to help me get ahead. I have already gone through it and highlighted the posts I would like to write. Now, I just need to get writing.

So far, I have no posts planned ahead for my blog. I decided yesterday that I needed to create a calendar and really put my information into it. I have added the mundane, normal life stuff like driving my daughter to school and her other activities, as well as the time I need to check social media and reply to emails. For today, this has really worked. I am keeping to everything I have scheduled and maybe finishing up a few minutes early to move on to the next task. 

Anyhow, I have scheduled an hour of writing time  for Monday – Friday with hopes that this will get some post pre-written and ready to go. I have not added the bloggers editorial calendar to this because I do not want to over kill my calendar.  I do have it printed and will be consulting it as I write daily.

I have not done a lot of pre-blogging. I currently have 1 post set for Tuesday and I am writing this on on Sunday, so I am a bit ahead. But, I need to work harder at this. 

The calendar and scheduled time slots are really helping me. This week was rough though, we have had major tv and internet issues (as I type, I have had to write this twice because my internet froze and lost all of my information). It seems that AT&T will be losing business in the near future. I just need to decide what service we will be going with and get that scheduled asap. 

Organization: I pulled down about 98% of my genealogy related books and magazines into my office already, which was my goal for January. So, I would like to find the few pieces I am missing to complete this part of my goal. I also will start organizing my desk, between my genealogy and travel its a mess. Need to get it together so that working in either field will be more efficient for me.

Only thing organizational I have done this last week is creating the calendar I mentioned above. The desk is the next step.

Need to get working on that desk!

Education: February 1st starts ProGen 15 for me and a few of my other genealogy friends. You can bet we will be writing about our experience and learnings on this. Need to get to my Chicago Public Library to pick up a copy of Professional Genealogy which I will use until I purchase my copy.  From what I have read ahead of time, we will need to put about 20 hours a month towards this class that lasts 18 months.

ProGen started on 1 Feb and I was so excited. I have decided that I  will read the assignment when it is given and then again right before our monthly chat session. So, on 1 Feb I completed my reading assignment. I need to write out the citations we received and write a mission statement for my (future) business. Last night was our first group chat and it was great. I think we have a great group of people that we will be working with and many of them are bloggers. I have already signed up to follow each of their blogs and followed those who are twitter and finally friended those I could find on Facebook (sounds like I am a stalker). I am really excited about this journey we are all taking. 

I started on my citations assignment for ProGen and need to write my mission statement for my future genealogy business. 

All in all it has been a good week, even with all the internet issues. I feel I accomplished enough for the first half of the month. So, since we are in the middle of the month, how are you doing with accomplishing your goals?

Who Are You Seeking in the 1940 Census

A great question posed to the geneabloggers by Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog.

Who are you seeking in the 1940 census? Of course, we have long lists of family members that we would like to see where they are at. But, who do you really seek? Who is the first person you will look for, and why that family?

My reply to this is the Jaeger family. Which, is my paternal grandmother’s family. In 1940 my grandma will be 21 and married with her own children. But, that is not what I want to know. I will be looking for her parents, Fred and Ella (Jonas) Jaeger.

Why the Jaeger’s? Well, let’s just say that I have been given some advice from another realm that needs to be investigated. I do not want to say to more because, if its true I will share it here anyway. If not, well then I move on to my next family mystery.

So, who are you seeking in the 1940 census?

The URL for this post is: http://researchingoconnells.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/who-are-you-seeking-in-the-1940-census/

Motivation Monday: March Goals

I cannot believe that it is March already, 2 months of 2012 already completed. So the question is, what are my goals for March.

Research: Continue working from last month’s goal on the great-great grandparents and complete a research plan for ACPL. Also, need to call my great-aunt and get information about a coal mining accident her father injured in. I want to verify if it happened in IN or WV and the time frame to see if I can find any mention of it in newspapers or any other records.

Writing: Blogging, need I say more? Obviously, I am sticking to my plan of utilizing the editorial calendar or my schedule that I set up to make sure I spent time writing daily.

Organization: I intend to go through my physical, genealogy files, update all the folders by making sure everything is labeled and filed accordingly.

Education: Continue with ProGen 13.

Motivation Monday: February Goals

My goals for the month of February are not going to be so big for a few reasons:

  1. It’s a short month, less time to accomplish things
  2. I do not feel I made enough progress in January that I will be able to keep up with them all

So, without further ado, my goals for February are:

Research: To put together a spreadsheet in Numbers (it’s a Mac spreadsheet program) to follow to great-great grandparents and their children through the census records. Once I have completed this for each of the families I will begin to form a research plan based on what I have and do not have, I will be doing this is Growly Notes to clearly label what my next step is and what my findings are as I go through the process. While setting these steps up, it is important to advise that my Ancestry subscription is up within a few days and I will not renew it right away.

Writing: I need to write some posts for my blog that will be prescheduled to publish. In Nov and Dec, I had so many obituaries set to publish through January. It was nice to have that buffer of posts going out and not having to think about what I will write for the current week. I have printed out the editorial calendar from Geneabloggers and will utilize that to help me get ahead. I have already gone through it and highlighted the posts I would like to write. Now, I just need to get writing.

Organization: I pulled down about 98% of my genealogy related books and magazines into my office already, which was my goal for January. So, I would like to find the few pieces I am missing to complete this part of my goal. I also will start organizing my desk, between my genealogy and travel its a mess. Need to get it together so that working in either field will be more efficient for me.

Education: February 1st starts ProGen 15 for me and a few of my other genealogy friends. You can bet we will be writing about our experience and learnings on this. Need to get to my Chicago Public Library to pick up a copy of Professional Genealogy which I will use until I purchase my copy.  From what I have read ahead of time, we will need to put about 20 hours a month towards this class that lasts 18 months.

Changing Some of my Goals for 2012

In the beginning of the year many geneabloggers picked buddies to help keep them on track with their goals for this year and then proceeded to blog about said goals. Read my original goals here.  After almost a full month into the year, I know that what I have planned to accomplish as goals is far-reaching and not attainable this year. That would be the goal to research my Richmond line to verify if it is part of the Rogers Mayflower line. This is probably something that will take me a year or two to do and maybe a road trip to follow-up on some of those leads. This goal also plays into my writing goal, I want to be ale to write about the Richmond line. There are many brave men in this line with stories to tell, but I want all the facts before I can do that. So, with much thought I know I need to rewrite these two goals.

Research: This is the year that I plan to analyze my research (again), I have found a way that really helps me see the big picture and find what I am missing. While doing this, it also might make things easier to find in the 1940 Census once released. While analyzing the families I will be searching for the missing documents and making a list of what cannot be found and where I need to look next for said record.

Writing:

1) This still tends to be the hard one for me. My goal here is to blog more consistently. Which I have been able to do so far. I plan to use the bloggers editorial calendar to stay up to date (and maybe a little ahead).

2) I was asked to write a chapter in Jen Holik’s kids genealogy books on travel and researching your family, which I have sent in my first draft today.

3) I still would like to write a book about one of my families, right now I feel that will end up being my German family, the Jonas’. I seem to be drawn to this family currently and I would like to put everything I have learned about this family in writing.

Please stay with me as I move forward this year with these goals. If anything, I should prove to entertaining and hope to share what I learn along the way.

Motivation Monday: January 2012 Week 1/23

I am a day late and a dollar short, as the saying goes. I had some internet issues yesterday and by the time we had them taken care of. I could not bring myself to go into my office. Anything I took care, was done via my phone. So here I am Tuesday afternoon, writing my post for yesterday. Do forgive me for being late to the game.

Since this is the last full week of the month I would like to recap my monthly goals and figure out what I need to finish up by next Monday which is when I will post goals for February.

My plans for the month of January were to organize all of my genealogy books/magazines in one spot. I have taken care of that, for the most part. I have a few items missing and I will be working on finding those soon (for some reason I fear they might have made it into my attic).

My goal for starting research on my Richmond line has hardly been touched at this point. I did purchase Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 and started a new tree to track my progress on this line. So I have the basics in the program so far, small steps right?

I plan to make some changes to my goals for the year, so stay tuned for a post about that. I have been giving this some thought and I know I need to make these adjustments now, otherwise, I will fail at what I have set out to do.

As for the few things I wanted to do over the month, I was able to go to IRAD with Jen and helped her do a bit of research. We had a good time, oh and I used a microfilm machine, that was a first that I have used any type of micro machine since maybe the 80′s.

I did not go hear Tim Pinnick speak, unfortunately he had a death in the family and it was cancelled.

Jen, Laura and I went to the Italian Cultural Center and heard a lecture about Anti Italianism, it was very interesting. Though I do not have any direct Italian ancestors, I do have Italian family and this made me really think about stereo types and how everyone is affected by it.

Finally, I went to the Dupage Genealogical Society’s January meeting and heard Jen speak about organizing your data, that really changed the way I am analyzing the information I already have. You can read about the lecture here.

Plus, if you have not heard, we started planning a Midwest Geneabloggers get-together, you can read about that here.

So you can see that even though, I missed on the research part of my goals, I really have done quite a bit with genealogy this month.

Thanks for sticking with me on this.

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