Posts

The Magic of Reaching Out

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There is magic in reaching out to others! Sometimes it seems like work, so let's make it easier.  First, write a good query. We wrote about how to do that previously, so check that out.  What's a Query and Why Should I Care? #ResearchOpportunity A good query: Leads with Who When Where Asks a specific question States what resources have already been consulted Once you get a query format you like, copy it! And then plug in more people of interest and their details in a place where you can easily find it. Depending on how you store your genealogy materials, you can put all these queries in one document, or separate ones for each family.  AND.... if you have a research question and the beginning of the research report /timeline for each of these people, make your query statement part of that document and be sure to note where you send or post it and a date, so you can remember to check back and see if you have some responses. Be sure to include some contact information such as an e

Ravensdale Cemetery: Lost in Time (and Bushes)

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In October of 2020, a series of posts in the South King County Genealogical Society Groups mentioned the Ravensdale Cemetery.  Some photos were posted and it got my attention. It was clear that the old cemetery was sorely neglected. It had been vandalized in the 1950’s and stones had been encased by ground cover and other underbrush. I visited the cemetery for the first time, with my husband, on Saturday, 7 November 2020.  Its state was, to say the least, sad. There was evidence that people had been there. The paths were a bit trampled and burned down candles and an empty packet of cigarettes were sitting on the side of a broken and open sarcophagus. In spite of the fact that someone up to no good had recently been there, it was a peaceful place. Restoration? I was hooked.  Two days prior to my visit, I had made the suggestion to the group that restoring the cemetery might be a good project for SKCGS and I presented a hurriedly composed proposal to the Board. I was given permission to

The Way of the Turtle

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courtesy Pixabay Sheer Joy of Research  Sometimes you've got the bull by the horns and rush along researching recklessly, breathlessly. That's fun! But we all know that details are missed this way and sometimes, in your hurry, you take the wrong road, pick the wrong parents, mix the records of two people with the same name. . .we've all been there!  It's fun, but there is sometimes quite a bit of cleanup to do after the rampage.   Professional Approach Professional researchers do it differently. Time is of the essence, and getting results efficiently is what creates success. So the pros will plan their work by working out a research question or a series of questions  with the client , and then begin by  doing a literature and record set survey.  Then is it time to assess what websites will yield the information needed? What repositories will need to be visited, or contacted? After the planning stage, the professional will consult the client for any fine-tuning. Focus Mo

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

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BOOK REVIEW Millard, Candice.  Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President.    New York:  Anchor Books, A Division of Random House, Inc. 2012. Elizabeth Shown Mills reminds us that as genealogists we must understand the patterns of the time in which events took place. [1]   Patterns of History If you are studying ancestors in the period immediately following the Civil War, this non-fiction account of a little known event in American History may increase your understanding of the societal norms of the time.   Death of General James A. Garfield. Lithograph by Currier & Ives. From the Library of Congress President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881.   Ignoring Evidence This is a story of how one man’s stubborn refusal to let scientific medical evidence change a firmly held belief may have changed the outcome of the assassination attempt.   Rebound from Tragedy The event unified the country which was still divided aft

Do You Know What is On Your Bookshelf?

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  Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com. WHAT DO I HAVE? When I attend a genealogy conference, I never pass up the book vendors in the exhibit hall. I am always fascinated by their offerings. As well, a presenter has probably mentioned a book “you must have”. There are books on my shelves that I use daily;  Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills is open near my right hand as I am writing this. Mastering Genealogical Documentation by Thomas Jones and Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills probably tie for second-most used books. They are where I can reach them without moving from my computer chair. There are other genealogy books that I refer to only occasionally when I need a specific piece of information. Understanding Colonial Handwriting by Harriet Stryker-Rodda is one of those. HOW DO I KEEP TRACK OF WHAT I HAVE? I do not want to purchase a duplicate. I could use a spreadsheet, but sometimes that gets messy. When Marilyn Schunke took over responsibility

Volunteer Rewards

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  I am grateful for many things. In the genealogical research sector of my life, I am especially grateful to be the the recipient of so much wonderful (and much of it FREE) on-line research material! After only availing myself of all of that information for a long while, I began to feel the need to give back to the entities that had given me so much. I have scratched that itch in the past and tried a few different projects, all different, and all quite satisfying. Now that we are staying home more than ever, I have had more time to think about where I would like to contribute my time and talent. Since I can’t currently visit my favorite physical archives right now, maybe I can assist in beefing up some digital ones that would make an impact for myself, my society and my fellow genealogists, after all, what I contributed before was all pre-COVID19. It’s time for me to get going again. Part of SKCGS’s Mission Statement states that we should be “Locating, preserving, and indexing public

The Power of Three

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Is Routine Boring? Routine,  boring, humdrum. Or, habits which free you from confusion and endless decisions! Routine helps you get to work quickly and move through a process efficiently. Do you have research routines and templates for your genealogy? Lately I've been trying to develop research routines and templates, and recently saw a video that snapped into focus what I was trying to do. Call it the power of three .  Connie Knox's Genealogy TV episode  Ancestry and FamilySearch, FindMyPast or MyHeritage: Family Tree Trifecta Strategy  describes her professional routine for each person: work three sites with three search strategies each (3x3x3) with the goal of 27 new facts and sources. Complete this cycle for each person you are reviewing, each new place, and each new FAN club member as they come into view. The power of three can keep you focused and successful.  Become a Fan of FANs FANs are F amily, A ssociates and N eighbors . Sometimes we race right past the names of