A Work in Progress

InspirationRecently I wrote about Anna Wood Dyer, my great-great-grandmother and inspiration.  I told about receiving pictures of Isaac and Betsey Fuller Wood that confirmed their relationship to Anna and helped me find their parents.Isaac and his family settled in Deerfield, Waushara County, Wisconsin, in about 1855.  I've looked for records in all the usual places including Find A Grave where I found several Wood memorials in the Woodville Cemetery.  Unfortunately, not all the family is listed and at one time Find A Grave stated that there were some unnamed graves. I still need to find death dates for Isaac and Betsey and for Isaac's father, Billa.After writing the article about gggrandmother Anna, I went back to Find a Grave and learned that contributor Janet Marie #480008518, had posted a picture of a stone that was no longer legible and noted that it might be a double stone.Mystery

Communication and CollaborationI sent a message to Janet, the contributor, and asked if the …

It's September already!

General Meeting Saturday, September 19 (Virtual)9:30 am Social time; 10 am General Membership Meeting
Click or paste the link to join: or call: (‪US‬) ‪+1 510-939-0384‬ PIN: ‪268 689 236#‬
Election of officers: Valorie Zimmerman has been nominated for the office of Vice President and agreed to serve if elected.Linda Blais has been nominated for the office of Secretary and agreed to serve if elected.  There will be an opportunity for additional nominations at the meeting.  Should there be additional candidates, members will be instructed how to vote by email during the meeting. Our Speaker:Mary Kircher Roddypresents  Trails West: Crossing the Continent, 1840-1869.

Why do I need citations? I don't want to publish (and other excuses)

Citations save you time and moneyIf quality of research is of no interest, at least taking excellent notes of Who, What, When and Where (or as Tom Jones puts, it, Where In and Where At) about each source will save you endless time and money by preventing multiple identical searches of the same databases, books and repositories. And you will save money when you order the exact record you need, rather then the wrong one, to say nothing of saved travel and time costs!Bonus: We all get interrupted at times. Having complete and orderly notes will help us get back to work with far less fuss. Quality Don't we all want to do the best quality research possible in the time we have to devote to our family history? If so, developing the habit of documenting your research in a timely and orderly way will save time, money and bother, and more important, give you the tools to do good analysis of what you've found.In her classicEvidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyber…

“I Can’t Research, The Library is Closed”

We say repeatedly, “Don’t neglect books, not everything is online or ever will be.” But what do we do when the libraries are closed?
Good news! You can still search for books. Perhaps the source best known by the public is Google Books. According to the New York Times, Google has scanned over 25 million books.[1] I entered “History of the Ball Family in Virginia” and got hundreds of books and journals. I need to refine my search to determine which Ball family. Ancestry.comhas also published books. Going to Search > Card Catalog > Stories Memories & Histories and entering the keywords Ball and Virginia brought up 17 books including information about the Ball family in Virginia. The first hit was a book containing a biographical sketch of Mrs. Mary Ball Washington, the mother of George Washington. Reviewing the list, I saw others I need to review as I research that line. has digitized hundreds of thousands of bo…

What's a Query and Why Should I Care? #ResearchOpportunity

Queries  Queries used to be a basic tool all researchers needed to craft. Before the internet was available to the average person, queries were sent to newspapers, magazines, newsgroups, and mail lists. Yes, email was around before the Internet! And newsgroups preceded mail lists and forums, although to the consumer, they work similarly. Much of the time we now work alone, or privately with cousins on our shared research. In my opinion, when we work only privately, something has been lost.  First, how to craft a successful query? And then, what to do with it? A query is a question -- and more. A good query starts with an excellent subject line or headline, accurately and concisely describes the person or situation of interest, and ends with a call for action. You can see that in my mother's query, published 25 years ago in The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, pictured above. She stated what she knew and how to contact her with more information. There was a limit of 50 words, so this w…

My Inspiration

Anna Wood Dyer
Anna Wood Dyer BiographyAt a recent virtual meeting, someone asked if others had one ancestor who had inspired them either to start family history or to keep researching.  It didn’t take me long to think of my gggrandmother Anna Wood Dyer as my inspiration.  After briefly relating my discoveries about her, someone suggested she would make a good blog topic.“No problem,” I thought, “I’ll dust off and update one of the biographies I’ve written about her.”  Looking back at the discoveries and development of her life story I realize something else—the timeline of my growth as a researcher.  Throughout this family history quest, Anna has been the most elusive with the least information available.  And yet, at this point I personally feel I know her better because I have had to learn so much about her environment and the events that must have impacted her life.Anna has never seemed like a brick wall, only a weight bearing wall around which a family grew.  I can see beyond to h…

From Annoyance to LOVE

FamilySearch and the GPSFamilySearch is indispensable to genealogists, especially those who follow the GPS - Genealogical Proof Standard. As my inspiration for this blog, Devon Noel Lee said in an email to FamilyHistory Fanatics members, If you want to be a better genealogist, you have to use the genealogy proof standard. If you want to use the GPS in one central location, there's no better place to do that than Genealogical Proof Standard There are five elements to the Genealogical Proof Standard: Reasonably exhaustive research has been conducted.Each statement of fact has a complete and accurate source citation.The evidence is reliable and has been skillfully correlated and interpreted.Any contradictory evidence has been resolved.The conclusion has been soundly reasoned and coherently written. Any proof statement is subject to re-evaluation when new evidence arises. [1] Reasonably Exhaustive Research
Reasonably exhaustive research must include the millions of docume…