Saturday, March 29, 2014

SLCC Genealogy Course: Post #25 - Census Records to 1850

This week in my Salt Lake Community College, Genealogy Course I didn't do my assignment exactly as I originally planned. We were learning about the value of all the different census records. Of course there was a ton of reading and video's to watch. This course has given me a very thorough knowledge of census records.

The assignment was to pick one ancestor and then find every census record during their lifetime. I picked my great-grandfather John Henry Weatherwax, Sr. From his death certificate, he was born in 1855 and died in 1925. Since he lived in New York all his life, that meant there were state and federal census records to look at. In total he could have been living during 14 different censuses.  As I was working from the most recent to oldest census I saw his age going all over the place.  It really made me doubt the death certificate for him. I had other family records that gave his birth as being in 1848. So now I was up to 15 different census records to search.

We needed to transcribed and source all of these census records, plus add them to our research log. I wanted to just focus on him, but found I just had to add the sources to the other family members as I found them in the census. Doing all this work meant this project would take forever to complete. Things were going good until I got to the period before his marriage in about 1881. I found him single in 1880 so that did answer the question if he married earlier and had more children prior to my grandfather birth in 1882. I also found my great-grandmother in 1880, single, living with her parents. They were both living in Greenwich, Washington, New York in 1880. So this gave me a really good case for their marriage being in Greenwich and not somewhere in Saratoga County where they were born.

So I'm moving along and find problems with his age. Then I try to find John Sr. living with his parents in 1875 and back. I can't find anyone by the name of Anthony Weatherwax which John Sr.'s death certificate tells me it is. I already knew this was a tangled mess to be unravel even before taking this class. I had family tradition that his father's name was Andrew, but that darn death certificate throws in Anthony. This death certificate was looking worse by the minute. Years ago I had found a likely John with an Andrew in the census, but I needed to investigate if there were any Anthony's out there first.. I really wanted to solve this problem. I know it can be solved, but the steps to unravel and survey the possibilities, searching for any Anthony's out there, was going to take me way longer to finish than I had time for on this assignment.

I then made the decision that I had enough census records that covered my grandfather John Henry Weatherwax, Jr's life time so I changed my focus person and wrapped things up with him instead. As I changed directions I told myself that even though I may not have done what I wanted to do, I did feel confident in my ability to work with the census records. I knew why census records were important, how to record my searches in the research log, transcribe the records, source and then analyse them.  This after-all was the whole intent of the assignment. As for John Henry Weatherwax, Sr. I will take care of unraveling the mess surrounding his records outside of class.

The assignment required a digital copy of each of the census records, labeled with the source citation. My nightmare of working with images was back. I needed a refresher on using GIMP to add the labels, so I watched the video from last semester that showed how. Then I actually felt some confidence that this labeling could be done in a reasonable amount of time and not take me all day. I was shaky at first and had to ask my youngest son, that uses PhotoShop at work, one question. He had never used GIMP before, but he quickly found the tool I needed for the step I was missing. It made me realize that I had asked the wrong son for help last semester. Amazing how you can do something when the person guiding you knows what they are doing. After the quick help I was on track again. I totally amazed myself in my ability to add the source citations, and have fun at the same time.

I even came up with any easy way to do it. I printed John Henry Weatherwax, Jr's Research Notes in RootsMagic and saved it as an RTF file. Then I opened it in Microsoft Word.  This meant I could just copy & paste the full footnote citation into the text box in GIMP to label the census record.  It worked brilliantly. I was so proud of myself figuring that out. I became a speed demon in no time at all labeling the census records. I really feel like I mastered that part of the GIMP.  Yippee!!

Since the teacher needed all the census images for grading, I knew uploading them one at a time would be a joke. I got the idea to put them into one folder and then compress it into a zip file. That saved me oodles of time, since there was only one file to upload. Yay zip files!

We needed to also hand in a Family Group Sheet and Research Log with the assignment. I had to do two of each since John Jr. is a parent on some records and a child on others. My Research Logs are by families so everything that happened prior to John Jr.'s marriage went on his father's Research Log.

The last item to hand in was an analysis of my census findings. That was a difficult brain switch since all this time I was really focusing on John Sr and not John Jr. There was so much I could have written on John Sr., but you know the story, I didn't feel I had enough time to get all his census records done. I won't bore you with all the details but I laid out the analysis stating what I knew about the family. Then I listed each census and only hit on key elements I found for him.

I will share the little summary I gave at the end.

John Henry Weatherwax, Jr. appears to have been a farmer all his life. He grew up on a farm with his father and later worked on his own farm when married. He is always listed as being able to read and write. The highest grade level completed was 7th. The census confirms what we already knew about John. We do not find all of his children accounted for in the census records, because some died between census years. In the census records, he lived on either Argyle Road or Bald Mountain Road. The 1925 New York State Census gives the location as Argyle to Bald Mountain so it is possible this was a rural area and this stretch of road could have gone by two different names. The value of his farm is listed at $200 in 1940 and is lower than the surrounding neighborhood farms. He would not appear to be very prosperous. However, he is listed as owning his farm instead of having a mortgage on it.

Maybe I could have done that last part better, but it is what it is for now. Bottom line, I feel really confident in locating, transcribing, sourcing, recording, labeling and analyzing census records and that is what the whole class assignment was about. These are all skills I will use over an over again and John Henry Weatherwax, Sr has not gotten off easy.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

SLCC Genealogy Course: Post #24 - Repositories & Vital Records

This week for the Salt Lake Community College, Genealogy Course we studied Repositories and Vital Records. I really enjoyed this lesson. There was a lot of reading to do, but I took lots of notes because I don't want to run the risk of forgetting any of the great stuff I learned. There were also four videos we needed to watch. Once again I took lots of notes.

There was one video that I wanted to share with you. It was a virtual tour of a U.S. Court House. I didn't realize that FamilySearch even had those on their website. You can find it on their website at: U.S. Court House Records. It really was a fun and different way to learn about these records.

Below is the assignment I turned in.

Searching for the marriage record for John Henry Weatherwax, Sr., born 3 Mar 1855 in Wilton, Saratoga, New York and Harriet D. Hewitt born 12 Dec 1858 in Saratoga County, New York. They married on abt 1881, place unknown. First child John Henry Weatherwax, Jr. was born 12 Dec 1882 in Greenwich, Washington, New York. The marriage record may be in either Saratoga or Washington County, New York. The focus of this search was for records in Saratoga County, New York from 1872-1882.

Searches & Findings:

1 - Search the FamilySearch Catalog found at for possible films that provide the marriage date.

Searched under New York State - unable to locate any films that would cover the correct time period.
Searched under Saratoga, New York - unable to locate any films that would cover the correct time period.

Searched under Wilton, Saratoga, New York found:
Marriage records, M. E. Church, town of Wilton, 1881-1900, Family History Library, United States & Canada, Film: 1316156 Item 1

Searched under County Seat of Ballston Spa, Saratoga, New York found:
Church records, 1863-1996 (Marriages 1872 - 1882) Family History Library, United States & Canada, Film # 2025950 Item 8

Searched under city near county seat - Saratoga, Saratoga, New York found:
Vital records, town of Saratoga, Saratoga County, New York, 1871-1926, Family History Library, United States & Canada, Film: 1316156 Item 9

2 - Locate information on how to order vital records from New York State. When year were vital records recorded on a state level. Include the address.

Order vital records from New York Department of Health

New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Section
Genealogy Unit
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

Vital Records for New York State (other than New York City) start the following years:
Earliest: Birth-1847, Marriage-1847, Death-1847
Statewide Registration: Birth-1880, Marriage-1880, Death-1880
General Compliance: Birth-1890, Marriage-blank, Death-1890

Vital records of birth, marriage or death were first recorded at the local level in the village clerk, town clerk, or city clerk’s ledger book. If you know where a birth, marriage or death took place, a copy of the certificate or record may be obtained by writing to the town, village or city clerk.

The first town we need to look at is Wilton. This is because John Henry Weatherwax, Sr. was born there. We will need to branch out to surrounding towns if the marriage record is not located there.

Wilton, Saratoga, New York -
Sue Baldwin - Town Clerk
(518) 587-1939 Ext: 210

Town of Wilton
22 Traver Road
Wilton, New York 12831
Clerk's Office Phone: (518) 587-1939 Ext: 601 Fax: (518) 587-2837
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm
Vital Records Search (Certified Copy) Birth, Death & Marriage - $10.00
Genealogy Searches (Copy) Birth, Death & Marriage - $11.00

3 - Search the FamilySearch Historical Records for vital records for your family.

Searched New York State for Weatherwax – alternate spellings do appear in the results

New York, Births and Christenings, 1640-1962
Search Weatherwax - 344 results unable to locate this family

New York, Marriages, 1686-1980 -
Searched Weatherwax - 57 results unable to locate this family

New York Deaths and Burials, 1795-1952 -
Search Weatherwax - 2 results unable to locate this family

New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971 - (browse images) Wills from 1791-1921, Probate from 1857-1885. The only thing that could be helpful is finding John's father Anthony in the Wills or Probate records. I have no idea when Anthony may have died.
Found: Probate records 1869-1877 - Weatherwax, Edw L. 507 - not related
Did not search through the wills, will need to do this at a later time.

4 - Locate a Historical Society in your New York State. Review the resources available from that society. Include information in your research log about membership in this society and the benefits of being a member to the society.

Saratoga County Historical Society
6 Charlton Street
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Phone: (518) 885-4000
Fax: (518) 885-4055

Tuesday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sunday & Monday – Closed.

Membership - Individual $25 annually

1. Free admission for one to the museum
2. Columns, Brookside Museum’s newsletter
3. Invitation to member-only events
4. 15% discount in the gift shop (non-consignment)
5. Behind the scenes tour of the museum
6. Discount on rental of Brookside for events
7. Reduced fee for classes/programs
8. A pack of Brookside note cards

Brookside Museum holds the records of the Saratoga County Historical Society
SCHS cares for over 25,000 historic artifacts that tell Saratoga County’s story. – databases
The Irena Wooton Research Room contains thousands of materials on local history and genealogy, including the Heritage Hunters Book Collection. Members of the museum may utilize the resources for free;

If you are unable to conduct research at Brookside personally, research can be done for you. Simple requests (those which rely on SCHS resources and can take under 30 minutes) can be done for free by museum researchers. Contact with your question.

Complex requests (that that may require using resources from other repositories and that may take more than 30 minutes) can be completed on your behalf by experienced researchers for a fee of $20 for the first hour; $15 for every hour thereafter plus photocopy and shipping fees.

Special Collections:
Cornelius Durkee Scrapbooks
Henry C. Ritchie, Saratoga County Families Collection
Hayden Collection
Ormsbee Family Collection
Mann Family Collection
John Sheehan Collection
Kayaderosseras Patent Field Books
Saratoga County Cemetery Collection
Voter Lists: 1912-1975
Tax Lists:1760's;1780's; 1900
Saratoga County Warrant Records
Portraits and Photography
Saratoga County Honors our Deceased Veterans

Other Collections:
Assessment Records
Early Town Records
Town Files; including Church, Cemetery, Historic Place and additional records
Surname Files
Subject Files
Military History
1856 Geils Map
1866 Beers Atlas
Topographical Maps
Survey Maps

There are several small leads at this point for records that I can search from home. The most likely way to find the marriage record is to contact the local town clerks to determine if the record can be found there. The Saratoga County Historical Society may be able to provide me with resources I am not aware of in the area. It would be beneficial to call them directly and see if they have any good suggestions before I start spending money on record searches with the town clerk. Since more records will be needed in Saratoga County it would be a good investment to buy a membership with the Saratoga County Historical Society. Ideally, it would be great to visit this location in person.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SLCC Genealogy Course: Post #23 - Jurisdictions

This week the assignment for the Salt Lake Community College, Genealogy Course took soooooo much time. The actually assignment to hand in wasn't the killer it was all the videos and chapters we needed to read on jurisdictions. This subject was so thoroughly covered it must have taken the instructors forever to put together. Bottom line, it was a great lesson.

How I do on the assignment? I will let you judge. We had to submit 3 things. Limiting it to two pages was one of the hardest parts for me.

1 - A written summary of what you learned about the locality including history or geographic conditions that would influence the locality. Briefly describe the history of the state and county you have chosen. Include such information as when it became a state, and when the specific county was formed. Include a list of possible resources such as 2 genealogical or historical societies with URL or address in the area. Include a state/county map. (This report should be no more than 2 pages in length).

2 - An historic map of the area.

3 – A Research Log showing all the places you searched for the sites given.

Below is what I handed in for my two page summary. I'm not including the historical map or the research log in this article.

History of Warren County, New York

The State of New York was originally settled by the Dutch, and was known as New Netherland. It was brought to the attention of the Dutch after English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into the New York Bay and up the river named after him in 1609. The Dutch West India Company settlements in the 1620s at Fort Orange (later Albany) and Manhattan influenced the immigration of other northern Europeans. The English later claimed the colony and named it after the Duke of York in 1664. This area exchanged hands between the English and Dutch several times. By the time of the Revolutionary War, New Englanders had crossed westward into the eastern counties of New York.

One of those eastern counties of New York was Albany, created on 1 Nov 1683. This county covered an enormous area, coverering the northern part of New York State, and all of present day Vermont. It was reduced in size with the creation of Cumberland (1766) and Gloucester (1770) counties.  On 12 Mar 1772, Albany was split into three parts, one remaining as Albany County. The eastern piece of this split was named Charlotte County, named for Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen-consort of King George the Third of England.

On 2 Apr 1784 Charlotte County’s name was changed to Washington County to honor George Washington, the American Revolutionary War General and first President of the United States of America. On 12 Mar 1813 Warren County was split off from Washington County’s western side. It received its name in honor of General Joseph Warren. 

Warren County officials first met in the Lake George Coffee House in the hamlet of Caldwell (know today as Lake George Village). James Caldwell, a patentee of the Town of Caldwell, donated land within the hamlet to serve as the county seat beginning in 1819. The historical population for the county in 1820 was recorded as 9,453 people. In 2012 the population increased to 65,538.

Neighboring Counties are: Essex, Hamilton, Saratoga, and Washington
Under New York State law, there are three types of incorporated municipalities: cities, villages, and towns. The following incorporated cities, villages and towns are located in Warren County:
Town of Bolton, Town of Chester, City of Glens Falls, Town of Hague, Town of Horicon, Town of Johnsburg, Town of Lake George - Village of Lake George, Town of Lake Luzerne, Town of Queensbury
Town of Stony Creek, Town of Thurman, Town of Warrensburg

Within the towns lay several smaller hamlets.

The county is located in the eastern portion of New York State, 75 miles north of Albany. It has a total area of 932 square miles, made up of 869 square miles of land and 62 square miles of water. It is located in the Adirondack Mountains. Gore Mountain at 3,198 feet elevation is the highest peak. It runs 44 miles N to S, and 40 miles E to W. Except for a small district in the SE the whole county is mountainous. It is covered with a heavy growth of trees. The principle employment comes from the lumber industry. The river, lakes and Champlain canal are very important to this region. Its waters are very deep and clear, and abound with the finest fish. The valleys which are narrow and the small SE district have portions of arable soil for farming, another source of income.
Warren County Genealogical Resources

Warren County Historical Society
195 Sunnyside Road
Queensbury, NY 12804-7762
Ph: 518-743-0734
The Northeastern New York Genealogical Society was disbanded and merged into the Warren County Historical Society in the Fall of 2013.

Crandall Public Library, Glens Falls
Center for Folklife, History and Cultural Programs
251 Glen Street, City Park
Glens Falls, NY 12801-3593
Ph: 518-792-6508

Chapman Historical Museum
The Chapman Museum Research Archive
348 Glen Street
Glens Falls, NY 12801
Ph: 518-793-2826
Houses manuscripts, other archival materials and over 10,000 photographs that document the history of the Glens Falls region.

Warren County, NY Records Storage Center & Archives
1340 State Rt. 9
Lake George,  New York 12845
The Official Repository of Warren County's Inactive and Archival Records
Tom Lynch,  Records Manager
Alison McClenahan, Assistant Records Manager
Phone (518) 761-6455

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

2014 South Davis Family History Fair

The following is from the Utah Genealogical Association.

Timpanogos Storytelling Conference March 14-15, 2014

The following is from Timpanogos Storytelling.

March 14-15, 2014
Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
101 West 100 North, Provo

With Pre-Conference events on Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hello friends! 
If you haven't had the opportunity to attend the Timpanogos Storytelling Conferencelet me tell you, it is a treat. Imagine sitting with some of your favorite storytellers from the summer festival and getting to know them on a whole new level while learning the secrets of their craft. I had the opportunity to attend a series of workshops in August 2012 and it was a wonderful experience. Not only was I entertained by stories, but I also learned very practical tips for creating and enhancing my own stories. From Kim Weitkamp, I learned the importance of filling my children's moral warehouse with stories and how to use storyboxing and memory maps to flesh out those stories. From Antonio Sacre I learned the practical realities of publishing children's books. He also taught some great ways to gather story ideas, which has been useful in my family and personal history work as well.

This year I'm so excited to see what I can learn from Andy Offutt Irwin and Kevin Kling, as well as from other storytellers and presenters who I know will become new favorites for me. While my background is in teaching, I have found that these classes are useful in my family history work, my parenting, and can be so helpful in business as well. Almost everyone has opportunities to connect with others through stories. This conference is your chance to enhance your storytelling skills.

The full conference lasts two days, Friday and Saturday, March 14-15th. For those whose time is limited or who just want to check out the conference, then you might enjoy the free pre-conference concert or the free workshops for teachers and family historians.  Try it! You just might find yourself recommending it to friends this time next year.     -Kim McCloskey 

Kevin Kling &

Andy Offutt Irwin

in Concert

Friday, March 14, 2014-7:30 p.m.

Timpanogos High School Auditorium
1450 N 200 E, Orem

Tickets are $10 

Workshops you may enjoy at the Conference:

  • Search. Learn. You're On: Building New Programs-LynnRuhelmann
  • Listen up! Now Hear This!-Fostering the Skill of Listening
    -Donna Ingham

    Telling the Family Tree-Regi Carpenter
  • Leveling the Playing Field: Storytelling and the Special Needs Classroom-Sherry Norfolk
  • Spinning a Yarn Around the Post of History-Chris Crowe
  • Greek and Grand: Creating the Classic Tale-Lynn Ruhelmann
  • The Secret Sauce: How to Work With Stories for Personal and Organizational Chage Success-Karen Dietz
  • Public Workshop for Youth Ages 9-18; Material Search: Teaching the Stories to Come to You-Andy Offutt Irwin
  • Building Family Stories though Social Media-Stacy Julian of Big Picture Classes  
  • The Stories We Carry: Crafting the Personal Story-Kevin Kling
  • What Every Author Should Know about Publishing in the 21st Century-Christopher Robbins & David Miles
  • Bringing the Dead to Life-Clive Romney
  • Connecting Across Conflict: Storytelling and Peace Building-Noa Baum
  •  Blogging for Beginners-Granny Sue Holstein
  • Mask Works Movement for Storytellers-David Morgan
  • Finding Your Own Voice(s)-Robin Bady
  • Symbols, Stories, and Stakeholders: Elements of Influencing Organizations-Shawn Moon

NGS Announces Live Streaming Broadcast for the 2014 Family History Conference

The following is from the National Genealogical Society.

NGS announces the live streaming of ten lectures from the NGS 2014 Family History Conference, which will be held 710 May 2014, in Richmond, Virginia.  The upcoming conference will be the first time NGS has provided a portion of the conference to NGS members and others across the United States and overseas who are unable to attend the conference in person.

Details of the live streaming program can be found at on the NGS Conference website at  NGS has selected some of the most popular topics and nationally known speakers for the two featured tracks. Registrants for live streaming can select either track or the bundled package that includes both tracks.
·         Track One: Records and Research Techniques can be viewed on Thursday afternoon, 8 May 2014, and Friday morning, 9 May 2014. Join the conference from home and learn about best practices and research sources.
·         Track Two: Virginia Resources and Migration Patterns can be viewed on Friday afternoon, 9 May 2014, and Saturday morning, 10 May 2014. Learn about Virginia’s records and her people who moved south and west to new lands pushing the frontier ever forward.

Registration for live streaming will close at midnight 30 April 2014. All registrants will receive an electronic version of the NGS 2014 Family History Conference Syllabus. Registration is discounted for NGS Members.  

Track Descriptions
Track One or
Track Two
Live Streaming
and three months
access to Track One or Two


Records and Research Techniques. Five lectures on Thursday afternoon, 8 May 2014, and Friday morning, 9 May 2014,or
Virginia Resources and Migration Patterns. Five lectures on Friday afternoon, 9 May 2014, and Saturday morning, 10 May 2014.
Bundled Package
Track One andTrack Two
Live Streaming
and three months
access to both Tracks
Records and Research Techniques. Five lectures on Thursday afternoon, 8 May 2014, and Friday morning, 9 May 2014,and Virginia Resources and Migration Patterns. Five lectures on Friday afternoon, 9 May 2014, and Saturday morning, 10 May 2014.

Once registered, you can watch the event live, or if you have other commitments on those dates, you can view the sessions as many times as you want for ninety days following the conference (through 10 August 2014). NGS has selected PlayBackNow to broadcast the live sessions and to provide the recorded sessions for later viewing. Instructions for viewing the live streaming will be sent to registrants before 6 May 2014.

For those fortunate enough to be able to attend the conference in person and chose from ten tracks and more than 175 lectures over four days, a reminder that the discounted Early Bird registration will close on 24 March 2014. Conference attendees may also benefit from NGS live streaming by registering to the view either track or the bundled package, which they will be able to view after they return home. By selecting different lecture presentations to hear live at the conference, they can expand their overall conference experience.

Find A Grave App Now Available in the Apple Store

The following is from

As promised, we have recently released the first version of the Find A Grave mobile app.  First of all, it’s free, just like Find A Grave.  With the app, you’ll be able to bring the most important aspects of Find A Grave with you.  You can see cemeteries near you or around the world, search for loved ones by name, take photos for existing memorials, or add new ones right from the app.  The app is beautiful and contains rich photos, and all of the memorial details that the website has, but with a modern view of the Find A Grave brand.  One aspect of Find A Grave that I’ve always loved, is the ability to request photos and take photos for others.  Not strictly required, I think this aspect of Find A Grave captures some of the best community spirit, and so we made sure to get this in our first release.  As a logged in user, you can request photos for memorials, just like on the website, and the network of volunteers can see those requests and fulfill them directly, or claim them, in order to help plan their next cemetery outing.

For a list of features, I’d direct you to our glossy product page, but I did want to point out a few things before I go.  First, this release is just the beginning and we have a road map of features for our users which will keep the Find A Grave mobile app improving over time.  Second, we’re linking the Find A Grave mobile app to Ancestry’s peerless support team to make sure our users get the help they need in a timely fashion.  Finally, we are planning our Android App as well, and though I don’t have a release date Android is certainly not forgotten.

Visit our product page for more information:


Try the app today and let us know what you think! What's New for 2014

The following is from

What's New in 2014
New Search Technology
Family Relationship Searching

A new site search engine was introduced in January which features a completely new way of searching. Family Relationship Searchingincludes an option to search for a person without ever entering their name! You can use close family members in addition to places to locate that elusive ancestor. Improvements in prioritizing your results also mean that you will see more relevant hits at the top of the Search Results list so you don't have to wade through pages of unrelated hits. Go to the Search menu tab on the site and choose Advanced Search from the drop down menu or click the link below to go right to it.

New Equipment Upgrades -
Our new equipment now makes your "Search Results" display in a fraction of the time than previously. Less time waiting means more time searching!

2013 In Review
Family Map - 
Imagine being able to see in an instant a map of all the places listed in your family tree. You can now do exactly that with our new feature, the Family Map. This helps you keep track of migration patterns and easily see if there are mistakes in the information. To display your Family Map, log on to MyTrees Online under the My Family Tree menu tab, and then click on any surname in the pedigree chart. The "Family Map" feature is part of the family editing options.

Family Timeline
You can now see an overview of your ancestor's life at a glance with the addition of a new feature, the Family Timeline. This helps you to not only recognize what information you have added for individuals, but also where you are missing data. To display your Timeline, log on to MyTrees Online through the My Family Tree tab. Open your family tree and click on any surname. You'll find the "Family Timeline" feature under the family editing options.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

SLCC Genealogy Course: Post #22 - Evidence Evaluation

I'm still working on getting caught up on my Salt Lake Community College, Genealogy Course assignments. This week we learned vocabulary words used for evidence evaluation. Then we needed to apply the evidence vocabulary when evaluating a genealogical document.

I decided to use my great-grandfather, John Henry Weatherwax, Sr's death certificate.

This was my Evidence Evaluation:

This document is a transcript from an original death record for John Henry Weatherwax. It is considered a derivative source since the town clerk needed to transcribe the information to create a copy of this record. During the transcription process errors could have been introduced. This transcript is not dated, but given the fact there is a barcode on the document, tells us it is a more recent creation since computers did not exist in 1925.

The information on the death event would be primary information since only one day passed from his death on 17 May 1925 and the date the record was filed on 18 May 1925. The information on his birth date and place would be secondary information. He was 70 years old at the time of death and it is very unlikely anyone providing the birth information was an actual witness to birth. It can be assumed that John was buried in Greenwich, NY, since that was the plan at the time of his death. It is unclear if the burial already took place between his death and the recording of it one day later. It's possible given the nature of his chronic illness, warmer weather, and the economic cost of preserving a body during the depression that plans could have been made for a quick burial.

The names of John's parents on the document could be direct evidence of his parentage. It really depends on who the informant was and their knowledge of that fact. This document shows us that at his time of death he was married. If the informant was his wife, she may have known his parents personally and would have been a great source for this information, if stress did not factor in. The fact he was married gives us indirect evidence that his wife would have died after 17 May 1925.

There does not appear to be any conflicting information on this document.

We had a group discussion on what we learned from this assignment this is what I wrote.
I was familiar with all the vocabulary words we needed to define and what they meant. What I had not previously done is write out my evaluation of a document. I evaluated a transcript of my great-grandfather's death certificate. I found the more I looked at it and considered which type of evidence type is was, I understood how I can't things at face value. While writing things down I found I also looked closer at the information and what it was telling me.

I was able to apply on that one document nearly every vocabulary word. I found as nice as the transcript was I really wanted to see the original record and have all the information. The death certificate did not include the informant's name, so you didn't know how much trust to give the information. I also kept thinking about possible transcription errors on top of everything else. This assignment just really drove home how you can't rely solely on one record.
See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Monday, March 03, 2014

Mark Your Calendars - UVTAGG Meeting!

The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group - UVTAGG (Formerly the Utah Valley PAF Users Group - UVPAFUG) will be on Saturday, 08 Mar 2014, from 9 am to noon in the LDS "Red Chapel", 4050 North Timpview Drive (650 East), Provo. Information about the Group, main presentations, classes, and class notes are available on their website and the press releases are at . On the blog you can subscribe to receive the press releases by email when they are sent out a week before the meeting.

The main presentation this month at UVTAGG will be by Suzanne Hansen on DIGGING INFORMATION OUT OF DISTANT FAMILY MEMBERS. Suzanne Hansen is a wife, mother, grandmother, artist, author, speaker, genealogical researcher, historian, and blogger. One of her greatest passions is to teacyh and mentor childrfen, teens, and adults in discovering their history that makes up their own family and the nation to which they belong, and their connection in the world. She believes that by bridging the past with present we can all shape a better future.

After the main presentation the following classes are scheduled.
  1. Writing Family Newsletters, by Suzanne Hansen
  2. Puzzilla and Other Affiliate Apps, by Marilyn Thomsen
  3. RootsTech 2014 Video, 5 Ways To Do Genealogy in Your Sleep, by Deborah Gamble
  4. Ask an Expert (Personal Help), by Don Engstrom and Finn Hansen
  5. Video of January's Main Presentation, Discover the Future of the Family History Library and Centers
  6. Ancestral Quest, by Gaylon Findlay
  7. Legacy, by Dean Bennett
  8. RootsMagic, by Renee Zamora  
There will be no MAC class at this meeting.
Check the meetings page at for last minute changes or additions.

All meetings of UVTAGG are open to the public whether members of the Group or not. The Group has the goal of helping individuals use technology to further their family history and there are usually about 100 attending the monthly meetings on the second Saturdays, most of whom are Family History Consultants. The officers are Gerhard Ruf, President; Laurie Castillo, 1st VP; Don Snow, 2nd VP; Liz Kennington, Newsletter Editor; Renee Zamora, Secretary; Kay Baker, Don Engstrom, and Rayanne Melick working with membership and finances, Bruce Merrill and Marie Andersen working with the DVD Library, and Chris Stevenson as the Webmaster. Some of these will be there to answer questions, help with membership, distribute the current issue of the monthly newsletter TAGGology, and check out and sell DVDs of past presentations and classes to members of the group. Many members don't live close enough to participate in the monthly meetings, but belong by paying the $10 per year dues to receive the monthly newsletter via email and purchase DVDs of the presentations and classes. Gift memberships are wonderful presents for family history-minded relatives, friends, and Family History Consultants. See more information on the websites mentioned above about the presentations, classes, and class notes, or to join the Group. You can also contact President Gerhard Ruf at (801-225-6106), or 1st VP Laurie Castillo at, or 2nd VP Don Snow at

Riverton Saturday Seminar

The following is from the Riverton FamilySearch Library.

The Riverton FamilySearch Library will host a free seminar on
Saturday, March 15th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
that will offer help to genealogists of all skill levels.

Riverton, Utah - Taking Your Family History Electronic—Creating Your Own Amazing E-book
E-books are gaining favor with genealogists and family historians for their readability, look, and convenience. Learn how to take your written family history from paper to electronic format. You can even add photos and embedded videos. Using Sigil, a free open source software program, and a few publication tricks, you will be up and running in no time. Share your family stories in multiple formats to be read by computer or one of the many readers on the market, including the iPad, iPhone, Nook, Kindle, or mobile device.

Luana Darby, MLIS, is a professional genealogist based in Salt Lake City. She specializes in the U.S. Midwest, Palatine German, LDS, and American patriot research. She is working toward receiving her AG and CG credentials. She has been working with clients for over 20 years under her company, Lineages by Luana, and is a frequent speaker at conferences, workshops, and institutes. She is past president of the Utah Genealogical Association.

Following the keynote presentation from 9:00 to10:00 a.m., two blocks of four classes each are offered that cover topics of interest for beginning, intermediate, and advanced family history enthusiasts.

10:10 a.m. Choose one of the following four classes:

  • “My Ancestor’s Piece of Earth—Learning about My Family through Land Records ”- Jill Shoemaker
  • “The ABCs and 123s of Genetic Genealogy”––Angie Bush
  • “Bite-size Pieces—How to Write Your Personal History” -  Rose Ann Fisher
  • “How to Save Your Life—One Chapter at a Time”- Tom Taylor

11:20 a.m. Choose one of the following four classes:

  • “Evidence Analysis: Looking for Hidden Clues in Your Family History”- Kathryn Moore
  • “Story Triage—How to Tell the Ten Best Stories of Your Life”––Alison Taylor
  • “Regional Differences in Genealogy ”- Duncan Kuehn
  • “Puzzilla: My Work Is Done? or, We've Only Just Begun!”––Bill Harten

Registration is not required for this free seminar. The Riverton FamilySearch Library is located in the LDS Riverton Office Building at 3740 West Market Center Drive. The facility is near the intersection of Bangerter Highway and 13400 South, just east of The Home Depot.

My Family History Calling

The following is from FamilySearch.


My Family History Calling Newsletter
February 2014

News you need to succeed-for priesthood leaders, consultants, and center directors.

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a youth devotional at the
Family Discovery Day in conjunction with the RootsTech Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah,
on February 8, 2014. See the text of his address. Watch his amazing presentation.

Two new updates to FamilySearch Family Tree have made working in Family Tree easier than ever.
See what these changes are.
When a deceased person in FamilySearch Family Tree doesn't have enough information to qualify for ordinances,
FamilySearch now tells you what information is needed.
FamilySearch Partnerships: Some Questions and Answers
FamilySearch recently announced plans to collaborate more fully with commercial family history companies and the online community. Many, both inside and outside the genealogy industry, have wondered why. Read what it will mean for users.

RootsTech Wrap-up
RootsTech 2014 recently concluded with nearly 13,000 people in attendance. Read more about the largest family history gathering in the United States, and see photos from the event.

Looking Backward, Looking Forward
It's a new year and a great time to look back at the achievements of the past indexing season and forward to preview the exciting future ahead. So pat yourself on the back for last year's success, and get ready for indexing's best year yet!

Twelve Simple Steps to Getting Started with Your Family History-Steps 3 and 4
This article is the second in a series on how to get started with family history research. Find ways you can get started, or help others find their ancestors.
For Center Directors: Family History Centers and FamilySearch Partner Access for Members
As part of the changing face of family history centers and the presence of genealogy in the homes of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FamilySearch made an important announcement at RootsTech in early February 2014.

Success Story: Local Newspaper Tells Personal Side of Record Collections

Training for your Family History Calling EN