Genealogy Beginner Workshop


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  • Introduction: Who I am, background in libraries and genealogy. Information about the lock-ins at Hamilton-Wenham. The Group: Short discussion in the beginning then a time to research using library resources or just chat and share successes/failures. We can work together to assist one another!Facebook page: Share information, chat between meetings. I will post today’s slides after the meeting.Website: I will be adding a genealogy page to the Tewksbury Library website with resources guides and info. Possibly how to videos.
  • Even though you “Know” information get documentation. Example of grandmother’s date of birth. One of your first steps in doing genealogical research is to talk to family members. Family is not always around so grab them while you can.
  • Once you start to find information you want to begin recording it! There are ways to document your information that will make it easier to read and understand for you and others down the road. Having a surname in capital letters helps prevent confusion as to what a persons first or last name is (for example the name John George).
  • If you follow the American date format 1/15/1987 another non-American research could misread this information. The year should be written out entirely, not having a complete date can be very problematic. The month should be in alpha format and either capitalized with just the first three letters or in upper and lower and written out entirely. Eliminate all punctuation when recording dates, commas and periods could be confused with numbers.
  • Having county information will be can be very helpful in determining where you can search for records.
  • I prefer charts with four generations since it is less cluttered and has more room for entering information or notes to yourself regarding later research. Some charts will also contain a place for recording baptism or christening and a place of burial.
  • Adopted children can be added, but should be noted that they are adopted. Many people use the information they find for medical information, so recording if a child is biological or not is essential.
  • Many researchers neglect to use this important form to record EVERYTHING they look at.
  • Have ordered some more genealogy guides. We will be highlighted some of these resources during future meetings.
  • We can highlight these resources during future meetings.
  • We will be highlighting these resources during future meetings.There is also an abundance of information on websites, we will also be highlighting these resources in future meetings.
  • Introduction: Who I am, background in libraries and genealogy.
  • Even though you “Know” information get documentation. Example of grandmother’s date of birth.
  • You can find a great deal of information in the census. The census began after the American Revolution under Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson in 1790. Since then there have been 21 federal censuses. Records from the censuses of population and housing are publicly accessible 72 years after each census' "Census Day” to protect confidentiality. The 1940 census was released on April 1, 2012. The 1950 census will be released on April 1, 2022.
  • Phillip Dinkell was also a servant who died in 1865 from consumption.Lincoln was president from March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
  • Genealogy Beginner Workshop

    1. 1. Genealogy – Getting Started “What hobby combines history, travel, detective work, photography, food, fashion, technology, science and reading? Genealogy does, and it is the fastest growing hobby in America.” From “Genealogy a fast growing hobby” by Judy Everett Ramon,, November 18, 2012 Presented at the Tewksbury Public Library January 13th 2014
    2. 2. When did the genealogy boom begin? Many genealogist trace the increased interest in genealogy to two specific events. • The United states bicentennial in July 1976 • The premiere of the miniseries Roots in January 1977
    3. 3. Where to start • Write down what you know by starting with yourself! • Gather information you know. • Dates and places of birth for you, your siblings and parents • Dates and places of marriages • Dates and places of deaths • Burial locations • Places where people live/lived • Photos (looking for notes on the back)
    4. 4. Common Information Sources • Vital records (time period is key) • Census records (federal and state) • Land/property maps • Local newspapers (including obituaries) • Cemetery records • Military records • Photographs • Family bibles • Immigration records • Birth and Death Index
    5. 5. Recording Your Research - Names 1. Surnames should be written in all capital letters Ex. John SMITH 2. Include married names in parenthesis before the maiden name Ex. Mona (Smith) JONES 3. Record nicknames whenever possible and indicate them in quotation marks. Ex. Marcus “Mark” GROSSMAN 4. If a surname is unknown then type the last name as unknown. Ex. Cindy UNKNOWN. 5. Record all middle names, when known and use initials only if you don’t know the given middle name. 6. If the person is a Jr. or Sr. add it to the end of the name following a comma Ex. Wayne SMITH, Jr. 7. If the person has roman numerals do not use a comma Ex. Wayne SMITH III 8. If the person has multiple surnames use a backslash Ex. Jane /VON DYKE/
    6. 6. Recording your research - Dates Dates are entered date month year Ex. 27 Apr 2013 Common date abbreviations include Aft. = after Bef. = before Abt. = about
    7. 7. Recording your research - Locations Locations are listed smallest to largest Ex. Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts, US Recording your records in this format will ensure that the information will be read correctly by other genealogists or reference librarians!
    8. 8. Pedigree/Ancestor Charts A pedigree chart is designed to organize basic information that defines, documents and identifies relationships between people. The chart will have space for four, five, or six generations. Pedigree charts should contain at least six fields for: 1. Date of birth 2. Place of birth 3. Date of marriage 4. Place of marriage 5. Date of death 6. Place of death
    9. 9. Family Group Record This form lists a couple and all their biological children. A family group sheet should contain: 1. A minimum of 6 fields for vital information. 2. A place to record residences for the primary people. 3. A place for religious affiliations 4. A place to record other spouses for both the husband and wife. 5. A place for the names for the couples parents. 6. A place to record occupation of the individual. 7. A place to record military service. 8. Room to record 8 or more children. 9. A place to record your name, address, and phone number on the sheet
    10. 10. Research Logs It is essential to note where you have looked, successful or not. • Prevent duplication of research and make it easier to locate a resource should you want to view it again. • Cite your sources. This shows quality research. • Weigh evidence to make better conclusions, and better lineage links. Logs should include; researcher’s name, ancestor’s name and years, date of research, place of research, objective of the research, call number (library or archive), source description (title, author, copyright, page), results.
    11. 11. Correspondence Record • Very similar to the research logs, here you want to record any contact you make with others for research. This could be to other relatives, genealogists, librarians…really anyone could be a source. You want to record: 1. The date you send your request 2. Person’s name and contact information 3. Reason for contacting them 4. Date you get a reply 5. The results
    12. 12. The Local History Room • Open during library hours (closing 15 minutes before the library closes) • Patrons must sign in before entering the room. • Contains local history and genealogy resources. • The Tewksbury Historical Society is available in the Local History Room the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month from 1-5pm.
    13. 13. Genealogy resources you can take home Genealogy books are located under the call number 929. Books can also be requested from other libraries.
    14. 14. Online Databases through the library HeritageQuest Online – Remote or library access. Use your 14digit library card number (do not enter spaces) located on the back of your Tewksbury library card. Includes the US Census, Periodical Source Index (PERSI), Revolutionary War Pension Records, and Freedman’s Bank Records. American Ancestors (formerly New England Ancestors) – Online access in the library. This link will only work on our public library database computer or with a password from the reference desk. The New England Historic Genealogical Society’s collection features over 110 million names from court records, church records, periodicals, newspapers, city and town directories, census, tax, and voter lists, diaries and journals, land records, military records, published genealogies, biographies and more!
    15. 15. Some of the many online resources • (the library does not have a subscription though many patrons will) • • • (library has subscription) • (library has subscription) • • • •
    16. 16. HeritageQuest
    17. 17. Where to start • Heritage Quest is available either in the library or from home by going the library’s website Select “Research”.
    18. 18. • Select “Online Research”
    19. 19. • Select “H” or scroll down to find HeritageQuest. You could also view databases by subject.
    20. 20. • Select “HeritageQuest Online”
    21. 21. • Enter your library card number (no spaces) and select “Connect”.
    22. 22. Welcome to HeritageQuest!
    23. 23. • Search results
    24. 24. • Select the “1860 Census”, Illinois State, then “Sangamon County”
    25. 25. • This brings us to an overview of the record. To view the record select the individual’s surname.
    26. 26. • Here we can view additional information about the record and below that the record itself.
    27. 27. • We can see the listing here for Abraham Lincoln and his family.
    28. 28. Have Fun! • This is a hobby, don’t get overwhelmed. • Don’t think that you will complete all your research tonight or in the next five years. • Enjoy the process, celebrate the discoveries and learn from the dead ends. • Find friends that are also doing research. • Join the Genealogy Support Group • Ask for help (most librarians love helping patrons with genealogy questions).