Saturday, February 27, 2010

This Blog Has A New Home

I have officially made the leap and moved my blog over to a hosted website.  You can find the new home of this blog at - and I encourage you to go over there for all future articles.

I will however keep all previous articles here.  I have a copy of them over at my new blog home, but just in case anyone is referred to this blog they can still find me and all of the posts that I've written.

I want to thank everyone for their continuous support and friendship that gave me the courage to take the next step and make my blog even better.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Are There Common Traits All Genealogists Share?

After reading What Does It Take To Be A Successful Genealogist on the Genoom Blog, I started thinking about what I considered to be the traits that are needed to be a successful genealogists.  I decided that patience was a much needed trait to be mentioned (read my comment at the bottom of the post if you'd like to see exactly what I said).  As I was writing a comment with my thoughts, I began to contemplate whether I shared any of these traits.

I began to realize that I am not always patient in my research by choice but rather by force.  I am forced to wait until the microfilm comes into the library.  I am forced to wait for the 1940 census to be released before I can gain more clues about my grandparents.  I am forced to wait for the record that I ordered to come in the mail.  I am forced to wait until June for a good time at the Jamboree.  If I had things my way I am sure that I would choose things to be much more instant.

I also realized that I am a perfectionist in my research.  I want my research to be perfect.  I want my citations to be perfect.  I want my pedigree chart to be filled in completely with just the perfect font (Oh yes - the details do matter).  I want detailed notes on each person in my database.  Everything relating to my own research must be perfect.

(Just to clarify real quick - this isn't to say that my ancestors must be perfect or fit into some neat little box.  Rather, my research techniques and the way that I display my ancestors must be perfect)

I am also a busy body.  While your family tree is just something that is never complete, I am always one who is willing to jump from one ancestor to the next.  When I finish one ancestor I do not take a break - I dive right into the next ancestral adventure and continue looking for clues.  I am always on the search for the next story of a black sheep, revolutionist, non-conformist, courageous immigrant, proud patriot, loving mother, etc.  Each ancestor has a story that I am desperately searching for and anxious to share.

But after reflecting on myself, I began to realize that there are other researchers who I believe share some of these traits.  How often am I on Facebook reading about another genea-friend wishing for more hours in a day?  How many of us genealogists are frustrated about finding an incorrect source citation in our database?  How many of us are always searching for further clues to discover the story of the next ancestor?

It isn't to say that any of these traits are bad.  If anything they have made me a better genealogist.

So what do you think?  Do you share any of these traits?  Or do you believe there are other traits that genealogists share?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Featuring A County From USGenWeb: Cattaraugus County, New York

This week's featured county webpage from USGenWeb is Cattaraugus County, New York.  I often use this webpage when researching my Downer line.  It is full of useful details, hints, and helpful resources.  The team that works on this webpage (and yes, it truly is a team) has done an incredibly job.

To the left is the top of the webpage.  It has a map of the entire state of New York that points out where Cattaraugus County is.  It also has a clickable map of the towns in Cattaraugus.  When you click on a town name, you will be taken to a new webpage devoted to that specific town.

To the left is a screen view of an incredibly useful feature for genealogists: The search feature.  This search box is made of search the entire county webpage.  You can enter surnames, key words, occupations, etc and see a list of results that apply to the search terms - it is just like a regular search engine, except that it only searches the Cattaraugus County webpage.

The webpage also features a section of helpful starting points.  This is a must read for any new genealogist or anyone who is unfamiliar with the county website.

The webpage also highlights the very helpful mailing list and query boards.

The webpage also lists resources that are helpful when doing research in this county.

The webpage also features two biography books that are fully searchable.

Anyone with ancestors from Cattaraugus County should be using this webpage.  This is one awesome county webpage made possibly by a team of dedicated genealogists with interests of providing helpful resources for free.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm Going For The Gold!

Are you excited?  The Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games are back!  I am so happy to compete and get some real genealogy work done.  These games are a lot of fun, brings the GeneaBlogger community closer, and makes all of us a bit more efficient for the month of February.

I will be competing in all of the competition categories:
  • Go Back and Cite Your Sources
  • Back Up Your Data
  • Organize Your Research
  • Expand Your Knowledge
  • Write, Write, Write
  • Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness
My goal is to get a minimum of gold in each of the above categories.  As long as my excitement stays up, it won't be too difficult to get a gold in each category.

My flag that I will be carrying for these games is a representation of my heritage.  On the bottom, a small German flag and a small United Kingdom flag represents the heritage that I've inherited from my ancestors.  The top half of the flag is the American flag because above it all, I am a proud American.

Will you be participating in the games?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Featuring a County From USGenWeb: Carter County, Tennessee

As part of a new series, every week I will be featuring a county website from the USGenWeb Project.  I feel that it is important to spread the word about this helpful and free resource (free is my favorite price).  I will not feature every county, but instead feature the counties that I find to be the most useful.

What is The USGenWeb Project?

The USGenWeb Project is a collection of free webpages that are created and updated by volunteers who are willing to post helpful genealogy information.  The website is divided up by state and then by county.  Each county and state has different amounts of information and the quality of information really varies.  The more involved the genealogy community is to share information on the county and state webpages, the better the webpages will be.  To read more about the USGenWeb Project, click here.

Featuring... Carter County, Tennessee.

This week's county website is Carter County, Tennessee.

The webpage may look plain but don't be fooled.  It is so full of useful and helpful information.

Possibly one of my favorite resources is the "Carter County Pensioners - 1835".  It is a list of the men that were recieving this pension and living in Carter County.

The webpage also has the free census indexes for the 1830, 1840, 1850, and 1860 Federal Census for Carter County.

Another feature of the Carter County, Tennessee USGenWeb Project webpage is the Query section.  You can either view Queries or you can submit a Query.  It is a very good idea to submit a query because it gets your genealogy research out there.  It also gives prospective cousins and other researchers a chance to find you and send you some information.

While this is not all of the great features that the Carter County, Tennessee USGenWeb Project webpage offers, it is a great start.  I highly suggest that you check out the this website if you have ancestors that lived in Carter County.