27 November 2009

Black Friday Sales

This morning I went Black Friday shopping for the first time in my life and while I did not see anyone get hurt (thankfully) I think I may stick to online Black Friday shopping from now on.

I hope your shopping trips were as successful or more so than mine.

I did not see any genealogy services on blackfriday.info but I think there should be sales on genealogy research so until the end of 2009, if you contact me and pay for a research project you will receive the 20% discount. Just mention this post.

10 November 2009

Cemetery Records Updated

Go to the Archives page and you will see there have been a couple more cemeteries added. Two more have been announced, so keep a look out for more, especially if you had ancestors in York or Adams Co. PA

06 November 2009

People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access

People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access:
"November 4th, 2009:
Getting Our Bill out of Committee
Our bill (HB 931) is 'Stuck in Committee'. In an effort to get it out of committee and voted on by the entire PA State Assembly we could use your help in getting the head of the House Health & Human Services Committee Rep. Frank Oliver to have it voted on by that committee.

Below is a sample letter addressed to the Rep. Oliver. Feel absolutely free to change or rewrite as you please, to use one of the sample letters from the main page of this website or write your own letter. But please send a letter or email or something. Any letter or email sent is better than no message and a message not sent accomplishes nothing. Silence will not draw attention to the bill. Even if you have already sent a message about this cause it doesn't hurt to send a second one. It only shows you consider this cause to be important. It also doesn't hurt to send a message to the other committee members. The link to find them are also below:

Letter to State Representative Oliver
The members of the House Health & Human Services Committee can be found at: HHSC"

As a very calm genealogist I spend hours looking through records to find even one name of an ancestor.
I am willing to do it. It is so much fun for me! I love it!

What is the problem you ask???

PA currently has laws against open access for even the oldest Death Certificates which prohibits millions of people from finding more about their ancestors!
Sure they say they will look a record up for you if you pay them, wait a few months, give them a copy of your ID, sign your life away, etc. etc.
But who thinks that is fair???

26 October 2009

FamilySearch Labs

For some time I have had a link to FamilySearch Labs Blog listed on the side of my blog as one of my other favorite genealogy blogs.

I have not made an effort to duplicate all the announcements from these other good blogs and I recommend you subscribe to them. I was surprised when recently I was informed of a new service in beta by FamilySearch that was not detailed on their Labs Blog. Generally, all of their beta or pilot projects are discussed there. Goes to show they just keep on going even if we do not get the news updates. It is comforting to know that such an influential genealogy organization is moving forward with so many projects.

The project I speak of is Community Trees. Check it out: http://histfam.familysearch.org/

I can't wait until all of their tools are brought together into their home page:

UPDATE: The FamilySearch Labs Blog stopped being updated on 14 Apr 2010, but the projects discussed on the FamilySearch.org Labs site continue to show FamilySearch's efforts to improve user experience.
"tools are brought together" on FamilySearch.org in January 2011. See my blog post about it.

FamilySearch Indexing Upgrade

There is always so much exciting news going on in the world of genealogy. Today I became aware of some upgrades to the FamilySearchIndexing.org program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Many genealogical websites offer the opportunity to volunteer your time to help others find their ancestors more easily. This effort consists of reading images of original records like census and vital records so you can type what you see on them.
The typed 'index' can then be searched by researchers.

Recently a few changes were made to make the process more user friendly.
Look closely. There is a hint of many more projects to come.
See details here: https://fch.ldschurch.org/fsinformation/Messages/en/FSI_New_Features-Oct_2009.pdf

20 October 2009

Cemetery Transcription/Images Added

Christ Church Episcopal
Colonial English Parish
Founded 1746

York Springs,
Adams County, Pennsylvania
Created October 20, 2009

All photos taken June 17, 2009 and
contributed by Michael W. McCormick
View text transcription of this cemetery

Tombstone Images
Maria Caroline
Charles G.
Juliet M. Hamersly

For additional information on this cemetery, please contact
Ye Olde Sulphur Spa Historical Society
Adams County PA USGenWeb Archives - Tombstone Photos
Adams County PA USGenWeb Archives - Index
USGenWeb Archives - Pennsylvania
Created for use in the USGenWeb Archives by
Kathy Francis © 2009

16 October 2009

Cemetery Photography Project Continues

Cemeteries are a favorite place for many genealogists. We love to find out about those who have gone before us, though we often tire of being in front of a microfilm reader or computer screen for hours on end.
A walk in the cemetery is just the kind of break a passionate genealogist needs.
For those of you who don't know Enduring Legacy Genealogy has been partnering with the USGenWeb Archive to photograph local cemeteries.
As of this article we have published three full cemeteries on the Internet. The most recent are:
Even if you do not have ancestors in these areas you may find it interesting to look through these. ELG is accepting volunteers to help with the process of photographing cemeteries. No matter where you are, we challenge you to take a walk, take your camera with you and when you are done feel free to e-mail them to us to have uploaded to the Internet. If you are the one who took the photograph your name will be included as contributor on the Internet when the photos are uploaded.
We thank our first contributors to this project who helped with the York Springs Lutheran Cemetery.

05 October 2009

How to Find Living Relatives

Planning a reunion? Don't know how to find those cousins who moved accross the country a few generations back? Learn how to find just about anyone.

Years ago one of my many favorite genealogy sites was ZabaSearch.com
Everyone needs a little more zaba. I was there when it was new. I was there when it was no longer available for free and now I'm back when I see that I can get good stuff for free again. When it wasn't so free I began turning back to other sites.

Over the years I have come to love Intelius.com because without paying you can see relatives of most living people (their immediate family who have lived at the same address.) Intelius will list the ages for free too which you can calculate approximate birth years from. (You have to search for each name individually to find a person's age.) ZabaSearch will give a persons birth year and sometimes month next to their name for free too. There once was a very good website where you could get almost anyone's birth date who was living or recently passed. I forget the URL because I was also there when it closed. There is a site BirthDatabase.com that tries to do the same, but in my opinion is no better than the two search websites I just discussed.

For those of us who are really into the web wouldn't it be nice to be able to find living relatives' profiles on Facebook, Twitter or MySpace by searching one simple site? I thought so. Then one day I saw an ad on Ancestry.com for MyLife.com which promised just that. It works better for that purpose than any other site I know about, but it has a long way to go. I use a combination of these and a few others in this order of usefulness:
  1. ZabaSearch

  2. Intelius

  3. Facebook

  4. Ancestry

  5. MyLife

So you know what websites to use, but how do you use them. Let me use an example. One of my many genealogy goals I set awhile back was to contact and keep in touch with all the descendants of my 3rd-great grandfather Samuel McCormick. Because my great grandparents had some interest in keeping in touch with their family I had the names of many of Samuel's descendants within a couple generations of him. It cut off around 1900 on most lines though. I filled in gaps by tracing them forward on the census (to 1930). I gathered all the Social Security Death Index records I could, as well as other records that can be found on Ancestry. Then phonebooks and directories come in. Often a person who was a child on the 1930 Census will be an adult on the directories of the 1980's-2000's on Ancestry. If the person's age and location are nearly the same you can judge you have found the right person. Often the phone numbers on these records are out dated (it doesn't hurt to check.) If they don't work that is when you look on the other sites like Intelius.com to get a more updated number. ZabaSearch often gives you many of the older listings for people too which is good for tracking moves, but you may find yourself trying ten numbers before you get to the right person. It is so worth it when you get back in touch though. Then on these sites you often can find the younger generation between 20's-60's in age who may potentially use Facebook. Search for all of their names on there and you have instant e-mail connectivity as well as an easy way to share pedigrees and photos.

Happy hunting, cousin!

24 September 2009

ELG Supports PaHR-Access

"PaHR-Access (People for Better Pennsylvania Historical Records Access) is strictly a grassroots organization started in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania in August of 2007. It was first known as People for Better Access to Pennsylvania Historical Records (PBAPHR). The name change took place in early November 2007 to allow for a more pronounceable acronym (i.e. par-access)."

The mission of PaHR-Access is to promote legislation that will make directly accessible vital records of our deceased Pennsylvania ancestors. These records are some of the best sources to expand our pedigrees as they will often list parents names. Having a copy of the record will also help us build stories about our ancestors. Even those who have no genealogical interest may benefit from statistical knowledge and/or history as well as potentially learning their ancestral medical histories. Some such records may be obtained after long processes, mail-in forms, identification and fees currently, but anyone who has done this will understand the need to have direct public access.

Though not officially affiliated ELG has grown alongside PaHR-Access for the past two years. With permission of the administrator, Tim Gruber, the founder of ELG created a social network group on Facebook to help make others aware of this cause. For some time we were running ads on the Internet to help inform individuals of the need for action. In local churches we posted fliers and were able to obtain a majority at one congregation to send letters encouraging PA House Representatives to stand with us on this issue. The majority of my contact with state governmental officials on this topic has shown their opinion is in the affirmative.

It is a slow hard process as with most changes in legislation, but with continued effort we will prevail. Anyone who has ancestors in Pennsylvania will benefit from the passing of the recommended legislation directly. Though I have few Pennsylvania ancestors I take a personal interest in this for my clients as well as the entire community.

It is encouraging that several genealogical and/or historical organizations have been endorsing the movement.

Please do whatever you can to contribute your time. You can go to the website by clicking the title on this post or get ideas here.

23 September 2009

eLegacy Genealogy YouTube Channel

If you have been to our website lately you have noticed the use of YouTube video(s) in helping you navigate through our many resources. As of this post we have one website navigation video and one video in which I enthusiastically introduce myself and my connection to ELG. In order to benefit from the convenient tools and presentation abilities available for videos on YouTube we have released our official YouTube Channel this month. Check it out here: eLegacy Genealogy
Not to give too much away, we are developing ways to use video in reaching our audience. If you would like to contribute to these developments leave a comment.

Volunteer Partnership with USGenWeb Archives

Earlier this month ELG announced a partnership with volunteers at USGenWeb Archives. The goal of this project is to make available tombstone photograph collections of local Adams and York County, PA cemeteries. Such volunteer provided online cemetery records have been key in my research for my ancestors and I'm glad to be contributing to the overall effort. On 20 Sep 2009 the first wave of this project was officially released in connection with Kathy Francis of the York County, PA USGenWeb Archive. Bott's Graveyard was the first cemetery to be uploaded. You can browse the photos here: http://usgwarchives.net/pa/york/1picts/cemeteries/botts-wmanchester/botts.htm

22 September 2009

ELG introduces BLOG

After seeing the inefficiency of the first version of the Enduring Legacy Genealogy website from late 2007-2008 I scrapped it and made this blog a companion to my new website. I have admired genealogical blogs from other enthusiasts for some time. The AncestryInsider & Renee's Genealogy Blog were my primary inspirations. With the increased popularity of my services and demand for genealogical advice, news, and tips, Enduring Legacy Genealogy brings you our own WebLog (blog). Content may include select genealogical news from areas such as Pennsylvania, Baltimore, the north eastern United States, Germany and Ireland. My favorite topics include new genealogy technology, what is new with FamilySearch websites, and genealogy volunteerism.

August 2011. The official website of Enduring Legacy Genealogy has moved entirely into this blog.