Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Bit of Self-promotion: Capsules of my Genealogy Presentations

As I posted yesterday, I have a series of genealogy presentations available for societies, organizations and clubs that are interested in a speaker. I have delivered programs before groups in Florida, Ohio and Indiana, so I am willing to travel. I enjoy making any of the presentations, so I'm open to doing any of them. I also enjoy working with those new to genealogy, so my beginners session gets a lot of exposure and can be a single session or a series of more detailed sessions.
Two of my programs are in costumed 1st person format and aimed primarily at the Revolutionary War era. The last one on the list is still under development. Read #4 as "at the risk of our lives and fortunes."

Genealogical Presentation Topics:
1.      Researching Collateral Ancestors: Thar’s Gold in Them Thar Relatives!: Case studies will be used to demonstrate how researching siblings, cousins, and neighbors can help connect direct line ancestors.

2.      Using Online Resources to Help Solve Brick Wall Problems: A discussion of various online resources used to help complete a family group record suffering from errors and missing information.

3.      Mining Family Histories & Genealogies: Boom or Bust? Proceed with Caution!: Family histories and genealogies are a sought after resource. This presentation will examine how they can help and hinder research.

4.      “at the risque of our lives and ffortunes”: Researching Revolutionary War Ancestors: Two case studies [Pvt. John Faucett & Capt. Edward Prall] will be used to examine a variety of resources available to tell the story of a Revolutionary War veteran.

5.      Using City Directories to Fill in the Blanks in Family Research:  This presentation will take a look at city/county directories and what these wonderful resources can offer in filling in missing pieces of family history research.  

6.      Marriage Records: Different Ways to Record Getting’ Hitched: This presentation will cover different marriage records from colonial times to present.

7.      An Introduction to Genealogy: This presentation is designed primarily for those new to genealogy. It can be tailored to be a standard presentation, class, or series of sessions. More experienced researchers will, hopefully, pick up a few pointers as well.

8.      A Visit with John Faucett, veteran and pioneer: An 80 year old pensioner relates his early years on the Virginia frontier, life among the Indians, the War for Independence, and pioneering Ohio and Indiana. [presented in 1st person; 1830s costume]

9.      A Meeting with Captain Edward Prall of the Maryland Line: Edward Prall relates his story as a New Jersey farm boy, merchant-trader, signer of the Bush Declaration, and officer in one of the Continental Army’s prized regiments at Long Island through the Southern Campaign. [presented in 1st person; Rev. War uniform]

10.  Brushes with the Famous and Infamous: A Light-hearted Look at Some of the Heroes, Villains and Misguided Souls from My Genealogy Research: When I started my research, I hoped that I might find connections to two of my “childhood heroes.” Little did I know the assortment of historical figures that would play a role in the lives of my ancestors, or turn out to be my ancestors! This presentation takes a light-hearted look at my genealogical connections to an assortment of heroes, scoundrels and everyday folks from the 17th through the 20th century. 

11.  San Juan Hill, A Mayflower Connection, a Ship Lost at Sea and other bits of family lore: Family stories and tidbits from other researchers spun some interesting tales. The trick was to find out if they were truth, fabrications or a combination of the two. This presentation discusses various approaches to proving and disproving family lore.
12. Pioneer Migration to Indiana: This presentation will examine the settlement of Indiana from about 1700 until 1900. The early history, ethnic heritage and migration routes will be discussed. Attendees will learn where their Hoosier ancestors came from and how and when they arrived in Indiana. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Greetings, Resolutions, Presentations & Salt Lake

Merry Christmas!! I have decided on a couple of early genealogy-based New Year's resolutions.
(1) I need to post on the blog in a more regular fashion.
(2) I'm going to take a look at my RootsMagic program and check family by family to see where information needs to be gathered and plugged in. There are a lot of families that I haven't updated in years. I'll post the updates on the blog in case anyone can benefit from the process and info.

In upcoming days, I'll be posting capsules of my genealogy presentations. If any readers are in need of a speaker for their groups or societies, please let me know. I have done single presentations and full-day conferences in the past.

I will be attending the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in a couple of weeks. I will post each day's progress and events in hopes of encouraging some folks to attend in 2014.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Uh-oh Moments

One of the insurance or other companies offers AH HA Moment commercials; in genealogy I have "ah ha" and "uh oh" moments. I've been working on my girlfriend's paternal line off-and-on for awhile.

Her undocumented pedigree chart has seven generations of Murphys. James, Bartholomew M., William B., James N., Weeden B., Clyde W., her father and her. I had located a burial record for William B., which gave his parents as James and Lydia. I was scavenging for family records and let that slip by. I was thinking of the 1st James as the father. Has anyone seen my "uh oh" yet?

An old query in the International Genealogical Dictionary [1909] mentioned James' arrival from Dublin in Philly with wife and newborn son Bartholomew in 1774. That seems to be the origin of the lineage on the pedigree chart. The came my "uh oh!" moment - Bartholomew didn't fit.

It finally dawned on me that Bartholomew and the James given as William B.'s father were from the same generation! IF the immigrant James was the father of both, then things start making sense. The possible 1st four generations would have been James, James, William B. and James N.

Now all I have to do is prove my "uh oh" is now an "ah ha."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Heritage and Christmas Traditions

I decided to take a quick look at the countries from which my ancestors came and the Christmas traditions associated with them. I can lay claim to the following lands of origin at this point in time: England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales,The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany [Baden, Westphalia, so far], and Belgium [Walloons].

The "naughty or nice" list figured prominently in most of the countries, here are a few others:

Great Britain: Father Christmas, Christmas Trees, gift-filled stockings, window candles, holly
Germany: St. [Ni]Claus, Christmas Trees, holly, gingerbread houses and cookies
The Netherlands: St. Nicholas, gift exchange on Dec. 5*
Belgium / Walloons: St. Nicholas - 2 visits!
Sweden: Christmas trees and elves
Switzerland: Silver bells, Christkindli with reindeer and sleigh

*This one stood out as the gifts were called "surprises." My Christmas wish list to Santa every year ended with "and surprises." Must have been the Dutch bloodlines!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Genealogy Wish List

As we move closer to Christmas, many of the genealogy magazines, blogs, etc. publish articles covering the "wish lists" of professional genealogists. All sorts of technolgy tools enter into the lists. I guess mine is officially technology-oriented and will likely never come to pass.

One of my all-time favorite books and movies is H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine." There you have it. My Christmas wish is for a Time Machine! Portable scanners, I-Pad apps, resource books, subscriptions and what-not would be fantastic, but time travel!!!!!

Imagine traveling back a couple of generations to interview an ancestor! Talk about primary sources. Nailing down source documentation might be a bit tricky. Do you put down the date of the interview as 2012 or 1860?

Here are a few of my "time trips":
[1] Travel back to, say, 1918 Indianapolis, and chat with my mother's family. My grandfather could fill me in on the McHughs, grandma on the Crails. Grandma's parents could answer a few questions on the Crail, Simmons and Crousore families. Interviewing gggm Catherine O'Neill Crail, who came from Co. Cork in 1852 would be a real treat.
[2] Another trip to Indy, about 1830, to visit with my Faucett family. Questions galore for John and Eve Faucett! Was John really captured by Indians? Where and when did they get married? Was Thomas the son of John and Eve, or was John married before? The list goes on!
[3] I'd remain in Indiana about the same time to visit with my Crousore and Smith ancestors. I'd be able to find out who John Crousore's wife was and straighten out the Smith lineage.
[4] An 1860ish sojourn to Madison Co., Missouri to chat with my Wagner family from Baden.
[5] A visit with my Wolary family about 1870 in Ohio: Where was gggm Margaret born? Who was her grandmother on the Hubbard side? When did her mother die?

There are a lot of stops that I would like to make. Some might be tricky if period clothing wasn't available [visiting Salem, Mass. in 1692.] Travel outside of central Indiana might be difficult, if, as Mr. Wells proposed, the machine remained in the same place, but in yesterday's time.

There is my Christmas wish - a time machine. Once my travels are completed, I would be more than willing to loan out the machine - for a price! :)-