Category Archives: Genealogy Program

Research in the Equality State: Online Card Catalogs

If you haven’t used the card catalog feature on a few of the main genealogical sites we all might use every day, let me take this moment in Wyoming research to demonstrate it. Main of the big genealogy sites have this feature but I have found that over the years, not many know about it or use it. I’ll show both Ancestry and FamilySearch’s card catalogs today, but be on the lookout for a similar feature on other sites.

At Ancestry, you can find the Card Catalog under the Search Tab:

Ancestry’s Card Catalog

Once your in the card catalog, you can filter your results by using the options on the left. For this example, I have filtered by “USA” and “Wyoming:

You can further filter by the county, record category etc. This will help you see more quickly databases, record sets, and sources that Ancestry has for Wyoming specifically.

Similarly, at FamilySearch, you can also search the “Catalog.” From the home screen, it can be found under the Search tab:

FamilySearch’s Catalog

From this screen, you will see options to search by Place, Surnames, Titles, Author, Subject, and Keywords. Most of the time, I find I use the Place search.

FamilySearch’s Catalog

You can start your search broadly by typing in “Wyoming”:

FamilySearch’s Catalog

From there you can see all of the options that are at the state level, or you can click on “Places within United States, Wyoming” and see a list of counties:

FamilySearch’s Catalog – Wyoming
FamilySearch’s Catalog – Wyoming Counties List

Once you’ve picked a county, you can see what records they have for Albany County land records:

FamilySearch – Albany County Land Records in the Catalog

From there, it is almost like the “old days” of scrolling through microfilm, except you are at home. (Of course, there are some digitized films that must be looked at while at a Family History Center or Affiliate library due to contract restrictions.)

FamilySearch Catalog Entry for Deeds
FamilySearch Deed Index for Albany County

So, if I want to look up any deeds for Susan Baily, I can start “scrolling” or clicking and find the B entries in this index and then find the deed.

Using the card catalog allows me to be more thorough and intentional with my research. If you are just using the global search function from the front page of any of these large genealogical sites, you are probably missing a lot of records. Give the card catalog a look.

Study Group Forming: Mastering Genealogical Proof

The last study group of 2021 is forming now. The group begins on October 6, 2021. There are two time slots, one with Cyndi Ingle (of Cyndi’s List) and one with me (Cari Taplin).

This will be a beginner/low-intermediate level class to study the book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Tom Jones. We will cover the principles outlined in the book as well as discuss the workbook questions.

We are also offering one free seat in each group on behalf of the Donna Hansen Peterson Scholarship.

For more information on the study group, you can read the details here: https://genealogypants.com/research-and-consultation-services/classes-and-study-groups/mastering-genealogical-proof-beginning-principles-class/

The group begins on October 6, 2021 so hurry to register:

Wednesdays, 3pm Eastern (with Cyndi): Click here to register. 

Wednesdays, 7pm Eastern (with Cari): Click here to register.

We look forward to studying with you!

Announcing: Donna Peterson Scholarship for GenealogyPants Classes

The Genealogy World lost one of the friendliest and most inspirational students and researchers in June 2021, Donna Peterson. She was one of my students, participating in several study groups I’ve organized over the years. She was always just “going for it” in whatever she was doing. She was on the clock working toward her certification with the Board for Certification of Genealogists. During the pandemic, she took as many online courses and institutes as she could. She was just so active, energetic, and enthusiastic about genealogy and was an inspiration to many.

Donna Hansen Peterson from her Facebook Profile

I coordinate several study groups with Cyndi Ingle and we wanted to honor Donna by offering a scholarship in her name. For each of our study groups, we will offer one registration fee per instructor per group. The first group this will apply to is the Mastering Genealogical Proof study group that will be forming soon and will begin meeting in October. Information about our study groups can be seen here.

To apply for the Donna Peterson Scholarship, click here for the online form.

GRIP Registration Opens Today!

Just a quick note to let you know that registration for the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) opens today! Click HERE for more information.

I will be coordinating a course about Great Lakes research titled “The Spirit of the Inland Seas” with the wonderfully experienced and fun teachers such as Paula Stuart Warren, Cyndi Ingle, and Judy G. Russell.

I will also be teaching in Paula Stuart Warren’s course “Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills.” I will present on the topics of probate records and PERSI.

Registration opens today, Wednesday, February 17th, at Noon Eastern for June courses and 2 PM Eastern for July courses. I hope to see you there!

Beginning Concepts: Popular Genealogical Websites

When I first started genealogy, there were a decent number of online sources, but most everything was still in a library or archive somewhere. I wrote a lot of letters and filled out a lot of vital records applications when I first started. I began on the cusp of what the internet has become (and still becoming) in terms of online genealogy.

If you are a beginner today, I just wanted to share my top genealogical websites for starting your genealogical journey. Some are free, some are subscription. I hear a lot of complaining about the subscription prices, but when I think about how much I spent on mail and application fees, or gas or plane tickets and hotels to conduct this research “back in the day,” it doesn’t compare in my mind. Having access to millions of records at home, in the middle of the night (or early hours of the morning if you are more like me), is worth the fee to me.

My top genealogy sites for getting started (and in no particular order, only as they come to mind):

  • FamilySearch (free) – Hosts millions of digitized records and books that is constantly growing with new digitized microfilms every day, has an invaluable research wiki, and has a public-generated and edited family tree.
  • Ancestry (subscription, though you may access a library edition through a local library) – Also has millions of digitized records, databases, books, newspapers, and more. Also has a DNA database and public member trees.
  • Find A Grave (free) – Public-sourced cemetery and gravestone database full of millions of memorial pages for individuals from all over the world.
  • A newspaper site that holds the newspapers YOU need. Try Newspapers.com ($), NewspaperArchive ($), Genealogybank ($), or Chronicling America (free). Examine their catalog before buying a subscription!

Do you have a question of a more specialized nature? Perhaps you want to find some charts and forms to get you started, or find out more about railroad records, or are not even sure what you want to know more about? Another fantastic source I recommend to beginners and advanced researchers alike is Cyndi’s List.

Cyndi’s List has categories for you to browse. Don’t search the site, browse it. Find a category that fits your research question. This site is a list of links to other websites. But they are sites you may not have known to search for on Google or even know that those records and resources even existed.

Genealogy on the internet has exploded in the 20 years I’ve been involved. So much more is accessible at our fingertips than ever before! Get out there and find your ancestors.

NGSQ Study Group Registration for 2021 Now Open

Registration for the NGSQ study groups that I’ve set up are now open for 2021. This year, I enlisted the help of friend and colleague, Cyndi Ingle (of Cyndi’s List) to help with the Monday groups.

IMG_3953

This is a monthly study group that will examine one National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) journal article per month as posted on the website NGSQ Study Groups. We will study these articles with a focus on principles taught in Mastering Genealogical Proof (MGP) by Tom Jones. We will discuss topics on the genealogy standards, evidence analysis and correlation, writing, citations, and more. The cost is $50 for the year. For this price, you will get a monthly study group session for one hour with your peers. You will receive the discussion questions at least two weeks prior to the online meeting. There will also be a private Facebook Group for mid-month discussion. This Facebook group will be private and limited to study group participants only, no outside noise!

Your commitment is to come prepared to discuss the questions (or simply show up and listen). I believe the benefit you will get out of a class is equal to the effort you put into it. But I also realize that life happens and if you didn’t have time to prepare, showing up and listening to the other discussion can be a benefit as well.

To read more and see the exact schedule, visit this page: Classes and Study Groups

To register, here are the options:

We hope to see you there!

MGP Study Groups Forming

Mastering Genealogical Proof – Beginning Principles Class

This is a beginner/low-intermediate level class to study the book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Tom Jones. We will cover the principles outlined in the book as well as discuss the workbook questions.

Details of the course (PLEASE READ):

  • There will be two sessions: Wednesday daytime (lead by Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi’s List), at 3pm Eastern, and Wednesday evenings (lead by Cari Taplin) at 8pm Eastern (so adjust for your time zone). Beginning October 21, 2020 and ending December 2, 2020 (so 7 weeks total). Each class will be about an hour.
  • We will meet on Zoom. 
  • Cost for the course: $50
  • You will need to have the book, Mastering Genealogical Proof. It can be purchased on Amazon or through the National Genealogical Society if you don’t already have it.
  • There are questions in the book that we will use to guide discussion. Reading the chapter and answering the discussion questions will prepare you for each week’s class.
  • For first half (or so) of each class session, I will present/recap the principles for that week (I’ll have slides).
  • The second half will be going over the discussion questions.
  • There will also be a private Facebook group for this class only so you can ask questions and discuss issues in-between class sessions.
  • Class size is limited to 25.

If you are interested, please sign up for the class time you are interested in:

Wednesdays, 3pm Eastern (with Cyndi): https://checkout.square.site/buy/B2CTZ6RZDKMBTFKXMDLMNVWJ

Wednesdays, 8pm Eastern (with Cari): 
https://checkout.square.site/buy/OH7CH7EPLVM5VS7EW3CEM3DV

We look forward to studying with you!

NOTE: If this session does not work for you and you would like to go back on the waitlist, please click here to sign up: https://app.waitwhile.com/l/mgpbeginning

Box Adventures: Organizing Physical Items (Part 1)

Once my scanning assistant is done scanning, these photos, clippings, and other items have just been going back in the box or envelope for now. I don’t have on hand the items I need to store these treasures in archival sleeves, albums, or boxes. I do have a few archival boxes but they are the kind for documents, not really set up for small photos. So, a shopping “trip” was in order.

A friend and colleague has been working on the same kind of project (hi, Yvette!) and her photos of her archival albums got me to shopping. Gaylord Archival is a fantastic resource for archival materials: binders, albums, photo sleeves, folders, boxes, and so much more! I ordered some archival photo sleeves in two sizes, a binder box, and some folders for booklets.

This is part one of this series because, I’m only reporting that this week all I managed to do was get that order in. And they are located in New York. At the time of my order, the state was on lockdown for the COVID pandemic. When this posts, they may be open and shipping. We shall see. I will have to report back when the items arrive and more progress has been made. In the meantime, we get a little scanning done in between finals and AP tests!

Stay safe out there and happy archiving!

Mastering Genealogical Proof Class forming

As planned, a new class is opening this summer on Mastering Genealogical Proof. This will be a seven-Week Beginning Principles Course taking place on Wednesday Evenings (7pm Central) June 3rd through July 15. This is for those who have never studied this book before. We will be studying this from a beginner or slightly intermediate level. If you’ve done one of these groups before and want a refresher, that’s ok too! I will take 25 students.

Sign up here

I am still in the planning stages of the documentation class for the fall. And maybe starting a writer’s group but am still trying to decide how that one will work most effectively. You can sign up for early notification on either of those here: https://genealogypants.com/research-and-consultation-services/classes-and-study-groups/

Busy Fall and Preparing for SLIG Tech Day

Fall always seems to bring on a fresh new season of busy-ness. I’m usually quite busy around the holidays, busy around spring, busy in the summer, and then fall hits and things are busy again…but the feeling of fall is one of starting. Which is weird because seasonally we are getting ready for winter and hibernation. This is likely a product of the school year, fall through winter and so autumn brings on the feeling of beginning again.

I have been working on filling in my schedule of speaking engagements for the foreseeable future. I am teaching some local classes here and there. You can always see my upcoming lecture schedule on my Speaking Calendar page.

I am excited to be presenting two three-hour workshops for SLIG’s Tech Day on January 19, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. First I will teach “Using Evernote to Create an Effective Research Plan and Log System” followed by “Using Google’s MyMaps as a Research and Analysis Tool.”

I taught the Google’s MyMaps class last year. It went really well and sold out quickly, and they even added a few extra seats that sold out too so they agreed that we should see about teaching it again. Google’s MyMaps is a really cool tool and I enjoy showing people what it can do and then seeing what they come up with.

The Evernote presentation is a new one for me. I use Evernote everyday. I love it. It is so versatile, handy, easily accessible, user-friendly, and more. I find it quite easy to use both for research planning and logging, or “plogging” as I like to call it.

Both workshops will be interactive with in-class exercises that will ensure the students practice what I am demonstrating, and get them to a place that they can begin right away with the tools.

For more information on SLIG Tech Day, visit this website: https://ugagenealogy.org/cpage.php?pt=526