Follow Friday: Genea-Musings, a3Genealogy, and SavingStories

It’s Follow Friday and I’m always honored to feature extraordinary genealogists that I’ve had the good fortune and pleasure to learn from online. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for a genealogist who writes and maintains a blog that just about covers it all – genealogy research tips and techniques, news items and commentary, family history research and stories, genealogy humor and engaging “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” activities — then I know the perfect blog for you. It is Genea-Musings! When I feel that I’ve missed something important in the world of genealogy, I just head on over to Randy Seaver‘s special place in cyberspace, and get caught up with “all things genealogy” online and offline. My favorite label/topic to access on his blog is “Treasure Chest Thursday.” All of the artifacts and documents that he shares are EXCELLENT and often provide tips and information that I refer to when I’m looking at similar documents in my own family research collection. Be sure to stop by Genea-Musings as time allows today!

Make no mistake about it, genealogy is a lot of work that requires accurate genealogical investigation. A blog that immediately comes to mind with its accurate, accessible answers to analyzing genealogical evidence is, a3Genealogy.com, penned by Kathleen Brandt. Kathleen is an International Genealogy Consultant, speaker, and writer who specializes in military, naturalization records, Native American and African American Ancestry. Pick any post or topic on her blog to read and you will instantly be pulled into the information and/or instructions she gives about the subject. Some key elements I’ve taken away from her blog that I use in my own research: – 1) always determine the reliability of your documents; 2) decide which facts are accurate/correct in each document you’ve found; 3) defer making any judgments until all the facts are in (this is a tough one for me – LOL!), and 4) give an explanation that includes all the facts and be sure to analyze all information from various perspectives. Yep, Kathleen Brandt definitely knows her stuff! Don’t delay; plan on visiting a3Genealogy.com right away!

When I say family historian, Robin Foster’s passion for “all things genealogy” and  technology rivals mine, you better believe it! The title and subtitle of Robin’s blog – Saving Stories: Connecting to the Past, linking to the future – definitely expresses one of her goals which is to preserve oral history and historical records using social media and technology. So how is she accomplishing this goal? She publishes genealogy related online newspapers at Paper.li;  she’s the blog editor/owner of About Our Freedom, Over Troubled Water, Genealogy Journey, and Go Social with Genealogy; she’s the National African American History Examiner at Examiner.com; she’s the host of “Over Troubled Water” BlogTalkRadio Show and Genealogy on Location; she’s a FindAGrave Contributor (and a BillionGraves Contributor too); she’s social via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube. She has published an 8×8 personal storybook, Eyes to See: My Testimony to the World, via Heritage Makers where she is an award winning Book Publishing Consultant. Can you say WOW?! All I could say was WOW when I first started following Robin online last year. And I have a strong feeling that I haven’t listed for you today ALL of the online networks and blogs that she contributes to – LOL! So if you enjoy genealogy and technology, refer to any of the links I mention above and connect with Robin Foster today!

 

Follow Friday: Once Removed Family History, Taneya’s Genealogy Blog, and Red River Sankofa Project

Today is Follow Friday and I’m honored to call special attention to some excellent genealogy professionals I’ve had the pleasure to connect with recently. Enjoy!

Have you ever tried to explain the “once-removed” concept to someone to only have them get that glazed look in their eyes? I’m sure you have because you know exactly what glazed LOOK I’m talking about – ROFL!!! Well, if  you have a difficult time explaining this concept, or even understanding it yourself, I invite you to visit Genealogist & Family Historian, Anna Burroughs (@Njambi2/@OnceRemoved_AB) webpage titled, “So what IS a cousin ‘once removed’???, for a quick and easy explanation! I had the pleasure of personally meeting and chatting with Anna at the Houston Family Expo 2012 in April. She’s WONDERFUL and if you’re thinking of hiring someone to assist you with your family history research, then explore her website while you’re there for more information!

If you enjoy using technology with your genealogy as much as I do, then you should really think about adding Taneya’s Genealogy Blog to your feed reader — quick fast and in a hurry! Taneya (@Taneya) is a medical librarian who really knows her stuff! But what I love most about her is the way she uses her professional experience in information management & organization to demonstrate and disseminate information about how to use various types of technology in genealogical research. Her reviews on all the tools of the trade that she samples via her blog are on point. In short, I can always count on learning something exciting and new whenever I visit her special place in cyberspace. Check her out for yourself; visit her online today!

I had the pleasure of virtually meeting Genealogist & Family Historian, George Allen, when a branch of my family tree linked to his wife’s family tree on Ancestry.com! I sent him a message through Ancestry, we exchanged phone numbers and family information, and my connection with him as I grow my family tree online has been AWESOME! George’s excellent and informative website is the Red River Sankofa Project. This project and historical society functions as a non-profit historical data repository committed to researching, documenting, and preserving underreported African American burial grounds in NW Louisiana and NE Texas. Why these areas? The area along the upper Red River of Louisiana and along the Texas Louisiana border has long been forgotten in historical text. Therefore, this project’s goal is to honor the African American ancestors who settled in this area by telling their stories, sharing their contributions and rich legacy with future generations!

Was April 2012 a great month for genealogists?

Month of AprilWas April 2012 a great month for genealogists? I truly believe it was! If nothing else, it was one of the BEST and most EXCITING months for me in the world of genealogy!

It began with the most anticipated genealogical event to date — the release of the 1940 United States Census on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 9 AM sharp Eastern Standard Time! Despite the overloaded databases the first few hours and days by so many genealogists trying to access these records, I’ve been able to successfully search the census records and find new and existing family members, as well as, identify those who went MIA in earlier records. But more importantly, these records have given me some great insight into how much my family and America has changed since the 1940s!

Next, Family History Expo 2012 rolled into H-town. With sessions like — “New Avenues in Genetic Genealogy,” “Google Earth for Genealogy – Rock Your Ancestor’s World,” and “The Challenges of Genealogical Research in Ghana” to name a few (you can see other sessions I attended via my online conference directory at Lanyrd.com), I came away with some excellent research techniques and best practices that will certainly enhance the accuracy of my genealogical investigation and much more.

Last, but certainly not least, the results of my genetic DNA test are in– woo-hoo! That’s right! The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test that I ordered from Family Tree DNA during the first quarter of this year is back and I look forward to sharing those results with you in the coming weeks. Now, take one look at me and my family tree and it doesn’t take a genius to know that my ancestral origins are in Africa. But knowing more about the geographical region and the possible subculture groups that make up my ancestry is what makes genealogy via DNA so fascinating!

So . . . do you think April 2012 was a great month for genealogists? How successful were you in locating your ancestors in the 1940 Census when they were released last month? Have you tried DNA testing yet? What other genealogy activities did you delve into the month of April 2012? Share your thoughts with me!

Mocavo.com

mocavo
A new free search engine for genealogists and people interested in learning more about their family history launched Tuesday, March 15, 2011. According to an official press release on GeneaPress,

Mocavo enables the search of more than 50 billion words – including billions of names, dates and places, all within fractions of a second. Mocavo.com fills an important industry need by providing the first large-scale, free search engine for family history research. Coupled with the speed and accuracy by which search results are produced, Mocavo.com represents a major technological breakthrough within the genealogy world.”

I haven’t tried this specialized search engine just yet, but I plan to take it out for a spin very soon. For now, I understand that the search engine is FREE to everyone — YEAH!  So type a name you’re interested in, in the search field, then click search. If you plan to use this search engine anytime soon, let me know what you think. If you’ve used it already, please let me know just how successful you were with this tool!