If you post your genealogy to online trees, you’ve undoubtedly had that jolting moment when you see a precious photo of your parent displayed on a stranger’s page. You know they got it from your tree, but no one else does. Most are borrowing and forward-sharing without awareness of proper genealogical etiquette and protocols. The world is then losing its path back to the original image. Here’s a way to improve your chances that the desired information will travel with the image. Continue reading Embedding origin captions into your images
Some of you started long ago. I started six months ago. Perhaps some of you will start today. When it comes to the very difficult and incredibly rewarding challenge of documenting America’s enslaved populations, we who descend from slaveholders are the logical ones to do the work. It makes sense at so many levels. Welcome, GEGs, to the Beyond Kin Project. Continue reading Descendants of slaveholders, we have a job to do
In genealogy, a rose by any other name may not smell sweet. A feud broils over what is acceptable, when it comes to naming conventions. Do you use question marks for unknown portions of a name? Do you write helpful information in the suffix field? Congratulations, we’ll call you a Montague! Do you get annoyed when you see people doing the above, fearing trashy data transfers — a messed-up GEDCOM? You, friend, we’ll call a Capulet. In determining how to use the name fields in our software, we find ourselves having to choose the house of Montague or Capulet — expedient practicality or clean data sharing. Some want both, and we call ourselves GEGs. Starry-eyed GEG I may be, but with the right tools and rules, I think Romeo and Juliet can have a future together.
You proudly display 25 sources citing life events of your grandfather John Smith, and 20 on his father Robert Smith. You’re a source citer of consummate skill. Everyone can trust your work with so many sources, right? Well, maybe. How many of those sources prove that this particular Robert Smith was your John Smith’s father? It’s a great big gap in our genealogical software — the absence of a parental relationship proof requirement. But we can solve it with a simple custom fact.
Some of us will never be ancestors. We have no descendants. We died too young, or we married too old. We stayed single and took care of our parents or stayed single just because. Or married and couldn’t or married and didn’t. For any number of reasons or none, we died childless. So, who will tell our story?
In a photo of my great-grandparents, I happened to notice on the dresser behind them what looked like a tobacco container. Was I seeing a throwback to childhood pranks? Prince Albert in a can? I scanned the photo at high resolution and zoomed in. It was Prince Albert. I began to wonder what else I might see in the photo context. In one detail after another, my ancestors’ world came into focus.
A census record offers you a moment in time when your ancestor was, say, five years old. That gives you a potential birth date range of 365 days, plus a possible Leap Day. If you use multiple records, however, you can use the overlaps to whittle down that range, getting closer to the real date. Doing this math in your head, unfortunately, presents a headaches. But I have a solution for you: the Date Narrowing Calculator [revised as of 1/6/2017]. A gift for my fellow GEGs.
Genetically speaking, my sisters and I are all half Mom and half Dad, right? DNA 101. So, only one of us needs to do a DNA test, and then we’ll all know our ethnic origins, correct? . . . OK, I confess I never took DNA 101. But thanks to AncestryDNA, I have learned the answer is no (at least when it comes to autosomal DNA). The more family members you test, the fuller the picture of your genetic genealogy will become.
It’s clearly a junior-senior kinship, right? Only two Tom Whatsits in the whole county–Tom Whatsit Sr. and Tom Whatsit Jr. You have moved up another branch in the family tree, right? Not so fast. . . .
A day comes when genealogy — America’s second-favorite “hobby” after gardening — becomes more than a hobby to you. No longer content with a pastime of quick-and-easy ancestral tree climbing, you find yourself getting serious about doing this right. Like a growing number of us, you’re on the road to becoming a bonafide Golden Egg Genealogist™. You’re GEG-bound.