Downing your digital content

A family member passed and was jumping into the digital world. His passing did’t actually end his accounts online.

This is a 2 fold PSA- have a list for your estate to end when you do… also chosr how you want to end.

The other is who gets ownership of your accounts… not all estate executors are all that techincal.

Just like objects and wonderful gifts you grandbabies don’t want to inherit-dont forget to weed out digital accounts you don’t use.

This mostly comes up as I had 4 notifications for one person’s birthday because he has 4 facebook accounts.

Ultimate guide to time lines in your tree

So in an amazing group called the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, we had a speaker who was able to go quite in depth about his families passages to Canada and well there is more challenge for your records:

Have you a time line of each person?

  •  Birth: date, location, notes, time, conditions, news paper announcements, declarations, betrothals, inheritance
  • Religious entry: baptism, ceremony, circumcision notes, welcoming,  
  • Education: did they make it passed grade school? Where? Any teachers comments or cool details?
  • Courtships
  • Employment or contract record: how’s did they make ends meet? Did they trade or barter. Did they just do as their parents taught them? Trade tickets, education advancement certificates
  • Habitation: rental agreement, land titles, inheritance documents
  • Legal documents: land titles, sales or auction stubs/receipts, proof of ownership, wills and estate releases, jail time, court documents, tickets, dovorce decrees, warrants, certificates, police records (stolen goods, indecent acts, drunken)
  • Marriage: was it civil religious or presumed? Full records give the (full details of)parents of the bride and groom? Was there betrothal?engagement? Newspaper announcements? Invitations? Visas issued for travel? Passports for honeymoons?
  • Babies: any record of the child’s birth can declare the parents where they were born? Miscarriages, still borns, proper burial? Was there formal records? Small town could be registered in the nearest city later…
  • Census: can you track each one during the area
  • Phone book records or address card or voting notification cards 
  • Military: draft or volunteer vards, Mia letter, service records, discharge papers
  • Travel  records: was there legit passports or journal records of boarder crossings? Was there any bribe records (cause that is a thing) bills of lading, arrival, departure, immigration, deportations, holding, emigration, passport stamps, lost luggage notes, death at sea, missing in action
  • Money: they had it or spent it or lacked it… trace bigger chunks of it. 
  • Health records: immunization cards, plague victim lists 
  • Body records: cemetery, funeral arrangements, disposal records, donation acceptance, recovery or transfer 

I actually digitalized every piece of paper less books and am going piece by piece sorting and validating every piece of proof. Time lines and legends help. Enjoy the hunt.

Family Historian 6.2.2

http://www.family-historian.co.uk/tour

There is  30 day trial but the software is 59.50 CAD and can be paid by PayPal even… for those that don’t do credit cards by preference like me… so bonus.

They currently on list 2 add ons:

Ancestral Sources

Charting Companion

I had to do some digging on the web from initial links from here in Canada  to find the 30 day trial of the software. The install was remotely quick but did require a reboot were the others did not.

This one is connected to myheritage.com and findmypast.Com

The test unit gedcom I have been using contains a lot of mixed data, variable connections and potential links to media. Out of installing and running this gedcom this application was one of two of the 7 that acknowledged potential breaks in media links to images, source files and extra errors like word wrapping. The software felt very intuitive. My test initial-viewgedcom also has 2 people I know I need to get more hunting done on them.

Data entry on this application is a lot easier due to layout. I am one for newer Tech and I prefer the layout and esthetics in this specific program.

 

To Compare the same person here is the aspect of Wendelin from screen shots.

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Also I am impressed at the built in features that don’t need extra payments from 3rd parties. I may buy it later once I am done my quarterly hint acquisitions from ancestry.

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The built in leaf features that ancestry kinda dropped (their software is having transition issues to a new company). It pulls the data- quick enough but cool add-on feature.

 

To be honest- pending on your sourcing preference (was not a huge fan of myheritage.com) this is a definite buy!

Outside your village

So I have covered physically talking to some and when to tackle the barely cold record changes…

So now it is about that next step out of the village that raised you or watched you grow through word of mouth from living relatives.

Simple starts include:

Taking someone you have stories about and confirm their data… confirming can lead you on a trail for more details.

  • Googling newspapers to see if there are any vital announcements.
    • the announcements like funeral announcements may include the close relatives that may be grieving
      • direct relatives
      • cause of death, date (time some times), and intended disposal[lose term cremation, burial, etc]  location
      • basic bio- employment, birth death, siblings and schooling
      • birth place, time and parents
    • Engagement announcements contain the parents and locations that the direct families come from giving you the next pinwilliam-thomas-lock-mary-shorey
      • location of parents, parents
      • full names
      • birthdays some times
      • employment
      • residence (older papers)
    • Bankruptcy and legal declarations, harsh but contain birthdate and full name for that one guy who uses alternative names to evade
      • full name
      • employment
      • birth
      • address
    • Divorce announcements
    • birth announcements
    • wedding announcements
  • Milking the preverbial ancestry.com or myheritage.com
    • some people have quite a bit but you may still want to hunt the black and white facts unless provided.
  • Getting certificates
    • Birth
    • Death
    • Divorce Dcanadian-passenger-lists-18651935ecrees
    • School (fairly older)
    • Marriage
  • Travel Proofs
    • Immigration records – Check the one
    • DNA
      • Honestly I should cover it but I personally haven’t tries one of them yet. I was hoping the pricing would drop.

 

 

 

Backup: Online, Social or Off-line

This week I had the uncool news that I needed to tell my friend that her only USB stick bearing all of her university experience and 7 years of family photos will cost her $90-500 CAD to recover since she had it nowhere else- breaking our collective hearts.

To this conversation to prevent the tears again:

  • do you go cloud?
  • online application integrations through social connections like family search.org or ancestry.com or myheritage.com?
  • multiple offline storages?
  • paper hard copy?
  • Publish a book and call it?

There are pros and cons to all of the above.

Cloud Pros:

  • You can get it anywhere there is the internet available
  • It is expandable
  • In many cases, you can have it online
  • Traditionally it is easy to share or control the administrative or viewing only access
  • more than just genealogy can be shared

Cloud Cons:

  • The internet is needed to update the files between sites
  • more often than not there is a tangible reoccurring cost
  • security issues keep hitting the media
  • there is a minimum technical comfort level needed.

Examples DropBox, Google Drive, Sync

Online Socialized Integrations Pros:

  • Live updating between like-minded people-
  • gaurenteed protection from losses
  • super easy to share
  • data is 24/7 and not locked to hardware
  • universalization and duplicate data controlled (only one specific person talked about not 30 of the same person)

Online Socialized Integrations Cons.

  • Errors are across everyone’s data
  • may be a cost
  • only having specific file types or data
  • data integration into the application you are using maybe no longer supported or forcibly transferred to another support application or company
  • data harvesting to the profit of the company hosting (hints and clues are sold without your profit)

.Multiple off-line storage (eg 2+ duplicate USB sticks)

Pro

  • FULL control, share only when you want when you want
  • computers fail- your data is safe
  • security issues don’t exist
  • cost is one and done. No re-occurring

 

Reviewing Brother’s Keeper

Acquired from http://www.bkwin.com/

Purchasable from http://brotherskeeperstore.stores.yahoo.net/index.html

 No add ons are available from the creator directly
A trial is available. The registration is $45.00 US for first purchase and for upgrades it is cheaper $19 for a CD and $24 for manual and CD. They call them selves shareware -and it is awesome.

Installation completed in 12.9 sec so very well done and very easy. The download was fast and about 5 clicks to get it installed and running.

Importing and exporting GEDCOMs is super simple…

2016-11-06-1  Then 2016-11-06-4

Once completed the data imported was very point blank and to the point.

This interface appears to have stuck to its roots in initial database design which is very to the point, text-based and simple. “Retro” or “Old School in a good way” are two ways to say it easier.  For the computer uncomfortable – a manual would be recommended. For those that are slow to update- this harks back to the day sans mouse- keyboarding only can be done.

Lets talk sourcing- due to its simplicity(which is nice a lot of the time) sources are in simple text and can be added easily to everything. Please note the sources on the Wendlin are pulled through the GEDCOM and clearly need cleaning but I was able to add easily. To the ease I was able to add a general family source which is so nice and some thing I’d love in other apps.

2016-11-13 (2).png

The common reports like birthday and anniversary lists are fantastically easy to get to.

2016-11-13 (5).png

For those that want to have quick and full control- it has no social connections to anything. It is local only so sneaky fingers or adjusting hands- just your work. It does remind you everytime you go to close it that you should back up- which is nice.

2016-11-13 (6).png

I think I honestly will run this as a to do list builder. It was a wicked report that allows you to pull specific source or data missing lists very easily. Granted the first report I pulled to see if death place, birth place and parents were missing on this older GEDCOM was 95 pages- I still have work to do.

Review points:

  •  Ease of use for installation 5/5
  • Ease of use for simple additions 4/5
  • Ease of use citations and sourcing 4/5
  • Integration into social sharing -Not applicable
  • cost – Free to 45 is fabulous
  • GEDCOM import export- easy 5/5
  • duplication reduction
    • I had a hard time finding this feature
  • report building 4/5

I’d love to see in the next revision a search cheat sheet or check box for wild card searches or duplicate persons search rather than calling them twins since there are possiblities for multiple births. Auto updating or a windows 10 or android version. I want to get out of Windows. Otherwise awesome simple app.

I love the Reasonable Check report- clean, concise and easy to use.

 

Quick description:

Old School Simple

What sources did you have in mind?

Here is a longer list of ideas of sourcing you can use to include in your files

Examples of cool records to add:

  • Account books
  • Agreements (examples: legal, sharing, land, marriage, donation, rental)
  • Albums
  • Announcements
  • Applications
  • Apprentice papers
  • Autograph books
  • Audio recordings of their voice (both haunting and amazing to hear them again)
  • Awards
  • Baby books
  • Banking or financing documents (hard to find but can show alot more than you may care to know)
  • Body processing papers (air plane conveyance, preservations, cremations, donation)
  • Baptism records
  • Bibles
  • Birth records
  • Blessings
  • Bonds
  • Interment or cemetery records (grave stone markers, maps, ownership proofs)
  • Census
  • Certificates
  • Christenings
  • Church records
  • Citizenship
  • Civil records
  • Coat of arms
  • Confirmations
  • Contracts
  • Death announcements or death records
  • Debarkation papers
  • Deeds
  • Diaries
  • Discharge papers
  • Divorce records
  • Documents
  • Ecclesiastical
  • Embarkment or proof of travel papers
  • Emmigration papers
  • Engagements
  • Enlistment papers
  • Employment records
  • Election records or lists
  • Estate papers
  • Family records
  • Family crests, signets, rings, seals
  • Fraternity
  • Funeral cards
  • Genealogy records 
  • Government ID
  • Graduation
  • Histories
  • Hobbies
  • Immigration papers
  • Induction papers
  • Insurance records
  • Journals
  • Keepsakes
  • Land titles or land records or address listings
  • Legal papers (arrest records, prison time, sentencing decisions, tickets, payroll withholding requests, child support, alimony, enforceable action, living association, adjudications, public trials,  ) 
  • Letters
  • Life stories
  • Lodge records
  • Manuscripts
  • Marriage records
  • Memorials
  • Military records
  • Mortgages
  • Naturalization papers
  • Newspaper articles
  • Obit
  • Ordinations
  • Orphan records
  • Passenger papers
  • Passports
  • Pension papers
  • Periodicals
  • Pictures and videos
  • Receipts
  • Recipes
  • Record books
  • Religious milestone papers (baptism, bat(/bar)mistva,  etc.)
  • School report cards
  • School graduation credentials (certificate, degree, diploma, masters)
  • Scrapbooks
  • Stock certificates (paper or expired- these are still very cool)
  • Tax papers or  results
  • Telephone listings
  • Traffic tickets
  • Union papers
  • Video recording of the person (super cool to jog memories)
  • Will & Estate or Probate

Did I miss anything?- please tell me so I can share it.

Per Person

Alright to my previous post about FOIP, lets dive into researching the tree…

Per person we may need to isolate confirmable facts and have cited sources

  • Date, Place, Source Type, Source Location, Reliability rating, Kin Attached, and Note
    of each of the following major life events:
  • Christening/Baptism
  • Adoption/Birth record
  • Marriage 1
  • Divorce 1
  • Marriage 2
  • Divorce 2
  • Death
  • Burial
  • Emigration 1
  • Immigration 1
  • Emigration 2
  • Immigration 2
  • Other: (ex employment)
  • Land Title
  • Land title 2
  • Criminal Record

Who is the father

Who is the mother

Who are the grandparents?

Vital Notes, Children listings, Census records or residence notes

 

Getting into the Faith

Honestly I am not very religious at all but I started to want to thank more than the Lord when I discovered that the following things are rooted in faith:

  • Baptisms
  • Marriages
  • Sacraments (including last rights)
  • Burials and cemetery hard copies

It seems odd to the faithless but our families of the past were so rooted we forget places we can look other than paper copies of government registrations.

Family Bibles in several sect including Catholic, Lutheran, Mormon and Anglican keep records in the bibles they pass down like the one below:

james-reid-bible-11
From

Dunagan Family Bible Records

Parishes from all over the world can look in their records. When my grandfather took a course in the 1980s it went so far as to provide templates in foreign languages to formally request in trade for a donation.

In cases in the olden times- the church and state didn’t communicate and the only one keeping records was the church- especially during transitional government areas. The French German boarder where I enjoy the hunting actually only has records from the parish. This link is http://archives.bas-rhin.fr/registres-paroissiaux-et-documents-d-etat-civil/  is for that area. I have been hunting the old areas.

Translation and that conversation will be coming soon. But once you see the jigsaw puzzle pieces shapes the family puzzle can become very clear.

 

Reisdseltz 001.jpg

Side entry: Anna Margaretha Sengerin, age 36

In the year above [apparently, 1766, to gauge by the next entry] on Feb. 16 there piously died, fortified with all the sacraments of the church and with general absolution, Anna Margaretha, wife of Johannes Senger, local citizen and tailor, at the age of thirty six. The next day, she was buried in the local cemetery. In attestation of this, the following signed: [signatures] Johannes Senger, Jörg Cohn, J.C. Dietz parish priest [with some ecclesiastical abbrevations I don’t know]

The Lord knows thy name.. Government records may be signed with an X but the priest used the whole name especially since the family may reuse names or better use only colloquial to differentiate family members.

In several cases I have also found the Parish records more effective than the local records since the government ported the bodies or re-used the graves.

Who bought the internment plot- are they related? Perhaps they are executor

Who signed off on the death? – See the family or a professional from the area who can attest the body

Faith is perspective too. I have read journal entries where faith isolates families and prevents unions. Faith can show what the options are if you want to change towns.- Not going there as they are ____. Follow the faith trail- like minded tend to stay together even now.

Get Digital

So you are ready to start diving into genealogy, you’ve talked to the immediate family (or rather the ones you like) and you’ve read this boring blog. The next steps are choosing how to record the data to share, see what others have already done and to begin your journey.

For the next few blogs I will be posting I will be doing personal reviews of genealogy software. It is a personal choice so please let this be a conversation and let me know what you think. There are tons out there and to be honest I am a cheap bastard so I will be aiming for free software with minimal cost. I will not be reviewing DNA-based since there are many and the cost can be lucrative.

For background information- I am very comfortable with computers and I work in the tech field. I come from a technical family so I try to stay up with the times. I am doing these reviews with my American Historial Society for Germans from Russia in mind- they have an age range of 45-95 (not technical).

Things to know about digital software for genealogy:

  • GEDCOMS: Wiki defines GEDCOM as

A GEDCOM file is plain text (usually either ANSEL or ASCII) containing genealogical information about individuals, and meta data linking these records together. Most genealogy software supports importing from and exporting to GEDCOM format.

Gedcoms are the universal file type for almost all genealogy websites, sharing and genealogy forums. Similar to DOC files for document sharing.

  • PDF or  is the secondary format type that persons sharing will provide so you can manually entry the data you need rather than accept all persons in the tree purely due to content size or desire. There are amazing genealogists that have close to 100 000  persons in their tree and deep down if you wanted one line a GEDCOM is not wanted.

    PDF is also an abbreviation for the Netware Printer Definition File. PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else.

Features I look for are:

  •  Ease of use for installation
  • Ease of use for simple additions
  • Ease of use citations and sourcing
  • Integration into social sharing
  • cost
  • GEDCOM import export
  • duplication reduction
  • report building

To be standard and fair… I am testing on the same computer running Windows 10 N  with Chrome and Spartan or an Android Samsung S7.

Remember there are already comparative charts:

http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/Compare.asp

http://www.toptenreviews.com/software/home/best-genealogy-software/

The real art is finding what data you need and what features you need and how much assistance you need…

 

I am currently using Legacy software with several add ons:

Family Sync to get it on my phone

GenSmarts to help me find source citations