Genealogy Do-Over: Week 8 Progress

red-do-over-buttonUnfortunately, things haven’t slowed down at work at all this week … if anything, the work (and stress) has increased.  Thankfully, about 8 inches of snow got dumped on Chattanooga last night, so today (Thursday) I’m playing catch-up.

archive picObjective: Conduct Collateral Research

This is one of the objectives that I’m pushing to the end of the Do-Over because my plan is to make sure the materials I have for my known relatives and ancestors have been properly cited and entered into RootsMagic, and only entering those individuals whose existence can be proven.*  Because I know that will take me a while (at the rate I’m going, my great-great grandchildren will be retired), I’m avoiding adding any new research just yet.

*and by proven, I simply mean that they are mentioned in an existing document; they will be attached to the family when the relationships are adequately proven.

Objective: Review Offline Education Options

As a rule, I try to attend at least one genealogy conference per year.  Unfortunately, until there is a significant amount of fresh content at the national conferences, this is becoming less of a priority for me.  While I did fly out to Salt Lake City at the same time as the FGS/RootsTech conferences, I didn’t actually attend either one.  I spent pretty much all of my time in the library.  This would have been a difficult choice to make with only one conference in town … but TWO?

EducationThe choice for me was pretty easy – I spent a significant amount of money just getting to SLC.  There was absolutely no way I wasn’t going to take advantage of my proximity to the Family History Library.  Once I looked at the schedules for both conferences, the choice was practically made for me.  Most of the session offerings were either duplicates of talks I had already heard at prior conferences or webinars, or had no bearing on my current research needs.  I understand that the organizers need to make sure that some topics are consistently repeated for new attendees.  I get it.  I do.  But it’s frustrating to try to find enough sessions you haven’t already heard (beware of those where the speaker has simply provided a “fresh” new title to the same tired presentation they’ve given for the past 6 years) and that appeal to your current genealogical needs to justify the cost to register for the conference, hotel, meals, and travel.  Perhaps similar topics but different presenters would help mix things up a little.  Something for organizers of future events to think about.

I also would like to attend a genealogy institute each year (I have been successful only once in this endeavor).  I was shooting for the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University this year, but with the SLC trip scheduled the second week of February, the timing was off between registering for IGHR and my bank account balance.  Maybe next year.  One thing I love about these institutes is that you make one choice for your topic of study and the classes fall under that topic.  If you go back the next year and select a different topic, you won’t hear the same thing you heard the year before.  But the biggest benefit (in my opinion) is the time you get to spend with fellow genealogists.  Perhaps you are able to break down a brick wall while having a casual discussion about immigration records over breakfast with your table-mates.  Maybe one of the ancestors you use as an example in your homework is also an ancestor of a classmate.  Stranger things have happened.

For now though, I am going to focus on local and regional conferences and classes for my offline education needs.  I will also continue to use my Mastering Genealogical ProofAdvanced Genealogy Research Techniques, and Elements of Genealogical Analysis to keep things fresh in my noggin.

Next week’s topics are (1) conduct cluster research, and (2) organize research materials – documents and photos.  Oy.

 

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

#TBT Proceedings: Board of County Commissioners, Yankton – Part 6

!Banner 10.18.41

Yankton Press & Dakotan
18 Oct 1941 (Evening): p. 3, col. 4

10-18

PROCEEDINGS
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, YANKTON, S. D.

Board of County Commissioners Sept meeting p3 c4 part 6BRIDGE FUND

Dakota Culvert & Pipe Co., Culverts Bridge Crew …………………… 1923.02
Chris Gath, Bridge Foreman …………………………………………………    41.60
LeRoy Jensen, Transportation Bridge Crew …………………………..      6.00
Loonan Lumber Co., Supplies ………………………………………………    28.58
Paper Calmenson & Co., Steel Bars ……………………………………….   424.72
Thompson Yards, Inc., Supplies Bridge …………………………………    44.75

SPECIAL HIGHWAY FUND

E. Grace Gurney, R. W. in Twp. 93-55 …………………………………..  116.40
Lloyd Kremer, Transportation Bus ……………………………………….    10.50
Lloyd L. Kremer, Transportation Bus ……………………………………    33.00
Fredericka LaFleur, Labor Filling Ditch ………………………………..    15.00
Vandal Madison, Haul Gravel ………………………………………………      6.28
Roy Ryken, Transportation Bus ……………………………………………    13.75
Roy Ryken, Transportation Bus ……………………………………………    13.75

Board of County Commissioners Sept meeting p3 c4 part 6 (cont)Roll Call:  All Commissioners voting ‘aye,’ motion carried.

It was moved by Smith, seconded by Walloch that the Board adjourn to meet on Tuesday, October 7, 1941.

Roll Call:  All Commissioners voting ‘aye,’ motion carried.

9:30 A. M., October 7, 1941.

The Board of County Commissioners met pursuant to adjournment taken with all members present.

It was moved by Feyerharm, seconded by Anderson that the application for abatement filed by A. F. Jarvis of Sioux Falls be rejected.

Roll Call:  All Commissioners voting ‘aye,’ motion carried.

It was moved by Anderson, seconded by Feyerharm that the following applications for abatement be approved:

R. L. Eakin, Assessement Error …………………………………..   4.09
A. B. Christensen, Assessment Error ……………………………   8.00
Wm. & Clara Billars, Assessment Error ………………………..   2.00
Anton J. Luken, Assessment Error ………………………………   3.18

Roll Call: All Commissioners voting ‘aye,’ motion carried.

It was moved by Wallock, seconded by Feyerharm that the following applications for refund be approved.

L. J. Brauch, Duplicate Payment ………………………………..   2.00
W. C. Cavanaugh, Duplicate Payment …………………………   6.25
Thomas A. Thompson, Duplicate Payment ………………….   2.00
Rose Hoag, Assessment Error …………………………………….   1.00
Milton Johnson, Duplicate Payment …………………………… 43.88

Roll Call:  All Commissioners voting ‘aye,’ motion carried.

 

I purchased roughly 25 original issues of the Yankton (South Dakota) Press & Dakotan, dating from 1938 to 1946. I am systematically going through every issue and will be posting the articles that include the names of individuals. I am happy to email full-size scans of any article. Feel free to ask.

 

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

Genealogy Do-Over: Week 7 Progress

red-do-over-buttonI have been a complete and total slacker this week.  Even though it’s just a 2-hour time difference, traveling to Salt Lake City and back has wreaked havoc on my internal clock.  I think next time I go out there, I’ll leave myself a 2-day buffer to recuperate and reset my sleep cycle.  Or just stay out there forever.  That’ll work too.

From the time I spent at the FHL last week, I racked up about 800 images from microfilm, microfiche, and books.  Unfortunately, I’ve been too exhausted this week to take the time to do anything with them.  This weekend though – after I’ve played catch-up on my sleep, all bets are off.  We’re supposed to have some “wintry mix” coming through, so I’ll likely be housebound … which will give me plenty of time to work on my blog posts, my do-over, and all the other stuff that I’ve let fall by the wayside in my post-vacation pseudo-coma.

Fortunately, this week’s do-over was relatively easy for me.

Objective: Review Genealogy Database Software

When I began my research in B.I. (before internet), I used paper and pencil.  Of course, I was all about the pretty forms and not so focused on citing my sources.  It was the early 1990s when I finally opted for genealogy software in the form of Family Tree Maker (I think it was made by Broderbund at that point), but the “deluxe” version came with all these snazzy CD-ROMs with scads of information on them (for which I continued to ignore the source citations) and I just started plugging all my information into the software.  I continued to upgrade the software regularly until around 2008 (which is when I think FTM switched formats, and right after they became an Ancestry property).  I upgraded once more in 2010, became familiar with the concept of source citations (and that I had been doing everything wrong since the beginning) and realized that FTM and I could no longer play nicely together.

rootsmagicThat was when I went on the hunt for new software.  I tested every Windows-compatible genealogy database software out there.  Some decisions were made within a few minutes, others took days or weeks.  I finally chose RootsMagic and never looked back.  It was at that time I performed my first Do-Over.  I managed to scale back my tree from several thousand individuals to around 800 individuals.  Unfortunately, I got lazy and was not very diligent in my entry of source citations — which is why I’m doing it again, the right way, this time.

I continue to try the new database programs as they are released, and still have not found one that works with my brain better than RootsMagic.  I’m not sure that’s the glowing endorsement I intended it to be … but it works for me.

wikitreeI also continue to have only one online tree: WikiTree.  WikiTree is the only one that doesn’t try to get me to buy anything, it’s available for everyone in the world to view, and I have to give other researchers permission to change the individuals in my tree.  I’m able to share my work without giving the world carte blanche to “fix” it.

Objective: Digitize Photos and Documents

pixmaThrough this Do-Over, I have made it part of my process to digitize every document and photo that I have.  Yes, it’s tedious and time-consuming, but when I look back at the 5 individuals I have completed in my tree, it motivates me to continue.  I have a Canon Pixma MP620B wireless all-in-one scanner/printer at home that I use to scan the occasional document or photo.  The one drawback that I notice is that if I have a legal-sized document, it doesn’t fit on the scanner and must be scanned in two parts.  Annoying, to be sure.  When that happens, I have two options: I can use my handy-dandy Flip-Pal mobile scanner (which has saved my cookies more than once), or I can take the documents to work and scan them on our high-speed color scanner.  Unless it’s something I need right away or if it’s a fragile or tremendously oversized document (like a newspaper), I usually opt for the high-speed scanner. (C’mon … 40 pages per minute? Who wouldn’t?)

flip-palThat’s not to say that I never use my Flip-Pal.  Au contraire!  Nearly all of the newspaper articles that I use for my #TBT posts are scanned with my Flip-Pal.  When used in conjunction with the Eye-Fi memory card, all I have to do is stitch the ones that need stitching and voila!*  Blog-ready images.  I keep my scanning resolution on the Flip-Pal at 600 dpi.

Unfortunately, the Flip-Pal will not scan as TIFF, but once my images are cropped and the source citation applied digitally to the front, I rarely do anything else to them.  Most of the time I forget to save my other images as TIFF too, but again – I rarely do much editing to my images, and I don’t move them around too much either, and any time I need to use them for something, I create a copy.  So – for me – the JPGs are sufficient.  I’m sure this goes against everything we’re taught, but I’m kinda rebellious that way.

One of the topics this week was converting image text to searchable text.  While OCR (optical character recognition) is definitely easier, I’m opting to simply transcribe every document instead.  I’ve seen some of the wackiness created by OCR’d documents and it’s not pretty.  If I’m going to have the spend the time editing the OCR, then I might as well just transcribe the document anyway.  The benefits are two-fold: I feel more confident about the accuracy of the transcription, and I have no choice but to fully read the document, which means I miss fewer details than if I let the computer read it for me.  For transcribing my documents, I use Transcript software (freeware).

Next week’s objectives are to (1) conduct collateral research, and (2) review offline educational options.  Hopefully I will have fully recuperated by then!

How is your Do-Over progressing?

*and with that … you have seen the extent of my fluency with the French language.

 

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

#TBT Proceedings: Board of County Commissioners, Yankton – Part 5

!Banner 10.18.41

Yankton Press & Dakotan
18 Oct 1941 (Evening): p. 3, col. 4

10-18

PROCEEDINGS
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, YANKTON, S. D.

Board of County Commissioners Sept meeting p3 c4 part 5INSANE FUND

Dr. F. A. Moore, Service as member of Board of Insanity ……………………    12.00

ROAD FUND

Burgi Lumbar Co., Supplies ……………………………………………………….    12.38
C. R. Binns, Supplies ………………………………………………………………….    67.28
Theo. Dilley, Diesel Operator ……………………………………………………   90.00
Eastside Service Station, Anti-Freeze ………………………………………..   43.80
Peter Edison, Blacksmith ………………………………………………………..   85.00
S. C. Fastrup, Rock Crusher Operator ……………………………………….      3.00
Fantle Bros. Co., Signal Cloth …………………………………………………..      4.42
Ernest L. Frick, Shop Work ……………………………………………………..   80.00
Gayville Pharmacy, Motor Ether ………………………………………………      3.80
Casper Gran, Roller Driver ……………………………………………………….      7.20
Alfred Hojem, Engine Operator ……………………………………………….    26.00
Holtzman Iron & Metal, Repairs ……………………………………………..    76.06
Olaf Johansen, Transport Relief Workers …………………………………     1.60
Lloyd L. Kremer, Transportation Bus ……………………………………..   21.00
Larson Brothers, Balance due on Roofing ………………………………..   49.61
D-A Lubricant Co., Inc., D-A Diesel Oil ……………………………………. 106.92
Lyle Signs Inc., Signs ……………………………………………………………..   27.02
Vandal Madison, Haul Gravel …………………………………………………   63.77
Nielsen Machine Works, Service R-D-7 ……………………………………     5.00
Arnold O. Nelson, Tractor Operator ………………………………………..    16.80
Emil Novak, Tractor Operator ………………………………………………..   90.00
Eugene Onstott, Making Blue Prints ………………………………………      3.25
The Ohio Oil Company, Car Road Oil ……………………………………  510.82
Paper Calmenson & Co., Grader Blades ………………………………….. 146.50
M. W. Rumel, Tractor Operator ………………………………………………   32.00
John Ryken, Tool Cabinet ……………………………………………………..      2.50
Roy Ryken, Transportation Bus ……………………………………………..   30.00
Roy Ryken, Transportation Bus ……………………………………………..   46.75
State Treas. Motor Fuel Tax Div., Tax & Inspection Fee ……………..308.40
Sioux City Iron Company, Supplies ……………………………………….  152.72
Ed Schuldt, Tractor Operator ………………………………………………   90.00
August Schuldt, Shop Foreman ……………………………………………. 100.00
Thompson Yards, Inc., Supplies …………………………………………….   82.66
Carl Thorson, Transport Relief Workers ………………………………..     4.00
Joe Vinatieri & Co., Supplies ………………………………………………..      7.97
Western Material Company, Supplies & Blades …………………….. 508.28
Bill Woodward, Engine Operator …………………………………………..   29.20
The Wayne Pump Company, Supplies ………………………………………………………      7.50
Yankton Auto Salvage Co., Supplies …………………………………………………………   194.70

MOTOR VEHICLE FUND

Ernest Aune, Patrolman ………………………………………………………………………….    80.00
C. C. Cowman, Co., Treas., Cash Disbursement …………………………………………     23.48
City of Yankton, Water Rent County Shop ………………………………………………..       3.05
Commercial Gas Company, Oxygen …………………………………………………………       4.62
Croll-Freeman Corp., Service & Supplies ………………………………………………….       3.10
Dakota Iron Store, Supplies …………………………………………………………………….       3.18
Dakota Equipment Co., Inc., Dynamite, Supplies ………………………………………    87.03
Carl Fiedler, Diesel Operator …………………………………………………………………..    85.00
Goetz Construction Co., Supplies …………………………………………………………….       8.91
Martin E. Gustad, Patrolman ………………………………………………………………….    80.00
Hughes-Sargent Press, Supplies ……………………………………………………………..       5.00
Alfred A. Hauck, Patrolman …………………………………………………………………..     80.00
L. & L. Motor Supply Co., Supplies …………………………………………………………    202.41
Martin Lokken, Cut Weeds, Maintenance ……………………………………………….      76.80
John T. Lane, Patrolman ……………………………………………………………………….     80.00
National Refining Co., Supplies ……………………………………………………………..     312.70
N. W. Public Service Co., Service (Yankton & Lesterville) …………………………      35.34
Erwin Oswald, Cut Weeds, Maintenance ………………………………………………..      78.00
John F. Oswald, Patrolman …………………………………………………………………..      85.00
Perkins Bros. Company, Supplies ………………………………………………………….         1.00
Pfeiffer-Tague Chev. Co., Repairs ………………………………………………………….     40.66
C. L. Peterson, Supplies ……………………………………………………………………….   25.20
Frank W. Smith, Salary Highway Supt. …………………………………………………    145.00
Frank W. Smith, Mileage & Exp. for September …………………………………….   152.41
Thompson Yards, Inc., Coal for County Shop ………………………………………..   351.51
Martha M. Thoreson, Clerk, County Highway Office ……………………………..    65.00
L. S. Vandal, Grader Blades ………………………………………………………………..   291.20
James Wampol, Maintenance Work ……………………………………………………    76.80
Employers Mutual Casualty Co., Premiem [sic] Policy No. 387526 ………..  212.91

I purchased roughly 25 original issues of the Yankton (South Dakota) Press & Dakotan, dating from 1938 to 1946. I am systematically going through every issue and will be posting the articles that include the names of individuals. I am happy to email full-size scans of any article. Feel free to ask.

 

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved

Genealogy Do-Over: Week 6 Progress

red-do-over-buttonThis week I’m not at home slaving away on my do-over.  Instead, I’m in Salt Lake City, spending a glorious four (yes, FOUR) full days in the Family History Library.  Oh sure, I’ll pop in to the RootsTech/FGS vendor hall from time to time to see my geneafriends and volunteer at the booths for a couple of organizations to which I belong, but my focus is on that library.

I feel pretty confident that all the digital and paper files, photographs, and source citations will still be waiting for me when I return.

Fortunately for me, I can still work on this week’s objectives even while I’m out gallivanting in this genealogy mecca!

Objective: Evaluate Evidence

2015-02-05 21.53.02As I perform my research (following my plan and being sure to enter everything into my logs), I am also evaluating my evidence as I go.  I am not entering it into Evidentia yet, but I will when I get home and can properly focus.  I’ll be making notes on my logs about the clarity of the documents and images as I get them.  My main objective is to make sure that I identify the source of each document I acquire.  I’m using these handy-dandy sticky notes:

Now I can jot down all the information about my source down BEFORE I even get my hands on the actual source.  Then when I scan/photo/copy the document, I just make sure I get the sticky note in the picture.  Easy peasy.  It’s a little different with microfilm, and the only solution I’ve come up with for that is to write the first and last file names on the top of the sticky note while I’m scanning the images.  Since I’m still very much human, I also am making sure that I keep good records of everything on my research logs.

Objective: Review Online Education Options

A couple of years ago, I devised a plan for my genealogy career.  The first step of that plan was to complete the NGS Home Study Course.  I didn’t finish it, but I’m done with it.  I’ve moved on to the second step of my plan: ProGen Study Group.  I’ve been enrolled in ProGen 24 since November, and I’ve already gotten more out of it than I got out of the NGS-HSC lessons I completed (12).

I love to learn, so I continue to seek out webinars, videos, hangouts, and other online educational options.  For example, I watched Kirsty Gray’s Legacy Family Tree webinar “One-Place Studies – Tracing the History of a Community” this past weekend.  Good thing I did, too!  In the first 10 minutes of the recording, Geoff Rasmussen mentioned that he broke down a brick wall by looking at some homestead files on Fold3 that had been mentioned in a webinar he was hosting only a few days prior.  Those same records included the Nebraska homestead claim for my 3rd great grandfather!  You just never know where you’ll find clues.  But I digress.

One of the assignments for my ProGen Study Group was to evaluate our current knowledge base, determine areas where we would like to learn more, and come up with a plan to do so.  I chose to focus on learning more about land records and writing proof arguments.  Since I have a full-time job and other obligations, the time I spend on genealogy education must be spread over a greater period of time than if I were independently wealthy (an option I’m not completely opposed to).  This is the first part of my plan for this year:

education plan

Some of these items combine online and offline materials, but with the exception of the conferences, it’s pretty much all online.

Next week’s objectives are to (1) review genealogy database software and (2) digitize photos and documents.  I’ll still be recovering from my trip, so glad that next week is an easy one!

How’s your Do-Over coming along?

 

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com

Copyright 2014 - Are My Roots Showing? All rights reserved