Friday, March 30, 2012

Midwest Geneabloggers Spring Meetup Roundup

Twenty genealogy bloggers gathered on March 24, 2012 for the first Midwest Geneabloggers meetup. Below are a collection of blog posts from the attendees to give you a taste of the day. Stay tuned for details for the next meetup in the fall of 2012.

Gen Wish List by Tina Lyons
Geneabloggers Invade Fort Wayne
Midwest Geneabloggers and the Sword Man

Finding Our Ancestors by Terri O'Connell
My Finds at ACPL
Good Eats in Fort Wayne

Journey to the Past by Brenda Leyndyke
Today's The Day: Allen County Public Library and Midwest Geneabloggers Meet-Up

Nolichucky Roots by Susan Clark
Geneabloggers Rock!

The Shy Genealogist by Lisa
Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup!

A Sense of Family by Shelley Bishop
Basking in the Midwest Genea-Glow

The Last Leaf on This Branch by Laura Lorenzana
Madness Monday - Not Your Granny's Genealogists

Jen-Gen's Family History by Jennifer Alford
My Brain is Buzzing

2338 W. Washington Blvd. by Margel Soderberg
A Geneablogger Weekend

Looking4Ancestors by Kathryn Lake Hogan
There's Nothing Mediocre About Midwest Geneabloggers

GeneaJourneys by Patricia Desmond Biallas
Midwest Geneabloggers Unite in Fort Wayne

Plus lots of photos on the Midwest Geneabloggers Facebook page.

I tried to get everyone's posts so far, but if I missed you leave a comment and I'll add yours to the list.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One Month to Indiana Genealogical Society Conference

If you missed coming to Fort Wayne for the Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup last weekend, you have another opportunity to visit the Allen County Public Library and hang out with other genealogists.

The Indiana Genealogical Society's annual conference is April 28 at ACPL in Fort Wayne. Even if you don't have Indiana ancestors, you will definitely learn something new at the conference.

The featured speaker is Debra S. Mieszala. She is is a Certified Genealogist specializing in forensic genealogy, 20th century research, and the Midwest. She does genealogical research for the military to help locate family members of service members missing in past wars, and formerly did adoption-related research as a Confidential Intermediary in Illinois. A national-level lecturer and author, she has taught at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and been published in the "NGS Magazine," "The Digital Genealogist," and "OnBoard!".

Her talks are:
  • Lessons From A Snoop: Collaterals and Associates - Crucial information on direct ancestors is often found by nosing into the lives of collateral relatives, associates, and neighbors. Case studies present examples of invaluable finds.
  • Digging Through Documents Word by Word - Proper scrutiny of each piece of information in a document is essential to understanding that item’s evidentiary value. Studying every word’s meaning and context ensures that evidence has been properly analyzed and comprehended.
  • Patently Unique: Locating Patent Records, Online and Off - Was your ancestor an inventor? Learn how to locate patent records quickly and easily. Patents offer glimpses of creative genius and add interesting stories to family research.
  • Bringing Our Soldiers Home - Thousands of lost soldiers and airmen from past wars were never recovered. Some were missing in action, killed in action, or prisoners of war. Learn about the project that aims to bring them home, and how genealogy is aiding in that effort.
A second track of sessions include:
  • What's New With FamilySearch with Michael Hall from FamilySearch
  • Finding Indiana Records and Research in FamilySearch with Michael Hall
  • Becoming an Expert on Using Ancestry with ACPL librarian Melissa Shimkus
  • Writing a Book Using Family Tree Maker and Microsoft Word with Curtis Sylvester, President of the Allen County Genealogical Society
The conference is $30 for IGS members, $40 for non-members and $45 at the door. Registration forms and online registration is available at

I'm looking forward to a great conference. Will you be there?

Disclosure: I am Vice President of IGS and served on the 2012 conference committee.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Midwest Geneabloggers and the Sword Man

Everyone that has met me at a conference knows that I drag my husband along with me. Then I make him do crazy things like get me lunch and work the Indiana Genealogical Society table.

One day he found out via Twitter that I was hosting a party for geneabloggers in the Midwest. Then the number of people coming started increasing. Then he started buying things and telling me that I owed him, which I totally did. Then he told me he would use his sword to keep everyone out.

So I told our guests that there my husband would be playing bouncer at the door with his sword. I don't think they really believed me. But this is how they were welcomed into our home (mostly because Harold Henderson wouldn't enter without seeing the sword).
Photo by Lisa Ellam

He thought he was so scary, but everyone else thought it was hilarious and made him pose.

Photo by Diana Ritchie

Photo from Lisa Ellam

Afterwards, he fled upstairs and hung out with his friend Jack.
So thanks to my husband for letting me and 15 other genealogy bloggers take over our home for a night. (And for helping to clean the house).

Disclaimer: No geneabloggers were harmed during the meetup. But everyone had a ton of fun.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Geneabloggers Invade Fort Wayne

The first Midwest Geneabloggers Meetup was a huge success! Research at the Allen County Public Library combined with 20 bloggers and food makes for the perfect weekend.

The weekend started with bloggers arriving on Friday.
Left to Right:
Laura Lorenzana from The Last Leaf on This Branch
Shelley Bishop from A Sense of Family
Diana Ritchie from Random Relatives

Left to Right
Thomas MacEntee from Geneabloggers
Terri O'Connell from Finding Our Ancestors
Stephanie Fishman from Corn and Cotton: My Family's Story
Jennifer Alford from Jen-Gen's Family History

Then a fabulous dinner at the Irish pub, J K O'Donnell's.
Left to Right:
Jennifer Holik from Generations: Piecing the Past Together (celebrating the release of her beautiful kid's genealogy books)

Saturday started with a tour from the wonderful ACPL librarian Delia Bourne.

Lisa VonLanken from The Shy Genealogist
Pat Desmond Biallas from GeneaJourneys
Pat's sister, Dorothy
Margel Soderberg from 2338 W. Washington Blvd
Derek Davey from Genealogy-Northwest Ohio

Then the craziest thing happened. The geneabloggers all found spots and researched...quietly.

Finally it was time for the party at my house.
Left to Right
Brenda Leyndyke from Journey to the Past
Kathryn Lake Hogan from Looking4Ancestors
Thomas MacEntee (along with his beads) 


Linda Swisher from Round Tuit Genealogy

Left to Right:
Laura, Brenda, Margel
Susan Clark from Nolichucky Roots
Lisa Ellam from The Faces of My Family

Plus the yummiest cookies from Diana's dad

It was such a fun weekend. Thanks to everyone who came. Thanks to Terri for helping to organize the weekend. And special thanks to ACPL librarians Delia, Melissa and Dawne for putting up with us. Can't wait to do it again!

You can find more photos on the Midwest Geneabloggers Facebook page and stay tuned for details of our next meetup this fall.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cleaning Up The Letter L

I've started a project cleaning up my database. Whenever I finish a letter of the alphabet, I'll write a blog post to report about what I learned about the surnames that start with that letter.

Last month Kathryn Lake Hogan from Looking4Ancestors wrote a blog post detailing how to access the newly digitized Upper Canada Land Patents from the Library and Archives Canada website. Having one branch of my family tree from Ontario and half of that branch being Loyalists, I had a bunch of land patents to download and enter into my genealogy database. Previously I had used the index and knew that many of my ancestors had received land from the Crown, but now I had access to the images.

I spent a few weeks gathering all the land patents relevant to my family lines and just in time for organizing the letter L, I found this:
Genealogy happy dance! A list of Peter Lampman's children to October 1796, including their birth years. Of course, the daughter I descend from was born around 1798 so she missed the list. I was able to find land patents for all of these children, plus my ancestor Mary Magdalene Lampman and another sister Ann.

Armed with birth dates, I was able to find two of the brothers in the Canadian censuses. I'm sure more of them were in there, but I didn't have enough information to connect them.

So after weeks of boring letters and not finding anything exciting, the letter L comes through. Next is M and then I'm halfway through the alphabet. But M is going to take awhile with the Matthews, McGarvey, and Morse families.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cleaning Up The Letter K

I've started a project cleaning up my database. Whenever I finish a letter of the alphabet, I'll write a blog post to report about what I learned about the surnames that start with that letter.

This morning I finished all the random K surnames in my database. I had one direct surname line of Kavcic, but since they Americanized their name to Couchie, I took care of them when I cleaned up the letter C. 

These updates seem to be in a funk. No interesting ancestors giving me new leads in the last few letters. But now we are onto the letter L and the Lampman family that I just found a bunch of new information on in the Upper Canada Land Patents that are now scanned and online at the Library and Archives Canada. I guess that means I should finish working on those.

By page count of my index, I'm now over halfway through cleaning up all the individuals in my database. But I still need to clean up L and M before I'm halfway through the alphabet.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cleaning Up The Letter J

I've started a project cleaning up my database. Whenever I finish a letter of the alphabet, I'll write a blog post to report about what I learned about the surnames that start with that letter.

Yesterday and today I worked on the J surnames in my database. There weren't many and I didn't find much, but I was able to find the marriage of John L Jones and Ione Matthews on 17 January 1871 in Jackson County, Ohio.

10 letters down, 16 to go!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cleaning Up The Letter I

I've started a project cleaning up my database. Whenever I finish a letter of the alphabet, I'll write a blog post to report about what I learned about the surnames that start with that letter.

I told you yesterday that it would take me a while to get through the letter I. I didn't find anything new, but someday I will find the family of Rachel Ireland in Kentucky and have more Is.

17 more letters to go! Next up is the letter J.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cleaning Up The Letter H

I've started a project cleaning up my database. Whenever I finish a letter of the alphabet, I'll write a blog post to report about what I learned about the surnames that start with that letter.

Today I finished going through all the H surnames in my genealogy database. I didn't find much new information, but I was able to fill in some source details that were missing and fix some birth dates. 

But I did have one major discovery. Philip Hindale was actually Philip Kendall. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't find him in the census records. So I looked at the image of his marriage record again. I don't know why I decided it said Hindale the first time I looked at it, but it definitely said Kendall this time. Then I was able to track him and his wife through their lives. 

Next up is the letter I. It's going to take forever because it has a total of 2 names that need researched.