Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NEW ENGLAND BOUND

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

NEITHER SNOW NOR RAIN

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CONNECTOGRAPHY

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

USING THE SLPL CATALOG TO DO GENEALOGY SEARCHES

Let’s assume that you are researching ancestors who lived in Madison County, Illinois. How should you go about finding materials in our collection that might aid in that endeavor?

You can find our online catalog here. Click on Catalog, and you will be taken to a page that has a navigation bar with these fields (each has a drop-down menu) near the top of the page:

  • Everything     All Fields     [Search box]     Search     Advanced Search
Everything allows you these choices:
  • Library Search
  • Downloadables
 All Fields allows you these choices:
  • Author
  • Subject
  • ISBN
  • Title
  • Local Call Number
Search allows a Basic Search. You can then:

Limit Search Results
  • Books
  • Serials
  • Other
  • Electronic Resources
  • Microform    
You can also opt to do an Advanced Search, which allows you these options:

Find items that have:
  • All these words:
  • This exact phrase:
Don’t show items that have:  
  • These unwanted words:
Additional limits:
  • Format type
  • Language
  • Preferred pick-up      
Doing a Basic Search for genealogy gives these results (search terms are in italics):
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>genealogy----- 15,260 results
  • Everything>>>Subject>>>>genealogy------ 10,074 results
  • Everything>>>Title>>>>>>genealogy------- 1,155 results
These results tell us that changes in drop-down menu choices can in fact bring about major changes in our search results.

Let’s try to locate some items that may help us research those Madison County, Illinois ancestors (remember, case does not matter in our search terms).
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois genealogy----- 17 results
  • Everything>>>Subjects>>>madison county illinois genealogy----- 13 results
As you can see, it’s probably best when searching for genealogical materials relating to a particular county to stick with Everything and All Fields.

Changing one of our search terms can change our search results:
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois genealogy----- 17 results
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois history----- 10 results
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois maps----- 6 results
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois biography----- 5 results
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois family----- 3 results
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>madison county illinois newspapers----- 2 results
You can also do this more general search:
  • Everything>>>All Fields>>>”madison countyillinois ----- 83 results
As you can see, it fetches more search results, but includes many reports of government offices that may not be of interest to the genealogist.

By the way, search terms provided above can also be used when searching Worldcat.org,  should you choose to cast a wider net (Worldcat.org searches the catalogs of 10,000 libraries worldwide, including SLPL).

Saturday, June 11, 2016

INTERNET GENEALOGY (JUNE-JULY 2016)

Internet Genealogy 11:2 (June-July 2016) offers several articles of possible interest to our genealogists. Of special interest:

Online Genealogy Sources for Researching the Great Depression (pp.18-21): A discussion of some easily accessible records that can help you flesh out the lives of Depression-era (1929-1941) American ancestors. For example:
  • 1930 U.S. Census
  • 1940 U.S. Census
  • State census (1935 available for a few states)
  • School census (exist for a few states)
  • City directories and telephone books
  • Civilian Conservation Corps records
  • Farm Security Administration photos
  • Office of War Information photos
  • Historic American Buildings Survey
  • Federal Writers Project
  • State Emergency Relief Program database (OK)
  • Old Age Pension database (ID)
 The author provides a description of and URL for each of these potential genealogical gold mines.

YOUR GENEALOGY (MARCH-APRIL 2016)

Your Genealogy 2:1 (March-April 2016) offers several articles of possible interest to our genealogists. Of special interest:

World War II from the Battlefield (pp.13-18): You may already have obtained your relative’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF)—or discovered that one does not exist for your persons of interest. There’s no need to stop there, however: there are almost certainly additional records created about military unit or units he or she served in that can shed additional light on the military career of the veteran in question. Such records can include:
  • Army and Army Air Corps Monthly Personnel Rosters
  • Army and Army Air Corps Morning Reports
  • Army Air Corps Accident Reports
  • Army and Army Air Corps Missing Air Crew Reports
  • Navy and Marine Corps Muster Rolls
  • Army After-Action Reports
  • Marine Mission Reports
  • Naval War Diaries
  • Naval Deck Logs
  • Air Force Award Cards
The author explains what each type of record contains and where they can be located.

The New York Municipal Archives (pp.41-44): I expected an article about the numerous and varied holdings of this venerable institution, but what I got was actually an account of the author’s search for information about his elusive Jewish ancestors. That said, the article is in fact quite entertaining and does provide information about some of the resources available at this amazing archive.

FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE (MAY-JUNE 2016)

Family Tree Magazine 17:3 (May-June 2016) offers several articles of possible interest to our genealogists. Of special interest:

Hiding in the Census (pp.16-22): Can’t find your ancestor in the U.S. census? You’re not alone! An expert offers seven tips to help you surmount common obstacles faced by persons using the census.

Private Property (pp. 28-32): As you surf the Web, you may be attracting hackers and trackers the way fragrant cheese attracts mice. Here are ten tips that can help you surf safely and securely.

Military Service Records (pp.33-40): This month’s Workbook is a very helpful guide to 18th and 19th century American military records, especially Compiled Military Service Records (CMSRs). What are they; what do CMSRs for veterans of particular wars contain; and where can these records be found? Included are a list of important websites and a Military Service Records Worksheet.

Mapping It Out (pp.42-49): Are you researching ancestors from Poland, Slovakia, or the Czech Republic? If you need help with geography and cartography, you’ve come to the right place! This article looks at each country in turn, explains its geographic and administrative divisions, and notes online sources for historical maps and gazetteers.

Estimating Relationships with Shared Centimorgans (pp.56-57): The title may sound like gibberish to you now, but after reading it you will likely find it much easier to estimate degree of kinship based on the amount of centimorgans (a unit for measuring genetic linkage) you share with a potential cousin.