Are you part of the movement to transcribe digitized records? Have you found your passion for this new art? Transcribing is an amazing development in the genealogy world, and there are volunteer opportunities all over the web. Transcribing is transforming the whole genealogy community.
Most transcription projects rely on a volunteer base. Because of projects like these, the number of people actively involved in family history work is growing. When the number of people interested grows, the wealth of information and connections made can only grow. This means the likelihood of getting “stuck” somewhere in your research should be diminishing.
Dig up the past
Usually people suggest you don’t dig up the past, but as family history buffs, we know that the past is full of great stuff. When you write your Mother’s Day card this year, show that you care about her life by finding facts, pictures, and memorabilia to share with her. If you have the chance to get together with your mother this year, talk with her about her life and her past to create connections with her and increase your own knowledge about where your mother came from and how she got to where she is today.
Give her new resources
Even if your mother isn’t a genealogist like you, she’ll love seeing her family in a piece of history. Find her parents (or grandparents) on the 1940 census. And if she’s on there too, even better!
You can also provide new family history resources by helping out with BillionGraves’ Million More in May promotion. By contributing to the headstone database, you are helping mothers all over the world connect with their ancestors.
Compile a book
Use your Fhnotebook account to create a small book about your mother. Use pictures you’ve collected, interesting stories you remember sharing with her, and important facts and dates to create a great, personal family history resource that she’ll love. You can easily create photo books on many photo printing sites, and they even have easy-to-use templates to get you started.
Get her set up with FHnotebook
Finally, you can help her get her family history research organized and digitized. Create an account for her. Set up notebooks with her married name and maiden name, and add a few pictures and documents to get her started. She’ll love being able to clip pages from the web and store documents somewhere where they won’t be forgotten or misplaced.
Today’s research roundup is about collecting and processing your audio and video files. While the process of rounding up digital media files is easy yet sometimes tedious, rounding up hard copy media files can be difficult and expensive. You’ll have to make decisions about what files to convert so you can store them digitally and what files to continue to save in their original format.
Rounding up your digital media files is a matter of finding them on your computer or other devices and storing them all in one place. FHnotebook provides a simple framework for you to store your media files, and you can organize them into family-specific notebooks.
The 1940 Census is out, and you can access it from FamilySearch.org, National Archives, Ancestry.com, and a few other sites. I was just as excited as all of you to see it, and I thought I’d share my experience researching the 1940 Census so far.
I’m a later-in-life child, and as a result, I barely knew my grandparents. I was excited for the 1940 census so I could find my grandparents on it and learn a bit more about them. And, I’ll be honest, I was excited to be the first person in my family to locate my grandparents on the census—it would be like finding a great resource no one had looked at before. I began by trying to locate their correct enumeration districts.
The Genealogy Insider blog really helped me get started; Diane Haddad has spent a lot of time keeping up with which sites have which images uploaded, as well as the indexing progress for each site. I started with FamilySearch since they had Colorado up already, and that is where my maternal grandparents lived in 1940. After locating and poring over images from several enumeration districts, I couldn’t find them. I tried Ancestry.com as well, just to use a different system (their Beta viewer makes it easy to move around the image you’re viewing), but I still haven’t found them.
Social media sites are great resources for your research. While other methods for research have been around longer, and are thus “tried and true,” social media is a good resource to try when your research becomes stale. Here is a brief overview of several social networking sites and how you can use them for family history research.
The most common social network is, of course, Facebook. People from all generations are connected on the site. Not only can you share personal information or questions with the people you have “friended” on Facebook, you can also share interesting articles, blogs, or other web pages on your profile. If you discover an important article about an ancestor’s hometown, you can share it on Facebook so other people can learn about it, too.
In the last two Research Roundups, we talked about collecting the written word—in the form of personal papers and email. Today, we’ll talk about how to gather photographs and make sense out of the billions and billions of images you have. The wonderful thing about FHnotebook is how you can organize your files into your specific notebooks, storing pictures next to documents and audio files, and you can further label each file with category tags to make them searchable.
First, and most importantly, find a systematic way to gather and digitize your hard copy pictures. Even if you don’t want to spend the time or money to create beautiful digital copies, you should still document your hard copies for several reasons: 1) Security: storing and backing up your files in the cloud means that you’ll always have access to copies of your files, no matter what happens to your computer or home; 2) Storage space: instead of keeping thousands of important photos readily accessible in boxes and file cabinets, you can store them all digitally in your FHnotebook, which will use less space and be more easily accessible; and 3) Organization: not only can you search and find specific items more easily with FHnotebook, but you can add category tags to pictures to group related images in multiple ways, helping you make crucial connections in your family history research.