My new book – Write Your Family History is now available

My new book Write Your Family History: Easy Steps to Organize, Save and Share is now available on Amazon.

Genealogy research should go beyond finding documents and filling in charts. This book outlines a simple process that will aid genealogy research and will also create pages of information that can be easily read and understood by all family members. Your research will become faster and more accurate and your family can enjoy the family history.

 

Price $17.99

 

Click here to order

New Portal for Polish Research

PGSA.org has announced its new web page that lists 46 domestic and international web sites that are related to Polish Genealogy research.  Some you may already know and have tried some of these. However there are many that are new in the last few years and may help unlock the door to your Polish heritage. The most interesting new pages are sponsored by Polish Genealogical groups that have indexed many records and are committed to adding scanned images as soon as possible. Volunteers in Poland have been visiting archives and churches collecting images to be indexed and uploaded to their new sites.  The Polish groups also make this information for free. None of the sites require a subscription fee to gain access.

This is PGSA’s first step to increase awareness in the resources that are available in Polish Genealogical research.

Go to PGSA.org and click on the link under “Compendium of Polish Digital Web Sites.”  This is a great site to get started or to renew your efforts to find your Polish roots.

 

Beginning my research

I begin organizing my research by using standard genealogy charts to capture the relationships and the names of family members. I also quickly start writing a summary for each direct ancestor. In the summaries I include all the information that I find in the documents. Each document is a snap shot of the life of an ancestor and I try to capture each detail found in the document. This method helps me gather, correlate, and analyze my information.  I also make sure that my entries in the summaries identify where I found each fact. Including the sources and this step helps me draw better conclusions about the accuracy of my information and also helps me find clues that point to more sources.

One important benefit that I enjoy from my summaries is that they make my research efforts more efficient. Information that I needed to continue my research is more readily available and using summaries have reduced the time needed to find more documents.

Another very important benefit that my summaries offer is that they make exchanging information with family members easier. A ring binder with a titled cover invites family members to open and read. The summaries can be easily understood by family members and reading them sometimes brings out memories of family stories and offers to send copies of pictures and documents to me.

 

United Polish Genealogy Society Conference

For those of you who have started your research for your Polish ancestors, here is an exciting trip and conference that can jump start your efforts.

The United Polish Genealogy Society Conference will be held in Salt Lake City starting on May 2through May 5. Salt Lake City is called “The Genealogy Capital of the World” and the Family History Library is a fantastic place to find the U.S and Polish records that may lead you to your Polish ancestors. The equipment found at the library is the most up-to-date and the knowledgeable library staff can truly bring success for your genealogy efforts. The library staff has scheduled three orientation classes for conference attendees and conference sessions are scheduled to allow attendees ample time to use the resources available found at the Family History Library.

 Nationally known genealogist Joshua Taylor will give the keynote speech for the Monday banquet. Mr. Taylor will also give presentations on New Tools for Research and Creating a Family History Website. Noted Polish researcher Ceil Jensen will speak at three programs on Midwifery, Immigration Agents and Manor House Records. Ceil and Joshua will be joined by four other knowledgeable speakers who will give programs on Polish topics covering Advance research methods, Maps, Gazetteers, Polish petition records, Notary records and new LDS filming projects in Poland.

Another highlight of the conference is the appearance of the Wesoly Lud Polish Folk Dance Company on Saturday night at the 850 seat Little Theater at the LDS Conference Center. This will be the first appearance of a Polish Dance group at a UPGS conference and if you have not had the opportunity to see a live performance of a Polish Folk Dance group this is another reason for attending the conference.

Plan to stay at the Plaza Hotel. The hotel is located next to the library and offers a free shuttle from the airport. The conference committee has also arranged for the discounted room rate of $85 per night.

The resources available at the Family History Library are the largest in the world and are growing daily. A trip to use these resources and to hear such knowledgeable speakers should be on your “To-Do” list.

Life is short. Please consider attending the UPGS conference. Your efforts in attending the conference will be rewarded with a wealth of new information for your family history.

More program details and registration information can be found on their website at:

http://pgsa.org/2014UPGS/

Who will write your family history?

We all have family stories that give insights into the lives our ancestors. Some are entertaining and others are more historical in nature. Many others are celebrations of our ethnic and cultural heritage. Pieces of these stories are lost as families pass them down from generation to generation. Writing a family history will save them for many generations.

You may hesitate writing down these stories because you do not consider yourself a writer or you cannot see how your family history is important to save. However, it is important for you to understand that someone in your family should capture and save the oral histories, do the research to try to confirm what the accurate story is and do the research to increase the knowledge of your ancestor’s lives. All of our immigrant ancestors contributed to America’s history and their stories should be saved for our grandchildren. Our family histories should give clues of their roles and this will help us understand our roots.

Make your research count

Your collection of family history, photos and documents are incomplete unless someone writes an explanation of how they are related. This creates your unique family history and is the core of why someone needs to write them down for the enjoyment of  your children and grandchildren. If you feel you do not have the skills to do this, who in your family can? If you like to do the research, is there someone that can work with you to write it?

Birth records and Family History

When you find a birth record, go beyond the genealogical data listed. Expand your family history by including a picture of the home where the parents were living and indicate the occupation of the father if it was listed.  If the record is a baptismal record, list who the godparents were, who performed the baptism and at what church. Also look for newspaper birth announcements that may contain more information.

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