Julie's Genealogy & History Hub

Julie's Genealogy & History Hub -

Tuesday’s Tip – Use a Dictionary

Open Book

Last summer I attended the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. I was in Thomas Jones’s class Writing and Publishing for Genealogists. The class was well worth the money and I learned a lot about all things writing and editing in the world of genealogy.

One of the best tips I got was simple—use a dictionary! For a moment I thought, “well isn’t that obvious?” Sure, I use it regularly to look up correct spellings and definitions. But as Dr. Jones went on, I realized just how useful a dictionary could be.

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Writing-Related Sessions at NGS 2017

The National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, from May 10-13, 2017. There are so many sessions available, covering a wide array of topics.  Following is a list of the writing-related sessions. The entire schedule can be found on the NGS Conference website.

Wednesday, May 10
  • StoryMaps: Using Web Maps to Tell Family Stories (4:00 p.m.)
    Charlie L. Wells
    The use of StoryMaps, a simple and effective approach for publishing web maps to tell family stories, is described with several examples.
Thursday, May 11
  • Writing a Family Narrative That Your Family Will Want to Read (11:00 a.m.)
    Margo Farriss Brewer
    You want your family narrative to be read and an object of family pride. Learn how to add life and interest to the plain facts.
Friday, May 12
  • She Did What, When? Where? With Who? Why? Putting Your Ancestor in Historical Context (4:00 p.m.)
    Sara Gredler
    Utilize “non-genealogical” sources in a genealogical context to provide a fuller, more colorful story of our ancestors. What exactly does historic context mean?
Saturday, May 13
  • Genealogical Documentation: The What, Why, Where, and How (11:00 a.m.)
    Thomas W. Jones
    Learn to document a family history, five characteristics making citations complete and accurate, and a straightforward format for citing physical and digital genealogical sources

Do you plan on attending any of these sessions?  What other conference sessions are you looking forward to attending?

What’s Your Number? Revisited, Again!


Back in 2012, I wrote What’s Your Number? (…and an Epiphany), which prompted me to evaluate known ancestors in my direct line. I revisited the numbers again in 2015  in What’s Your Number? – Revisited. The point of the posts was to illustrate that genealogy is never “done.” There are always new ancestors and collateral relatives to discover. Also, there’s always more to learn about the individuals that make up your tree.

I thought it would be nice to check in and see where my numbers are at today and compare that to the 2012 and 2015 numbers. Keep in mind that I have only counted ancestors that I have identified and am comfortable with the proof, excepting any unknown non-paternal event(s). I know I haven’t lost any ancestors (whew!), but how many (if any) did I gain. Let’s take a look.

What's Your Number.xlsx

Well it looks like I’ve gained 12 ancestors. The gains were primarily on my Luxembourg lines, as I have been working on them, almost exclusively, for the last two years.

My dad’s lines are really shaping up, and I’ve had some luck on my mom’s paternal lines; it’s my mom’s maternal lines that are lacking. But the good news is, some of the work I’ve been doing outside my Luxembourg families relates to my mom’s maternal lines, as I connect with DNA matches on those lines. Maybe some day some of those walls will come tumbling down.

I’m thrilled with these numbers. If I can add a few ancestors to my tree every couple of years, I’m cool with that.

Tuesday’s Tip – Locate Newspapers in Other Towns

Pile of newspaper

Newspapers are great resources for genealogists. Sometimes newspapers are overlooked because they can be difficult to search and/or hard to access. The efforts by many genealogy record-providing websites, Chronicling America, and local libraries are making it easier to access newspaper collections, and because of OCR (optical character recognition) technology, searching newspapers is a bit easier.

There are tons of tips I could offer related to newspaper research. I chose this one because it is often overlooked. When we use newspapers in our research, we tend to head straight to the newspaper(s) published in the town where our target person lived. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this strategy, but let me offer a supplemental option—also look for newspapers in other towns. Why? There are several reasons, actually, so let’s take a look.

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Entries for the 2017 Connecticut Society of Genealogists Literary Awards & Essay Contest Now Being Accepted


The Connecticut Society of Genealogists is now accepting entries for both the Literary Awards and Essay Contest. Submission deadline for both is July 15, 2017. Winners for both will be notified by September 1, 2017.  Details for each are below.

6th Annual “Tell Me Your Family Story” Essay Contest

This contest is open to anyone; winner receives $100. Entries must relate to New England and not more than 10 pages (double-spaced). Entries could include family stories, oral histories, diary/journal excerpts, Bible record or cemetery marker transcriptions, family histories or traditions, or socioeconomic conditions affecting the life on an ancestor. These essays must convey how it pertains to the author. Click here (opens PDF) for full rules and entry form for this contest.

30th Annual Literary Awards Contest

This contest is open to anyone. Grand prize winner will receive $500. There is a $20 entry fee and two copies of the publications must be submitted. Publications must relate to New England and have been published since within the last five years. Categories for this contest are:

  • Genealogy (begins with someone in the past and works forward in time)
  • Family History (begins with someone living today or recently and works backward in time)
  • Genealogical Resource (could include cemetery abstracts, compilations, court records, etc.)

All entries should include a title page, table of contents, and index. Books should be bound. CDs are acceptable provided they have a fully searchable and easy-to-follow name index with page numbers.  Click here (opens PDF) for full rules and entry form for this contest.

Need some convincing to write about your genealogy research?  See my post 4 Reasons to Convert Your Genealogy Research Into Writing.

Super Sale on DNA Tests – Autosomal Down to $59!


In honor of National DNA Day, which celebrates the discovery of the DNA helix and completion of the Human Genome Project, Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) has marked down all their DNA tests for one week starting today, April 20, 2017.

The last time I wrote about a big FTDNA sale, the autosomal test was down to $69, the cheapest ever. But they’ve outdone themselves this time as the autosomal Family Finder test is down to $59, yes, $59! Now’s the time to stock up!

Been holding out on the mitochondrial full sequence test? It’s down to $149! And all of the Y-DNA tests are marked down too.

Hurry over to FTDNA to take advantage of this super deal and celebrate National DNA Day!

This page does contain affiliate links.

Attend Up to 10 NGS 2017 Conference Sessions At Home


Since 2014, the National Genealogical Society has been offering live streaming of ten sessions (broken down into two tracks) during their annual conference. Although they are streamed live, those who register for one or both of the tracks can watch them live or on-demand at any time during the three months following the conference.

I have registered for one track every year (even in 2015 when I attended the conference) and have been pleased with both the live stream and the on-demand options. Although the price went up a bit this year, I have still registered for one track. This really is a great opportunity for those that can’t make it to the conference, especially because one of the tracks is dedicated to DNA, which is a hot topic right now.

The other nice thing about registering for the live stream/on-demand sessions is that you get a digital copy of the entire conference syllabus—what a bonus!

Here’s what’s on tap for this year:

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Not Quite “On the Clock,” but Getting There


Part of the reason I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to my blog is because my “free” time has been spent working on my portfolio for BCG certification. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, life can get in the way, so instead of starting my BCG clock now, I’m trying to get the two biggest components into a draft state so I can make sure I can submit my portfolio within the allotted time (one year). So what have I been doing to prepare?

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