Sunday, December 31, 2006

Free Medical Dictionary

Trying to read some of these Death Certificates I just couldn’t make out the cause of death. I found this medical dictionary very useful One of the causes of deaths I was able to make out the first letter & the end of the word. I was able to limit my search to “Ends With” then look for a word that started with the letters, and was able to find the word I wanted. These are some of options to limit your search, "Word/Article", "Starts with", "Ends with", and "Text".

The Free Dictionary website has more than just medical definitions: Dictionary/thesaurus, Computing dictionary, Medical dictionary, Legal dictionary, Financial dictionary, Acronyms, Idioms, Columbia encyclopedia, and Wikipedia encyclopedia.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Utah State Archives

The Utah State Archives have many good free indexes online, birth, death, court, government, etc… They only have what the counties have given them & not all their holdings are index, but this is a good place to look for people that have lived in Utah.

I just noticed in the 1904-1954 Vital Records & Statistics section, they are starting to put the actual death certificate images online.

One thing I don’t like, I don’t see a way to search just one database. But the search engine they do have is easy to use. All you need to do is enter “Surname” or “Surname, given name” or what I like is “Surname, first letter of given name”.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Utah Geographic Place Names

I discovered this site looking for a place in Utah. It had a locations on it none of my other programs had .

The Utah Geographic Place Names Committee Records, ca. 1970s A Register of the Collection at the Utah State Historical Society

Genealogy Classes At The Bouse Library

Put on by professional genealogist Carol Brown .

Classes start at 9:30 AM, cost $5 per class for expenses. Located at the old Bouse Elementary School, 44031 Plomosa Road (look for the flag pole), in the building just east of the library.
  • Dec 12- Preponderance of Evidence (using DNA to prove or disprove a point)
  • Dec 14 - Military Records
  • Dec 18 - Publishing Your Family Records (there is some question whether the people who are in the class will want to have class that week).
Starting on Jan 9 we will restart the classes
  • Jan 9 - Beginning Genealogy
  • Jan 10 - Genealogy on the Internet
  • Jan 16 - We will start back to every Tuesday and Thursday for the next 8 classes.

Check the calendar for updates

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Lake Havasu Genealogical Soc. Special Events

This sounds like a good seminar if you can make it up to Lake Havasu on January 27th.

Special Events: "2007 13th Annual Genealogy Seminar will be held Saturday, January 27, 2007 at the Mountain View Mobile Home Park Clubhouse. Time: 8:00 AM registration 9:00 AM sessions to 4:00PM. Lunch break with salad luncheon included with registration fee of $30.00. Featured speaker will again be Shirley Gage Hodges from Albion, MI and Apache Junction, AZ.

Topic’s :
Immigration, The Journey to America
Newspapers, A Pot of Gold
Tracing your Ancestor through Military Records
Church Records, The Ties that Bind"

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Simple OCR

If you are a slow typer like me & want to put text from a document into your genealogy you might want to think about an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program. The commercial versions can be pricy for people on a limited income. All I have found so far for free programs that works with Windows is SimpleOCR .

One thing I DON’T like about this program is there no way to select a text area you want, just select to ignore an area. But you can choose that area you want when scanning the document, which is probably easier. “Selecting picture region” doesn’t give very good results, so if you need to include a picture scan it separately & insert it into your document later. When converting the image into text it does show the original image very well, I do like that. It does support TIFF, BMP & JPG if you already have the document as an image file.

If you can afford a good OCR program I do recommend that, if you want free this is the best I have found so far.

Note: Good news Google has released Tesseract OCR into Open Source. I don’t see anyway to run it in windows yet, let’s hope soon. More info here

Friday, November 24, 2006

Looking For Cemetery Volunteers

I am looking for some people that are willing to go out and transcribe & photograph headstones. I know the Quartzsite Cemetery needs to be checked for errors, and Brenda needs to be photographed. Then we can upload the information to the free genealogy websites for La Paz Co.

I have a digital camera that will hold around 250 pictures with 2 batteries, but the battery only do about 40 pictures each. So if we can get a few people with cameras & paper & pencils I think this could really help others.

Please contact me via this page if you are interested.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Google Book Search

On Google Book Search there are a lot of books here that are copyright free which are nice for research. Just enter your keywords and your results will be “Full View”, “Limited Preview”, “Snippet View”, or “No Preview Available”. But you do have the option to limit your search as “Full Page” only, which will get you mostly the copyright free books. Another nice feature is your keywords are highlighted so they can be easily found. “Advanced Search” will give you a chance to search by Title, Author, Publisher, Publication Date, and even search by ISBN (barcode).

Options when you found a book:
  • Browse: Will let you look at the book page by page.
  • Search within the book: Will let you search for more keywords within the book.
  • Buy the book: Doesn’t guarantee that the book will be there but might help.
  • Find reviews: Doesn’t pop up much on the copyright free books, but might help if you plan on buying the book.
  • Find it in a library: Will tell you if a library has it, and you might be able to use the interlibrary loan to get it from your local library.
  • Learn about the publisher: Will get you to the publisher’s website.

For more information on Google Book Search can be found at

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Collaborating Research

Collaborating with a cousin was the way I learned most about research & is one of the quickest way to get things done. Google has made this easier for you with Documents, Spreadsheets & new to Google Labs “Note Book” Everyone must have a Google account, but signing up is free.

Documents: I don’t see a lot of good unless several people are writing a family history together. But it does have nice features, export as HTML, RTF, Word, OpenOffice & PDF. You can Insert Images, Links, Comments, Bookmark, Separator or Special Character. View what revisions have been made. Choose who can views or who can make changes. Publish to the web (a unique URL on Google) or to your Blog. It has some of the same features you will find in a Word Processors, but personally find it a little bit limiting. It will solve the problems of people using different Word Processors.

Spreadsheets: I don’t use spreadsheets very often so I’m no expert. But if you are transcribing something like a cemetery, indexing or anything you might need the use of a spreadsheet, this can be very useful. Each of you can take a portion of what you are doing and work on the same project together.

Note Book: I really like this one, forget about bookmarks you can a select section of a page & come back to look at it later (images are also saved). It requires a little plugin on your browser, but after that is installed all you do is highlight the portion of the page you want, right click and select “Note This” or click the new little notebook icon on the right side of your browser & select “Add Note”. It won’t do PDF files on the web, but it does let you type or copy/paste the text & have a link to that file. I did find a problem with long pages, seams to have some problems with pages that would be much over 2 pages in my Word Processors, and Netscape browser doesn’t seam to be supported.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Genealogy Classes At The Bouse Library

Put on by professional genealogist Carol Brown

Cost $5 per class for expenses. Located at the old Bouse Elementary School, 44031 Plomosa Road (look for the flag pole), in the building just east of the library.

Classes scheduled so far:
  • Class 2 - Friday - Nov. 3, 2006 - 9:30 am- Class 2 - Computers and Genealogy on the Internet
  • Class 3 - Thursday - Nov. 9, 2006 - 9:30 am - Class 3 - Census and Social Security Records
  • Class 4 - Tuesday - Nov. 28, 2006 - 1:30 pm - Class 4 - Researching in Libraries and Courthouses
  • Class 5 - Thursday - Nov. 30, 2006 - 9:30 am - Class 5 - Immigration, Emigration & Migration
Not scheduled yet:
  • Class 6 - Genealogy Societies, Magazines and CD-ROM's
  • Class 7 - Overcoming Dead Ends
  • Class 8 - Preponderance of Evidence & DNA
  • Class 9 - Military Records - Service, Pension & Bounty-Land
  • Class 10 - Publishing You Family History

Check the calendar for updates

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sourcing Made Easy

I hear so many people say, “I would put in sources but it takes to long”. Here are a few tricks I use to make it easy.

My first choice would be Notepad found in your Accessories section in your Start/Programs menu. It is small, can be resized & moved around in front of your browser or other programs.

Coping a section of a website: All you do is copy/paste into notepad the URL, title of the page, then copy/paste the section of the page you want. The Title & URL is your source & the text you put in your Source or Detail/Citation text area.
John Doe’s Genealogy
John Doe came to this county in 1904…

Document Images: Just move Notepad to where you read what you want so you can read the image & type in Notepad at the same time. Type where it came from, page number or any pertinent info, and then start typing what you want. The Title & URL is your source & the text you put in your Source or Detail/Citation text area. A census will usually take me just a few minutes, but I think my ancestors are worth the extra time.
1860 census Iowa, Warren, Liberty Twp, p878 sheet 214, enumerated 24 July 1860
Benj Byerly, 53, Minister "German Baptist", VA
Delilah ", 43, VA
William H ", 21, TN, Teacher com s (probably teacher in common school)
Sarah C ", 17, TN, school within the year
Susan E ", 15, TN, school within the year
John A ", 12, TN, school within the year
Mayt(?) J ", 10, OH, school within the year
Martha E ", 7, OH, school within the year
Samuel M ", 4, OH

Most genealogy programs have a copy/paste option when entering sources. So you can copy 1 source & paste it onto everyone that appears on that document. Looking at the above census, you can make 1 source & paste it on 9 people.

Second choice if you want formatted text, use “Split Screen”. This is by loading your Browser or Image Viewer & Word Processor at the same time, click the program you want on top, then you “Right Click” your “Tool Bar” & chose “Tile Windows Horizontally”. Low Resolution monitors might give you some problems so give it a try. One disadvantage of Tiling is it will Tile every program you are running. An option to Tiling is using a program called “Transcript” it is free for private non-commercial use, but it only supports JPG, JPEG, BMP & GIF images.

One good thing that comes from keeping sources, if you learn more about your family possibly that page has more info that you missed and you can go back to that website or document & see if there is more there.

Note: Just remember to take into account copywrites, when publishing to the web or other printed material. Stuff in the public domain is safe to reproduce.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Stephen P. Morse's Search Engines

Alan from one of the lists I’m on turned me on to a Ellis Island search engine that is easier to use than the official website So I went and explored the developer’s website & found several other good links. The pay links are clearly marked with a “$”, and most of them send you to but there are a few others. There are so many I had to condense what I found.

  • Ellis Island Search Forms and Ship Arrivals (1892-1924), Some pay sites.
  • Castle Garden (and earlier) Search Forms and Ship Arrivals (1820-1891), Some pay sites.
  • Other Ports of Immigration: Baltimore Passengers (1820-1948), Boston Passengers (1820-1943), Galveston Passengers (1844-1954), Philadelphia Passengers (1800-1945), San Francisco Passengers (1893-1953). Some pay sites.
  • US Census and Soundex (1790-1940): Some pay sites but many interesting searches like ED finder, street finder, street name changes & more.
  • Canadian and British Census: 1901 census for Canadian & British are free the others are pay sites.
  • New York Census: Obtaining AD/ED for the 1905/15/25 NY State Census & Brooklyn 1925 Name Index: Searching the Brooklyn 1925 Census.
  • Births, Deaths, and other Vital Records: Several interesting search engines.
  • Calendar, Sunrise/Sunset, Maps.
  • Dealing with Characters in Foreign Alphabets: Converting Hebrew, Russian, Greek, English & a few other goodies.
  • Holocaust and Eastern Europe.
  • Creating your own Search Forms, Search Engines, and Databases

And more!!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Genealogy Resource For Us

I have found a library in AZ that has a free online library card that will give us access to Heritage Quest & another online database I like called Newsbank, great for US obituaries from 2-10 years old (some go back farther).

If you are interested, maybe we can make a class to sign up & learn how to use these databases.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Questions And Ancestors

Questions And Ancestors is back on TV even though it might be in reruns. After not seeing it all summer I noticed it is back on BYU TV (on many cable & satellite systems). Right now it is on Tuesday at 6:30 PM & will probably on Thursdays like last year, but after the time change in Utah it will be an hour different. It is a great little program giving you help with research for your genealogy. You can listen to some of the past episodes at but believe you me that is only part of them.

Also I have been listening to it on the Internet on BYU Radio Saturday & Sundays at 10 AM all summer. The schedule is at Use the “View Entire Day's Listings” to find what will on upcoming episodes. Remember we are an hour earlier until October 29th.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Massachusetts Archives Searchable Collections

Massachusetts Archives website has 3 nice searchable databases.

Massachusetts Archives Collection Database (1629-1799)
No actual documents, but a good index.

Passenger Manifest (1848-1891)
If listed it contains: Name, Title, Age, Gender, Birth City, State, Country, Germany, Destination City, State, Country, In USA, Occupation, Citizen, Condition, Arrive With, Residence, Date, Port, Ship Name, List Number, Comment.

Vital Records (1841-1910)
Right now only has a death index. The information you will get is Last Name, First Name, Town, Years, Volume, Page & Type.

Monday, September 04, 2006

New Genealogy Resource In Quartzsite

The Family History Center in Quartzsite has gone broadband. Instead of 6 computers sharing a 56k modem, they now have Satellite Internet. Along with that they have 2 computers with Something new GenSmarts is on most of the computers, it will analyze your genealogy file & make recommendations where to look for sources & take you there if it's online.

Right now they are open Monday & Wednesday 9-12 AM, but this winter they are talking about being open Monday Wednesday & Friday 9-12 AM & Tuesday & Thursday 6-8 PM.

The address is:
455 S Riggles Rd
Quartzsite, Arizona

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Get this Blog Emailed To You

If you are like me, I keep forgetting to check pages like this. If you would like the articles emailed to you, you can subscribe here

Putting Your Genealogy On The Web

One of the best ways of getting more information is put your info online. People really do love to sharing, trading or request more information. Just remember, don’t share or put living names online, someone put a living family members online.

The 2 easiest free ways of putting your genealogy online are, and All it takes is uploading your gedcom. I don’t get many people contacting me on these, but I do a lot of sharing with others there.

What has worked best for me is making my own website. This isn’t as hard as it sounds, most genealogy programs will make very nice webpages. All you need to do is find a server (place to put your webpages). A lot of the times your Internet Provider will give you webspace as part of your service. Another option is find a Web Hosting Provider, you will want to make sure it allows FTP (file transfer protocol) because you will need to upload your webpage. RootsWeb does offer Freepages, but I haven’t tried it so I don’t know the limits. I found this with interesting links but not all the ones that offer FTP include it on the free package. Just remember those companies have to pay for those free services, so that means advertising or spam. I do use a pay Web Hosting Provider for $62.88 a year and that includes the domain name, and it has more space & bandwidth than I would ever use. Just something to think about.

For the beginner you will probably want a WYSIWYG webpage program & a FTP program (Windows Explorer will work), there are plenty of free ones on the web. I kind of like Mozilla Suite for tweaking html webpages, but a lot of Word Processors do html editing. Finally I would suggest a “Dummy Book”, there are ones for about anything you can think of.

I’ve got it online how do I get it in the search engines? You can add your website to Google here MSN site submit is here Yahoo is here & click “submit your site for free”. I’ve never tried it but there are things called “webrings”. One family member uses GenRing for an example. Just experiment with the others & don’t think you need have to pay to get noticed.

One drawback to a website is spammers looking for email addresses on websites. Probably the best is make a graphic out of your email address or I have seen people change to “me # mydomain dot com” & tell people to change # to @ and dot to period. I do recommend a separate email address for your website, that way the spammers won’t bother you on your personal email address.

If you feel like a small challenge I like PHPGedView the only cost is the programmers would like a donation to keep the project going. It makes VERY impressive webpages but it is all done online & your server has to support PHP, MySQL will make it run a little better but not mandatory. All you do is upload the files, the hard part is doing the settings (I know nothing about PHP & was able to do it). You can enter everything online or just upload your gedcom & it does the rest.

I hate to write a novel so if you have any questions please post a comment.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Site Search

Many times when I am searching the web I want to find out what one website has on just one name but they don't have a way to search their site. One of my favorite ways is the "Google Tool Bar" . It will add an extra tool bar on your browser but has some nice feature, my favorite is "Site Search". When you are on a website and you want to see if they have more info you want. You just type what you want in the search field and then there is a little triangle next to the search button, click it and you will see "Current Site", click it and you will just get what is on that website. Site Search on Google Tool Bar has one problem, on free & personal website without their own domain name or large websites with a bunch smaller areas in it, Google Tool Bar will search EVERYTHING in that website.

Here is a manual way to do a Site Search, in a search engine type "site:" followed by the website & key word. Example for all the Chapmans in Conejos Co. Colorado on USGenweb <>. Since Conejos Co. is found on rootsweb in the coconejo directory it will look like this: coconejo chapman. This will work on most search engine as long as the website has spidered (read by the search engine). Try it on a multi search engine, it could increase your chances of finding something.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Colorado Historical Societies

Colorado Historical Societies has some very interesting links on this page .

I really enjoyed the Colorado’s Historic Newspaper Collection . You are given an option for dialup or broadband speed, kind of slow at dialup but worth it. You can search by County map, browse or search by newspaper & date. If you use the map it will tell you what papers are available in that county, then you have “Browse All” lets you chose a specific newspaper & date, and finally “Search All” you can use a keywords & you can limits your search to dates & newspapers. has a collection of old photos, might be worth taking a look at. A lot of photos maybe you will find a little gem.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Google Alerts

How would you like Google to tell you about new websites that have topics that you are interested in? I had signed up for Google alerts . I entered quartzsite genealogy & got a bunch of hits that nothing to do with what I was looking for. But when I change my search to something that would limit my hits, +quartzsite +genealogy, I was surprised what I got, someone had linked my Blog. Just think, what if you are looking for John Doe in Elk City, Oklahoma, you could enter +Doe +“Elk City” +Oklahoma. Now when Google finds a site that mentions Doe, Elk City & Oklahoma they will email you a link to the site. See for tips on limiting search engine results.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Alaska's Digital Archives

Alaska has a nice easy to use digital archive . I cheated & used a name that would pop up, I was quite surprised to see some new pictures & documents I have never seen before. One nice thing is the documents can be viewed as actual images or html text. I was able use the "CTRL F" hot key in the html text to find the name I wanted, then go to the images & pages I wanted.

Alabama Department of Archives & History

Alabama has some very interesting info. In the "For Genealogists & Historians" area. I really enjoyed the "Databases of newspapers, maps, photos" it has Civil War Service Database, 1867 Voter Registration Database, World War I Gold Star Database & Photo Database. The 1867 Voter Registration Database & the World War I Gold Star Database has actual images available. The Photo Database only has thumbnails, but you can order prints or the images on CDs.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Quartzsite Genealogy Interest Group Class

The Quartzsite Genealogy Interest Group “QGIG” is having their 1st class on June 15 on digitizing photos & documents. See for what we will be covering.

Hopefully we can come to a decision when we can meet once a month probably at the Quartzsite Library. I talked to the Librarian and they are talking wireless broadband in the meeting room so that would be a great place to meet but it is open only till 7:00 PM on weekdays, if evenings work better for others maybe we can find another place to meet. Everyone welcome no matter his or her knowledge or software.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


People miss the big picture on the censuses when all they look at are ages & birthplaces. Prior to 1850 basically you only get the name of the head of household & ages and number of people in the household (there is more even to them).

This isn’t everything in the censuses, but some of the little jewels:
  • 1850: value of estate, occupation, if they can read or write, married within year, school within year, cannot read or write, remarks (whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict).
  • 1860: value of estate, value personal property, occupation, if they can read or write, married within year, school within year, cannot read or write, remarks (whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict).
  • 1870: occupation, birthplace, value real estate, value personal property, father foreign born, mother foreign born, month born in census year, month married in census year, school in census year, can't read or write, remarks (deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic), eligible to vote.
  • 1880: month of birth in census year, married in census year, single, married, widowed, divorced, occupation, health (deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, other), can't read or write.
  • 1900: starts some very interesting entries; month & years of birth, number of years married, how many children did the mother have & how many living, how many years married, immigration year, years in the US & naturalization, and if the owned a house or farm & if it was mortgaged.
  • 1910: watch for an m2 it means they are in their 2nd marriage, number of years married is sometimes the number of years of the 1st marriage, how many children did the mother have & how many living, occupation & type of work, and if the owned a house or farm & if it was mortgaged.
  • 1920: home owned or rented, if owned or mortgaged, immigration year, naturalized or alien, year of naturalization, occupation & type of work.
  • 1930: home owned or rented, value of home, age at 1st marriage (don’t mix it up number of years married), immigration year, naturalized, if they can speak english, occupation & type of work, if veteran & what war or expedition.
HeritageQuest Online has a good book to help explain in more detail about censuses. "The Census Book" by William Dollarhide, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to read it

Sunday, May 28, 2006

New Jersey Archives & Records Management

NJDARM has a very interesting collection in their archives . The ones I found most interesting.

  • Searchable Databases: which include Supreme Court Case Files 1704-1844, Marriage Records 1666-1799 & Index to Marriages 1848-1867. More being added soon.
  • Imaged Collections: Portraits of Soldiers, Historic Structures, Sites and Parks, New Jersey Institutions, Transportation and Public Works, Military Monuments & Military Service Records.
  • Todate Document Treasures only has the New Jersey State Constitution online.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

County Boundaries

I’ve hit a brick wall on my line. A very common error people make when doing genealogy is putting in the current county but that county didn’t exists on that date or that location was in a different county. Another thing you may want to think about, “My records shows my ancestors have moved 3 times”. It could actually be, they didn’t move, but the county boundaries changed 3 times. I will put the original county in the location field, but put the current county in the notes so if someone wants to travel there they will need to where to look, ie “Williamsville, Niagara, New York is now Williamsville, Erie Co., New York.”

AniMap is a wonderful program for plotting locations in a certain time period, but it can be a little pricy. So you need to figure out which is more valuable, time or money. My genealogy program is a little finicky about entering a county that didn’t exist on a certain date so it was worth the money to me.

Alternatives I use. will give you the current county on the map, and then you can go to & go into the county section. USGenWeb will usually give you a date when the county was formed & what was the parent county. It can be a little confusing when it was formed from more than 1 county, message boards might be able to help or just study the map & see which is the closest parent county.

Gold Bug has just offered their location search from their program for free online . It doesn’t give you the county on a certain date, but if you have the town & state, but no county, it can help there. Plus you can chose between “List results in table” or “Plot on Google Maps” (hope you have broadband if you use Google Maps it can be VERY slow on dialup). There is one problem on “List results in table”, no spaces between words, maybe they can fix it soon. It will make finding places easy, plus it gives you longitude & latitude.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Wisconsin Historical Society

Wisconsin Historical Society has many interesting links. Some that I found interesting was their research links .

Here are a few free things, but you can order some good documents off their research page.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Using The BLM Land Patent Search

One great way to find out about our ancestors is land purchases & sales. I have had some very wonderful surprises pop up.

The BLM has a wonderful website that allows you to search & sometimes view original land patents . One drawback it is kind of hard to figure out where the lived with the land description unless you know how to read a topo map. This page will help you figure out how to read the land descriptions .

My biggest complaint now would be “I don’t want to go out & buy a bunch of maps”, well will help with converting township & range into longitude & latitude, and link you over to terrasever so you can view a topo map & aerial photo of the land. The tough part is figuring out what meridian the land is in. The states this does cover is the 17 western state (AR, AZ, CA, CO, ID, KS, MT, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA and WY). I had one problem with an oil & gas lease, but it could have been me, a mistake on the document or the program, but it did get me in the ballpark.

Feel free to comment if you have any questions & I will expand on what I have here.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Free Maps On The Library Of Congress Website

I thought you might find this interesting, old maps on the Library of Congress website

I'm not sure if this is the main page or not , probably best to try both links.

Looks like they are using the new JPG format, JPG2000. More info here .


Monday, April 10, 2006

Missouri Death Certificates, 1910 – 1955

I just found out Missouri has started putting there Death Cerificates online

There are some originals, I was able to view my 2nd great grandmother's certificate. There is one problem with the search function, if you narrow down your search by county you won't get any hits. So I recommend putting in the names > click search & used "Ctrl F" to find the county you are looking for.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Free Genealogy Links

Here are a few of my favorite free genealogy links

Would love to find out about more.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Free Picture Pedigree Charts

Sunset in Quartzsite AZ. Made for 4x6 prints. Higher quality

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Using Your Local Library Resources

I'm afraid La Paz County Library doesn't have much for online genealogy research, just a few books. Maybe if enough people make a request they will try & get more. But a lot of people here are snowbirds & will have more at their summer home.

The 3 I am most familiar with are:

  • Ancestry Library Edition – Is usually an in library service, which is a little tough when time is limited on a Library computer. But has most of the same records that are offered on
  • HeritageQuest Online – Can quite often be accessed at home through your library website. It has the 1860-1920 censuses & many state, county & family histories.
  • NewsBank – Nice for resent obituaries. Has most of the major newspaper in the US.


Tip with HeritageQuest: Searching through state, county & family histories. Click Books > Publications > Search Publications. On Subject click Browse enter Surname or County & click Jump. Select what you want & click OK. Then in the keywords I enter the opposite, County or Surname ie. Subect-Rockingham County VA. Keyword-Smith. That will get me all the Smiths in Rockingham Co. For a complete listing of places that offer HeritageQuest see it is always being updated.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Using Search Engines To Look For Genealogy

Search Engines are very good way to find information & long lost relatives, but getting thousands of hits is a very useless. There are a few tips to remember when phrasing your search, but remember not all search engines support these tip.

Search engine tips:
+ (and, not always necessary)
- (not)
"****" (phrase, can cause problems by missing some sites but helps narrow down the search). Be as exact or vague as you want.
* (wildcard, if you don't know the complete date. Example: 187*)

Cemetery; "doe, john" +birth year +death year +state +town
Regular search; "john doe" +birth year +death date +state

Favorite Muti Search Engines:
Why limit yourself to just 1 search engine when you can search several at the same time? (clusters results that make it easier narrow your search & in Advance Search you can chooses which search engines you want to use. I usually turn off "ASK" because it doesn't support phrases) (another Muti Search Engines)

Finding Someone In A Large Document:
There is a "Hot Key" (shortcut) that will search a webpage for a word. Press & hold "CTRL" then press "F" after the page loads. Then type the word you want, then click "Find Next", it will take you to where it appears on the page.

Googling Genealogy Style

Monday, March 20, 2006

Digitizing Your Old Photo & Documents On A Shoe String Budget (Updated)

2 of my favorite file format for pictures & documents are JPG & PDF. But many people prefer TIF, TIFs are uncompressed which mean very large files.

If you can't tell I like free or cheap programs. I will go into more programs later but the 2 free ones I use the most are CutePDF to make PDF files (works like a printer driver "If you can print it you can make a PDF file". Requires installing the program & converter, both avalible on the free download page). And there is Picasa from Google, not very powerful but has some very nice features for a free program. The one I like the best is when editing it doesn't affect your original file.

When Picasa is combined with CutePDF you can make multi page PDF files, which is very nice for your genealogy documents. One problem I have run into is sometimes it rotates the documents, but rotating the pictures before printing will take care of that problem. Highlight the images you want, click file>print then change the printer to CutePDF then click Print. I like to go into Properties/Preferences and make sure it is the DPI & color I want.

A few things you need to know when scanning or taking digital photos: DPI (dots per square inch), imagine graft paper and each square is a pixel (dot), it is given 1 color. The higher the DPI the better the picture will look, but the larger the file. Then Quality/Compression, the higher number the less compression & the better the picture will look. And finally Grayscale verses Color, color is millions of colors & grayscale I believe is 250 shades of gray which makes a smaller file. If a picture is black & white I will use grayscale unless the picture has started to change colors with age, I like that pinkish or yellowed effect. Remember when emailing a picture you could be sending that person a VERY large file if you don't take these in to account. Nice thing about Picasa it will resize the photo for emailing without hurting the original.

Here is my minimal rule of thumb for Scanning:
Printer friendly for Email & Web
· I like a 600 Horizontal Pixel Width for Photos

8.5x11 scanned documents
· 72 DPI - 600x776 Pixel Width

8.5x11 scanned documents:
· 200 DPI - 1700x2200 Pixel Width

Scanning Photos (think pixel width when you want to enlarge a picture):
4x6 photo
· 300 DPI - 1200x1800 Pixel Width 5x7 photo
· 300 DPI - 1500x2100 Pixel Width 8x10 photo
· 300 DPI - 2400x3000 Pixel Width

My minimal rule of thumb for Quality/Compression for the Web & Emailing pictures are 3-4, 5 & up for Archiving.

When scanning I like to crop or select a larger area than just the picture. Say you have a 3x3 picture but the store can only do 4x6 prints, well you will have crop some of the your picture to get it fit in that 4x6 area. Another option is some programs will let you change canvas size without changing the actual size of the picture, I have found IrfranView at will work for this & it is free. It is easier to trim a print than chose what you want lose to make a print.

Even though you have archived your pictures & documents electronically, back it up in print!!! Formats & programs always change. Try and use an acid free paper & there are a lot of stores out there that do digital prints from CDs & memory chips. I prefer my photos on glossy paper, it can be scanned better next time. When making prints in a store edit each picture so you crop & edit each picture just the way you want it. After you make prints, store your originals in a safe place & only handle the copies. I do not like these photo printers that you can hook up to your computer, if your print gets wet or damp you can kiss your picture goodbye.

Scanners are always coming down, so all you need to know is what is compatible with your computer. I picked up one that also does slides & negatives for under $150, but you have to have a USB port (universal serial bus) on your computer, and it was a little hard to figure out how to change the DPI defaults for the photos & negatives.

That was a lot of work when you first start out, but now you can burn a CD of your work & share it with your family & friends for just a few bucks. And hey, if you have a computer failure you can always ask for the CD back ;-)

A few links you might want to check out:
Preserving Family Heritage

A few scanning tips

Scanning Experiments

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Software Review - Legacy Family Tree

One of my favorite genealogy programs is Legacy Family Tree. One disadvantage is it has so many features it is a little hard to get use to. I first downloaded it because I like the webpages it created. The standard version is free & I used it for about 6 months before decided I wanted the bells and whistles of the deluxe version. When I first started using the 4.0 standard version it did have some annoying nag screens telling me “this function is only available deluxe version”, I noticed when upgrading to ver. 6 I only got them when I try accessing the deluxe function from the top menu (that was before I entered my registration number). One thing I REALLY like about this company is, Tech Support!!! There has only been a few companies that given me such personal help & followed up with me to make sure I got everything fixed. The bad thing is their mailing list, it is so active it is hard to keep up with everything going on there ;-) If you would like to see what it can do & how it compares with other programs more info here: .

They have 2 free online videos “Legacy for beginners” & “What’s new in Legacy 6”, they will give you a chance to see what it offers.

Tip: You can have 8 customizable Internet searches, here is a search string to one of my favorite multiple search engines[WholeName]+[BirthYear]+[DeathYear]

Friday, March 17, 2006

A fun little fact about some towns in La Paz Co. in 1905

ArizonaBusiness Directory
El Paso, Texas, with Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver, Classification
Live Stock DepartmentWool Growers' DepartmentClassified Department


Page 143
Postoffice in Yuma county, 85 miles north of Yuma. Farming and stockraising the industries. Population 33.

BISHOP L W, justice peace, notary public and postmastr
Frankenberg Leo, constable.
Hart Mrs Thresa, mines.
Swain R M, bees.

Page 181
Postoffice and mining district in Yuma county, on the Colorado river, 40 miles north of Yuma. Population 25.

Arizona Prince Mining Co, Tom Pearson agent.
Colonial Mining Co. Gleason Z S, saloon.
Hagely Anton, stage. Pearson Tom, mines.
WILSON S M, general merchandise, notary public, saloon, hotel, meat market, postmaster.
Wilson & Pearson, mines.

Page 250
Postoffice in Yuma county, 45 miles southwest of Wickenburg. Mining the principal industry. Population 100.

Enos & McDonald, mining.
Harqua Hala M Co, John B Martin pres.
MARTIN JOHN B, general merchandise.
Quinn B J, justice peace.
Socorro Mining Co, F C Smith supt.
Victor & Belle Crown Mining Co, W C Patterson pres.

Page 302
Postoffice and farming settlement in Yuma county, 65 miles northeast of Yuma. Population 20.

Bloomer O B, justice peace.
Hanley H H, constable.
Notbusch J F, general merchandise, postmaster, prop Palomas Canal.
Palomas Canal, J F Notbusch prop.

Page 303
Postoffice in Yuma county, 75 miles south of Mellen, on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Indian agency. Population 29.

Atkinson Enos B, supt Indian school.

Page 332
Postoffice in Yuma county. Bill Williams Fork mining district. Population 40.

Anderson A W, notary public.
Keohan & Miller, general merchandise.
Planet Copper Miring Co, H L McCarn supt.
WHITNEY & PLATT, general merchandise.

Page 350
Postoffice and mining town in Yuma county, 90 miles southwest of Martinez. Population about 300.

Amalgamated Gold Mines Co.
Belle of Arizona Mining Co, Richard Darling pres.
Bumgardner J W, justice peace.
Cox Jim, saloon.
Dopple Hans, saloon.
Engel Charles, saloon.
Genung Chas, saloon.
Gleason Mrs J, saloon.
INGERSOLL G U, postmaster.
Morris J E, saloon, hay and grain and corral.
Scott W E, general merchandise.
Smith S P, saloon.
Valensuella Copper Co.
Will Smelting Co, general merchandise and hotel.
Wilson A V, general merchandise.

Page 363
Postoffice in Yuma county and station on the Arizona California R. R., 55 miles west of Wickenburg. Lead­ing industry mining.

Grand Valley Development Co.
HALL D W, real estate and mining.

Page 415
WENDEN.(No postoffice.)

Station on Arizona & California railroad, 50 miles west of Wickenburg.
Hanna & Young, general merchandise and mining, P O Harrisburg.

Genealogy in & around Quartzsite AZ.

I have recently moved to Quartzsite AZ. & enjoy learning & helping other with genealogy. So I thought I would start this blog.

I thought it would be fun to try & find people in La Paz County that would like to get together once a month & share ideas & experiences.
If this doesn't work out I will at least try & keep this a free resource for people with a interest in genealogy.