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.