Tuesday’s Tip

4 Nov 2014

Request Free FamilySearch Scans – Tuesday’s Tip

Did you know you can request free FamilySearch scans for specific records? The good people at FamilySearch.org have been offering to scan and email specific records from microfilm and books in their collections for free for some time. But FamilySearch recently unveiled a new online form for requests, so even if you have used the service before, this post can help you.

Here are the steps to request free FamilySearch scans:

  1. Register for a free FamilySearch account here, if you do not already have one.
  2. Check to make sure record is available in the FamilySearch.org collections and that it is not already available online.
  3. Submit a maximum of five requests (one image per request) each month, using the new photoduplication request form.
  4. Provide the following REQUIRED information in the online formso that the Photoduplication Team can fulfill your request:
  • Film or Fiche number, item number
  • Name of individual you are researching
  • Title of record and name of parents, spouse, grantor, grantee, […]
29 Apr 2014

Preservation Week 2014 Textiles

preservation week 2104 textiles home movies sassy jane genealogy

Preservation Week 2014 Textiles is today’s post. This year Preservation Week is from April 27-May 3. A joint effort by the archives, library, and museum professions, Preservation Week is designed to share professional expertise on preservation of historical materials with individuals and organizations.

As part of this celebration, this retired archivist and Sassy Jane are featuring five posts this week on preserving your family history papers, photographs, data. and textiles.

Genealogists are family historians and sometimes they’re museum curators too. If you need to preserve family textiles – Grandma’s quilt, Mom’s wedding dress, Great-great-grandma’s needlework sampler – then here are six quick tips for you.

Preservation Week 2014 Textiles

1. Textiles like the same environment you do. No basements, no attics, no garages, no place where the temperature and humidity cycle up and down constantly.

2. […]

25 Mar 2014

Translating Meyers Konversationslexikon – Tuesday’s Tip

translating meyers orts sassy jane genealogyHave you used Meyers Konversationslexikon?

Meyers Orts- und Verkehrs-Lexikon des Deutschen Reichs (English title: Meyers Commercial Gazetteer of the German Empire) is an essential resource for German genealogy researchers. Meyers Orts is available in print at libraries and at Ancestry and FamilySearch.

But for English-speaking researchers, Meyers Orts can be tricky to use. This historical reference work is, of course, published in German and in Fraktur typeface. An additional complication for monolingual English-speaking researchers (like me) is the frequent use of abbreviations. When you don’t speak German, it’s hard to know what word is being abbreviated. And the type can be very small for aging eyes to see.

While there is no substitute for the seminal Meyers Orts gazetteer, another Meyers publication may also help. Meyers also published the Meyers Konversationslexikon. Full title: Großes Konversationslexikon: Ein Nachschlagewerk des allgemeinen Wissens. Sechste, gänzlich neubearbeitete und vermehrte Auflage. Leipzig und Wien 1905-1909. (English title: Meyers Large Encyclopedia. A reference book of general knowledge. Sixth, completely revised and enlarged edition. Leipzig and Vienna from 1905 to 1909).

Some of the same information found in Meyers Orts is also in Meyers Konversationslexikon. This “Large Encyclopedia,” includes concise information on a city, town, or village. Included is geographic location, population, province, civil registry offices, churches and synagogues, all valuable information when searching for ancestors. Also included in each entry is information on civic organizations, institutions, schools, agriculture, factories, businesses, governmental organizations and hierarchy, transportation, and more.

Using Meyers Konversationslexikon is relatively easy thanks to the digital version at Wörterbuchnetz, from the Trier Center for Digital Humanities at the University of Trier. Their digital edition of Meyers Konversationslexikon uses the Roman alphabet, has adjustable type size, an excellent search interface, and best of all, when you turn on the translating function of your browser, the gist of each entry is easily readable in English.

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18 Mar 2014

Creating a Digital Time Capsule for Genealogy

digital time capsule sassy jane genealogyThese days, genealogists are also personal digital archivists. As that family archivist, could you create a digital time capsule of your family’s history?

I’ve opened and reburied a few physical time capsules in my time as a librarian and archivist. (The International Time Capsule Society provides tips on creating a physical capsule, if you’re interested.)

But could a digital time capsule work? Would it be usable in 10 or 20 or more years? Since we all hope that our family history research will be passed on to family members and other researchers, it’s a question worth considering.

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