Tuesday’s Tip

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 This historical reference work is, of course, published in German and in Fraktur typeface.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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11 Mar 2014

Google Search Similar Websites – Tuesday’s Tip

Google Search for Similar Websites sassy jane genealogy google search trickThis Tuesday’s Tip is about how to Google search similar websites, continuing my series on Google Search Tricks.

Google is great – we all know that, and so successful that it’s now not just a brand name, but also a verb and a genericized trademark for searching, like Kleenex for facial tissues.

Just a few tricks turns Google into an even more powerful genealogy research ally. This week:

 Trick 3: Google Search Similar Websites

Interested in finding other content similar to that of your favorite genealogy websites? Use the related: operator in Google. Type related: followed by the website address in the URL field.

For example, you might want to find sites similar to familysearch.org. So the search term would be:

related:familysearch.org

There are 52 results for sites similar to FamilySearch.org:

25 Feb 2014

Genealogy on Facebook List – Tuesday’s Tip

genealogy on facebook list sassy jane genealogyThis Tuesday’s Tip is a new (to me) resource called the Genealogy on Facebook list.

Genealogist Katherine R. Willson of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has compiled a list of 3,000+ Facebook genealogy links and updates the list monthly. Inspired by her success using Facebook to break down some of her brick walls, Katherine’s Genealogy on Facebook list is a gold mine of resources.

The list is arranged either by location or subject. Links for locations on Facebook include virtually every country from Australia to Zimbabwe; U.S. locations are broken out by state. Subject links run the gamut from adoption to surnames. The links include subject groups that collaborate only on Facebook, and links for existing organizations, libraries, archives, and surname societies.

The German Genealogy research group has been instrumental in advancing my continuing Prussian […]