23 Nov 2016

Interviewing Relatives for Family History

With the holidays upon us, here are some tips for interviewing relatives for family history, courtesy of the Society of California Archivists with a bit of my own experience mixed in.
1. Planning the Interview

Place the recorder where you can see it, but where it is out of the line of sight of your narrator.

Work from an outline of major topics with prepared questions for each topic. In general, a chronological organization is best, because it can show how their ideas and experiences have developed over time. Make a list of the specific dates and places of events missing in your family tree.

Interview and record in a quiet place! Close windows and doors to avoid traffic noises, put pets outside, silence all phones.

Do a brief test recording with the interviewee at the interview location and play it back immediately to make sure the equipment is working and […]

10 Nov 2016

Free Swedish Genealogy Research Alert

Free Swedish Genealogy Research Alert – on Saturday November 12 and Sunday November 13, ArkivDigital  is providing free access to everyone who wants to try out ArkivDigital All-in-One.
New users and users with Base subscription get access to everything in their All-in-One database on both days. Church records, estate inventories, court records, tax/census records, military and other historical records are included, together with access to all registers.

Download and install the new software ArkivDigital 2.0 -beta software by clicking here.

Using ArkivDigital Sweden is easu via an online subscription service called ArkivDigital Online, which provides online access to the entire image database for a specific period of time. Download the Coverage Table here. You can also search their database by county and parish name, district name, record type, etc. Search results are improved when using Swedish spelling and diacritical marks when searching, e.g. Örebro rathr than Orebro.

ArkivDigital also offers the following tutorials to help you find and use records about your Swedish ancestors:

Introduction to […]

5 Nov 2016

When Could Women Vote in Your Family?

My maternal grandmother was 31 before she could vote. My paternal grandmother was 24. Their mothers and all my other female ancestors were never entitled to vote. When could women vote in your family? How old were your female ancestors before they could cast their first vote? Were they suffragists?

In the United States, the answer is somewhat complex. The Library of Congress offers a comprehensive timeline beginning in 1776. Women’s suffrage was debated and a platform adopted at the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York in 1846.

A constitutional amendment granting women the vote was first introduced in Congress in 1878; it was ratified 41 years later as the Nineteenth Amendment.

During those long decades, a concerted effort was made by individuals, organizations, and leading suffragists via petitions, protests, rallies, parades, and demonstrations. Opposition was persistent, predictable, and vehement. As in England, arrests, imprisonment, and forced feedings were endured by […]

4 Nov 2016

U.S. Immigration Interactive Map 1880-2000

A fascinating U.S. Immigration Interactive Map 1880-2000, Immigration Explorer, is available online at The New York Times.
Both a research tool and a way to understand more about your immigrant ancestors, the map is highly customizable. As you can see in the image above, you can select from various countries to see how each settled across the United States each decade between 1880 and 2000. Data are available at the county and state levels for immigrants from these and other countries:

All foreign-born

I love maps like these because I remain fascinated by my own immigrant ancestors, who left Norway, Sweden, Prussia, Austria, and Scotland, to come to Chicago during the Second Wave of U.S. Immigration. The push-pull factors for my ancestors migration were pretty evenly split between poverty and joining siblings who had already come to America.

This map and others […]

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