maps

19 Mar 2016

Why We Do Genealogy

How many times have you been asked why we do genealogy?
Back when I was a working archivist-librarian, the bosses who held the pursestrings would ask me why we should even bother with all that old stuff. After all, it was so expensive to take care of and nobody really cared about those dusty old archives. My immediate, though internal, answer was always, “How can you not care about history?”

None of my grad school classes in history or library science prepared me to justify archival preservation, research, or outreach, especially to bosses who had never done primary-source research themselves. Eventually I figured out ways (with more or less success) to make preservation and access to the historical records in my care palatable to administrators who only had eyes on the bottom line.

A few years ago, I posted about a visit to the Tenement Museum, one of the best historical museums anywhere.

I have eight great-grandparents […]

13 Jul 2015

Place Research Tool

Place Research Tool is the new way to search the huge database of geographical information at FamilySearch. Place Research Tool helps you find standardized information for place names with links to GPS-generated maps, variant spellings, and dates when names were in effect. In addition to helping genealogists search for exact spellings and locations, FamilySearch indexers also use this database.

Place Research Tool has its origins in the now superseded Standard Finder from FamilySearch Labs.

The image above shows the new Place Research Tool results page, complete with map.

To the right is what the search results page looked like under Standard Finder. As always, double-click to enlarge images.

I wrote about Standard Finder in this blog some time ago, noting its ability to advance place name research. This is particularly helpful for areas where the borders changed frequently and place names varied between different languages, as seen in this ancestral village of mine that was once was Rawitsch in Prussia and now is Rawicz in […]

19 Oct 2014

Where We Came From in the U.S.

Where we came from in the United States…and where we went is the subject of today’s post. These infographics from the New York Times illustrate domestic migration from 1900 through 2012. You know I love a good set of interactive maps for genealogy research and these are fascinating.

These maps use census data to illustrate where residents of each state were born. The map can also be reversed to show where people who were born in a particular state moved. Each state has its own complexities. Epic trends, such as European immigration at the turn of the century or the Great Migration of African-Americans northward during WWII, are made visible.

Arizona and Illinois are featured in today’s post. Click here to see infographics on each of the 50 states.

The New York Times writes:
The following charts document domestic migration since the turn of the last century, based on census data. For every state, we’ve broken down the population in two […]

1 Aug 2014

First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane

“First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane” is my free genealogy newsletter, written from the perspective of a genealogy librarian and archivist.
 

Available (you guessed it) the first Friday of the month, “First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane” contains tips and tricks for your family history research and highlights from this website, so you don’t miss a thing.

My focus is genealogy from an archivist’s perspective, including using primary sources effectively, search strategies, archives news, and technology tips. Frequent topics include how to organize genealogy research, catalog family photographs, and simplify sources and citations. I also like sharing information on using iPads and iPhones for mobile genealogy.

There are lots of genealogy newsletters out there, so I want you to know that “First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane” is: 1. short, 2. sweet, 3. free. Delivery is timed to inspire your weekend family history research. The August issue is out today. Sign up below to start […]