Virtual Family History Classes through Zoom (Video Conferencing much like Skype or Google Hangouts).
Virtual tutoring individual screen shares a virtual whiteboard to work on:
Family tree creation.
Records search for documenting your family history.
Break down brick walls on a particular ancestor.
30 minutes of free consultation to discuss your needs, prior to the paid session.
Schedule your session today by selecting the appropriate picture below.
FAMILY HISTORY DETECTIVES
VIRTUAL BASIC FAMILY HISTORY CLASS
Basic Family History Class covers how to research your family tree, step-by-step. Please note, after the second Basic Family History Class — you will be sent access to the materials to review and refer back to, at your leisure. The class was designed with children in mind, but anyone is welcome to take the class.
The class is divided into five sessions and teaches how to start to trace an ancestor.
How to start a family tree and where to look for clues for who your ancestors were, leading to who you are.
How different people in your family are related, and how to make a pedigree chart.
Using Zoom, I will guide you along the way and help you to organize your findings, locate different sources, and learn how to cite your research.
There are many genealogy activities on the internet, but this class will allow you to ask questions in a virtual classroom.
We use Google Classroom for this class. Be sure to add the extension DocHub (free) to your Google Chrome in order to open and edit certain assignments.
Well, I am still not closer to finding Abigail, although I do have a lot of feelers out. I am hoping I get a bite soon. Tracing Abigail has forced me to do something I kept reading about but didn’t think it applied to me. A research log. Yep, logging my research and tracking those I’ve contacted about an ancestor.
I didn’t think I needed it before; after all, isn’t that what my Ancestry database is there to do? Um, well, no. It sources and cites my findings once I actually find them. But, how do I keep from researching the same places maybe a year or so later? I log it!
There are many different kinds of research logs out there. Just Google, “Genealogy Research Logs,” and find one that is to your liking. I looked at a bunch and decided to make one on Google Sheets (Excel) that works for me. I named them by the person for easier access, as that is how I file other information; each person has their own electronic file.
Then I went through my emails and started logging. I know I have more and will add them as they come up. I try to use my outlook email for genealogy. But, my older contacts and older research was done through my yahoo account.
As I stated before, I’ve been cleaning up some older, researched ancestors. I feel pretty confident in at least my direct lines, that things are pretty clean, meaning the sources are there and facts are accounted for. I’ll need to do that with some of the non-direct ancestors as I come across them.
Another thing I have been working on as I clean up my sources is looking at older sources attached to my facts. I was able to locate some new (to me) information by looking over them again with more experienced eyes.
I also finished up my report for a client and sent her the latest descendant report. There is also another person who I help pro bono along the way. We private messenger each other now and then, and I give him pointers on where to look or how to navigate something. It is very satisfying being able people with their family history, whether it is to do the research for them or to tutor them on the way to experience their own journey.
If you’re reading this in hopes of getting great clues on finding your brick walls, do not get too excited. I do have a few for you, though.
Today I searched more of my dead ends using some techniques given to me on my Twitter page where I follow fellow family historians and professional genealogists. They provide some great tips and websites for research.
One such tip is getting the best out of Google™ searches called “Boolean Operators.” Here are some examples.
Some others are:
Acts as a wildcard and will match any word or phrase.
Group multiple terms or search operators to control how the search is executed.
Example: (christmas OR trees) decorations
Search for prices. Also works for Euro (€), but not GBP (£) 🙁
Example: Samsung $329
A dictionary built into Google.
Returns the most recent cached version of a web page (old version of a web page) (providing the page is indexed, of course).
Limit results to those from a specific website.
Find sites linked to a given domain.
Find pages with a specific word (or words) in the title. In our example, any results containing the word “samsung” in the title tag will be returned.
Similar to “intitle,” but only results containing all of the specified words in the title tag will be returned.
Example: allintitle:samsung android
Another excellent search tool in my research has been Google Books.
Go to Google search
Type a surname or subject and hit enter
Click on the “More” menu
Click on “Books”
You can leave the search as is or click on “Any Books”
Then click on “Google EBooks” to search for books online.
Again, you can use the above Boolean Operators here.
I used these techniques today, searching for brick walls of mine and some of my clients, family, and friends. I was able to find some information that may help, but I have many names which have me stumped at the moment. Here is just a sample of my particular toughies:
Abigail Soper (cannot find proof of last name)
Daniel Logan’s marriage record to the above Abigail
Margaret Johnson Carr
Letitia Porterfield and John Rowan
John McMahan and Margaret Hargrove
Horace Case (could be John Horace Case)
Himan Chapman and his wife, Ann
Kezia(h) who married Isaac Burns
Williams Morrison and Christina Spiker
Charles William Davis and Eliza Wake’s parents
Franz Sierotzki’s family
Jesse Decatur Simmons (researching for my uncle) 😉
There are many more, but these are more of my frustrating names at this point. I hope those searching these same names will find this blog, and we can collaborate.
I have many, many emails to different historical societies, churches, and county clerks trying to gather information or possible avenues for me to search.
For instance, go to that website and type in the search engine, “Wood County, Ohio.” You get 1,147 results! Once you click a book or similar, you can then search inside the book itself.
And, always, always work sideways! Research the siblings, the aunts, the uncles, and cousins. You will be amazed at what you can find. You can even find others who are researching the same family.
So, do not give up, keep trying and dig, dig, dig. I have broken many brick walls, it has taken years sometimes, but it happened.
To all those that are reading, have a very Merry Christmas, Festivus, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Ōmisoka, or other holiday you celebrate, or not. Make beautiful memories together and while you’re at it, write them down for your descendants!
Lately, I have been helping several people with their family history. One thing that they have all in common is the same issue I ran into when I first started. They did not take full advantage of the document hint that was given to them when they were researching.
For instance, a man and I had both located a census on his relative. He took it at face value, only looking at the page that, in this instance, Ancestry® had provided. It showed the page of his ancestor and their children. However, when I looked at the same document, I was able to find the wife’s family in the same census record. How? By using the back and forward arrows to look at the other pages in the census.
Most families tended to stay in the same neighborhood if not living together. In this case, they were neighbors. I’ve found where both sides of the family were neighbors up and down the street. Of course, with the inventions of cars, airplanes, and other transports, this won’t be the case for our generations and those that come after us; we move around more often.
Another common mistake is to look at the index only for information rather than looking at the whole record. For instance, take this death record of my great grandmother, Caroline Stitt Logan. The index shows her relevant details, such as her date of birth, date of death, etc.
But, if you click on the document, it shows her cause of death, the informant for the certificate (my great grandfather signed it), where they lived, where her parents were from, and where her burial was.
Another example is of this obituary that came up under Caroline’s name. If you only go by this index, then you would think that it is the obituary for Caroline, but it is not. It is for her father, William.
Click on the obit and look at all the information we have. It lists William’s father’s name and William’s children, with their married names.
The most fascinating records to do this with are passenger lists and immigration paperwork. Not only can the passenger list tell you where your ancestor is going, but it can tell you where they are from and whom they are visiting. Some immigration paperwork will list family names, birth dates, etc. You may even get a picture of the immigrant, depending on the time frame.
Dissect every document you can get your hands on. You never know what you may discover.
But, what if there is no image to click on when you find an index? Look at the film number or the “source information” at the bottom of the index. For instance, here is the index for Elizabeth Hennig.
There is no document to click on and dissect. But, there is “Source Information.”
The source information tells me that the original data can be found in FamilySearch. After pulling up FamilySearch.org, click on “Search” and then “Records.” Then “Restrict Records By” “Film Number.” Enter the film number found on the Ancestry index. In this case, it is film number 527772. Once there, you click on the link it provides and then the film number from the index.
Click on the magnifying glass next to the record your researching, in this case, the 527772.
It would help if you remembered that humans indexed and scanned these records. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason as to how they scanned in the images. If you are lucky, they are by date, but sometimes they are scanned in randomly. It would serve you well if you were patient.
Then go back, as have been doing, and look at older records that you may have placed an index hint to and see if you can get more information out of that source. You may be surprised!
Thanksgiving is a time to be with family, and it is also a great way to reconnect with family as well. Yesterday I took my mother to her sister’s house for Thanksgiving. All her siblings were there too. Mom is seventy-six, but has been sick for the last couple of years and hasn’t visited face to face with them.
It was a pleasant visit. My two aunts and my uncle were there. My son, mom, and I. My cousin, his wife, and children came. We Facetimed with his brother, wife, and cousin who are out of the country. And, we also spoke with another cousin on the phone who is out of state. Isn’t technology grand?
My uncle has been researching his own family history for decades. He has run into the proverbial brick wall with his great grandfather. I asked him to send me the name, and I would see what I could find out if anything. My uncle also spoke to me about passing on his research to either his children or his grandchildren. He is 80 and is having some medical issues and, therefore, would like to make sure his research lives on.
He thinks one of his grandaughters is interested, but like me at her age, they are not just into family history just yet. I am hoping that she does find the bug and at least makes sure his ancestry is preserved for generations to come.
That is why I keep telling my son specific stories I find that I think will pique his interest. I want him to preserve my ancestry research too.
Everyone should have at least one family historian in their family. It is a vital way to keep our history alive!
To get the most out of your family history takes time. You need to research and verify facts and sources. Sometimes you need to order documents. But, what you get out of it is so much more than the time and money you spend. It helps you to understand your family members a little bit more, and it may just help you to understand yourself a bit too.
And, don’t underestimate your children. As I explained in my Family History for Children blog, children are very curious and avid learners of their history. A good age, in my opinion, is about 4th grade.
There are many online programs out there to help you find records but do not ignore the many other outlets that can help you. I have reached out to many other researchers and genealogists in the past to help guide me in the right direction. Some I have hired to look up documents for me in a place I was not able to go to myself. Also, see my post on using Facebook to help you in your research.
Maybe you are not curious enough about your family roots to spend hours digging through historical databases. That is where Family History Researchers like myself can help.
At www.loganalogy.com, there are many ways in which I can assist you in your family history research. I not only blog about my ancestors and family research in general, but I also offer other services.
An online genealogy basics class, I provide one-on-one tutoring as well as group tutoring in the Clay County, FL area, online consultations, and I offer my Family History Research Specialist service.
James C. Logan, cousin from my blog, Logan Theories- Restalrig, Scotland , went to our Scotland lands in June and visited historical sites relevant to our Logan history. He and his wife visited and stayed with another clan member in Gavington. When they weren’t discussing clan business, they toured the ruins. James has given me permission to share these with you. All photos are courtesy of James C. Logan.
On one of their first outings, John led them to visit the ruins of Fast Castle and nearby Siccar Point. “Fast Castle was once held by the Logan Barons of Restalrig – also held by the Clan Douglas and Lord Home. The approach is very steep and slippery. “
Other points of interest John took them to “included several churchyard cemeteries where ancient Logan’s are interned from a very early time. Edrom Kirk, for example, was established in the Middle Ages about 1147 and the chapel added in 1499. The existing church was rebuilt in 1732 and then repaired and partially rebuilt in 1886. The only fragment of the 12th century church is the doorway to the entrance of the Logan burial enclosure. The ancient inscriptions on the tombs inside are very difficult to read.
They also visited “the site of the 1513 Battle of Flodden, where the 4th Baron, Sir John Logan and his eldest son perished in battle at the hands of the English commander, Lord Dacre. The Battle that day saw the loss of 10,000 Scots, mostly of the nobility, including King James IV of Scotland.”
“In Edinburgh, under John’s guidance included St. Margaret’s Church, St. Anthony’s Chapel, and Lochend House. The Logan’s once owned Leith and Leith harbor as part of the Barony of Restalrig.
St Margaret’s Church is located in Restalrig, now a suburb of Edinburgh. The original church existed in Restalrig from before the 4th century, dedicated to St. Triduana. A new church was built on the site in about 1165. The foundation for St. Triduana’s Chapel and St. Triduana’s Well adjoin St. Margaret’s Church.
Inside St Margaret’s is a stained glass window dedicated to the Logan’s. This was the church of the Logan Barons of Restalrig up until 1610.”
“The foundation of St. Triduana Chapel is a hexagonal structure now capped with a square structure with a peaked roof, abutting St. Margaret’s. When St. Triduana died in Restalrig on 8 October 510 AD, the story is that “a well of pure water” sprung up where she was buried. In 1438, Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig erected a hexagonal tomb over her grave which provided pilgrims access to the “curative” well water. “
“In the basement of St. Triduana’s Chapel, we noted a large (about 6 ft tall) tombstone for Lady Janet, Ker — Lady Restalrig — but with one corner broken off and missing, containing the date. The ladies guiding our tour of the Church could not supply the date. But John recalled seeing a picture of the tombstone. We looked it up in Scott’s Heraldry by Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, Oliver & Boyd Publisher, Edinburgh, 1934. Lady Ker was the wife of Sir Robert Logan, the 7th and last Baron of Restalrig. Lady Ker died in 1596.”
“While in Edinburgh, John took us on a short auto tour of the city, passing by Holyrood Palace and the new Scottish Parliament, then to Arthur’s Seat. Arthurs’s seat is a very large volcanic plug next to the volcanic plug on which Edinburgh Castle is built. Half way up one side of Arthur’s Seat is the ruins of St. Anthony’s Chapel, reported to have been built in the 1100’s by the Logan’s of Restalrig.”
“Our tour of the Edinburgh area included a visit to Lochend House, Restalrig, which is the site of the Old Logan Castle of Restalrig. All that remains of the Castle is the Doocot and one wall with the last standing chimney of the Castle. The castle wall is now decorated with modern graffiti and the chimney is hardly visible through the trees.
On the site of the old Castle are several apartment buildings and a modest post World War II mansion, Lochend House. Lochend House is boarded up and run down, and is now on the market for sale, I am told, at a mere 220,000 pounds (about $300,000 or so).
One day while studying the roadmap, John noticed a reference to Nell Logan’s Bridge. So we had to investigate. After several wrong turns we finally found the bridge. The bridge was built in 1793 over Preston Burn. A prison cell was built under the bridge by adding walls and floor, and small windows and a door with bars. Nell Logan was the last prisoner. She was charged with sheep steeling. It’s not known what her fate was.”
“Was Nell tried and convicted or found innocent? Was she punished? These questions beg for more research. It’s a mystery! A new bridge was built above the old bridge in 2010 to provide 2 lanes across Preston Run, but the old bridge is still there, under the new one.”
I thank James for including me on his family email on his trip to Scotland. And, I invite all Logan’s to become members of the Clan Logan Society International. Clan Membership
Proud to be a Logan!
By the way, here is the sacred burial plot containing the heart of Robert the Bruce.
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If you need research assistance, do not hesitate to contact me.