Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blogger missing in action?

Photo courtesy of National Archives UK
Not really.  Just out of commission for a little while.  Since my last post, I (barely) survived a week-long bout of the summer flu, which caused some missed deadlines for school (for which my instructor graciously granted some extra time), which has now caused me to play a serious game of catch-up on work, school, and housework.  Needless to say, I've been a little behind the 8-ball.

In any case, a few nice things have happened over the past several days.  I ordered the land records for my great-great grandfather and his brother from the National Archives back on July 16, and I received them this past Friday.  Unfortunately, I wasn't expecting them for at least 60 days (according to the disclaimer on the NARA website when I ordered the records).  I am having a very difficult time "ignoring" the records, but this is a necessary test of my willpower.  If I get involved with them right now, I'll never finish my last two weeks of school!

I also requested my great grandfather's birth certificate from Perry County, Indiana, a couple of weeks ago, and received it in the mail yesterday.  I was quite confused when I opened it ... but I'm saving that for a future post.

I haven't received my great great grandmother's death certificate yet, but I hope to receive it in the next several days.  I'm not in a big rush ... again, only two weeks of school left.

So, my blog presence will probably be close to non-existent until after I take my final exam on August 12.  After that ... look out blogging world!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Genealogy Success Team - Week 9

Ok, so as Laura mentioned in her blog, last week was a little rough for us.  I was dealing with some family issues, work issues, school issues, and probably 14 other kinds of issues, so I didn't get as much done as I planned ... but technically I was able to score some check marks on my list.  To recap, here's what I was supposed to do last week:

  1. Read 2 Casefile Clues.
  2. Blog more than once.
  3. Respond to the request for additional information from NARA re: military records.
  4. Order copies of Land Entry files from National Archives for Joseph Zenophile Lanctot and Philippe Lanctot.
  5. Request death certificate for Elizabeth Bourke Lanctot.
I was able to read one back issue of Casefile Clues and the latest issue of Casefile Clues for Beginners (I'm trying to keep current with that one!).  One check mark for me.

I technically posted more than once to my blog, thanks to the previously-scheduled Sunday's Obituary posts I wrote a few weeks ago.  Two check marks for me.

I filled out the NARA paperwork with as much information as I had and emailed the forms down to my aunt to take to my grandmother to sign.  Technically I did what my goal required.  I haven't gotten the forms back yet, so I can't make another goal until I have them in hand.  Three check marks for me.

Did you know that the land records cost a minimum of 40 bucks a pop??  Neither did I.  So, I had to wait until payday so I could request those records, which I did on Saturday.  Technically, it was still within the week, so it still counts, right?  Four check marks for me.

I also neglected to send off my request for Elizabeth's death certificate last week.  I just got too busy.  However, I'm glad I waited because it occurred to me that I had requested a bunch of vital records from South Dakota several months ago.  Even though Elizabeth's wasn't one of them, I did recall receiving a refund check from the South Dakota Department of Health (which I never cashed) for one record they couldn't find.  Ah ha!  So instead of mailing a payment to them, I just returned their check with my request for her certificate.  We'll see if that flies.  I hope it does;  the check is void after August 8!  Timing is everything, I suppose.  Five check marks for me.

My list for this week is not nearly as demanding (I'm taking some leeway with the definition of that term) as it was last week; two things that are always on my list and one thing that could take me 5 minutes or it could take me 5 weeks:
  1. Read 2 Casefile Clues.
  2. Blog more than once.
  3. Explore the universe for my 2nd great grandfather's obituary.  (I only have a month and year of his death and no location, which is why I have no idea how long it might take to find it).
So technically I got five check marks for the week.  It's still progress, and I'll take it wherever I can get it at this point.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - James W. Laudick

James W. Laudick

Oldenburg, Ind. - Services for James W. Laudick, 47, Oldenburg, a bookkeeper for the Oldenburg Garage, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Holy Family Catholic Church with burial in the church cemetery.  He died Saturday in his home.  Friends may call at the Myers Funeral Home at Batesville after 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana, 20 September 1971, p. 31.

*When I received my great grandfather's obituary, I got a big chunk of the page from the newspaper.  The Indianapolis Star obituaries have not been digitized, so I figured I would go ahead and share with everyone, in case someone was looking.

Additional obituaries are on the page, but they are incomplete or illegible.  They include:
Mrs. Ana Covrea
Ernest E. Asa
William Ferguson
Mrs. Lenna Merrick
Harry Idlewine
Henry Holthusen (NY)
Dr. Christopher.B. Stuart (IL)

I will be happy to send a scanned image to anyone who would like a copy.  Just shoot me an email (see my "About Me" page).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Genealogy Success Team - Week 8

When we first began our Success Team, I had high hopes, sure ... but I never thought it would help me keep my in-basket under control!  I suppose keeping my focus on my goals has either (1) kept me from filling my in-basket with stuff that I've collected during my GeneaADD-frenzied searches, or (2) given me more time to deal with the stuff that in the in-basket.  Either way ... I'd call it winning!

Here are my goals from last week:

  1. Read at least 2 back issues of Casefile Clues.
  2. Add at least 10 new links to my website.  
  3. Add more web resources to research checklist (as appropriate) from my ongoing list.
  4. Do a lookup for Laura's ancestor.
  5. Blog more than once.

Here are my results:

  1. I did better than 2 ... I read 3!
  2. I added about 20 new links to my website.  Of course, I also added about 10 more to my "pending" list ... 
  3. I added 3-4 sites to my research checklist that weren't already there.
  4. I did the lookup for Laura's ancestor.  Very interesting, that one.
  5. I actually had 5 blog posts last week.  I think that might be a record for me.
I had a list of goals for this week that was made with the presumption that I would be flying out to the west coast for my grampa's funeral*, but circumstances prevent me from going at this time. So, I had to come up with a new list of goals:
  1. Read 2 Casefile Clues.
  2. Blog more than once.
  3. Respond to the request for additional information from NARA re: military records.
  4. Order copies of Land Entry files from National Archives for Joseph Zenophile Lanctot and Philippe Lanctot.
  5. Request death certificate for Elizabeth Bourke Lanctot.

*I would like to extend my most sincere thanks to all of you who have kept me and my family in your thoughts during this difficult time.  Each and every message meant a great deal to me, and made me proud to be a member of this fine community.

Sunday's Obituary - Guy G. Rollison

Guy G. Rollison

Guy G. Rollison, 76, a produce merchant at the Marion County Greenhouse Growers Inc. market, since 1937, died yesterday in St. Francis Hospital.  He was born at Bloomfield and lived in Indianapolis most of his life.  Services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the G. H. Hermann Madison Avenue Funeral Home.  Cremation will follow.  Survivors include a son, Robert L. Rollison of Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana, 20 September 1971, p. 31.

*When I received my great grandfather's obituary, I got a big chunk of the page from the newspaper.  The Indianapolis Star obituaries have not been digitized, so I figured I would go ahead and share with everyone, in case someone was looking.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Edward John Lanctot (1921-2011)

Rest in peace, grampa.  I love you.
Edward John Lanctot
(30 Jul 1921 - 8 Jul 2011)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

MagicBoard to the Rescue?

A few days ago, I posted about my 2nd great grandfather, Joseph Zenophile Lanctot, and all the inconsistencies I was finding in my research.  In an effort to try to keep all my thoughts straight, I found and downloaded an iPad app called MagicBoard.  I needed something that would allow me to use photos, documents, scratch notes, draw arrows to stuff, and generally move things around until they made sense - at least in the way that my brain works.  At first look, MagicBoard seemed to fit the bill, so since it was being offered for the low, low price of $1.99 I thought I'd give it a try.

First, let me say that I was pleased by its simplicity.  There are no intrusive menu bars or toolbars.  Five icons on the top bar are all you need: one takes you to the main page where you store all of your boards; a "layer" icon so you can arrange your layers; an "add" icon that allows you to add text, a sketch, an image, or a map; a "settings" icon; and a "send" icon.

I created a board and loaded all my images (8) for Joseph from my Dropbox (I was thankful that I had decided to use Dropbox as the home for my family tree data!) into my "camera roll" on the iPad2.  From there, I was able to place the images on my board.  I was able to resize, move, rotate, and even add a caption (after I figured out how to do it - double-tapping seemed to do the trick).  There were options to add a text note and even maps.  I thought that might come in handy later.  There is an option to work in layers, but I haven't really explored that yet.

One thing I didn't like was that in order to jot my notes down (like I would if I were using a whiteboard) I had to add a sketch item, draw or write what I wanted to say, and then I had to manipulate the item to fit where I intended it to go.  I didn't have the ability to sketch in context with the rest of the board, so it took a few tries before I finally got it like I wanted.

I was able to send a picture of my board to myself via email.  Here it is:

What I liked:
1. I could manipulate my images however I wanted.
2. The size of the workspace.
3. The customization options available (background, etc.) - you can even choose whether to use "tape" or "pins"
4. The simplicity of it.
5. Having a lot of Irish ancestry, I thought the logo was super cute (and appropriate)!

What I didn't like:
1. Sometimes the images got a little stubborn and didn't want to play nicely (when resizing or moving, I ended up moving the entire board - that could have been user error or the app, jury's still out).
2. I can't draw arrows and circle stuff like I want.
3. I couldn't resize the actual board, so I ended up having to scroll from side to side to see all my stuff (which usually ended up with me moving all my images around unintentionally).
4. There was no way to change the default settings, so for each image I added, I had to keep changing the "fill bounds"  setting so the images would only fill the size of the space I gave them.
5. I wish there was a way to change the portrait/landscape orientation of the images.

Technical issues:
1. After I got all those images added and captioned, and got my sketches in the right places, I took the picture, emailed it to myself, and that was the last time I've been able to work on my board.  Now, when I open it, instead of my images, I see this:
2. Even though the app itself is fairly intuitive, I thought there should also be some sort of pop-up tips or something to tell you how to do stuff.  There aren't even instructions on the website (at least none that I was able to find).  I had to go to the forum to find out how to do some of the things the app boasted.

In any case, I posted a message on the forum about the image issue, and got a very prompt reply back from the developer, assuring me that they are aware of the issue and that it will be fixed with the next update (which I hope is soon).  I'll wait for that update and see if it changes my mind about this app.  Right now, it's completely useless to me. 

*I was not compensated in any way for this review. I spent my own money, used my own time, and these opinions are completely my own.

Monday, July 04, 2011

If a Picture Paints a Thousand Words ...

... somebody better get creative because I think I've used up all the 4-letter ones!

I was avoiding doing my math homework yesterday*, so I decided to work on my 2nd great grandfather, Joseph Zenophile Lanctot.  He's a French-Canadian gent who was born in Quebec on 15 Jan 1861 (according to his death certificate, WWI Draft Registration, and every census record between 1881 and 1910) ... but baptized on 15 Jan 1860 (according to his baptism record).  I know, right?

I originally sent the baptism record to Laura to see if she would have any luck transcribing/translating the record.  Fortunately, she sent me back a partially-transcribed and partially-translated document, which was awesome and enabled me to get the gist of what it said (and helped immensely with the handwriting).  It was the date that had me perplexed: "Le quinze janvier mil huit cent soixante."  Every translator I plugged that into said 1860.  Granted, the document is really terrible on a legibility level, especially if you don't speak 19th century French.  I had to resolve the discrepancy in the birth years!

So I looked at the record again ... really hard ... with a magnifying glass and everything.

If you look waaaaaay over on the right-hand side, almost in the margin, you can see the word "un." Okay, I solved part of the mystery.  He was actually born/baptized in 1861.  After 4 hours of fighting with it, and asking for help from the French message board on Ancestry, I think I've got it fully transcribed:
Le quinze janvier mil huit cent soixante un nous soussigné maire de cette paroisse, avons baptisé Joseph Zénophile né hier du légitime mariage de Pierre Lanctot, cultivateur et de Sophie Longtin de cette paroisse. ---- Le parrain a été Francois Simonneau?, qui ainsi que le père, a déclaré ne savoir signer, et la marraine Elise Longtin, qui a signé avec nous. Un mot rayé nul.
... and translated:
On January 15, 1861, We, undersigned Mayor of this parish, have baptised Joseph Zénophile born yesterday from the legitimate marriage of Pierre Lanctot, farmer and of Sophie Longtin from this parish. ---- The godfather was François Simonneau?, who, as well as the father, said not knowing how to sign, and the godmother Elise Longtin, who signed with us. A word crossed off void.
So apparently he was born on January 14, 1861, baptized on the 15th.  Now comes the second part.  Ol' Zenophile was magic!  He had the ability to be in two places at once!  Here he is listed as a single 19-year-old male in the 1881 Canadian census with his parents:

Here he is on the 1900 U.S. Census with his wife and children:
See the date he put as having come to the United States?  1876.  Only 15 years old.  Also, notice that it says the couple were married when they were 19.  Hmm ... that's 1881.  But they were married in Nebraska, or so I'm told.  It also says she was born in Illinois.

Now, here's the 1910 U.S. Census, where he is listed again with his wife and children:
... only this time, he says he came the U.S. in 1874.  In 1874, he would have only been 13 years old.  I doubt his parents just dropped him off at the border and said "have a good time, sweetie! We'll be back to pick you up in 7 years."  Notice, her place of birth still says Illinois.

He dies in 1913, so I have no additional census records to consult.  If we go back in time again and look at the 1880 U.S. Census for his wife, Eliza, we'll see that it says she was born in Michigan:
Her obituary says she was born in Michigan, and I'm pretty sure her parents would have given the correct information to the census enumerator.  Should I chalk this up to hubby just not remembering correctly in 1900 and 1910?

I have only done a cursory search for Zenophile's immigration and naturalization records, but am coming up empty.  I also am not having any luck locating a marriage record in 1881 Fremont, Nebraska.  I'll have to look for churches there.  In order for them to both be 19 years old when they married, they would have had to marry between January 1 and January 14, 1881.  That should narrow my search a bit.  So my working theory for now is that Zenophile did come to America in 1874/76, married Eliza in January 1881, and returned home to visit his parents at the time of the census in April 1881.  Now I just have to prove it, and figure out why he's listed as not married on the 1881 census with his parents.  Perhaps he hadn't told them yet?  Perhaps the census was taken in early January - before they got married (after all, Zeno is listed as 19 years old and he would have been 20 on January 14, 1881)?

Here's my list of to-do items:
1. Find Eliza's birth records (either Illinois or Michigan);
2. Find the marriage record for Zenophile and Eliza - search churches in Dodge Co., Nebraska and surrounding areas;
3. Locate any land records, city directories, etc. placing Zenophile in the U.S. prior to 1881;
4. Find Zenophile's immigration/naturalization records, and maybe even a passport (if he indeed made a return visit to Quebec);
5. Find birth records for all of their children.  They had 8 total, but only 5 survived.  This will help identify all the children and help identify where they were living.

If anyone can see any holes in my logic, please let me know.  My brain is sorta like oatmeal right now.

*No matter how frustrating this research gets, it will always be better then algebra.

2011 Genealogy Goals - update #3

So, here it is the beginning of July and I haven't updated my goals for the year since April.  I figured I might as well face the music ... 

1.  Plan (and execute) a trip to the National Archives in D.C. (to coincide with my visit with my mom! I'll be dragging her along with me so we can play with my new Flip-Pal that she got me for Christmas).
Check.  You can see the "results" of my efforts here.

2.  Request pension files for my military ancestors.
Still working on this one.  I have sent requests to NARA for my great-grandfather and my granduncle's military records.  I just hope they don't arrive before the middle of August, or I will most definitely fail algebra due to sudden-onset genea-A.D.D.!

3.  Break down the brick wall that we call my grandfather's biological parents!
I sent a letter to the NY Adoption Registry this week to see if they could at least point me in the right direction to go about unsealing my grandfather's adoption records.  Apparently there is not an attorney or anyone else in New York who has ever had to do this.  I find it incredibly hard to believe, but whatever.  It's a matter of principle now - I can't go on having a stumpy little branch on my tree!

4.  Scan and organize all of my photos.  I may have to become a regular at the ScanFests!
I have had to put this one on hold until after my class is through in August.  I will be at the August Scanfest though - you can count on that!

5.  Re-source all of my research ... well, some of it is sourcing for the first time, but I just need to make sure everything has a source!  I guess before I do this, I really need to pick a program and stick with it.  I'm bouncing around between 3 or 4 different ones right now ... mainly because I don't have access to the new FamilySearch yet, so RootsMagic has kind of taken a back seat, and I like the layout of Family Tree Maker, but sourcing is confusing to me.  Ugh.  So many decisions!
All of my documented direct ancestors have been entered, documented, sourced, and media-ized in RootsMagic.  I am now working on my collateral folks, and have managed to get quite a few of them transferred as well.  Still a ways to go, though.

6.  Keep a to-do list in ONE place, and actually work on it!  (Thanks to all you folks who have posted some great ideas on how to do that)
I continue to transfer my to-do list to RootsMagic as I transfer all of my data.  I've checked off a couple more items on that list since April!

7.  Increase my FamilySearch Indexing output by at least twofold.
Just when I was getting ready to gear up for some serious indexing, the site was down for several days, and then school started back.  This is something else that will have to wait until August, unfortunately.
8.  Finally take a trip to the Family History Library in Ooltewah, TN (yes, it's only about 15 minutes away, I just keep forgetting to go!)
Done!  I actually blogged about that here.

9.  Transcribe all the documents I have obtained (and will obtain).
I sort of forgot all about this goal while I was transferring my data.  Fortunately, I didn't forget to transcribe most of the documents in the description of the media file, but there were a couple I missed.  I'll have to double-check to make sure I've done them all.  In any case, there is now a brand new fluorescent green sticky note on my monitor reminding me to transcribe all documents!  My world is literally held together with sticky notes.

10.  Last but not least ... start writing my family history!  Note: it will probably be 2064 before I actually FINISH it, but at least I can start writing it.
I have completed (as much as possible) the general profiles of John Charles Slowey, Harold John Crowe, Sr., and Lucile Francis Stiker.  They are nowhere near complete, but at least now they make sense and the holes that need to be filled are easier to see.

Now I just have to make sure I continue to keep this list in front of me so I'll remember my long-term goals for this year!  I'm confident that more things will start falling off this list after the middle of August.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Agnes C. Woodruff

Mrs. Agnes Woodruff

Services for Mrs. Agnes C. Woodruff, 52, Cocoa, Fla., a former Marion Circuit Court reporter, will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Baxley-Wiley Funeral Home, Cocoa, with burial in an Orlando cemetery.  She died Saturday in a Rockledge (Fla.) nursing home.  Mrs. Woodruff was born in Rushville and Lived in Indianapolis until 1970, when she moved to Florida.  She was court reporter during the term of the late Judge Harry O. Camberlin.  Survivors include a son, Harold Woodruff of Portsmouth, Va.

Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana, 20 September 1971, p. 31.

*When I received my great grandfather's obituary, I got a big chunk of the page from the newspaper.  The Indianapolis Star obituaries have not been digitized, so I figured I would go ahead and share with everyone, in case someone was looking.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Genealogy Success Team - Week Seven

No, your eyes don't deceive you ... I have changed my blog template yet again.  The last one was too skinny for my blog posts and felt really crowded.  This one is more open and airy, don't you think?

It's been a busy week.  Between work and school (and the new extended version of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy on Blu-Ray - complete with 26 hours of extra behind-the-scene footage!! - arriving on Tuesday), I was afraid I wasn't going to reach all of my goals, but the thought of having to admit defeat to Laura (insert ominous music here) kept me going.

Here is my list from last week:

  1. Work on summary for Inferential Genealogy study group. 
  2. Read at least one back issue of Casefile Clues.
  3. Add list of web sources to research checklist.  
  4. Start going through the photos I have of my ancestors and picking 5 of them that I will reprint (to eventually find interesting frames of various sizes and hang on one of the empty walls in my house).
  5. Blog more than once.
  6. I added this one after my blog post last week - to continue to try to contact the activity director at my grandmother's assisted living facility to enlist her help with photo identification, etc.
Here are my results:
  1. I finished putting together my summary for the Inferential Genealogy study group, but due to some technical difficulties we were unable to have our meeting in SecondLife on Tuesday and it has had to be rescheduled.
  2. Not only did I read one back issue ... I read two!  I read a back issue of the regular and the first issue of the Beginner series.  Good stuff there!
  3. I added all the websites on my list to the research checklist.  Thank goodness for Excel.
  4. This one proved to be a little more problematic once I got started.  I chose my 5 photos, but I didn't print them.  Mainly because without knowing all the photos I'm going to put up, I don't know what size I want them to me (and I haven't been to the store to get any other size than the 4x6 photo paper I already have).  This is a bigger project than I have time for right now.  It's on the back burner until after August.
  5. I managed to eek out 3 blog posts in addition to my weekly update (yay!)
  6. I talked to the activity director (Stormy - isn't that a great name?) on Monday.  She was super nice and offered to handle everything for me.  She asked a lot of questions so she had a complete understanding of what I wanted and what needed to be done.  I mailed the photos and the letter off on Tuesday.  I can't wait until I get it back!
Now, I've "depressurized" my goals for this week, since I have an algebra midterm on Friday.  Here they are:
  1. Read at least 2 back issues of Casefile Clues.
  2. Add at least 10 new links to my website.  (I currently have 104 bookmarks that need to be added - and counting.  This is going to be interesting.  Whatever, baby steps, right?)
  3. Add more web resources to research checklist (as appropriate) from my ongoing list.
  4. Do a lookup for Laura's ancestor.
  5. Blog more than once.
It appears that the website for my online algebra class is down today ... darn.  Guess I'll go ahead and start on my list!


Happy 'I Forgot' Day!

Well, it all started with good intentions.  I missed the majority of Amy Coffin's "52 Weeks to Better Genealogy" blog prompts for 2010 since I only started my blog last October, so I decided to go through them this year.  That lasted exactly 5 weeks (hence, the "I forgot" portion of this post).  The 5 posts I did write can be found here.  So now I'm going to play a little catch-up.  These are going to be incredibly short and sweet.

Week 6 - Online Databases at Your Public Library
Footnote, HeritageQuest, Ancestry, Sanborn Maps, and AmericanAncestors.

Week 7 - Play with GoogleMaps
I did, back in May, and incorporated the links in a blog post here.

Week 8 - Discover Online Map Collections
I visited the Perry-Castaneda Collection, David Rumsey Collection, and the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress.  I have bookmarked these sites and plan to revisit them as appropriate throughout my research.

Week 9 - Pick 5 genealogy blogs and read them every day
I already follow about 175 blogs.  I try to get to them every day, but sometimes I'm forced to wait a day or two (but thank you, GoogleReader).  I'm supposed to find 5 that are "outside my area of expertise" ... apparently, I don't have an area of expertise.  Here are 5 that I find myself drawn to on a regular basis* (meaning I get excited when there's a new post): It's All Relative, Clue Wagon, The Olive Tree Genealogy - Ask a Question, Begin With 'Craft', and The Accidental Genealogist.
*these are by no means the only 5 I get excited about ... 

Week 10 - Investigate FamilySearch Pilot
Well, technically the FamilySearch Pilot doesn't exist anymore.  I frequently use FamilySearch in my research though.

Week 11 - Read back posts from Transitional Genealogists Forum
This forum is actually pretty nice.  There is a lot of good information on the list - from citations to meanings of words to accreditation.  I'm definitely going to take another look at this one.

Week 12 - Check out websites for Society of American Archivists, ARMA, and American Library Association
These websites center around preservation of records and documents, which is good information to have, but there was a lot of info that applies only to librarians or professional archivists (regulatory issues, etc.).  I will revisit these because they do have some useful publications.

Week 13 - Make an appointment with Cyndi's List
I am a huge fan of Cyndi's list, and use it often.  Incidentally, she just updated her website.  Check it out here.

Week 14 - Use a different search engine for your research
There has been a lot of talk about Mocavo, so I checked it out.  I entered the name of an ancestor about whom I have blogged in the past.  Mocavo didn't pick it up.  Nothing.  Google returned 5 links to WikiTree, Footnote, and my blog.  Still needs some work, but it will go on the list as a search resource anyway.  I already use Bing and Dogpile.

Week 15 - Write a letter
I actually did this already!  I'm so proud.  I wrote a letter to my grandmother who lives on the west coast (that one was handwritten), a letter to a church in Wisconsin requesting a copy of a marriage certificate, and a letter to the NY adoption registry a couple of days ago to find information on my grandfather.

Week 16 - Check out the online library catalog of a university.
I checked out the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) library website. Their digital catalog was impressive, but inaccessible unless you had a login ID.  I did a general search for "genealogy" in the full catalog and got over 2,700 hits.  Unfortunately, I can't get the books unless I am a current student or alumni.

Week 17 - Get out your family photos and label them
Uh oh.  I sent a handful of photos to my grandmother the other day for identification ... does that count?

Week 18 - Dip your toe in the social networking pool
Done.  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Here's my question: My LinkedIn account was originally for career networking, but I have added genealogy networking as well.  Should I make a separate profile for my genealogy?

Week 19 - Examine the "Genealogy and Military Records" page at NARA
So, in the meantime, NARA has redesigned their website that that page was moved to here.  I actually used this page to figure out how to request my great grandfather's and granduncle's military records.

Week 20 - Play with the Bureau of Land Management GLO website
Done.  Blogged about here

Week 21 - Examine the website of your state archives
I went to the Tennessee State Archives website and found that they actually have a "Virtual Archive" with lots of stuff in it ... Civil War, postcards, sheet music, maps, etc.  This is definitely getting bookmarked.  I don't have any Tennessee ancestors (yet), but I do have folks in my tree who fought and died here during the Civil War.

Week 22 - Spend some time at Find-A-Grave
Done.  I spend a lot of time at Find-A-Grave and have taken many photographs for people who live out-of-state.  I highly recommend taking a look at the site ... early and often.

Week 23 - Come up with a personal genealogy challenge of your own
Wow.  Okay.  Every week since the middle of May, I have been coming up with weekly challenges during my Genealogy Success Team meetings with Laura.  Those posts can be found here.  I think those should count.

Week 24 - Read about the Dewey Decimal Classification System
Seriously? Could this be a more boring subject?  That's what I thought going into this ... I was wrong.  I mean, it's still a boring subject, but that's some really good stuff to know!  Just knowing the hierarchy of the numbering system is going to be such a time-saver.  Turns out the Library of Congress uses a different system (letters v. numbers) and they have more main categories, but the hierarchy is essentially the same.

Week 25 - Write one good, solid comment on at least one genealogy blog every day for a week
Okay, I haven't done one every day for a week, but I'm pretty sure that over the last 25 weeks, I have managed to post a solid comment on at least 7 blogs.

Week 26 - Take a stroll through GoogleBooks
Done!  I have actually found and downloaded (for free) about 20 books.  Now I just have to read them all!  Fortunately, they are all reference books, so (hopefully) a quick search will be all I need.

... and just to bring everything current ...

Week 27 - Visit GoogleScholar
I went to GoogleScholar and typed in nothing but the surname "Lanctot."  I was surprised that I got so many returns.  Usually I don't get anything.  Judging by the returns I got, the Lanctots are apparently involved in a lot of genetic research and/or criminal activity.  I'm not sure any of these hits go back far enough to be my direct ancestors, but I'm definitely going to look a little deeper.

Whew, I felt like I was on Willy Wonka's boat on the chocolate river just then!  But it's good to know that I had been doing some of these things all along.  Now I just have to keep up with it ...

I'm sure there's other stuff I forgot.  I just can't remember it now!

Friday, July 01, 2011

My Canadian Ancestors

In honor of Canada Day, I wanted to give a little shout-out to my Canadian heritage.  

Joseph Zenophile Lanctot - b. January 15, 1861 in Montreal, Quebec; d. July 20, 1913 in Armour, South Dakota.  He is my 2nd Great Grandfather, and is the son of Pierre Lanctot and Sophia Longtin.  He and his brother Phillipe traveled to the United States from Canada together sometime in the early 1880s (he is still listed with his parents on the 1881 Census).  He married Elizabeth Bourke in Fremont, Nebraska, but I am uncertain of the date.  He and Eliza ran the first hotel in Armour, South Dakota, called "Armour House."

Pierre Lanctot* - b. November 1, 1824 in Quebec; d. March 21, 1896 in Quebec.  He married Sophia Longtin on November 18, 1851 in Quebec.  He is my 3rd Great Grandfather, father of Joseph Zenophile Lanctot.

Sophia Longtin* - b. 1830 in Quebec; d. unknown.  She married Pierre Lanctot on November 18, 1851 in Quebec.  I do not know when she died.

I only listed those direct ancestors which I can prove.  I have roughly a bajillion (okay, maybe 175) others, direct and collateral, but I have no documentation on any of them except census records.

*I have more information on Pierre and Sophia, which I hope are baptism and death records, but I can't read them yet -- they're all in French!