Genealogy at the Movies

There are many movies about families, and while they naturally put us in mind of genealogy, there are some movies where genealogists, or genealogy plays a major role.

Recently, I watched “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. In that movie, James Bond posed as a genealogist to infiltrate the lair of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE. Blofield had been communicating with a London College of Arms’ genealogist Sir Hilary Bray in an attempt to establish his claim to the title of ‘Comte Balthazar de Bleuchamp’. James Bond poses as a knowledgeable and irresistible genealogist, with beautiful ladies more interested in seeing his genealogy book that we usually experience. Although there are many camps about who is the best Bond, this one starred George Lazenby as Bond.

“Murder on The Orient Express” always makes me think of genealogy. The connections between the passengers definitely needed a family tree as well as a chart of the Friends, Associates and Neighbors (FAN) Club. The connections to the child and the family were intertwined to the plot. Even people who connected to the family after the event became entwined with the plot.
The Star Wars movies are the ultimate genealogical movies. They encompass a truly large FAN Club, of a multitude of beings. For those family members who do not yet know they are interested in genealogy, teach them about family trees by sketching out Luke and Leia’s genealogy. Perhaps they will want to know how their own genealogy compares.

“Who Do You Think You Are?” is back

Season 9 of “Who Do You Think You Are?” is here! The episodes are airing Monday night on TLC.

Last Monday had two strong episodes with Jon Cryer and Laverne Cox. Discussions with genealogists and interpretation of DNA results were a part of both episodes.

If you would like to stop by and comment during (or after) the episode you can stop by our Facebook page: A Week of Genealogy Facebook Page

Full episodes from this season and Season 8 can be viewed online at:
https://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/who-do-you-think-you-are/full-episodes/courteney-cox
Scroll down to find the links to the other episodes.

 

Family Trees: Syncing, GEDCOM and Backups

Electronic family trees are a terrific way to capture what you learn about your ancestors. They can help you organize and share what you have found. Once organized, you can analyze what you know and what you need to find.

At a recent class, there were a lot of great questions about family trees. Thinking about family trees, a blog post might help to sort out some of those answers.

While there is a lot to consider about putting a tree online or keeping a family tree on your own computer, there are definitely reasons to do both!

 

Should I backup my online tree?
There is an expectation that an online tree will be backed up by the hosting website. But what if that website gets sold to another company? or undergoes a cyber attack and has a loss of data? or decides that it no longer wants to host family trees?

It is always a good idea to backup your online tree. If you have it on your personal computer, you can still use the tree during a time when you are not connected to the Internet. You also have access to your tree if one of the situations in the above paragraph occurs.

Syncing (synchronizing) the trees online and on a home computer can be thought of backing up the tree.

 

GEDCOMs
You can certainly download a tree from Ancestry.com or FindMyPast.com , and the format will

GEDCOM is an acronym for Genealogical Data Communications (but I have seen it referred to as Genealogical Electronic Data Communications).

Think of this as the most basic, stripped down form of your tree. It includes data about the individuals including sources, and linkages between individuals. In fact, it is a text file that follows the rules of a format that all family tree programs understand. The extension for this type of files is .ged

Imagine you wanted to transfer text from one fancy word processing program to another, but they don’t open each others file format. So, you might decide to save your document as a plain text file, that can be opened by another word processor. Of course, that simple text file would not have all the images you inserted and detailed formating that you might have done in your original.

 

Sync
To synchronize, or sync, means to make your online tree and the one on your computer match.

This comes in handy when you are attaching people, facts and documents to an online tree. That way you can get those additional people, facts and documents into the tree on your computer.

If you have the same tree online and on your computer, you can consider that a backup.

But, some people like me use the online tree to collect data, while the one on my computer has a lot more information, especially about living people. Just be aware whether or not the family tree program on your computer allows you to choose to upload or download your tree from the Internet.

 

Downloading GEDCOMs
For many of your online trees, you have the ability to download a GEDCOM that contains all the people and facts from the tree. Remember, GEDCOMs do not have all the media attached, so you will not get the pictures and documents downloaded.
Note: When there is one tree for everyone on the website, a GEDCOM cannot be downloaded.

Ancestry.com and FindMyPast.com Family Tree -> View all trees next to each of your trees are three buttons: Settings, Export, Delete. You will Export your tree.

 

How-to Information
After the class, one of the attendees and I sat down to look for videos to show how to do all these tasks. Since you know I use Google quite a bit, you will not be surprised to learn that I searched for the following terms:

  • download GEDCOM from ancestry
  • rootsmagic sync with ancestry
  • rootsmagic sync with familysearch

then selected the link to show results in the Video category.

There were how-to videos for all the family tree programs.

 

Good luck and let me know how you do!

 

Rootstech 2018 Videos and Handouts

Rootstech 2018 is over and if you did not make it, you can still view some of the videos and all of the handouts at the link below. It is great that Rootstech lets us all be a part of it.

Videos can be viewed here.

The handouts for the sessions can be viewed and downloaded here.

 

Our Newest Book is Here!

It has been a long time in the works, and the project has kept us busy, but it is finally here.

Using the techniques in the book “Researching Your U.S. WWI Army Ancestors“, the material about the 51st Pioneer Infantry was gathering and combined into a new product.

With Rifle and Shovel:

The 51st Pioneer Infantry Regiment in WWI

is now available on Amazon 

The men of the 51st Pioneer Infantry were mostly draftees. While other soldiers fought with rifles, they used shovels. They also saw combat. As shells went off around them, the pioneers filled holes with rubble collected from destroyed villages. Those roads were the battlefield lifeline, allowing troops and supplies to move forward, while ambulances took the wounded back to hospitals. They cleared the roads that had been booby-trapped by the retreating German Army. They marched at night to hide from the enemy. After the Armistice, they marched into Germany to be part of the Army of Occupation. The Pioneer Infantry provided labor where ever and when ever needed, including guarding railways and bridges, and burying the dead. This book combines information found in archives and a variety of other sources. The material has been blended into a new product that tells the story of the 51st Pioneer Infantry Regiment. It is intended to be both a narrative and a reference for those researching this Regiment.

Contact us to find out about group discounts.

Researching Connecticut WWI Ancestors

Researching Connecticut WWI Ancestors

Connecticut is a special place, filled with beautiful scenery and gorgeous fall colors. My years in Connecticut were spent studying and researching for my PhD. So, when I learned of some great resources for WWI research in Connecticut, I had to post them.

The Connecticut State Library has an introductory page describing their holdings in the state archives.

 

As you probably know, finding a summary for your WWI Veteran’s service is the key to unlocking more records about his service.

The Internet Archive offers three volumes of Service records: Connecticut men and women in the armed forces of the United States during World War, 1917-1920 These books are downloadable in a variety of electronic formats. There is an index in Volume 3.

The Homepage for the Questionnaires filled out by WWI veterans or their families is here.

These records are also available, indexed on Ancestry.com  Connecticut, Military Questionnaires, 1919-1920. To use this database, Connecticut residents can sign up for a free account at Ancestry.com, using the link.

The Internet Archive also has a downloadable History of Hamden men in the World War.

Connecticut in WWI can be found here. You can add your WWI story to their website, and subscribe to their newsletter.

Connecticut history in WWI can be found here. This website contains links to books, places, documents and websites.

Good luck researching your WWI Ancestors in Connecticut, and let me know how you do.