Showing posts from February, 2012

Storing my Genealogy Research

[Image by Jonathan Joseph Bondhus]Marian Pierre-Louis of the Roots and Rambles Blog has been discussing the format she keeps her genealogical information in (with a follow-up on paper vs. digital) and how it relates to reviewing and analyzing your research.I seem to follow the same basic pattern she does.  My information is stored as follows:  Print outs in sheet protectors in 3-ring binders, divided by family.  This includes pedigree and family group sheets, vital records, census records and obituaries.  These print outs go into the binder  upon entry into my genealogy program.Legacy Family Tree genealogy programUsed to keep track of all of my information in an easy to see format.  This is particularly useful for distant cousins who I have limited information on, such as census records.  Also on my laptop are digital copies of all records I have used which are in a folder and tagged with metadata on the family and record type.Microsoft OneNoteThis allows me to make research plans, ty…

39 Days and Counting!

I am very excited to have been chosen as a 1940 US Census Blog Ambassador!

In 39 days the 1940 US census will be released to the public.  If you are anything like me, most (all?) of your census research has been through on sites such as  These census records have been digitized and indexed and make it tremendously easy to find your ancestors.

When the 1940 US census images come online on 2 April, they will just be images, no index, no ease in searching.  This is where you can help!  Sign up to be an indexer and you will help create an index for all researchers to use.  Sign up now to get some practice by indexing other records through FamilySearch Indexing.

Motivational Monday: 20 Feb 2012

Some goals for this week:


Finish searching the SSDI for relatives
Continue with Karpinski & Szydlik research plans


Post 3 times to my blog
Write up a research plan for my Sanderson relatives


Spend 1 hour putting genealogy papers into their proper binders
Finish organizing my spare bedroom


Read Going Home
Reread ProGen chapters on research plans

SNGF: Ancestral Name Roulette

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun by Randy at Genea-Musings is:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) What year was your paternal grandfather born?  Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ahnentafel"). Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick a grandmother, or yourself, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

My roulette number is:

1) …

Random Acts of Kindness Day

According to GeneaBlogger's, today is Random Acts of Kindness Day.  There are multitude of ways to practice random acts of kindness.  I am a big fan of paying the toll for the car behind me on the highway.  Over the holidays, we had a huge chain of people paying for the next person in line's drink through the drive-thru at work, with one guy paying triple his drink cost to keep the chain going.

In genealogy, some of my favorite ways to help people out are through taking tombstone photos in an area they are unable to get to.  I have been a volunteer with and Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (now a Facebook group) and have helped dozens of other genealogists by taking photos of tombstones in the Syracuse area.  I highly recommend participating in one of these types of programs, as it gives good genealogy research karma and helps you with your research practices.

Have you ever participated in a random act of kindness?  How will you be celebrating it today?

Wordless Wednesday: Caroline Izzo Casell


Finding the Karpinski Family: Step 3, The Cursory Online Search, Part 1

Please check out step 1 and step 2, if you have not already read them.

Step 3

You now have all of your information together and have spoken to any relatives related to your subject search, it is now time to broaden your horizons to the internet.  Every month, more and more information is placed online for genealogists, saving us time and money.   Additionally, despite what shows such as “Who Do You Think You Are?” show, most genealogists do not have the money to jump on a plane and go to the archives of a small village in their homeland.  Many of those archives will also tell you that their information is available online or through the LDS Family History Centers.  Traveling to distant (and not so distant) locales and seeing where your ancestors lived and worked is rewarding and enjoyable, but it is best to start at home and expand as needed.

Time for a Research Log

Over the course of your research you will look at hundreds of websites, books and documents.  Some of these will have inform…

Tombstone Tuesday: My Favorite Cemetery Photograph

This month's Graveyard Rabbits Carnival asks:

“What is your favorite cemetery photograph.  One where you are the photographer. Show us the photo!”
My favorite cemetery photograph I have taken is not of a tombstone, but these stairs in the The Old Loyalist Burial Grounds in Saint John, New Brunswick.  With how the sunlight hits the stairs and is in the background, it makes it look like you could walk right into heaven.  For a few more photos from this cemetery, check out this post.

Who Will You Look for in the 1940 Census?

Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog asked "When the 1940 census becomes available in April, who will you look up first?"

Since this is the first census my grandparents will be on, I will search for them first.  The very first person will be my grandma Casell, as she has been with me every step of the way on this genealogy journey and I know how excited she will be as well to see herself on the census.  After that, I will look for my paternal grandparents, which will probably be easiest to find, since they lived in small towns and then my grandpa Casell, who was in the orphanage by this point, so should be very easy to find as well.

After this, I will start looking for my great-great grandparents who were still living at this time: Elizabeth Fink Gress, Joseph Acquard, jr., Francis and Josephine (Szydlic) Karpinski, John and Anna (Zeaphfel) Nuwer and Edward and Lidwina (Pautler) Roll.  I will probably wait on other relatives until the indexing is done, at least in the city of Buffal…

Finding the Karpinski Family: Step 2, Talking to the Family

Please read Step 1 first.

Step 2

The second step of the research process is talking to family members about your subject.  If you are brand new to genealogy, you will want to interview as many family members as possible, starting with the oldest (I know this sounds morbid, but these are the people who have the most information about past generations and who will likely become a past generation first).  Additionally, no one wants to replicate another’s research, as this would be a waste of both time and money, so by taking the time to speak to your relatives and do a cursory online search (step 3), you will limit this.

Talking to the Family

For this project, the only person I know to speak to is my great aunt Dottie.  She has done a lot of research on the Acquard family and is where I received the information on the Karpinski’s.  The information I received via email was:

“Here's the info I have on your great-grandmothers (Stella Karpinski Acquard) mother and father.

Francis (Francixaek) …

SNGF: Two Degrees of Separation

For this weeks Saturday Night Genealogy Fun by Randy Seaver:

1)  Using your ancestral lines, how far back in time can you go with two degrees of separation?  That means "you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor."  When was that second ancestor born?

2)  Tell us in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, in a status line on Facebook or a stream post on Google Plus.

Nuwer Line: I remember my great grandpa, Albert Nuwer (1906-1989).  He would have known his grandmother Elizabeth Zwilling Zaepfel, who was born in 1847 and died in 1929.

On the Acquard Line: I have a photo of myself with my great grandma, Stella Karpinski Acquard (1916-1987) and I think I remember going to a dinner with her where we had the most generations in the room (I need to ask my mom about this).  She would have known her parents, born in 1880 and 1886.  I have not yet found her grandparents vital statistics, but it is possible I will be able to push this back.

On my mother's side, al…

Finding the Karpinski Family: Step 1, What I Know

A new season of Who Do You Think You Are? is on, life here has slowed down after the holidays and I miss genealogy.  In the past, I have always focused on my mother’s family, as I have relatives who have traced my father’s side back many generations.  Looking at my database, however, it is easy to see that not all lines were traced back multiple generations.  One of these lines is the Karpinski’s, my paternal grandfather’s mother’s line.I am going to document my search for this family on my blog for a variety of reasons.  First, the whole point of a is to show the research I have done, get help for problems I can’t solve (especially since I have never done Polish research before), and hopefully meet cousins.  Second, if you are brand new to genealogical research, this can show you one method a genealogist takes to find their family.  You can follow along, see what conclusions you come to and then use that information to search for your own familyStep 1Step one for any genealogical sea…