Wednesday, August 6, 2014

GRIP 2014: Day 2

I Got a GRIP! Notepad
GRIP intro post and day 1 post. GRIP 2012 posts.

Day 2 of GRIP began with Dr. Hal Learman, PARI co-director, discussing "Geography, Gazetteers, and Maps."  I love maps, which comes in handy when researching a country such as Poland, whose borders have changed continuously throughout its history.  Some of the best maps to use for Polish research include the Geographical Dictionary of the Kingdom of Polish and Kartenmeister.  He also recommends Google searches and the FamilySearch catalog.  There are numerous books of Polish maps available as well.

Our second lecture of the day was "Using FamilySearch.org's Catalog, Indexes, and Digital Images."  This was a case study on finding foundation documents to push your family back to their ancestral village.  Ceil said to remember to always bring a pedigree chart to archives and libraries and to start with that, as it is impossible for the person there helping you to keep all of your information sorted in their head.  Check death certificates, passenger records, naturalization records, census records, and WWI and WWII draft cards for the name of the town your ancestor was born in.  Once you have found the American records, you can check FamilySearch for Polish records as well.

Wawel Folk Ensemble

After lunch, we had lecture three of the day on the Polish Genealogical Society, makers of the must-use Polish genealogy site Geneteka.  Volunteers have transcribed over 1 million names in civil records from throughout Poland.  Many of the transcribed names also have scanned images available.  I really cannot exaggerate how useful this site is.  For a a marriage record, the transcriber also gives the parents names and birth year and location of the bride and groom, which can easily lead to more records for your family.  While the site is not complete, they are continuously expanding it.

Our last lecture was "Poznan Project: Civil and Parish Marriage Index."  The Poznan Project is a website dedicated to transcribing the records of Poznan, which is commonly a problem area for genealogists.  If you have ancestors from this area, make sure to check out this site.


Our evening lecture was actually a performance by the Wawel Folk Ensemble.  Wawel had 10 people, 5 male, 5 female, and each "couple" dressed in an outfit from a different region. According to their blog, the regions were Kaszëbë, Podlasie, Biłgoraj, Rzeszów, and Sieradz. They would describe the outfit and region and then do a few dances.  It was fascinating to see the different outfits and dances they performed.  I'm also pretty sure life would be much better if we still had neighborhood get-togethers full of dancing and music.

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