Genealogy Bargains for Thursday 16 April 2015

ancestry free immigration

UPDATED GENEALOGY BARGAINS for Thursday, April 16, 2015

New Deals

  • FREE ACCESS! Ancestry.com has opened up its Immigration Records and is offering free access through Monday April 20th. Click here to get started!

http://legacy.familytreewebinars.com/?aid=86

Ongoing Deals

24% Off Evidence Explained – 2nd Edition – hard cover version, normally $59.95, now $45.74 – and free shipping with Amazon Prime! This is your “go to” guide for citing sources from a genealogical research perspective. Many times it is out-of-stock at Amazon, so make sure you snag this deal right away!

  • 24% Off Evidence Explained – 2nd Edition – hard cover version, normally $59.95, now $45.74 – and free shipping with Amazon Prime! This is your “go to” guide for citing sources from a genealogical research perspective. Many times it is out-of-stock at Amazon, so make sure you snag this deal right away!

FREE ACCESS – Civil War Collection at Fold3 – get free access to over 43 million records related to the US Civil War now through April 30th via fold3

90% Off – The ABCs of Gravestone Symbols

  • Save 50% on Internet and Website Hosting – Simply Hosting is offering a half-price sale on website hosting – you pay just $2.99 per month. I’ve used Simply Hosting for years and I run Geneabloggers.com, High-Definition Genealogy and Hack Genealogy all on one account!  Customer service is excellent and they have experience working with genealogists.

NEW BOOK! How to Archive Family Photos – A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally

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The latest bargains and freebies related to genealogy and family history from MyHeritage, Family Tree Magazine and more - new listings for Thurs 12 March 2015!

  • SPECIAL DISCOUNT on Evidentia Software – for fans and followers of Genealogy Bargains – use promo code HIDEFGEN at checkout and get 15% off the list price – you pay $25.49 instead of $29.99 – via Evidentia

“Evidentia not only solves the problems facing the genealogy community, but also simplifies the process of analyzing evidence and creating proof arguments while still following the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).” There is also a FREE 14-day trial available! If you haven’t checked out this amazing software, you really it owe to yourself and your genealogy research to do so!

10% Off Photo and Slide Scanning – use promo code Thomas2015 and save – via Larsen Digital

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©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Blogging Beat – Thursday, 16 April 2015

16 April 2015 Hebrew calendar date: Nisan 27, 5775. A day established by Israel’s Knesset as a memorial to the Jewish dead of WWII. Anniversary in Jewish calendar of Nisan 27, 5705 (corresponding to Apr 10, 1945, in the Gregorian calendar), the day on which Allied troops liberated the first Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald, north of Weimar, Germany, where about 56,000 prisoners, many of them Jewish, perished. Began at sundown Apr 9. (When Nisan 27 falls on a Sunday, Holocaust Day is observed on a Monday.)

16 April 2015 Hebrew calendar date: Nisan 27, 5775. A day established by Israel’s Knesset as a memorial to the Jewish dead of WWII. Anniversary in Jewish calendar of Nisan 27, 5705 (corresponding to Apr 10, 1945, in the Gregorian calendar), the day on which Allied troops liberated the first Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald, north of Weimar, Germany, where about 56,000 prisoners, many of them Jewish, perished. Began at sundown Apr 9. (When Nisan 27 falls on a Sunday, Holocaust Day is observed on a Monday.)


Today is Thursday, 16 April 2015, and here is what’s available in terms of Daily Blogging Prompts and other related events in the genealogy blogosphere:

Items of Note

  • Today: Charlie Chaplin’s Birthday – Anniversary, National High Five Day, Texas City Disaster – Anniversary, and Yom Hoshoah (Holocaust Day).

Continue reading

Genealogy Do-Over: The Value of a BSO

BSOs - Bright and Shiny Objects - can't be avoided in genealogy. Research success depends on how you handle these necessary distractions!

Click here to download this article in PDF format.

When you became a part of the Genealogy Do-Over, either as a participant or a “watcher,” you likely saw a new term “BSO” mentioned by others. Is it a genealogy term? Is it an archaic cause of death? Is it a new technology? Not exactly …

The term BSO is shorthand for “Bright and Shiny Object” and can be anything from a shaky leaf on a genealogy website, to a newly found record, to a box of photos sent to you from a relative. If not handled properly, a BSO can cause your research to be derailed while you lose focus on your original research goal.

Genealogy is a minefield of BSOs, many of which can be avoided while others require action within a specific time frame. Here’s how I handle BSOs in my genealogy research and why I believe conquering the BSO syndrome is the key to research success.

Your To-Do List – First Line Defense Against BSOs

I highly recommend the use of a To-Do List to track each “proof point” you are researching. A proof point is the fact you are trying to prove such as “Daniel OKEEFE was born in Ireland” or “Daniel OKEEFE married Catherine SULLIVAN.”

A good To-Do List system will help you track various proof points, the records to use when researching, the date you started tracking a proof point and more.

Click here to download an Excel file example of a To-Do List for Daniel OKEEFE, my 3rd great-grandfather born in Ireland in 1828. As I used the 1860 US Federal Census to track information, I discovered he had a wife Catherine and a daughter Ellen. Those became new proof points in my To-Do List.

In addition, you are welcome to save this To-Do List format and use it as a basis for your own.

SHOULD You Follow that BSO? A Litmus Test

Discovering New Leads

Finding new leads is one of the keys to keeping us interested in our genealogy research. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Even vendors like MyHeritage have capitalized on this “rush” of excitement we get when there is even the potential of finding a new ancestor. That is why we sign up for alerts such as Smart Matches or we click on a link that says “related record.”

A new lead could come about simply from evaluating a record. A recent example: the World War 1 draft card for my great-grandfather John Ralph AUSTIN in 1917 lists that he had a wife and child. This was my first evidence of such information and my instinct was to stop everything and find out more.

There’s a better way to handle these new leads:

  • Use your To-Do List mentioned above and record each proof element to be research based on the new information. Do this immediately so you don’t forget.
  • For the example above, one proof point entered would be “Determine name of wife of AUSTIN John Ralph” and another would be “Determine marriage date of AUSTIN John Ralph and UNKNOWN Wife of John Ralph AUSTIN.”
  • Enter the Start Date as the date you discovered the information and if you use a Notes field, briefly mention how you came about the information: “Based on World War I draft card for John Ralph AUSTIN reviewed on 14 April 2015.”

Make it a habit to “capture” new leads each and every time. Not only will you begin building a list of research items, but you’ll resist the temptation to follow that BSO!

Free Access Offers

Periodically, genealogy vendors will open up specific record sets to the public offering free access. Other times, for major events, such as the end of the US Civil War, the vendor will offer specific records with specific access dates. Here is my strategy that I employ when there is a free access period for genealogy records:

  • Do I already have access to the records? If it is part of a subscription I already pay for, I won’t be attracted by the BSO. In fact, if I am a regular user, a free access period means the website could be slow and crawl during that period. So I make a note to come back after the free access period.
  • Can I get the records elsewhere? Can I access them for free on FamilySearch or even Internet Archive? A BSO can become dull with just a little research as to available access points for those records.
  • Is it more cost and time-effective to hold off? Let’s face it, those records aren’t going anywhere. It is just the free access period that will expire. It might be a better use of my time to sign up for a special one-month subscription at the site when I have more time to fully dedicate my attention to the records. Also, by then, I might have a whole slew of items to search in my To-Do List using those records.

* * *

One skill that I’ve had to develop over the years of doing genealogy research, is how to best handle BSOs and make them work FOR me. Yes, it takes restraint. Yes, you can get “lost in the moment.” Yes, it can be frustrating not to go off on that side journey. But very few BSOs are so fleeting and ephemeral that they need to be followed right away.

Simply place the item in your To-Do List and follow the BSO when you have time and your mental focus is strong. Your genealogy research will thank you!

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.