Tuesday, April 30, 2013

CVGS Program Summary - Randy Seaver on "Searching Ancestry.com Effectively"

The April 26th meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society featured Randy Seaver presentation titled "Searching Ancestry.com Effectively."

In this presentation, Randy focused on searching Ancestry.com record database, rather than family trees, DNA and the other features and services that Ancestry.com provides.  He identified 19 different tools or methods to use to effectively search databases on Ancestry.com, including:

  • Customize your Home Page (move the most important features to the top of your home page)
  • Use the Card Catalog Searches (Titles or Keywords) and Filters (Collections, Locations, Dates, Languages)
  • Consult the "New and Updated Collections" Page often (link:  http://www.ancestry.com/cs/reccol/default)
  • Search from the Home Page (basic form only), the Search Tab (basic or advanced form) and from within an Ancestry Member Tree.

  • Choose New Search (more search parameters) or Old Search (some people like it better)
  • Search or Browse a Specific Collection (e.g., Census and voter Records) or a Specific Database (e.g., the 1900 U.S. Census)
  • Remember that Search Forms are "Sticky" (they remember your last search form settings)
  • Select Ranked Matches (uses a star system to list probable matches) or Exact Matches (searches exactly what you specified)

  • Use Name Filters and Location Filters (only in New Search, Default, Exact or variations)
  • Sort Matches by Relevance (best matches from all databases in star ranking order) or Summarize by Category (number of matches listed by Collection and specific database)
  • Use "Edit Search" or "Hot Keys" to Modify Search Parameters (New Search only)
  • Follow Up on "Suggested Records" Provided by Ancestry.com

  • Use the Source Citation information provided by Ancestry to cite the source of the information
  • Know and use all of the Image Viewer Options - Index, Correct, Source, Save, Print, Share, Full Screen, etc.
  • Understand the Wild Card Rules for Names and Use Them
  • Use Keyword Searches in OCR-based Databases (e.g., Newspapers, books, etc.)

Randy summed up the talk saying:
  • Ancestry.com's “New Search” Capability is the Most Sophisticated and Complex Search Algorithm in Genealogy.
  • New Search” has a Steep Learning Curve – Users Need to Practice to Learn How to Use It
  • Check Your Search Fields (they are "Sticky") Regularly – the Computer and Websites Do Exactly What You Tell them to do!
  • The “Old Search” Still Works, But May Be Discontinued
  • Use the Card Catalog and Filters to Find Hidden or Unindexed Databases
  • The “Help” Link or Button is your Friend!
If you want a clickable PDF version of this handout? Contact Randy via email at rjseaver@cox.net.

Monday, April 22, 2013

CVGS Program on Wednesday, 24 April: Randy Seaver on "Searching Ancestry.com effectively"

from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
Randy Seaver– “Searching Ancestry.com Effectively”
At Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista) Auditorium

Ancestry.com has many wonderful features--a lavish buffet where it is hard to choose what to use and how to use it. Randy will discuss the effective use of such features as the "new" search algorithms, basic or advanced search forms, exact or ranked matches, full names or wild cards, specific or all databases, restricted or whole collection, browsing collections, and site navigation.

Randy Seaver is a native San Diegan. His ancestry is mainly colonial New England and Upper Atlantic, with some colonial German, French and Dutch forebears, and several 19th-century English immigrants. He has been pursuing his elusive ancestors since 1988, and has been online since 1992.

Randy is a former President of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, and is currently the Newsletter Editor and Research Chair. He speaks to Southern California societies, libraries and groups, and teaches "Beginning Computer Genealogy" adult classes at OASIS. He is a member of NGS, NEHGS, SCGS, SDGS, CGSSD and CVGS. Randy blogs daily about genealogy subjects at Genea-Musings (www.geneamusings.com) and the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe (http://CVGenCafe.blogspot.com). 

There will be a short business meeting before the presentation, led by CVGS President Virginia Taylor.

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April 2013 Issue of CVGS Newsletter Published

The April 2013 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Newsletter was published this  week.  You can read it online, in a PDF format - use the Newsletter link at www.CVGenealogy.org 

The Table of Contents lists: 

page 1 - April 24th General Meeting
page 2 - President’s Message
page 2 - Please Send Address Changes
page 3 - CVGS Spring Seminar Review

page 4 - Research Group News
page 5 - March 27th Program Review
page 5 - Library Assistance Available
page 6 - Lemon Grove Research Group News 

page 6 - May 4th Workshop Announcement
page 6 - CVGS Computer Basics Class 
page 6 - Computer Group News
page 7 - How to Achieve Virtual Immortality 

page 7 - Genealogy Blog Posts of Note
page 8 - Genealogy News for March
page 8 - New or Updated FamilySearch Collections
page 9 - CVGS Society Information

page 9 - San Diego Genealogy Events
page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Thursday, April 11, 2013

CVGS Research Group Summary - 10 April 2013

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group meeting on 10 April had 16 attendees in the library auditorium.

In the first hour, Randy:

*  Discussed the "Where I'm From" poem template (http://www.swva.net/fred1st/wif.htm) and recited his own poem (see http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/04/saturday-night-genealogy-fun-where-im.html).  He encouraged attendees to write their own and share it with their family members, and also in the CVGS Newsletter.

*  Demonstrated using Ancestry.com's location filters (see http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/04/using-ancestrycom-filters.html) and Ancestry Anne's presentations on Ancestry.com Searches (see http://ancestry-reference-desk.com/links/slides-from-presentations/).

*  Showed the Jyl Pattee Keynote presentation at RootsTech 2013 (see http://www.rootstech.org/?start=0&id=K2&video=2245338986001).

The second hour was problem solving, questions and answers, and some success stories of the attendees, including:

*  Joan started an Ancestry Member Tree, but was disappointed that she had better detail data for her family than the Hints that Ancestry provided.  We explained that Ancestry does not have ALL records for each state or country, especially vital records, and that many records (e.g., census records) do not provide exact dates and places for vital events.

*  Karen S. asked how to research Southern families in the late 1600s, since there are no vital records available.  The group suggested church, land, tax and probate records.  For more information about available records for specific states/colonies, the group suggested the FamilySearch Research Wiki (https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Main_Page) and the Ancestry.com Family History Wiki (http://www.ancestry.com/wiki/).

*  Virginia sent a correction to Find A Grave, and the correction was made in about two weeks.

*  Karen Y. bought a book about the History of Southern Culture at the library book sale, and found all sorts of historical and cultural material, including recipes.

*  John found that CVGS member Pam is a cousin - the Gaylord family in Connecticut - and discovered information about the immigrant family in The Great Migration Begins series on the library genealogy shelf.  He also found a record that one of his colonial ancestors was convicted of fornication.

*  Joan found a letter from her mother's friend from the 1920s in the family papers that listed her mother's birth date.  She asked for help on her ancestor Sarah Orr who married David Hixson.  Sarah might have been born in England in 1877 and the Hixson's resided in Iowa by 1900.  A search for Sarah Orr's birth found several candidates in the English Civil Registry, and in the 1881 England census.  A search on Ancestry in the US census records did not find her, but her death was found in the Minnesota Death Index on FamilySearch.

The next CVGS Research Group will be on Wednesday, 8 May at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in downtown Chula Vista).

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Building a Research Toolbox" on CDROM is CVGS workshop on Saturday, 6 April

The next CVGS Workshop will be on Saturday, 6 April from 12:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) in the Community Room. The workshop will be led by Gary Brock who will how a CDROM featuring Thomas MacEntee on “Building a Research Toolbox.”

The description of this webinar is:

"Are you overwhelmed with the number of online resources for genealogical research? Are you constantly working with unorganized bookmarks or favorites? Printing out lists of websites you use most? Learn how to build a research toolbox that is organized, easy-to-use, and can be accessed from almost anywhere. Presented by professional genealogist and Geneablogger.com's Thomas MacEntee, participants will learn not only some of the most important online resources for genealogical research, but also how to organize these resources into an easy-to-access and portable virtual toolbox."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CeCe Moore's "Do Your Genes Fit?" Seminar Summary - 30 March 2013

CeCe Moore provided an audience of about 80 cheek-swabbers and saliva-spitters with excellent information about DNA testing for genealogy, and how to analyze their results, at the March 30th Chula Vista Genealogical Society seminar at the Chula Vista Municipal Golf Course.  The seminar theme was "Do Your Genes Fit?  Discover Your DNA."

In the first hour, CeCe provided an introduction to DNA Testing for Genealogy.  She described the four different types of DNA testing (Y-chromosome, mitochondrial, autosomal, and X-chromosome), and showed what each type provides a person to help define their genealogy.  For instance:

*  Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) testing provides information about the direct paternal "surname" line for males only (but females can have brothers of father's brothers take the test).  A specific Y-DNA test is required to identify a haplogroup that traces back thousands of years, and is defined by specific mutations over centuries.

* Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) provides information about the direct maternal lines (mother's mother's mother) for males and females.  This is passed from mother to child.  A specific mtDNA test is required to identify a haplogroup that traces back thousands of years, and is defined by specific mutations over centuries and millennia,

*  Autosomal DNA (atDNA) provides information about a person's total genetic makeup - all of their ancestral lines.  This test provides clues to the regions of the world where a person's ancestors were thousands of years ago.  Anyone can test, and the percentage of DNA in common with other testers determines relationship predictions.  This test can confirm or refute genetic descent from ancestors determined by traditional genealogy research, can help with brick wall tree problems, and can help with adoption research.  

*  X-chromosome (X-DNA, inherited from mothers by everybody, and from fathers by females) provides information about some of your ancestors, but is not very far advanced at this time.  CeCe did not explore this past the definition.

There are four major DNA testing companies for genealogists:

*  Family Tree DNA (www.familytreedna.com) offers Y-DNA tests (12 to 111 markers, $49 to $359); mtDNA at two levels ($159 to $299); atDNA "Family Finder" test for $289.

*  23andMe (www.23andme.com) offers only an atDNA "Relative Finder" test ($99 sale price currently), which also provides haplogroups for mtDNA and Y-DNA (males only), and health risks.

*  AncestryDNA (http://ldna.ancestry.com) offers Y-DNA tests (33 or 46 markers, $149 to $179); mtDNA tests ($179); atDNA test ($99) with matches to Ancestry Member Trees.

*  National Geographic (https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/) offers atDNA (Geno 2.0) test for deep ancestry ($199).

CeCe recommended using FamilyTreeDNA for Y-DNA and mtDNA, and 23andMe for autosomal DNA at $99, then transfer the atDNA results to FTDNA for $89.

In the second hour, CeCe discussed how to use the DNA test results that you have received.  She went through the Y-DNA, mtDNA and atDNA test results on the different web pages, and showed how to find matches with other testers, how to interpret those matches, and how to contact the other testers to share information.  Each test company permits an upload of a GEDCOM file of a person's genealogy, and they all find common surnames between a person and a matching person.  This portion of the talk also showed how to determine which DNA segments are shared with other testers (who have a common ancestor with the person).  

After a delicious lunch, and some door prize winner announcements, CeCe discussed in the third hour how a user can get the most out of their autosomal DNA results.  She discussed working with more distant matches, using spreadsheets for efficiency and accuracy, and using third party software or websites to share your DNA information.  Much of this hour was taken by attendee questions and CeCe's answers about specific tests and results.

In the fourth hour, CeCe showed DNA test results of attendees on the websites, analyzed them as necessary, and provided her opinion of what the tester should do next.  

This seminar went very quickly, and the audience was impressed and appreciated CeCe's knowledge and expertise in this subject.  CeCe is one of the "citizen scientists" around the world who are on the forefront of DNA testing for genealogy, and consults with the different companies on a regular basis.  

The final drawing for door prizes saw Susan Zimmer receive the 23andMe autosomal DNA test and Allet Rodriguez receive the 6-month Ancestry.com World Deluxe subscription.  CVGS also had an opportunity drawing for a number of local businesses and entertainment venues, and some genealogical and DNA prizes.  

The URL for this post is: http://cvgencafe.blogspot.com/2013/04/cece-moores-do-your-genes-fit-seminar.html