My Genealogy, Family History and Personal History Library

The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual by the Board for Certification of Genealogists

Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians   by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Forensic Genealogy by Colleen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. and Andrew Easier

How to do Everything Genealogy by George G. Morgan

Genealogical & Local History Books in Print: A catalog of over 10,000 intriguing and informative titles, arranged by subject and locality; with full ordering information for each, Third Edition          by Nettie Schreiner Yantis

Genealogy as Pastime and Profession, Second Edition by Donald L. Jacobus

Pitfalls in Genealogical Research by Milton Rubincam

Finding your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide by Sherry Irvine

French Canadian Sources: A Guide for Genealogists by Patricia Kenney Geyh

The Source: A Guidebook Of American Genealogy, Third Edition by Loretto Dennis Szucs

Scottish Genealogy by Bruce Durie

Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: The Official Guide by National Archives of Scotland

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, Third Edition by Val D. Greenwood

Reading Early American Handwriting by Kip Sperry

Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History by Mark D. Herber

From Generation to Generation: How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Family History            by Arthur Kurzweil

The Encyclopedia of Jewish Genealogy: Sources in the United States and Canada                            Edited by Arthur Kurzweil and Miriam Weiner

Mayflower Increasings – Second Edition (From the Files of George Ernest Bowman at the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants)

By Susan E. Roser

Plymouth Colony Its History & People 1620-1691

By Eugene Aubrey Stratton

New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer

By the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society

Personal and Family History Library:

Pages of my Life Anthology

by Paula Stahel, Editor (thank you, Paula!)

Become a Memoirist for Elders: Create a Successful Home Business

by Mary O’Brien Tyrrell

How to Start and Run a Personal History Business                                                                                  by Jennifer Campbell

You Can Write Your Family History

by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Your Life as Story

by Tristine Rainer

Adding Genealogy to Your Personal Histories

Genealogy and personal history are a natural fit. Genealogists and personal historians are both driven by the desire to preserve the histories of and tell stories about people. You may realize the power of seeing a census record or vital record in the context of your work; it not only adds proof, but also visual interest. Census and vital records are just the tip of the iceberg. Consider military, immigration and naturalization, tax, probate, land, historical newspapers, and a variety of other records as well. These records help paint a picture. Not sure how or where to start? Here are a few ideas:

Call a Genealogist

While you can find a wealth of information on your own, consider hiring a professional genealogist. If you decide to hire or collaborate with a professional, the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists are good places to find one.

Genealogical Proof Standard 

Should you decide to go it alone, keep in mind the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) when doing your work. According to the BCG, the GPS consists of five elements:

  • a reasonably exhaustive search;
  • complete and accurate source citations;
  • analysis and correlation of the collected information;
  • resolution of any conflicting evidence; and
  • a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.

Education

You can find webinars, classes, and a wealth of information online. The National Genealogical Society and The National Institute for Genealogical Studies offer classes if you want to expand your skills and build your confidence (and the services you can offer your clients). Join your local genealogy society. They oftentimes offer classes and special interest groups.

Resources

Cyndi’s ListLinkpendium, and One-Step Pages by Steven P. Morse are great starting points to help you find genealogical resources on the Internet. Other great places to look are Family Search (see their Wiki as well) AncestryGoogleGoogle BooksFind A Grave and BillionGraves.

Infusing your personal histories with genealogy will add another dimension to your work. Give it a shot!

Originally published for the October 2014 issue of APH’s The Perstorian

8 Top Websites for Videography Training

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Do you want to create a video personal history, but aren’t sure how to get started? Here are a few websites that can help you get on your way to making quality video on a budget with little or no experience.

Also see my Top 100+ Interview Questions for family and personal history interviews.

 

 

Hurlbut Visuals Blog. “A trused and innovative learning authority for experienced and aspiring filmmakers globally.”

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Lynda.com. “Learn about videography and motion graphics, including tutorials on storyboarding, color correction, lighting, and video editing in After Effects, Premiere Pro, iMovie, and Final Cut Pro.”

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MediaCollege. “… a free educational website for all forms of electronic media. We have hundreds of exclusive tutorials covering video & television production, audio work, photography, graphics, web design and more.”

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TheC47.com. “theC47 is an online and offline resource for production based training and information. More specifically, theC47 produces and provides educational content that focuses on the craft of both video production and filmmaking.”

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Videomaker. “This is the place to start for videography training. Here you will find hundreds of articles about audio/video software, video editing hardware, and help with video lighting techniques.”

Screenshot 2015-01-24 13.00.18

 

Video 101. “Offers tutorials on the fundamentals of film and video production. Includes video clips, flash animations, and explanations.”

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VideoUniversity. “Hundreds of free articles for new and advanced videographers. Here’s a sample:  50 Ways To Improve Your Video Business; Video Art – An Introduction;  Audio for Video — Part 1 Tape Formats and Hardware;  Audio For Video – Part 2 Microphones & Techniques;  Audio For Video – Part 3 Audio Production Techniques.”

Screenshot 2015-01-24 13.02.34

 

Vimeo Video School. “…a fun place for anyone to learn how to make better videos. Start by browsing our Vimeo Lessons, or find specific video tutorials created by other members.”

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Are there other you recommend? Please let me know in the comments.

Book Review: “Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes” by John Kotzian

sky pilot of the great lakes coverAnyone interested in the personal history, genealogy, the history of the Great Lakes, maritime history, lighthouses, Michigan history, or the story of someone who dedicates his life to serving others, sometimes at his own peril, will want to read “Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes” by John Kotzian. “Sky Pilot” is a labor of love about Kotzian’s great-great-grandfather and Kotzian’s first book. “Sky Pilot” meant chaplain in sailor’s slang. “Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes” was a nickname given to Reverend William H. Law by the sailors, lighthouse keepers and others he served who revered him.

After being rescued from Lake Huron by a Life-Saving Service crew, Rev. Law devoted his life to helping others, oftentimes with great bravery and personal cost and sacrifice. Rev. Law was a Baptist minister and a Canadian immigrant. He was a hero who saved countless lives through his life-saving missions and tireless work the better the lives of others. His story may have otherwise been forgotten were it not for this book. He was also a writer whose writing provided much needed entertainment for lighthouse keepers who led otherwise mundane lives.

“I have so many good things to say in writing about others that I can’t think of writing about such common things in my own life.” -Rev. William H. Law, 1906

“Sky Pilot” is a wonderful example of how to incorporate genealogy into personal history. It was extensively researched and incorporated quotes from the works of Rev. Law, as well as naturalization records, census records, homestead applications, U.S. Congress records, Baptist archive records, compiled interviews, letters, correspondence, and published histories.

Visit Kotzian’s website to order an autographed copy of “Sky Pilot of the Great Lakes” and read more about this story at http://www.johnkotzian.com. The book is also available at Amazon.com, Avery Color Studios, Foghorn Publishing, Barnes & Noble and retail locations in the Great Lakes Region.

Disclaimer: I know John Kotzian. He did not pay me to write this review.

DNA and other Adoption Resources

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My wonderful Aunt Barb (she is not biologically my aunt, but a friend of the family) mentioned to one of my sisters recently that her beloved husband, Russ (who died of cancer far too young) was adopted and that she would like to find his biological family and research his genealogy for her children and grandchildren. We did not know that Uncle Russ was adopted! Of course, I offered to help.

 

Coincidentally, I had recently read a book by Richard Hill, who embarked on a quest several years ago to find his birth family called, Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA. It is a riveting personal history that you will want to read in one sitting. Like Hill, my Aunt Barb and I are from Michigan. The references to various places in Michigan make the book that much more interesting to me.

Finding-Family-Cover180

Hill used good, old-fashioned detective work, genealogy, and DNA testing to help him find the answers he sought. In the book Hill references an organization called Adoptees Search for Knowledge (ASK)* and woman named Jeanette from this organization who played a prominent role in helping Hill find his family. If you or a client is in a similar situation, consider reaching out to ASK or other similar organizations for help.

Hill also wrote an e-book Guide to DNA Testing. You can find it at his website DNA Testing Adviser: http://www.dna-testing-adviser.com/AdoptionSearch.html. In this book he describes and compares the three major test types: autosomal, MTDNA/female, and YDNA/male, as well as the three major testing companies:

 

Family Tree DNA (a simple swab test)

https://www.familytreedna.com

23andMe (also a simple swab test)

https://www.23andme.com

and Ancestry (Saliva test)

www.ancestry.com

Hill explains the purposes of all of the tests and their strengths and weaknesses.

 

Additional adoption/dna resources

Can DNA Help You Find Your Birth Parents?

 

National Support Groups

American Adoption Congress
1025 Conncticut Ave., NW, Ste. 1012
Washington DC, 20036
(202) 483-3399
www.amercianadoptioncongress.org

Concerned United Birthparents, Inc.
P O Box 503475
San Diego CA 92150-3475
1-800-822-2777
www.cubirthparetns.org

Midwest Adoptive Families
2979 Oakshire
Berkley, MI
(248) 530-1344
Midwesadoptivefamiliessubscribe@yahoogroups.com

Adoptees Liberty Movement Association
P.O. Box 727
Radio City Station
New York, NY 10101-0727
(212) 587-1568

MICHIGAN ADOPTION SEARCH AND SUPPORT GROUPS
Post Adoption Resource Center

1-866-702-0727
www.PARCoakland-orchards.org

Adoption Identity Movement of MI (AIM)
P O Box 812
Hazel Park MI 48030
(248) 850-8910
www.michigansearching.com

Adoption Identity Movement of Grand Rapids (AIM)
5767 Leisure S. Dr. SE
Kentwood, Michigan 49548
(616) 531-1380

Kalamazoo Birthparents Support Group
Adoption Insight
P.O. Box 2183
Portage, MI 49081
(269) 324-9987

People Impacted by Adoption/ CSS
Birthparent Support Group
4925 Packard
Ann Arbor MI 48108
(734) 971-9781 ext 322

Adopted Teen/Parent Support Group
Truth in the Adoption Triad
29260 Franklin Rd, Ste 115
Southfield, MI 48034
(248) 353-8687

Michigan Assn. for Openness in Adoption
3244 Pembrook Drive
Traverse City MI 49684
1-800-452-3678

*Adoptees Search for Knowledge (A.S.K.) 
P.O. Box 762
East Lansing, MI 48826-0762
(517) 321-7291

Bonding by Blood, Unlimited
5845 Waterman Rd.
Vassar, MI 48768-9790
(989) 823-4013
mfoess@gmail.com

Adoption Support Group for Adopted Parents
129 E. Third St.
Flint, MI 48502
(888) 200-8915
Peace With the Past

Macomb Library
40900 Romeo Plank Rd
Clinton Twp., MI 48038
(586) 855-6650 or (248) 830-6966

Post Adoption Support Services
N. 1194 W. Tie Lake Rd.
Wetmore, MI 49895

Truth in the Adoption Triad
6634 Gage St.
Gagetown, MI 48735
(989) 665-0210

Adopted Child
2979 Oakshire
Berkley, MI 48072
(248) 530-1344
adoptedchild-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

State of Michigan and National Registries

Michigan Central Adoption Registry
Department of Human Services
PO Box 30037
Lansing MI 48909
(517) 335-6075

International Soundex Reunion Registry (ISRR)
P O Box 2312
Carson City NV 89702
(775) 882-7755

Are there other relatives, neighbors or anyone else you can think of who may have information that could help you or your client?

Put on your detective hat. Think Miss Marple or Agatha Christie. Good luck!

 

 

How to Infuse Your Personal Histories with Genealogy

This article was written for the October 2014 issue of the Association of Personal Historians newsletter the Perstorian.

By Kimberly Tucker, M.Ed.

Genealogy and personal history are a natural fit. Genealogists and personal historians are both driven by the desire to preserve the histories of and tell stories about people. You may realize the power of seeing a census record or vital record in the context of your work – it not only adds proof, but also visual interest. Census and vital records are just the tip of the iceberg. Consider military, immigration and naturalization, tax, probate, land, historical newspapers, and a variety of other records as well. These records help paint a picture. Not sure how or where to start? Here are a few ideas.

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 9.59.45 AM

Call a Genealogist

While you can find a wealth of information on your own, consider hiring a professional genealogist. If you decide to hire or collaborate with a professional, the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG), and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists are good places to find one.

The Genealogical Proof Standard

Should you decide to go it alone, keep in mind the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) when doing your work. According to the BCG, the GPS consists of five elements:

  • a reasonably exhaustive search;
  • complete and accurate source citations;
  • analysis and correlation of the collected information;
  • resolution of any conflicting evidence; and
  • a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.

Education

You can find webinars, classes, and a wealth of information online. The National Genealogical Society and The National Institute for Genealogical Studies offer classes if you want to expand your skills and build your confidence (and the services you can offer your clients). Join your local genealogy society. They oftentimes offer classes and special interest groups.

Resources

Cyndi’s List, Linkpendium, and One-Step Pages by Steven P. Morse are great starting points to help you find genealogical resources on the Internet. Other great places to look are: FamilySearch (see their Wiki as well) Ancestry, Google, Google Books, Find A Grave and BillionGraves.

Infusing your personal histories with genealogy will add another dimension to your work. Give it a shot!

Lydia and Ralph

Lydia Low BAIRD (10 Feb. 1902 – 1 May 1996) and Ralph Waldo MUNCY (26 Apr. 1902 – 28 Mar. 1992) were founding members of the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County (Michigan). Lydia was my 1st cousin 3 times removed on my maternal grandmother’s side of the family. When Lydia died, she donated most of their genealogy research (and other items) to the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan.

Meanwhile… I found this letter from Lydia and Ralph to my grandparents in a family bible which was passed down to me from my mother. The letter is a short history of their lives (and is political – they were involved in Michigan politics) and includes a hand-written message at the bottom as well as the addresses for both Lydia and Ralph and my grandparents. The transcription of the handwritten message is:

“Thanks for the map and info. re: Bruce St. Think I picked out the right house when I was there with Nancy and her girls. My parents lived on Bruce St. when they were first married. Theobald my brother was a baby when the house was struck by lightning. My mother rushed out in the storm with [him] in her arms. He died of convolutions some time after that. That part of town is known as the R B Baird subdivision developed by Dr. Baird – my father’s youngest brother – father of Eunice and Beth.”

Thank you Lydia and Ralph!

Lydia Low BAIRD

Lydia Low BAIRD

Ralph Waldo MUNCY

Ralph Waldo MUNCY