I’ve gotten used to the snickers of my coworkers, who are amused by my use of technology. Hey, my goal is to be efficient, and technology is the best way to get there. One of the things I learned long ago is whenever possible, only touch a paper once. Then either file it, toss it, distribute it….don’t save it for later. Well, often that’s not possible. Especially in genealogical research, we need to spend time truly analyzing and “digesting” or mentally “processing” a document. I find when I’m in the middle of a research project, I don’t have time to finish all that I want to accomplish. I may have worked on a family line all weekend long, but alas, Monday morning comes and off to work I go. I don’t want to forget where I’m at in the project, so I’ll “ToodleDo” it – that is, add it to my online, cloud-based task management system, so I can pick back up where I left off on the upcoming weekend. Other times I find I get bored working on one family line, and just need a break. However, again, I don’t want to forget about ideas I had for research, or overlook data entry of documents gleaned at repository.
Last Spring I was working furiously on my Bursley family, preparing for our New England trip. Well, I was also researching several other lines while at the same repositories, and consequently, brought back a considerable amount of data that needs to be reviewed, analyzed, and where appropriate, entered in my database. The items above are some of the “to do” items for my Bradstreet and Bursley families.
ToodleDo also allows you to include notes for each item. Continue reading
Hannah (Thomas) Wasgatt’s signature is found in her husband Thomas’ probate record
Last Friday was a genealogist’s dream – I received five deeds and three probate files in the mail. Of particular interest was the probate record for my 5th Great Grandfather, Thomas Wasgatt, who died 19 May 1820. Shown above is the signature of his wife, Hannah (Thomas) Wasgatt, who acknowledged in writing her “allowance” from her husband’s estate. While most of Hannah’s female peers were giving their “mark” when a signature was necessary, she was able to write her name.
Hannah wasn’t the only smarty pants in the family. Nope, her husband Thomas clearly was a learned man. I was so tickled to find that the very first item listed in the inventory of his possessions was a desk. Continue reading
A few weeks ago I wrote about my love affair with Evernote, a free application that I use both at work and at home. Evernote and Roots Magic, my primary genealogical software, provide my main source of organizing my genealogical research and documents. I love both.
Evernote even searches text from images!
As much as I love Evernote, yesterday I began to question my organizational system. Continue reading
Hannah (Higgins) Higgins, niece of my 4th Great Grandmother, Betsy (Wasgatt) Stanwood. Photo courtesy of Holly Green.
My favorite ancestor is Betsy (Wasgatt) Stanwood. She was one tough lady. She was five months pregnant when she married my 4th great grandfather, Benjamin Stanwood, in 1808. Not exactly politically correct in the early 19th century. When Benjamin died, she managed the family farm, and was listed as head of house on nearly all subsequent censuses. When her grown children and spouses moved to Minnesota, she went along for the ride, but came back to her home – Eden (now Bar Harbor), Maine. She apparently made this trip alone, although she was nearly 80 years old at the time. I love Bar Harbor – I understand why she came home.
I’ve dabbled in my Wasgatt genealogy throughout the years, but was again inspired to pick it back up when I saw the Wasgatt family Bible in Bar Harbor last summer. Armed with this info, and starting from scratch, I’ve been going through generation after generation, adding appropriate sources that I either lacked in my beginning days, or were dropped when moving from one genealogy program to the next.
One really cool thing about retracing your steps after so many years is that there are a lot more resources available online to assist. Continue reading
Melvin S. Stanwood and the Tri State Telephone Company
This photo has always intrigued me. Knowing my grandmother’s uncle, Melvin Stanwood, made his way from city to city, town to town, bringing telephone lines to local citizens, it seemed highly probable this picture was somehow related to him. Thanks to the Library of Congress and the Chronicling America project, I now know for sure. This evening I downloaded the following article (Princeton Union [Princeton, MN] 12 Oct 1905) from http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov:
Princeton Union - Melvin Stanwood takes charge of Tri City Telephone
Most cool, is after scanning the photo in on my Flip Pal scanner and blowing it up, I now see that the gentleman in the center in the suit is Uncle Melvin himself! How did I miss that before? Moral of the story – keep revisiting web sites, keep searching – you never know what’s gonna turn up!
Hancock Co, ME deed, 22:422: Thomas Wasgatt, Jr. deeds 1/4 share of mills to son Thomas Wasgatt, 3rd
Researching deeds has always felt cumbersome to me. Unless you live in the area where your ancestors resided (not me), or visit the courthouse in the county where they lived (not feasible to do routinely, if, like me, you live on the opposite coast from your forebears), the easiest way to research deeds is to first order the microfilmed index from the Family History Center, determine the book and page where your ancestor’s deeds are recorded (if any), and then order the corresponding films.
Official Website of Hancock County, Maine (with portal to Registry of Deeds)
Well, the State of Maine has made the job of locating your ancestor’s probate records and deeds MUCH easier! Continue reading
I hate paper.
Paper requires time to organize.
Drawers to hold it.
Folders to straighten it.
Paper is messy.
Paper cannot be stored in the “cloud.”
Paper is inefficient.
I have a LOT of paper!
Having been active in researching my family history over the last twenty years, I’ve amassed a wealth of paper. In the “olden days,” a trip to the library typically resulted in paper. I’d come home and dutifully file photocopies of book pages and research in folders that were created for each couple in my family. I had one for my grand parents, another for their parents, another for their siblings, etc., etc., etc. My home office is equipped with two filing cabinets to hold twenty years worth of research. However, thanks to Evernote, bit by bit, the papers in those cabinets are slowly decreasing. Continue reading