Thursday, August 11, 2011

Things Learned at Ancestry Day, July 23 (Part II)

Continued from the August 8th post: 

10.  In light of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, there was discussion regarding available online resources.  During the "How to Find Your Civil War Roots at," it was suggested that researchers should create a check-list or spreadsheet, listing all possible Civil War ancestors (anyone born between (1816 & 1846), and include factors such as:  residence in 1860 & 1870, birth, birth years of children, etc.   Using this kind of checklist makes searching orderly and more thorough.  In fact, this is a good approach to use for any target group within your genealogy research.

11.  To conduct your Civil War search on, utilize the site's filters to select only Civil War-related databases and start plugging in names (remember to use those wild cards and alternate spellings).  Always remember that computers can be very literal, so browsing through images can be a good idea if you aren't getting results using indexes.

In addition to the five main sessions, I also had the privilege to attend the Librarian's luncheon sponsored by Ancestry which included the latest information regarding Ancestry Library Edition (ALE), a subscription that libraries may purchase to make Ancestry databases available to their patrons inside the library.  Items regarding ALE:

    1.  Patrons may now submit suggested "corrections" to databases, such as the misspelling of a name
    2. ALE includes the World Deluxe databases, the large family tree network created before the Public Member Trees
    3. ALE has recently undergone some changes on the search page, designed to improve search capabilities
    4. Ancestry is introducing another collaborative tool entitled Content Publisher Program.  Similar in nature to the Family Search indexing project and in its beta stages, this will allow individuals or organizations to upload indexes or images of records to the Ancestry community of databases, enable real-time indexing, thus providing a forum for online genealogical data using Ancestry's monstrous online environment.  Stay tuned on this one...
The Van Buren District Library offers Ancestry Library Edition at each of its locations in Bangor, Bloomingdale, Covert, Decatur, Gobles, Lawrence & Mattawan.   For more information about how to access ALE contact us.
    Obviously, these are just a few of the things learned at Ancestry Day.  There was also a syllabus, several handouts, and the opportunity to speak with representatives of and with fellow family historians.  I was a little disappointed in the final session of the day, the "Ask-the-Experts" panel.  All in attendance were invited to submit a written question in advance and there were also questions taken from the floor.  The panel was very knowledgeable, but seven out of eight members were personnel, and nearly all of the questions dealt with Ancestry & Family Tree Maker software.  Written questions on other subjects were not used, but we were told that answers to some of these may appear on the ACPL genealogy blog later on.

    Nameless Picture of the Day
    Baseball Players, Hartford, 1894 

    Can you identify the young men in this photo?  Please contact us if you any information and we will publish it in a future blog.  Please include the five character catalog number with your e-mail.