Win a RootsTech Pass as We Celebrate Our YouTube Anniversary

Last year, I told my husband that I wanted to expand my dream of inspiring and educating others about genealogy and family history by cre...

30 September 2015

Mailbag: Get Caught Up With a Photobook Site?

Get Caught Up With Scrapbooking Using Photobook Site

One of my Power Scrapbooking - Get Caught Up, No Matter Your Scrapbooking Style readers knows how much I love creating my own pages using digital scrapbooking supplies and the program Photoshop Elements. However, she has a room full of photo boxes, a change in her family dynamics, and wants to get caught up.
So since we last talked about digital scrapbooking I have found out about several websites that make it pretty easy. They have templates where you can drop photos into it to make it go fast. So I am wondering what your latest preferences would be if you were starting where I am and wanted to accomplish years worth of scrapbooks in a short period of time? I just want it done!

28 September 2015

5 Great Tips About Facing Brick Walls

5 Great Tips for Facing Brick Walls

I have a number of Brick Wall ancestors. Patiently I try to crack, write on, go around, or bust through the walls. I'd love to share some amazing success stories but alas, there is nothing to report just yet. However, I hope you'll remember these great tips from my friend at Genealogy Tip of the Day.

25 September 2015

5 Layouts That Downplay Poorly Cut Original Photos

In my post, "Need Help Fixing Poorly Cut Photos" I openly discussed my abuse of photos with a common cutting tool known scissors! (Eeekk!!!)

Scrapbooking Don'ts
Oh my poor photo!

Through my heritage scrapbooking post series, I have shared my experimental methods to downplay the poorly cut photos. Here's a sampling of strategies:

24 September 2015

5 Ways I Find Time For Family History

Family History and Home Schooling
How do I find time for family history while homeschooling these kiddos?
If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times. How do you do it? How do you homeschool? Well, the answer is a topic for another day and possibly another forum. This initial puzzled analytical investigation of my daily life is regularly followed up with a second. How do you find time to do family history and scrapbooking while being so busy?

21 September 2015

Families Matter No Matter You Bubble

A Patient Genealogist
Devon Noel Lee
attempting a selfie at a
homeschooling conference
This summer I had attended a home schooling conference. Despite the focus of the conference, I walked away inspired not only as a home schooling mother but as a family historian as well. How is that possible?

At the home school conference, there were a variety of speakers. Some were definitely worth my time. They shared tips, strategies, and general inspiration on this unconventional education option. The entire presentation was focused and well delivered.

Some speakers were a flat out waste of my time, as it relates to home schooling. Having studied the conference brochure and class description thoroughly, I attempted to pick topics that I really needed to hear. I didn't necessarily want to only attend classes taught by the best teachers. Unfortunately, while in the class I soon realized the presenter was not only less than stellar but the material they covered did not match the class description.

Hmmm.... does this sound like any genealogy conference that you have ever attended? Great speakers delivering what you needed or expected to learn, but others drawing you into their class but failing to deliver?

14 September 2015

One Name Place Study: Elisabeth Townsend in Columbus

Townsends of Franklin County OhioAccording to the Guild of One-Name Studies, "People often start one-name studies when they get stuck on part of their own ancestry, and believe that if they were to collect all references they find to the surname then this will lead to a break-through."

I am in the process of investigating the Townsends of Franklin County, Ohio in an effort to find relatives of William James Townsend who was born around 1842 in Franklin County, Ohio. So far, most Townsends do not seem to be close relations, but I haven't given up yet.

The next individual listed 1880 US Census is Elisabeth  Townsend. Elisabeth indicates in this census that she was born about 1867 in Ohio, with parents also originally from Ohio. At age 13, she's listed as a servant in the home of Wm and Ruth Wildermuth (though the handwriting looks like Wildersmith).

11 September 2015

Mailbag: Reader Does Start Her Narrative Project

How to Write Family Histories

Previously, I shared tips on how to turn your names, dates, and places into a story. Then I followed up the tips with the question "Did You Start?" my Facebook fan Sandra Smith answered that question with a yes! 

10 September 2015

That 70's Scrapbook

70s Theme Scrapbook Layouts

That 70's Show attempted to portray the lives of teenagers to a semi-modern audience. My early years occurred during the time period noted for butterfly colors, bell bottoms pants, bright and loud patterns, and disco but without the Ashton Kutcher. The photos from that era do not reflect the trends. Many photos have a reddish-orange or green cast to them which makes coordinating scrapbook color schemes a CHAL-LENGE!

Since the 70s, people have done a poor job of caring for their original photos. In fact, many of us chopped up our photos to make collages to decorate art projects, our bedrooms, and in scrapbooks. These photos can not be restored as most of the negatives that produced the original photos are also lost to time. Additionally, many photos were not well cared for, making restorative work very difficult and cost prohibitive. So what can you do?

09 September 2015

How do I attach the sources I found to the Family Search Tree?

Once you find a cool record that relates to your relative, you will loose track of it in a heart beat if you do not save the discovery somewhere. Gone are the days of making photo copies of records and stuffing them in a binder (or at least, they should be). Instead, link your discoveries on Family Search to the tree! It's fast, easy, cheaper, and saves a lot of oxygen producing trees!!!

08 September 2015

The Work Goes Faster With Two

Capturing Family Memories
Read my guest post at America's Footprints

Capture. Preserve. Two words that for many are easier said than done. However, those words are more valuable to many than a mountain of money. How can you capture and preserve your personal and family history?

07 September 2015

Now Appearing At America's Footprints!

America's Footprints

My goal of inspiring others to capture and preserve their family history is expanding. America's extended an invitation for me to be a guest blogger focusing on capturing your life story!

"We first discovered Devon Lee through the Google+ Family History Writers community," says Joe Fiduccia, owner and founder of America's Footprints. "When we decided to review her blog one day, her bio was actually the first thing that caught our attention.  In her bio, Devon commented about her ancestors and how her children won’t know much about them.  She went on to say she will now do whatever she can to preserve the history she uncovers (and creates)…for the sake of keeping her family’s story alive."

05 September 2015

Have you Analyzed the Time vs Benefit of the New Genea-Tech

Family History Editorial
My husband and I were talking about a recent webinar which discussed a variety of technology choices someone uses to get their genealogy job done. The presenter shared a number of new genealogy tech tools that may be great for them. While listening to all the 'options', I kept thinking how many recommendations over complicate simple tasks. For instance, I don't need to use a subscription note service to accomplish the tasks that RootsMagic and Microsoft Office can achieve. At the conclusion of the webinar, I felt more overwhelmed than empowered.

Soon I realized the roots of these feels stems from the need to analyze the new genea-tech (or any tech for that matter) in view of time vs benefit. Just how much time will I spend learning the new 'tech'? Will the time spent benefit me more than my current methods enough to offset the learning curve and eventual usage time? If a benefit does not justify the time spent, it's not worth incorporating into my workflow. Here are two recent situations that I have faced with new technology.

02 September 2015

One Name Place Study: Ella Townsend of Columbus

Townsends of Franklin County OhioIt's once again time to investigate the Townsends of Franklin County, Ohio in an effort to find relatives of William James Townsend who was born around 1842 in Franklin County, Ohio.

The next individual listed 1880 US Census is Ella Townsend. Ella indicates in this census that she was born about 1855 in Connecticut. The twenty-five year old is working as an overseer at a box factory. Ella is living with her married sister, Minnie Center, in Columbus Ohio. Minnie's husband Orestes Center is a bookkeeper and they have two young children (aged 4 and 1) in the home, with a 19 year-old servant.

01 September 2015

Is My Relative in Family Search Family Tree?

FamilySearch Family Tree Basics

The FamilySearch Family Tree is a 'One Tree' Concept and has created it's collective database of names from a number of sources. It is entirely possible that your relative is already hanging out on the tree waiting for you to find them and add sources and memories to their profile. So, before you start adding someone to the tree, it's critical that you determine whether or not a profile exists for them.