For many researchers, citations are more than good practice.
Ensuring that facts and resources are properly cited is an essential part of their research, providing both piece of mind and allowing for future verification.
Essentially, citations prove exactly where we have obtained a certain piece of information (such as a document, story, birth record or photo). Serious researchers believe that the fact citation process legitimises a body of research.
For others though, it can often be seen as an unnecessary step. Personally, I try my best to ensure that my facts, stories and photos are cited. Given that my tree now exceeds 700 people, it can be quite the chore! Had I begun citing earlier on in my research, then I would have saved myself a lot of time spent in tedious backtracking to document the sources.
You live and learn.
Do you cite your sources? If so, how rigorous are you? Please let us know in today's poll. Next week, we'll post the results on our blog along with some handy tips for citing sources on both Family Tree Builder and Family Sites.
This is a guest post by Shauna Hicks.
Shauna is a professional genealogist, former archivist and librarian who has been researching her own family history since 1977. She is also a MyHeritage member.
As always, much has been happening in Australian genealogy circles, so let’s get straight into it:
I have recently been looking at the State Records NSW (SRNSW) pilot project which will place online (free) digital copies of their microfilmed shipping lists.
While the microfilm is fairly accessible at major libraries and genealogical societies, it is fantastic to be able to see these microfilms at home without having to travel anywhere. Also, you don’t have to worry about anyone else wanting to use the microfilm reader! Although the quality is not the same as if the lists had been digitised from the original, the lists are still quite easy to read. It would be useful if other archives would undertake similar projects.
Researching your family history most certainly has its ups and downs.
Most of us, however, receive a net benefit from the research, such as the feeling of familial inheritance, the joy of family stories or just the thrill of the chase.
Look hard enough, though, and you're likely to find something lurking in the closet. Perhaps a skeleton, if you will. Of course, there are many ways to deal with these issues and, for many, the revelations will be so old that you can detach yourself completely from the embarrassment.
Others, however, are left in a situation where their new hobby has suddenly unearthed life-changing facts about their heritage. Covering up these discoveries involves heartache and obvious holes in family research. Adopting an honest policy is desirable, but those life-changing facts can be too hard to bear even in modern society.
There are many resources available on almost any family history topic. If you are frustrated at not being able to find what you want, or need help understanding what you have found, that may be a signal to join your local genealogical society.
Newcomers are welcome at all societies, where experts are interested in helping you. Remember that all of us were newcomers at some point regardless of our current skill level. We have all been in the same place as you, and we were assisted by experts who answered those "silly questions" we were hesitant to ask.
Today's video isn't the most professional ever made, nor are the production values particularly outstanding. What the video shows, however, is a really effective method of demonstrating our genealogical research in a way that is both easily digestible and really quite beautiful.
So, sit back and enjoy a soundtrack fit for the welsh valleys, whilst the pictoral history of the Harrisons of Wales graces your screen. Enjoy, and have a fantastic weekend.
When our MyHeritage team attended the recent Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference in Springfield, Illinois, we met Meredith Sellers of Champaign, Illinois.
Meredith is married, in her 20s and is a genealogy and Family History Center consultant. She had a nice chat with our Chief Genealogist Daniel Horowitz about her personal research success story and the family reunion she organized. Here is her story:
Meredith's experience with MyHeritage and charts
Meredith had read about MyHeritage on various genealogy blogs long before her family reunion, and while she had quickly and easily uploaded a GEDCOM file of her family tree, she had not explored the printing functionality at MyHeritage.
"As I brainstormed the best way to display over 300 family members in an easily understandable graphic format, I discovered MyHeritage's descendant fan chart," says Meredith.
She discovered that the chart-making interface synched directly with her existing GEDCOM data which allowed her to directly import names and dates. She was also able to change various aspects, such as background color, graphics and ornamental frame.
It’s easy to forget about those precious documents littered around the home.
With the advent of digital data, many of us have become preoccupied with the preservation and backup of our trees and digital files. Of course, backing up this valuable data is an important consideration; but spare a thought for the birth certificates lurking in your damp conservatory or the "ancient" family photos slowly degrading in the attic.
These are the items that will be passed down regardless of software platform, waves of technology or- heaven forbid- a mass data loss on your system. Many speak of the “tangible experience” and nowadays it isn’t just luddites championing the cause.
We must take full responsibility of the documents entrusted to us or they risk an uncertain future; one where less fulfilling digital copies could be the sole record of their existence. In our recent poll, over 40% of respondents said that their precious documents were “in a box somewhere” – a little worrying considering how that very box could pose an acid-threat.
Australia’s world peace bell is housed in Cowra, an honour normally bestowed upon a nation’s capital. The town was also the location of the infamous Cowra Breakout where over 500 prisoners of war attempted to break out of the POW camp there.
Olwyn, how did you get into family history research? Why are you so involved with it now?
I have been a member of Cowra Family History Group since its inception in 1983. I was on the steering committee and was the first treasurer. I got into family history in 1981 when my maternal grandmother died and I received many personal possessions, jewellery, photos and more. Stories relayed to me by my aunts encouraged my sister - and then me - to begin researching the family.
This week's edition focuses on new records at FamilySearch.org, a California conference deadline, the National Black Genealogy Summit, Who Do You Think You Are? new US season lineup, Canadian news and more.
Let us know which resources you like, which you have used, your experiences. We value your opinions and comments.
FamilySearch.org sends out a weekly update of new records added to its database. This week's collection includes an addition of seven million record images, covering Austria (1537-1888), Belgium (1795-1920), Canada (1800-1900), Czech Republic (land records, 1450-1850), Spain (1241-1950), various US states, as well as five million for the Philippines (1945-1980).
Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree Deadline
If you would like to speak at one of the best regional genealogy conferences in the US, the deadline for proposals is fast approaching - October 13.
As an introduction to an article we will be publishing about storing and archiving documents on a budget; we thought we would ask the MyHeritage community about the lengths they go to in securing their own pieces of history.
Please let us know by voting below, or leaving a comment.