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# Thursday, June 19, 2008
Plot Ancestors' Lives With Online Mapping Tools
Posted by Diane

Q. I heard about a site that can help me find places in Chicago where my ancestors lived. What is it and how does it work?

A. You’re thinking about ChicagoAncestors.org, an interactive online mapping tool, created by the Windy City’s Newberry Library.

Type in an address, and you’ll get a map showing the location, along with nearby churches, sites of crimes and more. Roll over the map markers for each place to see data such as addresses, dates, related library resources or links to online images. (The data come from other history-related projects, such as Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930 and the Historic American Buildings Survey.)

There’s also a keyword search box, so you could type in St. Thomas, for example, to see locations of churches with that name. Registered ChicagoAncestors.org users can customize maps by adding their own map points, and comment on existing map points. Check the Tools section for documents that help you convert addresses predating the sweeping 1909 street renumbering.

Descendants of Bostonians can take advantage of a similar tool. Tufts University’s Boston Streets features Cowpaths, a map-based tool named for the cute but false story that Boston streets meander because they trace old bovine trails.

You can use it to plot information from the Boston Streets' databases of street scene photos, city directories and historical atlases. Users can either search those databases first and then click to plot matching places in Cowpaths, or start in Cowpaths by assigning different search criteria to up to four map layers. Use the illustrated Cowpaths primer for more-detailed instructions.
   
Those whose families didn’t live in Chicago or Boston can use good old Google to create a map showing a neighborhood over time, and where relatives lived. Start by going to Google maps and clicking Sign In, then creating a profile (if you don’t already have a Google account). You’ll be able to import images and add text and markers. You also can let others view and/or edit your maps.

A FamilyTreeMagazine.com Forum member used features in Google Maps to find a street-image view of her grandparents'  former home. You can see then-and-now shots in her post.


land records | Web tips
Thursday, June 19, 2008 3:04:02 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, June 11, 2008
How to Cite Sources
Posted by Diane

Q. How do you cite your sources? I know how to fill out a family tree chart, but I don't know how to cite the information.

A. "Source citation" can sound like a technical term, but it’s really just recording where you found each record or piece of genealogical information—that way you or anyone else can go back to recheck the original record.

Different sources are cited different ways. For books, record the title, author, publisher (with the location), year of publication, where you found the book (the name of the library or the person who lent it to you), library call number (if it came from a library) and page numbers containing the referenced information, like so:
Carmack, Sharon Debartolo and Erin Nevius, eds., The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists (Cincinnati: Family Tree Books, 2004), 219-220.
For examples of citations for a variety of sources, such as census records, vital records and oral history interviews, download our Source Citation Cheat Sheet as a PDF.

This citation Web tool will automatically format various types of citations based on what you type in about the source.

ProGenealogists also has a guide to citing online sources, including databases such as those on Ancestry.com.

Where and when to cite your sources is another important issue. As JustJean says in the FamilyTreeMagazine.com Forum, include a full citation on the front side of every photocopied record or page from a book, so the citation won't get separated from the data.

Most genealogy software lets you type in source details or even link a digitized record when you add information to your tree. If you’re using paper, you can number all your photocopied records and add the numbers to your family group sheets. For example, if Grandma’s birth certificate is record number 17 in your files, you’d write 17 next to her birthdate on a family group sheet. (Most don’t note sources on a five-generation ancestor chart.)

You also might keep a log of the sources you’ve found and what pertinent information they contain.

For an in-depth look at source citation, see Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills (Genealogical Publishing Co., $49.95).

Readers, click Comments to add your own source citation advice.


genealogy basics
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 6:51:49 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #  Comments [3]