Original Sources: Are They Always Accurate?

Is your genealogy accurate? Genealogists strive for accuracy. We want to be sure we have the right great-grandmother, the correct year of birth or death, the correct parents for our 3rd great-grandfather.

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We spend hours, days, weeks, even months looking for original sources. But what are original records and sources? They are documents and records that were created at or around the time that an event occurred. These include such documents as vital statistic registrations, newspapers, tax lists, court records, church records, land records, funeral home documents, census records, personal letters and diaries, and other more obscure items such as funeral cards, coffin plates, and so on.

Primary versus Secondary Information

An original source might contain primary information or secondary information.

  • Primary information is information given by a witness to the event, or a knowledgeable participant.
  • Secondary information is information provided by someone who was not a witness to the event.

Our joy at finding such important records results in what is often referred to as the “Genealogy Happy Dance!”

Original Sources: Are They Always Accurate?
Original Sources image by Lorine McGinnis Schulze


But beware! Original sources are not always accurate. As careful and methodical genealogists we must consider the possibility that there may be errors in a record. What are the ways this can happen?

  1. The informant (the person giving the information) might not be the person who is participating in the event. For example, it’s obvious that the deceased does not provide the personal information on a death registration. A third party such as a son, a daughter, a spouse, a family friend, a doctor or other invidividual provides personal information about the deceased.
  1. The informant may not know the answers and may thus provide incorrect details. Don’t assume, for example, that details on a tombstone are correct. Remember that the information on a tombstone was almost certainly provided by a family member, who may or may not have known the correct details. For example, my great-grandfather’s stone was erected by his daughter who told the stonemaker the wrong birth date for her father. His baptismal record provides his birth and his baptism year which was two years before the date his daughter gave.
  1. The informant might lie. This is especially true where ages are concerned. Sometimes brides subtract a few years from their ages when asked by the minister at their marriage.
  1. The clerk recording the information may not hear the response correctly and may enter it incorrectly.
  1. The information on the record might have been entered after the event took place. Memories are often wrong, and the recorder is relying on memory. Here’s an example – a minister or priest performs a baptism but doesn’t enter it immediately in the register book. A day or two later he sits down to enter the past week’s baptisms, marriages and burials. He forgets the exact day little Henry Smith was baptised. Worse, he can’t recall the first name of the child he baptised, he only knows their parents’ names. But he thinks it was James so he records that in the book. In actuality James is the name of an older brother and the child he baptised was called John.
  1. The informant might be confused by the question. In my own family tree, my great-grandmother's official government death registration is incorrect. Her parents' names are wrong. Since I already knew who her parents were (Isaac Vollick & Lydia Jamieson) from other genealogy sources, I was completely bewildered by seeing her parents’ names recorded as Stephen Vollick and Mary.

    Then it dawned on me - Stephen was my great grandmother's husband's first name (Stephen Peer). Mary was my great grandmother's own name. (Mary Vollick)

But who was the informant? The informant was Mary's 17-year old son. Her husband had died when their son was a toddler, and their older children were married and gone. The task of answering the official questions fell to her 17-year old son who had cared for her in her final days.

It is easy to see how the young boy, when asked by a government clerk "Father's name?" (meaning father of the deceased), might have replied "Stephen", for in fact Stephen was HIS own father's name.

The question "Mother's name?" referring to the mother of the deceased, would be answered with "Mary" which was HIS mother's name.

And thus the official death registration for parents of Mary (Peer) Vollick daughter of Isaac and Lydia Vollick, is forever rendered as Stephen and Mary Vollick.

So be cautious when you encounter an original source that simply doesn't match other reliable sources. Investigate! Think! Don't just accept the new details without further research to prove or disprove them.

You can read more about original sources here:

You can also watch these classes in the Legacy Family Tree Webinars library:

 

Lorine McGinnis Schulze is a Canadian genealogist who has been involved with genealogy and history for more than thirty years. In 1996 Lorine created the Olive Tree Genealogy website and its companion blog. Lorine is the author of many published genealogical and historical articles and books.

 

 

 


The Scots-Irish in America - free webinar by Peggy Lauritzen now online for limited time

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The recording of last night's webinar, "The Scots-Irish in America" by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com.

Many Americans can trace their ancestry back to the British Isles. Some have even heard that their background was “Scotch-Irish”. We will focus on who these people were and where they came from in the British Isles.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 19 minute recording of "The Scots-Irish in America" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Mp4Digital Download

This webinar recording is available as a digital download for just $9.95. It includes the .mp4 and the syllabus for one low price. Click here to purchase. Or, subscribe for a month or a year and also have access to the recording and handouts for the duration of your membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - irish - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, February 15, 2016. 

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

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Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • Getting Started with Microsoft Word by Thomas MacEntee. February 17.
  • Problem Solving with FANs by Beth Foulk. February 19.
  • A Guided Tour of Cyndi's List 2.0 by Cyndi Ingle. February 24.
  • The War of 1812 Records - Preserving the Pensions by Michael Hall. March 2.
  • Making YDNA and mtDNA Part of Your Family History by Diahan Southard. March 4.
  • How Do I Know That's My Ancestor? by Amy Johnson Crow. March 9.
  • The Private Laws of the Federal and State Governments by Judy Russell. March 16.
  • Introduction to German Parish Records by Gail Blankenau. March 23.
  • Proof Arguments - How to Write Them and Why They Matter by Warren Bittner. March 30.
  • Getting to Know Findmypast - Your Source for British and Irish Genealogy by Jen Baldwin. April 6.
  • Confirming Enslaved Ancestors Utilizing DNA by Melvin Collier. April 8.
  • U.S. Land Records - State Land States by Mary Hill. April 13.
  • Fire Insurance Maps - The Google Maps of Their Day by Jill Morelli. April 20.
  • England and Wales - Rummaging in the Parish Chests by Kirsty Gray. April 27.
  • Google Drive for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee. May 4.
  • Dirty Pictures - Save Your Family Photos from Ruin by Denise Levenick. May 11.
  • Messages from the Grave - Listening to Your Ancestor's Tombstone by Elissa Scalise Powell. May 13.
  • Mining the Über-sites for German Ancestors by Jim Beidler. May 18.
  • Discover American Ancestors (NEHGS) by Lindsay Fulton. May 25.
  • Get the Most from AmericanAncestors.org by Claire Vail. June 1.
  • Researching Your Washington State Ancestors by Mary Roddy. June 8.
  • Introduction to the Freedmen's Bureau by Angela Walton-Raji. June 10.
  • Ticked Off! Those Pesky Pre-1850 Census Tic Marks by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen. June 15.
  • Digging Deeper in German Parish Records by Gail Blankenau. June 22.
  • Circles or Triangles? What Shape is Your DNA? by Diahan Southard. June 29.
  • Navigating Naturalization Records by Lisa Alzo. July 6.
  • A Genealogist's Guide to Heraldry by Shannon Combs-Bennett. July 13.
  • Finding French Ancestors by Luana Darby. July 15.
  • Organize Your Online Life by Lisa Louise Cooke. July 20.
  • Researching Women - Community Cookbooks and What They Tell Us About Our Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. July 27.
  • The Germanic French - Researching Alsatian and Lorrainian Families by John Philip Colletta. July 30.
  • Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records by Tom Jones. July 30.
  • Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint by Thomas MacEntee. August 3.
  • The Battle for Bounty Land - War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars by Beth Foulk. August 10.
  • Homestead Act of 1862 - Following the Witnesses by Bernice Bennett. August 12.
  • Successfully Applying to a Lineage Society by Amy Johnson Crow. August 17.
  • Using Findmypast to Unlock Your Irish Ancestry by Brian Donovan. August 24.
  • The Treasure Trove in Legislative Petitions by Judy Russell. September 14.
  • Clooz - A Document-Based Software Companion by Richard Thomas. September 16.
  • How to Use FamilySearch.org for Beginners by Devin Ashby. September 21.
  • Beginning Polish Genealogy by Lisa Alzo and Jonathan Shea. September 28.
  • AHA! Analysis of Handwriting for Genealogical Research by Ron Arons. October 5.
  • Time and Place - Using Genealogy's Cross-Hairs by Jim Beidler. October 12.
  • Finding Your Ancestors' German Hometown by Ursula Krause. October 14.
  • Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life by Gena Philibert-Ortega. October 19.
  • Flip for Flickr - Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor. October 26.
  • Analysis and Correlation - Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats. November 2.
  • Publishing a Genealogy E-Book by Thomas MacEntee. November 9.
  • Dating Family Photographs by Jane Neff Rollins. November 16.
  • Nature & Nurture - Family History for Adoptees by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. November 18.
  • Multi-Media Story Telling by Devin Ashby. November 30.
  • Becoming a Genealogy Detective by Sharon Atkins. December 7.
  • From the Heartland - Utilizing Online Resources in Midwest Research by Luana Darby. December 14.
  • Tracing Your European Ancestors by Julie Goucher. December 16.
  • An Introduction to BillionGraves by Garth Fitzner. December 21.

Click here to register.

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Tuesday's Tip - Using the USA County Verification Feature

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Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

Using the USA County Verification Feature

USA County Verification is a feature in Legacy Family Tree that checks the county you are entering as you type it. If Legacy thinks the county is incorrect it will let you know.

1) You turn this feature on in Options > Customize > 2. Data Entry.
Option 2.1 - check the box for Verify USA Counties in Place Names

I keep this ON because this option does two things. It will tell you if you have entered a county that never existed in that state (possibly a simple spelling error or you totally have the wrong name) and it will also tell you if you are entering a county that didn't exist when your event occurred. For example, if I were to enter a death that occurred in Lamar County, Mississippi in 1850 I will get an error message because Lamar wasn't formed until 1904.

2) See the screenshot for information about what the error message can tell you.

CountyVerifier


3) Check your current data by going to Reports > Other Reports > USA County Verification. You can then see if there are any locations in your file that you still need to address. You might have overridden the error message because you weren't sure about the location and you told yourself that you would look into it. If you forgot, it will show up on this report.

Making sure your locations are accurate is the first step in getting your genealogy database organized. Give it a try and you’ll be on your way to clean data. Any questions? Head for the Facebook Legacy User Group (info below).

 

Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips checkout the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

Michele Simmons Lewis is part of the technical support team at Millennia, the makers of the Legacy Family Tree software program. With over 20 years of research experience, Michele’s passion is helping new genealogists get started on the right foot through her writings, classes and lectures. She is the former staff genealogist and weekly columnist for the McDuffie Mirror and now authors Ancestoring, a blog geared toward the beginner/intermediate researcher.


Maritime Occupations in the US Federal Census

How would you react if you discovered your ancestor's occupation was listed as "wharf rat?"In the 1880 US Census, 19 year old Major Thomas living in Mobile, Alabama is called just that! In that particular schedule, young Major was a prisoner in the Mobile County Jail.[1] Without knowing that wharf rat is a term for someone who loads/unloads cargo off ships, you might have come to a different conclusion.

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Back in June, I wrote about records specific for researching seafaring ancestors in the United States. However, clues about their occupation can be gleaned from standard genealogical sources that are not specific to maritime life. When searching for sailors, captains, privateers, etc. it's always good to look at the standard genealogical sources before delving into shipping records because researchers more often than not need certain details to find a record of their ancestor on a maritime voyage.

Since 1850, the United States Census has instructed enumerators to note the individual’s occupation, thus these records are direct accounts of what they did for work. I have been curious, though, as to the diversity of maritime occupations in U.S. Census Records because sometimes the occupations they list are unfamiliar. What I also found unusual in learning about maritime trades is how descriptions of occupations are interchanged frequently. For example, a person who was a seaman, sailor, seafarer or a mariner essentially meant the same thing.

As an example, I searched the 1880 US Federal Census on Ancestry.com. I used Ancestry because the census search form allows you to search by occupation-only if desired. Below are examples of occupations for seafaring ancestors found in the U.S. Census:

  • Boatswain’s/Bosun’s Mate - Boatswain's mates are senior members of a ship’s crew. They supervise members of the ship’s department related to the hull and deck.

  • Customs Collector - Head officer at the customs house. Administered maritime and navigation laws, trade regulations, and protection of American seamen.

  • Inspector of Customs - There was no official title of inspector in the U.S. Customs Service, so this occupation could encompass the other positions of surveyor, weigher, and gauger. These positions were responsible for the collection of duties, assessment of cargo, and confiscation of illegal goods.

  • Longshoreman - A manual laborer who loaded and unloaded cargo off ships. Other names for this occupation that are recorded in the U.S. Census are dock loader, stevedore, lumper, and wharf rat.

  • Master Mariner - A master mariner is not the captain of the ship, but rather he is second in command and the only one eligible to command the ship in the event the captain is unable to.

  • Oiler - A member of the ship’s engine department.

  • Pilot - Pilots were instructed to navigate other ships through hazardous waters outside the port of arrival. They were required to have a substantial knowledge of waterways, inlets, and other landmarks surrounding a particular port.

  • Ship Commercial Agent - Agents for shipping companies consigned or invested in commercial ships and their cargo as insurance for any loss that would be incurred during the voyage.

  • Ship Caulker - Caulkers worked with shipbuilders; they were specifically assigned to making the hull of a ship watertight.

  • Ship Master - The captain of the ship, but could also be the ship’s owner.

  • Shipwright - A builder and repairer of ships. Other terms for this occupation include shipbuilder, ship carpenter, and ship joiner.

Heading farther back in time and across the pond, there are even more peculiar names for occupations that originate in England. While perusing Rodney Hall’s “Index of Old Occupations,” I found some peculiar job titles held by persons in the maritime world. Shipwrights or ship builders used to be called a chippy. A jerquer was an officer at the customs house who searched ships, while a coast waiter surveyed arriving ships and their cargo. How about aquarius ewar, which happens to be a waterman or riverman, someone who ferried passengers across rivers and through tributaries.[2]

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Image source: Library of Congress

Many of these terms have faded with history and are no longer in use. The website for the U.S. Census Bureau provides an index for occupations and industry used in the 2010 Census, which provides how various titles for seafarers are described today.[3] It is important for genealogists to investigate occupation titles when we are unsure or they are unfamiliar. In heavily stratified industries such as maritime, these occupations take on very specific roles and we can learn a lot about their day-to-day tasks at sea or in the harbor. Consider the fact also that your ancestor may have to find work elsewhere when the shipping industry was in a slump or on the decline. In 1860, my 3x great-grandfather Owen O’Neill stated his occupation title as sailor[4], but by 1870 he was working as a farmer.[5]

Have these or other peculiar occupation titles appeared in your own research? What sources did you utilize to find out more about their line of work? Learning about your ancestor’s job is a great way to bring his or her story to life.

 

 

[1] 1880 US Federal Census, Mobile, Mobile County, Alabama, population schedule, 7th ward, enumeration district (ED) 142, page no. 19, dwelling 112, line 30, Major Thomas; Accessed on Ancestry.com (online database: 29 Jan 2016), image 19 of 66; citing NARA microfilm publication T9.

[2] Rodney Hall, “Hall Genealogy Website – Old Occupation Names,” last updated 22 Mar 2015. http://rmhh.co.uk/occup/index.html: accessed 6 Feb 2016.

[3] United States Census Bureau, “Industry and Occupation - Indexes,” https://www.census.gov/people/io/methodology/indexes.html: accessed 6 Feb 2016.

[4] 1860 US Federal Census, San Mateo County, California, population schedule, Belmont post office (Township no.3), p. 39, Eugine [Owen] O’Neill; NARA Publication M653, roll 65.

[5] 1870 US Federal Census, San Mateo County, California, population schedule, Belmont, p.1, dwelling 9, family no. 12, Owen O’Neill; NARA Publication M593, FHL microfilm 545,586.

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Jake Fletcher is a genealogist and blogger. Jake has been researching and writing about genealogy since 2008 on his research blog Travelogues of a Genealogist. He currently volunteers as a research assistant at the National Archives in Waltham, Massachusetts and is Vice President of the New England Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG).


Register for Webinar Wednesday - The Scots-Irish in America by Peggy Lauritzen

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Many Americans can trace their ancestry back to the British Isles. Some have even heard that their background was “Scotch-Irish”. In this webinar, we will focus on who these people were and where they came from in the British Isles.

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Join us and Peggy Clemens Lauritzen for the live webinar Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 9pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.  

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Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

PeggyLauritzen-144x144Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG, was involved in genealogy before she was even born. The daughter of avid genealogists, she was spending time in courthouses and cemeteries while other children were playing on swings and going to the beach. The love of her family’s history has never left her. With her experience as a former Family History Director, she is a frequent speaker at genealogical societies, workshops, seminars, and webinars where she loves bringing genealogy to life. Some of those would include The Ohio Genealogical Society, The Ohio State University, Brigham Young University, and many other state and local genealogy societies. She has recently completed several Legacy QuickGuides on Appalachia, which are also available on www.legacyfamilytree.com and www.amazon.com.

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Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
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We look forward to seeing you all there!


World's Largest Family Tree Chart - designed by Legacy Family Tree

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The world's largest family tree chart was on display for the first time at RootsTech this weekend. Here's a picture I snapped of the 30-foot-tall chart. Doug Butts of GenealogyWallCharts.com designed and published the chart, and I believe he is submitting it to Guinness World Records. And listen to this - the chart was designed with our software, Legacy Family Tree!

Here's a close-up of me with Doug.

Dougbutts

Amazing!

To create a chart in Legacy, look for the Legacy Charting button on the My Toolbar tab.

Charts1

Here, design the chart, and then use our Chart Printing service to have it sent to your front door.

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Celebrate with Us! Free Pennsylvania Research Class for One Week!

In celebration of our recent release of five Pennsylvania Research Bonus Webinars, Legacy Family Tree Webinars is unlocking one of the webinars for non-members!

As our gift to you, please enjoy watching "Locating Pennsylvania Vital and Religious Records" by Lisa Alzo for free.  

This 49 minute webinar will teach you about online and offline resources for civil birth, marriage and death registers as well as how to obtain religious records from the Keystone State.

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The class is available for free through February 10, 2016.

Of course, members can access this class and all the other Pennsylvania classes at their convenience in the Webinar library as well as being able to download the syllabus for each webinar.

New Legacy Family Tree Webinars?

Try a one month membership and see all 7 Pennsylvania classes.

Not a member yet?

Legacy Family Tree Webinars provides genealogy education where-you-are through live and recorded online webinars and videos. Learn from the best instructors in genealogy including Thomas MacEntee, Judy Russell, J. Mark Lowe, Lisa Louise Cooke, Megan Smolenyak, Tom Jones, and many more. Learn at your convenience. On-demand classes are available 24 hours a day! All you need is a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.

Subscribe today and get access to this BONUS members-only webinar AND all of this:

  • All 305 classes in the library (451 hours of quality genealogy education)
  • 1,334 pages of instructors' handouts
  • Chat logs from the live webinars
  • Additional 5% off anything at FamilyTreeWebinars.com
  • Chance for a bonus subscribers-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Additional members-only webinars

It's just $49.95/year or $9.95/month.

Subscribe

 We've got a brand new line up of speakers for 2016! All live webinars are free to watch.

2016speakers3

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.


5 New Pennsylvania Genealogy Classes Released

Pennsylvania was not only one of the original 13 colonies but it became the site of much migration and growth during the westward expansion of America. It is also the state with the largest German-American population with one of its original German settlements, Germantown, founded in 1683. In recognition of Pennsylvania's contribution to U.S. history, Legacy Family Tree Webinars has released five new Bonus classes for family historians with Pennsylvania ancestry. These join two Pennsylvania classes already in the Webinar Library.

The new webinars include:

We're working hard to give our webinar subscribers the educational classes they need to maximize their genealogical research! All of these new classes are bonus webinars in the Legacy library. The webinar previews are always free.

Locating Pennsylvania Vital and Religious Records

Vital records are key documents for learning more about your Pennsylvania ancestors. Learn about online and offline resources for civil birth marriage, and death registers, and how to obtain baptismal, burial, marriage, and other religious records in the Keystone state.

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What's a Prothonotary? Pennsylvania Court and Legal Records

Learn how to research Pennsylvania Prothonotary and other key legal records to find out key details about your Keystone state ancestors.

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Exploring Pennsylvania's Best Libraries and Repositories

Pennsylvania has a rich history to explore. Through this webinar, we will take a virtual tour of some of the best libraries and repositories in the Keystone state.

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Hidden Gems of the Keystone State - Finding Land, Military, Ethnic, and Overlooked Records 

Pennsylvania has a plethora of resources useful to genealogists. Learn about the hidden gems of the Keystone state and how to find land, military, ethnic, and other overlooked records.

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East, West, and In-Between: Navigating Pennsylvania's Counties and Their Resources

Learn how to navigate Pennsylvania’s counties and where to find records and resources for your Keystone state ancestors.

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These webinars join two other excellent Pennsylvania webinars already in the library:

Researching Your Pennsylvania Ancestors

Pennsylvania has a plethora of archives, libraries, and repositories, where you’ll find a wealth of documents to help you unlock key details about your ancestors. Discover what records are available, where they are located and how to utilize them to trace your roots in the Keystone state.

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Best Online Resources for Pennsylvania Genealogy

Pennsylvania has an abundance of resources for genealogists, and the good news is that many of them can now be accessed online. In this webinar, you’ll discover what digitized resources are available for Pennsylvania Research and how to search them to learn more about your Keystone State ancestors.

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Not a member yet?

Legacy Family Tree Webinars provides genealogy education where-you-are through live and recorded online webinars and videos. Learn from the best instructors in genealogy including Thomas MacEntee, Judy Russell, J. Mark Lowe, Lisa Louise Cooke, Megan Smolenyak, Tom Jones, and many more. Learn at your convenience. On-demand classes are available 24 hours a day! All you need is a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.

Subscribe today and get access to this BONUS members-only webinar AND all of this:

  • All 305 classes in the library (451 hours of quality genealogy education)
  • 1,334 pages of instructors' handouts
  • Chat logs from the live webinars
  • Additional 5% off anything at FamilyTreeWebinars.com
  • Chance for a bonus subscribers-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Additional members-only webinars

It's just $49.95/year or $9.95/month.

Subscribe

 We've got a brand new line up of speakers for 2016! All live webinars are free to watch.

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Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.


Tuesday's Tip - Determining Dates from Mentions in Newspaper Articles

  TT - Determining Dates

 

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

Determining Dates from Mentions in Newspaper Articles

Sometimes newspaper articles make reference to a date without actually stating the date. That can be frustrating when you need to enter an exact date into Legacy Family Tree. Here's a shortcut for finding the date. 

I am sitting here working on my file. I am entering a funeral card for Heinrich Gläntzer. He died on 06 Feb 1896. It says that he was buried at 4pm on Sunday.

Deathdate1


So what date was Sunday?

After I entered his death date and with my cursor still in the death field, I clicked the calendar icon (looks like a calendar page with a 6 on it).

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I can then see that the Sunday after 06 Feb 1896 was 09 Feb. Since I had my cursor in a field that had a date, when I clicked the calendar icon it went to that month with the date highlighted so I didn't have to navigate through the calendar.

 

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You can use this trick for any dates you need to determine! If you don't have an event date such a death notice, you can use the newspaper publish date as your starting point.

 

Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips checkout the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

Michele Simmons Lewis is part of the technical support team at Millennia, the makers of the Legacy Family Tree software program. With over 20 years of research experience, Michele’s passion is helping new genealogists get started on the right foot through her writings, classes and lectures. She is the former staff genealogist and weekly columnist for the McDuffie Mirror and now authors Ancestoring, a blog geared toward the beginner/intermediate researcher.

 

 


The Top 10 Genealogy Classes for January 2016

We've tallied the numbers and made a list of the Top 10 FamilyTreeWebinars.com classes for January 2016! Are your favorite topics or instructors among the list? Need something new to learn? Use the list to get inspired!

Top10Jan16

Each month thousands of Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers head for the library to learn new skills and techniques to help improve their genealogy research. Among the now-301 genealogy classes in the members-only library, these were the most frequently played during the month of January 2016.  They aren't necessarily the newest classes but rather the topics that were sought out by our members.

Have you seen any of these classes? Are these among your favorites too? Some of these classes (and topics) might be new to you! Get inspired to learn more and make your genealogy journey more fun!

The Top 10 for January 2016

1. Read 'Em or Weep - Promise and Pitfalls in Newspaper OCR (BONUS webinar for subscribers) by Mary Roddy

2. Technology and Techniques for Differentiating Two People with the Same Name by Geoff Rasmussen

3. Tap Into Your Inner Private Eye - 9 Strategies for Finding Living Relatives by Lisa Louise Cooke

4. Organizing Your Genetic Genealogy by Diahan Southard

5. Get Organized Using the FamilyRoots Organizer Color-Coding System by Mary Hill

6. Online and Offline Resources for Virginia Genealogy (BONUS webinar for subscribers) by Shannon Combs-Bennett

7. Pointing Fingers at Ancestors' Siblings - Breaking Down Brick Walls with Collateral Research by Marian Pierre-Louis

8. My Genealogy DO-Over - A Year of Learning from Research Mistakes by Thomas MacEntee

9. Tips and Tricks for Using the Library of Virginia Website by Shannon Combs-Bennett

10. East, West, and In-Between: Navigating Pennsylvania's Counties and Their Resources by Lisa Alzo

The classes in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar library are a members-only benefit. Not a member? Become one! Or watch the recording of the latest live class which is always available for free for a limited time!


7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries at MyHeritage - free webinar by MyHeritage's Mike Mansfield now online

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The recording of today's webinar (our 301st), "7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries at MyHeritage" by Mike Mansfield PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view for free for a limited time at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com.

In this webinar Mike presented 7 of MyHeritage’s key technologies, show the challenges they solve, and how to use them to get ahead in family history research.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 42 minute recording of "7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries at MyHeritage" PLUS the after-webinar party is now available to view in our webinar library for free. Or watch it at your convenience with an annual or monthly webinar membership.

Coupon code

Use webinar coupon code - myheritage - for 10% off anything at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com or www.LegacyFamilyTreeStore.com, valid through Monday, February 1, 2016. 

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 301 classes, 451 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 1,334 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year
  • Monthly membership: $9.95/month

Click here to subscribe.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

  • The Scots-Irish in America by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen. February 10.
  • Getting Started with Microsoft Word by Thomas MacEntee. February 17.
  • Problem Solving with FANs by Beth Foulk. February 19.
  • A Guided Tour of Cyndi's List 2.0 by Cyndi Ingle. February 24.
  • The War of 1812 Records - Preserving the Pensions by Michael Hall. March 2.
  • Making YDNA and mtDNA Part of Your Family History by Diahan Southard. March 4.
  • How Do I Know That's My Ancestor? by Amy Johnson Crow. March 9.
  • The Private Laws of the Federal and State Governments by Judy Russell. March 16.
  • Introduction to German Parish Records by Gail Blankenau. March 23.
  • Proof Arguments - How to Write Them and Why They Matter by Warren Bittner. March 30.
  • Getting to Know Findmypast - Your Source for British and Irish Genealogy by Jen Baldwin. April 6.
  • Confirming Enslaved Ancestors Utilizing DNA by Melvin Collier. April 8.
  • U.S. Land Records - State Land States by Mary Hill. April 13.
  • Fire Insurance Maps - The Google Maps of Their Day by Jill Morelli. April 20.
  • England and Wales - Rummaging in the Parish Chests by Kirsty Gray. April 27.
  • Google Drive for Genealogists by Thomas MacEntee. May 4.
  • Dirty Pictures - Save Your Family Photos from Ruin by Denise Levenick. May 11.
  • Messages from the Grave - Listening to Your Ancestor's Tombstone by Elissa Scalise Powell. May 13.
  • Mining the Über-sites for German Ancestors by Jim Beidler. May 18.
  • Discover American Ancestors (NEHGS) by Lindsay Fulton. May 25.
  • Get the Most from AmericanAncestors.org by Claire Vail. June 1.
  • Researching Your Washington State Ancestors by Mary Roddy. June 8.
  • Introduction to the Freedmen's Bureau by Angela Walton-Raji. June 10.
  • Ticked Off! Those Pesky Pre-1850 Census Tic Marks by Peggy Clemens Lauritzen. June 15.
  • Digging Deeper in German Parish Records by Gail Blankenau. June 22.
  • Circles or Triangles? What Shape is Your DNA? by Diahan Southard. June 29.
  • Navigating Naturalization Records by Lisa Alzo. July 6.
  • A Genealogist's Guide to Heraldry by Shannon Combs-Bennett. July 13.
  • Finding French Ancestors by Luana Darby. July 15.
  • Organize Your Online Life by Lisa Louise Cooke. July 20.
  • Researching Women - Community Cookbooks and What They Tell Us About Our Ancestors by Gena Philibert-Ortega. July 27.
  • The Germanic French - Researching Alsatian and Lorrainian Families by John Philip Colletta. July 30.
  • Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records by Tom Jones. July 30.
  • Getting Started with Microsoft PowerPoint by Thomas MacEntee. August 3.
  • The Battle for Bounty Land - War of 1812 and Mexican-American Wars by Beth Foulk. August 10.
  • Homestead Act of 1862 - Following the Witnesses by Bernice Bennett. August 12.
  • Successfully Applying to a Lineage Society by Amy Johnson Crow. August 17.
  • Using Findmypast to Unlock Your Irish Ancestry by Brian Donovan. August 24.
  • The Treasure Trove in Legislative Petitions by Judy Russell. September 14.
  • Clooz - A Document-Based Software Companion by Richard Thomas. September 16.
  • How to Use FamilySearch.org for Beginners by Devin Ashby. September 21.
  • Beginning Polish Genealogy by Lisa Alzo and Jonathan Shea. September 28.
  • AHA! Analysis of Handwriting for Genealogical Research by Ron Arons. October 5.
  • Time and Place - Using Genealogy's Cross-Hairs by Jim Beidler. October 12.
  • Finding Your Ancestors' German Hometown by Ursula Krause. October 14.
  • Social History Websites That Bring Your Ancestor's Story to Life by Gena Philibert-Ortega. October 19.
  • Flip for Flickr - Share, Store and Save Your Family Photos by Maureen Taylor. October 26.
  • Analysis and Correlation - Two Keys to Sound Conclusions by Chris Staats. November 2.
  • Publishing a Genealogy E-Book by Thomas MacEntee. November 9.
  • Dating Family Photographs by Jane Neff Rollins. November 16.
  • Nature & Nurture - Family History for Adoptees by Janet Hovorka and Amy Slade. November 18.
  • Multi-Media Story Telling by Devin Ashby. November 30.
  • Becoming a Genealogy Detective by Sharon Atkins. December 7.
  • From the Heartland - Utilizing Online Resources in Midwest Research by Luana Darby. December 14.
  • Tracing Your European Ancestors by Julie Goucher. December 16.
  • An Introduction to BillionGraves by Garth Fitzner. December 21.

Click here to register.

Print the 2016 webinar brochure here.

See you online!


Dutch Patronymics: Confusing or Helpful?

Dutch


How can a man with the surname Mackelyck have sons with the surname Woglom? Because of Dutch patronymics, it’s not only possible, it happened. The most common Dutch naming custom in New Netherland (present day New York) pre 1687 was that of patronymics, or identification of an individual based on the father's name. In 17th century New Netherland Pieter Adrianszen (using the patronymic Adrianszen meaning son of Adrian) had the nickname of Soo Gemackelyck (translation: so easy-going). But he was also known as Pieter Van Waggelen with variant spelling Van Woggelum. When patronymics ended in 1687 under English rule his children adopted different surnames. Some took Mackelyck, based on his nickname) and others took Woglom (based on his place of origin name).

LFT van Woggleim
Graphic by Lorine McGinnis Schulze


But what are patronymics and how are they formed? Jan Albertszen as an example, is named after his father Albert. Albertszen means son of a man named Albert. The patronymic was formed by adding -se, -sen, or -szen. Daughters would very often have the ending -x or -dr. added. For example, Geesjie Barentsdr. (Barentsdochter) is named after her father Barent.

An individual could also be known by his place of origin. For example, Cornelis Antoniszen, my ninth great- grandfather, was known in some records as 'van Breuckelen', meaning 'from Breuckelen' (Breuckelen being a town in the Netherlands). The place-origin name could be a nationality, as in the case of Albert Andriessen from Norway and my ninth great-grandfather, originator of the Bradt and Vanderzee families. He is found in many records as Albert Andriessen de Noorman, meaning the Norseman.

An individual might be known by a personal characteristic: e.g. Vrooman means a pious or wise man; Krom means bent or crippled; De Witt means the white one.

Sometimes an occupation became an individual’s surname. Smit=Smith; Schenck= cupbearer, Metsalaer= mason. An individual might be known by many different 'surnames' and entered in official records under these different names, making research difficult unless you're aware of the names in use.

For example, Cornelis Antoniszen Van Slyke mentioned above, was recorded in documents under the following names:

  • Cornelis Antoniszen
  • Cornelis Teuniszen (Teunis being the diminuitive of Antony)
  • Cornelis Antoniszen/Teuniszen van Breuckelen
  • Cornelis Antoniszen/Teuniszen Van Slicht (this is how he signed his name and might have been a hereditary family name based on an old place of origin)
  • Broer Cornelis (name given him by Mohawks)

There are tremendous variations in spelling of these names, and changes from Dutch to to English record keeping in the New World affected the spelling even more. The English found the Dutch naming system of patronymics confusing and could not easily identify one family unit. Thus they ordered that all inhabitants must choose one surname to be used by everyone in that family. The use of patronymics in New York ended theoretically under English rule in 1687 with the advent of surnames, but not everyone followed the new guidelines.

For example, Albert Andriessen de Noorman's sons and daughters took the surname Bradt except for his son Storm. Storm was born on the Atlantic Ocean during the family's sailing to the New World and he adopted the surname Van Der Zee (from the sea) which is the surname his descendants carry.

 

LFT Use Bradt
Image by Lorine McGinnis Schulze


Another thing to look for in searching the early records is to be aware of the different ways names might be pronounced in different areas, or how clerks might write them down. For example, a boy might be registered as Jan "Kiek in 't Veld", and his father would sign with "Kijk in het Veld". "Kiek in't Veld" is how it is said in the eastern dialect, "Kijk in het Veld" is how it is said in proper Dutch. The father could write down it properly, but he couldn't say it properly. The clerk at that time may have come from the West and just wrote down what he heard without translating it. If you were searching such a family, you would have to look for both lines.

You also have to be aware of the diminutives of regular first names, because the patronymic might be formed from the normal name or its diminutive. For example:

  • Antonis=Theunis/Teunis (patronymic of Antonisz or Theunisz)
  • Matthys=Thys/Tice (patronymic of Thyssen)
  • Harmanus=Harman or Manus
  • Jacobus=Cobus
  • Nicolas=Claes (patronymic of Claessen)
  • Denys=Nys (patronymic of Dennysen or Nyssen)
  • Bartolomeus=Bartol or Meese/Meus (patronymic of Meesen)
  • Cornelis=Krelis

Two articles that are excellent if you are trapped in the confusion of Dutch patronymics are:

  • Dutch Systems in Family Naming New York-New Jersey by Rosalie Fellows Bailey in Genealogical Publications of the NGS May 1954 No. 12,

  • New Netherland Naming Systems and Customs, by Kenn Stryker-Rodda, published in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, volume 126, number 1, January 1995, pages 35-45. NOTE: A footnote states that the text is a talk that Dr. Stryker-Rodda gave at thye World Conference on Records and Genealogical Seminar held in Salt Lake City 5-8 August 1969, and it was originally published in the papers of that Conference, Area 1-27. The original talk was copyrighted in 1969 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 Learn more about doing Dutch genealogy by watching "Researching Your Dutch Ancestors" in the Legacy Family Tree Webinar library.

 

Lorine McGinnis Schulze is a Canadian genealogist who has been involved with genealogy and history for more than thirty years. In 1996 Lorine created the Olive Tree Genealogy website and its companion blog. Lorine is the author of many published genealogical and historical articles and books.

 

 


Legacy Family Tree at RootsTech 2016

The biggest in-person genealogy event of the year begins next week - and Legacy Family Tree will be there front and center! RootsTech 2016 is scheduled for February 3-6, 2016 in the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read all about it at www.rootstech.org.

Meet us in person in booths 314 and 316

We'd love to meet as many of our software users and webinar viewers as possible. Come shake hands with (even get your picture with):

  • Geoff Rasmussen, Legacy developer, author of Legacy Unlocked, and host of FamilyTreeWebinars.com
  • Dave Berdan, President of Millennia, Legacy co-founder
  • Ken McGinnis, Vice-President of Millennia, Legacy co-founder
  • Leonard Plaizier, Legacy trainer and user
  • Thomas MacEntee (more below)
  • and more...

Oh, and we'll have our conference-special pricing on Legacy products too!

Davekengeoff

Prizes - choose a free webinar CD

For as long as they last, everyone who stops by our booth can take home a free webinar CD from our library (one per attendee please). Come quickly to pick up your favorite class before it's gone.

Cd

Thomas MacEntee

Meet Thomas MacEntee - in person! at our booth Saturday morning from 10-11am. This is your chance to have your book or webinar CD signed, take a picture, or just mingle with one of your favorite genealogy gurus. 

ThomasMacEntee-144x144

Geoff's Class

Geoff (that's me!) will be presenting a brand new class: Navigating the New Google Photos on Thursday, February 4 at 4:30pm in room 255A. Here's the class description:

Got digital images? Get an in-depth look into Google's new photo service - Google Photos. Learn best practices for managing, sharing, searching, enhancing, and preserving your digital photos. Learn how to access your collections via your computer, smart phone, or tablet.

Right around the corner is the world's biggest family history library so if you don't see me at the booth, in class, or at lunch - guess where I'll be? Hope to see you all there!


Starting Your Tennessee Genealogy Research

If you research North Carolina or Virginia ancestors, you will not find it unusual to track your ancestors to Tennessee.  Do you know the best resources and sites to research your Tennessee ancestors?

Starting Your Tennessee Genealogy Research
Original Photo Source: Library of Congress

 

First Things First

Just as you would with any other new location you are researching, learn about the county and state where your ancestors lived. Research the county and state lines and any boundary changes that may have occurred during the pertinent time period. Refer to this interactive map of Tennessee’s evolving county borders.

TN Map 1826 LOC.gov
Source: Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

 

Tennessee State Library and Archives

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a natural place to start your Tennessee genealogy research. You will find a variety of resource guides and online digital collections. Examples include Searching for Your Ancestors at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Early NC/Tennessee Land Grants, and African American Genealogical Resources.  Be sure and check the Family Bible project and the historic Tennessee map collection, too.  Take time to explore the Tennessee State Library and Archive’s website as you begin researching your Tennessee ancestors.

Another great resource for Tennessee residents is the genealogy tab at the  Tennessee Electronic Library.  You will need to provide Tennessee zip code and phone number to gain access.

Tennessee Records in the State Archives of North Carolina

Initially, part of today’s Tennessee’s eastern counties were part of North Carolina.  In 1784, North Carolina ceded part of their western lands to the federal government, but set aside land for land grants to Revolutionary War veterans. Land grants for these counties can be found in the State Archives of North Carolina. 

Once Tennessee became the 16th state, the county records for those previously North Carolina counties stayed with the county seats. A few early records for these counties were retained in North Carolina.  Refer to the Records relating to Tennessee in the North Carolina State Archives document for a listing of these records.

For a more detailed explanation of the formation of modern day Tennessee including the State of Franklin, go to the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Umbrella Rock - Lookout Mountain
Lookout Mountain, TN Source: Library of Congress

 

Tennessee Genealogy Databases around the Web

Sometimes in genealogy research, the researcher needs to think outside the box. In other words, get creative in the search for records and resources to further your research and break down those brick walls.   Examples of good resources for the Tennessee genealogist include:

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but a starting point for the researcher with Tennessee ancestors.

You can also start your Tennessee research by watching these webinars by J. Mark Lowe in the Legacy Family Tree Webinars library:


What are YOUR  favorite Tennessee genealogy resources? Tell us in the comments!

Lisa Lisson is a genealogist, blogger and Etsy-prenuer who writes about her never-ending pursuit of ancestors, the “how” of genealogy research and the importance of sharing genealogy research with our families. Specializing in North Carolina and southern Virginia research, she also provides genealogical research services to clients. In researching her own family history, Lisa discovered a passion for oral history and its role in genealogy research. You can find Lisa online at Lisa Lisson.com.

 

 

 


Register for Webinar Friday - 7 Unique Technologies for Genealogy Discoveries at MyHeritage by Mike Mansfield

LogotransparentIn the last decade, technology has revitalized genealogy, opening many frontiers for research while maintaining the thrill of the detective hunt. In this webinar Mike Mansfield will present 7 of MyHeritage’s key technologies, show the challenges they solve, and how to use them to get ahead in family history research.

Join us and MyHeritage's Mike Mansfield for the live webinar Friday, January 29, 2016 at 2pm Eastern U.S. Register today to reserve your virtual seat. Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. Before joining, please visit www.java.com to ensure you have the latest version of Java which our webinar software requires. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion. 

Download the syllabus

In preparation for the webinar, download the supplemental syllabus materials here. The syllabus is available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers. Log in here or subscribe here.

Registerbut 

Or register for multiple webinars at once by clicking here.

Not sure if you already registered?

Login to view your registration status for this webinar (available for annual or monthly webinar subscribers).

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

About the presenter

MikeMansfield-144x144Mike Mansfield is ​Director of Content Operations at MyHeritage since 2013. In this role he is responsible for defining the company's strategy for growing its collection of 6.3 billion historical records, and supervising all operations of content acquisition. Previously, Mike held a Senior Product Manager role at FamilySearch. Mike’s professional career has been heavily focused in electronic publishing, search and retrieval, and content acquisition and strategy. After completing his B.S. in Computer Science at Brigham Young University in 1994 he worked for Folio Corporation, a Provo, Utah based technology company which developed cutting edge CD- ROM publication and search technology. Mike joined Ancestry in 1999 and held key rolls in its development of the search engine and publication platform still in use today. As the Senior Director of Search and Content he led the team that created the record Hinting system which helped to revolutionize the way in which users interact with online genealogical records. Mike continued to develop his expertise in his roles in FamilySearch and MyHeritage.

Add it to your Google Calendar

With our Google Calendar button, you will never forget our upcoming webinars. Simply click the button to add it to your calendar. You can then optionally embed the webinar events (and even turn them on and off) into your own personal calendar. If you have already added the calendar, you do not have to do it again - the new webinar events will automatically appear.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Friday, January 29, 2016 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at www.java.com.
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.

We look forward to seeing you all there!