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Your Questions Answered LIVE—More Tech with Thomas - free webinar now online for limited time

Your Questions Answered LIVE—More Tech with Thomas - free webinar now online for limited time

The recording of today's webinar by Thomas MacEntee, "Your Questions Answered LIVE—More Tech with Thomas" is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.

Webinar Description

Now’s your chance to ask your tech questions, your DNA questions, and your Legacy software questions. On hand will be experts in their fields: Thomas MacEntee, Diahan Southard, and Geoff Rasmussen. Email your questions to geoff@legacyfamilytree.com. Register once and you will be registered for all four "Fridays in May" webinars.

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 27 minute recording of "‘Your Questions Answered LIVE—More Tech with Thomas" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. If you have a webinar membership, it is available anytime.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,265 classes, 1,505 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 5,064 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

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2020 webinar brochure here.


New TechZone Video - Organize Your Bookmarks in Google Chrome by Lisa Lisson

New TechZone Video - Organize Your Bookmarks in Google Chrome by Lisa Lisson

Every Friday we're pleased to offer Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers a new short ten minute or less TechZone video just for them! This Friday enjoy "Organize Your Bookmarks in Google Chrome" by Lisa Lisson.

Organize Your Bookmarks in Google Chrome

Learn how to organize your Google Chrome bookmarks to help streamline your genealogy research.

_WatchVideo


About the Presenter

Lisa LissonAs a genealogy researcher and creator of the Are You My Cousin? blog, Lisa Lisson takes the overwhelm out of genealogy research and keeps researchers moving forward finding their ancestors. Whether researching ancestors alongside clients or writing how-to articles and books, Lisa uses her 12 years of research experience to help others build a solid research plan, find the needed genealogy records, and get the most out of those resources. When not working with clients or writing genealogy articles, Lisa can be found pursuing her passion for  running, traveling with her husband or simply enjoying time with her two adult children. 

See all the webinars and videos by Lisa Lisson in the Legacy library.
 
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, 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 1,264 classes in the library (1,503 hours of quality genealogy education)
  • 5,054 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.


New Gmail Tools to Help with Genealogy Tasks and Correspondence

There are all kinds of reasons to use Gmail for your email. I have long recommended to genealogists to use an online email account so that a change in internet providers won't change your email address. This is so important if we want researchers to be able to find us over the years. I'm a big fan of Gmail and the following new additions are just some of the reasons why. 

Send That Email to Tasks

There's a new icon found at the top left of Gmail. You might have seen it, it looks like a circle with a check mark. So what does this new feature do? It allows you to send an email link to your Tasks list (on the right-hand side of Gmail). You can then add information to that task. So now you have the the link to the email and additional information in your tasks so that you don't forget what needs to be done. 

Tasks

So how does this benefit your family history research? Let’s say a cousin emailed you asking for a copy of your grandparent’s marriage certificate. With their email open, click on the Add to Tasks icon and this will send a link to that email to your Tasks list. Next to that link you can type Send Grandparent’s Marriage Certificate this week. This way you have the information in your task list reminding you what you need to do and you have a link to the email that it involves.

Customize Your Signature

You may have known that Gmail allows you to create a custom “signature” that appears at the end of all your outgoing emails. This is terrific for customizing the “look” of your emails depending on if they are going to DNA matches, your family, volunteer endeavors or work. So for example, my email signature includes my name and that I am the author of the book, From the Family Kitchen, along with the URL for my food history blog. But sometimes the signature you want for one email isn’t what you want for another.

Now Gmail allows you to have multiple signatures and to choose which one to use when you send or reply to an email. To use this feature, go to the Gear icon at the top right of Gmail.

Gear

In that drop-down menu, choose Settings and then General. Scroll down and you will see Signature on the left-hand side. This is where you can customize each signature you want.

Signature Settings

Consider creating a few different signatures that reflect your genealogy interests such as the surnames or places you are researching. If you are a board member of your society, create one with your contact information and title.

Signature

Now when you write or reply to an email, you will see a pen at the bottom. Click this to choose which signature you want to appear in the email. You also have the option to choose no signature.

Email tools

Pay careful attention to that bottom tool bar to the right of the Send button. There’s also a new option that allows you to set emails as confidential which can restrict what the recipient can do with that email (forward, copy, print). That menu also includes the options to attach items to your email and to utilize various formatting features such as bold and bullet points.

Schedule Your Emails

There is one more feature I want to show you that you will want to take advantage of. Imagine you’re working on a family reunion and you want to plan ahead. You have an email for your family but you are getting ready to leave for vacation and won't be able to send it next week when you want to. 

Send

No problem! Write the email now and then schedule it to be sent while you are away. After you write the email, instead of just clicking the Send button, click on the down arrow next to Send. Now, click on Schedule Send. You will then see a box that will suggest three times in the future to send your email or you can pick your own date and time.

Gmail has so many great features and best of all you can customize it depending on how you use it. Check the Legacy TechZone for more tips and tricks for using Gmail and other Google products.

 

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.


Mistrust Transcriptions: And Here's Why - free webinar by Dr. Bruce Durie now online for limited time

Mistrust Transcriptions: And Here's Why - free webinar by Dr. Bruce Durie now online for limited time

The recording of today's webinar by Dr. Bruce Durie, "Mistrust Transcriptions: And Here's Why" is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.

Webinar Description

I think we’ve all been there...we find a transcribed Birth/Baptism, Marriage, Death/Burial or Census entry, and it either 1) looks completely wrong, 2) looks too good to be true, 3) has no supporting citation or source information. So, how do we know 1) where it came from? 2) whether it’s actually correct, or even complete? 3) what the transcriptional errors might be? The answer, of course, is to find the original document. But that isn’t always possible. Particular bug-bears are 1) the dreaded “Selected Births and Baptisms, Scotland” 2) census transcriptions, 3) indexes, 4) online Family Trees. Join Dr. Bruce Durie for a Cautionary Tales tour of some of the worst offenders and howlers, and gives hints and suggestions as to how to get around them.

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 27 minute recording of "‘Mistrust Transcriptions: And Here's Why" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. If you have a webinar membership, it is available anytime.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,263 classes, 1,502 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 5,054 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

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2020 webinar brochure here.


Enlightened Design with the MyHeritage Chart Creation Tool - free webinar by Janet Hovorka now online

Enlightened Design with the MyHeritage Chart Creation Tool - free webinar by Janet Hovorka now online

The recording of today's webinar by Janet Hovorka, "Enlightened Design with the MyHeritage Chart Creation Tool"  is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free.

Webinar Description

Show off your MyHeritage tree to your family and friends with a beautiful chart. Learn all the hidden tips and tricks to create a customized masterpiece a perfect representation of your family history. Just a few easy steps and your beautiful chart arrives in a tube on your doorstep.

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 and 32 minute recording of "‘Enlightened Design with the MyHeritage Chart Creation Tool" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. If you have a webinar membership, it is available anytime.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,262 classes, 1,487 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 5,034 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

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2020 webinar brochure here.


Tuesday's Tip - Importing a Gedcom (Advanced)

Importing a Gedcom

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

Importing a Gedcom (Advanced)

A GEDCOM file is formatted so that family history information can be shared between different types of genealogy software programs. You can export a GEDCOM file from your online trees and also from your deskstop software programs. You can use these files to move your family history data around to different programs or to share data with your family members or collaborators.

Normally importing a gedcom is straightforward. You go to File > Import > GEDCOM file and you follow the prompts. However, there are actually quite a few options on these screens that will make a difference with how your gedcom imports. In addition, there are some gedcoms that are just a mess. Legacy has a lot of built in "fixes" for the known issues but there are so many that it just can't catch them all. You need to know how to deal with these yourself. The worst offenders are web-based family trees. There are also some resident genealogy programs that do not follow the set rules in the gedcom protocol. The gedcom protocol itself is quite old so there can be some problems when importing gedcoms created by advanced programs. 

File > Import > GEDCOM file. The first couple of screens are self-explanatory. You will navigate to the gedcom file using a Windows dialog box, you will select the file that you want to import, you will tell Legacy you want to import it into a new file (recommended), and you will name the file. Legacy will do a preliminary analysis.

Legacy analyzes the GEDCOM file to make sure it is valid and recognizable. This analysis pass also shows you how many individuals and families are contained in the file. If Legacy finds information that it does not know what to do with, a message is displayed. You can then tell Legacy where to put the information. You can map it to an event or to the notes. The submitter's name, address, and comments are also displayed along with the name of the program that created the file. If there is no compiler information in the family file you are importing into, a button will appear to the left of the incoming compiler information: Import Compiler Information. You can click this button to import the incoming information into the compiler information of the family file. (If there is already compiler information in the family file, this option button is not shown.)

Now that the preliminaries have been completed, you are now looking at this screen. 

GEDCOM Import
(click image to enlarge)

 

Record Numbering
Most GEDCOM files are encoded with the record identification numbers (RINs) that were used in the exporting program that created them. Often users come to identify particular individuals within their files as much with this number as with their names. If you are importing into a new, empty family file, these numbers can be kept. As an alternative, you can have the incoming records renumbered. If renumbering, you can select the beginning number. As an example let's say you have 2,582 individuals in your current family file and are about to import a new batch. You might want to start numbering the new individuals at 3000, later making it easy to see which people were imported. Of course, if you select a starting number that is already being used in the current file, Legacy will have to jump up to a number higher than the current batch.

Check for Valid Temple Names during this import
(not shown in the above screenshot because I have LDS Options turned off)

If you are using the LDS options in Legacy, this option checks for valid temple names and abbreviations during the import.

Check for Valid Date Formats during this import
Legacy uses consistent, logical formatting rules when it comes to dates. Other programs allow free-form dates that can include unrelated text, making the dates unusable for sorting and date arithmetic. During the import process, Legacy checks each date for a proper format and presents any unrecognized dates for you to correct or accept. If you would like to accept all dates, regardless of their format, uncheck this option. (Using the search engine in Legacy, you can produce a list showing the names and record numbers of all individuals who have unrecognized dates. This list lets you quickly jump to each individual and make corrections later.)

The Dates in the GEDCOM file are in English
The dates in almost all GEDCOM files are in English, even if the GEDCOM files were produced by programs from non-English speaking countries. This is the default standard. If, however, you find that the dates are not in English, uncheck this option. This would be important, for example, if you had a GEDCOM file with abbreviated Finnish dates. The abbreviation for November in Finnish is Mar. If Legacy thought that the dates were being imported in English, all the November dates would be recognized as March. Unchecking this options tells Legacy to analyze the dates in the currently selected language instead of English.

Put Unrecognized Items into Notes Field
This option puts any unrecognized information into the Notes of the individual being read at the time. For example, a line such as "OCCUP Bricklayer" would be put into the Notes because OCCUP it is not a standard GEDCOM tag. (You can also re-map unrecognized tags to standard tags before you start the import.)

Re-wordwrap the Contents of All Notes Fields
If the notes you are importing have hard carriage returns at the end of each line, such as notes from PAF 2.31 (or PAF 3.0 notes imported from PAF 2.31), you can have them reformatted into continuous lines by choosing this option. Paragraphs breaks formed by two consecutive carriage returns are left alone.

Format Names and Places
Formats all incoming names and places to the format currently set in the Customize section. These formatting options include putting initial capital letters on given names, putting initial caps or upper casing on surnames, and formatting location names so there is a space after each comma.

Show Combine Options When Event Definitions or Locations are Different
With this option selected, if an incoming event definition or location definition is different from the current family file, the Combine Event Definition or Combine Master Locations screens are shown so that you can merge them together.

AutoSource
The AutoSource feature of Legacy lets you automatically assign a master source to each incoming individual when you are doing an import. This is often very useful as documentation of where you received the information and is much easier to do and use than making an entry in the Note field.

When you are about to import a Legacy, GEDCOM (or PAF file), you can select a master source to cite for each person by clicking AutoSource on the Import window. You can also add a new source.

Customize - click the button and that will open a secondary dialog box. This particular gedcom does not have any unrecognized "tags." 

Items to Import
(click image to enlarge)

 

Items to be Imported
During the Analysis pass, Legacy gathers all the recognizable GEDCOM tags and places them in the Import these Items box.

Items Not to be Imported
If you find a tag you don't want to have imported, highlight the tag and click Remove, or just drag the tag from the Import these Items box to the Items not to be imported box. You can move all but the first five, basic fields. If you want to only import the five basic fields, Name, Sex, Birth, Death and Marriage, click Basic 5. All the other tags will be moved to the Items not to be imported box. (You can move any tag item back by highlighting it and clicking Include, or by dragging it back to the right window.)

Unrecognized Items
Any tags that are not recognized by Legacy during the Analysis pass are placed in the Unrecognized Items box. These are usually odd, non-standard pieces of information that another program supports. If you can recognize the tag, you can map it to a standard field tag in Legacy. Or, you can always have the information placed in the Notes field so you don't lose it.

Defining an Unrecognized Item
The Unrecognized Items list contains nonstandard GEDCOM tags that were found in the file you want to import. Often, these tags are slight variations invented by another program that are easily recognizable and can be mapped to a standard tag supported by Legacy. To start the definition process, highlight the tag you want to remap and click Map to a Recognized Tag and then choose the GEDCOM tag you want to map it to.

Creating Events from Unrecognized Tags
Some GEDCOM tags are obviously names for events such as GRAD for Graduation. To convert these tags to events and have them placed in the event list for the individual involved, highlight the tag and click Create an Event for this Tag. Legacy then prompts you for an event name (up to 30 characters). During the import, all occurrences of this tag will be changed to the defined event name.

Unrecognized tags that have been mapped to existing tags, or mapped to an event name and moved to the Import these items list, can now be removed from the Import these items list by dragging them back to the Unrecognized items list or the Items not to be imported list.

Baptism versus Christening
Some genealogy programs export christening information into a GEDCOM file using the BAPM tag instead of CHR. You can have Legacy put this information into the Christening fields during the import rather than having a Baptism event created in the Event List by selecting this option.

Note Options: How Notes Are Formatted in a GEDCOM File
In a GEDCOM file, multiple-line notes are supposed to be broken in the middle of a word at the end of each line. For example, this is how a small note might look in the file:

Aunt Mary spent most of her ti
me knitting. When she wasn't kni
tting something, she was cooking.

In the past, however, most programs would break the lines between words instead of in the middle of words. For example:

Aunt Mary spent most of her time
knitting. When she wasn't knitting
something, she was cooking.

A problem arises if the old style is imported with the new rules. This results in some words being put together without any space between them. For example, the note might look like this:

Aunt Mary spent most of her timeknitting. When she wasn't knittingsomething,she was cooking.

Or, if the new style is imported with the old rules you end up with spaces in the middle of words:

Aunt Mary spent most of her ti me knitting. When she wasn't kni tting something, she was cooking.

Legacy keeps an internal list of how all genealogy programs export note blocks into GEDCOM files. This allows Legacy to decide how to put the line back together again when the notes are imported. Sometimes a GEDCOM file comes along that came from a program that Legacy never heard of. In this case, Legacy might guess incorrectly as to how the note lines are formatted. If, after importing a GEDCOM file, you find that the notes either have spaces in the middle of some of the words, or that some words don't have a space between them, you can tell Legacy to change the method it is using. You can choose between:

  • Let Legacy decide how lines are broken
  • Lines are broken in the middle of words
  • Lines are broken between words

Optional Text Preceding Notes
When Legacy comes across something in a GEDCOM file that it doesn't recognize, it generates an error message in the Error.log file and then puts the unrecognized items into the General Notes field for the individual or marriage. You can have some optional text added to the beginning of these entries in the notes to make them easier to search for after the import is completed. For example, you might add "ZZZZZ" to the beginning. Later you can then search for "ZZZZZ" in General Notes to find the individuals and marriages to check these entries to see if you want to keep them or move the information to a different place.

Import Notes into Research Notes
If you are transferring a family file from a previous genealogy program where you have kept research notes in the Notes field, you can have Legacy put these notes into Research Notes instead of General Notes by selecting this option.

Saving Your Settings
If you would like to save a particular import tag list, click Save List after you have selected the tags you want to import. Legacy prompts for a file name and then saves the list to disk.

Loading Your Saved Settings
You can load a previously saved import tag list by clicking Load List and then selecting the desired list to be loaded.

Once you have addressed all of the options you will click OK and then Start the Import. If you are importing from Family Tree Maker, you will likely see this error screen after you start the import:

Family Tree Maker
(click image to enlarge)

 

Knowing what to select here depends greatly on how well you know the incoming data. You can automatically send all of the PLAC tagged information to the Event Description field, the Event Notes field, or you can leave them in the Place field. You can also work with all of the PLAC comments in the same way if they are all the same Event type (all Residence events for example) or you can deal with them one at a time. If you want to analyze each one and decide where the information should go individually you can do that but if it is a very large gedcom you can expect to spend a lot of time sitting at your computer. Family Tree Maker used the PLAC tag for every location that has comments attached to it. If you chose one of the last two options, this is what you will see:

Needs Your Attention
(click image to enlarge)

 

In the above example you can see that in this case moving the information to the Description field make sense. If you see an actual place name along with the comment that's when you would use the Split Apart button.

 

I hope this information will help you do cleaner gedcom imports so that you have less cleanup to do afterwards.

 

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 check out 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, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.


Your Questions Answered LIVE— More DNA with Diahan - free webinar now online for limited time

Your Questions Answered LIVE— More DNA with Diahan - free webinar now online for limited time

The recording of today's webinar by Diahan Southard, "Your Questions Answered LIVE—More DNA with Diahan" is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for free for a limited time.

Webinar Description

Now’s your chance to ask your tech questions and your DNA questions. On hand will be experts in their fields: Thomas MacEntee and Diahan Southard. Email your questions to geoff@legacyfamilytree.com. Register once and you will be registered for all four "Fridays in May" webinars.

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 27 minute recording of "‘Your Questions Answered LIVE—More DNA with Diahan" is now available to view in our webinar library for free. If you have a webinar membership, it is available anytime.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,261 classes, 1,499 hours of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 5,049 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

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2020 webinar brochure here.


Genealogy Crossword: Webinar Fun Facts

Who doesn't like a good crossword puzzle? Combine that with genealogy and you've got a fun, quick activity to pass the time. 

Webinarfunfacts

Click here to print the crossword with the clues. The answers are found at the bottom of the document.

Across
1. Learn about Microsoft _____ in the 11-class series by Thomas MacEntee
3. Blaine _____ is the presenter of the 5-class Foundations of DNA series
6. The _____ series is held the first Wednesday of each month at noon Sydney time
8. Includes short 2-10 minute videos that answer a tech question
13. Got Irish ancestors? Learn from John _____ in the 12-class Foundations of Irish research series
15. "Life is short, do _____ first!"
16. $49.95/year is a _____ for a webinar membership
17. True/False - webinar members have anytime, unlimited access to 5,000+ syllabus pages

Down
2. Surname of the webinar series founder
4. Webinar series founded in 20___
5. Available in _____ languages
7. Today, more than twelve _____ webinars are available on-demand
9. Closed _____ was added to webinar recordings beginning in 2019
10. Got _____ ancestors? Learn from Paul Milner's 6 classes on this geographic topic.
11. An Introduction to DNA _____ is the most-watched webinar ever
12. Webinar members can add webinar recordings to their _____ to view later
14. Geoff's capable co-host


Easy Personal Book Catalogs with GoodReads by Gena Philibert-Ortega

Easy Personal Book Catalogs with GoodReads by Gena Philibert-Ortega

Every Friday we're pleased to offer Legacy Family Tree Webinar subscribers a new short ten minute or less TechZone video just for them! This Friday enjoy "Easy Personal Book Catalogs with GoodReads" by Gena Philibert-Ortega.

Easy Personal Book Catalogs with GoodReads

Learn how to save the books you want to read, are reading currently and have read into a personal catalog on the GoodReads app.

_WatchVideo


About the Presenter

Gena Philibert-Ortega holds a Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and a Master's degree in Religion. Presenting on various subjects Gena Philibert-Ortega involving genealogy, women's studies, and social history, Gena has spoken to groups throughout the United States as well as virtually to audiences worldwide. Gena is the author of hundreds of articles published in genealogy newsletters and magazines including FGS Forum, APG Quarterly, Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle, Family Tree Magazine, GenWeekly and the WorldVitalRecords newsletter. Her writings can also be found on her blogs, Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. She is the author of the books, From The Family Kitchen (F + WMedia, 2012), Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) and Putting the Pieces Together. Gena is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association's journal Crossroads. An instructor for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, Gena has written courses about social media and Google. She serves as a board member of the Utah Genealogical Association. Her current research interests include women's social history, community cookbooks, signature quilts and researching women's lives using material artifacts. Gena Philibert-Ortega is the author of IDG's monthly column, Remember the Ladies: Researching Your Female Ancestor. 

See all the webinars and videos by Gena Philibert-Ortega in the Legacy library.
 
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, 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 1,260 classes in the library (1,498 hours of quality genealogy education)
  • 5,049 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.


The Search for More about the Incredible Mary Ann Patten

Remember Mary Ann Brown Patten? In my last post, Mary Ann Patten: A Case Study I told you a little but about her amazing life and the beginning of my research into her life. I started with an online survey to see what information I could find. Next, I wanted to explore books and periodicals that could assist me in telling her story. Remember, these aren’t necessarily resources that will provide me genealogical data but instead provide me context for her life.

I’m going to begin by using WorldCat. WorldCat is a worldwide library catalog with over two billion items (books, periodicals, theses, archival collections). While not every library participates in WorldCat, it’s a great place to start my search. Best of all, I can enter my zip code or city to see what libraries “nearest to me” have the item I need.

My goal for using WorldCat is to see what books might help me learn more about Mary Ann’s life on a clipper ship. I want to also explore books that will help me learn more about where she lived, her family (her birth family but also the family she married in and created), maritime history, and 19th century Massachusetts women.

WorldCat Search

Worldcat

I know that the ship Mary Ann navigated was the Neptune’s Car so I’m going to search and see if I can find a history of that ship. The search for “Neptune’s Car” resulted in 64 results. A few of those results are children’s books and historical fiction accounts about the ship and Mary Ann, however, I did see one interesting result that I thought initially would be useful.

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As I looked at this result I thought it might be a broadside celebrating Mary Ann’s historic voyage. Unfortunately, since it’s impossible for me to get to a library that has this item it may seem like I should not pursue it. However, I noticed that the website listed as having an online version is Newsbank. Newsbank owns GenealogyBank. Taking a chance I could find it there, I look and I do find it. However, although there isn’t a clear year when this item was printed, the month (April) listed on the item does not match when Mary Ann docked in San Francisco (December 1856). While it is an item I could use to tell the history of the ship it doesn’t directly deal with the time period that Mary Ann was on it.

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My search of WorldCat does uncover some other archival items I’m interested in and not surprisingly one is located in San Francisco at the Maritime Research Library located at the Maritime Historical Center. It appears that this item is in the periodical American History (Feb 2005) which means I can look for it somewhere else. However, it’s a good reminder that since Mary Ann docked in San Francisco, I may want to look at manuscript collections in maritime museums and archives in San Francisco.

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One other item that I am interested in is located at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Massachusetts and is called [Material relating to the clipper ship Neptune's Car and Mary Ann Patten who assumed command of the ship when her husband, Captain Joshua Adams Patten became ill on a voyage from New York to San Francisco in 1856]. I’m not really sure what that is. It’s listed as a biography/book with 12 pages. But I’m unsure who wrote it or when or if it can shed anymore light on Mary Ann. After exploring the Peabody Essex Museum website, I decide that I’ll contact them and see what more I can learn about this items and other items that might help tell this story.

I want to momentarily go back to the historical fiction book about Mary Ann that I found on WorldCat. I don’t want to discount it as a possible help to my research. My experience is that most historical fiction authors conduct a lot of research into their subject. They visit libraries, archives, and interview historians. So I will read the book I found (The Captain’s Wife by Douglas Kelly) and see what insight and what sources were used in the compiling of this narrative. I also need to access the history I found on Neptune’s Car written by Paul W Simpson.

Now there’s much more I need to do in WorldCat including identifying other books about clipper ship history, the time period, the place where Mary Ann and Joshua lived, and even possible family histories. But for now, let’s move on to JSTOR.

JSTOR

If you haven’t used JSTOR, please do yourself a favor and explore it. JSTOR’s About page explains that it “provides access to more than 12 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines.” You can sign up for a free account that allows you to save three articles at a time on a virtual bookshelf. You can also pay for a subscription or use it at a subscribing library (the Family History Library in Salt Lake City has a subscription).

Image5It seems obvious to me that I should have some luck finding articles written by historians about Neptune’s Car. I do a search on JSTOR and only receive 21 results. I have to admit this is disappointing but I realize I may need to do more searches using other keywords to find what I need. A few of my results deal with clipper ships but nothing that looks really promising.

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So I play around with search terms. I use Mary Ann’s name and nothing relevant matches. I try a search on maritime women and receive some promising results that would help me better understand what it was like to be a woman on a ship. I then find one hit that looks promising.

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I used Google Books to learn more about this book and read that


In 1852 Hannah Rebecca Crowell married sea captain William Burgess and set sail. Within three years, Rebecca Burgess had crossed the equator eleven times and learned to navigate a vessel. In 1856, 22-year-old Rebecca saved the ship Challenger as her husband lay dying from dysentery. The widow returned to her family’s home in Sandwich, Massachusetts, where she refused all marriage proposals and died wealthy in 1917.

Another woman who did almost exactly what Mary Ann did! The author of this book used Hannah’s writings that she donated to a historical society. I know I need this book to get ideas of sources and context for Mary Ann’s life.

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Now do you remember in Part one I wrote about Eleanor Creesy? I had found her when I did a Google search and she had also navigated a clipper ship, the Flying Cloud. As I did more searching for her story I realized that I owned a book about her life appropriately titled Flying Cloud by David W Shaw. I pulled that book from my shelf and went searching for any relevant bibliography and sources. Now unfortunately there are no source citations in the book , however, he does say that the Flying Cloud’s log is at the Peabody Essex Museum (there’s that museum again, so it’s quickly becoming a must-visit for me). The author also talks about other sources consulted such as crew diaries, vital records, and archival collections. I’m going to use these sources as a guide for what I need to be searching. These collections he found were in varied places including Massachusetts and California reminding me that multiple locations could hold what I need and that our ancestors are found in the personal papers of others (remember the FAN club)?

Now What?

I still have a lot to do. I’m not done identifying all of the genealogical and archival materials I need. I have some books to read by authors who’ve done similar research. I also want to plan a trip to Boston and Salem to take advantage of various historical societies, maritime museum, and library collections. I’m feeling fairly confident at this point that I could find enough materials to describe what it was like for Mary Ann on Neptune’s Car and what she did with a combination of genealogy, local history, maritime history, and social history sources.

 

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.