14 October 2021

We meet the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Nashua Public Library from 11 to noon.

Next month some of our discussion topics will be GEDCOM and Hungarian research. GEDCOM is a universal file format for sharing information between genealogy programs. And while we will be specifically discussing Hungarian research, the techniques will apply in other areas of research – research plan, FamilySearch Research WIKI, FamilySearch catalog, Google, and immigration records.

Judy kicked off our discussion by complaining that the dates were off by a year or two for her family members on FamilySearch, “Where do they get their information?”

First you need to understand FamilySearch is a world tree. This means that if you put your family’s information out there (living people are only visible to the person who put the names into the tree), anyone in the world can come along and change your work. That can be incredibly frustrating especially when you have the birth, marriage and death records attached and then someone comes along and changes the wife, or the parents, or whatever. Which is why you need a place where only you can edit your work. See my website for more information.

Still, you need a FamilySearch account to get access to digital images of original records. If you need more convincing, See my video at YouTube.

Judy didn’t have a FamilySearch account but Ken and I were logged in and showing her some of the features. We looked at one of her family members. Fortunately, the user who provided most of the information did a great job. There were three sources for the birth information. One of them said he was born 7 October, the other two said 17 October. We were able to access digital images of all the original documents and the 7 October is a transcription error, the document actually says 17 October.

Then I clicked on the user name so Judy could reach out to her. Turns out the user is my 10th cousin through my dad. Small world. I thought I must be related to Judy, but clicking on the View My Relationship button showed I wasn’t related to the individual we were looking at.

Another thing we discussed were the genealogy resources available at the Nashua Public Library.

  1. Did you know you can access Ancestry.com Library Edition at home through the Nashua Public Library’s website?

2. HeritageQuest Online is also available, see link above.

3. The Nashua Telegraph 1869-1952 (more current editions are available in a different link) and the French newspaper L’Impartial (1898 – 1964).

4. NewspaperArchive – at first I thought Newspapers.com is better, but Newspaper Archives has papers the other doesn’t. However, the library has to subscribe by state and right now they only have Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, D.C. I needed New York and I believe they used to have it, but dropped it due to lack of use. So if you want the library to add states, you’ll need to put in a request at the reference department and if enough of us ask for it, they’ll probably get it.

5. Beginner or Intermediate genealogists. I recommend the genealogy class at UniversalClass. It is taught by C. Michael McKenna who really knows the history of the records. We all search out the census and vital records, but he explained bounty land and grants. Through him I’ve come to appreciate and use the resources available at Historical Societies.

6. And The Great Courses has Discovering Your Roots: An Introduction to Genealogy by Dr. John Phillip Colletta He goes over some of the same research strategies but he teaches the more advanced techniques that professional genealogists use.