Sunday, 19 November 2017

Do You Have A Story To Tell?

RootsTech 2018 Photo+Story Competition

Last Thursday RootsTech announced a competition that almost anyone 18 or over can enter. 
All you need is a photograph and an accompanying story. 
You can find a copy of the rules here.

This is the convention centre where RootsTech is held in Salt Lake City.

Want to see some examples and submit your entry then follow this link

Even if you don't enter, have fun looking through those photographs and remembering why you still have them, and record the memories, each one evokes, whilst you can.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

We have a Winner!

And the winner is ...

Before I announce who won the free RootsTech 2018 registration can I say a big Thank You to Pat Richley Erickson (aka Dear MYRTLE) and Russ Worthington (aka Cousin Russ) for allowing me to mention my contest on the hangouts that they host.

Russ was kind enough to pick a number on Mondays with Myrt and the winner has been contacted.

I asked each entrant to provide a paragraph or sentence saying how genealogy can make you feel more connected.

Here is the comment made by the winner 
"I have made connections with second cousins that I never knew existed before I started working on my genealogy and submitting DNA"

She has recently started blogging on her website and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists she was welcomed to the Geneabloggers Tribe on 30 October. Congratulations Robbin M Smith.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

RootsTech 2018 Keynote Speaker

Who would you like to see in 2018?

Today has seen the announcement of the second keynote speaker at 
RootsTech 2018.

Are you one of his over 20 Million fans.
Do you follow his blog?

I am sure he will captivate the audience at RootsTech 2018.

But you don't need take my word for it you can read the announcement below.

RootsTech is delighted to announce that Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York, will be the keynote speaker at RootsTech 2018, on Thursday, March 1, 2018. Stanton is a world renowned photographer and storyteller. He is recognized for his incredible talent of telling the story of everyday people he photographs, helping them feel important. At RootsTech 2018, Stanton will share his story, motivations, and some of the messages that his camera has captured in his quest to find the stories that drive the lives of the people of our world.
In 2010, Stanton was laid off as a bond trader in Chicago. Undaunted, he bought a camera and set out to create a photographic census of 10,000 everyday people on the streets of New York. He published his initial work on his website, Humans of New York, and then added quotes of his subjects to create short, heartfelt, personal glimpses from their lives. His efforts were noticed—gaining over 20 million fans across TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.
Stanton’s work beautifully illustrates that every life has a story—an important story. He masters the art of visually telling each person’s story, which he now conveys in his popular new weekly Facebook series for a TV show called Humans of New York: The Series. Some messages are sweet, some surprising, some sad, and many contain homespun nuggets of insights that people have found in the chronicles of their lives.
Since his journey began in 2010, Stanton and his camera have roamed the streets of New York and through more than 20 different countries, including the streets of some of the world’s most remote and troubled regions. The storytelling power of his social media sites have provided a platform to raise money to help change the situations of thousands of people in difficult circumstances.
Stanton is also the author of two books that catapulted to number one on the New York Times Bestsellers list: Humans of New York (2013), and Humans of New York: Stories (2015). His Children’s book, Little Humans (2014), a 40-page photographic picture book, was featured on the New York Times Children’s book bestseller list.
Learn more about Brandon Stanton’s RootsTech 2018 appearance or his Humans of New York website, Facebook, and Instagram pages.
RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Yes! Another Chance to win a free RootsTech pass

As a RootsTech 2018 Ambassador, I can give away ONE complimentary RootsTech 2018 4-day pass ($279 value). If you win and have already registered for the conference, your registration fee will be refunded.

The conference will take place in Salt Lake City from 28 February to 3 March. The pass gives access to

Over 300 classes

Keynote / General sessions

RootsTech classes

Innovation Showcase

Expo hall

Evening events

This 4-Day Pass DOES NOT include airfare, hotel or the coverage of any other expenses.

To be in with a chance of winning, and in keeping with the theme of the conference, please complete this form. It includes a space to add a short paragraph, (it need only be a sentence), saying in your own words, how genealogy can make you feel more connected, and that you belong.

Please be aware that I may quote you (with attribution) in future posts about RootsTech 2018.

Good Luck.

I myself won a registration 3 years ago and was so glad that I entered and made the trip.

All entries received by the closing date of 12 noon, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on Monday 6th of November, will go into a draw and one lucky person will win the RootsTech pass.

The winner will be notified by email by Thursday 9th of November at the latest. One entry per person.

Disclaimer: As a Rootstech Ambassador I receive complimentary admission to the event, invitations to some extra events and dinners and a free registration to give to one of my readers. I bear the cost of my return airfares from Wales and pay for my accommodation and meals.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

GenDoc Study Group 2


Thomas​ ​W.​ ​Jones,​ ​​Mastering​ ​Genealogical​ ​Documentation​,​ ​(Arlington,​ ​Virginia:​ ​National
Genealogical​ ​Society,​ ​2017.)​ ​Softbound​ ​available​ ​from​ ​the​ ​publisher’s​ ​website
​ ​Kindle​ ​format​ ​at​ ​Amazon​ ​here:
Hilary​ ​Gadsby
Chapter​ ​2
“​Noncitation Aspects​ ​of​ ​Genealogical​ ​Documentation”
As​ ​a​ ​study​ ​group​ ​panelist​ ​I​ ​have​ ​been​ ​asked​ ​to​ ​write​ ​about​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of
the​ ​chapter​ ​that​ ​speaks​ ​to​ ​me.  

What documentation is required other than citing sources.

So you have a citation for your source but is that enough? The answer is a simple No.
So what else should we document?
We could document everything.
Whilst it is unlikely that any researcher would do so this could create a lengthy discussion of an entire research process.

We need to provide a conclusion and support it with adequate explanation and attributions.

​We​ ​must​ ​explain​ ​the​ ​quality​ ​of​ ​the​ ​information,​ ​demonstrate​ ​that​ ​we​ ​understand
the​ ​sources​ ​we​ ​have​ ​used​ ​and​ ​the​ ​particular​ ​qualities​ ​of​ ​each​ ​source,​ ​which​ ​may then ​affect​ ​how we​ ​weight​ ​its​ ​relevance​ ​and​ ​reliability.

Whilst an individual may have a good knowledge of a particular field the audience may not.
If we fail to provide appropriate discussion by omission we can cloud our readers appreciation of our work.

The format in which our conclusion and supporting documents are presented is important. Footnotes are preferable but it may be appropriate to use alternatives.

How we incorporate our citations in to our written conclusions is as important as creating an accurate citation.

In my post last week I showed a single family in a diagram but I did not provide any source information for the marriage births or deaths in that diagram. I have been trying to decide how to best add the citations.
The chapter this week uses annotations in a diagram as an example of a different way to add citations so as not to confuse citation annotation with dates. I want to show how I can do this.

The diagram boxes (which can be viewed by clicking on an individual or a circle) have been annotated with superscript letters which I will link to elsewhere within the blog so that the source citations and any discussion in the written conclusion will not distract the reader.
Joseph Buckle KDQQ-6RT (1868–1940) Elizabeth Ann Witt LZLT-ZYL (1870–1937) Henry Joseph Buckle LRMP-M77 (1895–1895) Albert Edward Victor Buckle K1DC-9CS (1902–1985) Leonard William Henry Buckle L8R4-687 (1907–1977)

Sunday, 10 September 2017

GenDoc Study Group 1


Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Documentation, (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2017.) Softbound available from the publisher’s website

Hilary Gadsby

Chapter 1
“The Purpose and Nature of Genealogical Documentation”
As a study group panelist I have been asked to write about a part of the chapter that speaks to me.
Why do we need to document what we do?
We spend many hours searching for the answers. We discover information in various ways. We may find direct answers or have to pull information from several places before we can draw any conclusions.

If all that you record is a conclusion how will anyone know how you reached that conclusion. If you need to look at a record again would you know where to find it?

We often find sources may contradict or provide incomplete information. This may require a rethink of our conclusion.

When the source of information is recorded as fully as possible it can add weight to any discussion that may be included with the conclusion.

The type of source and how it is presented can have a bearing on its reliability.

For example a clear digital image of an original document which was recorded at or close to the time of an event by an official or first hand witness will be a much better source than a smudged microform record which could be a transcript of the original.

Why is it important how we document our research?
Citation helps you understand your source
Citation shows what supports your conclusion
Citation allows for repeat evaluation
Citation prevents accidentally plagiarising

Poor documentation can hide both good and bad research. By providing good documentation any gaps or misinterpretation of the sources can be revealed.

We can better understand whether we will meet the standards expected of competent researchers if we cite what we use.

It may be years before we can reach a conclusion. We need to be able to look back at our research and review before we repeat rather than further our investigations. With experience comes a greater understanding.

My aunt told me that there was a child that died young.
I included this piece of information as an interview with her before she died in 2003 (Being a novice then I forgot to record the exact date and I know I visited more than once). I can document this now but not as well as if I had recorded the date of the interview.
I have entered information here  Story on Family Search Family Tree.
Fourteen years after her death I finally find documents to support this.
Joseph Buckle (1868–1940) Elizabeth Ann Witt (1870–1937) Albert Edward Victor Buckle (1902–1985) Leonard William Henry Buckle (1907–1977) Henry Joseph Buckle (1895–1895)

Then I searched for more information and found it in a newspaper.

Premature Birth The Hampshire Advertiser August 28 1895 Page 2 Column 6 Paragraph 4

"Premature Birth,"  28 August 1895, p. 2, col. 6; digital images, Find My Past ( : accessed 9 Sep 2017), British Newspaper Archive. Cit. Date: 9 Sep 2017.  

Research is a process and like making a cake if you avoid adding an ingredient (don’t write a citation) the final result may not be what you expect.

Crafting a citation is an important step in communicating your understanding of your source. When we were discussing  ESM Quicklessons I compared some certificates in my possession. This illustrates that just citing as a birth, death or marriage certificate was not enough and to understand fully what we have used we need to know more about the qualities of the source.
To take this further look at the second image. I can now compare this to a digital image of the parish register.
The transcription can be found on Find My Past website. But this does not reveal the names of any witness to the event who could be a family member. They do however have digital images as shown below.
Here is Robert Rosling on the Family Search Family Tree.

The digital image above actually shows the witnesses and reveals the transcription error made at either the register office in Oakham or when recording in the register held at the register office. I had tried accessing the parish register entry on microfiche held at the Rutland Museum in Oakham but the entry on the microfiche was unreadable.

I have not added any citations to most of the above. The newspaper citation was created using a Legacy template. There are not templates available for every record I want to cite so I need to craft my own and I hope that studying this book will help it become second nature. When we have finished I am going to add citations as footnotes on this entry.
For those that like templates beware I found an error in the Legacy template for the 1911 census for England and Wales which I reported and they said would be fixed. I have not checked whether this has been done yet. So if you find something in a template that does not fit or appears to be missing report it to the software development team.

I have used 2 ways of showing family relationships in this post which one do you find illustrates the best. The diagram or the link to Family Search Family Tree.

Monday, 26 September 2016

ESM's QuickLessons A DearMYRTLE Genealogy Study Group Lesson 21 and Writing Historical Biography

Hilary Gadsby

QuickLesson 21: Citing DNA Evidence: Five Ground Rules    
Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 21: Citing DNA Evidence: Five Ground Rules,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage ( : accessed 24 Sept 2016).     
Writing Historical Biography
Elizabeth Shown Mills, “Writing Historical Biography," Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage ( : accessed 24 Sept 2016).

Welcome to my final blogpost for this study group.

I looked at these topics and thought how can I relate these to my own research. I have not done any genetic testing of either myself or any close relatives and I have not as yet attempted to write a historical biography.

So I cannot write from experience but I can say what I understand and how I would approach this.

ESM mentions "five basic ground rules"

Evidence versus citation

All we do when we write a citation is identify our source. In relation to DNA results these will have been analysed and presented in a particular format we cite how they have been presented to us (what we see). 

DNA is evidence

We take information we find in our source and use what it is telling us in building the evidence supporting or refuting our assertion. The same as any other source.

Citation to support an assertion

The information may need further analysis, to provide us with the evidence to support or refute an assertion that X is related to Y, but this is what we can add to our dicussion rather than a citation. Whatever the outcome of the discussion citing the source will not change.

What are you citing?

How has the result of the test been communicated to you. Have you been presented with a comparison to others held in a database?

You may need to explain what you are citing

Some citations are in need of explanation it may not simply be a case of including a name and date. We include sufficient information to clarify any specific item of interest.

The only thing I will add here as I have no specific example is that when we are dealing with genetics we are using information from living or sometimes recently deceased individuals. Given that even if an individual is now deceased they may still have close living relations we need to ensure we follow the guidelines. Elizabeth Shown Mills has a number of publications available including one on genetic sources and there is information available on the website for International Society of Genetic Genealogy.

Historical Biography

Whilst I have not as yet written any biography be it my own or anyone in my family I have used some of the records suggested.
If we wish to present an interesting picture of our family to others, be they family or friends, then we need to include more than a list of dry facts and possibly a few photographs. Technology may allow us to present things in a more interactive manner but first we need to find the information.
Census information, certificates, church registers tell us who was related to whom and when births, marriages and deaths may have occurred but they tell us little about how our family lived and interacted with others in their community. It is likely that our own lives have changed considerably over our lifetime and the same is likely true for our ancestors.
Whilst we may not have met someone we may still be able to build up some kind of picture of the life he may have lead.

I will show you an example from the half brother of my great grandfather Rowland Curtis.
We find his memorial at Find A Grave in Warminster.
This is incomplete and tells little about who he was and the family he had and any struggles he may have faced. He is recorded in the Family Search Family Tree with the currently available documents.

I have not included what I have found in the newspapers and books about Warminster.
It appears that this family were mentioned in the newspapers on several occasions.
The local newspaper is The Warminster and Westbury Journal and a search at Find My Past in the British Newspaper Archive returns several results.
They even made a national paper known as Lloyds News. The local paper included a copy of the original but unfortunately without the photograph.

"London Interviewer's Visit to Warminster," The Warminster and Westbury Journal, 28 March 1908, p. 6 col 3;digital images, Find My ( : accessed 26 Sept 2016), British Newspaper Archive Collection.

So what do I need to do with this information? 
What else do I need to look for and how can I get this in to a format that the family will find interesting? 
I have found a photograph of the family in a copyrighted book page 112. There are also photographs of another family member on pages 58 and 59 in the same book. Danny Howell. Yesterday's Warminster (Buckingham, England: Barracuda Books Limited, 1987)

I am using Twile to collaborate with the family and I am going to add these to the website to help the family know more about who these people were and how they lived. I am always looking for more information and because it is a private website copyright issues may be less of an issue.  
I can share more in a private invitation only area than on public trees and I hope that it will be able to connect to my blogs and other sites to avoid duplication. The timelines and maps along with historical information can really bring our own history in to context.
There are plans for Twile to connect with Family Search but I will tackle any issues, I might have, if they become a problem. 

Like many I have gathered the information to write more about my ancestors but have rarely pulled it together to create something more this is something I hope to do on my family blog, maybe I should start with Rowland Curtis, but hey I have already started.