21 October 2010

ICAPGen Conference 2010

The International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists also known as ICAPGen will hold their annual conference this week, October 22 & 23, at the Downtown Radisson Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. Registration and class schedule is available online at: www.icapgen.org

Genealogists from the beginner to the advanced will find classes that are appealing. In conjunction with this event the Salt Lake Family History Library will extending their hours until 11pm on Friday night. I hope to see you there!

22 August 2010

Wiki: A Collection of Research Knowledge

The FamilySearch Wiki located at: Wiki.FamilySearch.org, is a great resource for anyone interested in family history and genealogical research. I regularly use this tool before I begin actual research. The wiki is a collection of articles and weblinks that can be searched by location or by topic. An example: I can search the wiki for "Ohio" and the wiki will send me to the "Ohio" home page, where I will find articles about every topic pertaining to genealogical research in Ohio. Topics generally covered for every state include the topics found in the old printed "Research Outlines". These topics include: Archives & Libriries, Bible Records, Biographies, Cemeteries, Census, Church, Court, Directories, Emigration & Immigration, Ethnic Groups, Gazetteers, Genealogy, History, Land & Property, Maps, Military, Naturalization & Citizenship, Newspapers, Occupations, Probate, Societies, Tax, Vital Records and more. If websites are available that contain either digital images, indexes or other resources specific to the location searched, the wiki will lead to these pages. The Wiki can also be searched for international countries and foreign language genealogical word lists. In addition, FamilySearch Wiki will lead to any of the many online classes it has filmed, addressing genealogical research.

In summary the Wiki can be searched by locality - State or Country. It can also be searched by topic - Military, LDS Research. The Wiki also contains research helps - Articles and Word Lists. And finally the Wiki contains links to online resources - digital images, indexes and online lessons. I suggest using Wiki at the beginning of every research project.

22 May 2010

Free Paleography Tutorials

As genealogists we regularly work in original records. The old handwriting can be a bit difficult to read at times. Especially if we are not familiar with the abbreviations, numbers or legal terms found in the documents. I have found that the best help for reading old documents is practice, practice and more practice. I have found a couple of free resources that may also help.

FamilySearch has created a lesson series called, Reading Handwritten Records. The series is geared toward the beginner. These lessons are found for the following languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Scandinavian and Spanish. Lessons are located at: FamilySearch.org

The Center for Family History & Genealogy at Brigham Young University has created Script Tutorials - Resources for Old Handwriting and Documents. Tutorials for English, German, Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese are found at: http://script.byu.edu/

The National Archive in England has also developed an online tutorial for reading English records written between 1500-1800. Found at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/palaeography/

Another resource is found at Wiki.FamilySearch.org search for the word handwriting and many helps will be listed not only for American handwriting but English, German, Scottish, Latin, Dutch, Italian, Norwegian, Czech, Swedish, Russian, and Danish handwriting. Don't forget to print off the genealogical word lists also available at this site.

One last resource for improving paleography skills. Practice! One of the best places to practice your skills is at: indexing. FamilySearch.org IndexingIndexing projects are currently posted in the following languages: English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Swedish, Czech, French, Norwegian and German.

Now you have the tools to improve your paleography skills.