Thursday, October 8, 2015

Surnames And The Families Behind Them

Surnames I Seek

Surnames I Seek at Desperately Seeking Surnames

This is my cousin bait post. To all of my unknown cousins with any of the surnames I have unearthed in my family tree, this is my plea to you.


Contact me! Comment on this post, connect with me on any of my social media channels (listed on the top right sidebar) or email me. Whatever works for you. Whatever is most comfortable to you, is ok with me. I would like us both to further our family history research.

What makes me think you are out there and reading my blog to begin with? Your search terms. I can see the search terms that you used that directed you to my site. Yes, big brother is watching.

How do I know my cousins are looking at my blog?

So, we may not be cousins but there is a reason for your specific search terms. I saw that you searched for my Dad's name and his WW II unit. YES, that is my Dad and that was his unit in WW II! Why didn't you contact me? I have much more information than what I've shared in blog posts. I have photos, I have letters, I have the units movement documents. I will share them, I want to share them, but you have to reach out to me.

I saw that you searched for my Aunt in the county that I live in right now. I can help you! I can make clear that the Ancestry trees that have her buried in Florida are wrong. I was at her funeral and I was not in Florida.

Surnames I Seek Page

I set up my Surnames I Seek page in hopes of generating engagement from my blog visitors. My thought was if you were to see my surname, location and a year which coincided with your information that might prompt more contact.

If you landed on my blog and were unsure where to go to find the post that might be of interest to you, using the search function may prove helpful to you. The search is located right below the contact me icons on the right sidebar.



Welcome, check out my surnames, search my blog and connect with me. I love meeting and talking to other family history buffs even when it turns our we are not cousins. Also, I have Autosomal DNA kits at Ancestry, FamilyTree DNA and GedMatch, let's compare.



Friday, September 18, 2015

The Finds You Can Find Probate Gold

The Finds You Can Find Probate Gold

My previous post mentioned the roll-out of Ancestry's Probate and Wills collection. The availability of the collection was right before Labor Day. Perfect, a nice, long weekend to dive in, explore and find that genealogy gold. 

The Finds You Can Find Probate Gold

Over the Labor Day weekend, the collection was free to access for anyone. Those who hold an Ancestry subscription (that's golden just by itself) have been able to continue to search, review and share our findings, with much excitement.

As a sign of my disapproval of her course of life

The interesting little tid-bit I found right off the bat was that my 3rd Great Grandfather, Joseph Lucking, had an issue with his daughter Marie and how she had chosen to live her life. How great is that? Yes, it's sad that they obviously had issues, but without Joseph stating such in his will I would never have known that I needed to take a closer look at wayard Marie. What makes a daughter "wayward" in the late 1800's? Not sure, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

As soon as the records became available, my approach to searching the record set was all-in with both feet. And, that is ok, I mean, look what I found! I also found a 127 page probate file for my husbands 3rd Great Grandfather, Thomas Greenstreet. That probate packet is going to take some time to download and review, one page at a time. But it's all good. Without making this collection available who knows how many years it would be before I had access to this information.

Now that the initial excitement of the collection has receded, it is time to settle down and perform more focused research within the wills and probates. To me, new record collections are no different than getting a new phone. You start playing with all the bells and whistles to begin with, then get serious and start reviewing the manual.

The Probate and Wills collection is popular among genealogists

  • Crista Cowan, with, has created a video overview of the collection and demonstrates how best to search for maxium results. The video is titled Getting Started With Probate Records and you can watch it here.
  • Randy Seaver of Geneamusings has been blogging about the probate gold he has been finding. You can read about one winning search here.  
  • This blog post is not directly related to the Ancestry probate and wills collection. However, it is a very valuable read covering how you should approach researching in a new database. Amy Johnson Crow gives some great tips (all-in, with both feet doesn't seem to be one of them).

Now, it's time to get back to mining for more geneagold.

1. Probate Records; Author: New Jersey. Surrogate's Court (Essex County); Probate Place: Essex, New Jersey, New Jersey, Wills and Probate Records, 1656-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: New Jersey County, District and Probate Courts.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Watch Look Listen - In the Spotlight for September

Helping you break through the noise

To help you break through the noise of the large selection of audio and video content available, I'm spotlighting podcasts and video content that has a high educational and/or entertainment value.

Watch Look Listen - In the Spotlight for September

In the spotlight audio content:

Two episodes from The Genealogy Professional Podcast with Marian Pierre Louis.
Episode 05 - Cinnamon Collins - Tennessee Genealogist
Episode 23 - Kathleen Brandt - Military Research

 In the spotlight video content:

Wacky Wednesday - DearMyrtle HOA with Cyndi Ingle

See my previous post in this series here. Follow my Pinterest board For Podcast Junkies Like Me for more podcasting goodness.