Monday, December 29, 2014

One Step That Will Improve Your Census Research

Use the instructions to your advantage

They were my family all along but until I read the instructions the facts didn't support that conclusion.

Census For Dummies - Desperately Seeking Surnames

Ancestry Provides Source and Detailed Information for their Record Sets

It's up to us, the researcher, to take advantage of the valuable information that is available regarding the record sets we access. Time and time again, lecture after lecture, session after session we are told "familiarize yourself with the record sets you are working with." In order to correctly draw conclusions, you have to know what the records are saying and how they are saying it.

The longer I spend performing genealogy research the more I understand how valuable that advice is. Now, thanks to a more studious fellow researcher, I am a total believer. You know that saying "you buy em books and you buy em books but you can't make em read them"? That's me, I wasn't reading more than the covers.

Reading the Enumerators Instructions Can Eliminate Frustration

Enumerator instructions for the 1841 England Census 1841 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2010.

Henry, Jane, James, Esther, Thomas and Sarah were together as a family unit in the 1841 England Census, right where I expected them to be in Mile End New Town. However, I couldn't get past the ages listed, some were wrong. This looked like my family but the parents were too young to be my family, or so I thought.

There was my Brimson family right where they were supposed to be

Thankfully, a fellow Brimson researcher did read the instructions and pointed out to me that the enumerators were instructed to round the ages down to the nearest 5 years. Why? What sense that makes I have no idea but it is what it is. No matter the reason, if I too round down to the nearest 5 years, this Brimson family becomes my Brimson family.

It is now time to go back and read the instructions, all of them.

Monday, December 15, 2014

In 2014 I Enjoyed The Shiny

December is a time for reflection

December is that time of year we reflect on our accomplishments during the year. What goals did we meet and what goals are we going to need to carry over into the new year? What did we do right and what can we do better next year? What did we enjoy this year and what do we not want to repeat next year? 

Me? I enjoyed the shiny.  

2014 I Enjoyed The Shiny

My 2014 Goals

I set one goal for myself in 2014 and I failed miserably. My plan was to get my digitized documents named properly and filed in the appropriate electronic folder in Dropbox. Needless to say, my digital documents are still patiently waiting for me. No harm done, the documents will be there when I get to them.

Instead of focusing on that goal, I chased various forms of shiny throughout the year. Not intentionally, but you know, shiny just happens sometimes. For example, I finally "got" Pinterest and I love it. I mean I knew what it was and have had boards but I didn't truly understand the power of Pinterest referrals for blog traffic.

That was shiny number one, getting my Pinterest boards in order. I'm still working through them, optimizing my titles and pin descriptions, and they are in much better shape today. Take a look at my boards here and you will see that Pinerest is a very beautiful shiny. 

My own domain name

Also, this year, I decided it was time to purchase my own domain name, which I did. This blog address is now No more Blogspot in the address. My blog is all grown up!

This little adventure pushed me to consider updating the look of my blog. You don't see anything different? Well, that's because another shiny took hold of me when I started researching staying with Blogger or moving to WordPress. This, in turn, led me to learning more about Google Analytics so I could determine what pages were getting consistent traffic on my site.

Through my research on blogging platforms and learning how to use Google Analytics, I found a couple of great G+ communities and several new podcasts that I enjoy listening to very much. Shiny can be very educational. 

Yes, this blog still looks the same. However, I have made the decision to stay with Blogger and have the complete vision of what I want the blog to look like and the message I want to convey. I am excited to get to work on that and plan to have the update completed by February. That is, of course, dependent upon no shiny grabbing my attention and distracting me. Shiny can be naughty at times.

Thank you to my blog followers

I appreciate those that read, share and comment on my posts. It is always nice to have feedback to know I'm not just typing to myself here. I am trying to post more consistently, but I still consider myself and "occasional" blogger.

I am focusing on getting my surnames out "there" to be found by other researchers and hopefully cousins. Hence the Surnames I Seek series of posts along with adding more details and interesting information on my surnames page here. Maybe my surnames will be someone else's shiny.

I hope each and everyone of you met your 2014 goals. If you didn't, I hope you enjoyed the shiny along the way.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Surname Resources Conlin

Surname Research Resources

Conlin Surname Research Roscommon County Ireland

When trying to understand the meaning, locations and depth of my family surnames there are several online resources I regularly utilize. However, from time to time it is necessary to branch out to other resources when a surname is not as common.

Surname resources can be filled with interesting and detailed information and data you will want to bookmark to reference again and again.

Visit my Surnames page to see all the Surnames I'm researching.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Surnames I Seek Conlin


Locations of the Conlin/Conlan/Conlen family I have documented:
  • Roscommon Ireland - 1828
  • Cuyahoga County, Ohio - 1856
  • Audrain County, Missouri - 1860
  • Linn County, Missouri - 1870

Martin Conlin Brookfield Missouri

Collateral Names:
  • Golden
  • McGowan

Conlin Surname Meaning:

Conlan, Conlon. Conlan, Conlon and Connellan are all synonyms (readers outside Ireland who might tend to stress the second syllable - ell - of Connellan may need to be told that in fact it is barely audible, Connellan and Conlan being pronounced almost alike). Several different Irish surnames have been so anglicized. The principal septs so called in English are O Conalláin of Roscommon and Galway and O Coinghiolláin of Co. Sligo: their present day representatives are chiefly found in north Connacht - in Counties Mayo and Sligo. The name is also fairly numerous in Co. Meath and the midlands, where however they are also called Quinlan - ÓCoindealbháin in Irish: they descend from an important sept seated near Trim which traces back to Laoghaire, King of Ireland in the time of St. Patrick, but was dispossessed at the Anglo-Irish invasion. In Munster ÓCoindealbháin, usually anglicized Quinlevan, is sometimes called Conlon. 1.

Read more here

Visit my Surnames page to see all the Surnames I'm researching.

1. Heraldry Database (, accessed 12/7/2014)

Monday, December 1, 2014

25 Days Of GeneaPins on Pinterest

25 Days of GeneaPins with Desperately Seeking Surnames

Not sure that Pinterest and genealogy are a good fit?

I wondered myself and I really didn't "get" Pinterest for a long time. Sure I knew there were lots of fantastic photos of food, homes, clothes and hair styles. But I wasn't quite sure how that translated to other subjects, such a genealogy and how it would help me move my research forward.

I've spent the last month listening to podcasts and watching hangouts that discuss Pinterest tips, tricks and strategy. Yes, it's serious, I'm becoming addicted to learning about Pinterest and I love it! There is a lot more strategy to Pinterest than meets the eye. Pinterest is now a powerful search tool. And, as genealogists, we love to search.

For these next 25 days, I challenge you to search for geneapins, on Pinterest. 

You may (probably will) be surprised at what you find! Remember, when you type a search phrase in the Pinterest search box you have multiple sets of results to choose from: All Pins, Your Pins, Boards and Pinners. In other words...there are a LOT of results, be sure to look at all of them.

Over the next 25 days I'm gong to be working on my genealogy boards on Pinterest.  I would love to hear of anything new you find during your searches.

25 Days Of Genapins

Pinterest is encouraging Pinners to become more social.

You can do more than just re-pin an item you find useful, you can like a pin, comment on a pin and also send a pin to a friend. With the addition of Smart Feed, Pinterest analysts are suggesting that pins with higher engagement are showing up in the feed more.

Yes, there is definitely strategy involved. Don't rely only on what you see in your feed for information and inspiration, search for it and pin it!

Visit my 25 Day of GeneaPins board on Pinterest too!