Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Using an iPad for Genealogy Conference Note Taking - video

I attended the Fairfax Genealogical Society Annual Spring Conference a couple of weekends ago and attended a lecture by DearMYRTLE and Carrie Keele about using your iPad for genealogy. The lecture was jam packed full of great apps but there was just a brief mention of my favorite note taking app (for handwritten notes), Notability. I've created a short video that highlights just the most basic features that I think make it fantastic for note taking at a genealogy conference.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Layout of a DAR Application Video

The 3rd video in "Joining the DAR for Genealogists" is ready. This video looks at what information goes on each page of the DAR application with a walk-through of the information requested for service. Each video in this series is less than six minutes (usually 4-5) so you can pick and choose which ones you want to watch or watch all of them on your schedule. Because they are so short this video only looks at what each blank is "asking" for on the application. The next video will define these a little more and future videos will start getting into more detail.
This video is best viewed in full-screen mode so you can read the text on the pages of the application. Visit my channel on YouTube to see all the videos in this series and subscribe (you can also subscribe to this blog as new videos will also be listed here).

Friday, April 12, 2013

What are you talking about? DAR-isms for genealogists

Living in the metro Washington, D.C. area can sometimes feel like living in a foreign country when government employees start talking shop. Jargon is always an issue with specialized jobs and DAR employees sometimes have their own language, as well. Following are some of the most basic terms used in the genealogy department at DAR headquarters. Individual chapters or state societies may use slightly different terms and these terms may or may not be used in other lineage societies.

  • Patriot ancestor - this is the ancestor who performed service during the American Revolution. In other words, this is the ancestor your DAR lineage will end with. It makes no difference what type of service your ancestor performed, they are your patriot.
  • Established patriot - if someone joined the DAR on a patriot ancestor they are "established." This does not mean you are guaranteed to be able to join the DAR on any established patriot. Problems may have been discovered with the service or lineage since someone joined on that patriot. What is important is that the DAR has some information on this person. That information may indicate the person wasn't a patriot but a loyalist but the DAR has a starting point. If you want to join the DAR you should determine if your identified ancestor is established. If they are, you need to know if you don't need to do as much work because the DAR already has the information (use the time you saved to find new information!). You may also need to address a problem or correct information.
  • New ancestor - this term really means "new patriot ancestor" as it is the opposite of established patriot. This means no one has ever joined the DAR on this patriot ancestor and you are responsible for providing all of the required information about their service as well as all the lineage information. Occasionally established patriots have a "notice" in the database saying they should be treated like a new ancestor. This means someone joined on them so long ago they weren't required to provide very much information. You should do what the note says, treat them as a new ancestor.
  • Closed line - this term only applies to established patriots. It means a problem was found with a previously approved patriot or lineage - it could be one, or the other, or both. There are a lot of little issues that can be discussed with closed lines because it is a general term. I can't even think of one universal statement to make about closed lines. Since they can apply to just one lineage, you may not descend from the line with the problem. It is possible to "open" a closed line by correcting the problem but some problems can't be solved. For example, George Washington had no biological children. Clearly there is no problem with his service but this is an unsolvable lineage problem. You can see his closed line in the database here.
  • Code - before the DAR patriot database was made public through the Internet there were a series of in-house codes used to indicate the problem. These codes have been written out in the database where it says "notice." There is no such thing as a problem simply referred to as a "code;" codes are by definition an abbreviation for the problem. Most likely you will not come across this term but if someone tells you there is a code on a line, more details are available.
My video series "Joining the DAR for Genealogists" will address some of the other DAR-isms in future videos but these are the most basic terms.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Finding a DAR Chapter, 2nd video in series

The 2nd video in my series "Joining the DAR for Genealogists" is ready for viewing. This short video shows you how to use the chapter finding tools on the DAR's website as well as giving a little more information about selecting a chapter before preparing your application.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Free Access to Civil War Records in April

Fold3 has announced via their Facebook page that Confederate Records will be free to access during April. This is in honor of Confederate History Month. If you don't have a Fold3 subscription this collection is worth checking out if you are interested in Civil War records. Even if your own interest is Union records, this will give you an idea of the type of records and information available through Fold3.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Video Series: Joining the DAR for Genealogists

Today I'm launching my first series of videos with "Joining the DAR for Genealogists." You can click below to watch the short video or visit my channel on YouTube.