Category Archives: Genealogy

Puzzle Piece Found

George Henry Jones

That’s my daddy! George Henry Jones.

As some of you may know, I have been working on my family tree for about 30 years now. This has been no easy task since I have just mixed ethnicity. For those not in the know, My father was a Negro and my mother was Dutch. I have had great success in tracking my mother’s lines, but my father’s have been…challenging.

Over the last three weeks, my friend and I have been driving from state to state searching our roots. One of my most difficult line is my father’s lines. The are Negros from Mississippi, North, Carolina, and Tennessee during the slave era. OY.

Jones_Karen-Michael-Jeannie-MI-2018

Karen, Michael, and Jeannie Jones 2018

At any rate, this past week I went to Lansing, MI to see my sister and brother. Jeannie, Michael, and I share a father. I got to spend a week with my sister about 30 years ago, but had never met my brother. Last week was the first time the three of us had EVER been together at the same time. To tell you it was incredible does not do it justice. It was like finding a part of myself.

Jones_George_Henry-Karen_Louise-1967-MIAs my sister and I sat looking through pictures, I found something I had long ago given up hope of finding. Jeannie had run across a picture and she didn’t know who it was. I knew immediately upon looking at it that it was me and my father. I felt like I had won the lottery. My whole life I have ever only had one picture of my father, none of us together.

For nearly three weeks, we drove across so many states and hit so many libraries, and the last night of my trip I discover the piece of the puzzle I have been missing. Actual proof of me and my father together. What a glorious feeling.

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Digital Photo Restoration by Deborah Collin (Review)

Digital Photo Restoration: What to Do and How to Do ItDigital Photo Restoration: What to Do and How to Do It by Deborah Collin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another excellent resource from Deborah Collin. This time, she is giving us the inside scoop on how to deal with photos and images when working on genealogy or any other projects. One of the biggest problems I have run across is figuring out how to restore old images that I have rescued from some evil box. In the past, I have tinkered, but could never quite figure out exactly how to make the outcome worth all the time I had invested in the image.

Ms. Collin gives solid and practical instructions on exactly what to do. I do not follow instructions well, but hers were clear enough that I actually understood them. Her insight into various graphic programs is excellent. I have learned of several new programs that just might save me from more gray hair.

As usual, Deborah Collin has written a book that is good enough to be worthwhile and still simple enoough for anyone to use. I especially like a writer who doesn’t feel the need to talk down to readers. I always feel like she is talking “to me” as she explains things and that makes learning easier.

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Tracing Your European Roots

Tracing_European_RootsTracing Your European Roots
By W. Daniel Quillen

I just finished reading this book and I can’t tell you how much it is going to help me. I have just begun researching my German ancestors and I was quite afraid of how I was going to figure it all out. W. Daniel Quillen’s book gave me exactly what I needed to get the ball rolling.I have read several of his other books on genealogy and as was the case with them, I found a wealth of solid usable information with enough humor and interesting facts about his family to keep me from getting bored.

One thing I have discovered about Mr. Quillen’s books is that once you’ve read one, you find all kinds of reasons to read the others. I have almost the entire set now and I refer back to them frequently when I need a refresher or a tip. ANother great thing about this series of books is that Quillen uses his actual experiences and results to make points and clarify sticky issues.

Tracing your Eurpoean Roots is an excellent guide for stepping out of the comfort zone (once again) and searching out those relatives from far off places.

Genealogy expert W. Daniel Quillen offers valuable tools and resources for anyone tracing their European ancestors.

The United States is largely a nation populated by people of European roots, and many do-it-yourself genealogists find themselves in need of scouring European records to find their ancestors. New to this edition is a section on tracing your Scottish ancestors. This volume of Quillen’s Essentials of Genealogy shows readers how to do their own research to uncover their European ancestry. This book will cover the following topics: · Where to find European records · How to access European records · How to use the Internet to help you in your search · Pitfalls and issues in obtaining European records · Research tips for England, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and other European nations.

The Cloning of Solomon Hays: A Beginner’s Guide to Genealogy

Collins-Cloning

Click Cover to BUY for Kindle!

I wasn’t sure what to think when I decided to read this book. I have been tracing my roots for a very long time and I don’t seem to be learning anything. At least I wasn’t. I was also frustrated with books claiming to be help guides, but only touch on the most basic things and mostly irrelevant.

Since buying this book I have added an entire branch to my tree that had previously been tormenting me with its elusiveness.

Ms. Collins opened up doors for me regarding things I should have known, but didn’t. Her down to earth style of writing is more like having a pleasant conversation with her than reading a book. She gives you the facts, then backs it up with practical experience. She explains important things in a manner that any beginning tree climber can understand and offers useful information for people who have been at it for a while but need more guidance.

I didn’t find any slow spots and I even figured out how to highlight and bookmark on my Kindle so I could refer back to things. I think the best thing about this book is that it made learning fun and it had earned its retail price before I even got half way through.

I strongly encourage newbies and even others like me who have some skill under their belt, but need to fine tune it, to add this book to their library. I have read several other books on this subject that were so dry I could not even finish them. But this is going in my book log of favorites right along with my W. Daniel Quillen titles.

Thank you, Ms. Collins for a delightfully educational guidebook.

Where were they?

confusedAs I delve deeper into my family history, I have come to the conclusion that places are going to kill me. Well, not places so much as how they are recognized and what is where. As I look at records, I see a bunch of different words that I thought meant the same thing, but turns out they mean their own thing. Confused yet? Yeah, me too.

As a courtesy to those of you newbies to the genealogy world, I have made you a little cheat sheet. I basically did some geographical homework for you. Below is what I managed to figure out.

How can this help you? I have found that what an area was called has given me insight as to what the life of that family might have been like. I think it might make more sense when you have finished reading this.

A county is a large area that handles the smaller towns, cities, villages, etc., within its jurisdiction. This includes most of the legalities involved with the operation of the smaller entities. The legal middleman, if you will, between state and local.

A city is a pretty big permanent settlement. Although there is nothing carved in stone on how to tell a city from a town, a lot of cities have a specific administrative, legal, or historical status based on the law of the area. Take Massachusetts (a state); an article of incorporation gives approval by the state legislature that determines a city government from a town. In the UK, a city is usually a settlement with a royal charter.

A town is a place where people live. They are larger than villages, but smaller than cities. Each country may define its own guidelines for these classifications. In the USA we have small towns. In the UK the same size place would be called villages. Then again, a small town in Britain might be considered a city in the USA.

A township is an area that might be urban, but in many places, such as Australia, Asia, and Canada it could be an area that is actually rural and outside more of a small town. While in Europe this term is more historical, it is still relevant to records and how certain places were referred to. Generally, a township is a step below a county, but can also be a municipality.

A village is a cluster of communities that serve specific types of inhabitants, especially with regard to agriculture. Villages are usually permanent, but have been known to travel. Without going into the definition of a hamlet, a village is smaller than a town and historically speaking a hamlet grew up to be a village when it got a church.

A borough is an area that, while it may consist of a higher population, is most recognized because it has its own local government. Boroughs are more often found in Europe, but a few areas in the USA have taken advantage of this, the most well-known being New York.