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It’s been a while…..

Life has, once again, taken me off-line and out of touch with my wonderful hobby. I do, however, peel a few minutes away every now and then. In one of those precious moments, I came across a great potential resource for researchers of African American ancestry that I’d like to share.

Tom MacEntee over at GeneaBloggers runs quite a few inspirational theme ideas for other family history bloggers. One of his recent ones is called, “Friend of Friends Friday”. The premise is this:

“if you have encountered records of enslaved ancestors, whether they are your own ancestors or not, make it a point to transcribe those records and get them posted on the Internet via your blog.”

WHAT A GREAT IDEA!  There is simply no repository of this kind of information and no replacement of it as a resource to peek behind the shroud of slavery before 1870.  Of course its not indexed, comprehensive or, in some cases, written to be very useful for researchers.  But it is a start.  I’ve attached the Google reader RSS URL here.  Enjoy and check out some of the other great ideas Tom and his friends have come up with over time.  There’s also a special section on African American blogs as well.

 

FL & TN Collections

I’ve been researching my family history for quite some time (mostly online which I plan to change in the near future) and one of the most frustrating moments for me is when I come across a GREAT database or index for Oregon…..or Delaware…..or some other state/locality that I’m certain my ancestors never saw.  It was one of those moments recently that gave me this idea.

The vast majority of my research is centered around two states; Florida and Tennessee.  I’ve collected hundreds of pieces of information when I’ve come across one of these online gems that happens to cover my family’s slice of the world.  Going forward, every time I find one, I’m going to post the link here so that others might stumble across this information about our place in the world.  You’ll find these collections on the tab above or by clicking here.

Tennessee Breakthrough

After climbing back in the saddle over the weekend, I began to explore some of my old website haunts to see what I’d missed in my absence. A fellow family site (who has sadly pulled her site down in recent days; hope to see it come back, but I get how life might get in the way) posted a link that helped me source more than a dozen death and burial dates and locations on Sunday morning. The Familysearch.org beta site has really moved forward in the last few months. Several of their libraries including, Tennessee Death Records, 1874 – 1955 have proven invaluable.

If you haven’t been there in some time, pay them a visit. They provided several wonderful hours of discovery for me.

Tools I Use

I’m going to start a new feature here at Timeless Reunion called Tools I Use.  I’ll state upfront that I receive NO compensation nor am I endorsing any product….but these are research tools that I wouldn’t do without.

I am a Legacy Family Tree user.  I think its a great program and it helped me start this hobby with minimal investment by offering a free standard version.  Legacy has a lively, often rambunctious, User Group (LUG).  A few months ago, one of the users began sharing a series of small programs that really added tremendous value to the research process.  One of those tools was Census Finder.

As most of the genealogy databases do, Legacy allows you to connect an event to an individual when you are researching their life milestones.  For example, my grandfather can be found in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census records.  In Legacy, this creates three separate “event” records (now there’s a whole ongoing debate at LUG having to do with lumpers and splitters and I’m not going into that here).  I use Census Finder to read the Legacy database and provide a report showing, at a glance, whether an individual in your databases is missing a census record.  This is extremely helpful when I’m in the mood to fill in the blanks in my research and will be a terrific tool when the 1940 US census becomes available to distinguish which ancestors you’ve found in your research. Great tool!

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