"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"We're all related to Mayflower Pilgrims"

Recently I was talking at work to a colleague and she said to me "we all come from people who were on the Mayflower".  We got into the deep discussion that all people are eventually related, but that led me to think about how many Americans, myself included at one point, think that we ALL are descended from the Mayflower Pilgrims.  Those of us who are have roots in the United State understand how that's not really true and that it's truly a treat as a genealogist to discover that one is descended from a Mayflower pilgrim....or even luckier....pilgrims.  I'm not sure I made myself very popular when I said that not everyone is descended from Mayflower Pilgrims, there were many, many more that immigrated since then and people who have no English ties at all.  Of course, it wasn't said to be hurtful, just a fact.  (For some reason I keep thinking about Greek immigrants when I think about this.)

There were 102 passengers on the Mayflower when she sailed the Atlantic in 1620 and a crew of 30 to 50 men.  Sources are conflicted, but they do agree that the crew all returned with the Mayflower when she returned to England.  Half of the passengers died during the 1st winter in Plymouth Colony.  So thinking about Mayflower research, what is available out there for the genealogist to research their Pilgrim Ancestors?

 A quick Google search of  the term "Mayflower Genealogy" returned 385,000 hits.  Some sites that I've personally used include Mayflower History, Sail 1620, The Mayflower Society, Plymouth Ancestors.org and The Alden Kindred of America website which is specific to John and Priscilla (Mullins) Alden as well at the most common major genealogy websites like Ancestry and Family Search.  A Google search of the some of the other surnames and the word genealogy shows that there are independent websites for most of the other pilgrim travelers with genealogy information available.  This is not an all-inclusive list by any means and there are many other wonderful websites out there to help with your research, these are just some of the websites that I've personally used.  Remember to always give credit to wherever you find your sources....nothing is more irritating than someone else stealing your hard work...not to mention the potential legal issues you can create.  (But that's a topic for another time.)

I've shared in the past my discoveries (and woes) related to my own Pilgrim ancestry.  The wonderful thing about these sites is that once you gather your research and supporting documents linking into these families there is a wealth of knowledge available online.  One thing I must remind you all....and myself....is to NOT forget offline research.  We feel so lucky that we have all this information available online to us, but there is SO much more available off line to aid in our research.  Of course make sure you always cite your sources. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Computer Woes...Day 2....At least it doesn't sting as much

It's day 2 of recovering my files...and my pride....since my laptop ate my files.  Okay really the bios apparently crashed and wiped my hard drive.  I took it over to Best Buy today to see if they could retrieve my data....no such luck....well okay maybe if I had them send it off to "the lab" and let them try to recover my files. Did I mention that it would cost $500 plus.  Okay there is one other place in town I'm going to try at the recommendation of a friend. 

So on the research front....
Today I listened to a webinar presented by Legacy on researching 17th to 19th Century Irish records present by Judy Eccles Wight.  Judy has 8 webinars now in the Legacy collection online.  Unlimited access to members.  I highly recommend a subscription to Legacy's webinars.  There's over 200 webinars available online.  (And no Legacy didn't pay me to say that....I just love them!)  There are topics from beginner to advanced and for so many localities.  Check them out at www.familytreewebinars.com. They also presented a bonus webinar on Irish genealogy available to members only.

I spent part of the day repairing and relinking my research together.  My records generally are all there, just not it once piece.  All my sources are still in my file...save one or two recent additions....again just not attached to everyone. So I continue to repair my research while any new researching will have to be on hold.

Once again, right now, GO BACK UP YOUR WORK!!! Especially if you didn't do it yesterday!
Happy Hunting all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Computer Woes

Hi gang!
I hope you're all enjoying green beer, attire and being Irish for a day!  Today has been a touch difficult.  My computer went into Bios mode today (I'm currently using a loaner).  Apparently one of two things are wrong....either my hard drive has gone bad or my OS has gone bad.  I'm praying it's my OS and my hard drive contents can be saved.

SO?!?!?!?!  What does this have to do with genealogy?  All my files were on that computer.  Photos, newspaper clippings, GEDcom files, legacy files....need I go on?  While most of my files are backed up onto my thumb drive....not everything is.  My last upload to my website was in January.  Okay. Again most of my research is saved, other that what I've done over the past few days....which is several hours worth.  Fortunately I take good notes and I've been utilizing Evernote more and more effectively for my research.

So my problem is that my file I downloaded from Tribal Pages doesn't have anyone linked to anyone else!  Yes that's what I said....no one is linked to whom they belong to....4486 people need to be linked back together to their family members.  I'm just about to cry! 

I have one last hope....I'm sure I made a copy of my file and copied it onto my mom's computer. I'm waiting for mom to call me back to see if I have or not.

In the meantime, I'm hoping that my hard drive will be saved and I'm emailing a cousin to see if I sent him a copy of my file.  ****SOB****

Okay guys, how many times have I told you guys to back up your work and back it up often?????  Don't we all hate it when this bites us in the rear? 

I challenge you all to do this: GO BACK UP ALL YOUR STUFF RIGHT NOW!

Happy Hunting and Happy Saint Patrick's Day!