The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies - LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

Research Gaps

Previous Research  

Sometimes we get so caught up in the thrill of the hunt for our ancestors that we might not always practice good research techniques.  We find a document, pull a few bits from it, put it aside, and move on to the next search.  This is why reviewing the research we have already done should always be the first step when trying to break down a brick wall.

via Canva.com

Many brick walls can be solved simply by reviewing what we have done and identifying gaps.  Oftentimes, the records we already have contain the missing link and can help us solve our genealogy mystery.  Another reason we should take the time to review our research is because many of these brick walls probably were established when we were new to genealogy.

Even if reviewing our data does not demolish the brick wall, it will help us develop a road map for further research.  You should keep in mind that genealogy research is cyclic and as such, the process of evaluating and analyzing sources should be repeated until a conclusion is reached.

With our “Skill-Building: Break Down Brick Walls  course we will look at multiple approaches you can use in reviewing your research.

Vital Records

Some Vital Record Alternatives 

You’re familiar with birth, marriage, and death records but what are some other record types that can help you discover information when the vital records can’t be found? 

via Canva.com

 

  • Probate RecordsIf you know where a person died, check to see if there is a probate record.  Do not just assume there is no record-check. Even if there is no will, there can still be a probate file. One part of the file that can be vital is the “Final Distribution.”   This will tell you who the heirs and devisees are and where they were located at the time of the filing.
  • Funeral Home RecordsFamily members fill out paperwork at funeral homes detailing the life of the deceased.  In addition, the funeral home keeps a copy of the obituary published in the local newspaper.
  • Church RecordsChurch records can contain information about birth, marriage, and death.  Each church keeps different types of records so make sure to learn more about the church your ancestor attended and what records they possess.

 

There are many resources available in assisting you with your research that can found in our United States: Vital Records course.  

Project Proposals

 Client Proposals  

Many genealogy researchers charge for their services on an hourly basis.  This is simple to administer and easy for the client to understand.  However, some clients are uncomfortable with an open-ended expense.  One way to deal with this is to tell the client an upfront estimate of the number of hours expected for a given project.  As an alternative, some genealogists simple quote their clients a flat fee, which is fine as long as the anticipated work fits with the project quoted in the fee schedule.  

via Canva.com

The proposal you present to the client does not have to state all the details of how you will accomplish the work.  Focus on what is important to the client – what they will get as an end product and what it will cost them.  If you do create proposals, review them periodically to see how effective they are.  Be honest with yourself.  

Review your past proposals to see what has worked best and identify what areas may need more work on your part.  One way to find out how accurate your time-based proposals are is to keep a log of the time you spend on each project.    

By taking our, Business Skills: Business Administration” course you will come away with the tools needed to create effective proposals for you, your clients, and your business as a whole.  

Research Reports

Creating Your Research Report 

The process of writing a research report is a great way to capture your analysis and collect your thoughts.  Although your report does not have to be a formal document, you will want to include your name, the date of the report, and the research question.   

via Canva.com

Sometimes we find that we have completed an exhaustive search, but perhaps misunderstood a key point in a record, missed a relevant piece of data, or had not properly analyzed all of the data as a whole.  Seeing our research in a different perspective may have been the key to solving our problem.  If you feel that you have reached a solid answer to your question you should include a section in your report that contains your conclusion.

If a conclusion is not reached, you should include a section in your report that outlines your research plan.  In some cases, this will be a simple task of filling in obvious gaps such as a missing census year or other typical genealogy records.  When developing your research plan, think about what sources might answer your research questions. 

Once your report is complete, take a moment to review what you have found against your individual summary and family group sheets.  Be sure to follow through on your plan and do not forget to record your findings in your research log.

Our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls” course will help you in developing these reports and research plans.    

Brief History of Photography 

Brief History of Photography

The “idea” of photography dates back to the 10th century “camera obscura” and “pinhole camera” described by the Arab scientist, Abu Ali al-Hasan (or Alhzaen), author of The Book of Optics. The camera obscura was a large dark box with a hole in one end which could produce an inverted image opposite it. It is the forerunner of today’s cameras. All it lacked was a lens and means of fixing the image chemically.  

It wasn’t until 1816 that a Frenchman, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, began experimenting with chemically fixing mages. His first success was in 1822, and in 1826 he created the first photograph. That photograph required an 8-hour exposure time. He called the process “heliography.” After his death in 1833 his partner, Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre continued working on the photograph process. In 1837 Daguerre succeeded in reducing the exposure time to 30 minutes. He dubbed his photographs “Daguerreotypes,” and in 1839 he introduced them in Paris and New York City. 

Photography: Clues Pictures Hold, Editing, digitizing and Various Projects

  The Daguerreotype photographic process was in widespread use from 1839 through the 1920s, and 21st century Daguerreian hobbyists still use it. It was at the height of its popularity from 1839 to 1858.  

Daguerreotypes or “dags” are laterally-reversed high-contrast images with very fine, crisp details. They are always case-mounted and sealed with paper tape. The image area is mirrored, so it is necessary to hold it at an angle to see the image clearly.  

Identifying antique photographs is just one of the many things you will learn in the Photography: Clues Picture Hold, Editing, Digitizing and Various Projects” course with The National Institute for Genealogical Studies.  

Social Security Records

Social Security Death Index  

You can view the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) online via many genealogy websites including Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, GenealogyBank, Fold3, and Findmypast.  A person who died before 1962 is not likely to be on the SSDI.  If the date of a person’s death is known, and that person is not on the SSDI, it is likely the family never filed for the death benefit.  

via Canva.com

From the SSDI, you can glean information such as dates of birth and death; place of last benefit; Social Security number; and what state the Social Security number was issued in.  Getting a copy of the application can be most helpful. These documents list the person’s date of birth, place of birth, parents’ names, address at the time of application and as a bonus, you get an original signature!  

Once you find the information for the person you are searching you can request a copy of the Social Security record from the Social Security website. Our United States: Vital Records course will teach you more about using the Social Security Death Index for your research.  

Marketing

Marketing Management  

Constantly be on the lookout for great marketing strategies, even if the businesses are not within the realm of genealogy.  Some of the major elements of marketing are: 

  • Promotion/Displays 
  • Public Relations 
  • Pricing 
  • Newsletters/Surveys 
  • Advertising  
  • Networking  
  • Social Media 

Hopefully, your business plan includes a marketing plan.  But that is just a start.  As time goes on, it is important to re-evaluate your marketing strategies as part of your overall strategic planning process.  Depending on what sort of major business strategy you are planning, you may have to revise your marketing efforts.  You may decide as part of your strategic plan for the next five years to focus on a different target market than you had before.  You may decide to narrow down your target market on owners of family business.

via Canva.com

Whenever you initiate a marketing strategy, set up a document that describes the ad, event, promotion-whatever it is- along with what it cost you.  Then add to your document any results that you experience from this effort. 

In the course, Business Skills: Business Administration you will discover ways of managing the process of turning a prospect into a client while evaluating the success of your marketing management.  

January 2019 Virtual Meetings

Have any questions about your courses or your research? Virtual Meetings are a way for you to communicate with an instructor. These are NOT mandatory, but a fun & interactive way to ask questions about courses/research. Below are the January scheduled sessions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, January 15th at 10:00 AM EST – American Record courses with Gena Philibert-Ortega
Time zones:
Tuesday, January 15th – 10:00 AM Eastern; 9:00 AM Central; 7:00 AM Pacific; 3:00 PM in London, England;
Wednesday, January 16th – 2:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/american/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Tuesday, January 15th at 11:30 AM EST – Methodology courses with Gena Philibert-Ortega
Time zones:
Tuesday, January 15th – 11:30 AM Eastern; 10:30 AM Central; 8:30 AM Pacific; 4:30 PM in London, England;
Wednesday, January 16th – 3:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/methodology/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Tuesday, January 15th at 6:00 PM EST – Australian Record courses with Kerry Farmer
Time zones:
Tuesday, January 15th – 6:00 PM Eastern; 5:00 PM Central; 3:00 PM Pacific; 11:00 PM in London, England;
Wednesday, January 16th – 10:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/australian/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Thursday, January 17th at 1:30 PM EST – Internet Tools with Gena Philibert-Ortega
Time zones:
Thursday, January 17th – 1:30 PM Eastern; 12:30 PM Central; 10:30 AM Pacific; 6:30 PM in London, England;
Friday, January 18th – 5:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/internettools/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Thursday, January 17th at 3:00 PM EST – Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program – GENERAL with Gena Philibert-Ortega
Time zones:
Thursday, January 17th – 3:00 PM Eastern; 2:00 PM Central; Noon Pacific; 8:00 PM in London, England;
Friday, January 18th – 7:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/asgeneral/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Thursday, January 17th at 4:30 PM EST – Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 1 – ARTICLE REVIEW with Gena Philibert-Ortega
Time zones:
Thursday, January 17th – 4:30 PM Eastern; 3:30 PM Central; 1:30 PM Pacific; 9:30 PM in London, England;
Friday, January 18th – 8:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/asarticle1/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Saturday, January 19th at 10:00 AM EST – Eastern European courses with Lisa Alzo
Time zones:
Saturday, January 19th – 10:00 AM Eastern; 9:00 AM Central; 7:00 AM Pacific; 3:00 PM in London, England;
Sunday, January 20th – 2:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/easteuro/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Saturday, January 19th at 2:00 PM EST – Canadian courses with Kathryn Lake Hogan
Time zones:
Saturday, January 19th – 2:00 PM Eastern; 1:00 PM Central; 11:00 AM Pacific; 7:00 PM in London, England;
Sunday, January 20th – 6:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/canadian/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Sunday, January 20th at 4:30 PM EST – Irish Record courses with Brenda Wheeler
Time zones:
Sunday, January 20th – 4:30 PM Eastern; 3:30 PM Central; 1:30 PM Pacific; 9:30 PM in London, England;
Monday, January 21st – 8:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/irish/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Monday, January 21st at 4:00 PM EST – Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program-Part 2 – ARTICLE REVIEW with Brenda Wheeler
Time zones:
Monday, January 21st – 4:00 PM Eastern; 3:00 PM Central; 1:00 PM Pacific; 9:00 PM in London, England;
Tuesday, January 22nd – 8:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/asarticle2/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Monday, January 21st at 7:00 PM EST – DNA Record courses with Shannon Combs Bennett
Time zones:
Monday, January 21st – 7:00 PM Eastern; 6:00 PM Central; 4:00 PM Pacific;
Tuesday, January 22nd – Midnight in London, England; 11:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/dna/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Friday, January 25th at 6:00 PM EST – Methodology courses with Brenda Wheeler
Note: For the convenience of Australasia students; however, all welcome.
Time zones:
Friday, January 25th – 6:00 PM Eastern; 5:00 PM Central; 3:00 PM Pacific; 11:00 PM in London, England;
Saturday, January 26th – 10:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/methodology/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Friday, January 25th at 7:30 PM EST – English Record courses with Brenda Wheeler
Time zones:
Friday, January 25th – 7:30 PM Eastern; 6:30 PM Central; 4:30 PM Pacific;
Saturday, January 26th – 12:30 AM in London, England; 11:30 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/english/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

Saturday, January 26th at 10:00 AM EST – Professional Development courses with Gena Philibert-Ortega
Time zones:
Sunday, December 16th – 10:00 AM Eastern; 9:00 AM Central; 7:00 AM Pacific; 3:00 PM in London, England;
Sunday, January 27th – 2:00 AM in Sydney, Australia
MEETING LOCATION: http://genealogicalstudies.adobeconnect.com/ professional/
(Note: “Enter as a Guest”)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Calendar of Virtual Meetings is at www.genealogicalstudies.com; top menu > INFORMATION > VIRTUAL LEARNING ROOM.

If you have not attended a Virtual Meeting before, read the Instructions at www.genealogicalstudies.com/instructions.pdf.

Your Family Photographs

Handling and Storing   

Older photographs are fragile and easily damaged. The best way to reduce damage is to not handle photographs at all. Since that is not always practical, gloves should be worn when they are handled. Gloves prevent transferring dirt and skin oils on the delicate images. When handling images, put on the gloves and hold the prints by their edges.  

If the photo is a cabinet card or a carte de visite, do not remove the photo from the cardstock on which they are mounted. Those vintage images were printed on very thin paper that will not survive removal from their cardstock backing.  

Photography: Clues Pictures Hold, Editing, Digitizing & Various Projects

Storage 

Photographs should be stored using archival safe products such as archival sleeves, envelopes, unbuffered tissue paper, and boxes that are available online from archival supply stores. Some examples of archival storage include:  

  • Store case-mounted photographs such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, or domed glass frames in their original cases/frames. Wrap them individually in unbuffered archival tissue paper and then place in an archival safe box.  
  • Store black-and-white prints, black-and-white negatives, color prints and negatives in their own individual sleeves. The sleeves can be stored together in the same archival box.  
  • Store negatives in polypropylene or polyester sleeves. 
  • Store original albums separately in their own archival boxes.   

Most archival safe storage boxes come in different sizes and their metal corners allow for stacking and prevent the corners and contents from being crushed. 

Photographs are an important part of telling a family history. Learning how to handle and care for those photos is just one of the topics taught in our Photography: Clues Pictures Hold, Editing, Digitizing and Various Projects course.

 

Death Indexes Online

US Death Indexes 

There are many different death indexes online. Please note that most indexes do not include every year. Remember that a name in an index is not proof that this is the researcher’s person! Often the person you are seeking is not the first to have this name and won’t be the last! Never assume the indexed name is your person and stop your research at that point.  

via Canva.com

Always be creative in finding various ways to search for what you might be seeking. Go to the FamilySearch website and choose Catalog from the Search drop-down menu. Another way to search is to conduct a Place search and then enter the name of the county and state.  

One other place to check for online death indexes is Google. Conduct a Google search on the phrase, free “death index.”  

Research Plan 

Go beyond the index. Creating a research plan for more documents is necessary. The first item on the research plan should be finding an obituary. Next, would be checking with the cemetery where the individual was interred. Personalize a research plan to your needs. If you do not have the exact date of death, then the research continues. With our United States: Vital Records course you will learn more about researching and locating a death index.  

%d bloggers like this: