to Journey to the Past, I'm Brenda (Glover) Leyndyke and I believe researching your family history is a fascinating journey.

Best Deal in Genealogy: Family History Library Classes & Webinars

21 May 2017

If you are like me you want to make the best use of your genealogy budget.  There are so many things genealogists can spend money on: books, records, research trips, conferences, online subscriptions, society dues, magazines, printer ink, gadgets, DNA testing, office supplies and more.  The list can go on and on.

Last week, I found the best bargain in genealogy.  The Western European Family History Conference that FamilySearch live streamed for FREE!  Yes, free.  It was five days of national conference quality presentations.

Each day of the week focused on an area of Western Europe.  The following areas were covered: Germany, France, The Low Countries, The Netherlands, and Switzerland.  The research I do for my husband and I involved all of these countries except Belgium and Luxembourg, which were included in the Low Countries.

There were 25 classes in all.  I cleared my schedule, except for Friday, and was able to watch 18 of the 25 live streams.  Three of the classes I passed on as I wasn't doing research in those areas at this time; another three I missed because I run errands for my parents on Friday.

It would be impossible to pick which classes were the best, they were all top notch with top notch presenters and handouts.  Presenters included Mindy Jacox, Coreen Barrett-Valentine, Jilline Maynes, F. Warren Bittner, Brandon L. Baird, Heidi G. Sugden, Baerbel K. Johnson, Fritz Juengling, Daniel R. Jones, and Sonja Nishimoto.

The classes I watched are in italics:


  • Finding German Places of Origin
  • Spelling Variations in German Given and Place Names
  • Meyer's Gazetter Now Online, Indexed and Fully Searchable
  • German Church Records and Beyond: Deepen Your Research Using a Variety of Town Reocrds
  • Elusive Immigrant:  Methods of Proving Identity
  • Finding Your French Ancestors Online, Part 1 Family Search and Ancestry
  • Finding Your French Ancestors Online, Part 2 France GenWeb
  • Finding Your French Ancestors Online, Part 3, Geneanet
  • Out of the Ashes of Paris
  • Research in Alsace-Lorraine
     The Low Countries
  • Latin for Researchers
  • Calendar Changes in France, Germany, Switzerland and the Low Countries
  • Gazetteers and Maps for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands
  • Beginning Research in Luxembourg
  • Beginning Research in Belgium
     The Netherlands
  • Names in Belgium and the Netherlands
  • WieWasWie, Past the Index:  What to Do Next
  • Dutch Provincial and City Research
  • Dutch Research Before 1811
  • Finding Your Family in the Amazing Online Amsterdam City Archives
  • Beginning Swiss Research
  • Swiss Maps and Gazetteers
  • Swiss Archives Online Records
  • Swiss Census Records
  • Swiss Chorgericht (Court) Records
I don't know where I have been the last two years because this is the first time I heard about these classes.  The Family History Library Classes and Webinars at the FamilySearch Wiki is the place to go to find out more information about what FamilySearch offers.

This wiki page shows you class schedules for on site classes at the Family History Library.  Some of the classes are live streamed, as well.  Upcoming webinars can be found here and past webinars, with handouts.

The past webinars section includes an area about past research seminars and conferences.  The 2016 tract was European, Nordic, and Roots Tech en Espanol.  The 2017 tract was British Isles and Roots Tech en Espanol.  Some of the past sessions may be watched from this area.  I plan to go back and watch the British Isles one. Other areas include Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America.

The only drawback to this is that I wanted to stay up all night using all the great information that was presented.  I was able to do a little research and found some amazing records about my husband and my ancestors.  I found or learned:
  • About German vowels and consonants and how to search with spelling variations for my German families.
  • Kirk's great, great grandfather, Quirin Schmitt, birth record and civil registration records in the Bas-Rhin department of Alsace-Lorraine.  This information included Quirin's parents, including mother's maiden name.  A great find!
  • I found the huwelijksbijlagen for Kirk's Dutch 2x and 3x great grandparents.  I was up until midnight searching these gems of Dutch records and have many more names to find.  What is a huwelijksbijlagen, you ask?  These records are marriage supplements and contain the papers that a dutch couple had to present before marriage.  They are a gold mine.  They are in Dutch, but that is a small inconvenience for the awesome genealogical information they contain.
  • I found so many resources for my Swiss ancestors, I may need a month to use the resources and I only attended two of the five sessions!  The Swiss court records are fascinating and I may just order the ones I need for the Canton Bern to see if my Anabaptist ancestors are mentioned. Swiss court records are available on DVD by town for Canton Bern.
This was only a small sampling of what I got out of the conference.  In addition, I have a list of resources to check the next time I go to Allen County Public Library.  I have a list of other wiki's to check out and I have a huge list of online resources to save to my bookmarks.  

This conference was just the break I needed from real life that has been a little busy lately.  I am excited about researching again AND it even got me to start blogging after a few months break.

If you are looking for a great deal in genealogy, look no further than the Family History Library classes and webinars.  You won't regret it.

What's New in My Genealogy Library

20 May 2017

Spring cleaning isn't something that I normally look forward to, but the time had come to go through my office and organize books. I had books stored on the floor and wanted them on shelves.  Most of the books on the floor were recent purchases and I wanted to use them before I put them away.  I decided it was time to put them away.  I rearranged my books a little and did some spring cleaning of my office.  I don't know about you, but once I decide to clean that leads to cleaning the whole room, minus the closet.  That is a project for another day.

This is one of the bookcases I have.  It doesn't hold a lot, but it fits in a very narrow space that I have next to my desk.  I organized the shelves by category (top to bottom): General Research Help; England, Scotland,and Ireland; Germany; Europe (Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, and Poland); United States (Illinois, New York, Michigan); and Military.

I have another bookcase for all my New England books, including all my Great Migration books.  I have a few leftovers that I need to find room for and I will be done.

The new books are books that I purchased because there was a sale online, or in the case of Bernese Anabaptists, I was at the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research, in Houston, Texas and they had a sale section.

While going through all these books I realized that I had a few books that I hadn't put on My Library page at the top of this website.  Those books are:

  • Genealogical Guide to Discovering Your Irish Ancestors by Radford and Betitt
  • Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogies by Hugh Gingerich
  • Bernese Anabaptists by Delbert Gratz
  • Family Maps of Washtenaw County by Gregory A. Boyd
  • Tracing Your Colonial American Ancestors
  • Tracing Your Revolutionary War Ancestors
  • Tracing Your War of 1812 Ancestors

Please check out the "My Library" page tab and if you see something you would like to know more about email me, or leave a comment.  I am happy to do look ups, if interested.  

One spring cleaned room down and a few more to go.  What about you, do you Spring clean? 

Blogging Hiatuses and Me

15 April 2017

Julie Cahill Tarr posted on her blog today, What Happened to Genealogy Blogging?  She shared statistics about blogs in her blog reader and how many bloggers hadn't posted in awhile.  She asked her readers who write blogs to leave comments about their reasons for not blogging.

Julie's post led me to check and see when I last blogged.  Gasp! It was August 23rd, almost 8 months ago. Although I haven't blogged in awhile, I have been busy with genealogy type things.

First, in August I was busy prepping for a three week genealogical trip of a lifetime to New England, which I was taking in September.  The preparation included:

  • ordering Family Search microfilm on Vermont land records
  • transcribing over fifty of these land records
  • organizing my research for the trip
  • writing research plans
  • researching repository card catalogs
  • and so much more
Next, was the trip itself where I was gone for 26 days.  I could write a year of blog posts based on this trip.  I visited New York, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  I combined research with vacation.  Some of the genealogical highlights of this trip were:
  • Visiting my fourth great grandparents, Alexander and Sarah (Salisbury) Glover, gravesite and my fifth great grandparents, William and Elizabeth (Beal) Salisbury, gravesite at Joslyn Cemetery, Phelps, Ontario, New York.
  • Exploring the Hingham, Massachusetts area, including a visit to the Hingham Historical Society's Heritage Visitor Center, which was temporarily housed at Talbot's Headquarters.  A blog post in itself!
  • Exploring Cape Cod cemeteries-Old Cove Burying Ground in Eastham; Old Town Burial Ground in Sandwich; Old Burying Ground/First Parish Cemetery in Brewster.
  • Visiting the historical sites of Salem, Massachusetts AND
  • Meeting "Life from the Roots" blogger, Barbara Poole for the first time.
  • Spending many hours in Plymouth, Massachusetts seeing Plimouth Plantation, Mayflower II, Pilgrim Hall Museum and all the historical sites around Plymouth.
  • Researching at New England Historic Genealogical Society library for two days, including a consultation with genealogist Rhonda McClure.
  • Sitting on the cellar hole steps of my fifth great grandparents, Moses and Hannah (Santclare) Poor in Salem, New Hampshire.
  • Researching and exploring the areas of Pittsford and Shoreham, Vermont.  I visited cemeteries, libraries and historical societies in the area.
  • Touring Fort Ticonderoga to see where my fourth great grandfather, Hopkins Rowley, raided the fort as part of Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys.
  • Researching at the Leahy Library of Vermont History Center in Barre, Vermont.
This above may have been enough of a reason not to blog because I came home with many records to analyze, but ten days after my vacation I had thumb surgery! I wasn't able to use it for almost three months!  I am still rebuilding strength in that hand.

The holidays came and went as I was recovering from surgery.  January rolls around and I found myself providing care and support to my aging parents.  My parents, who still live independently, needed a little help as my dad found himself in and out of the hospital with low hemoglobin and low blood pressure.  Other parental support came in the form of visiting senior living options for them and presenting them with a few options, which they are still deciding on.

These are a few of the reasons I haven't kept up on my blog. I guess I have a good excuse for neglecting my blog.  One thing I don't like to do is to blog unless I know that what I am posting is quality material and for me that takes time.  Time which has been short in supply the past eight months.

I can't guarantee that I am on the way to regular blog posts, but Julie's blog post got me thinking about my blog, and that is the first step to more posts.