Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Disclosure statement

Seems they are all the rage these days, and I don't want to miss out on a chance to babble so....following the advice wisely given by Thomas MacEntee Why You Need a Blogging Disclosure Statement here is mine:

- All blog/website posts reflect my actual opinions either good or bad about a product, service, company etc.

- Links/banners may be paid affiliate links in which I would get a commision if you purchased/subscribed etc. If the product/site/service is a good one, and I'm going to be writing about it anyways I may as well make a profit on it no? Sometimes I have simply not gotten around to making a link an affiliate one. My primary income is from client research projects not advertising on websites/blogs.

- Any genealogy related company, service, product is welcome to contact me and send me their book, website, etc to review. If I like it, I'll likely post something good about it. If I don't like it, I'll likely post that too, likely with what would have made me like it and/or why I didnt like it.

- All opinions on my blog and websites are my own, and not necessarily the opinion of any other person or company or organization with whom I may be associated.

- I accept/have accepted free products from many companies some of whom I list here:

- Appletree.com sent me some lovely sweaters, a blanket and T-shirts for myself and immediate family

- I am curator at Geni.com, and have received a curator T-shirt from them

- I have in the past sold databases to Ancestry.com and also was a provider of research services at Expert Connect when Ancestry.com ran that program, and I have paid affiliate links from Ancestry.com

Monday, April 4, 2011

Motivation Monday - sources, sources, sources

After reading the blog post on Journey to the Past about generating a list of facts without sources in their database, I decided to do the same thing.

In all the years I have used Legacy I have never used the feature so I had to look it up, but it was easy to do.

The results were alarming. I realize a good number are actually sourced, just not in the Legacy program correctly, as before I used Legacy I had used a program where they only place I could record sources was in the Notes field. I still have a great number of sources to move into the source fields.

Another excuse I have is that I have most of my tree that I actually do work on on Ancestry.com and so if the source came from there, such as a census record, then its recorded there, attached to the individual in the tree and I'm not the best at moving those sources into my database.

I am motivated to have a completely sourced tree, and have been working on cleaning up my database daily.

I would never dream of handing a client such an unsourced mess, surely my own family deserves my best work!

(779, 396 individuals had at least one fact unsourced of 821, 118 individuals total, so approximately 40,000 had complete sources, this will be on ongoing task for quite some time!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

the 1940 census is coming...1 more year!

In one year, on April 2, 2012 the 1940 US census will be released to the public.

I'm so excited I even have a countdown page on my website (countdown page)!

How many relatives do you expect to find in the 1940 census?

Later today I will make a quick count of how many I will be looking for. It will be fun for sure!

Surname Saturday - ?

For Surname Saturday I may end up with more than one post today. I would like to start by discussing the pesky surname "?".

Admit it, you all have relatives with this surname. Maybe they go by aliases in your family files, like "unk", or "unknown" or even "surname unknown", but they all belong to the ? family!

Today I compiled a list of every surname in my files. Both from many years of full time researching and from some fortunate and some unfortunate "name collecting" databases merges early on (10 or so years ago, its a long story for another post!) I have a very large database.

My database currently has 822, 037 individuals. As my work on it continues it actually gets smaller. My goal is to get it below the 800,000 mark soon. It gets smaller because I merge duplicates and delete irrelevant people, usually people who were imported years ago with names like Living Smith and no other information.

According to my surname list compiled today I have 10,251 people with the surname "?".

There are of course some people who I simply can't find the surnames of, but I am betting a good number of these ?'s are the result of me not taking the time I would take if it was a clients project to figure out who they were.

So for a good part of my Saturday, I am going to work on this list and see if I can reduce it, and find proper surnames for all the "?" surname individuals.

Anyone else care to join me on my mission to reduce the "?" genealogy out there?