Monthly Archives: October 2014

Another Successful Online Presentation

This past Sunday evening; I did a online presentation about the importance of researching deed records when searching for our ancestors.  Many people do not realize the importance of deeds; and are not aware of the great information that can often be found in them.  During the presentation, I tried to point out the various types of information that can be found in deed records.  Often times I am able to find the name of a previously unknown father in deeds.  Frequently; I find all of the children of a father; as well as their spouses.  Much can be found in deed records.  During the presentation I showed several examples of deed records that provided this type of information.

There were 7 or 8 people who watched and listened to my presentation.  Afterwards, I tried to answer various questions from those who attended this online session.

Since I will be doing more of these online presentations; I want to be sure everyone understands that these are done online.  Anyone with an internet connection can attend.  There is no cost to attend.  I have been using Google Video Hangouts to do these presentations.  This allows those attending to see and hear me; and also allows me to share my screen.  Sharing my screen makes it simple for me to show examples of various documents and such.

A Google Video Hangout is limited to 10 people.  If you have a webcam, you can choose to share your video; but are certainly not required to do so.  Of course you must have a microphone (most laptops have a webcam and microphone built in) if you wish to be able to be heard.

You do need a Google/Gmail account to participate in a Google Hangout.  If you do not have one; it is free and fairly simple to create.  You can also use Google Hangouts using a smart phone.  However; I recommend that your phone be connected to WiFi, since it will be streaming video and audio.  I would also suggest your phone have a good charge on it when you begin; or be plugged in so that it is maintaining a charge.  It is my understanding that using Google Hangouts on a smart phone (because it is streaming video and audio the entire time) will drain a battery fairly quickly.  You can install the Google Hangouts app on any smart phone (free app).

Although you can certainly use a smart phone to use Google Hangouts; a computer is probably the best choice.

Hopefully; this makes it a little more clear to folks who may wish to attend one of my presentations in the future.  It doesn’t matter where you live since these are done online.

Tips and Tricks to Searching Ancestry’s Census and Other Records

I will be doing another presentation soon.  There are several simple tips and tricks to searching Ancestry that many people are not familiar with.  Using these tips may help you find records on your ancestors that you would not find otherwise.  Within the next week or two, I will do a presentation in which I will share and demonstrate some of these tips.

Feel free to post any questions or comments below.

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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in General Genealogy


The Importance of Deed Records

I will be doing a presentation using Google Hangouts this Sunday evening (26 Oct., 2014).  The topic will be about the importance of Deeds for genealogy research.  I will spend approximately 20-30 minutes discussing the importance of deeds; what types of things can be found in deeds; how to search them, and more.  I will show examples as well.  After speaking and showing some examples, I will then give as much time as folks desire to ask questions regarding this subject.

Many people do not realize how important deeds can be to their genealogy research.  Many things can be found in these records; including unknown parents and siblings.  I won’t discuss that here.  Instead; I will be doing a free Google Video Hangout session this Sunday evening at 8 pm Eastern Time.  There is no cost.  Those wishing to attend need to contact me (you can email me or comment below) to let me know if they want to attend.  Google Hangouts allows a maximum of 10 people in the hangout.  Approximately 30 minutes prior to this Google Video Hangout, I will be posting a link here on my blog to the hangout.

You must have a Google account to use Google Hangouts.  You will also need a microphone if you wish to ask questions and participate in the discussion.  You may (or may not) choose to stream video of yourself (if you have a webcam).  That option is up to you.  Of course I will be streaming video and audio of myself; and will also be sharing some things on my screen.

Please email me; message me on Facebook; or comment below if you want to be a part of this session Sunday evening.  Remember; only 10 (including myself) will be able to get into the hangout.  Hope to see you there.


Posted by on October 23, 2014 in General Genealogy


An enjoyable evening discussing Genealogy

Mission accomplished!  I hosted my first Video Google Hangout yesterday evening.  It was announced on short notice; so there were not a lot of people there.  However; it was a good experience.  Including myself; 6 people attended the hangout.  I did my best to answer a few questions that some had regarding particular brick walls or problems they were facing with particular ancestors.  I also answered a couple of more general questions.  Most participated; and I believe most had an enjoyable time.  Hopefully; 1 or 2 people might have gotten a worthwhile suggestion that might help them with their research.

I enjoyed meeting a client (Cherry) whom I had done some research for a few years ago.  Also enjoyed meeting a researcher (Cindy), whom I have corresponded with on various occasions.  It was also a pleasure seeing Dan; whom I met at the Allen County Library, in Fort Wayne at the beginning of this year.  I helped him out some that day; and was treated to dinner before leaving for home that day. Another research (Myra) who attended chose to set back quietly.  I assume she felt more like sitting back and listening; which was certainly welcomed as well.  Finally; my cousin, Ken was also present.  He and I have research the common branch of our Brannum family for about 16 or 17 years.  Although I talk to him often; and see him occasionally (he only lives 10 miles from me); it was also great having him there and getting his input on things.

This is definitely something I will be doing again.  I did learn that with the Google Video Hangouts; only 10 people (including the host) can attend.  However; I believe that a group of 10 or less will actually be best for this sort of thing.  It will give everyone time to ask a question or two; and should make things run more smoothly than with a larger group.  It will also help to keep it more personal.

Those interested in attending the next Google Hangout for Genealogy should keep an eye on my blog.  If you are not a follower of my blog; consider following it so that you will receive email notices of new posts.  I will likely host another hangout within the next week.  I may choose a particular topic for the next Hangout session; in which I would speak briefly; and then open it up for questions.

I hope others will attend future Hangout sessions.  Those who attend will need a Google + account; if they don’t already have one.  A webcam is required if you wish to share video of yourself.  However; you certainly aren’t required to share your video.  A microphone is required if you wish to participate by asking questions and such.

Last night was a blast!  We will definitely do this again; and soon!


Posted by on October 21, 2014 in General Genealogy


Google Hangouts Genealogy Q & A Session Monday, Oct. 20

Alright. Enough talking about it! Time to do it. I have mentioned a couple of times that I would like to host some Google Hangout sessions intended for folks to be as questions and get suggestions regarding some of their genealogy roadblocks. In other words; participants can tell me about a specific roadblock in their research; I will try to offer ideas and suggestions as to some types of records; or some types of things they might want to search (or do) in order to try to break through their brick wall. Since I have not really had much experience myself with Google Hangouts; there may be some hiccups initially. But…. I am ready to give it a try. I know it is short notice; but I am going to host a Hangout at 8 pm Eastern Time Tomorrow evening (Monday, 20 Oct.). As I understand it; you need to have a Google + account (free and simple to create) to use Google Hangouts. With short notice; I don’t expect many to be able to participate. However; since this will be the first time; that might be a good thing. For those that don’t understand Hangouts; up to 10 people (I think 10) will be able to share video and audio. More can participate with audio; but only 10 will be able to share video. Of course I will be one of those 10 sharing video. Anyone who wishes to participate tomorrow evening email me (or message me on facebook) and let me know.  I will email a link to everyone approximately 30 minutes prior to the Hangout session.  Look forward to seeing and speaking with some of you tomorrow evening.


Posted by on October 20, 2014 in General Genealogy


Genealogy Q and A

Several days ago I posted on Facebook to genealogy friends regarding my doing some Q and A genealogy discussions using Google Hangouts.  However; I realize that there are many other folks who read my blog postings; whom I am not connected with on Facebook.  So…. for those that have already seem my post on Facebook; I apologize for what may seem like a double post regarding the subject.

I am seriously considering doing some Genealogy Q and A type sessions using Google Hangouts.  These would likely include a small group of people who would like some suggestions and ideas on how they might get past a particular roadblock in the family tree.  I would try to answer some questions and offer some suggestions; and; of course others in the Hangout might wish to offer some input as well.  This certainly would not be limited to suggestions or ideas for getting past brick walls.  Other genealogy related questions will be welcome as well.

Now….. I admit I have never really used Google Hangouts; so this will be new to me.  But…. I think I will be able to figure it out.  As I understand it; a Google Hangout only allows a maximum of 10 people to be able to share video and audio.  However; a much larger number can still be in the hangout and share audio.  Initially; I would be surprised if there were more than 10 people in a session anyway.  But that is perfectly okay.  I would still be glad to offer ideas, share suggestions, etc., with a group of 3 or 4.  Doesn’t matter to me.

For those who would wish to be included in one of these hangout sessions; you must have a Google account to be included.  If you have a gmail account; you already have a Google account.

So…. consider this post to be somewhat of a survey.  I would like to know if there is interest in doing this.  Please share your comments below.  If this is something you would be interested in; please let me know.

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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in General Genealogy