My Research Progress: Census Research

The next research area we will explore in the My Research Progress view is Census Research. If you click on the Census Research link, the center area of the screen in My Research Progress view will appear. In the top 2/3 of the screen you will see a bar chart and below the chart a series of links that echo or repeat the information that is graphically displayed in the bar chart.

Looking at the screen shot below, you will note a difference from other research progress areas. Instead of being static, the “labels” are labelled by a specific census, either state or national and the list of censuses constructed from a combination of the defined censuses, their years, the list of places your family lived and the years they lived there.  To select a specific census, click on one of the bars; it does not matter whether it is the found/missing census records.  Either colored bar for each census will take you to the next bar chart of census research.

Census Research

Each bar in the chart displays a series of statistic labels and up to 2 colored bars:

  1. Located Research: people whose census record for this census, this year has been located
  2. Missing Research: people whose census record for this census, this year as not been located

Clicking on any single bar or link below the chart will display the names of the people who meet the selected criteria. Once you click on a colored bar, below the graph a list of the people who meet the criteria will appear. It is really is that easy, your research opportunities with a click of the mouse!

Below the bar chart, look to the left of the text that says “414 Direct Relatives”. Do you see the hyperlink “Print this list”? Anytime that you want a list of the people listed in the lower section of the screen, click this link and press print!

Demographic or Statistic Sample Chart
Year XXXX (ex. Year 1850): for each year in the census, people who have been located in this year of the census or people who have not been located in this year of the census

People not located in the 1860 US Federal Census

You can see the power of this graphic depiction of your research and how quickly you can identify research opportunities.

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My Research Progress: Death Statistics

The next research area we will explore in the My Research Progress view is Death Statistics.  If you click on the Death Statistics link, the center area of the screen in My Research Progress view will appear.  In the top 2/3 of the screen you will see a bar chart and below the chart a series of links that echo or repeat the information that is graphically displayed in the bar chart.

Death Statistics

Each bar in the chart displays a series of statistic labels and up to 3 colored bars:

  1. Located research: people with an identified date or location
  2. Partial research: people with approximate date (about 1783, circa 1850, between 1850-1850) or a generic location (Germany, England, California).  Several death statistics do not have a partial research option and when the case, not applicable will be displayed as the hyperlink text, and the hyperlink will not work.
  3. Missing research: people without the date (dates in report are guesstimated by GenDetective) or people without any location for the event (born 15 Jan 1783, no country identified, information left blank)

Clicking on any single bar or link below the chart will display the names of the people who meet the selected criteria.  For example: people with a full death date, or people with an approximate death date or people with an estimated death date.

Print this list report

To get a list of people who have estimated death dates (maybe they disappeared between census years), click on the colored bar or link for people with partial death dates!  Once you click on a colored bar, below the graph a list of the people
who meet the criteria will appear.  It is really is that easy, your research opportunities with a click of the mouse!

Below the bar chart, look to the left of the text that says “414 Direct Relatives”.  Do you see the hyperlink “Print this list”?  Clicking on this link results in a report that looks similar to the report on the left.  The report generated will reflect the context of the bar that you clicked on (missing death date, has an obituary, etc).

In GenDetective the following demographics are included in death statistics:

Demographic or Statistic Sample Chart
Death Date: people with death date or an approximate death date, or missing death date

People with an approximate death date

Death Location: people with a specific death location, a generic death location or a missing death location

People with a generic death location

Burial Date: people with a specific burial date, a generic burial date or a missing burial date

People with an unknown burial date

Burial Location: people with a specific burial location, a generic burial location or a missing burial location

People with an unknown burial location

Will/Probate (Estate): people with a located or  not found estate

People with located estate records

Obituaries Found: people with a located or missing obituary

People whose obituary has not been located

Cemetery Marker Found: people with a located or missing cemetery marker

People whose cemetery marker (grave) has not been located

You can see the power of this graphic depiction of your research and how quickly you can identify research opportunities.

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My Research Progress: Vital Statistics

The first research area we will explore in the My Research Progress view is Vital Statistics.  If you click on the Vital Statistics link, the center area of the screen in My Research Progress view will appear.  In the top 2/3 of the screen you will see a bar chart and below the chart a series of links that echo or repeat the information that is graphically displayed in the bar chart.

Initial Vital Statistics

Each bar in the chart displays a series of statistic labels and up to 3 colored bars:

  1. Located research: people with an identified date or location
  2. Partial research: people with approximate date (about 1783, circa 1850, between 1850-1850) or a generic location (Germany, England, California)
  3. Missing research: people without the date (dates in report are guesstimated by GenDetective) or people without any location for the event (born 15 Jan 1783, no country identified, information left blank)

Clicking on any single bar or link below the chart will display the names of the people who meet the selected criteria.  For example, people with a full birth date, or people with an approximate birth date or people with an estimated birth date.  To get a list of people who have estimated birth dates (maybe from a census record), click on the colored bar or link for people with partial birth dates!  Once you click on a colored bar, below the graph a list of the people who meet the criteria will appear.  It is really is that easy, your research opportunities with a click of the mouse!

In GenDetective the following demographics are included in vital statistics:

Demographic or Statistic Sample Chart
Birth Date: people with birth date or an approximate birth date, or missing birth date.

People With An Approximate Birth Date

Birth Location: people with a specific birth location, a generic birth location or a missing birth location

People With Unknown Birth Location

Two Parents?: people with both parents identified, one parent identified or no parents identified

People With Only One Parent Identified

Last Name: people who have an identified last name or people where their last  (frequently maiden) name is unknown

People Without An Unknown Last Name

First Name: people with a known or unknown first name (Mrs. John Smith), can I have a first name please 🙂

People With An Unknown First Name

You can see the power of this graphic depiction of your research and how quickly you can identify research opportunities.

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What Is The My Research Progress View

My Research Progress is the first view seen in GenDetective.  My Research Progress works hand in hand with My Personal Research Goals, to present a visualization of your genealogy research.  The goal of visualizing My Research Progress is to quickly and visually identify research opportunities, simply by clicking on a link or a bar in a chart!

Using My Personal Research Goals to identify the various demographic records or information, in an ideal world, you would locate for each ancestor.  While these demographics are limited to specific areas of research, and do not include the variety of records required for a reasonably exhaustive search, they are the basic building blocks  are used when researching the life of an ancestor.

The initial screen in My Research Progress is shown below:

  • On the left is the list of relatives and their relationships to the Home person for your tree.  Listed with each relationship is the number of identified ancestors (59 Fourth Great Grandparents) and an image associated with your research progress for this relationship.  This graphic, showing your progress in walking the path of your ancestors, gives you immediate visual feedback where research opportunities exist (grey footprints).
  • The middle of the screen is filled with a summary of the demographic research areas covered by My Personal Research Goals.  Each area is accompanied by a picture showing your research progress in each demographic area. Looking at the chart above, note that the selected relationship is Direct Relatives and that the research progress shown at the top of the middle section shows your overall research progress and a picture of footprints!  Below this line, each of the demographic areas shows your research progress.  Looking at my research I’m sure you can see research opportunities (without the details yet), I certainly can!  At a glance you can see census research, immigration and military service have missing information, or as I prefer to call it,  research opportunities.  What does your family look like?  To get additional information about the research opportunities, click on any of the links.
  • On the far right side of the screen is a list of the relatives with the selected relationship to the home person.

The next several posts will examine each of the demographic areas encompassed by My Research Progress and how to use each chart to identify your research opportunities!  This post will be updated with the link to each post as it is published.

Research Area Initial Chart
Vital Statistics

People With Unknown Birth Location

Death Statistics

People with located estate records

Census Research

Census Research

Immigration Research

People with an immigration date

Military Service

Military Research

Occupation Research

Women with an identified occupation

Religious Research

People without the desired number of religious events

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Why Make Your Own Jam?

My friend Kevin asked:  When and why did I start to make my own jam?  The easy answer is years ago.  Why did no one know?  Without social media, it was  never publicized.  It’s like the cookies I make at Christmas.  Every year at Christmas (for the past 30 years) I bake cookies and share with close friends and family, and when my children were in school, their teachers.  If you received a bag of cookies, you knew I baked cookies.  With the advent of social media, my kids keep telling me I need to share these traditions, so many people now know I make jams and cookies.  Back to the jams.

Making jam was something I learned from my great grandmother, and my grandmothers as a child.  My great grandparents Zula (1894-1986) and Christopher (1889-1976) were farmers, and trust me when I say, farmers waste no crop.  It was preserved, stored, smoked, or otherwise saved for consumption later in the year.  Berries, apples, fruit of any form (well, not watermelon), is great to snack on, eat as a pie or other desert, but what do you do with the rest of it.  Ever wonder why we have fried apples, apple dumplings, apple pie, applesauce and apple butter?

When my daughters were little, picking fresh fruit was a way to work on their fine motor skills.  A two year old frequently bruises the apple or squishes the raspberry when pulling it off the plant, and lets not talk about the mess made by harvesting blueberries!  As children grow and their fine motor skills develop, then can easily pick many small fruits without the mangling.  For years I made blueberry, raspberry, strawberry jams, as well as apple butter. When my daughters got older, the time to make the jams slipped away, so jam production ceased.

Why return to making jams after the hiatus?  When was the last time you looked at the nutrition information on a jam or jelly at the store?  I did a few years back and figured out we were purchasing flavored colored sugar.  Some of the jellies and jams did not even include the fruit as the first ingredient.  What!

I know the ingredients of my jams: fruit and sugar to taste.  The riper the fruit, picked at the height of the season, the more flavorful the fruit, the higher its own natural sugar content, less sugar added.  Apple butter is a little different, as it includes the apple core, cinnamon and nutmeg.  And no, I did not forget to list pectin, I do not use it (a topic in and of itself).

Jams made at home last approximately 18 months in the jar giving you plenty of time to consume these tasty treats, especially on toast or in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and have some left over to share with family and friends.

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Strawberry Jam Time

This year the east coast strawberry crop was late coming in, and didn’t last very long.  A wet spring coupled with cool days, meant the strawberries were about 3 weeks late ripening and the season ended a week early.  Rule of thumb is Mothers day to Fathers day is the strawberry season.  Most local u-pick farms didn’t open until early June, and ended within three weeks!

 How do you make strawberry jam?
Jam requires a lot of fresh fruit, the fresher the better, sugar and time.  We generally go out and pick the strawberries in the fields and either tat day or the next I turn those berries into jam.

The process itself is simple:

  1. Clean and hull the strawberries
  2. Place strawberries in a pot and mash them
  3. Add sugar to taste.  Recipes call for “specific” quantities of sugar, but I find using ripe, farm fresh fruit, means I only use 25-35% of the sugar.
  4. Cook, stirring to prevent burning, until the mixture “gels” or turns into jam which happens at around 218-220 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Ladle jam into jars and place jars in a water bath for 5-10 minutes and let jars cool

So what takes so long?  Cleaning the fruit can take time, but depending on how many berries you are cooking it may take 1-1.5 hours to turn those strawberries into jam!

 

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It’s Genealogical Institute Time!

Today I leave for Gen-Fed, which is the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records.  I’m excited!  Gen-Fed is a one week-long program that provides an in-depth look at the materials held by the National Archives that are of interest to genealogists.  There is more material available than military pensions and compiled military service records (CMSR’s) and I’m hoping to learn a lot.  Most summers I attend GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute in Pittsburgh), but this year I was one of the lucky 30 to get into Gen-Fed, so next year I will be at GRIP.

Why attend an institute?  Are you tired of going to conferences for 50 minute sessions, and just as it is getting interesting, it’s over? Genealogy institutes are an opportunity to study a specific topic in-depth.  In a week-long course, you find 15-18 sessions on one topic, and many times the sessions 90 minutes long.  Each course at an institute has a coordinator (whose name you will usually recognize as an expert in the course topic) who plans the sessions (classes) for the week, and teaches some of the classes.  This coordination means the instructors who teach the other classes know the topic they will be teaching and how it fits into the overall week of study.

There are many genealogical institutes, with different course offerings, scattered across the United States.  Many hold registration months before the actual institute, and competition to get into the institute and your desired course may be fierce, with popular classes filling in minutes! A partial list of institutes include:

The best thing about attending an institute?  You’re not the only person crazy about genealogy in the room.  You are one of a few hundred people happy to talk about dead ancestors all week-long.  How cool is that?

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the institutes listed above, and receive no remuneration for mentioning their names.  I am just a happy attendee who is a fan of the one week genealogical institutes.

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