Archive for category Genealogy Resources

Hidden Genealogy Nuggets Website is Two Years Old Today

Posted by Jim Sanders on Monday, 29 April, 2013

Two years ago today was the first day Hidden Genealogy Nuggets was put on line. There has been a lot of developments on the website since then. Over twenty thousands records mostly in Connecticut have been made available within our search engine. Free Ancestry Search at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets. There is also an index to Newtown Connecticut Birth, Marriage and Death Records which have been put on-line.

We started a blog about a month later, but didn’t really start posting regularly until the start of 2012. We have recently been named one of the top 40 genealogy blogs of 2013 by Family Tree Magazine.

Some of our blog posts have dealt with getting the most out of unusual records;

We have a few series of blog posts dealing with a variety of subjects including;

  • Genealogy by the States
  • This is the most recent series of posts. Each week we highlight an ancestor or connection to a particular state. If there’s no connection to that state, we highlight a resource of interest for that state.

  • School Records
  • School Registers can be a great genealogy find. They can have birth dates and identify relationships which you might now find elsewhere. This series transcribes various school records from towns in Connecticut.

  • Genealogy Interview Questions
  • During this past Christmas season, our blog highlighted series of blog posts to prepare questions you might ask your relatives. Each post focused on a different subject matter. The subjects included the games your ancestor played, the sports they played, Sunday Supper and more.

To all of you who’ve been visiting this site regularly and reading our blog posts, I would like to thank you for visiting. I hope you have enjoyed the blog posts and the rest of the website. I look forward to another year.

Tuesday’s Tip: Hidden Genealogy Nuggets Records Search

Posted by Jim Sanders on Tuesday, 23 April, 2013

Did you know there are two different search engines on the Hidden Genealogy Nuggets website outside of this blog.

The first search engine Free Ancestry Search at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets contains more than 15,000 records which are mostly from Connecticut. These are records which I have personally indexed and have put into a database. There isn’t an image to the original document, but when you look at the details, you will see a link to the facility which has the original document. The records here could be old city directories, town reports, marriages and more. I have not added an index to the school records I’ve been transcribing, but I hope to add it soon. It does not have sophisticated search capabilities and needs the complete spelling of the last name for records to be returned. I may when I have some time over the summer enhance the search feature along with adding records to the database.

The second search engine Newtown, Connecticut BMD was created and is maintained by Bob Pittman. He, along with a number of additional volunteers have indexed the vital records from Newtown, Connecticut. This search engine has a more sophisticated search capability which includes using a soundex option.

If you have Connecticut ancestors and Newtown Connecticut ancestors in particular, be sure to check these capabilities out. I would love to hear any feedback regarding these searches.

NERGC 2013 – Day 3

Posted by Jim Sanders on Sunday, 21 April, 2013

Yesterday was the last day for me at the New England Regional Genealogy Conference (NERGC) for 2013. Over the past three days I’ve attended met up with and spent some times with friends I haven’t seen in a while, attended a lot of lectures, met a lot of great people and a whole lot more. I’m already looking forward to NERGC 2015 which is being planned and will be held in Providence, Rhode Island.

The first lecture of the day I went to was by David Ouimette. I had heard one of his lectures already so I was very excited about hearing him talk again and I was not disappointed. His lecture was about “But She Died in Upstate New York in the 1850s: How can I Identify Her Parents?”. If you have any ancestors in upstate New York at that time, like myself, you know how difficult it can be. There are no vital records for the time period and other available records seem to be pretty scarce. Using indirect records from New York and some direct records of neighboring areas, including Vermont and Canada, he was able to determine who the parents were in this case study.

The second lecture of the day I went to was entitled “Bittner Bastards of Bavaria” and was given by F. Warren Bittner. It was supposed to have been a lecture on “Documents to Narrative: Writing to Engage your Reader. I was really looking forward to the lecture about writing, but the Power Point had gotten corrupted and Warren needed to make the change at the last minute. Even though I was a little disappointed about not getting to hear the lecture about writing, Warren is a very entertaining speaker and he mixed in some writing topics along the way of telling the case story about his ancestors in Bavaria.

The last lecture I attended for the day was “Demystifying Digitizing: Scanning and Photographing for Family History”. It was given by Kathy Bolduc Amoroso of the Main Historical Society. The Maine Memory Network is going through a series of scanning projects to digitize a lot of Maine’s historical documents. Instead of scanning a document at a particular DPI, they have scanned documents so that they can reproduce an image on 11″ by 14″. This seems to have come out to about 40mb per image when utilizing a tiff format. She recommends saving the original scan in a tiff format as well as the lessor quality jpeg format.

There were two more slots of lectures which were available, but I decided to get an early start on the 3.5 hour ride home. The ride home was uneventful and even though I had a lot of fun, I was looking forward to getting home and relaxing.

NERGC 2013 – Day 2

Posted by Jim Sanders on Friday, 19 April, 2013

Today was my second day at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC). There were more than 30 different lectures and seven tracks available for the attendees to listen to. The seven tracks were Skills & Methodology, Occupations, “DNA, Genetics & Family Health”, Online Research, New England Research, Military Research and Expanding Your Knowledge Base.

The first of the lectures I attended was by Stephen P. Morse and was entitled “One-Step Pages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools”. Virtually everyone who’s been doing genealogy for some time has heard of and most likely used Stephen’s One-Step website. If you haven’t, be sure to check it out. It adds a lot of value to popular online databases. The topic described many of the popular one-step options as well as a few of the lesser known options. Stephen added a mixture of appropriate humor timed very well throughout the lecture.

In the afternoon sessions Laura G. Prescott presented a lectured called “loc.gov: Using Our Nations Library Online”. I have to admit that I have not utilized the loc.gov website in my research a while lot. Laura presented a wide variety of areas to explore. There were various prints and photographs which are not copyrighted available, digital newspapers and much much more.

After Laura’s presentation I was off to a presentation by David Ouimette called “Overcoming Spelling Problems and Unlocking the Power of Names”. David did a great job describing various name origins and how family names may change over time. He provided me with an idea to find my own Irish ancestors. I know my ancestors surname along with the surname of his wife and the county they came from. Is that enough to find the proper parish where they are from? Perhaps by looking at the popularity of surnames by parish looking at both surnames it would narrow down the possible parishes to look at. It’s certainly something I had not thought of.

The last lecture of the day I attend was “Finding the Only Child’s Niece”. It was presented by Debra Braverman. Debra researches for the next of kin in many court cases. Using common records and research skills she demonstrated what it takes to find the next of kin. This same methodology can be used to find living cousins as well.