Saturday, August 22, 2020

VGS News & Events: August 23 through August 29, 2020

Practice Social-Distancing

Due to Covid-19, no Rec Center meetings until further notice. Some SIG's are having virtual meetings. Be on the lookout for emails announcing the meetings and how to connect to them.  That list is very fluid. Check the "Coming Events" section of the website as event news becomes available:

Coming Events:
Wednesday, August 26
“Clan Cunningham: Skeletons in the Family Closet”  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Online General Meeting

Our guest speaker will be: Pat Adams, VGS President

Description: There were no photos, no stories, no documents except for a baptismal record for her mother. Using that as a starting point, Pat was able to build the family line back to Scotland to her great-great-great grandfather, James Cunningham. Using some direct evidence and a lot of indirect evidence from a variety of records, Pat then assembled James’s family, established when he married and died, and followed his son David’s life till his death in 1900. This case study of the Cunningham family will show how thorough research and correlation of evidence can break through brick walls and bring our family skeletons to life. 

Please register for the general meeting at:

Gen News and Announcements:

Past President Pat Rand Receives the Hartzog Award

National Park Service
"Palo Alto Battlefield NHP is pleased to announce that park volunteer Pat Rand was awarded the Regional Hartzog Enduring Service Award for 2020
The Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service recognizes the exemplary contributions of these very important people. Former NPS director George Hartzog, Jr. and his wife Helen created a fund to support awards that honor the efforts of volunteers who go beyond the normal call of duty."

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 17 August 2020

"This week FamilySearch added 500K more records to collections for Brazil, Canada, England, Fiji, Mexico, Micronesia, Peru, Puerto Rico, S. Africa, Sweden, and Zambia. Two new US collections invite discoveries in Arizona, Cochise Voting Records 1882–1932, and Arizona, Mohave Voting Records, 1876–1920, plus 500K more Indiana Marriages 1811–1932. Other US collections added records for AZ, CA, HI, ID, IN, IA, MS, NC, PA, TX, UT, VA and WA."

How to Search United States Passport Records:

"Have you ever wondered if your ancestors traveled? If they did, they may have applied for a passport. A passport was not mandatory in the United States for travel outside the country until 1941, except for in short periods during the Civil War and World War I. However, if your ancestor did apply for a passport, the information on the US passport record could be substantial."

Attended My First Virtual Conference: Success!

Kitty Cooper
"I learned much more than usual from my first completely online conference, the 2020 IAJGS conference on Jewish Genealogy. Perhaps because there were fewer distractions: no seat-mates for example"
Editor's Note: The 2021 VGS Annual Seminar will be a virtual conference.
 with Amy Johnson Crow as our guest speaker.

What are "new" records on genealogy websites?

Genealogy's Star
"The large online genealogy database/family tree websites regularly advertise that they have new records for their users to search. What does this really mean? Let me give a few examples."

Pennsylvania Online Historical Newspapers Summary

The Ancestor Hunt
"Pennsylvania is one of the states that has several central state-wide online repositories for searching historical newspapers. Several states use the Library of Congress Chronicling America site as their main online site for searching old newspapers. Pennsylvania does have many online newspapers available on that site. Pennsylvania currently also has its online availability from different websites and they house hundreds of newspapers. Many are free and many require a subscription. Below is a list of where the titles are stored and the link so that you can access them."

Free Online Pennsylvania City Directories:

The Ancestor Hunt
"Links to these free collections are presented initially with statewide collections, followed in alphabetical order by city or county. Generally, the publishing company is included in the reference to the collection, along with the collection title, and the date(s) of the directory:"


Does Private or Incognito Mode Make Web Browsing Anonymous?

How-to Geek
"Private is a relative term. This is abundantly clear when it comes to “private browsing”—the setting in a web browser that supposedly allows you to hide your history from others who use the same computer."
Continue reading...


Top Five Reasons to Cite Your Sources in Your Genealogy:

Ancestral Findings
"Are you citing your sources in your genealogy research? If you are not, you should be. Citing sources may seem like a chore, but there are some very important reasons to make sure you always do it. Here are the five top reasons why you should cite your sources in your genealogy work."
Listen now... 4.27 minutes


How to Use MyHeritage DNA Results to Enhance Your Family Tree:

Legacy Family Tree
"This webinar will demonstrate how MyHeritage's DNA test can help confirm the accuracy of and solve mysteries in your family tree. Michelle will provide her top tips on using MyHeritage's DNA platform and tools and offer practical guidance on the best steps to take to succeed on your DNA journey."
Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Michelle Leonard
Learn more or Register for this event...

Slack for Genealogy Projects:

Legacy Family Tree
"Whether you’re a professional genealogist trying to manage multiple clients and projects or just trying to juggle your own personal research, you may need to move beyond your current management tools. Slack is a FREE online collaboration hub (web-based and app) that is used by major corporations as well as non-profit organizations and individuals to manage and improve workflow."
Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Presenter: Thomas MacEntee
Learn more or Register for this event...

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