All posts by cattaplin

About cattaplin

Researcher, writer, speaker, poet, publisher

Great Lakes Course Prep

I’ve been working diligently to prepare for the course I am co-leading with Kathryn Lake Hogan, that will take place in January, in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Click here to read more about the course.)

Whenever I create a new lecture, I invariably learn new resources that I can add to the information I already planned on sharing or am reminded of things I’ve forgotten or don’t utilize as much in my own research. This course’s prep is no different. I have gathered a lot of information and resources that I plan on sharing with the students in the class. I thought I’d share two of those bits of information.

  • While looking at WorldCat for a copy of Lloyd Bockstruck’s book Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants Awarded by State Governments published in 1996, at a library near me, I discovered that it is available as an e-book through Ancestry(subscription required).
  • I struggled to locate how many homesteads were successfully completed in each state, in a handy, already-created table. Then I found this fun lesson plan put together by the National Park Service. I put that information together in a chart focusing on the Great Lakes States:

I’m having a fun time putting this information together to highlight the Great Lakes region and I do hope you will consider joining us in January! To register, visit the SLIG website.

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SLIG 2018 – Seats Still Available

I will be co-coordinating a course on Great Lakes Research with Kathryn Lake Hogan at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy in January. There are still a few seats open in our class but if Great Lakes research is not your focus, there are some other great classes with openings as well. The following announcement was sent out from the Utah Genealogical Association:

SLIG Courses with Seats Still Available
SLIG will be held 21-26 2018.  Register today
The following courses still have available seats:

  • Writing and Publishing Family Histories in the Digital Age, by Dina C. Carson, MA
  • Beyond the Library:  Using Original Source Repositories, by John Phillip Colletta, PhD, FUGA
  • Taking Your Research to the Next Level, by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FUGA, FMGS
  • Digging Deeper:  Pre-1837 English Research, by Paul Milner, MDiv
  • Utilizing a Full Array of Sources for Researching your Swedish and Finnish Ancestors, by Elaine Haselton, AG and Jeff M. Svare, AG
  • Exploring Quaker Records – at Home and Abroad, by Steven W. Morrison, MPA
  • In-depth Sources for Portuguese Research – Azores, Brazil, Portugal, by Michael J. Hall
  • The Third Coast:  Research in the Great Lakes Region, by Cari A. Taplin, CG and Kathryn Lake Hogan, PLCGS
  • Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum, by Angela Packer McGhie, CG

I have been attending SLIG (and other institutes) for many years. If you are looking for a more in-depth education on a particular topic or area, you should be looking at institutes to supplement your genealogical education. While national conferences allow you to get a “taste” of many different topics, smorgasbord-style, institutes allow you to focus on one topic for the entire week. SLIG has the added advantage of being near the Family History Library where research can be conducted after class (or if you come a little early or stay after the institute).

I hope you will consider signing up for one of these classes!

Seminar in Shreveport was a Success!

I just returned from a wonderful time speaking at the Ark-La-Tex Genealogical Association‘s annual seminar. What a fantastic and friendly group of folks to work with!

Since Shreveport isn’t that far away, my husband and I drove, seeing some of eastern Texas that we haven’t had a chance to explore yet. Of course, our drive there, on Friday, was met with all kinds of road construction, which made me a little anxious. I don’t mind delays AFTER an event, but before, it makes me nervous. But, we made it!

Lunch Break!

A few of the society members took us out to a nice Chinese restaurant where we had great food, fun conversation, and waited out a thunderstorm that gave the electricity a few flickers. As luck would have it, when we were finished eating, the storm was over. Our host, Jim, took us on a little drive around the city showing off a few of the local spots such as the Riverboat Casinos, old downtown courthouse area, the Music Auditorium, and other attractions. It was a fun evening.

Saturday, I had the pleasure of presenting four lectures:

  • Using Lists to Find Proof
  • Canadian Migration Patterns
  • Using Church Records to Identify Ancestral Origins
  • From Deeds to Dirt: Using Maps to Analyze Your Research

Everyone was very attentive, had a lot of thoughtful questions, and were just so positive all throughout. I received some nice feedback in my email today:

“The seminar presentation was wonderful!  Each session was packed with so much information.  I personally liked the way you gave a little background, sometimes historically, of each topic.  The handout was excellent, also.” –Glenda Bernard, President

“You did a great job!  Your lectures were thoroughly prepared and you did a superb job communicating a wealth of information to our group and the many visitors we had. You made all aspects of our seminar a huge success!   We thoroughly enjoyed your visit.” — Jim Johnson, seminar coordinator

Also in attendance was a man who writes a blog called Prune Picker; his post reviewing the seminar, with some fun photos can be read here. I had a lovely experience with this group and hope I will cross paths with them again someday.

Yum!

After the seminar, and after a brief rest, my husband and I found some delicious “Louisiana food” for dinner, followed by some ice cream. And then I slept very well Saturday night! On our drive home, we took a different route and enjoyed driving through three different National Forests along the way.

If your society is looking for a seminar speaker, I’d love to hear from you. I’m booking the 2018 and 2019 season now.

Legacy Webinars, 2017 Webinar Subscriber Summer Spectacular!

(Say that three times fast!)

I am a BIG fan of Legacy Webinars, for many reasons. First, they offer fantastic, high-quality, genealogical education, for a super low price! Second, I think they are very fair to their speakers and writers. As a past speaker and author of several Quick Guides, I feel very well taken care of. So, I’m happy to support something that supports me both in terms of education and as an educator.

Third… this is education you can get at home, wearing those bunny slippers (or in my case, sweatpants), at 3am when the repositories are closed! Or when sitting by your pool drinking adult beverages. However you like to do it! (I don’t judge.)

Below is the information from the news release. Please note that all of the links are to my affiliate account, another way that the folks at Legacy help support their supporters!


It’s our way of saying thank you to our webinar subscribers and inviting everyone else to preview these excellent classes!

This summer we will not only have new members-only content, we will also have full in-depth series to help you take your genealogy to a new level.

We’ll be sharing with you five new members-only series, released every two weeks, throughout the summer of 2017.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect:

Speaker

Series

Release Date

Melissa Barker

Researching in Archives (4 classes)

July 6th

Blaine Bettinger

DNA: A Closer Look (5 classes)

July 17th

Teri E. Flack  

Texas: The Lone Star State (5 classes)

July 31st

Amie Bowser Tennant

1790-1940 U.S. Census Uncovered (3 classes)

August 9th

Eric Basir    

Photo Restoration (6 classes)

August 14th

Craig Scott

Researching Revolutionary War Soldiers (5 classes)

August 28th

Researching in Archives (4 classes)

Archivist Melissa Barker is taking her professional expertise in the Houston County, Tennessee Archives and helping genealogists everywhere find hidden resources in archives, libraries and societies. 

Melissa’s 4 classes include:

  • Family Gatherings: Dragging Genealogy Information Out of Your Family
  • Using Archives to Fill the Gaps in Your Ancestor’s Timeline
  • Disaster Planning for the Genealogist, Safeguarding Your Genealogical Records
  • Scrap Paper and Orphan Documents in Archives

Available to subscribers at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com: July 6, 2017

DNA: A Closer Look (5 classes)

DNA is a hot topic in genealogy but it can be a bit confusing to learn how it works. In this new series DNA expert Blaine Bettinger provides more tools to help you understand your DNA results

Blaine’s 5 classes include:

  • Avoiding Genetic Genealogy Pitfalls
  • DNA Frequently Asked Questions
  • Introduction to GEDmatch
  • Begging for Spit
  • Who Are You? Identifying Your Mysterious DNA Matches

Available to subscribers at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com: July 17, 2017

Texas: The Lone Star State (5 classes)

Texas is the second largest state in the United States and has a rich history. Whether your ancestors settled there during the Republic of Texas or after statehood, Teri E. Flack will help you find details about their lives.

Teri’s classes include:

  • Fundamentals of Researching Texas
  • Finding Your Ancestors in the Republic of Texas
  • Researching Texas Land and Property Records
  • Researching Texas Probate and Estate Records
  • Texas Vital Records and their Substitutes

Available to subscribers at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com: July 31, 2017

1790-1940 Census Uncovered (3 classes)

Amie’s 3 classes include:

  • 1790 – 1840 Census Secrets Uncovered
  • 1850-1900 U.S. Federal Census Secrets Revealed
  • 1910-1940 Federal Censuses and State Census Records to Fill the Gaps

Available to subscribers at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com: August 9, 2017

Photo Restoration (6 classes)

You loved his class “Complete Photo Restoration in 4 Easy Steps” so we’ve brought Eric Basir back for an entire 6-part series on Photo Restoration. Learn how to make the most of your photos from scanning to editing and restoration.

Eric’s 5 classes include:

  • Scanning 101
  • Hassle Free Document Restoration
  • Bringing Faded Photos Back to Life
  • 25 Quick Photoshop Tips For Genealogists – Part one
  • 25 More Quick Photoshop Tips For Genealogists – Part two
  • Effective Image Placement

Available to subscribers at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com: August 14, 2017

Researching Revolutionary War Soldiers (5 classes)

Craig Scott is one of the most sought after speakers on military research. In this series, Craig will help you navigate the extensive records created to document Revolutionary War soldiers.

Craig’s 5 classes include:

  • The Revolution, More than just the War
  • The Participants in the War
  • Records Create by the Revolutionary War During the War
  • Records Created by the Revolutionary War After the War​ (Pensions)
  • Records Created by the Revolutionary War After the War (Bounty Land)

Available to subscribers at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com: August 28, 2017

Not a member yet?

You still have time to sign up before the Subscriber Summer Spectacular starts!

In addition to the new summer series, you’ll have access to all 529 classes in the Legacy Webinar Library including all the handouts!

Legacy Family Tree Webinars provides genealogy education where-you-are through live and recorded online webinars and videos. Learn from the best instructors in genealogy including Thomas MacEntee, Judy Russell, J. Mark Lowe, Lisa Louise Cooke, Megan Smolenyak, Tom Jones, [Cari A. Taplin] and many more. Learn at your convenience. On-demand classes are available 24 hours a day! All you need is a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection.

Subscribe today and get access to this BONUS members-only webinar AND all of this:

  • All 529 classes in the library (734 hours of quality genealogy education)
  • 2,464 pages of instructors’ handouts
  • Chat logs from the live webinars
  • Additional 5% off anything at FamilyTreeWebinars.com
  • Chance for a bonus subscribers-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Additional members-only webinars

It’s just $49.95/year or $9.95/month. Subscribe today!


Legacy Family Tree Webinars is a real bargain! I sincerely hope you decide to join, even if you don’t click through using my links (I’ll never know!), especially if you love to learn better techniques for researching your ancestors!

Findmypast Offers FREE Weekend. Use it!

Great news! Findmypast is offering FREE access to British & Irish records starting today until June 26th. A couple of years ago I had great success using FMP (shared below) which helped me confirm something I’d only suspected from one word in one document. When a FREE weekend is offered on a site that I don’t subscribe to, I try to clear my schedule so I can learn as much as I can over that weekend. Here’s your opportunity if you have British and/or Irish ancestors.

From the FMP news release:

Leading family history website, Findmypast, has just announced that their unrivalled collection of British and Irish records will be free to access for the next five days. Between 04:00 EDT 22nd June and 18:59 EDT, June 26th 2017, more than 1.1 billion records ranging from censuses and parish registers to military service records will be completely free to search and explore.

By providing free access to such a wide array of records, Findmypast aims to encourage genealogists to experience the very best of everything Findmypast has to offer. Researchers will also be provided with daily getting started guides, expert insights and useful how-to blogs over the course of the free access period, as well as a free downloadable eBook entitled “your must have guide to finding your British & Irish ancestors”.

An open “ask the experts” question and answer session will also be broadcast live on Facebook at 10am EDT on Monday (June 26th). Findmypast specialists in search techniques, military records, UK family history and everything in-between will be on hand to answer any questions researchers may have, whether they’re just getting started or need help overcoming a brick wall. This will then be followed by a free webinar entitled “20 Unmissable Resources for Tracing Your British and Irish ancestors” at 11am EDT, Wednesday July 5th.

For the duration of the free access period, all visitors to Findmypast will be able to access all of the following resources for free;

The largest collection of UK Parish Registers anywhere online

  • The largest online collection of Irish family history records in the world
  • The largest collection of British Military service records and the only collection to cover all three service branches (Army, Navy & Air Force)
  • The largest collection of British WW1 records & over 2.7 million Foreign Office Prisoner of War records covering both World Wars
  • The largest online collection of England & Wales Crime, Prisons & Punishment records
  • Over 13 million Roman Catholic Sacramental Registers covering Ireland, Scotland England and the US

Findmypast is home to millions of British & Irish records you won’t find anywhere else online and is the only family history website committed to releasing new records every single week.

I had great success using FMP a couple of years ago to locate the discharge papers of my 4xGreat-Grandfather, James Sly, of Warminster, Wiltshire, England from 1819!

Sly-militarypaper
“British Army Service Records 1760-1915,” Findmypast (www.findmypast.com : accessed October 2016), entry for Private James Sly, Parish of “Orningsham,” 1819; citing The National Archives (UK), WO 97 – Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records, Box 796, Record No. 97.

I knew from the 1841 UK census that James was a “pensioner,” but this record confirmed it and gave me more information on when he served and in what regiment.

If you have Irish or English ancestors, I do hope you’ll take advantage of this free weekend!

SLIG Scholarships available!

I will have the awesome opportunity to co-coordinate a course at SLIG 2018 with my colleague Kathryn Lake Hogan, titled “The Third Coast: Research in the Great Lakes Region.” You can view the entire course outline by clicking here ( slig.ugagenealogy.org) and finding Course 2. You can also view a short video about our course:

(I’ll write more specifics about the course in a later post.)

Is your genealogical budget a little tight? Or would you like financial assistance to attend? If so, I want to let you know about some great scholarship opportunities for SLIG 2018. The following was sent out by Debra A. Hoffman, Assistant to the Director of SLIG:

Planning to attend the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) in January
2018? There are several scholarship opportunities available for SLIG
students.

SLIG Jimmy B. Parker Scholarship
*Deadline June 20, 2017*

Named in honor of Jimmy B. Parker, whose legacy of service to the
genealogical community covered more than 50 years, this full-tuition
scholarship will be awarded to an individual who has “demonstrated
commitment to genealogical excellence and community involvement”. The
winner will be announced July 1st and their course of choice pre-reserved.
Full details here: http://ugagenealogy.org/cpage.php?pt=424.

SLIG Scholarship for First-Time Institute Attendees
*Deadline June 20, 2017*

This fund, opened at SLIG 2016, was created to enhance scholarship
opportunities for SLIG students. Donations have been made by Maia’s
Bookstore and SLIG students. More details and submission requirements may
be found here https://ugagenealogy.org/cpage.php?pt=448.

ASG Scholar Award, American Society of Genealogists

This award provides “financial assistance for a developing scholar to
attend one of five academic programs in American genealogy.” The award,
which will be given in October, will apply toward a SLIG 2018 course of
study. To find out more, visit their website
http://fasg.org/awards/asg-scholar-award.

AncestryProGenealogists Scholarship
*Deadline TBD for SLIG 2019*

Established to “foster and support professional genealogists in their
ongoing development efforts.” Scholarship covers tuition and specific other
expenses to attend one of the four US-based genealogical institutes.

Unfortunately, due to a lot of complicating factors, applicants won’t be
aware of the courses to be offered for SLIG 2019 until after they have
completed their application. For that reason, we offer the opportunity to
have open dialogue with the director if needed to help you rank SLIG in order of attendance preference on your application. (send an email to: director@slig.ugagenealogy.org and use the subject “AncestryProGen scholarship question for 2018”)

You can learn more about the AncestryProGenealogists Scholarship on their
website https://www.progenealogists.com/scholarship.

I hope to see you at the FGS Conference, Pittsburgh

At the end of the summer, I will have the pleasure of being a speaker at the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ Conference “Building Bridges to the Past” being held in one of my favorite cities: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! The conference will take place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center August 30 through September 2, 2017.

I will be presenting three lectures. Wednesday is a day focused on society management. I will present:

  • “How to Find Volunteers and Keep Them!” – W-102, 9:30 am
  • “Build Membership and Participation with Small Groups and SIGs” – W-117, 2:00 pm

Then on Friday I get to present on a topic that I’ve been wanting to share for quite some time:

  • “Casting the Next: Denominational and Ethnic Newspaper Research” – F-309, 9:30 am

Full conference details can be found on the website: https://www.fgsconference.org/

If you have never been to a genealogical conference, it can be an excellent way to get a taste of a lot of topics at one venue. Each day there are approximately seven different lectures to choose from at any given hour, sometimes making it difficult to decide! I use these opportunities to attend lectures that match where I either 1) know very little or 2) address a current research project or problem.

I hope to see you in Pittsburgh!

Texas Institute of Genealogical Research (TIGR)

In Austin, TX, May 22-25, 2017, I will be part of the faculty presenting the first annual Texas Institute of Genealogical Research (TIGR). The institute will be a week long, with focus solely on Texas.

I am excited to be presenting “Shining Stars and Hidden Gems: Research Repositories of Texas.” Since moving to Texas two and a half years ago, I have made quite an effort to visit some of the wonderful research repositories in this BIG state. I have had some fantastic experiences and have gotten to hold in my hands some of the most precious and descriptive letters from the time of the Texas Revolution.

One project I have been involved with has been examining the personal writings from men who served in the Georgia Battalion. On a research visit to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, located on the University of Texas campus, I had the privilege to read some very interesting and heartbreaking letters describing the times and conditions of the soldiers.

Letters written by John Sowers Brooks, available for viewing at the Briscoe Center, describe the terrible conditions the soldiers had to endure and are saturated with the loneliness these men must have felt.

IMG_7322
Letter from John Sowers Brooks, to his father, dated 25 February 1836, from Fort Defiance, Goliad, Texas; Briscoe Center for American History, box 3H90, Folder “Brooks (John Sowers) Papers [no folder numbers].

The letter reads in part:

“We will march at the dawn of day tomorrow with 320 men and 4 pieces of Artillery, 2 sixes and two fours. We have no provisions scarcely, and many of us are nearly naked, and entirely destitute of shoes. But something must be done to relieve our countrymen. We have suffered much and mar reasonably anticipate much greater sufferings. But if we succeed in reaching Bexar before the garrison is compelled to surrender, and are successful in taking the place and its gallant defenders– we shall deem ourselves amply repaid for our trials and hardships.”

Unfortunately, John Sowers Brooks was injured in battle, having received a bullet to his thigh which shattered the bone. He died during the massacre of Fannin’s Men at Goliad on 27 March 1836.

There are more letters to tell this tale. And hundreds of other tales of the Texas Revolution as well. The letters and stories are hidden in archives and manuscript collections across the state. My lecture at TIGR will share some of the repositories you can visit to find them. I hope to see you there!

Wow! My Kansas Webinar Made the Top Ten Webinars List!

Last month, I presented a webinar titled “Home on the Range: Kansas Research Tips” for Legacy Family Tree Webinars. It was a fun time and a great experience.

I was notified that my webinar was among the top ten for the month!

Screenshot of the blog post at Legacy News

You can read the entire blog post at: Top 10 Genealogy Webinars of March 2017

Needless to say, I am highly honored to be among so many of my favorite colleagues! Much thanks to Geoff Rasmussen and the Legacy Family Tree Webinars crew for their support, not just to education for genealogists, but also for giving speakers such a great opportunity as well!

More 2017 Plans… and into 2018!

So a few more things have been finalized that I can now mention publicly.

I have two all-day seminars scheduled this year:

  • 12 August 2017 – Ark-La-Tex, in Shreveport, LA holds an annual conference. This year I am their conference speaker! See this link for details.
  • 7 October 2017 – San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society, I will be the annual seminar speaker for this group as well. You can find out more information about the seminar here.

The BIG NEWS that I want to share is that I will be a co-coordinator in a course at SLIG in 2018!

fullsizerender

I will be teaching a course with Kathryn Lake Hogan, with special appearances by Judy Russell and David Ouimette! The course will cover the Great Lakes region, more than a general survey, and intended to highlight the unique nature of history, records, documents, and methodology surrounding research in the Great Lakes region, both from the U.S. and Canadian sides. Watch for more details on this course coming soon!