12 November 2016

Online Genealogists & Online Family Trees

This post has been a long time coming. It culminates from observations that I made over the last few years. I am also curious how many other fellow genealogists feel the same and have the same frustrations. The effect of the Internet on the world of genealogy cannot be denied. In the late 1990s, when I put my genealogy away for a period to work on other projects; the Internet was present but it was not all encompassing as it is today. When I came back to genealogy five years ago I could not believe how things changed for the better. Messages and notes could now be sent and responded to immediately via email instead of postal mail. Queries could now be posted worldwide on web sites instead of listing in select genealogical publications. Simple searches for out of the area resources such as archive addresses, phone numbers, and contacts required going to a library to find this information. Today most of us use Google for tracking down this data. Online genealogical research subscription sites are numerous. Three of these sites that I subscribe to are Ancestry, MyHeritage, and Geneanet.

Many genealogists do not use these subscription sites because they do not want to pay for something that they can use elsewhere for free; such as searching census records. I subscribe to these sites for the convenience of conducting research at any time of the day or night that suites me. On all of the previously mentioned sites, subscribers have the ability to upload their data to create online family trees along with photos. Many take advantage of this option. This is great in my opinion. However, this is where for me the aggravation begins.

My data has been uploaded to all of the mentioned sites and online family trees created. On one site, numerous family photos were also uploaded. This was done for a specific reason. So that others who are researching the same family line as me can find this information. The photos are used as "cousin bait." But a lesson learned for me is I am not baiting anyone. Other researchers simply take and attach my family photos to their trees. There is no problem with this but I am seriously perplexed as to why this is done without contacting me for possible further information. And even more questions arise when I contact them and ask them "where do they fit into the family tree?" Responses are never received by me.

Another "beef" for me about online trees is when a researcher erroneously attaches my family to their online tree and when I contact them to notify them of their error I either receive no response or they insist that they are correct.

The purchase of DNA kits and uploading this data to an online tree is also a question to me at times. On average a DNA kit costs around $100. The kit results are then posted sometimes to an online tree that has six individuals in it or sometimes no tree uploaded. Really? That seems like money not well spent. How would anyone be able to compare trees when their data is extremely scarce or does not exist? To give some people the benefit of the doubt, perhaps a DNA kit was purchased and uploaded simply to find their ethnicity. I do get that. They may not be interested in the research aspect; just where they came from.

For me the message I am trying to get across is if a fellow genealogist contacts you with a question or a remark, please get back to them. The response does not have to be done yesterday but definitely in a somewhat timely manner. It is plain rude to not respond. Ah, I feel better.

29 October 2016

Evangelical Protestant Cemetery Update

An update for the work at the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery can be found at the Friend's blog. The new post summarizes the completed work and what lies ahead for this Winter and next year. A new video is also posted on the blog.

30 September 2016

Capital District Genealogical Society Meeting & Anniversary

On 22 October 2016, the Capital District Genealogical Society will hold its monthly meeting at the William K. Sanford, Town of Colonie Library at 629 Albany-Shaker Road, Loudonville. This month's program is titled Getting Past Research Roadblocks and will be presented by Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer.

Program snipit: What genealogist doesn’t have research roadblocks? Breaking through them requires studying the ancestor and his associates as thoroughly as possible to construct a detailed timeline of his life and find clues for further research that may yield a solution.

The CDGS meetings are held on the 4th Saturday of month, except 3rd Saturday of month in May; and no meeting in December.
All regular meetings 1:00PM.
Interest groups meet 12 to 1PM.
Computer Resources Group meets 2:30PM.

After this month's program, a celebration of our 35th year as the Capital District Genealogical Society will be held. I have been a member of the CDGS on and off for years and may have been present at one of the very first CDGS meetings. I recall attending a CDGS meeting in a small lecture room within the New York State Library many many years ago. I remember Peter and Florence Christoph giving a talk during that meeting.

22 September 2016

Lecture on Early Relgion in Albany

Although this is short notice regarding this program, it was brought to my attention yesterday that Stefan Bielinski, retired Senior Historian in the History Office of the New York State Museum, will be conducting a lecture on Early Religion in Albany this Sunday, 25 September 2016 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Details below are cut and pasted from the Cathedral web page.

Event: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception History & Heritage Program Fall Lecture 
Title: Religion in Early Albany: Spiritual Comfort in an Emerging American City 
Date: Sunday, September 25, 2016 Time: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. 
Place: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Eagle Street & Madison Avenue, Albany 
Cost: The presentation is free & open to the public; Suggested goodwill donation in support of the Cathedral’s Social Services Program. 
Description: A multi-media presentation by Public Historian Stefan Bielinski will look at religion in early Albany and focus on the people involved in the half dozen early churches operating in Albany before 1800. 

For Further Information Contact: Reverend Michael A. Farano, Administrator Phone: (518) 463-4447 or Contact: Brian Buff, Cathedral History & Heritage Program Coordinator Phone: (518) 322-7036 

17 September 2016

Nassau Oktoberfest

Copied from the Rensselaer County Advertiser newspaper:

Nassau's Village Beautification Committee presents a traditional Oktoberfest celebration on Sunday, September 25th, at the Village Commons Park on John Street, just off US Route 20. The event runs from 12 noon until 4 PM and features traditional German foods, beverages, and entertainment.

Inspired by European harvest festivals, the Oktoberfest menu will include a variety of tasty treats including an array of locally-made German sausages, vegan bratwurst, imported German sauerkraut, potato salad, and made-as-you-watch potato pancakes. All foods are available for take-out.

What's an Oktoberfest without good beer? That question is answered with a broad selection of both imported German beers and fresh and local ales from Nassau's own S & S Farm Brewery.

Nassau's own Bavarian Barons, a traditional German brass band founded in the village over 50 years ago. With a lively program of polkas, waltzes, and marches, the group has a long history of entertaining the public throughout New York and New England.

Admission is free and will take place under tents rain or shine. Guests may bring their own chairs if they wish. For additional information, go to www.Nassau12123.com or call 518.766.2291.

Nassau Library Local History Program

Free programs that explore local history have been set for the Nassau Free Library. Many family history files containing names, dates, and other information through which one can trace area family roots are on file in the library.

Genealogy 101 presented by Arthur Young will begin at the library on Monday, October 17 and will conclude on Monday, November 21, with "What's in the Nassau Free Library Local History Collection?" presented by Kurt Vincent, Nassau Village Historian and Nassau Free Library Trustee.

All programs start at 7PM, are scheduled for the historic "main room" of the Library, in the original 1835 structure. Home of the Library since 1893, the building is part of the Church Street Historic District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Library is located at 18 Church Street, US Route 20, Nassau.

The Library's web page is located here.

09 September 2016

Lecture on the Impact of World War I on Albany's German-American Community

A lecture on the impact of the First World War on Albany's German-American community is being developed for a presentation this coming February at the New Scotland Museum; the home of the New Scotland Historical Association. The talk is scheduled for Sunday 5 February 2017. The museum is open Sundays between 2 PM and 4 PM and is located in New Salem at the Wyman Osterhout Community Center on Old New Salem Road off Route 85 just past the intersection of Route 85A. More details will follow as the date approaches. For more information please visit the website or call 518.765.4652.