Welcome to the CCCGS blog.

The purpose of this blog is to promote the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society by announcing upcoming events and reporting on past events. In doing so, I hope it will encourage all who are interested to attend any of our events and meetings, and share in our enthusiasm of genealogical research.

October 28, 2011

Follow Friday -- 4 Easy Tips for Preserving Digital Photos

The Library of Congress has several blogs on their website and one, The Signal, is about digital preservation.  Each post is written by different employees.  This post, written by Butch Lazorchak, about the 4 easy tips to preserve digital photos is very informative.
"We’ve come up with four simple steps to start you on the digital preservation path: Identify, Decide, Organize, and Make copies (I.D.O.M. anybody?).
Click on the link "four simple steps" and it will take you to the Library of Congress Digital Photographs page with a nice tidy article on how to save your digital photos.

I found the four steps simple to follow and I hope you do, too.

Copyright © 2011 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.

October 14, 2011

"Where's the Proof" by Corey Oiesen

Corey Oiesen
Last night, Oct. 13, 2011, Corey Oiesen spoke to us about how to evaluate sources.  She showed some wonderful resources for reading up on evaluating sources, writing source citations, and following the Genealogical Proof Standard. (See below for a list of books).

She started with defining the difference between Original or Derivative Sources, whether the information in a source is primary or secondary information, and whether the information answers the research question (direct evidence) or can be paired with other information to answer the question (indirect evidence).  She showed wonder images that helped explain the concepts.

She also talked about the informant and that sources can have more than on informant.  For example, the death certificate has the doctor as the informant about the illness and cause of death, while the genealogical information is usually given by a family member.  (For more information on this subject, go here).

She spoke about conflicting evidence and how it is important to keep track of all of the evidence that you find and to write about why you think the evidence is conflicting.  This is for yourself as well as for future researchers.

Lastly she spoke about source citations.  These help show your research path and will enable a future researcher to find the sources you used.

Corey's informative presentation, with the many examples she used, made what could be a very dry subject, very entertaining.  She was a wonderful speaker.

Good reference books she showed were:

Professional Genealogy: a Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2001.

The BCG Genealogical Stands Manual.  Board for Certification of Genealogists, Prove, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 2000.

Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009.

October 7, 2011

Follow Friday -- NARAtions: The Blog of the National Archives

I really enjoy reading the NARAtions (blog of the National Archives) because I learn something about the National Archives.  I think a lot of people think the National Archives is kind of mysterious.  What kinds of records do they have besides census, military, and land records?  So I'm always ready to learn of new records.

However, this blog post is about the 1940 census which will be released to the public April 2012.  "Family Tree Friday: Were You at Work?  The 1940 Census employment status (Part I)" at NARAtions.  It is written by Diane Petro, who is an Archives Technician in the Archives I Research Support Branch (RD-DC), Research Services, Archival Operations – Washington, DC.

She writes about columns 21 through 24 which addresses employment status. It's a nice write-up and there are images of the census forms, too. Take a look at the article and see for yourself.

General Meeting -- October 13, 2011

Last month, Lisa Louise Cooke gave a wonderful lecture on using Google.com as genealogical research strategies.  She talked about:

  • Basic Google searches
  • Advanced Search Operators, such as the tilde (~), asterisk (*), and numrange search
  • Advanced search strategies such as Google's advance search, related searches, and site searches
  • Google Books searches
  • Google News Timeline
She has a wonderful book which explains this and much more.  The Genealogist's Google Toolbox.  Check it out at http://www.genealogygems.tv/GoogleforGenealogy.htm.

This month our speaker, Corey Oiesen will speak about “Identifying and Citing Genealogy Sources."  This is always a good topic.  Citing our sources is very important.  I'm looking forward to this lecture.