• Jun13

    I have been adding the basics of my family tree to the new Familysearch  – dig that new fan chart!

    Today I was working on one of my Czech lines, which of course contain all sorts of fun and exciting ácčěntéd characters. After I added my great-grandfather Vaclav Vaňáč and started to work on his parents, I looked up and realized there was an issue. Although the name shows properly in the “Vital Information” section of the main page, his name in the profile header mysteriously doesn’t contain the “ň” or the “č” – but still does have the accented “á”. Hmmm.

    I tried to send a message to the Familysearch support folks via their help center, but kept getting the error “Unable to create a case in our support system. Please try again later.

    Thus, wrote up this blog post to use when trying again later.


    Familysearch Missing Characters Capture

  • May28

    I have been on the trail of trying to find a lost Aunt in my family for several years. She was my grandmother’s daughter, born in Ireland and likely emigrated to New York as a teenager, many years after my Gran did.

    I have a much longer post in the making on this search and some possible good fortune – but I am in need of some help with one thing. I have not been able to discern what the handwriting says over the typewritten information on the following image.

    Lizzie Jennings Ellis Island record - handwriting in question

    Click to Enlarge.


    Does anyone out there have an idea of what it might be? Some quick context: this is a possible record for the Aunt I am seeking, and this part of the emigration lists the name and address of the person she is joining in the US.

    I have not found the “Father, Thomas Jennings” in question in NY at the time in censuses, directories, etc. BUT, this address is where my Gran lived in the 1920 census. No evidence of anyone named Jennings living at that location found yet.

    I am not sure the text handwritten in is anything special, but I am not getting anything from it but the initial “D…” and probably the second word is “to.” I’m wondering if it might be some common notation other researchers might recognize right off the bat.

    The original record on the Ellis Island site can be found here.

  • May23

    Welcome spammers, and by welcome I mean un.

    I have implemented state of the art technology to help you on your way. Please be sure to enter the information in the following Crapcha to post your comments.

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    The Management.

  • May21

    'Bessie Egan' is written on reverse.'The girl in this Irish photo from our family albums is still a mystery to me, even with a named written on the reverse of the photo: “Bessie Egan.” No one on in that part of the family on either side of the Atlantic has yet recognized the name, although my Grandmother did have a daughter Elizabeth that remained in Ireland until at least her early teens. However, later known photos of Elizabeth don’t really look like this girl to me.

    In any case, even with her unknown identity, it is one of my favorite family photos.

  • May3

    Notability App Screen ExampleI was about to write up a post on the Notability App for iPad as a useful note taking and annotation tool. Then I started to peer about and saw a few resources already out there that will give you a good idea of the features and possibility.

    Before I link to those resources, I’ll just add a couple of points below. (I know there are a few negative ones here, but don’t let them scare you off.)

    1. First, Being a fan of Evernote, I tried using their Penultimate app which is billed as a “handwriting app.” While it has some very nice features and is free, the lack of any ability to type is a deal breaker for me when it comes to note-taking.

    I have a fairly neat handwriting in real life, but on a tablet there is a point when handwriting sloppiness kicks in and typing wins. Notability’s ability to include typewritten text means win.

    Tactical iPad Cover
    2. In the Notability app, I find selecting objects is sometimes hard to do and takes me many finger mashes. Also, even though I have the long slender fingers of an artistic 19th century consumptive, for the life of me I cannot get the Page Up/Down to work most of the time – especially since my iPad is usually in a Tactical iPad Cover.

    3. Following on that – for any note taking app I would strongly recommend getting a tablet stylus to use for screen drawing. I find using an index finger to draw on an iPad both tiring and cumbersome in general. When it comes to annotation of documents and drawings, a pen is even more useful for clarity and accuracy  in selection.

    The jury is out on my finding one that I love, but I CAN tell you that Slim Jim jerky snacks are not the answer.

    4. Various types of media can be added to any note, including photos (from your library or take one on the fly), web clips, sticky notes, and figures. I tend to use figures most often when taking notes. My work usually has me identifying things by type and I like to use various colors and shapes to do so.

    However, I find the figure creation and editing features a bit annoying. When you create a figure it is done in a separate page from the active note page and then is inserted when you press Done. I find that disconcerting, and adds another step to the process since you then have to move the figure to where you want it and often resize it. Also, creating even a small figure means a giant rectangle of whitespace is inserted along with the figure. I am not sure what the value is in that.

    5. Audio notes: Nice in the field when you are walking through a location.

    Q. Postings online have various prices listed – as of this writing, the app is a steal for $1.99.

    So, now: On to two video recommendations that each do a nice job of going through Notability features:

    For a more genealogical slant on the app, check out Using an iPad for Genealogy Conferences – Notability, posted by Jennifer Patterson Dondero. (Visit her site at http://www.jpgenealogy.com)

    While there is some overlap, I also recommend Notability on the iPad from EdTechTeacher on Vimeo. They have a TON of useful videos out there, so be sure to click on their username and shop around.

    Notability on the iPad from EdTechTeacher on Vimeo.