Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Evidentia Portability

[A guest post from one of our sponsors, Evidentia Software]

Evidentia Software is the software program that makes it easy to collect information, analyze evidence, highlight missed connections and feel confident with your conclusions. It is also a proud sponsor of the podcast.

A frequent question that Ed Thompson, the designer behind Evidentiagets in the Evidentia support forums is “Where is my file?

This is usually submitted by someone who needs to move their data from one device to another. The assumption is that there is a single database file that has all their Evidentia data. While some genealogy software is designed that way, in Evidentia the data is stored in one or more hidden files. The reason is simple: that’s the way the software that Evidentia is built on works.

However, that doesn’t answer the user's real question, which is “how do I move my Evidentia data from device A to device B?

For that, there is a simple process - Backup/Restore.  

1.   Navigate to the Database screen at Settings>Database.
2.   Make sure the database you want to copy is selected.
3.   Select Backup and note the location you choose to save the file.

At this point you have a portable file. This file can be transferred to another device and then the reverse process can be used to restore it.

1.   Navigate to the Database screen on the new device.
2.   Select an existing database or create a new one.
3.   Select Restore and browse to the file you previously created.

You can also restore the backup to a new database on the same device. You might want to do this to share citations, or to experiment with reorganizing your data.

"What if I want to use a laptop and a desktop and keep the data in sync?"

For this Ed recommends using a Dropbox account. You can get one for free, and the process of using Evidentia and Dropbox together is documented in the help guide here. Just open the guide and search for Dropbox.

Ed Thompson is the designer behind EvidentiaHe loves researching ancestors, spending time with his two boys and his wife of 30+ years.  He especially likes spending time with his new grandson. Feel free to drop Ed a line on the Evidentia website

Monday, July 16, 2018

MyHeritage DNA Flash Sale Through July 19th

MyHeritage.com is having a Flash Sale on its DNA test kits through July 19, 2018. For a limited time, the kits are only $59, a great price for one or more kits! Click here to go directly to the site where you can place your order. Act quickly as the sale is only on through this Thursday, July 19th!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Goal! (Genealogically Speaking)

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not much of a sports fan, but there are certain events that are difficult to ignore, because of the high interest internationally. Other than the Olympics, perhaps the best known is the FIFA World Cup, whose most recent competition concluded only hours ago. All of those athletes were highly focused on one thing and one thing only: scoring as many goals as possible, and preventing their opponents from doing the same. While the word "goal" is not used in every sport, every sport still has a goal, which might be to achieve the highest (most sports) or lowest (golf and timed races, among others) number possible.

Genealogy may not be competitive in the way that sports are (although it can be entertaining in genealogy Facebook groups to watch people try to be the first to answer someone's question), but genealogical research is most successful when it begins with a well-defined and achievable goal. In my opinion, these goals work best as quarterly goals, because annual goals can lull us into putting off doing work until late in the year, and goals over a shorter time might not provide enough time to achieve anything useful, especially when the goal is difficult.

Between my full-time librarian job and my genealogy speaking and podcasting activities, I don't find a great deal of time to work on my personal genealogy research goals, but that isn't an excuse for me to avoid having those goals. In fact, because I haven't spent enough time defining my research goals lately, I haven't really made any significant headway on any of my genealogy research questions. So let's see if I can start the process by thinking about what might make for a good genealogy research goal, and then we'll see where that leads us.

I'm fairly comfortable with the facts concerning the names of my 8 great-grandparents, but things get a little sticky past that point. I don't know the maiden names of 4 of my great-great-grandmothers, and with one of those, I don't even know her first name. Three of those are on my maternal side, which is located entirely in South Carolina. And two of those are women who married men with very common names (Elizabeth, wife of James S. Martin, and Letty/Lettie, wife of Charles King).

As a result, I'm especially drawn to the woman whose entire name is a mystery, the mother of Elizabeth "Bettie" Foshee and the wife of Benjamin Foshee. So as a birthday present to myself (3 months from now), I'll set the research goal of discovering her name.

I challenge each of you, dear readers, with doing the same thing in the next 3 months: Set a research goal for yourself to take one of your brick walls and focus on it (more on focus in a later blog post). I'll want to hear how you did. And you can hold me accountable for my own goal, too!

Let's get to work!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Voter Registration Records

Many counties and municipalities maintain voter registration records for extended periods of time. While censuses were taken every ten years, a voter registration card or registration roll may provide a verification in those years in between to help you verify that your ancestor may have been in an area.

It is helpful to do a little preliminary research into the voting laws for the locale at the time. If your ancestor was on a voter roll and the voter residency requirement at the time was one year, that knowledge can verify that your ancestor was in a location for at least that long. By the same token, if a decennial census record shows your ancestor at a location and not on the voter roll, it could indicate that he may have been a newer arrival and had not been there long enough to meet the residency requirement. Some voter registration lists may include the year of naturalization for immigrants. This can be invaluable for narrowing the time period for locating naturalization documents.

Page from the "List of Registered Voters in the City of New York, For the Year 1880"
collection at MyHeritage.com 

An individual's voter registration card might be found among the papers in their home or in the possession of a descendant. If it is dated, it can be a clue to contacting the appropriate board of elections or other county agency to locate the original application or the collection of all election years' rolls.
Voter registration card from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

In more recent times, Congress enacted the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (also known as the "NVRA" and the "Motor Voter Act"), to enhance voting opportunities for every American. The Act has made it easier for all Americans to register to vote and to maintain their registration. As a result, a state-issued driver's license or identity card, and its issue date, may point to state voter registration documents.

Monday, July 9, 2018

More about the Slave Bill of Sale

The slave bill of sale discussed iEpisode 346 of The Genealogy Guys Podcast and the images posted in this blog on July 5, 2018, has been the subject of quite a bit of discussion. Here are three important comments:
  • Sharon A., Kathy's friend who provided the copies of the documents that we discussed, wrote us an email with the following: "One [document] is a bill of sale of the slave, Jack. The other is an inventory of the estate of Major Joseph Ryan. I only copied the page that shows the slaves and their value from the inventory.  This document is in pieces and has another page because it lists all the items in the estate." Thank you for that clarification, Sharon.
  • Jerry wrote: " While listening to your podcast today and the question of where the slave bill of sale might be donated, I thought about the ArchiveGrid database. It is a subset of WorldCat, and the description on the web site, states:
    • "ArchiveGrid includes over 5 million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more. With over 1,000 different archival institutions represented, ArchiveGrid helps researchers looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies."
    • Jerry goes on to say that, "At any rate, if you search “slave bill of sale”, the result is 235 hits. Clicking on “Summary view,” will tell you which repositories own the most of these documents under the category “archives.” It looks as though Louisiana State University- Special Collections owns the most of these documents.
  • Laura shared with us that the State Library of North Carolina's website has an impressive webpage titled Government and Heritage Library at https://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/ghl. It has a specific libguide (finding aid) titled Genealogical Slave Records, beginning at http://statelibrary.ncdcr.libguides.com/c.php?g=151276. It has tabs with some excellent reference resources:
    • Finding Slave Records
    • Books & Online Resources
    • Articles 
    • Get More Help
The Guys will continue to post images that illustrate some of the items we discuss on the podcast, and we hope that they will provide you with deeper insights into the subjects.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Slave Bill of Sale

In Episode 346 of The Genealogy Guys Podcast, our listener Kathy posed a question about a slave bill of sale and estate inventory that a friend found among her mother's papers. The sale took place in 1833 in North Carolina. Here are the three pages of this document.

Please listen to the podcast for The Guys' discussion of the documents and the research they attempted on the seller, the buyer, and the agent.

The friend would like to donate the documents to a repository where they will be preserved and made available to others. If you have suggestions, please send them to us at genealogyguys@gmail.com.

Document images used by permission of submitter.