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Sunday, July 20, 2008



A BGS Summer Workshop on Favorite Internet Resources was held at the Central Brevard Library on Monday, July 14, 2008, with Vera Zimmerman moderating. The workshop was well attended and a wide variety of Internet resources were discussed as well as a few non-Internet resources (also known as books). Here's a list of those web sites and books.

Our own society's web page with links to newsletters and other useful information.
BGS school page with useful articles on how to use Family Search's IGI and other subjects.
Always a good place to start and still free. Clicking on a state link takes you to the State website.
Census images and more. Fee site.
Historical newspapers from 1690-1977, historical books from 1801-1900, historical documents from 1789-1980, obituaries 1977-current, Social Security Death Index from 1937-current. Fee site.
Search Family Trees at WorldConnect. More than 480 million names on file. A good place to contact other researchers.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) website. Billions of free family trees, family histories, genealogy and census records.
FamilySearch Labs showcases new family history technologies that aren't ready for prime time.
The September 2008 issue has 101 Best Web Sites for Tracing Your Roots.
Old favorite with more than 264,000 links in 180 categories.
Social Security Death Index through Rootsweb.
Searching the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) in One Step, Stephen P. Morse site.
Stephen Morse's site also has search engines for immigration research, census research and more.
Florida's Virtual Reference Service. Email questions to a research librarian.

Links to online census records for U.S., Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland. Some are indexes, some are images, and some are abstracts.
Center for Disease Control site has all the information you need on where to write for Birth, Marriage and Death Records.
Obits Archive is the largest and most comprehensive collection of newspaper obituaries in the U.S.
Free through the library's databases. Accessible from home.
A resource for finding the final resting places of famous folks, friends and family members.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; National Cemetery Administration. Nationwide veterans' grave locator.
A wide range of resources including databases, family finder, articles, societies and discussion groups.
Other Jewish genealogy sites:
Dedicated to the collection, preservation and dissemination of research materials relevant to Polish heritage.

Other Polish sites:
More than just Italian genealogy, it has Naturalization and Vital Records databases for Kings, Richmond, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Manhattan, Bronx, and Westchester Counties in New York.
New England Historic Genealogical Society site has Great Migration books online covering immigrants to New England from 1620-1633. Books are also in the Central Brevard Library Gen. Dept.
Available to search vital records from the Cocoa library- any computer.
Missouri genealogical information, including courthouse records, census and historical information.
Franklin City, Ohio cemeteries.
Over 65,000 digital photos of Ohio gravestones.
Kentucky Gen Web site.
Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives(KDLA)
Search for your family history in photos. Search by surname, state, country and more.
Daughters of the American Revolution Library.
Over 500 fun and useful things for the genealogist and family history researcher.
Information and links to hereditary societies in the U.S. from the Alamo Defenders' Descendants Association to the Women Descendants of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.
Tri-Counties Genealogical and History Site, Resource materials and tools for Bradford and Tioga County, PA and Chemung County, NY.
Georgia historical maps.
Georgia DOT maps, city and county, includes cemeteries and churches.
Methodist obits from the Southern Christian Advocate from 1837. South Carolina paper but includes Georgia and Florida in early years. GA newspaper started in 1878.

Non-Internet Resources (Books)

Best of Covered Wagon Women, Kenneth L. Holmes, University of Nebraska Press, 1995. Several volumes of journals and memoirs of women who went west on the Oregon and Sante Fe Trails, in the History area of the Central Brevard Library.
(You can also read Vol. 1 online at: )

Born Fighting, How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, by James Webb, Broadway Books, New York, 2004.

A Guide to Genealogical Research at the Louisiana State Archives by Judy Riffel, Baton Rouge, 2008.
Almost every state has something similar to help you prepare for a research trip.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


What Is That Relative?

Identifying Uncles, Aunts, and Cousins

By Betty Eichhorn
Brevard Genealogical Society

Many people have difficulty figuring out relationships of their distant relatives. Part of the problem is nomenclature and the other is not understanding how relationships are established.

I have read arguments on whether the brother of one of your grandparents is a greatuncle or a granduncle. I plead for granduncle as it is easier to identify the generation to which he belongs. A granduncle is a brother of one of your grandparents. A great granduncle is a brother of one of your great grandparents. And so on back thru the generations. It’s grandaunt too. Take a look at the chart below. See how granduncle and grandaunt fit in. Using greatuncle would be very confusing.

Now on to cousins. On the chart, make believe you are the person in the box (lower left) labeled “YOU’. The chart shows the descendants of your great, great grandparents, including siblings (your aunts and uncles) of your ancestors. Every person in the chart is a blood relative and has been given a title of grandparent, parent, uncle, aunt, or cousin, based on their relationship to you, not to each other.

Cousins are descendants of your uncles and aunts of any generation. What degree the cousins are depends on their relationship to your ancestors. Notice that all cousins that are in the same generation as you are first, second, third, or other whole number of cousin. Trace each of these cousins back to the first ancestor that each of you share. The results for them are:


First cousin
Second cousin
Third cousin

Common ancestors

great grandparents
great, great grandparents

No. of ‘g’s


Now count the number of ‘g’s in the common ancestors. Notice that the common ancestors for first cousin has one ‘g’, for second cousin has 2, and third cousin has 3. The numbers are valid as far back in time as you wish to go. A tenth cousin has at least one of the same great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents as you do.

In some cases, you and your cousins may share just one ancestor rather than two. This happens when an ancestor has children by more than one spouse, as when one remarries after a death or divorce. Then those cousins will be half cousins, similar to half brothers and half sisters.

OK, on to removed cousins. No, you don’t throw them away. “First cousin once removed” means “first cousin one generation removed.” The children of your first cousins are one generation removed from the first cousin level. The grandchildren of your first cousins are two generations removed so they would be ‘first cousins twice removed.”

To compute removed cousins, again find the closest common ancestors. Use the cousin who is closest to the common ancestors to figure the cousin relationship (first, second, third, ...). Then take the difference in the generations and that is the number removed. For example, the common ancestors of you and Tony (bottom middle of chart) are your great grandparents (2 ‘g’s). He is four generations from them and you are three (4 - 3 = 1). You and he are second cousins once removed.

Another example. Lois (far right on chart) and you have your great, great grandparents in common. But Lois is only two generations from your gg grandparents and you are four. Since Lois is closer to the common ancestors, use her grandparents (your gg grandparents) to figure the cousin relationship, which becomes first cousin. Since you are two generations apart, you and Lois are first cousins, twice removed. Another way to look at it is from Lois’ perspective. To her, you are the grandchild of her first cousin, who is one of your grandparents.

Lois is referred to as a cousin in the ascendancy or an ascendant cousin as she is an ancestor of one of your full (whole numbered) cousins. Tony is a cousin in the descendancy or a descendant cousin because he is a descendant of one of your full cousins. Of course, from Lois’s perspective, you are a descendant cousin and from Tony’s perspective, you are an ascendant cousin. And of course you can just ignore those terms, as I do. (Note: an asterisk in the chart indicates a descendant cousin.)

Charts of relationship appear in books but they don’t show how the relationships occur. I hope this helps the next time you locate a new cousin. Perhaps like me, you will find a fourth cousin once removed who had researched the family two generations further back than I had.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Get More From the IGI - Use Those Batch Numbers

By Betty Eichhorn
Brevard Genealogical Society

A little-known feature of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) is the batch number. This article has instructions on using it to get more information. However, since some readers may have never used the IGI before, we will start at the beginning.

Go to the Family History Library (FHL) web site There is a search form on the home page but, instead, click on the yellow “Search” tab at the top of the page. Then click on the IGI in the left column. In the IGI search form, enter a surname and a region. You can add a first name, parents, spouse, and narrow down the event, time period or region as you wish. How much you enter depends on how rare the surname is and how large the region is. You can select “exact” spelling of the surname, which I use sometimes to shorten the list of findings. Otherwise, the list will include spelling variations of the surname.

Click on the “Search” button. At the top of the page, there will be a list of the selected search options and a number which states how many findings are in the list. If it is “200+”, there may be thousands of names.

It is worth noting that the found list ignores prefixes. That is, when I searched for the surname “Dono”, I got a lot of the surname McDonough. This was one case when I used exact spelling as the unwanted surname overwhelmed the the desired one.

When you find a record that matches one of the people in your genealogical file, click on the highlighted name to get the full record. Copy and paste the record into your notebook or word processor. Keep searching the list until you are either tired or reached the end.


Click on the highlighted batch number in one of the records. The IGI search page will reappear with the batch number and region in it and any other entries removed. After hitting the “Search” button, a new found list will appear which has all the names on that batch in a crude alphabetical order.

So where do batch numbers come from? The LDS Church has a Record Extraction Program. Two teams or individuals each extract names from a film or a portion of a film (called an item). Then they compare their results to assure the most accurate indexing possible. The project is given a batch number which is preceded by a letter which indicates the type of record. The ones you will be most interested in start with a C (Christening or Birth) or M (Marriage). Be aware that some entries were submitted by individuals and they will not have batch numbers and usually no source is given.

So when you get the batch number list of names, it has all the names on that film or portion of film. This is very useful when the film covers a small area such as a village or a low population county. The list will likely have other surnames that match names in your genealogical file. Others may have the same surname but are not in my file but I save them anyway as I may later find that they are related. I have also found people with surnames so badly misspelled or truncated that a search would never find them. I have picked up several people that way. The batch list can be very productive.

Though the list is in a rough alphabetical order, some names may be mixed with others. For example, surnames beginning with C or K may be grouped together. I also found surnames beginning with P mixed with the names beginning with B. You may find other combinations of initial letters.

Again, paste the records into a word file or, instead of pasting, you can download gedcoms. Check the box beside the names you are interested in. Then click on “Prepare selection records for download”. You will get a list of the records that you checked. After clicking on “Download GEDCOM”, you will get a text file with the extension “.ged”. Using your genealogical software, assign the source (IGI and batch and film numbers) and import the gedcom into an new, empty file. NEVER put it directly into your master genealogical file. Instead, examine the downloaded material, make any desired changes and then import into your master file only the ones which go with your family. After importing, link the people or match and merge as necessary.


Now that I have a list of records that are all on one film, I would like to order the film to get the full record and make photocopies of the original document such as a vital certificate or a municipal or county record. If you are lucky, the film number is highlighted on the record under the words “Source Call No.” Click on it. A page will appear with the title of the film. Click on the highlighted lines to get the full description of the contents.

Another way to get a film description is to click on the “Library” tab at the top of the page, then on “Family History Library Catalog” at the top of the page. Select “Film/fiche”, paste the film number into the form and click “Search”. The description of that film will appear. Copy the description and use it as a source for your records. Notice that the description states how many films or fiche are covered by the description. For instance, the description for Queens County, NY, marriage indexes and certificates covers 56 rolls of film. Click on “View Film notes” at the top of the page to get what each roll of film covers. Find the particular film you want to look at and paste the description (often date or place) after the general description.

If there is no film number with the batch number, then you can call the Family History Center (FHC) in Rockledge. They have a set of microfiche which lists batch numbers and the corresponding film numbers. However, I recently looked up eight batch numbers there and none were listed. The fiche was dated 1995 so it is definitely not up-to-date as films are constantly being indexed in batches. I wrote the FHL through the web site and received an answer promptly. They also said that, for now, the only way to get the film numbers is to write for them. You will have to register first - click on “Register" at the top right of the home page. After you receive an e-mail confirming that you are registered, sign in (upper right), then click on “Contact Us” at the lower right of the home page. You can send several batch numbers at the same time.

You can also go to the Library catalog (see two paragraphs back) and select the “Place” category. Enter the place name and click “Search”. A list of places will appear. Click on the most appropriate one. You will get a list of categories that have books, films or fiche on that area. Select “Vital Records” (or “Church Records” if it was a christening or a church marriage record) and see what films are available in that area. You may be able to determine which film was used for that batch number.

One more thing. If you find a film with an item number that has been indexed, add or subtract “1” from the batch number and search on it. I found that when one item on a film was indexed, they all were and they had sequential batch numbers.

Good luck and happy batching.

I found two films that were indexed for Brevard County, Florida.

Batch No. Film No. Description
C736638 0977782 Delayed birth certificates
M512981 0976411 Marriage licenses 1868-1902

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Blogging Lesson #2 - How to Post

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Coming next: How to post pictures!


Blogging Lesson #1

There are many different types of blogs. The ones you hear about most are the personal journals and the "news" blogs. But in between are the team blogs and at the other end of the spectrum you'll find the wild, wild west of open blogs where just about anyone can post.

What you have is a Team blog, that allows any blog member to comment on the posts.

Obviously, in order to actually post you must be a member. To request an invitation, ask for it in the Comments section. You'll receive it in 24 - 48 hours, unless we are REALLY busy. The invitation will come from Blogger Invites and have the Subject: Blogger blog invitation from ***** (any team members name may be here). It may be diverted to your spam box, since it has a no-reply return address.

Here are the easy directions to sign up for the blog:

This will take you to the Dashboard where the blog(s) you join will be listed.

For security reasons the invitation link is only good once. If you have any problems or if the registration doesn't go through, let us know and we will send another invitation or answer any questions.

Coming next: How to Post

Saturday, May 27, 2006


BGSchool Subscriptions change


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Also, please take a moment to review their Privacy Policy. I did and I am quite satisfied with it. The only third party that will see your email addresses is... well it's me. And I already see them and won't share them with anyone.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to comment.

Friday, September 24, 2004


Getting the Most From Your Word Processor

Using copy and paste,
selecting text,
and keyboard commands

by Betty Eichhorn

I Introduction

Many people are not aware of some of the features of their word processor. I would like to change that by offering lessons on the most useful features of the software. This lesson will include using copy and paste, keyboard commands, and several methods for selecting text.

Many of these instructions will work on any computer, whether it uses a Windows or a Mac platform. Some instructions will be different. The first difference between them is in the Control key. When you see the word Control , it is for Windows programs. Mac users should use the Command or Apple key instead of their Control key. Both will be specified for a while, but then only the Control name will be used and Mac people must remember to use the correct key.

Windows users only Use only the left button on the mouse in the lessons, that is left click only.

Students are urged to read the entire lesson first before attempting to follow the instructions. Do not do anything that is not in the instructions. Everything here is for the purpose of illustrating a feature of your software and when you are finished, you will have a good start in word processing.

Also you might explore the pull-down menus and buttons on the top of the word processor page. You will be asked to use some of them later. Also all the following keyboard shortcuts are available in pull-down menus or as icons on the tool bar.

2 Getting started

A keyboard command, also called a keyboard shortcut, can be used instead of the mouse to perform certain functions. To use one of these commands, hold down the Control (or Command) key then press the letter. Note if you hold the two keys down too long while doing a Control v (Command v), you may paste something more than once. This can be useful sometimes.

You will copy and paste the text of this email into a new blank page in your word processor. But first you have to select the text that is to be copied. Selected text will be highlighted, meaning the background color will change. There are several ways to select text.

For this purpose, do the keyboard command, Select All, which is Control a (Command a). This will highlight the entire text of this e-mail. Copy the text with a Control c (Command c). Next open a blank page in your word processor, place the cursor (the flashing bar) in the top left corner of the page and do a Control v (Command v). The entire email should now be pasted onto the page. Save the page by doing a Control s (Command s) and assign it a name that makes sense to you such as Computer Lesson 1 .

You no longer need the email now and you can close it. Save it as you may wish to go through the exercise again. As they say, practice makes perfect.

From now on, you will use only the word processor page that you just copied and pasted. This was done by selecting everything. Later we will learn to select just portions of the text.

If you would prefer to have the text in a different font or size, do another Select All, Control a (Command a) and change either or both by using the font and size menus at the top of the page. Then click on the page to de-select it (turn off the highlighting).

You may wish to print out this lesson so you can mark it up as you wish. That may require pulling down the File menu and doing the Page Setup. Then do a Control p (Command p) to bring up the print page.

If at any time, things don t turn out the way they are supposed to, BEFORE doing anything else, do a Control z (Command z) or go to your Edit pull down menu and click on Undo or whatever words your program uses. Repeating the Control z (Command z) or Undo will undo the undo. If it is too late to do the Undo, then close the file without saving. Perhaps when you reopen the file, it may not have the messed up portion in it. Play with this command on some sample text.

3 Dressing up the text

During this lesson, you will have to go back and forth between this page and the beginning of this lesson. Look at the top of this file by pressing on the Home key on the keyboard or press the Page up key until you reach it. Press the Page Down button two or three times to return to this page. The next paragraph is optional, but worth learning about.

(It is possible to look at two parts of the page at the same time by splitting the screen into panes. You may have to consult your manual for instructions. Search on the word split and see what you find. If you are successful, divide the screen into two panes. Each pane will have its own vertical scroll bar. Scroll the top half to the title lines of this lesson. Scroll the bottom half so that the following paragraph is visible. Now as you follow the instructions, you will see the results in the top half.)

We would like to make the title, subtitle, and author lines look better. We will center them and put the title line in big, bold letters. But first we have to select them. To do that, put the cursor (that flashing bar) at the far left side of the title line and drag the cursor straight down until the three lines in the heading are highlighted. Now find the tool in the tool bar or in a pull-down menu that will center the lines. There should be at least four tools or icons for line placement, one each for left justify, right justify, justify both sides, and centering. Click on the centering one. All three lines with words should jump to the center of the page. Now click anywhere on the page to de-select the lines and do a Control s (Command s) to save it.

Select the title line by dragging down just the one line. The title should be highlighted. Now you can put the title into bold type by doing a Control b (Command b). With the line still highlighted, enlarge the type by one size. Then click on the page to de-select the line. Doesn t that look better?

You can select any amount of text by placing the cursor at the desired starting point and, while holding the mouse button down, dragging the cursor down and across to the desired end. The length can be as long or as short as you need it.

All that is left is to select one word. You can do that by placing the cursor anywhere in a word, double-clicking, and just the one word will be highlighted.

Any text that is selected may be copied from most documents or from the web and pasted into any document that accepts text. Also any of these others commands will apply to any selected text except on a web page.

You learned above how to make text bold, and to change its font or size. You can also change text to Italics Control i (Command i) and underline it Control u (Command u). The bold, italics, and underline commands. like the Undo command, all toggle, meaning if you repeat the same command, the action will be undone.

Exercise those commands by highlighting some text and using one of the above commands. Leave it highlighted and repeat the command. The text will revert to plain text.

Note be cautious about using the underline command. Nowadays it is reserved for web links. To emphasize some text, use the bold or italics command or capital or large letters.

One more important keyboard command is Cut Control x (Command x). This command removes selected text AND at the same time, copies it. This is very useful for moving text from one place to another. Just Cut, then paste it where you want it by placing the cursor in the right spot and do a Control v .

If you are a Windows user, you can use Cut to delete the Mac commands. Mac users can Cut the Windows commands. This will eliminate any confusion by their presence. Just highlight the text and Cut.

We have learned three methods of selecting Select All using a command; selecting any amount of text by dragging the cursor; and selecting one word by double-clicking on it. Once text is selected, it will be deleted automatically if you just start typing. The words will disappear and whatever keys you press will take their place. That is why I mentioned several times to click on the page to de-select. If the deletion was unintentional, Undo it immediately. Of course highlighting is a fast way to delete a lot of text by using the Delete key. But if you wish to replace the highlighted text with something else, just start typing.

You have also learned ten keyboard commands a(ll), c(opy), x (cut), v(paste), s(ave), p(rint), b(old), i(talic), u(nderline), and z (undo). Paste is not intuitive because the p is used for print, but the v is right next to c so you can remember it that way. (Some think of the v as an upside down caret which is used in script for an insert.) The x for Cut is like a pair of scissors. These commands are faster than using pull down menus and can be used in many of other programs on your computer. We hope that you will use this lesson in your own writings.

There is a spell-checker in the tool bar which you can use to check your spelling. Any writer appreciates the convenience of a spell-checker.

Use what you have learned to dress up this lesson. Make the subtitle in bold, if you like. Put some of the key words in bold, too, so you can find them easily. It is your lesson, do what you wish with it.

You can do the lesson several times by pasting the email into a new word processor file each time. Again, study the top of the page. Pull down the menus and see what s there. Hold your cursor over the icons and see if a balloon pops up and tells you what the icon does.

If something does not work for you, please do not hesitate to write with your problem. Be sure to mention which operating system and software you are using. Good luck and have fun.

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