August 2012

Abbreviations are something about which one needs to be careful.

When doing a search through census data, it appeared that everyone in the census was born in “Ia”.  Now, one may think that this meant Iowa.  However, in this case it meant Indiana.  At the time the census was taken, “Ia” was the abbreviation for Indiana.

Always be careful about abbreviations!



Do you ever go to, or another website, and find a family tree that has been downloaded to the site?  I know that I have, and I imagine that a lot of genealogists, professional and otherwise, have had the same experience.

One needs to be careful about these family trees.  It could be that everything in the tree is correct and well cited. And, then again, it could be that someone put the information there without any citations.  If that is the case, then the information could be correct, but it could also be incorrect.  All of it!

And, keep in mind that even if there are citations, one must check out those citations before really knowing for sure that the information is correct.  So far, I have never found an incorrect item that has a citation listed.  However, one needs to be certain.

And, what if included in the tree are photos, scans of wills, etc.  Is it okay to use them?  I know that if I find something such as this on a tree, I always contact the owner of the tree to get permission to use the item.

What do you think?


Maps.  We all use them.  If we do research dating from the early days of the United States and before, we have maps of countries and U.S. county formations.  And, we have a lot of them!

Do we use them once and then dispose/recycle them?  Then, the next time one is needed for that state or country, we use the Internet to find the same map again?  I hope not!

How does one organize so many maps?

I have a “Maps” notebook for all of my maps.  It started out in a thin folder, then a ½” binder, then a 1″ binder, etc.  I have them organized by state.  Each map is not just printed out, but also an explanation of the map is included.  And, of course my source is included.  I also have areas for “sections” of the U.S. – New England, Northwest Territory, etc.  And, of course, I also have some foreign maps in there as well.

Do you have another idea for organizing maps?  If so, please do not hesitate to share


There is a book that I own that is the most used book in my library – Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

Evidence analysis is the examination of our evidence on a particular “family” item.  What is the source of the item?  Is the source of the item to be trusted?  Is the source primary or secondary?  Is the source original or derivative?  Is the evidence direct or indirect?

After determining the answers to the above, how does one cite the source?

The book guides the user in answering all of these questions!  Find out more about the book at the website,


I love playing the piano.  I have played since my parents forced me to take lessons when I was about 8 years old.  When it was up to me later in life as to if I wanted to continue, I chose to continue.  And, I still play!  Both of my parents played the piano – my dad more than my mom.  I have a son who is a pianist!

Recently I came upon a piece of piano music that my dad had kept for many, many years.  The piece is called, “Under the Double Eagle” by J. F. Wagner.  The piece of music was found in an old mailing envelope.  However, the note on the envelope was worth much more than the piece of music!  The note says,

See what I mean!


Found in my dad’s things was a medical case.  I am not sure as to if it is from WWII, or another time.

Below are some photos of the case.

Does anyone have any ideas of the use of the items in the case, or the time period for the case?


Evernote.  From reading some of the APG messages, this is similar to Microsoft One Note.

I recently attended the Midwestern Roots conference in Indianapolis.  I had not planned well, and had not printed the handouts (from the online syllabus) of the sessions in which I was interested.  Of course, I realized this after I was already in my hotel room, on the day of pre-conference activities.  What to do.

Then, I had an idea.

I have Evernote on my computer, and on my Samsung phone/hand-held-communication device.  Mine is nicknamed Jessie.  So, my thought was to put the files onto Jessie.  First, on my computer, I created individual word documents for each of the session handouts – one document for each session.  Then, I put them in Evernote.  And, did the Sync command.  Then, on Jessie, I clicked on my app for Evernote, did the Sync command, and there were the documents!  So, when I went to each session, I brought up Evernote and the appropriate document, and I was all set.

I imagine that I can use Evernote for much more than I do right now, but still thought I would pass this along!


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