Handwriting Analysis for Family Researchers

The deadline for submitting a handwriting sample has passed. Thank you to all who sent us a sample of an ancestor’s handwriting for this week’s program (Thursday, November 6 at 7:00 p.m).  Even if you did not submit a handwriting sample, you should consider attending because Paula Feldman, an expert graphologist, will discuss not just the specific handwriting samples, but she will also give general instruction on how to analysis handwriting in general.  

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Oakdale Historical Society

Genealogy and local history often go together.  For this reason, I thought those with family roots in Oakdale might be interested in knowing that Oakdale has a fairly new historical society. The Oakdale Historical Society meets every third Tuesday of the month at 6:00p.m. at Dowling College (Study on the first floor of Fortunoff Hall). The group has a Facebook page where they post events and interesting facts about Oakdale local history. You can view their page by clicking on the following link: http://on.fb.me/12bKo1U

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Organizit: Reducing your Genealogical Paper and Digital Clutter

Join us on Thursday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m. when Rhoda Miller, a certified genealogist, will provide you with tips on how to reduce your paper and digital clutter.   This program is free and open to all.

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Irish Genealogy

At the last Irish Family History Forum meeting held at the Bethpage Public Library, Joseph Buggy, genealogist and author, gave two excellent presentations on Irish genealogy. The first lecture was about researching your Irish ancestors in New York City, and the other was on more advanced techniques and resources for Irish genealogy. Mr. Buggy, who has spoken at our library, is an authority on Irish family research and hails from County Kilkenny, Ireland, so he is very knowledgeable about the townland, parish, and civil administrative practices on that side of the Atlantic. If you are researching an Irish family and missed these lectures, do not despair. You will find Mr. Buggy’s book, Finding Your Irish Ancestors in New York City (929.1 Buggy) in our nonfiction collection. He also has a website, “Townland of Origin,” at http://www.townlandoforigin.com/ with lots of information on resources and news items relating to Irish genealogy.

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New Ellis Island Website

If you have searched for a passenger list this month, you might have been surprised, as I was, to see that the website www.ellisisland.org has been seriously revamped. First of all, when you type in the address www.ellisisland.org, you are redirected to www.libertyellisfoundation.org. This is because they have combined the previous sites for Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Wall of Honor, and Flag of Faces into one webpage. You will also notice that you are required to re-register before searching the passenger lists. The username and password you previously used to view the passenger lists through the www.ellisisland.org website will not work. Registration is free, but there is a more commercial feel to the new website. If you are one who prefers using the Stephenmorse.org Gold Form, the good news is that it seems to work fine on the www.libertyellisfoundation.org site, but again you will need to re-apply for a new username and password before being able to view the information. I am reserving my opinion on these changes for now, and just encourage you to check it out. However, I feel it appropriate to remind you that Ancestry.com also has New York City passenger arrival lists.

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Handwriting Analysis for Family Researchers Question

A couple of people asked if the handwriting expert for our November program would be able to analyze the handwriting of someone who wrote in a foreign language. I asked Paula Feldman, who will be giving the program, this question, and she informed me that it is possible for her to analyze writing in a foreign language. She told me that just like in the English language, foreign script might have slanting, spacing, or other variations that can provide clues about the writer’s personality. However, she said she is unable to analyze handwriting in a different alphabet (such as Chinese or Cyrillic or possibly old German). Remember that you can submit your ancestor’s handwriting sample beginning October 7th. Only the first 15 samples submitted will be included in this program.

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How to Research at the Municipal Archives in New York City

If you researching ancestors who lived in one of the five Boroughs of New York City,  you will want to attend this week’s program (Wednesday, September 17, 7:00-8:30 p.m). Carol Proven, who has taught genealogical classes at St. Joseph’s College, will inform you about the valuable genealogical records housed at the Municipal Archives. She will also provide tips on how to prepare for a trip into the archives and demonstrate how the knowledge of the history of Ellis Island can enhance your research.  A case study will be included in the program.  

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A National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

In October, the National Archives will host a live, three-day, virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast on YouTube. The free program offers family history research tools for all skill levels on Federal records including census, American Indian, military, naturalization, and immigration. For complete schedule and participation instructions, visit the Virtual Genealogy Fair website at http://www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair/2014/schedule.html


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HeritageQuest Online Upgrade News

A major upgrade to HeritageQuest Online is planned for release in 2015.The following additions to content are scheduled for future release:

A complete U.S. Federal Census collection with name indexes and images for all decades, 1790-1940. These will be every-name indexes.

Additional US Census Schedules with name indexes and images, including:

◾1850-1860 Slave Schedules

◾1890 Veterans Schedules

◾1850-1890 Non-Population Schedules

◾1885-1940 Indian Census Rolls

◾1850-1885 Mortality Schedules

A complete Revolutionary War Era Pension Files and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files collection, i.e., NARA M804.

Exact name, SOUNDEX, wildcard and phonetic searches for the US Census and other datasets.

There will likely be additional new features in the upgrade, but specific details are not available at this time. 

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An Irish Genealogy Website

Someone mentioned to me that she recently had a breakthrough in her Irish family research when using the website Ireland Reaching Out  (http://www.irelandxo.com).  Because so many of us Irish family researchers are always interested in hearing about new ideas and success stories, I thought I would pass along her news.

The website Ireland Reaching Out is part of an Irish government sponsored initiative established several years ago to help those of Irish heritage connect with the Irish parish from where their ancestors originated from.  Although it is a free volunteer-led service, you need to register and answer questions before receiving research assistance or advice.  If you don’t want to take advantage of their service, you still might want to check out their listing of Irish resources by county. You can view that directly by going to www.irelandxo.com/irish-resources-county.

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