Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Misc. questions from readers

Mae asks,
“Do you really contact EVERY photographer on Find A Grave?”

Yes, I really do.  I have a standard email that I copy and paste so it takes me less than a minute.  I keep a record of every person I have sent an email to and I note when they email back and whether or not they gave permission.  I ask for blanket permission to download and use any photo they might have taken that is of interest to me.  I also ask up front if I can use the photo on this blog and on the Legacy News blog if the occasion arises.  I assure them that full credit will go to them whether I use the photo in my file or on the blogs.  I am yet to be denied permission.


Garrett asks:
”Can you do some more blogs on extracting information from documents?”

I will do this again soon.  I love doing these.


J. N. asks:
”How often do you back up your file and where do you back it up to?”

I work on my file every day so I back it up every day.  If I am adding a lot of information I will back it up more than once a day.  My entire computer is backed up using Carbonite but I back up my Legacy file and all my photos and documents to SkyDrive.


Margie asks:
”Do you have your family tree on”

I have my direct line only on and it is a private tree.  I have it there only because my DNA is there and it helps me connect with others.


Jen asks:
”How helpful are all of the genealogy social media things out there?  I am starting to get a little overwhelmed with Facebook pages and Google Hangouts and Pinterest.  I can’t really see that this is helping my research.”

This is an interesting question.  I find it very helpful in keeping me up to date with what is going on in the genealogical world (lectures, seminars, webinar, new books, articles, etc.)  I also watch for updates from Genealogical websites such as FamilySearch, FamilySearch Indexing,  GenealogyBank., FamilyTreeDNA etc. as well as software announcements from  Evidentia and Clooz, Of course I watch everything Legacy puts out.  I also belong to two big general groups, Technology for Genealogy and The Organized Genealogist.   I use it much less for actual research.  I know there are people that belong to surname groups on Facebook and Google+ but I haven’t done this.  I am on Pinterest but I only use it for recipes and craft projects.


Stacy asks:
”I want to use my grandmother as a source of information.  She told me a lot of old family stories that I want to record.  I am not sure how I use her as a source.”

Here is how I record interviews:

Rev. Norman Entrekin (Purvis, MS), telephone interview by Michele Simmons Lewis, 1997; Rev. Entrekin was 17 years old when his grandfather James Simmons died.  He remembers the funeral and can confirm the location of James’ unmarked grave in the Grantham Family Cemetery.

I always like to add a blurb about how the person is related so that it shows their credibility. 


Mary Elizabeth asks:
”I have my tree on  One of my cousins also has a tree.  She has the wrong parents attached to one of our ancestors.  She won’t fix it.  Is there anything I can do?  If I email Ancestry will they fix it?”

No, will not “fix” it.  They have no way of knowing which one of you is right.  If you have the evidence to support your claim of who the correct parents are then put that evidence on Ancestry so that others can see it.  A prudent genealogist will look at everything they find on and critically evaluate what they find.  If your cousin’s information is incorrect, then caveat emptor (okay, they are not buying anything but the principle is the same).

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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