Archive for February, 2008

Have you reserved your hotel room for UPGS 2008 yet? The official conference hotel is:

Best Western Salt Lake Plaza
122 West South Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

801-521-0130 Hotel Desk

If you reserve a room at the Best Western Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, be sure to mention the United Polish Genealogical Societies Conference, Group Number 6840, in order to qualify for a reduced rate – $82 per night for a single/double or $89 per night for a triple/quad.  This rate is only guaranteed for reservations made by March 14, 2008.

There are still rooms available at the conference rate. If you have any difficulties obtaining the conference rate, send an email to: upgs08@gmail.com .

The United Polish Genealogical Societies Conference will be held Friday, April 18 through Monday, April 21, 2008 at the Best Western Salt Lake Plaza Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. The tentative schedule has been posted. The final schedule will be posted when available. Registration is now open online and by mail.

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Stephen J. Danko, PhD

Genealogy Blogs: New Ways to Disseminate Genealogy Information on the Internet
One of the newest ways to publish genealogical information on the Internet is by the use of weblogs, commonly called blogs. Genealogy blogs include a wide range of subjects, including genealogy news, methodology, family history, and research diaries. Setting up and maintaining a blog is surprisingly easy and can provide benefits for your research in ways that other methods of disseminating genealogical information may fall short.

Genealogy Gadgets and Gizmos: New Technology to Help in Your Research
New hardware, software, and on-line technology make finding, recording, and sharing information faster and easier than ever. Many of these advancements have found their way into genealogical research, enabling even a moderately technology-capable genealogist to take advantage of these new gadgets and gizmos. New technology enables genealogists to have access to their family history data from anywhere in the world, avail themselves of genealogy education at times and places of their choosing, collect documents and information more easily, and prepare professional-quality family books without the professional price.

Michael Hall

FHL Digitizing Family History Books Project
Individuals are invited to contribute to the Family History Archive in two ways: donate an electronic copy of their family history to be permanently preserved in this archived collection, or donate a printed copy of their family history with a contribution for digitizing and processing. A sample online history is showcased: Four American families: Our Polish and Hungarian Ancestors authored by Joseph F. Martin.

Kelvin Hulet

AncestryPress is an online tool for building person- or family-inspired books using simple-yet-powerful text and photo editing tools. Building a book on AncestryPress is an exciting, creative process and a great way to document and share valuable information about your family and its history. This lecture helps you through the book building process and provides you with the basic knowledge to guarantee the best possible end result—a book you and your family can treasure for generations to come.

Ceil Wendt Jensen, MA, CG

Skype Teleconference
Conversation with noted author William F. “Fred” Hoffman.  Fred will answer questions and queries posed by the UPGS 2008 attendees.

Skype Teleconference
Conversations with Kasia Grycza of Polish Roots and Lukasz Bielski creator of the Poznan Project. They will discuss researching in Poznan and answer queries posed by the UPGS attendees.

Strategies for Locating Ancestral Villages: Four Case Studies
The four case studies presented use different US finding aids and techniques to locate the Polish villages and parishes. While many traditional research techniques were employed in this research, this lecture also addresses online tools that can help you in your quest. The case studies are from West Prussia, East Prussia, Congress Poland, Poznań, and Galicia.

Survey of North American and Polish Military Records
A survey of military records and databases related to North American and Polish research.   Resources held by the Family History Library (FHL) will be highlighted. The survey includes: Civil War, World War I, and World War II military records including how to access US military headstone records.  The FHL holds microfilms of military parish registers of baptisms, marriages, and deaths for Austrian and Prussian regiments.

Post Mortem Records and a new Database
This session covers Polish and North American funerary customs and records. We will cover records from churches, undertakers, stonemasons, cemeteries and societies that sponsor burial grounds for their members. Learn about home wakes and view photos made at graveside. The lecture includes photos of funeral cards and announcements, record books, cemeteries, tombstones and exhumation. You may be surprised at the wealth of information available. Bring your family funeral “holy” cards to be digitized and entered into a new free database.

Baerbel Johnson

Online Mailing Lists
Rootsweb offers free mailing lists that feature surnames, geographic regions, and religion. Baerbel, a member of the German Passenger email list, speaks about the ins and outs of online mailing lists.

Kahlile B. Mehr, MA, MLS

Acquisitions at the FHL
This presentation covers the major policy shift in acquisitions of 2007 and the development of an image delivery infrasturcture in the genealogical operations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). It also covers all other elements of acquisitions: collection management function, record locations, field negotiations, procedures, shipping, receipt, cataloging, and distribution through Record Search and Family History Centers.

Stephen P. Morse, PhD

One-Step Webpages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools
The One-Step website started out as an aid for finding passengers in the Ellis Island database.  Shortly afterwards it was expanded to help with searching in the 1930 census.  Over the years it has continued to evolve and today includes over 100 web-based tools divided into 13 separate categories ranging from genealogical searches to astronomical calculations to last-minute bidding on e-bay.  This presentation will describe the range of tools available and give the highlights of each one.

Sonja Hoeke-Nishamoto, AG

The First Polish Community- Panna Maria, Texas, or Parisville, Michigan?
Sonja and Ceil share a presentation that documents the history of the two earliest North American Polish communities. Panna Maria makes the official claim as being the first community. Parisville lost early documentation due to fires. Primary documentation, land records, and manifests support their research. Vote for the first community at the end of the session.

Polish Research Trip
This lecture will discuss research sources visited, such as church and state archives, parishes, newly found relatives, civil registration offices, schools, and museums. Sonja will cover the types of resources available and answer questions a researcher might have as they plan a trip to Poland to find information about his ancestors.

Tomasz Nitsch

Tomasz Nitsch and the Pomeranian Genealogical Association
Skype Teleconference hosted by Tomasz Nitsch Conversation with the most genealogical family in Poland: Adam and Ewa Kaminski. Ewa is a PTG (Polish Genealogical Society) member of the board and Adam is a president of the Pomeranian Genealogical Association (Pomorskie Towarzystwo Genealogiczne- PTG too ;). Main topics: Polish TG – today and plans for the future. Pomeranian TG – local genealogical events and online databases for vital
records from the archives in Pelpin.

Tomasz Nitsch with Marek Jerzy Minakowski PhD
Conversation with Marek Jerzy Minakowski PhD, Polish historian and genealogist, who built the greatest Polish genealogical database. Dr. Minakowski’s database shows e.g., that most of Polish famous poets (Rey, Kochanowski, Morsztyn, Krasicki, Mickiewicz, Krasiński, Miłosz and Herbert) have family ties with each other. Dr Minakowski is also the Chairman of the Society of the Descendants of Sejm Wielki, organization similar to the Sons of American Revolution.

Genealogy in Poland Today
The presentation will cover two main topics: one is about genealogical societies, their activities and plans. Second is about Polish genealogical websites, especially the very successful ones like the classmates system naszaklasa.pl and the European project moikrewni.pl. Last but not least, Tomasz will tell you some words about his website genpol.com, useful functions, and plans for the future.

All About the Skype Community
We are in XXI century but most of us are using technologies that were created two centuries ago, like the telephone. Tomasz will explain how to use new technologies, especially Skype, not only for low cost overseas phone calls, but also as a finding aid to locate relatives or people living in locations of interest and research.

Orvill Paller

The Genealogical Society of Utah visits Poland
During the fall of 2007 Orvill Pallar traveled to Poland and visited archives on behalf of the Genealogical Society of Utah. He reports his findings.

Daniel Schlyter, AG

Building a Polish Pedigree Using Church Records and Civil Registration
This case study demonstrates the process of finding an ancestor in Polish records and progressing back generation by generation. 

Using the Family History Library’s Map Collection
A discussion of the map collection at the family history library and how to effectively use it.

Beau Sharbrough

Polish Research on Footnote.com
Footnote is a history website. What can a Polish researcher find there? From Kosciuszko in the Rev War, to the Polar Bears in WWI, to naturalization records and FBI case files; this tour will show you how to go beyond the census to find information about your family and the life of Polish Americans.

Social Media- what is it all about?
How can you find out what other researchers are working on? How can you know whose work to trust? How can you tell people about your greatest discoveries? Social Media is a term that is widely used for a variety of things, but at its heart it means giving you a soapbox, a billboard, and a stack of post-it notes to put anywhere you think it will help. This talk, given by a representative of Footnote.com, the social media history site, will show you several social media sites that support collaborative discovery of your family’s past.

The United Polish Genealogical Societies Conference will be held Friday, April 18 through Monday, April 21, 2008 at the Best Western Salt Lake Plaza Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. The tentative schedule has been posted. The final schedule will be posted when available. Registration is now open online and by mail.

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At past UPGS conferences, attendees have been asked to identify the locations of their ancestral villages on a map. To start off the process this year, attendees are invited to have the locations of their ancestral villages entered on the map, below. To have your ancestral villages marked on the map, please post a comment to this article, and we’ll add the locations of your villages. Please be as specific as possible about the locations so we can mark the correct place (supplying both the name of the village and the name of the parish is usually sufficient to pinpoint the location).

Ancestral Villages of UPGS 2008 Attendees

Ancestral Villages of UPGS 2008 Attendees

Click on the link for an interactive map that you can resize and move.

UPDATE: This map was updated on 23 March 2008. Not all villages submitted are marked on this map. In some cases, the villages could not be located or, if the village name was a common one, the location of the correct village could not be determined. Errors and omissions can be corrected at UPGS 2008.

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The following article was originally written by Paul and Janice Lipinski for UPGS 2006 and was updated by Stephen J. Danko for UPGS 2008.

When preparing to Visit the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, some advance preparation can help ensure a productive visit.

Learn all you can about your family:  Gather information from home and family sources. Contact and interview family members.

Record your family information:  Choose a standardized system for recording your family names, dates, and places. Bring pedigree charts, family group records, and copies of key family documents (leave the originals at home in a safe place). Enter your family information in a genealogy database. If you don’t have one, Personal Ancestral File (PAF) is available for download at no charge through the FHL. The standard edition of Legacy Family Tree is also available for download free of charge.

Choose a research goal:  A good research goal identifies a specific name, event, date and place you want to learn about. Don’t expect to do your entire pedigree during one library visit.

Visit local libraries and archives:  At a local library, courthouse, or historical society, you may gather additional background information.

Use gazetteers and maps:  Gazetteers and maps help you learn about the places where your ancestors once lived.  Study general histories of their residence to learn about migrations, religious groups, military actions, and other events. Use census records and indexes to obtain basic clues about each family.

Visit a Family History Center (FHC):  Find a nearby FHC and visit the facility to become familiar with the copiers, printers, microfilm/microfiche readers, and the computer tools available. Be sure to check out the following:

Learn how to use the FamilySearch website:  Learning how to use the Family Search website in advance will facilitate your research. Ancestral File, the Family History Library Catalog, locations of Family History Centers, etc. are all available online (FamilySearch.org and the brand-new FamilySearchWiki). 

Identify Films:  Use the online Family History Library Catalog to prepare a list of the films you want to review while at the library. Determine if the films you need are immediately available in the library.

Request “Vault” Films:  The FHL is unable to store all microfilms at the library. Films listed in the catalog as “Vault” films may take up to three days to retrieve. Request any microfilms marked “Vault” at least two weeks in advance of your trip.  Include your arrival date and either write to:

Family History Library
35 N West Temple St
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3400

or FAX: 801-240-1924
or email: fhl@familysearch.org

Additional Hints

Dress:  Be sure to dress comfortably, and remember that you’ll be sitting a lot.  You may wish to layer your clothing by wearing a short sleeve blouse or shirt with a long sleeve shirt or blouse or light jacket on top.  If it’s cool outdoors, a windbreaker should be sufficient. There are clothing racks to hang your jackets in the library.

Climate:  Salt Lake tends to have a dryer climate than most places and there are humidifiers in the library. Bring lotion and use it. 

Copies:  FHL patrons pay for photocopies with a card system. Remember to sign your card as you will occasionally forget to remove it from the copy machine. It’s also a good idea to load only a small amount on your card ($5.00). That way, if you lose your copycard and it doesn’t get turned in at the desk, you won’t lose too much cash. Computers are available on every floor making it easier to check the catalog and make copies of the film descriptions, etc.

Digital Images:  Patrons who wish to save digital images of books, maps, and films to digital media (either DATA CD or USB Flash Drive) can do so by signing up to use the scanners in the FHL. Patrons are allowed to sign up on the scanners for an hour each day. Bring your own blank writable data CDs and USB Flash Drives. USB Flash Drives are relatively inexpensive and are a bit faster and easier to use than are CDs. FHL personnel can help you learn to scan and save digital images. Patrons may also use digital cameras to photograph the projected images in the microfilm readers.

Laptop Computers:  The FHL allows patrons to bring their personal laptop computers to the library. Electrical connections are available at the microfilm readers and elsewhere in the library. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the FHL.

Suggestion:  Bring refrigerator magnets to place on the metal drawers when you pull a microfilm so it is easier for you to find the correct location to put it back.

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