Friday, February 28, 2014

Congressional Papers Website

For those of you who were in my class last night, I mentioned the American State Papers. You will find that website at It is an offshoot of the Library of Congress American Memory website with Congressional Documents and Debates at

When you look at the image above you will see the Search function and that will let you search everything on that website including the American State Papers, the Congressional Record and a whole lot more.

Excellent site to uncover some hidden genealogy records to aid your family history research.

How many Genealogists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Six:  . . .

One to travel to the factory to record the name and age of the bulb.

One to test to see if the line is still alive.

One to trace the line back to the pole.

Two to argue over the name of the original pole where the line started

And one to screw in the bulb and write a detailed biographical account of  the experience.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Coming Soon to Search—More Control Over Your Results? Really!

No one in the online or professional genealogy community has been more of a critic regarding the new Ancestry search engine than me. I will be the first one to admit that I have been a bit obsessive about this but with good reason -- IT WASN'T BROKE DAMNIT!

Bottom line - I hate it and I have told them so at every turn. Heck, I went on a new search engine rant the other night in class (I'm sorry folks it is like showing a bull a red cape).

Now the programmers at Ancestry have come up with another scheme (uh, I mean enhancement) to try and make something that wasn't broke to begin with better --- sliders (no Gayle they aren't talking about hamburgers sweetie).

From the blog yesterday: "A new sliding control is coming to the Ancestry search function over the next couple of weeks. Located in the upper-left corner of the search results page, it will make it easy to quickly broaden or narrow your search results.  Don’t see the search results you were expecting? Simply drag one or more sliders from left to right to quickly modify your results.  The slider position shows how closely your search terms should be matched.  With all the sliders to the left, your results are matched at the broadest level, and moving one or more sliders to the right will display more exact matches. - See more at:

"In this first update, you’ll be able to use slider controls on these fields:First and last name of the person being searchedBirth and Death factsOne “Any event” factOne residence locationOther criteria in your search will still be available to edit using the “Edit Search” link and will be noted in the “Other” section just above the “Edit search” link.You’ll start seeing the sliding controls gradually over the next few weeks, so look for them soon on your search results page."

Are you kidding me? You mean to tell me you have time to invent a hamburger, uh, I mean slider feature and you can't fix all the issues or add new features for the DNA folks who have been left swinging in the wind the last two years?

What Ancestry needs more than anything else is some adult leadership in their new products development office (or whatever they want to call it), someone who is not wetted to a bunch of new bells and whistles and fluff on the front end and that doesn't work well on the back end.

Guess it is time to launch another feedback button rant. But hey, I pay my money just like everyone else so I have a right to complain when these folks just can't seem to get it right. Been a paying member since December 2000 longer than most all others in case you really want to know.

And if that wasn't enough now Familysearch, Ancestry and others have automated location information in their search engines. What I need to do is have them educated in one of my classes that there is no such place in 1620 as Jamestown, York County, Virginia, USA.

Are these people serious or do they only want to take the easy way out for the masses. I dare you to find a record or repository for someone in 1620 in Jamestown, York County, Virginia, USA

More on that rant very soon so stay tuned.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

AncestryDNA and the Chromosome Browser Saga.

After I got home from class tonight (sorry about the early release but better safe than sorry with snow in area), I found the tweet below circulating in the #rootstech world off the tweeter feed. I will attempt to get more info ASAP.

"AncestryDNA is working on a product experience that takes into consideration chromosomal browser abilities at a higher level."