Attending GRIP – Driving Through Pennsylvania

On my way to GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh), I had the pleasure to drive from Michigan to Pittburgh through the lovely rolling hills and mountains of western Pennsylvania. Dairy and beef farms, rolling meadows of planted corn, green …lots of green.
Coming off of the expressway and onto a two-lane road, I came around a curve and discovered a classically beautiful old church.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wexford, PA.

From it’s website (https://www.trinitywexford.org/about-us/#History) I learned:
Founded in 1845, Trinity is located in one of the older settlements of Allegheny County and still bears the word “German” in its Charter name as well as on the inscription on the front of its church building. The church was born when the Reverend Michael Schweigert sought out area Lutherans and organized them into a congregation. The treasurer’s report of 1901 showed an expenditure of $3 to repair the stable in which the horses were kept during services.

Churches, houses of faith, are part of the specialty areas that I assist clients in research. The records of our ancestors within these houses of faith may be the only record of their birth, marriage, or burial when other civil records hadn’t yet been established or are lost, burned, missing. Compilations of indexes helps for these records but going through baptism records and learning about who the godparents were (often family or close friends) can be a goldmine of help to an otherwise lost lineage.

With time still to drive, my mind wandered to the journey that these, and other immigrants and travelers, took to get here and further west. My husband Denny’s ancestors came to Michigan over time from Berks County, Pennsylvania. Looking around at these hills, mountains and contrast of the ease of my journey was apparent. Only five hours from Michigan, back in the 1700 and 1800s, when Den’s ancestors were traveling, or these congregants of Rev. Schweigert, the easiest way was likely the rivers. Of course, later were the developments of the canals, but horse-drawn wagon and walking were the other ways to travel.

So as I begin a week of research, learning and getting more knowledge of the field of genealogy (genealogists are ALWAYS learning!), I’m reflecting on the ways that we learn about, study, find records and fill in the lives of our ancestors. Here at GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh), we are taught by nationally-recognized experts about the research sources that document our ancestral lives, learning to document, properly cite, and share information with others seeking our help. There is so much to learn…..there are a variety of genealogical institutes to learn from. If you are interested in learning more, please contact me for information. I’d love to encourage you!

Speaking at RootsTech 2018!

With a room of people, microphone checks, an interpreter and a whole bunch of enthusiastic and interesting people, my workshop began at 9:30 a.m. !!!

There were great questions, support from friends and even a French expert in the room (thankfully, I didn’t know until later, right?!) who told me that I did an excellent job and that he enjoyed my presentation …. whoa!!

The audience had some great questions and they all provided their emails and a list of the surnames they are researching so that we can help them with their research!  A document, listing all of them with these names, is being shared with them all in the hopes that they will make progress toward documenting their French-Canadian and Acadian families.

It was fun to be presenting to an international group – there were people from all over the United States but also Canada, France, Brazil ….. and those are the ones that I know!  And afterwards, people were stopping me in the hall to continue to ask questions – if you are reading this and have questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at judynmuhn@gmail.com.  I LOVE doing genealogy!!!

The day ended marvelously – with research!!!

Two of my clients are benefiting from my presence in Salt Lake, just a small walk from the Family History Library!  Rows on rows of microfilm, digital content, books, maps and so much more!  I haven’t been here since 2001 I believe and the updates/renovations/new art are beautiful, easy-to-use and empowering.

A truly sweet and helpful volunteer showed me the new way to make copies, create images from online content and even gave me a print card WITH MONEY ON IT!!!  She was awesome – and that has been my experience here at the FHL for years – volunteers eager and ready to help you.  She shared some amazing spiritual things with me – we had a lovely conversation.  What a blessing she was!  And I found things – lots of things for my clients.  Can’t wait to share.

A Month of Activities, Conferences and FUN!

Federation of Genealogical Societies, Association of Professional Genealogists, and the Michigan Genealogical Council – all in about a months’ time (well, kinda …. late September through October)…..

The late summer and early fall are a time in the genealogy community of much activity, conferences, meetings and learning. This year, I went from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC and Lansing, MI with my own speaking engagements (my company is Lineage Journeys) and other work put in around the gaps. It has been a month of learning, networking, growing and even a few challenges here and there. All in all, a great experience with some new relationships within the genealogical community and some new research findings that are helping clients and even my own families.

AND one of the really interesting things that I learned about was how to get involved in the historic and very important indexing of the naturalization records of the State of Michigan, held by the Library of Michigan in Lansing – you can be part of getting those records ONLINE! Yes!!!

Michigan’s Naturalization Records can be transcribed by YOU!!!

All of us would LOVE to have EVERY record about our families posted on the Internet so that from the comfort of our homes, we could find everything we need. Well, that’s a lovely thought but SOMEONE has to do the typing, the uploading, the work! And it’s exciting and fun to be part of a project and work that is BIG – to be part of something historic….. so here’s your chance!!

Click on the link here:The Library of Michigan’s Naturalization Records Project which will take you to the page you can see here … there are instructions, it’s an online indexing tool (working with Family Search) so you don’t have to download anything to your computer that you don’t like or want. And you too can be part of something historic!!!
Seeking Michigan

AND THANK YOU FOR GETTING INVOLVED!!!!

A GREAT GENEALOGY CONFERENCE

VISITING WASHINGTON, D.C. & ATTENDING A GREAT GENEALOGY CONFERENCE!!!

DAR Entrance

Having JUST returned (it was just over a week ago) from the Association of Professional Genealogist’s (APG) Professional Management Conference (PMC) in Washington, D.C., there were SOOO many things learned to pass along!First – don’t go to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA for short), or the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR for short) Library and Headquarters or any of a number of locations when researching without preparing ahead! These are amazing research facilities but with millions of records, categories, topics and time periods, you will waste alot of time if you haven’t looked at the catalog online.

As I knew for months that I was going – that’s me (my company is Lineage Journeys) at the top sharing my Poster Session entitled What’s In A Name: Clues to Ethnicity & Name Changes – so I began early on to do my online research. Thanks to the APG for the helpful webinars on getting around D.C., the archives and more, I was prepared and ready. The focus of my one day of research (I SOOO wish I had more time and money to do this!) was my husband’s family’s descent from a number of Revolutionary War soldiers. Because others have become DAR members from descent from the same ancestors, I found those applications online at the DAR’s great website (https://www.dar.org) so I was prepared to walk into the library and obtain the documents that were used to prove their lineage.

Was I about to be amazed!!!! Would you look at this incredible room?? This is heaven to a genealogist, besides the spectacular architecture, right?! Not only did I easily obtain the documents that I wanted about my husband’s Revolutionary ancestors (really??! A birth record from 1750 and more!) but I was in this environment that was comfortable, helpful (the staff and volunteers of the library are gracious and warm) and I was given good advice, guidance and maximized my time so well that I was able to take a leisurely stroll back to the Metro for the ride back to the hotel.

So my big tip for today? PLAN AHEAD, RESEARCH AHEAD, and by all means, LEARN about where you are going AHEAD so that you use your time well.