Friday, December 30, 2016

I LOVE Adobe Spark

What an easy way to create a video to tell a story!  And it is FREE! 

Adobe Spark makes it extremely simple – teachers and students are among Adobe’s target audience for this product.
Here’s my first project: 1941 Road Trip

The website leaves something to be desired in terms of tutorials, but there are several tutorials available from others.
This blog post from Amy Johnson Crow includes a tutorial

And this Wacky Wednesday hangout from Dear Myrtle demonstrates step by step.

A Google search will find more.

Adobe Spark will create a link to your video so that you can share it with others. You can also download your video as am MP4 file that can then be uploaded to your YouTube channel.

In the past I’ve created a couple of videos using Adobe Premier Elements but I think I’ll stick with Adobe Spark

Monday, December 19, 2016

Family Search Family Tree? or Not?

In my opinion there are valid reasons for having my family tree posted on the Family Search site. 
Likewise, I see valid reasons for not having it there.  Here are my thoughts.


There are, among the Family Search members, very likely some who have branches that correspond to mine. They could be great sources to fill in my gaps and chip away at brick walls.

It is a free service.  If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, my online data would be accessible to anyone who wanted to continue my research without having to purchase software.  All other online tree databases are subscription services – no one would have access.


The Family Search tree is “open edit”. Any member can change any data at any time.  I have heard complaints from users about seemingly unresolvable issues regarding dates and relationships.  I recently watched a video dealing with how to deal with people who “mess up” your family information. I’m not sure I want to deal with that.

It seems that the argument about other members having information that I don’t have is countered by the fact that I can search the tree looking for my family members. That takes effort but it may be less frustrating than coping with individuals who are as stubborn as I am.

I can be sure let other who may be interested have access to my tree on subscription services, and my local computer so the information doesn’t fall into a black hole.


Several years ago I did post a partial tree on Family Search, but have not updated it in all that time. Should I delete it if I can?

Should I post my full tree?  My husband’s full tree?  Will I ever decide?

I will appreciate any thoughts and comments about this.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Wish List – Dear Genea Santa

Where to begin!??

I have two lists.  One is for things that are either said to be coming in the near future; or are at least within the realm of possibility.  The other list is for those things that are unlikely or would involve a miracle of some sort.

All Polish archives to be online and searchable

Complete and error-free synchronization among all online family tree providers.

Every state in the US to have vital records online and searchable

Adequate budget to support every research trip I’d like to take and to purchase every publication I’d like to have, (And the room to store all the publications.)

Instant fluency in the Polish language.  This is where the miracle part comes in.

Reality: (Could happen)
Verify my g gfather Joseph Dachtera’s birth place.

Figure out which Solomon Rose is the one I’m looking for.  (There are too many men named Solomon Rose in the same time and region.)

Find the ancestral village in Bohemia of the Filek family I’m looking for.

The return of the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library says this will happen in early 2017.

Better organizational skills. (Possible but not likely. Comes under the heading of “teaching an old dog new tricks”.

C’mon, Santa. Do your stuff!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Intermingled Families

Finally finding my paternal grandmother on a ship’s passenger list got me back to research on that family.  Searching again for historical records brought me an overload of information.  I have lots of shaky leaves on

One thing that stands out is the connections between 4 families.  Here’s a chart I made to help me visualize the relationships.

The slanted blue lines indicate marriages. Vertical lines show the individual and their fathers.  But there are two people that I have not yet connected to these families even though they have the same surname. 

I have no records for Veronica Raczynski born in 1852 who married Jacob Frost.
A note on Frost: I was surprised to find the name in just that form in records in Poland.  The word frost is mroz in polish, and there are plenty of people named Mroz.  So how did “Frost” become established in Poland??

The Lawrence Lewandowski who married the Veronica Raczynski born in 1879 may or may not be related to the other Lewandowskis on the chart.  There may be no common ancestor – the name is not uncommon so it could simply be a coincidence.

What these families do have in common is that they all lived within about ½ mile of each other, and they all attended the same church: St. Adalbert in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Familiarity breeds…..