A few of my favorite things...

Genealogically speaking, that is. Especially in terms of Dutch New York, which is where I am "at" in my family research right now.

This page will be under development for some time, as it will take me a while to list all of the details here for my genealogical favorites. Check back and see what has been added. Time permitting, I will try to add something here each time that I post a blog entry, so there should be weekly additions until I run out of page space or I figure that c'est fini. Enjoy!

  • References! So many authors of both regular books and of family research posted on the web do not provide precise sources - I might be a little bit obsessive, but whenever possible, I want to trace back to the earliest source if it is publicly available (and sometimes I try to locate it even when it is not... ) It also is probably best not to use a link as a source - links move and change all over the place, sources should not! I'm not picky about the format (in blogs - books are another thing) but I do want to be able to find the source.
  • Working links. I really like websites in which the majority, if not all, of the links work. It is soooooo frustrating to find just what you think you need only to find that the linked website no longer exists. I imagine that someday, this blog might fall start missing a few links, so I may regret this "favorite thing" but right now, working links really are one of my favorite things!
  • Perhaps more important than the first two, internet cousins and other family researchers using the web, who have been so helpful and generous with their time, helping me to break through a few of those brick walls. Thank you!
REALLY COOL STUFF: OK, this is where the kid in me comes out... what little there is left.
  • So cool! A digital version of the Castello Map - you can actually find the houses of your ancestors! (and figure out who might be looking over whose fence...)
  • Great interactive map of Manhattan. It includes a "time warp" (sounds like something from the Rocky Horror Picture Show) so that you can see what the island looked like to Henry Hudson - the critters that were there, what areas were swampy, which ones forested, and see the smoke of the Lenape fires. You can also see what it would have been like to have tree tops, instead of sky scrapers, touching brushing the skies. I found it really helpful in trying to "position" lots belonging to ancestors in terms of where the land actually is today (due to landfill, those who had scenic coastal views in 1660 are inland now!). Once you click on the map, you can use the slider to adjust the degree to which the "ghost" of the future superimposes itself on your map. You can zoom in and out, and when you get a border around a space, there is information you can get on that specific spot. Really super cool - but then I am easily entertained.
  • A whole bunch of books (I own an enormous number of books... If they were among my favorites, I bought them... Watch for me to post a bookshelf form library here in my pages (as soon as I can figure out the software) as well as regular posts called the "Book Nook" where I will review each of the books to give you an idea of what is there. I have purchased a number of books no longer in print - for those, interlibrary loan is a great invention if it looks like something you would like (and for the in print books as well, for that matter). Watch for my first Book Nook in mid to late January, and semi regularly after that (its the day job - keeps interfering!)
  • Family Tree Maker for MAC - you don't know how long I waited for this! I had a windows version with several thousand family members and all my notes... so I maintained a windows sector on my MAC so that I didn't have to convert - finally, 2010 was the year! I really like the 3-D feature of MacFamilyTree, but Family Tree Maker is much better suited to my purposes...
VARIOUS WEBSITES: Some require memberships (of those, many give free trials). My favorite sites include, but not limited to:
  • Ancestry.com - tons of records, although I really wish that their name search paid attention to birth/death dates... I get sooooo many hits when I have specified 1600s that are in the 1900s... (membership required)
  • Footnote.com has a lot of information that can be found in the National Archives, as well as other sources. It was purchased by Ancestry.com but so far I don't find much overlap - they seem to be operating pretty independently. (membership required)
  • Genealogy Bank indexes newspapers, some back as far as 1690, and they are constantly adding more. You can limit your search by era and geographic area, which is really helpful. (membership required)
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society (membership required for some, not all, databases)
  • New York Genealogy Website has a lot of information listed by type, town, and county. It states it has over 9500 links (a bit overwhelming) but if you know what you are looking for, go to it! A number of links just take you to subscription sites (such as Ancestry.com) but this site has filtered through the source information, which is more difficult on Ancestry (for example, by linking to Bronx County you can then link directly to Fordham Manor Reformed Church, which takes you to that database in Ancestry). There also are some sites it links to that are free.  
  • New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (membership required but [1] there is a wealth of information here and [2] the membership is pretty reasonable if you have a lot of New York names to research) Includes not only the genealogies & histories published in its Journal, but has vital records, cemetery transcriptions, census records and the like.
  • Olive Tree Genealogy web pages are a wealth of information. There is so much information here that at times it is overwhelming. But it is worth the effort to explore the site. Loraine also is adding to the Dutch ships passenger lists, but supplementing the passenger lists with names available from other, previously "unconnected" sources (such as a Court record that refers to someone coming to North America on a specific ship). This is especially important as there is a natural bias in the passenger lists, in that passengers who owed money for their voyage were, perhaps, tracked more carefully - I would too if they owed me money - but it means that those who prepaid their passage might not appear on the passenger list. 
  • Reformed Dutch & Other Church Records for Albany RDC, Athens NY Zion Lutheran Church Records, Kingston, Minisink RDC, New York (City) RDC,  Schenectady RDC [still under development]
  • Rootsweb Dutch Colony Archives - one of my personal favorites for the time being, as I am actively researching this part of my ancestry. However, there are numerous different message boards to fulfill every whim and fancy. It is through roots web that I have found many of my internet cousins plus a whole bunch of just really helpful people.