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Showing posts from September, 2016

How to Incorporate NextGen Technologies Into Your Genealogy Research

Below is a modified version of my speech I delivered tonight at my local Toastmasters club (Toastmasters is an organization that helps people develop and improve their public speaking skills).
According to, next-generation (or next gen for short) pertains to the next generation in a family. It also refers to the next stage of development or version of a product, service, or technology. I am a member and volunteer of The NextGen Genealogy Network, which is a non-profit group whose mission is to foster the next generation’s interest in in family history by building connections between generations. I will provide a few examples of how we use NextGen technologies to enhance genealogy research.

One of the primary tools we use to communicate with young genealogists is social media. I help manage the Twitter page and will activities like retweet and follow other NextGen genealogists who will share blog posts, video streams, photographs, etc. We frequently have social media eve…

Homesteading in Kansas

I have been intrigued by my 3rd great uncle, Peter Dougherty. He moved from County Monaghan, Ireland to Prince Edward Island, Canada and then married Margaret Cairns. They had 4 children and then picked up and moved to Dickinson County, Kansas. The majority of my ancestors travelled from Ireland to Prince Edward Island and then on to New York, Boston or another Northeastern city.

A few years back I just located his census details and attached to my tree, not really digesting the information found inside. I was more concerned with making sure I had the right "Peter Dougherty" and his family.

When I was at the NYS Family History Conference, I mentioned to my friend Jen that I wanted to see if I could find out more information on the land but didn't know where to search. Maps are a bit overwhelming for me. Jen suggested that I check on the Bureau of Land Management web site. Jen pulled up her computer and we checked to see if we could find him. We went to "Search Docum…

New York State Family History Conference Recap

I attended the NY State Family History conference in Syracuse, NY. This is my second time attending this local event. I truly enjoy hearing the diversity of speakers and meeting up with genealogy friends that I met online. 
I recapped the sessions I attended and included some helpful tips. To see the entire program, please click here
Success Tips for Using - presented by Jim Ison Jim emphasized some helpful tips when using FamilySearch web site such as the use of wildcards (? to stand in for a single letter, * for multiple letters), varying up how you search (ex. search with no name and with parent names filled out to pull up all of the possible children), and how to browse unindexed collections by using the waypoints. 
New York City & State Governmental Vital Records and Alternates by Jane Wilcox Finding NYC records is complicated to say the least. Jane did an excellent job reviewing the history of NY laws that impacted vital record collections. NYC has documents…


My name is Melanie and I live in Syracuse, NY with my wonderful husband. I've been researching my family history for over 10 years. I have finally decided to blog my adventures. My ancestry is half Irish from my father's side and my mother's side is Jewish. My father's side is more well researched so you will see more stories here and hence why my blog name is the Shamrock Genealogist.

Here are some of the surnames I'm researching:


I hope you enjoy this journey with me and we can both learn along the way!