Tuesday, March 20, 2018

2018 Speaker Titles

One Motivated Mama Inspirational "Where you are going" Canvas by Ana Brandt.    www.shoptaopan.com  #inspiration #motivation #knowwhereyouaregoing #whereyoucamefrom #canvas #wallart #motivatedmama:
Visit Ana Brandt's Site
These are just a few titles offered by Kathleen Brandt as a conference Keynote Speaker or seminar Presenter. All are tailored to your conference theme or celebration. If you don't see what you want here, know I offer custom designed presentations and workshops. Know that all of the presentations are chocked full of actual images and many have real life short case studies. 

I am now scheduling for 2017.  But remember, I am often called upon as a last minute substitute, because we can never plan for those unplanned "life" events

Be sure to review the Experience/Qualifications page. 

Kathleen Brandt
Keynote Speaker/Presenter

Presentation Titles for Your Conference

Revolutionary War
·         Finding Your Revolutionary War Soldier
·         7 Best Revolutionary War Resources
·         Your Blacksheep: Courts-martial and Courts of inquiry records
War of 1812
·         War of 1812 Records: 10 Places to Research
·         Researching Your War of 1812 Impressed Seamen
Revolutionary War and War of 1812
·         African Americans Served Too – Finding Records
Civil War
·         10 Best Bets for Civil War Research 
·         7 Tips to Researching Slaves and Slaveholders
·         Finding Your Elusive Civil War Veteran
·         Claim It!  Southern Claims Commission Records and Slave Claims Commission Records
·         Researching Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and other Association Records
·         Civil War POW Records
Modern Wars (WWI - WWII
·         Military Records Were Destroyed? What to Do?
·         7 Easy Tips to WWI and WWII Research
·         Forgotten Records -  WWI and WWII

Research Methodology
·         Leaping Over Brickwalls
·         The Changing Surname - How to Trace It?

·         DNA: Spit or Swab?  (Beginner)
·         DNA for Genealogists: Who? What?, When? Where? (Intermediate)
·         From History to Present: DNA Research (Case Studies)
·         DNA All Day Workshop (all levels)

Research Tools
·         Tech Toys for Genealogists: It’s All Portable
·         Oral and Family History: Sharing Our Ancestors
·         The Cloud: Looking Forward to Backing Up
·         Technology Toolbox for Genealogists

African American Research
·         7 Tips to Researching Slaves and Slaveholders (with MO. Case Study)
·         Researching the Road to Freedom (Prior to the Civil War)
·         7 Resources to Researching Missouri Ex-Slaves and Free-Coloreds.
·         Using Ship Manifests for Slave Research
·         African Americans Served Too: Finding Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Records

International: Emigration - Immigration
·         When They Came to America Where Did They Go?
·         Blackbirding: Sugar, Cotton, and Slaves! Researching South Pacific Island Laborers
·         Did Your Ancestor Become a US Citizen? Where to find Records and Documents

Local Topics and Custom Designed Presentations
Have a unique topic?  Due to our vast client base and experience, presentation just for your local group can be customized. Of course actual images of documents and relevant research tips are shared and often accompanied by a case study.
·         “Delegation of Colored Men” 7 Resources to Researching Western-North Carolina Ex-Slaves and Free-Coloreds.
·         Pioneer Trail From Missouri to California: How to Trace Them?
·         Tracing My State Militia Records
·         Tracing Huguenots – From There to Here

·         Your Pioneer Ancestor and You!  How Our Ancestors Did It?
·         The Invisible Staircase: How Missouri Did It!

Entrepreneur You
·         Make Money: Your Genealogy Empire

Midwest and Missouri Specific
Image result for midwest map
Midwest German Settlers
·         Researching Germans from Russia Ancestors
·         8 Tips to Researching Your Missouri Rhineland Ancestors

Missouri Irish
·         Tips to Tracing Your MO. Irish Ancestor - From Immigration to Emigration

Bohemian Settlements
·         5 Research Tips to MO. Bohemian Ancestors

Friday, March 16, 2018

Press Release - New Partnership

DNA Analysis Is Important 
a3Genealogy, of Kansas City, Mo, is pleased to announce that, effective immediately, we have entered into a definitive partnership with In-Genes, a provider of genealogical DNA analysis and founder of the “DNA Heritage Finder” database. A significant benefit of this partnership will be in the area of non-paternal event and adoptee research.

The partnership with In-Genes, based in Los Angeles, further aligns and strengthens a3Genealogy’s position in the genealogical research industry and will create a more comprehensive infrastructure. In-Genes’ proprietary database “DNA Heritage Finder” and a3Genealogy’s longevity in the industry providing extensive genealogical expertise will expedite the process of DNA analysis and reporting and will result in greater efficiencies and significantly increase capacity.

We have worked together for media and individual clients for over a year and our business values and philosophies align: the client being the focus, delivering the best possible product with an emphasis on honesty, integrity, and scientific rigor, as well as connecting the past and present.

Please join us as we look forward to an exciting and prosperous future for a3Genealogy, our project partners, and our clients.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Monday, March 5, 2018

RootsTech 2018

Hope, Love, Endurance, Unity and Family 

Roots Tech never disappoints! I spent most of my time in the Media Hub again this year.  The lineup of speakers were awesome. There was Brandon Stanton, Scott Hamilton, Natalia Lafourcade, and Henry Lewis Gates.  If you missed Roots Tech this year, I say, these speakers alone were worth the registration fee.  I had the opportunity of interviewing each of them. Every year I’m impressed with the keynote speakers (and I’ve attended every RootsTech but one). If you decided not to come this year, these presentations were also live streamed, so I hope you got the message of hope, love, endurance, unity and family. 

The issue with staying at home, is you have no idea what the energy is like or how easy it is to meet that smiling person across the room. I always think “there are no strangers here.” I see my Belgium friends, my Australian friends, my South African friends, once a year.  That’s a reason to be present.  Sure, we all connect on social media – facebookblog comments, Linkedin, Instagram, and of course Twitter (that’s my go to, when I need answers)-  but we catch up during this four day frenzy. Then we add another dozen or so more BFF’s to the list for next year. 

If I had to encapsulate this year’s trends I would say “buy up, partner up.”  I’ve never seen the likes.  I attended 4 meetings just on business dealings between companies.  It’s all about aligning your business.  And of course, everyone is aligning with DNA experts and companies.  The a3Genealogy team will making their DNA partner announcement soon. We have been working for a year now, on the partnership, it’s going swimmingly, so we are ready to dive in. By the way, we connected at RootsTech 2017!  I look forward to telling you more about our media use of this exciting proprietary DNA database and the partnership that has helped us solve some exciting brickwall discoveries of non-paternal and adoption cases this past year.

Oh and social media! If you aren’t partnering with a DNA kit company or a DNA analysis company - like a3Genealogy DNA, then you are partnering with a social media expert. As I said, “Buy up, Partner up.” 

Hope to see you next year at RootsTech 2019. Save the date: 27 Feb - 2 March, 2019. Be sure to keep an eye on the RootsTech blog.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible, answers

Friday, February 23, 2018

Are You Telling A Family Story?

Dates, Documents and the Truth
We all can find census records, vital records, and pieces of historical data recorded in big books and newspapers,  but what’s the real story.  These pieces of data proffer important dates, places and family names. From them we can get the who, what and when.  But the why is a much deeper question requiring the experienced genealogists to seek answers.  At a3Genealogy we look in three areas for our clients that is often missed.  Have you even heard of 1) social geography 2) medical geography 3) population geography?

Let me give you an overview of what should be included in your family history. If your hired genealogists is just giving you reports based on the who, what and when, your report is not complete. Family historians (hired or Aunt Mabel) should offer you a story. A story that includes the why. At least, provide us with the setting, the environment, the social influences, medical impacts, community involvement and events.     

The Why - Dig Deeper

  1. Social Geography: concentrates on divisions within society – class, ethnicity, region, age, geography of education and crime, conflicts, even local political influences, etc.
  2. Medical Geography: focuses on patterns of community disease and deaths, epidemics, how variations in morbidity, and mortality rates reflect local environments.
  3. Population Geography: concentrates on the local and regional characteristics of fertility, mortality, and migration. In genealogy we begin with a thorough census analysis. Highlighting your ancestors’ names does not suffice. A review of the neighborhood, community, regional and state populations can provide hints to migratory patterns, community divisions or community offerings.

 Interviewing Our Elders

During a Body Mapping session, the family historian will present the interviewee with an outline person traced on a large piece of paper. The historian should ask open-ended questions to facilitate visual storytelling, i.e. “What is the effect of being … ?” Instead of the interviewee giving a verbal response, the must draw out an answer on the Body Map. The result is a Body Map to display family, community and religion effects that may not be otherwise uncovered through traditional research means. Remember storytelling "The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think but to give you questions to think upon. (Brandon Sanderson) 

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Open Air Schools - Where Are the Records?

Indiana first "Fresh Air" school, 1910
Indiana Historical Society Bass Co
What to do about Tuberculosis? 
Open Air School Coming to Idaho
The Kendrick Gazette, 23 Dec 1921, Image 6
You air it out of course! 
Tuberculosis was a problem around the world. According to The Forgotten Plague, PBS American Experience, "by the begining of the 19th century, tuberculosis, or 'consumption,' had killed one in seven of all people that had ever lived." It difficult to find a family historian who has not identified at least one ancestor who was a victim or was housed in a sanatorium for tuberculosis - often to never return to the home. Few however, ask, "where were the children?"
Open-Air Schools and the Tuberculous Child in Early 20th Century America
Richard A Meckel, PHD, JAMA Network: Pediatrics
In USA we love to show the Netherlands and Soviet images during the period of 1915-1921 (approx) where open air schools, used to prevent the spread of disease, were common.  But this was also a practice in America. Providence, RI was the first "fresh-air school" or "open air school"  in America, established 27 Jan 1908 (Richard A Meckel, PHD, JAMA Network: Pediatrics). These "fresh-air schools existed until about 1938 - 1941, (National Library of Medicine).

A Few Great Resources
Open Air School in Connecticut
LOC: New-York tribune., May 04, 1919, Page 6, Image 74
At a3Genealogy, we have seen it from Connecticut on the east to Idaho on the west. Some records have been preserved. We suggest you begin with a thorough newspaper search of the region.

  1. Chronically America, Library of Congress online collection is a great resource to begin for a newspaper research
  2. State Archives have been helpful, but be sure to check county historical & genealogical societies and associations.
    First Open Air School in St. Louis, MO
    Bernard Becker Medical Library
  3. Medical Journals and dissertations and local doctor's papers can also be found at local medical school libraries.  The bibliography will provide great hints to original sources. This is where we usually find observation notes, and sometimes names. 
  4. Be sure to visit the familysearch catalog also for a limited overseas collections - mostly England. 

I guess we have to believe our ancestors when they tell us those stories of having to study and sleep in -10F temps.  These open air schools usually were often creative art intensive, and included one hour nap daily.

Did your ancestors go to an open air school?

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate Accessible Answers

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

7 Steps to Begin Jewish Genealogical Research

Your Jewish Ancestry. 
Recently I was named a founding board member of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Kansas City (JGSGKC). This is an interim board position and we just had our first General Meeting. The group was enthusiastic, and filled with questions.  I'll will try to answer some of them over the next few weeks.  Where to begin? How to read script?  Where are the resources? A big question was on DNA interpretations. 

Over the past 10 years with a3Genealogy we have built a lot of expertise in this area.  It all began with Dual Citizenships applications and research from the far corners of Russia to South America.  In 1990's when I worked in Tel-Aviv, as a contractor for Bezeq, there were questions about records.  Where were they? There were also a plethora of questions on Operation Solomon and Operation Moses with the Falasha. But, mostly the questions were based on how to take oral history and have it proven, shared, and distributed to family far away? How to connect to those who were not living in Israel? How to trace correspondence.  

So I'm here to tell American Jewish descendants, it's time to get started.  The others are looking for you. 

7 Steps to Begin Your Jewish Research
1)    Create a family tree.  You will need this to properly connect with your Jewish cousin matches. And don’t expect familiar Jewish surnames.  One of our a3Genealogy clients was overcome with laughter when he realized that both Uncle Harry Morris was Jewish and Aunt Mollie Bell - she was Jewish too!
2)     Pull as many death records as possible.  Especially on the lines that match with Jewish cousins.  The key is cemetery names, informants, and information as to where the body went after death. Be sure to visit the Jewish Gen Online Worldwide Burial RegistryUncle Harry was buried at the Golden Hill Cemetery, in Colorado according to his death certificate.  Let’s research that cemetery:
Golden Hill Cemetery was established over 100 years ago on West Colfax Avenue for the Jewish population. It is a historic location listed on the National Register of Historic Places. - Goldenhillcemetery.com

3)    Get an image of the tombstone and know the endonyms. Well what do you say…Uncle Harry, who was born abt. 1890,  has a Star of David right on his tombstone. Wonder why the family never mentioned that? (Image from JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry.)
4)     Pull marriage records.  You are now looking for a Rabbi and Temple name.  Remember we are still just in the gathering phase of your research.
5)     Analyze the census.  Much information is in plain sight on the census records. This is always an overlooked strategy for researchers, but the town and neighborhood histories can offer a treasure trove of hints and tips.  One client’s family was rooted in Bastrop Louisiana.  Here’s a bit of its history:
Bastrop had a small Jewish community that blossomed around 1892. “By the turn of the twentieth century, Jews in Bastrop had formed a congregation, erected a synagogue, and operated some of the most successful businesses in Morehouse Parish.” “…between ten and twelve families still resided in Bastrop after the end of the Second World War. They had all joined B’nai Israel in Monroe, but they also organized an informal Sunday school and held an occasional Friday night service either at their homes or in the Bastrop courthouse. Charles Snyder and Ferdinand Wolff cared for the cemetery, now a handsome and verdant two-acre property with approximately fifty burials. - Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities - Alexandria, Louisiana.
6)     The JewishGen.org website must not be ignored.  Be sure to visit community repositories also.
7)     Seek out online and local collections. In tracing a Hungarian Jewish family from Ohio to Kansas City research landed us with the Western Reserve Historical Society at the Cleveland Jewish Archive. 

Other Resources


Not every Jewish DNA result will lead you to Eastern European Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.  
  • Sephardic Jewish Research: You may have just joined a large global community that has recently uncovered that they too have Sephardic Jewish ancestry. Be sure to visit SephardicGen.comHere is a listing of a few Sephardic Surnames.
  • A recent a3Genealogy client was traced to thIraq (Mizrahim) and Turkey and Middle East.  We have found that patience will be the key as additional DNA testing is needed in these areas. 
Reprint 2016
Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Saturday, January 6, 2018

From Norway to North Dakota

Hvem va du Helene? (Who Were You, Helene?)
Today a surprise package came in the mail.  When I saw the envelope was mailed from Norway, I knew it was from  longterm client Stein.

I have not heard from him in a year. Matter of fact, I got family pics from him the last time he was in North Dakota and knew he was doing another family tour in America.

The a3Genealogy crew connects clients to overseas cousins.  We usually do a genealogy booklet, verification with DNA, and we collect as many pics and artifacts as we can for the client. Many of our clients are looking for "off-the-internet documents. They have come to dead-ends on the internet, but know there's a lot more information floating around, or "archived."

This is not the first time, I have been mentioned in a client's personal family book, but it's special every time! One of my presentations is called Sharing Your Ancestors.  Any long-term client of ours, (and we have several) knows that I want them to write and share about their family.  It started with my Napa Valley vintner in 2008. He has connected with dozens of Stice cousins he never knew. One was a significant scientist in the cloning of Dolly the Sheep. (Remember that?)

a3Genealogy is now known for creating travel guides, and even setting up meetings for cousins. It's our off-the-TV version of Who Do You Think You Are, but just as exciting. There's the Australian South Pacific client who connected with her biological family from WWII in the Ohio.  Then there's Mary Ellen of Effingham, IL who brings her ancestors alive in books, on stage, and in historical presentations.  And the descendant of a WWI - WWII soldier who we traced and mapped throughout Iceland and Europe so he could follow the footsteps of his ancestor and the troops.

There are so many reasons to do genealogy, but to create a space for your ancestors to have life, is so special.  We also find out a little about ourselves by meeting these distant cousins. So when I opened Stein's book, and found this compilation of his genealogical research of Helene, I melted.

Helene Fauske was most fascinating as she worked for Rockefeller, Standard Oil, and was working in their Asia offices for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCM). Read the section about Women in the Mission to get research tips: Ancestors Who Joined Missions. In addition to vital records we uncovered business and personal correspondence, photos and newspaper articles on her movements.

"Søkene Etter Helene" 

 a3Genealogi gjorde en søkejobb, og fant Helene Fauske. de fant de to pleiehjemmene hun bodde på, og kan bekrefte at hun døde på. Dokumentene fra begravelsen viser at Helene aldri giftet set. a3genealogi bekrefter at hun mottok en pensjon fra standard oil pa 2500 i maneden.
Translation: The Search for Helene 
a3genealogy did research and found Helene Fauske. They found the two nursing homes she was living in and confirmed her death date.  The documents from the funeral  home showed that Helene never got married. a3genealogi confirmed that she received a pension from standard oil at $2500 a month." [This was based on the nursing home/court papers].
We connected Stein to his unknown North Dakota cousins. They had the other half of the story.  Family pics, the letters from Asia and NY, and so much more were just waiting for Stein in North Dakota.

An Excerpt from Chapter Profesjonell Hjelp

Translation: Professional Help
Well I returned home, and continued the work, but I was forced to realize that I needed help from someone who could do genealogy... I needed help! Kathleen Brandt is a professional genealogist and owner of a3Genealogy. She was hired to do this easy job, and to systematize all my loose threads. Most of all, I hoped it would be possible to find relatives alive. Kathleen started searching at multiple sites and sent reports back to me by email. This worked perfectly 
[Kathleen] had found some of her [Helene’s] descendants in Grand Forks. The lady I should be related to was Inez S. Drake. I was in doubt... Yet, her maiden name was Kjelsberg.. This name was known from previous research. I asked Kathleen to call Inez to see if she knew anything about Helene Fauske. [...] Inez was Helen's niece. Kathleen called me back with an invitation from Inez [to contact her]. It was just amazing... Thus I could start planning trip number two, but first a little more background material was needed.
Note: Translations were done by me. I haven't been to Norway since the 1980's and I used Google Translate to assist in this loose translation.

The Take Away
Share Your Ancestors!
I just asked Stein if he was willing to make this book more widely available in America.  I'll let you know his answer.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, available answers

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

No More Microfilm - No Problem

Finding FamilySearch Images?
The a3Genealogy research team decided to welcome 2018 by responding to some of our most pressing questions of 2017.  We are still getting quite a few questions/inquiries and shared frustrations via phone and email on the FamilySearch "no microfilm distribution policy" of 2017.  So we turned to the a3Genealogy FamilySearch expert, Lauri Jean Swett to unscramble what's possible and what's not. Lauri Jean shares tips, hints and suggestions on how to succeed at retrieving our ancestor related images and documents. Let us know if you have other questions on this topic that may help with your genealogy project. 
Kathleen Brandt, a3Genealogy 

Digitizing the Collections
FamilySearch shocked the genealogical community with its announcement this summer that it was discontinuing microfilm distribution to local family history centers and affiliate libraries.  Why would FamilySearch make this change after 80 years? The primary reason for the change is that most of its microfilm collection has been digitized and is available online. Additionally, digital cameras are now used for record preservation not film.  According to FamilySearch, their entire collection will be digitized by 2020.[i]   With the ‘why’ out of the way, the next question is: if most of the collection is already digitized and available online, how do we access the images? 

Images Attached to Indexes
Sample Icons from FamilySearch Search Results
The easiest way to locate images in FamilySearch is to follow those attached to indexes.  To do this, search the historical records here, with an ancestor’s name.  The entries in the list of search results will have icons on the far right.  The camera icon means an image is available.  Click on this icon to view the digital image.  Does the camera icon include a webpage behind it?  This means the image is available on another website such as BillionGraves.com or FindAGrave.com. Click this icon and you have the option to visit the partner website to see the image.

Indexes without Images with Film or Digital Folder Numbers
This option requires a few more steps. First, open the index entry. The microfilm number may be in two locations. To the right of the entry details may be a section that includes the index name, GS Film Number, Digital Folder Number and Image Number. GS stand for Genealogical Society of Utah, the precursor to FamilySearch.  Take note of these numbers as you will use them when searching the FamilySearch catalog. Clicking on the film or digital folder number will not take you to the images but an alphabetical listing of the index entries. If the film or folder number is not listed to the right, read through the “Citing this Record” section below the indexed information. Make note of film number, volume numbers, certificate numbers and other information to more easily find the image of interest.
Family Search Catalog
Using the Film/Folder Number to View the Image
From the index entry, scroll to the top of the webpage and click on the catalog tab which takes you to Family Search CatalogUnder “Search for:” click on “Film/Fiche Number” and enter the microfilm number or digital folder number and click “Search.” This takes you to the simple catalog entry.  Clicking on the record’s name reveals the details of author, format, language, and publication information, followed by notes and subject headings for the catalog. Below this information is the microfilm information. Scroll down to locate the film or folder of interest and look to its right for a camera icon.  Clicking on this icon opens the digital images. If the image number was included in the index entry, replace image "1" with that number and press enter. Double clicking on the highlighted image allows the user to view the record of interest.

Microfilm Tips
If the index entry did not include an image number, look at the beginning and end of the film for an index or directions on using it.  Is the film strip divided by county, organized by certificate number or by date? It may take a while to locate the exact record sought. These same steps that helped us find our record on microfilm helps us find it among the online images.

Catalog Icons
Each microfilm in the catalog will also have icons to the right.  The magnifying glass allows us to search the index.  The camera means digital images are available. The camera with a key above it means the images cannot be viewed from home. 
Sample Icons from FamilySearch Catalog
A trip to your local family history center, affiliate library such as the Midwest Genealogy Center, or the FamilySearchLibrary in Salt Lake City, UT may be necessary.  A microfilm icon means that digital images are not available from FamilySearch.  Search online to see if another provider has the images online. The microfilm may be part of the collection at a local family history center, or an affiliate library.  Scroll to the top of the microfilm details and look for the location drop down box.  This box shows locations that have at least one of the microfilms in that record group.  Changing to a different location will show only the films available at that location.

Unindexed Records and Indexes without Film or Folder Number
A word of caution. not all FamilySearch indexes include film or folder numbers, and not all microfilm records have been indexed.  With such records, the old school approach is necessary. Do a catalog search by location, author or subject to find the record of interest.  Once we have identified the catalog entry we wish to pursue, we look for the icons to determine how to access that record.

Happy hunting!
Lauri Jean Swett
An a3Genealogy Researcher

[i] FamilySearch Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm,” FamilySearch, posted 26 June 2017 (http://media.familysearch.org/ : accessed 28 June 2017)