Saturday, December 28, 2013

MCGG Meeting Topics Revealed for 2014

Hi Everyone!

We have released MCGG's 2014 meeting schedules for our MCGG Friday Group and our Let's Talk...Genealogy discussion group (on Wednesday).

The meeting dates and topics can be found on the respective pages of this blog site or in our Southeast Michigan Genealogy Events calendar on the Calendar page. In addition, on our group's website you can find our meetings listed there along with a PDF of our meeting flyer.

We hope you enjoy the coming genealogy season.

See You Soon at the Mt Clemens Public Library!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

DNA and Genealogy is December 11th Let's Talk...Genealogy Meeting Topic

Join us Wednesday, December 11 at 7 p.m. in the Local History/Genealogy Room of the Mt. Clemens Public Library to discuss DNA and Genealogy. 

If you have already tested, share your experience. If you are considering testing, bring your questions.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


DNA and Genealogy is the new subject on the bulletin board in Local History and Genealogy Room.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Michigan Vital Records Online

Looking for births, marriages and deaths for Michigan but can't remember where someone said to find them on the internet?

Here's a run down of what vital records for Michigan are located where. I have indicated if actual records are available online.

FamilySearch - a FREE website of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ (LDS)/Mormons
The LDS have been digitizing the microfilm collections and other records (with permission of the record owners) and placing them on their website, FamilySearch. Find the digitized collections from the homepage by clicking on search, scrolling down to browse by location and then clicking on the region you desire. So after you select United States, either scroll down the list of databases to find Michigan or in the left column scroll down to click Michigan to see just the Michigan databases.

Here you will find:
Michigan, Births, 1867-1902 (index and record images, from Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records)
Michigan, Marriages, 1867-1925 (index and record images, from Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records)
Michigan, Deaths, 1867-1897 (index and record images, from Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records)
Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952 (index only, from Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records)
Michigan, County Marriages, 1820-1935 (index and images)
Michigan Death Index, 1971-1996 (index only from Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records, provided by

There are also a couple of index only databases (Births & Christenings, Marriages, and Deaths & Burials) that are comprised of former parts of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) or Vital Records Index collections. You would need to check each entry to determine the original source of the information (extract from an original record or submission from a person).

SeekingMichigan - a FREE website of the Archives of Michigan
The Archives of Michigan's SeekingMichigan website is where you will find the Michigan Death Certificates Collection 1897-1920. These records are from the Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records. Use the Advanced Search and only search one database at a time in order to get filters specialized for the death certificates. There is no Soundex option in this search engine.

According to some news passed on from another group, the indexes of Michigan Death Records from will be added to SeekingMichigan in early 2014. After that the images of the certificates dated from 1921 to 1938 will be added to the site. The additional years will be added as the law allows. A search filter for mother's maiden name will also be added to the site. Library Edition - a $ PAY-service via home or library subscription
Ancestry is a commercial website. If you don't have a home subscription, then come into the Mt. Clemens Public Library and you can use the library's subscription. (Or check to see if your local library has a subscription.)

On Ancestry's website, you'll find the following index databases under Michigan:

Michigan Death Records 1897-1920 is an index to the death certificates found at SeekingMichigan. This database index has the Soundex search option and links to take you to the images on SeekingMichigan.

Michigan, Deaths, 1971-1996 (index only, original data from the Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records)

There are a couple other index only databases for vitals records that are based on the index only databases located at FamilySearch. Again, check where the information came from for each entry.

Related to civil vital records are church vital records. Ancestry has a database with index and record images called Early US French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection, 1695-1954). It contains records for a variety of states. For Michigan, there are several Catholic churches, including records earlier than when the State of Michigan began recording vital records.

County Government Websites like the County Clerk
Check out the county government website for the Michigan counties you are researching. Several have index databases that make locating records easier. Searching the database may be free but there may be a charge for seeing/accessing a specific record. Here are some examples.

The webpage for the county clerk of Macomb County has a searchable death index for deaths from about 1960 forward though there are some earlier ones included but not all the earlier ones. You can then order a death certificate through a service (or go in-person during their genealogy hours and request it in person).

The Oakland County government website has a genealogy research service page that allows you to search marriage and death records back to 1941 and then order/pay for a record you desire.

The Genessee County Clerk has a searchable index for deaths from 1930 and a marriages from 1963.

There are likely more by now with similar indexes.

Genealogical and Historical Societies/Groups and Volunteer Sites
You can count on many of these groups to create an index where none were available.
The Flint Genealogical Society has indexed the Genessee County births, marriages and death. And of course check out the Mount Clemens Public Library's Genealogy, Local History or Databases pages to see the various databases that volunteers from Macomb County Genealogy Group have helped create.

Suzette Bromley has created indexes to St. Clair County Marriages and Deaths.

Joe Beine, runs a website DeathIndexesOnline that keeps track of which counties in each state have indexes online. There are some other indexes (cemetery, obituaries) mixed in amongst this list.

So what are you waiting for? Get searching.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Get Ready for Our Annual Holiday Party/Pot-luck Next Week

Friday, December 6th at 12:00 p.m. (noon) is our Annual Holiday Party and Pot-luck at the Mount Clemens Public Library. It is a joint meeting of the Macomb County Genealogy Group Friday group and the Let's Talk...Genealogy Wednesday group.

Bring a dish (home-made or store-bought) to share and come have some fun. (Remember this meeting starts at noon rather than our usual 1 p.m. start time.)

Please email Ann at the MCGG email if you plan on attending so we know approximately how many tables to set up. But if you don't know until the last moment, come anyway.

This year, just for fun, we are going to have a White Elephant Auction.  Look around your house and if you find something that you don't want (but someone else might) & wrap it up and bring it.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Follow up - BookScan Station to be Purchased by Mt Clemens Public Library

Hi Everyone!

If you were not at the November 1st MCGG Friday meeting or if you have not visited our FaceBook page lately, then let me announce to you that the Mount Clemens Public Library will purchase the BookScan Station. Thanks to some generous donations to the library's Local History and Genealogy Room.

Bob McG...'s photo of his BookScan Station test.
Currently, the station is still in demo-mode which means you need to bring in your own USB drive to save your image/document files. (We'll announce when the station is changed to fully-functioning which will give you additional options to save your files using email and Google drive.)

Last week, MCGG member Bob McG... (our techie guy) was testing the station just hours after our first post about the station. He decided to see how it did scanning a framed certificate without taking the certificate out of the frame.
Bob McG...'s untouched scan of a framed certificate.
Bob noted that "the scan needed slight color adjustment prior to the final cropped picture I sent you.  I added 10 degrees to color temperature, and increased light tones by 7 on the tone curve in Lightroom 5.  Someone with PSE [PhotoShop Elements] could do the same corrections."
Bob McG...'s retouched scan of a framed certificate.

The scanning station is very easy to use and this new resource is available whenever the library is open. We will have some tips for using the BookScan Station in a future post.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Follow Up to Friday's MCGG Meeting on the Roseville Family History Center

We hope you were able to make it to our November 1st Friday meeting. We had a great turnout.

David Lambert, a co-director of the Roseville Family History Center, described the resources of the Roseville FHC and gave an overview of the FamilySearch website ran by the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ (LDS/Mormon).

In the presentation David talked about several pay-sites that patrons of the Roseville FHC can access for free while at the FHC. These are sometimes referred to as portal access sites.

Today, Dick Eastman's Blog, Eastman's Online Genealogy Blog, had an announcement that new parish records were recently added to TheGenealogist website. TheGenealogist is one of the pay-sites available through the FHC's portal access.

You can see what types of records are available at TheGenealogist without having a subscription. (You can not do a search though.) On TheGenealogist homepage, scroll down until you see the "Why Subscribe?" column on the left side. Click on the arrow next to "Parish and non-conformist records" and it will take you to another page. Once there you can click on the county in the right-hand column to see what parishes are included so far. You can also click on the other subject categories and then the county to see what areas and time periods are included in those categories.

So if you have ancestors in the United Kingdom and TheGenealogist website covers the area you need, you might want to visit the Roseville FHC and investigate this website.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Two Days Until Our Next Meeting -- Learn About the Roseville Family History Center and the FamilySearch Website

Our MCGG Friday Group meets this Friday, November 1, at 1:00 pm in the auditorium of the Mount Clemens Public Library. 

Our speaker will be David Lambert who is a co-director of the Roseville Family History Center at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) in Roseville, Michigan.

David will be telling us about the Family History Center (FHC) at the Roseville church and the website ran by the LDS/Mormons.

If you are doing genealogy and have never been to a Family History Center, this is an excellent time to learn about the resources available at a FHC and how to use the facility.

So for those of you who are in the Mount Clemens area with a few free hours to invest in genealogy learning, PLEASE JOIN US.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Got Large-size Items? Try the SimpleScan Demo at Mt Clemens Public Library

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to remind you that the Mount Clemens Public Library is testing a SimpleScan BookScan station. We are about half way through the one-month demo which began on October 15.

What is a SimpleScan station?
It is a scanning station that operates two scanners using a touchscreen monitor. It asks you what you want, you pick it and then it tells you what to do.
SimpleScan BookScan Station at Mount Clemens Public Library

Since the library is evaluating this unit for purchase and it is in demo mode, you do need to bring in your own USB/Flash/Thumb drive to save your scans. (A fully functioning unit has the capability to email a file, send a file to Google drive, or output a scan to a printer.)

In demo-mode or fully-functioning mode, you have the option to create JPG, TIFF, PDF, searchable PDF, or Word files. You also have the option of scanning in color, black and white or grayscale; and at 200 Pixels Per Inch (PPI) (standard quality), 300 PPI (high quality), or 600 PPI (photo quality).

The station has two scanners. One is a sheet-feed scanner for loose and flexible papers/photos that you feed into the scanner. It can scan both sides. (This scanner is not for stiff items or delicate items that you don't want damaged.) The other scanner is a large flat-bed scanner with a book-edge that can scan items up to 11" x 17" inches!!! (A book-edge is an angled edge that allows a book to lay flat without damaging the spine of a book.)

The SimpleScan station is located in the local history/genealogy room. The library staff can walk you through scanning or if you have questions. But honestly the station asks and tells you what to do right on the screen so you should just be able to walk up and get started on your own.

I do have a tip from my own experience. If you want to make sure you have an individual file for each document you scan ... DO MAKE SURE that you save (give a unique name) to each document right after you scan it. (Tap the next after you are happy with the image.) Otherwise if you scan several items and then do a save, you will end up with one image file containing multiple images in that one file. As of yet, I have found no way to separate these combined images into separate files.

Think about this. 

Besides scanning items in the library's collection, you can bring in your personal large-size items that do not fit on your scanner at home and scan them in one piece. Things like large certificates and large photos that do not fit on most home scanners are great items to scan on the station. See the baptismal certificate in the photo above.

If you use the scanning station let us or the library staff know what you think.

See You Soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Genealogy Roadshow featuring Detroit airs Tomorrow, Monday September 30

Hi Everyone

I just wanted to remind you that the newest genealogy television show, Genealogy Roadshow, airs its second episode tomorrow, September 30. It features people from the Detroit area.

This episode was filmed at the Daley Rhea Mansion in the Indian Village area of Detroit. I found that the website for KPBS (the PBS station for San Diego, California) gives quite a bit more information on the Detroit episode; including some video clips from the episode. It also has a link to submit your "mystery" for the next season of the show. (If a second season is picked up, I do not know if they will continue the one-city approach to each episode. If they do continue that format, they probably will not return to Detroit for a while. We'll have to wait and see.)

A sneak peak of the Detroit episode was held at the Detroit Public Library last Tuesday, Sep. 24. I don't know if anyone from our group managed to attend.

Everyone has different television delivery/provider systems. So listed here are a few for your convenience. If yours is not listed below, use your television provider's schedule system or PBS Detroit's schedule system to find the PBS channel number on your provider system and to learn when the show will be re-aired again. (On PBS Detroit's schedule system you can customize the listing to your service provider by edit or change provider so the schedule generated reflects your television provider's channels and schedule.)

Digital Over-the-Air box: 
September 30, 9 p.m. on channel 56.1
October 1, 12 a.m. on channel 56.2
October 1, 2:30 a.m. on channel 56.1
October 1, 4 a.m. on channel 56.2
October 4, 8 a.m. on channel 56.2
October 4, 10 a.m. on channel 56.2

Comcast: St Clair Shores (the same channels are used in Macomb Twp.)
September 30, 9 p.m. on channel 6, channel 240 HD, channel 1006 HD
October 1, 12 a.m. on channel 287,
October 1, 2:30 a.m. on channel 6, channel 240 HD, channel 1006 HD
October 1, 4 a.m. on channel 287
October 4, 8 a.m. on channel 287
October 4, 10 a.m. on channel 287

Wide Open West: Detroit
September 30, 9 p.m. on channel 3, channel 205 HD
October 1, 2:30 a.m. on channel 3, channel 205 HD
October 5, 3:30 a.m. on channel 3, channel 205 HD

Hope you all have a good week. And remember, October is Family History Month!

If you haven't worked on your genealogy in a while, choose some aspect of it and work on it. Review what you have, organize it, scan some photos, pick up a brick wall, work on a neglected ancestor, talk to an older relative, attend a new meeting -- do something!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

RSVP Date - Sep. 26 - Fast Approaching for 40th Anniversary Dinner

Hi Everyone

For those that attended our September meetings, we hope you enjoyed them.
Our next meeting in October will be our 40th Anniversary Dinner in place of our regular meetings. This takes place on Wednesday, October 9th.

This is a reminder that your RSVPs are due by September 26th if you plan to attend.
The evening starts at 5:30, with catered buffet dinner at 6:00 p.m. The cost for the dinner is $12.00 per person.
If you have any questions, please contact Ann at the macomb email listed on our contacts page. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to Ann Faulkner, c/o Mount Clemens Public Library, 150 Cass Ave, Mount Clemens, MI 48043. 
If you are mailing your RSVP, I suggest emailing Ann to give her a heads up just in case the postal mail arrives late. That way you are included in the count for the caterer. 

This will be a joint meeting of the MCGG Friday Group and MCGG Let's Talk...Genealogy Wednesday group.
Hope to see you there.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hi Everyone -- Welcome to Our 40th Year!


Can you believe summer is almost over?

For us at the Macomb County Genealogy Group it means it is time for another season/year of genealogy. And this year it is also our 40th Anniversary! 

Can you believe that?

The board has been planning throughout the summer and we hope everyone enjoys the programs we have planned and the anniversary dinner.

This year we have also added a few more ways to keep in touch with our members besides through occasional emails and our Rootsweb website (operated since 2007).

Earlier this year we joined Facebook. So if you are on Facebook, find us, friend and like us. And this month we have launched our own blog. So if you use feed reader, add us to hear it first.

These are additional tools for us to communicate with you but don't worry our occasional emails and our website on Rootsweb are not going away. (Yes, we know not everyone is on Facebook or up on all the technology out there.)

Besides now having the blog page to communicate, the blog site also repeats some of the pages (like our schedules) from our website. For the webpages not repeated on the blog pages, there are links back to our Rootsweb website.

So we hope to see you soon at our MCGG Friday Group and Let's Talk...Genealogy Wednesday evening meetings!