Friday, April 29, 2016

Got Eastern European Roots? Join Me for a Special Eastern European Genealogy Boot Camp Saturday 14 May 2016

One of my favorite genealogy topics to teach is how to trace Eastern European ancestors, so on Saturday, 14 May 2016 I am going "back to my roots" and teaching a special Eastern European Genealogy Boot Camp (a beginning and an advanced session) through HackGenealogy.
We’re back with a brand new set of webinars, this time presented by Lisa A. Alzo and focusing on Eastern European genealogy research!
Jumpstart Your Eastern European Genealogy Boot Camp
  • How to identify your immigrant ancestors in North America and find your family in foreign records
  • Ways to locate your ancestral village using maps, gazetteers, and other geographic tools
  • Where to find records online and how to maximize your search results
  • How to locate and access records in various Eastern European churches, archives, and other repositories will be provided
  • Tips and tricks to bust through the myths and misconceptions of researching in Eastern Europe
Advanced Eastern European Genealogy Boot Camp: Brick Wall Search Strategies and Techniques
  • Strategies for overcoming the most common pitfalls and problems
  • How to deal with names, border changes, “missing” records and foreign languages and alphabets
  • Creative research strategies for tracing those hard-to-find ancestors
  • Tips for contacting possible relatives, writing to foreign archives, and visiting your ancestral homeland
  • Additional Resources to help further your research
Sign Up for the Eastern European Genealogy Boot Camp Today!
Duration: 3.5 hours (with a 30 minute break)
  • 11:00 am EDT /10:00 am CDT
  • Welcome / Meet & Greet
  • 11:00 am EDT / 10:00 am CDT
  • Jumpstart Your Eastern European Genealogy Boot Camp
  • Lisa A. Alzo
  • 12:30 pm EDT/11:30 am CDT
  • Break
  • 1:00 pm EDT /12:00 pm CDT
  • Advanced Eastern European Genealogy Boot Camp: Brick Wall Search Strategies and Techniques
  • Lisa A. Alzo
  • 2:30 pm EDT / 1:30 pm CDT
  • Closing and Thank You

Details follow below. Click here to reserve your spot today!
Curious about your East European roots but don’t know where to begin? Many people get interested researching their Eastern European ancestors because they want to learn more about where their family came from—specifically, to find out which ancestors came over from the “old country” and when. Whether your ancestors were Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Slovak, Ukrainian, or hailed from another location in the heart of Europe, this boot camp will help you jumpstart your research. You will learn:
Have you hit the proverbial “brick wall” in your search for your Eastern European ancestors? Are you perplexed with sorting out surnames, trying to identify ancestral hometowns, and deciphering old country records to connect families across generations? Then this boot camp is for you. In this boot camp you will learn:
You’ll receive over 3 hours of educational content, handouts and freebies for the low price of $12.95 USD! You’ll also receive access to the recorded versions of each webinar for up to one year!
Register by Monday, 9 May 2016 and receive over 23% off the registration price for a low $9.95 USD! Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handouts, the freebies and access to the recordings!
Click HERE to register!
Saturday 14 May 2016
All registrants will have unlimited access to the recordings for personal use, including the ability to download and save the recordings. Recordings, along with the access password, will be made available within 48 hours of the end of the webinars.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fearless Females 31 March 2016: Mini-Profile

The prompt for 31 March 2016 is to is write a mini-profile of the female ancestor of your choice.

March 31 — Pick one female ancestor and write a mini-profile (500 words or less).

[Note: This post originally ran during the Fearless Females series in March 2010]

I decided to write a profile for my grandmother's sister, Anna Fencsak Bavolar.

Anna Fenscak Bavolar

Anna Fencsak Bavolar was born on May 15, 1893 to Ilona and Mihaly Fencsak in Freeland, PA. She arrived in America in 1911, and was matched for marriage to George Bavolar by her sister, Mary Ceyba. Not long after the birth of her first daughter, Mary, Anna returned to Slovakia to care for her mother, who was ill and now re-married to Mihaly Zelenak. During that time Anna experienced conflict with her step-father who was a possessive person and did not want Anna there looking after her mother. Ilona died in 1917, but World War I delayed Anna’s return home until 1920. Anna and her husband eventually had four more children. Anna’s son George was killed trying to jump on a moving truck.

Anna died in 1959 from “myocardial infarction,” and “congestive heart failure.”

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fearless Females 30 March 2016: Words of Wisdom

The prompt for 30 March 2016 is to share any words of wisdom you received from your mother or another female ancestor.

March 30 — Did you receive any advice or words of wisdom from your mother or another female ancestor?

[Note: This post originally ran during the Fearless Females series in March 2010]

Lisa Alzo with Anna Alzo, 1999

My mother taught me to believe in myself and that just because someone else had more money, more advantages, or more opportunities that I shouldn't feel they were better than me, or that this made me less of a person. She also taught me not to give up just because something seemed difficult or impossible to accomplish. Mom was a very smart woman and while at the time I couldn't understand the lessons or principles she was trying to teach, I can truly appreciate them now.

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fearless Females 29 March 2016: Honoring a Female Ancestor

The prompt for 29 March 2016 is to honor a female ancestor with a tribute page, trading card, or using some other format of your choice. 

March 29 — Create a free Fold3 (formerly Footnote) Memorial Page or a Genealogy Trading Card at Big Huge Labs for a female ancestor. Some of you may have created your own card back in September 2009 following Sheri Fenley’s post over at The Educated Genealogist. This time, the card is for your ancestor.

[Note: This post originally ran during the Fearless Females series in March 2010]

Fold3 Memorial Page for Elizabeth Alzo

I chose to create a free Fold3 Page for Elizabeth Alzo (my grandmother). I used data from the Fold3 database to help build the page - there are links to the 1930 census entry for her and to her naturalization petitions. I also added an image of her obituary, and plan to add some stories, and more information down the line.

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 28, 2016

In Case You Missed the Live Webinar: Getting Started with Trello Mini Boot Camp to Go Now Available for Purchase

Do you struggle with project management?  Want to collaborate with a cousin on your genealogy research or a colleague on writing a book or managing society activities?

Trello has changed the way I organize my personal to-do list, plan my posts for this blog, approach my genealogy projects, and my brainstorm ideas for writing.  It truly is my "whiteboard in the cloud."

During the recent Getting Started with Trello Mini Boot Camp I presented on Saturday 19 March 2016 with Thomas MacEntee of Hack Genealogy, I demonstrated several different ways to use Trello for genealogy and family history.

If you missed out on the Getting Started with Trello Mini Boot Camp, now is your chance to catch up and catch on to this versatile application with the digital download.  Click here to purchase now.

What's Included?

Below is a description of what was covered in the live session as provided by Thomas MacEntee and Hack Genealogy.


If you were unable to attend the recent Getting Started with Trello Mini Boot Camp this past Saturday,  you’re in luck! We’ve packaged the entire event – webinar video, handouts and freebies – into one product! We had a enthusiastic crowd with Lisa A. Alzo presenting a fun and information-filled webinar!

Getting Started with Trello

Have you ever wished for a whiteboard in the cloud where you could generate ideas, organize your genealogy research tasks, or storyboard your family history writing? Then, say “Hello” to Trello—a free project management tool to help you streamline your genealogy projects, tackle your  “to-do” lists, and improve your workflow.
Here’s what you will get with the Getting Started with Trello Mini Boot Camp:
  • Learn how to set up a free Trello account and create your first project board.
  • Discover Trello’s easy project management system of boards, lists and cards and how to customize them for your personal to-do lists and genealogy/family history projects.
  • Learn how you can share your Trello boards and cards to collaborate with relatives, fellow researchers, and society colleagues.
  • Get tips on using the Trello app to sync your boards on multiple devices to take your work with you wherever you go!
  • View a variety of sample projects, and much more!
You’ll have unlimited access to these materials, with no time limit, and learn how to finally get organized! Price: $5.95!
Click here to order the Getting Started with Trello Mini Boot Camp.
For more information and to purchase a copy of previous Hack Genealogy Boot Camp materials, click here to visit the Hack Genealogy Store.

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

Fearless Females 28 March 2016: Best Friend

The prompt for 28 March 2016 is to write about either your mother's or grandmother's best friend. 

March 28 — Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?

[Note: This post originally ran during the Fearless Females series in March 2010]

Image credit: Pixabay

My mother's best friend growing up was Dolores. I don't want to infringe on her privacy so I won't post her last name or a photograph or any more details. But I know that my mother was very close with her. While Dolores moved to another state, the two still kept in touch over the years with letters and Christmas cards. Many years ago, when I threw a surprise party for my parents 50th wedding anniversary, I invited Dolores and she came! My mother was so surprised--the two hugged and cried and spent the weekend sharing memories. I know it meant so much to my mom to have her best friend there. It was one of those extra special moments in time that you will always remember. 

I'm not sure about my grandmothers. They were close to many of their neighbors and women they knew from the churches they attended.

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fearless Females 27 March 2016: Immigration Story

The prompt for 27 March 2016 is to tell a female ancestor's immigration story.

March 27 — Do you know the immigration story of one or more female ancestors? Do you have any passenger lists, passports, or other documentation? Interesting family stories?

[Note: This post originally ran during the Fearless Females series in March 2010]

The immigration story of my grandmother Verona was what prompted me to begin my genealogical research. She was the last of her siblings to immigrate to America, arriving at age 22 with her niece Mary, who was 16.

Verona Straka and Mary Straka

She was detained for several days at Ellis Island for medical reasons. I wrote about her experience in my March 19th "Fearless Females" post, "Have you discovered a surprising fact about one of your female ancestors? " and posted an image of the ship's manifest that documented she was detained.

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Fearless Females 26 March 2016: Education

The prompt for 26 March 2016 is to write about a female ancestor's education.

March 26 — What education did your mother receive? Your grandmothers? Great-grandmothers? Note any advanced degrees or special achievements.

[Note: Portions of this post originally ran during the Fearless Females series in March 2010]

My mother graduated from high school but did not go to college (her parents could not afford it). Mom was very smart and good at math. But she went to work after high school and after she married my father worked part time. I think she sometimes regretted not being able to go to college, and she worked very hard to make sure I was able to, and was so proud that I went to graduate school to earn my M.F.A. degree.

My grandmothers each had what was likely the equivalent of an 8th grade education, but by no means were they unintelligent women. They were at a disadvantage being immigrants and, but somehow they managed their households, raised their children, were able to hold down jobs speaking very little English.

Copyright 2016, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved