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Research Notes 2018-8-20

A new member guide has been added to the Land Research page in the Research Support section of SAGS Support. Land and Probate: Terms and Definitions is a downloadable PDF document that defines many of the archaic terms used in land and probate research. That’s not all. The Land Research page also has links to other useful resources to help your research effort.


One of the most important tools in our research toolbox is your web browser. Most of us are using the browser that came with our computer/mobile device – Internet Explorer for Windows and Safari for Mac. There are a number of browsers created by other organizations that are also quite good. Google’s Chrome browser takes full advantage of Google’s famous search engine. The Firefox browser by Mozilla is impressive with their focus on security and privacy while browsing the web.


Sample census record on

Regardless of the browser you use, there are a few things you need to know in order to make the most of your online research efforts. First thing is maintaining your browser. As the Internet grows, so do the features that make our research easier. One good example of this is the way Ancestry highlights the people you are searching in a census page. Even better, when you zoom in on that section, a floating panel with column headings appears just over the lines you are viewing. These features has been available for some time now, but in order to see them you need to be using the latest version of your web browser.

Today’s browsers are focused on your security. Safari, Firefox and Chrome include password manager features to make it easier and safer to log into the sites you visit. While Safari is only available for Apple desktops and devices, Firefox and Chrome support most any computer and device. Each of them also sync content – like bookmarks, browsing history, etc. – between your desktops and devices.

One other very useful feature available on each of these browsers is add-ons. Installing an add-on gives your browser even more functionality. For example, Firefox has an add-on called Shelf Web Clipper to grab articles, images, clippings, videos and more while browsing the web.

Even if you are using the older browser that came with your computer and it cannot be updated, you can still install Firefox, Chrome or a number of other browser apps to improve your research efforts.


This week’s storytelling project for the Family History Faire is all about pictures and Flickr Groups. Not only is Flickr an affordable platform for off-site storage of your photo collection, it also provides some impressive social features. One of those is Flickr Groups. A Flickr Group consists of a Photo Pool and a Discussion board. Groups are created for topics and/or events. For example, you might create a group to collect photos from a family reunion. Anyone attending the reunion can take pictures and upload them to their Flickr account, then choose to share them to the reunion group. Each submitter controls his/her photos but is making them available so anyone with access to the group can view them and add comments.


Southern Cemeteries is a topic-based group.

As the group administrator, you control who can participate in the group. A group can be open to any Flickr user, open by invitation only or kept private. You also set the guidelines for your group and can choose to review submissions before they appear in the group. Only group members can add photos to a group, but you can open viewing to non-members if you wish. Flickr members who submit photos to a group still maintain control of them and can remove them from the group at any time. Photos set at a viewing level of Private by their owner will only be visible to group members when shared to a group.


A group for sharing photos and information about a specific family.

Groups can also be useful to help you learn more about your family history. This is a group I created for my Barker family in Georgia. My goal is to attract research cousins and to learn more about this family. Why do this on Flickr rather than Facebook? Here’s just a few good reasons:

  1. My photos are uploaded at their original resolution – not downgraded to save space.

  2. Embedded metadata is automatically added to the photo’s information page.

  3. There are a number of organizational tools available including albums, collections and groups.

  4. I determine how my photos will be licensed (copyrighted, Creative Commons licenses or public domain) and who can view them (only me, family, friends or everyone).

  5. Flickr is very search friendly.

  6. Flickr is also quite social, with comments, groups and Flickr Mail.

  7. It’s easy to download photos and share them with other social networks and blogs.

Take advantage of Flickr’s features to encourage your family to protect and share their photos here too. My Barker family group has attracted several research cousins. With luck we’ll soon have a growing and accessible family archive of both current and historic photos.

To learn more about Flickr and Flickr Groups, visit Getting Started with Flickr at the Moultrie Creek Gazette and you will find four guides to help you get started with Flickr and take advantage of Groups to share your family photos and attract research cousins. Click the download icon below each guide to download the PDF document to your desktop or mobile device.

Final Notes

Each new post published at SAGS Support is automatically emailed to member subscribers and/or delivered to their newsreader. Research Notes is published every Monday morning and other articles are posted during the week. Subscribers have the option to control how often these updates are delivered. Look down at the bottom of this message and you will find a Manage Subscriptions link in the fine print as you see in this example. Click it and you will be taken to the Subscription Management page. Use the Delivery Frequency column to change your delivery options from “Immediate” to either “Daily” or “Weekly”.

Sample of the “fine print” at the bottom of each post.

Also down at the bottom of each delivered post is a Comment button. If you would like to comment on something discussed in a post or ask a question, just click the Comment button and you will be taken online to the comment section of the post where you can share your thoughts and read what others have shared.

To learn more, download a copy of the SAGS Support Guide.

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