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Research Notes 2019-2-11

We are looking forward to Saturday’s Member Meeting. This month we are delighted to have Marie Santry as our speaker. The title of her presentation is Who’s Your Daddy: When Original Records Lead You Astray.

Marie’s program is a case study of a man who grew up with the surname HASKELL. He had his father’s birth record, Social Security Application, and other documents identifying the Haskell surname. These records indicated he was born in 1892 in Lapeer County, Michigan; but searching census records did not find any such person in 1900 or 1910. He doesn’t surface in census records until 1920. Thus began a mystery that has led to two other surnames, more birth records, marriage records, newspaper accounts, court papers, and finally DNA tests.


Facebook’s privacy problems continue to mount. As a result more and more people are looking for alternatives. Because family history research involves a lot of personal information, Facebook’s issues have become a serious concern. Fortunately, we have found an alternative network that not only protects its members privacy, it doesn’t bombard us with continuous a stream of advertisements. This network is


MeWe may have a funny name, but it is easy to navigate and it has well-designed layout to make navigating the site quite easy. This is what a MeWe user’s timeline looks like when viewed in a web browser. An impressive number of companies have a presence on MeWe. These include NASA, Amazon, Dropbox, the NFL and several news organizations like BBC, New York Times and Fox News. There is also an impressive number of groups in MeWe and I was surprised to find a number of family members already had accounts.

MeWe’s chat feature supports text, voice and even video chats. Voice chats on a desktop computer will require microphone and speakers or a headset. The free mobile apps (iOS and Android devices) support all chat types. The mobile apps focus on posts and chats while the browser-based desktop version gives you access to all of MeWe’s features.

In the menu bar of the sample above you see icons for chats, groups, pages and events. Notice the MeWe Store icon. While MeWe is free to use, there are a number of “prime” features that come at a very reasonable cost. For example, you can purchase emoji packages at 99¢ each and for $1.99/month you can have unlimited voice and video chats. Every MeWe user receives 8GB of storage at no charge. This is used to post photos, videos and even PDF documents in your account. If you need more storage, you will pay for it.

You may wonder how these small charges can keep the network alive. MeWe also hosts a business version of the platform. It provides the communication and collaboration services a business needs. It is not free and the income it generates also helps to keep the public MeWe operational.


The MeWe groups element offers our society an affordable way to support our members between meetings. Here you see the SAGS Member Network, a group designed to share genealogy news and deals while making it easy to contact members and staff for help. This groups feature also offers us a way to support special interest groups for our members.

If you would like to learn more about and see it in action, contact Denise Olson after Saturday’s presentation.


Found on Twitter . . .

Do you have ancestors from Pennsylvania? We have a collection of maps that can help with your research. This 1681 map of Chester County shows the province of Pennsylvania with the names of the original purchasers from William Penn. See more on Fold3. — Fold3 (@fold3) February 9, 2019

conversations101.png has some impressive collaboration features. Thanks to the Conversations section I have been able to reconnect with cousins I haven’t seen in years. Now we are all working together to chase down our elusive ancestors. Conversations isn’t the only collaboration feature. When source information is added to a person’s profile it is also documented on the profile screen.


Those “research cousins” show up in the Latest Changes panel and include links to that person’s contact information.

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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