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Research Notes 2019-4-8

Do you have a recent iPhone or iPad with the latest software updates? If so, take a look at the News app. In the last software update (version 12.2) a new section was added to the News app. The new section – called News+ – gives you access to hundreds of magazines and several leading newspapers. Included in this collection is both Family Tree Magazine and Who Do You Think You Are.

A view of News+

News+ is a subscription service. After a one-month free trial, if you decide to subscribe it will cost you $9.99 a month. You may find that a bit pricey but it gives you easy access to every publication included in the collection – including back issues – on every iOS mobile device you have and includes FamilySharing for up to six family members.

A view of “basic” News

While it takes a while longer to “subscribe” to your favorite sources and topics, the basic News app can also be quite useful. It costs you nothing and has a broad range of features.


Here’s an interesting tidbit . . . Do you remember Count Casimir Pulaski – the father of American Calvary? He was one of the American Revolution’s heroes and there is a statue honoring him in Savannah. He was mortally wounded on his way to join French and American troops in an attempt to retake Savannah from the British. His body was quickly removed from the area and buried at a nearby plantation.

A monument to Pulaski was built in Savannah in 1864. His bones were exhumed and buried in a metal box beneath the monument. Fast forward a few centuries and there was a problem at the monument requiring it be torn down and rebuilt. During the construction, several anthropologists worked with Pulaski’s bones. Imagine their shock with their examination of the bones and historical records found that the Count was a woman!

Want to read the rest of the story? You’ll find it at the ASU Now site. Many thanks to Tara Calishain at ResearchBUZZ for sharing this on MeWe.


SAGS Member Margaret Nicholson has been invited to speak at the Southeast Branch Library. Her topic is The History of You – Ancestry Memoir. The presentation will be held on Tuesday, April 23rd, beginning at 2:00pm. Here’s a description of the presentation.

Here’s a description of the presentation . . .

My recently published memoir and handbook, My Surprise Family:Find Your Ancestry Story, focusses on my experience after finding unexpected DNA results. My story involved a surprise father, so more time and effort were required to find my paternal relatives and build their family tree. Using my experience as a case study, I will share what I learned about searching for ancestors, the writing process, and choosing a publication format.

The presentation is designed to appeal to everyone. And for those interested in ancestry research and writing, you may be able to answer the following questions:

A. How much effort/expense do I want to put into finding my ancestors? Will Ancestry Library Edition meet my needs? Which stories and family photos (black and whites from a shoebox or color prints from a phone) would I like to see in a book?

B. How comprehensive should my story be? Is this memoir for my own eyes, for those of my children and grandchildren, or for wider publications?

C. What format (online or various forms of print) is best for my purposes? Will DIY be sufficient for my purpose or should I pay for professional help?


Tip – How To Use Hashtags

Are you familiar with hashtags? If not, it’s time to learn. Since it’s almost impossible to build and maintain an index for content on digital platforms, the hashtag has developed into an impressive alternative. Here’s a quick look at how hashtags work.

In this website, you see a Tag Cloud in the right sidebar. Now look at the items listed just below the image for this post. The tag icon appears before the keywords added as hashtags. You will also see those hashtags listed in the Tag Cloud. Notice that some keywords are larger than others. For example, the Archives tag is the largest one in this TagCloud. That is because there are many articles posted on this site that reference archives.

Click or tap a tag in the Tag Cloud and the screen will redraw to display all the articles that have been tagged with that keyword.

HashTags sample

Not all tag systems are as clean and pretty as this one, but they are still very useful. Here is an example of how hashtags work on the MeWe social network.


Take a look at the post in this group’s timeline. Just above the envelopes image you will see two hashtags – #letters and #preservation. Notice that each hashtag begins with a hash mark. Now look at the panel at the right side of this screen. This panel can display events, tags, members or photos depending which of those items is selected at the top of the panel. In this example, #Tags are displayed. You can use the search box to quickly find any posts tagged with the hashtag you enter or you can browse the tag cloud and tap the tag you want. When you do that, the timeline will redraw and your timeline will display only the posts containing your tag.

Now that you know how useful a hashtag can be, you’ll be surprised at the number of platforms and services include this simple, but effective tool to make your research efforts a lot easier.

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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