07 March 2014

My Commitment to PERSI

You may have noticed (and by the comments and questions coming in via social media, many of you have) that I have been working with the PERSI index quite a bit lately. I made a commitment to myself, and to PERSI, that I would learn to utilize this resource. Is it strange to make a commitment to an index? Perhaps. But I've done it anyway

(Unfamiliar with PERSI? Check out my recent blog post, "Applause! Cheers! Whistles!" on what I learned about PERSI during RootsTech.)

Over the course of the last fifteen years or so, as I've been actively engaged in the obsession that is genealogy, I have occasionally tried to use PERSI through the previous host, HeritageQuest. I've tried, and I've failed. Why? Because I never took the time to really understand what it was, or how it worked. Now that I know better, I'm having a grand old time making all sorts of discoveries! I've been sharing these on my business Facebook page, Ancestral Journeys, and through my Twitter feed, albeit in a more abbreviated fashion. (If you haven't already liked or followed me on Facebook, I'll go ahead and put in the plug for myself: would you do it now? I would greatly appreciate it, and thank you in advance.)

Some of the items I've looked up have just been random whatever-I-think-of-in-the-moment type pieces. Some have been intentional, done with a specific goal or research question in mind. Either way, I am learning more and more how to finesse the system to my benefit. As findmypast.com adds more images to the PERSI collection, I'll be ready to investigate, and will be a pro at utilizing their search platform before the publications I am most interested in come online.

And that is the commitment I made to myself. During Curt Witcher's talk at RootsTech, he was so jazzed up about the material you can find there, that I promised myself I would use it. Regularly and often. When I got home, I decided to look up at least one article every day, five days out of the week. Admittedly, I've missed a few, but three weeks' worth of illness will slow down just about anybody. I'm getting back on track with my health (finally!) and that means I'm getting back on track with my commitment to PERSI, too.

Here's a few of the articles I have found so far:


  • "Jamestown Baking Oven of 1600s" published in the William and Mary Quarterly Historical Magazine (Vol 17, Issue 4, Oct 1937).
  • "Newcastle H.S. Band Members, ca. 1925" published in Bits and Pieces (Weston, Wyoming, Vol 5, Issue 6, 1969) - as a devoted band member growing up, this one caught my attention for sure! 
  • "Best Martin, aka Lena Martin, is Exposed as a Woman in Prison" published in Nebraska History (Vol 90, Issue 1, Spring 2009). 
  • "Danville Hist. Excerpt, Gazetteer of State, 1804" published in the Steuben Echoes (Steuben, New York, Mar 1995 issue).

Not just articles, but images too. In one 1912 issue of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, I found several family crests. I did not keep them all, just enough to remind me of the great material available through PERSI. If you refer to my post listed above, you will see that I've also been able to locate maps, charts and tables and photographs of various individuals.  


Family Crest, found in a 1912 New York Genealogical and Biographical Record,
via PERSI, on findmypast.com

I would invite you to take a look at the PERSI index now on findmypast.com. The material there may just surprise you. 


Disclaimer: 
I work for findmypast.com. However, I was not asked to write this post, I am not being paid to write this post, and will not benefit in any way at all from this post… other than just sharing the great news about PERSI with my readers.