For many of us, the first steps on our family history journey are on a road made up of census, birth, marriage and death records. When you’re just starting out with family history work, this is often all that’s needed to start capturing a smattering of loose dates and names (editor’s note: check out this post on getting … Continue reading Wills, Probates, Estate Records… Oh My!
We’ve all seen it happen. In an effort to quickly build out a tree or rush through the process, folks get clumsy. Someone doesn’t corroborate evidence or confirm the validity of a record. And then weeks, months or even years later, they realize that this ancestral path they have built and that others have copied … Continue reading Genealogical Sourcing 101
I was recently doing a bit of research on a great aunt’s family tree branch in an effort to uncover missing details on a common ancestor. During the course of my research, I learned her daughter died tragically the day after giving birth to her first child at the age of 21. Five months later, the … Continue reading Death and Genealogy: Two Sides of the Same Coin
It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in the US and that traditionally means lots of time with family. While our dinner tables this year will look quite different for many of us (thanks, COVID-19), it doesn’t mean we have to forego learning more about our family history. An old-school phone call or even a Zoom interview are … Continue reading Five Family History Questions to Ask Your Relatives This Holiday Season
During my nearly twenty years of digging through census records and birth certificates, one common brick wall tends to be a female ancestor. It can be challenging to find the maiden name or any identifying information for a mother, wife or any other “pink leaf” in the tree. For a number of reasons, women have … Continue reading Finding those elusive “pink leaves” (female ancestors) in your family tree
I know, I know. What’s more thrilling than watching paint dry? Talking about census records, duh! But stay with me, because there’s a lot of fascinating history behind the census. I promise! As you prepare to celebrate the upcoming 2020 census by partying like it’s 1790, here are ten things you may not have known about … Continue reading Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Census Records
From Bing Crosby (Harry) and Bono (Paul) to A-Rod (Alex) and Tiger Woods (Eldrick), nicknames are certainly not a modern invention. And yet I was still really confused when I stumbled upon a recent record of my great great grandfather Wilfred where he was identified by his nickname, Wicky. I had assumed the nickname he … Continue reading What’s in a (Nick) Name? Using Nicknames in Genealogical Research
It’s 2020, ya’ll, and you’ve likely heard a lot about the upcoming census, slated for this April. It got me thinking that, while it’s one of the most common historical records for new researchers to search for and interact with, many people may not be familiar with the history of census-taking (#trendingtopic #sarcasm) and all … Continue reading What Exactly *is* the Census and How Do I use it?
R E S E A R C H. Do the memories of book reports and science projects trigger immediate heart palpitations and sweaty palms? Do you have flashbacks to awkward oral presentations and late-night diorama panic? You’re not alone and I feel your pain. I mean, it’s 2020: can’t we just click a button and … Continue reading Seven Steps for Getting Started with Family History + Genealogy
Genealogy? *yawn* Who wants to take a nap? :: slowly raises hand :: I get it. Believe me. The truth is, though, that over the last 20 years, exploring my family’s past has been one of my life’s most exciting and eye-opening passion projects. Like pretty much *every single family* in the world, mine has its share … Continue reading Genealogy: A Love Letter