The Ancestral Landscape

In trying to better understand the life of my ancestors, I usually study maps from different time periods of the area in which they lived. Knowing how the landscape changed over time can offer clues to choices the family made such as relocating or marrying someone from another village. I also like to have this background information in case I ever visit the area because what I would see today might not have been what was there during my ancestor’s lifetime. For example, this was what I discovered when I recently found myself browsing the Military Survey maps linked from the…

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Organizing Genealogy Books

    Since the first week of Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over covers organization, I decided to start by organizing all my genealogy books. As I collected them throughout the house and placed them in one bookcase, I decided it was probably also a good idea to create an inventory of them. That way, I would always know which books I have already purchased. To make the process go a little faster, I used the Dragon Dictation app on my iPhone and just read the title to the phone. Then after the app translated the title, I copied and pasted the…

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Why I Decided to Do the Genealogy Do-Over

When I first read about Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over on his GeneaBloggers Blog, I thought why in the world would I ever want to start everything over again? But over the last few months a few things happened that made me reconsider. First, I have gotten to the point where I had set up three trees so each time I did any research, I had to update all three which was not very productive, and at times it was challenging to make sure I consistently updated everything with exactly the same information. Second someone who had matched with my DNA,…

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Finding Your Ancestors in the Cemetery

To the average person cemeteries can represent a place to completely avoid, revere, find solace or perhaps a little of all that depending on the mood. But to a genealogist, a cemetery represents a place where significant family information can be discovered. For me, even before becoming a genealogist, graveyards were most definitely a place strongly associated with family. Possibly because my mom took my brother and I to cemeteries so much as children to visit relatives who had passed away. Later as a young woman, I gained an additional insight into graveyards after working with a land surveyor laying…

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The Adopted Genealogist

                        For most people, figuring out where you came from is just a matter of asking mom or dad or any other member of the family. Sure you might not get a full family tree back to the 1500s, but at least there’s a good chance you’ll get some idea of a starting point from which you can begin your genealogy research. But for many of us who were adopted, it’s not such a simple matter. However, adoption and the challenges it poses do not have to be reasons…

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Genealogy Resources: Family Search Website – Part 2

This article is a follow-up to my last post about the FamilySearch.org website and covers some of the remaining features offered by the site. First we’ll go through the Family Tree section of the site. You can get to this by clicking the “Family Tree” button on the home page. Doing so takes you to an interactive tree where you can begin adding your family. When you click the prompt in a box to add someone, FamilySearch offers you a template with space to fill in a name and life event such as birth, marriage, or death. You can also add the names of parents…

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Genealogy Resources: Family Search Website – Part 1

In an earlier post I brought FamilySearch as one site offering cloud-based family tree services to genealogists. But that is only one aspect of what FamilySearch offers. So in this article, I’m going to share a few of the other features and benefits you’ll find on the site. Then, the rest of the services will be discussed in the next post or two.  Before I begin, I will preface this information by saying FamilySearch has been in constant change over the last year or so as they roll out new services. Because of this, what you see below might change again at some…

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Another Census Infographic – the Census over Time

The Census Bureau recently released another infographic illustrating the census over time. For each decade it describes the changes in the way data was collected. You can click the image below to go to the Census Bureau page and pick up your own copy of this in pdf or txt form.   [Source: U.S. Census Bureau]  

Civil War Resources – The Battle of Gettysburg

    Today is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg so I figured I would post a few resources genealogists can use for research or for family histories. Fold3 Civil War Website First, Fold3, an online site focusing on military records, hosts a separate website dedicated to the Civil War. It’s a great place for browsing photos, maps, and records from the Civil War and just learning more about its history. Unfortunately, if you are looking for resources to use in your own work, the copyright might prevent you from doing so. Although many of these documents appear to have come…

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Memorial Day Infographic from our Friends at the Census Bureau

As genealogists, our work in documenting our family’s military record is part of our commitment and contribution to memorializing their life’s dedication and service to our country. Because of this, I figured genealogists reading this blog might be interested in the following infographic created by the Census Bureau. It gives an interesting background to some of the statistics behind each war. And if you want to download a PDF of it for your own records, you can do so by clicking here: Download Census Bureau Memorial Day Infographic. For those of you who might just be getting started in discovering your…

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