Whether family history research is your newest hobby or a lifelong passion — pitfalls are everywhere and sometimes they’re hard to spot. From forgetting to back up your data to limiting your research options, these important dos and don’ts will help you avoid some of the most common issues facing family historians today.
1. DO interview family members while you still have a chance. Many family historians are nervous about asking family members for important [...]
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering all of its Irish records free of charge from Aug 2 – 9th. Read their release below for information about how to access this great collection.
Many believe that researching Irish ancestors is impossible because of the destruction of the Public Record Office (PRO) in Dublin in 1922. While many records were destroyed in that devastating fire, other sources, such as deeds [...]
Locating the names of parents is one of the most important jobs of any family historian and we all spend a great deal of time looking for records to do just that. But, as we all know, it’s not always an easy task.
Parents can be surprisingly elusive — mysteriously missing from key documents. In addition, verifying that we have actually found the correct parents for an ancestor can be an even bigger challenge, especially if our ancestor had a common name.
There are few things more frustrating or discouraging than spending days, weeks or even years looking for a specific detail about an ancestor and coming up with nothing. And while it is certainly possible that what you are looking for simply does not exist, it’s also possible that a few changes to the way you search may turn up surprising results.
Whether you’re using a huge family history resource like FamilySearch or Ancestry, or digging around on smaller [...]
FamilySearch.org, which holds the largest collection of free family history data in the world, is currently recruiting genealogy enthusiasts for its online World Indexing Event 2016. And they want you.
For 72 hours between July 15 and 17, thousands of family historians will gather together online to see how many records they can accurately index in an attempt to make more free family history data available online than ever before. Even if you’ve never indexed a record, [...]
Occupations are one of the most coveted gems of genealogy research — they give us a glimpse in to the daily lives of our ancestors in a way that few other raw details can. But if you’ve spent some time digging through old records you’ve probably come across jobs that you have never heard of, most likely because their necessity has faded away with time. You’ve probably even found yourself frantically googling some of these positions to gain a better understanding [...]
There are few things more exciting in family history research than stepping beyond names and dates for a moment to record some personal details about an ancestor. Whether it’s an employer’s name, an unknown detail in a will or a fascinating description of military service, personal details help us better understand the story of our ancestors’ lives.
One of the most interesting finds for many researchers is a personal description of an individual — a chance [...]
Are you lucky enough to have a collection of photographs of your ancestors? A surprisingly small number of family historians are able to answer “yes” to this question — at least as it concerns ancestors who are more than a couple of generations removed. While most of us are certainly going to gain access to at least some photos held by family members during the course of our research, we are often limited to images of our most direct relations.
But there are [...]
Most family historians have ancestors who served their country during a time of war or peace. Others may have ancestors who were not members of the military but were nonetheless dramatically impacted by war — such as Japanese internment victims during WWII or freedmen after the Civil War — in either case, some very helpful and special records exist to research these individuals.
To help you on your journey we’ve pulled together a helpful list of websites where [...]