Anyone who has researched their African American ancestors knows what a challenge it can be, but as interest in family history research continues to grow more and more free resources are available to help you on your quest.
If you are new to African American genealogy research, or have a hit a roadblock, we suggest that you take some time to read this very helpful guide from FamilySearch before going any further. It will walk you though research from 1870 forward. FamilySearch [...]
One of the most common research mistakes that family historians make when building their tree (especially for the first time) is also one of the most limiting and potentially detrimental. We like to call it the Direct-Line Mistake, and its effect on your research outcomes is pretty huge.
The direct-line mistake can be defined as the act of researching and adding to your tree only those people who you descend from directly (ie grandparents and nobody else). Family historians do it [...]
Family Tree Maker (FTM) has been through more than a few twists and turns over the last year. In Dec 2015, Ancestry announced that it would no longer sell or support its popular genealogy program and many thought FTM was done for.
Shortly after, however, it was announced that Software MacKiev, the maker of Family Tree Maker’s Mac version, would be taking over the program. At the time MacKiev promised that they would provide a free update to the software to those with current [...]
Thank you to the family history research site Crestleaf for sharing this fun take on why people didn’t smile in old photographs.
Ever wonder why your ancestors aren’t grinning from ear to ear in those faded black and white family portraits? Though there are many speculations and theories as to why people donned such serious looks in photographs during the 19th century, we’ve decided to debunk the myths to provide you with the truth behind those stern stares.
We all know that we need to be careful when reading, using and recording information we find in the census. Whether it’s the US federal census, a state or local census, or a population register for another country — these records are notoriously inaccurate. Ages, name spellings, locations of birth, occupations — everything needs to be questioned and sourced.
However, because of their predictability and wide coverage, census records remain an invaluable tool for [...]
One of the most powerful tools modern family historians have at their disposal is a Google search. A search for our ancestors through Google is one of the best ways to discover new records that exist outside of the genealogy research sites we use regularly. From turning up entries in old books or newspapers, to revealing the archives of small repositories – Google can be a powerful friend.
However, there is a big difference between turning up a lot of pages in Google, and [...]
Family Tree DNA, a leader in genetic testing for genealogy, has temporarily dropped the price of its Family Finder test to the lowest we’ve ever seen for an autosomal test for this purpose – $59. You can find the deal here.
The new $59 price of Family Finder is offered as a holiday special and, although that means it won’t last very long, this opportunity will likely be very exciting for researchers who have been waiting for DNA testing to become more [...]
If you’re taking the time to gather with family over the holidays, you’ll no doubt be hoping for the opportunity to collect some family history information at the same time. But while we all know how important it is to talk with relatives about our family’s past, may of us feel hesitant to ask others to break out the memories, photos and records when the time comes.
How can we broach the topic of sharing family history gently, and make it an enjoyable experience [...]