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Having Trouble Researching Your Female Ancestors? Here's Some Help

By Alice Plouchard Stelzer The dictionary tells us that being invisible is being inconspicuous, unobtrusive, and unnoticeable. From a researcher’s point of view, tracing the life movements of invisible women creates many challenges. In the Preface to Notable American Women, editors Janet and Edward James said, “Biographies of women, especially little-known ones, pose special problems of research and interpretation. For women’s lives generally, documentation tends to be scanty.” Here are a couple of examples of lack of...

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Thank you to the free family history research site Crestleaf for sharing this guest post by genealogist Lisa Lisson.  “No one is interested in my story.”  -- “Me? I was just a housewife.” -- “Our family did not do anything special.” -- “Our family never had much.” These are some of the responses I received when I began asking my grandmother (at the time in her late 80s) about her life and family history. So, I got a little sneaky....

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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...

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Well, rules might be a bit strict, but we do have some pretty tight guidelines that we like to follow when we're doing genealogy research. We promise we use them most of the time. You likely have your own set of rules and we'd love to hear them. What would you add to this list? Want to keep this list handy or share it with others? Download an infographic at the bottom of this page. 12 Genealogy Research Rules 1.  Always...

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Unless you're a professional genealogist you've probably learned most of what you know about family history research from...well...doing research. Most of us dove into our family trees when we began our genealogy journey and never looked back--learning the ropes as we went. And the truth is, if you're a hobby genealogist, you probably don't need an online class or webinar to build a strong family tree. You will discover most of what you really need to know as you...

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Thank you to the family history research site Crestleaf for contributing this guest post. Check out their Guess My Family Heritage Blogathon Contest! If you’re a passionate family history buff like us, everyone from your mother to your Great Aunt Sally knows that they can pawn off boxes of old family photos for you to peruse to your heart’s content. Sifting through vintage photos can be a family historian’s dream, that is, until you find out that you just can’t seem to identify...

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d joshua taylor

Thank you to the family history research site Crestleaf for contributing this guest post. When most people think of genealogy, they tend to think of an older demographic or those who have ample time on their hands to conduct family history research. But genealogist and co-host of Genealogy Roadshow, D. Joshua Taylor, knows that these genealogical stereotypes are just that — stereotypes! In fact, this young genealogist started his genealogical studies at the tender young age of 10 and...

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American woman, half-length portrait, facing left, reading book, bet 1890-1920

Genealogy reference books have long been a valuable part of family history research. Providing help and how-to on a huge range of topics, the best selections will take any genealogist on a journey of discovery. But with an ever-growing assortment of online reference information for family historians it is easy to overlook the many fascinating and well researched genealogy books on the market today. So, we've done our research and put together a list of the some...

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May 9th, 2017 marks 152 years since the U.S. Civil War ended, but the numerous records created by the War Between the States still provide a glimpse into the lives of those who served. If you had family in the US in the mid-19th century than there is a very good likelihood that some of your own ancestors served in this pivotal conflict. In this article we've outlined several free online databases that will help you discover their stories. Before...

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Have you heard about the Genealogy Do-Over from Geneabloggers creator Thomas MacEntee? It's creating quite a lot of buzz in the family history world right now, and for good reason. As the name implies, the Do-Over challenges genealogists to go back and completely redo and rethink their research in an effort to improve it. Sound crazy? It is, and that's what makes it so brilliant. Thomas MacEntee himself is taking this challenge and he is using his years of experience to...

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