Help and How-To

What You Will and Will Not Learn From a DNA Test for Ancestry

As more and more people choose to test their DNA in an attempt to better understand their family's past, a lot of questions are popping up about what a genetic test can and can not tell you about your ancestry. In this article we'll go over some things you will learn by testing yourself, or your family members, and some things you won't be able to uncover unless you combine your results with traditional genealogy research.

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While just about all of us have used Ancestry.com at some point, very few have really uncovered everything they can from Ancestry's massive databases. With so many records and resources it is incredibly easy for vital records to get buried. You might be surprised by how many brick walls are broken down and "missing" records located by utilizing a new set of advanced tips and search tricks.

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Are You Making the Direct-Line Mistake in Your Family Tree?

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 is pretty huge.

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Another Person's Family Tree is Not a Valid Source - Woman Researching at Her Laptop

Several popular genealogy research sites have made it far too easy to find, skim and add another person's family tree data to our own - citing only the tree as a source. But this practice can cause inaccurate trees and other major problems for researchers.

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5 Fiction Book Series Genealogists are Sure to Love - Man Reading

There are many wonderful books on the market to help family historians with everything from understanding genetic genealogy to citing sources. But there are also a number of interesting fiction books with a genealogical theme. The list below includes five fiction books series with a family history focus we can't help feeling like you'll enjoy. No surprise, most of them are mysteries!

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Why MyHeritage's DNA Upload May Be the Smartest Thing You Do for Your Research This Week_

At the end of May, MyHeritage announced a new 42 population Ethnicity Estimate, an improved version of the ancestry composition report that they have been offering to DNA test purchasers for over a year. Even more exciting, they also announced that anyone who uploads their raw DNA from another company will get this new report free of charge. At the time of this announcement I uploaded my own DNA data from Family Tree DNA to their system....

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In 1752, 11 Calendar Days Were Lost Forever Here's What Happened - Old Clock

One of the most confounding date-related events ever in history, and one that regularly impacts genealogical researchers, is the calendar change of 1752. While we can all be incredibly glad that our ancestors had the foresight to correct calculation errors that would allow for more accurate calendars for generations to come - the change can certainly cause some confusion.

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This Hidden Feature in Google Docs Will Help You Research Your Ancestors - Woman Typing

Google is an integral part of modem genealogical research. Whether we're conducting a search, reading archived material, taking notes or scanning photos, many of us have come to count on Google's free tools. But there's one research tool that gets missed all too often by family historians because it is hidden inside of Google's well-known word processing tool, Docs.

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