Tips and Tricks

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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Did Your Ancestors Come Through Ellis Island? Here's How to Find Out

The Ellis Island records website has long been a great place to find free ancestry information. Providing instant access to more than 50 million immigration records, it's a vital resource for anyone with US immigrant ancestry from the late 19th and early 20th centuries (earlier records can be found here). A couple of years ago Ellis Island revealed a brand new website, including a revamped and improved family history records section. In fact, all of the Statue of Liberty...

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sites like ancestry free at library

Looking for a totally free way to access a variety of paid genealogy records, like those provided by Ancestry or MyHeritage, from your own computer? Well there's good news, you most likely can. And you might be surprised to hear that the solution is probably only a few clicks away. An increasing number of libraries are now providing access to genealogy resources free of charge. Many can be accessed directly on their websites -- meaning that you can take advantage of the...

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Whether you're looking for an elusive obituary or a family scandal, free newspaper archives are an excellent resource for filling out your family tree. In fact, many online archives make it so easy to search decades of 'dusty' old papers, you might find that it's awfully easy to lose yourself in the past. We've gathered together a list of three of our favorite places to find free access to old newspapers. Each is worth checking out since they all have...

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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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It's an often overlooked fact that a vast amount of FamilySearch's collections can not be found via the search on their site. Millions of free family history records are waiting to be discovered but have not yet been indexed and are, therefore, somewhat hard to find. These records are invaluable tools for genealogists and cover a wide range of locales and time periods so we thought we'd offer a quick rundown on how to access them. But first a note about searching...

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microfilm, family history center

Many genealogists have dreamed of making their way to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. With genealogy records on more than 3 billion individuals, this family history center hosts the largest collection of its kind found anywhere in the world. But what many don't realize is that the family history records from this collection are also available on loan through a network of more than 4,500 FamilySearch Family History Centers around the world. Please note that much of...

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Robert E. Lee and Staff

Here at Family History Daily we're always working hard to provide you with tips, new ideas and resources to aid you in your genealogy research. Here's a quick list of 8 helpful and fun articles we wanted to make sure you didn't miss. Enjoy!   6 Excellent Genealogy Research Sites That Don't Cost a Dime A simple list of high-quality, and completely free, genealogy websites to help you expand your research without spending a single penny. [bullet_list icon="star"...

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We have created a new tool on Family History Daily, the Family History Search Engine. It's a simple custom search box that allows you to look for your ancestors on a wide variety of different genealogy websites. We have added mostly free genealogy resources to our search--including large research websites and smaller regional archives and government records. To make the tool as useful as possible, and provide as many relevant results as we can, we have also included some subscription services. When looking through...

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Thank you to Bob Vornlocker for this guest post. I’ve previously written several articles about searching using wildcards and my comments have continued to ring true for me. I've added hundreds of new records since last published here using wildcard and proximity searches. I even convinced Mocavo, one of my favorite genealogy websites, to add the wildcard capability to their search routine and, thanks to their wonderful collection of genealogy based databases, I've picked up quite a...

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