General questions about how to conduct genealogy research and best practices for genealogy research.

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0answers
14 views

were the early Hebrews technically a African tribe? [on hold]

Hebrew is one of the earliest Afroasiatic languages. It has been argued that the Hebrews were a offshoot of the Canaanites, even akin to them. It is nearly undesputable that the Canaanites were ...
4
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3answers
74 views

Resolving conflicts between conclusions of different researchers (internet & professional historian)?

One of my ancestors was named John White. He was a very early settler of Ohio, marrying Priscilla Devol in 1790 when Ohio was still part of the Northwest Territory. Here is a timeline with some ...
3
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1answer
65 views

Finding records from the 'manor house'

I have an 1881 Census record for one of my research subjects where he appears as a servant at the local Manor house. Mark Herber's Ancestral Trails has a section on finding manor house records ...
3
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1answer
94 views

Descendants of Sir William Blackstone, a historical puzzle

I have been researching my paternal line and have come across a stumbling block. My line can be traced pretty easily back to the beginning of the 19th century in Ohio, where we come across one ...
4
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1answer
56 views

How far away is too far? Finding period travel information

This is related to the question Why would a family baptise at a parish but not marry or bury there?. If you've exhausted all the records available to you for a parish, and you want to widen your ...
5
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2answers
77 views

Organizing ancestors' “circle of cousins”

Background: I would like to focus on the set of people who are first cousins of (my) ancestors at each available level of the hierarchy. This helps me check contemporary family activities, vetting ...
6
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1answer
95 views

Citing online image copies with inadequate information or provenance

In a recent blog post, Elizabeth Shown Mills asked the question Do You "Just Trust" Citations Offered by Digital Providers? EE hopes your answer is no. Today’s image demonstrates why. Not only ...
5
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1answer
56 views

Determining maiden name in mid 18th century Somerset (England) without marriage record?

My 5th great grandfather William Sellick was christened on 2 Oct 1718 at Stogumber, Somerset, England. He and his wife Alice had eight children, the first two christened at Stogumber and the ...
4
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2answers
81 views

Organizing Research: brief subscriptions or research trips

Several of the big box providers like Ancestry, Find My Past, and British Origins offer limited-time subscriptions or limited free trials. I just took advantage of a month's cheap subscription at ...
6
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1answer
140 views

How can I ensure that I am making a reasonably exhaustive search?

I am starting to do research on some veterans who served in the Civil War. Several of the collections available online that describe service records are compiled databases or indexes collecting all ...
5
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1answer
71 views

working with unindexed probate records

FamilySearch.org makes images available for browsing before the indexes to the collections are available. Recently some probate collections have come online, and I have made a couple of tries at ...
6
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4answers
167 views

Techniques for reading poor or illegible images

What techniques work for reading poor or illegible images of a source? Turning the source into a negative is one that's often quoted but what other techniques are valuable, and in what circumstances?
2
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2answers
107 views

Managing the research process — what are useful techniques for flagging unconfirmed information?

I want to be more diligent about how I record the information in my lineage-linked software (I use Family Historian). This question may be a bit difficult to describe because the plain-English words ...
4
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1answer
129 views

Finding people who have moved within the same geographical area?

In an answer to the question How would you handle a census record that is almost certainly the target family but which has too many discrepancies? I wrote about a family in my research area for which ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

How can I find out more information about the microfilms and indexes in the FHL, before I order the film?

When records have been extracted and indexed, but the images are not available online, how can I find out more information about how the index was made, and what fields were on the original records? ...
5
votes
4answers
419 views

Which FHL microfilms are available to view online?

If I want to look at a particular microfilm from the FHL, I can order the film and have it sent to my local FHC to view there. But before I go through the trouble and expense, it makes sense to ...
10
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6answers
254 views

Identify people in 20th-century photos once the older relatives are gone?

My husband and I, and our siblings, are now the oldest generation in our families. We have photos which have been discovered or have come down to us when our parents died. I have another friend who ...
9
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2answers
154 views

Where can I find information on buildings that have been demolished?

I'd appreciate suggestions from anyone who has traced the history of houses, multi-family residences, and commercial buildings, on how to find more information about buildings which no longer exist. ...
7
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4answers
141 views

What are some strategies for limiting the expenses involved in genealogical research?

This is a community Q&A that came out of the Genealogy.SE Weekly Chat from 30 November 2013 Canadian Girl Scout has previously noted how quickly the expenses can add up when you are serious ...
8
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2answers
237 views

How to record a stillbirth as a genealogical event?

There are differing legal definitions of the term “stillbirth” in different jurisdictions and also modern registration of these sad events differs from country to country. As a genealogist you ...
3
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2answers
95 views

Are there any resources for finding your family heritage for foreigners?

I have tried some of the genealogy and ancestry websites to try and build my family tree but have encountered considerable limitations due to the foreign status of most of the families. Let me ...
5
votes
2answers
99 views

Looking for info on Patrick Keelin, my elusive Irish ancestor

I am trying to find anything at all about my g-g-g grandfather, Patrick Keelin. The only thing I know for sure about him is that he was born in Ireland, and that his son, John, was born in Virginia in ...
7
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4answers
186 views

How can I determine what records are available in a particular locale?

A common question that any researcher asks themselves is, "What records are available?" How can that question be easily answered for a particular locale and time period? I know that I could inspect ...
8
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1answer
268 views

Breaking through brick wall with circumstantial evidence

Wondering if there are techniques to break through a brick wall with circumstantial evidence rather than hard evidence. Drawing a blank on my ggggrandfather in my paternal line. He lived in an area ...
3
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2answers
224 views

Where to find list of census performed in Italy?

I need to know if I can find, online of offline, information about the years that census were performed in Italy. In this site seems that Ancestry.com could have that information, but I don't have ...
2
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1answer
139 views

Trace my sister?

My father passed away almost 30 years ago at age 65. Prior to marrying my mother, he married another woman and had a daughter from her, then divorced around 1947-48.. He never really spoke about ...
8
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4answers
245 views

Managing the Multiple Maybes

My question is related to this previous question, but I think I'm looking for a rather different answer because I'm not sure a second software genealogical software package is what I'm looking for. ...
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0answers
38 views

Reliability of genetic tests [duplicate]

I have been considering getting a genetic test to get an idea of where my genes suggest my family has been. How reliable are these types of tests particularly as my ancestry seems to be spatially ...
4
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4answers
75 views

What steps should I take to retrieve lost sources?

I've lost my sources for an individual. Either I never wrote it down or it's been lost by my software (probably the former). I realized this when I came back to this individual the other day and saw ...
7
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2answers
255 views

Are there checklists or templates made for visiting the Family History Library in Salt Lake City?

I am on my first research trip to Salt Lake City and my first few days in the FHL has been quite a learning experience. I watched the into video and met a number of very friendly, helpful volunteers ...
5
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1answer
94 views

What is the best practice for posting certificates online?

I have been slowly acquiring birth, marriage and death certificates. Is there a best practice or accepted procedure for posting the United States certificates online, including to Geanealogy.se (to ...
5
votes
2answers
90 views

How do I get the most out of a conference as a 'newbie'?

I am going to my first genealogy conference. What should I bring with me and what do you suggest I do while there to make the most of this experience. I'm planning on bringing my laptop.
4
votes
3answers
72 views

Cornish parish records lost in fire?

I have a brickwall in the form of my great great grandfather whom I know from our family bible was born in Cornwall in 1811. I've found him (Robert Chapman and his wife Elizabeth nee Shapling and ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

Where might I find General Orders No. 77 dated 11 Nov 1943?

I have found a document that notes the renaming of Edinburgh Field, Trinidad to Carlsen Field (click image for full size): To get more information about the renaming (and the individual behind it) ...
15
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7answers
2k views

How should I organise my digital documents?

I have been trying for over 15 years now to come up with a system of folders for my family documents. As I'm sure most of you know it can be difficult. Without making duplicates of each document ...
6
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1answer
203 views

Reliability of houseofnames.com: searching for possible Mayflower descendant

My grandfather has told me for years that us members of the Briscoe family are directly related to a doctor that came to this country aboard the Mayflower. He said that in his attic somewhere are ...
12
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2answers
206 views

Best way to find a living relative in Victoria, Australia? [duplicate]

I only have their first names, maiden names, and know that they were born in Victoria, Australia. What is a way to locate these relatives.
1
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2answers
146 views

What are the tools and methods actually used by genealogists in their work? [closed]

I am under the impression that amateur genealogists, like most amateurs undergo a rite of passage before turning their hobby into a passion. One of these rites of passage is finding a tool that works ...
11
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5answers
254 views

How do I plan a research trip?

I intend to visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. I know already that they allow Flip-Pal Scanners, so I will bring mine, plus my laptop which contains all of my genealogical ...
7
votes
4answers
139 views

How do I deal with alternative spellings to names?

I am trying to find out information for an Arzula Hokum and am running head-first into issues with her name. Her first name sounds like Ursula and her last like some variant of Holcomb(e). How do I ...
5
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3answers
126 views

Ways to index a family history collection?

My personal family history collection consists of correspondence, photographs, historical documents and family papers, family tree compilations and genealogies, research logs and reports. I've ...
10
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8answers
11k views

How do you determine how much of an ethnicity you are according to your ancestry?

My sister, cousins, and other relatives speculate that my mom's grandmother was Jewish (for various reasons). I've heard people say at times things like, for example, "I'm 50% German" or "I'm 25% ...
5
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3answers
110 views

Need more strategies for meeting “collaborative cousins”

There are some lines in my ‘”tree” that contain few confirmed ancestors. One of the ways I’ve found people and information is by connecting to “cousins”. I’ve done this through: a public online ...
10
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8answers
263 views

How do I validate place names that no longer exist?

For the places mentioned in my family history I'm looking to make sure I have the native spelling correct. The problem is that many events' places no longer exist. Some places (like Prussia) are not ...
5
votes
6answers
199 views

How do I Keep my Public Tree right sized to meet my own high quality standards?

One of the reasons my Ancestry.com tree is public is so that I can make connections to “cousins” I don’t know. The relatives I have connected with have been a fantastic help in researching our common ...
7
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2answers
48 views

Are all NARA services/records available at all locations?

I've found the NARA locations page but cannot seem to figure out if these locations all provide the same services or contain the same set of records. If I visit the NARA location in Los Angeles is as ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

When/why did the BCG abandon “preponderance of the evidence” (POE)? What is the effect of the change?

When and why did the Board for Certification of Genealogists(R) stop using the term "preponderance of the evidence" to describe how genealogists evaluate evidence. Today, genealogists who work to ...
16
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4answers
245 views

How can I establish (and describe) my confidence that the child and adult are the same person?

My two general questions are: At what point can one say that, yes, the adult you have identified as your ancestor is the same person as the child you think might be your ancestor, and that you have ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Organizing Research: Should I start a binder system?

In today's day and age, are newbies still starting binder systems? I am reading Unpuzzling Your Past, 4th edition by Emily Anne Croom and it is very good. She advocates binders that organize by ...
27
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8answers
516 views

What are the key features in genealogical software that will help me future proof my research?

I have been researching my family for about 15 years. I have used Microsoft Access for about 10 years to record my results. Microsoft no longer supports the version of Access I have. I have no need ...