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

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53 views

Finding archival records for tracing father of illegitimate child in mid 1880s County Down, Ireland?

In a couple of weeks, I will be travelling to Ireland for a two-week vacation. Part of my trip will be spent in the Belfast area, visiting both the General Register Office for Northern Ireland ...
0
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0answers
19 views

Wanting to trace family online? [duplicate]

I want to trace my family but am limited on funds. What is the best way to trace my lineage online?
4
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2answers
80 views

Resources for researching family from Greene County, Tennessee?

I am researching my family tree and am stuck because my ancestor, Henry Harmon, was 24 in 1850 so he is already living with his wife Catherine and child George. The 1840 census doesn't tell me ...
2
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1answer
59 views

Is there a centralized Historical Society index / database for the United States?

Is there a centralized directory or database of local historical societies or organizations for the United States which shows the information and services they provide in a consistent format for each ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

How does one search a very specific source on Ancestry.com?

I have been trying to find a simple way to search a specific source on Ancestry.com without hitting the generic 'all sources' queue and getting thousands of results I do not want to see.. but more so ...
4
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2answers
81 views

Best practices for producing document abstracts or summaries?

I usually transcribe documents or manuscripts in full so that I do not miss important details. However, often these documents ramble on for pages and pages of legal jargon, so it is useful to produce ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Are there any tools to search unstructured, digital data?

While I have been searching for ancestors in early America (late 1700s) I have found multiple records that have been OCR'd and made available online. These are extremely useful, however all that data ...
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0answers
64 views

How can I estimate which of my ancestors were literate?

For the vast majority of my ancestors, when going back in time the sociocultural level gradually decreases until I end up having poor farmers. The rate at which the level decreases depends on the ...
4
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1answer
71 views

Using signature comparison as genealogical evidence?

Often when I am clutching at straws to determine the relationship between individuals or families, I will compare signatures from the relevant documents. There is an inherent bias in my interpretation ...
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4answers
187 views

How do you record fuzzy facts?

Most of my prior genealogy research was based on family records. Very little of it came from hard sources like census records. Some folks would claim that what I have is not genealogy, but folklore. ...
8
votes
1answer
110 views

Methods to organize medical genealogy information?

An aspect of genealogy that I have recently become very interested in is medical genealogy. Numerous sources give me information about my medical family history, such as: anecdotal evidence (for ...
9
votes
1answer
96 views

Organizing geographical reference material for English parishes?

My main research is kept on my computer -- I attach sources to Ancestry's and Find My Past's online trees primarily as a means to keep track of what records I've already found on Ancestry and Find My ...
2
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2answers
78 views

History of German small town of Angloh?

I found the town of Anglo in Germany but nothing is left of it other than a spa. I tried searching for weeks throughout the web but couldn't find anything about it other than coordinates. How do I ...
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0answers
32 views

Looking for German Ancestors earlier than 1700s? [duplicate]

I am a beginner and have been using Ancestry.com but German records seem to come to a halt at the WWI. What can be used to search further back?
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votes
2answers
86 views

Making Research Plans for studying the Genetic Genealogy of an Adoptee?

I have accounts on 23andme, gedmatch, ftdna, and ancestry.com's ancestrydna (all autosomal at this point). I also, even though I'm adopted (from bulgaria, have the full name, most recent address (as ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Searching databases for ancestors with aliases?

I have a probable ancestor about whom I know very little, except for the fact that he used an alias and he is mentioned in his father-in-law's will. The two names are quite common - something along ...
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votes
1answer
70 views

Finding Professional Genealogist in Germany knowedgeable on Kaiser Wilhelm?

I would like to find a Professional Genealogist to: work with all the time and so that when I make a trip to Germany in a couple of months time I have places to see and points of interest to help me ...
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0answers
24 views

Etiquette for asking loved one to share life story before death [duplicate]

This might be a bit of an odd question, but I figured that at least one or more persons here have been in the situation that I am now. My question is as follows: What is the (if any) 'proper ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

Identifying ancestor believed to have been born ca 1830 in New Mexico, USA?

The best candidate for my 3rd great grandfather Juan Jose Garcia appears to have: been born in the New Mexico Territory in 1830 been married to either Juana Ma Garcia or Maria Juana Garcia (thought ...
6
votes
2answers
112 views

Is “mythological” information relevant?

I am currently trying to get as far as possible in my Ahnentafel. Thanks to a couple of online sources, I have been able to find a lot of ancestry, google helped me get up to this website which offers ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Obtaining Belgian pre-1796 information

Thanks to Napoleon, a lot of registration regarding births, baptisms, deaths, marriages, etc started to happen in Belgium from 1796 on. This helped me get to a point where I know all names (and often ...
9
votes
1answer
85 views

Finding New York City Police files?

My great-grandfather may have been the victim of an unsolved homicide in 1907. I have a death certificate which confirms the family story that he was hit over the head and died, but that is as far as ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Using German civil records in the Family History Library

This is a follow-up to a previous question Finding online parish records for churches in Werdau, Saxony, Germany. One of the answers said that a search of the town's records yield better results. At ...
5
votes
4answers
145 views

Finding residence information for Toronto in the 1840s?

I am trying to fill out the timeline of tailor George Hindley, his wife Ann/Hannah Drake, and their family between 1841 and 1847. A rough timeline of the family can be seen by putting some of the ...
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0answers
45 views

Finding documentary evidence for father of somebody born 1903 in Kentucky, USA?

My Great Grandfather is George Ann Boyd born 1903 in Henderson Kentucky. I am looking for information on his father. It is rumored in my family he is the father. However, I want proof. George was ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

Is George Bismark Foster the son of Dr James W Foster and Arabella?

I've been struggling with finding the parents to George Bismark Foster with a high degree of confidence. The death certificate for George Bismark Foster shows he died in Crosby, Minnesota on 9 Feb ...
2
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0answers
45 views

Is genealogy compiled in 1922 for Stowell family of Higham, MA generally accurate?

In a previous question I enquired, in part, in re the general accuracy of this sort of compiled genealogy to which @janmurphy gave me an excellent and well-reasoned answer. I am particularly ...
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votes
2answers
91 views

Approaching relatives with dementia about family history?

It is important to write down or record the memories of elderly relatives while we still have the opportunity. However, I find it difficult to know how to best approach this subject even with close ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Were un-wed mothers documented in the United States in the early 20th Century?

I am researching a branch of the family tree and attempting to identify the mother. In this particular example there are three people with the same first and last name as the known mother of the ...
5
votes
2answers
179 views

How are the grandchildren related to the head of household in this census?

Whenever I find a census household, I try to confirm the relationships listed in the census by looking for vital records or other information. The formatting of this 1891 Census entry has been ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Reports of Run Aways, Homeless Children, Orphaned Children in ~1815-1830 PA?

I have a significant gap in my lineage and am trying to determine additional sources to check to make the linkage. The story goes that my many greats grandfather born in 1815 was a run away and ...
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0answers
45 views

Hitting brick wall on Wallace family from Vermont? [closed]

What can I do when I hit a brick wall on the Wallace line? I found a great grandfather who was born in Vermont in 1800, but cannot find his parents.
4
votes
3answers
85 views

Finding birth-name of male Ohio ancestor who changed name in about 1926?

My grandfather was born in Ohio in 1909. He was said to have changed his name at the age of 17 and left home. I know he had siblings, but not the names of any of his family. How would I find out ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Assessing the coverage of various collections?

This is perhaps a little more of a meta-question, but it has come to mind repeatedly over the past few weeks. I'll start with a specific example. In this question, I bring up the case of my ...
5
votes
3answers
101 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
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
98 views

Finding period travel information — or How far away is too far?

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
votes
2answers
113 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
votes
1answer
224 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
votes
1answer
84 views

Determining maiden name of Alice who had eight children (1744-1762) with William Sellick christened at Stogumber, Somerset, 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
114 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
152 views

Working with browsable images of probate records?

FamilySearch.org makes images available for browsing before the (computer) indexes to the collections are available. Recently some probate collections have come online, and I have made a couple of ...
7
votes
4answers
582 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?
3
votes
2answers
148 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
346 views

How do I perform a biographical interview?

I have a couple of elderly relatives who have not kept a journal and refuse to write down their "life story." I really would like to know their stories and who they were and who they are. They have ...
5
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
302 views

What New York City vital records are covered by this index on FamilySearch?

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? ...
6
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...