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

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2
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1answer
37 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 Saxony, Germany. One of the answers said that a search of the town's records yield better results. At least ...
1
vote
2answers
56 views

Need resources for Toronto in the 1840s

I am trying to fill out the timeline of George Hindley, his wife Hannah Drake, and their family between 1841 and 1847. A rough timeline of the family can be seen by putting some of the collected ...
1
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0answers
24 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
46 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 ...
1
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0answers
40 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
66 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
121 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
50 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 ...
2
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0answers
34 views

Hitting brick wall on Wallace family from Vermont?

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
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3answers
87 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
86 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
votes
1answer
169 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
76 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
votes
2answers
92 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
165 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
78 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
101 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
votes
1answer
159 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
120 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
314 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
136 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
251 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
166 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
216 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
1k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
384 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
291 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
votes
4answers
152 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
votes
2answers
361 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
votes
2answers
116 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
111 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
246 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
votes
1answer
304 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
389 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
409 views

Find out who is my half-sister?

My father (1919-1984) married a woman (born in 1922) in 1943 and had a daughter on 6/18/44 whom her name is unknown, prior to getting divorced and marrying my grandmother. They were married for only a ...
8
votes
4answers
324 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. ...
1
vote
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
votes
4answers
78 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
382 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
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
99 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
80 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
252 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) ...
18
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
284 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
224 views

Finding 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
vote
2answers
157 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
375 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
164 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 ...