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

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6
votes
4answers
89 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
votes
2answers
87 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
votes
1answer
90 views

What are good search techniques for 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
84 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
191 views

How can I find out if records in a FHL microfilm 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
votes
6answers
195 views

How can I identify people in 20th-century photo albums 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
votes
2answers
115 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
137 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
151 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
90 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
96 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
154 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
214 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
votes
2answers
137 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
votes
1answer
71 views

Trace my sister?

This is a very interesting issue. 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. He never ...
7
votes
4answers
185 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
74 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
212 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
89 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
66 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
143 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) ...
14
votes
6answers
1k 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
votes
1answer
167 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
votes
2answers
198 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
vote
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
votes
5answers
216 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
129 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
112 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
votes
7answers
5k views

How do you determine how much of a nationality 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
votes
3answers
105 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
votes
8answers
257 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
195 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
votes
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
134 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
221 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
941 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 ...
26
votes
8answers
464 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
120 views

How would a genealogist utilize Cyndi's List?

What is the purpose and value of Cyndi's List to an entry or intermediate level genealogist? It simply seems like an endless listing of data without any segmentation. Don't mean to knock the site - ...
7
votes
1answer
357 views

How can I trace my ancestry in India?

I'm a Christian from Kundamkulam, Trissur, Kerala, India. It is said (there are no written evidences) that we once were Brahmins, got converted to Christianity in the 1st century AD (there are records ...
10
votes
2answers
103 views

How can I track down back issues of a family history newsletter from the 1980's?

When I started asking my parents about family history in 2008, my mother gave me a copy of a "Burbank Family News" newsletter of the Burbank-Burbanck family edited by John R. Burbank in St. Albans, ...
5
votes
2answers
106 views

How do I find twins in the England and Wales civil registrations?

How do I find twins in the England and Wales civil registrations? In one of my workshops, I was given some information about a couple in the UK who had identical twin daughters. Although I knew their ...
3
votes
3answers
86 views

How can I find a more specific date of death than that given on a headstone in the US before the 1800s?

Many head-stones only show the year of death, not the full date. Others may record the internment date rather than date of death. Where would I locate more accurate dates of death before the 1800's ...
3
votes
4answers
129 views

Researching Native American ancestry

How do you research your native American ancestry, when all you have is old family stories, but no records?
1
vote
0answers
119 views

Requesting help with Y-DNA studies of the Bonnell Family that lived in Ireland and came to Pennsylvania in the 1700's [closed]

I'm interested in Y-DNA studies pertaining to the "Bonnell" Family. The line of interest resided in Ireland and seems to be well documented in the USA through the 1700's. My Ancestor was presumably ...
3
votes
3answers
128 views

How do I go about finding 20th Century vital records?

Every person I look for with few exceptions I find no records for. For example: First: Heinz Last: Zaun Birth: Germany Date: 1928 Death: Germany Date: 1957 I know this to be true, his son is ...
9
votes
4answers
153 views

Are there any genealogy research companies offering their service in Poland?

I am interested in finding out more about my family genealogy by hiring some company or person to do the work for me. My entire family comes from Poland, so I am wondering whether there are any ...
11
votes
2answers
242 views

How do I correctly identify an individual who goes by multiple names?

This question is general to all inquiries where a person has differing last names in multiple records. In my particular case, I am researching my 3rd great grandfather Simon Zoller (1840-1902) and I ...
11
votes
5answers
130 views

How to work local resources remotely?

My great great great grandfather spent some of his life in Houghton, Houghton, Michigan, United States, and I would like to find more records for that area regarding his family. The problem is that I ...