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Questions tagged [research-methods]

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

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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? ...
Jan Murphy's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
9k views

Which FHL microfilms are available to view online?

My research subjects are two sisters who lived in College Point, Queens, NY. For the sister who died in 1902, I have the date of death and certificate number from the collection "New York City, ...
Jan Murphy's user avatar
  • 24.9k
13 votes
6 answers
823 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 ...
Jan Murphy's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
10k 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. ...
Jan Murphy's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
224 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 about ...
Verbeia's user avatar
  • 2,998
11 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
lejonet's user avatar
  • 5,397
5 votes
2 answers
163 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 ...
GµårÐïåñ's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
170 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 ...
Tara's user avatar
  • 51
15 votes
5 answers
805 views

Determining what records are available for 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 ...
user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
450 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 3rd great grandfather in my paternal line. He lived in an ...
semory's user avatar
  • 111
6 votes
4 answers
7k 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. According to the thread Italian Census Records from the forum at the website Italian ...
woliveirajr's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
627 views

Tracing ancestors in 20th century Romania?

Sanda Yordanova Genova was born in Braila in 1911. Yordan Genov Date of birth: 06/02/1907 Place of birth: Cerna Name of spouse: Maria Todorova Ilieva Nikola Todorov Bonchev Date of birth: 10/09/...
Dayana's user avatar
  • 111
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Finding half-sister who may still be living?

My father (1919-1984) married a woman (born in 1922) in 1943 and had a daughter on 6/18/44 whose name is unknown, prior to getting divorced and marrying my mother. They were married for only a few ...
Shimmy Weitzhandler's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
690 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. It'...
Verbeia's user avatar
  • 2,998
1 vote
0 answers
50 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 ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
223 views

Strategy for distinguishing between two possible baptisms, and thus people, parents, etc.?

My partner has an ancestor, Peggy Crossley, probably born around 1750, who married Henry Rawlinson in Burnley, Lancaster (source) in October 1767. I have two candidate baptismal records that seem ...
Verbeia's user avatar
  • 2,998
5 votes
4 answers
259 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 ...
Luke_0's user avatar
  • 2,477
16 votes
2 answers
861 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 ...
Canadian Girl Scout's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
158 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 ...
Jeni's user avatar
  • 2,119
6 votes
3 answers
109 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.
Jeni's user avatar
  • 2,119
9 votes
1 answer
837 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) I ...
fbrereto's user avatar
  • 4,966
22 votes
10 answers
8k views

Organising digital documents for genealogy and family history? [closed]

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 ...
Steven O'Neill's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
maple_shaft's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
267 views

Passing on our data

Everyone here will have thought about the longevity of our data, including related artefacts such as photographs, documents, letters. What is the best approach for preserving this and ensuring that it ...
ACProctor's user avatar
  • 5,897
14 votes
2 answers
282 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?
Charles's user avatar
  • 685
0 votes
2 answers
200 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 ...
swissintegrator's user avatar
15 votes
6 answers
1k 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 ...
Canadian Girl Scout's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
273 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 ...
fbrereto's user avatar
  • 4,966
18 votes
3 answers
322 views

What is the advantage of submitting my research to a GENDEX site?

Does submitting my research to a GENDEX site increase the likelihood of others requesting information from me?
Cecil's user avatar
  • 181
17 votes
4 answers
443 views

What details should I be recording during my research?

I have only recently become interested in my family tree. I am using PAF and am aware of GEDCOM. In addition to the details that PAF and GEDCOM support, what other information should I be recording?
Joel's user avatar
  • 173
5 votes
3 answers
922 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 ...
Ezri Rediker's user avatar
  • 2,232
8 votes
3 answers
151 views

What are ways to collaborate with other Genealogists?

Many times I've wanted to trade off research with other genealogists--those not related to me. I live in Florida. Say I need a record from a repository in Tennessee and another Genealogist needs a ...
Ezri Rediker's user avatar
  • 2,232
13 votes
6 answers
127k views

Determining ethnicity according to 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 &...
Daniel Node.js's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
183 views

Which individual in family tree to research first?

I am helping a friend start his family tree. Which individual do I start with to achieve results to keep him interested?
Garry's user avatar
  • 611
12 votes
4 answers
204 views

Recording details of records about 'same name' or unrelated individuals?

I often come across data on what could be a relative, only to find the record belongs to someone who is not related, or was not the person I was looking for. Where do I record this information, so I ...
Darren's user avatar
  • 1,122
12 votes
3 answers
992 views

Are there advantages or disadvantages in using more than one genealogy software program for recording purposes?

I will be purchasing a genealogy software package shortly. I have looked into most and while not yet deciding on one, I would like to know if there is any purpose in having more than one such program, ...
Darren's user avatar
  • 1,122
7 votes
3 answers
140 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 ...
Jeni's user avatar
  • 2,119
14 votes
9 answers
753 views

Validating 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 ...
fbrereto's user avatar
  • 4,966
6 votes
6 answers
241 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 ...
Jeni's user avatar
  • 2,119
8 votes
2 answers
72 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 ...
fbrereto's user avatar
  • 4,966
7 votes
2 answers
439 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 ...
GeneJ's user avatar
  • 8,517
20 votes
5 answers
486 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 ...
Verbeia's user avatar
  • 2,998
13 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
Canadian Girl Scout's user avatar
36 votes
10 answers
1k 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 ...
Edward's user avatar
  • 681
7 votes
2 answers
150 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 - ...
Hausa Mann's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Jesse P Francis's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
150 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, ...
BennyMcBenBen's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
577 views

Finding twins in 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 ...
ACProctor's user avatar
  • 5,897
3 votes
3 answers
108 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 ...
warren's user avatar
  • 600
3 votes
4 answers
237 views

Researching Native American ancestry

How do you research your native American ancestry, when all you have is old family stories, but no records?
user309's user avatar
  • 39