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44
votes
12answers
2k views

When documenting location, should current or historical place names be used?

When I am documenting records, do I use the name of a city or country as it is called today or as it was in the year an ancestor was there? Related to: When documenting place names, should I write ...
36
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I encourage older folk to provide information?

My aging father is very interested in family history. The difficulty is he is interested in finding information about his distant relatives but not interested in telling about himself or his close ...
32
votes
10answers
954 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 ...
32
votes
5answers
460 views

What criteria should I look for to publish my cemetery records online?

I have several complete cemetery headstone transcriptions and some additional partial cemeteries. None appear to be indexed online. What criteria from free sites or free content on paid sites should I ...
30
votes
10answers
2k views

Transitioning from person-based genealogy to record-based genealogy?

When we start genealogy we know the persons who are closest to us in time so we are comfortable using software where each person record is a unique "conclusion" person. We create a person record for ...
29
votes
4answers
3k views

What does it mean if cause of death is listed as “Insanity” in late 1800s?

My great, great grandmother's cause of death is listed as "Insanity" on her death record, and I'm not sure what this means. She died in Winsted, McLeod County, Minnesota in 1872 at age 37, and had ...
27
votes
9answers
4k views

Estimating year photo was taken or printed?

My wife's father was born in Queensland, Australia in 1930. He died in 1989. She has only 2 photos of him. One has no markings on the front or rear and nothing to identify the year taken. What avenues ...
26
votes
6answers
4k views

Recording name for infant who died unnamed?

Going back in my genealogy, I find children who died in infancy. Some were given names, some weren't. How should I record those with no given names? Often there were multiple unnamed children in a ...
26
votes
5answers
863 views

What can be gained by paying for a subscription website such as Ancestry?

I see many free sources of information available, either online, through libraries or in person eg freeBDM, micro fiche etc. My research interests are in Queensland, Australia for the past 130 years ...
25
votes
11answers
3k views

What tools exist for collecting and managing evidence?

There are lots of standalone software packages as well as websites which appear to be primarily based on a pedigree view - start from me and work my way back. These systems seem to take the view that ...
24
votes
5answers
6k views

Is a Birth/Marriage/Death Certificate a primary source?

Do I accept a Certified Document as a primary source and trust it outright or do I need to view the original the Document is transcribed from?
23
votes
7answers
7k views

One tree, or a bunch?

I have spent a considerable amount of time creating family trees on Ancestry.com, and documenting them with records found on Ancestry, FamilySearch, and in other web and non-web sources. For a variety ...
23
votes
8answers
4k views

How should place names be recorded?

I have been entering place names into genealogical records from smallest to largest location (i.e. town/locality, county/parish/district, state/province, country). Where one part is not known, I have ...
23
votes
2answers
451 views

What does it mean if a probate index lists a person's record as “Insanity of”, instead of “Estate of”?

I found my ancestor listed in a probate index for McLeod County, Minnesota, USA around the year 1882. His record is in the format "Last Name, First Name, Insanity of", instead of "Last Name, First ...
22
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the significance of the character “j” at the end of a Roman Numeral?

While using an old (1907) book of transcriptions (on-line) The Parish Register of Gargrave in the County of York , I was puzzled by the number of dates recorded in the 16th and early 17th centuries ...
22
votes
4answers
401 views

Is there a way to store data in software programs that will minimize losses when exporting to GEDCOM?

I am looking to circumvent a possible problem when I start to share my information with relatives. I see that while GEDCOM is supported to some fashion by most programs, there are shortfalls in each. ...
22
votes
5answers
1k views

How should I record sex change/gender reassignment?

My tree includes a living relative who was born male and is now legally and otherwise female. My only record of the change, at this point, is an alternate name (I use GRAMPS). I have recorded her ...
22
votes
3answers
480 views

Who are the individuals silhouetted in this image?

(Note: I have more questions about this image than answers, so anything you see in it that is of note to you, please call it out!) Johan Bauer and his wife Anna Hagen had three children, a son and ...
21
votes
9answers
506 views

Benefiting from another's tree without copying and pasting?

Once one gets so far back in their tree, one finds ancestors in common with other researchers. It is all too tempting to collect information by copy and paste information from another researcher's ...
21
votes
7answers
5k views

How many ancestors alive 1000 years ago does a person have on average?

I was thinking about something the other day (that is probably stupid), and thought this would be a good place to talk about it. If someone wanted to draw its family tree over the last 1000 years, he'...
21
votes
7answers
562 views

Uncovering residents of cemetery when headstones are losing legibility?

My relatives are in a cemetery where the gravestones are losing their readability. The hamlet office does not know who is buried in some of the graves anymore and they have asked our family for help. ...
21
votes
3answers
584 views

Church Censuses a one off?

I have photocopies of clerical censuses from 1828 & 1838 from a parish in Herefordshire, England. In fact the details given offer more information than state censuses. Have researchers found ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

If my Ancestry.com subscription lapses will my links to premium data still be valid?

I have an Ancestry.com tree with links to content that can only be accessed with a subscription. If I let the subscription lapse I realize I won't be able to see that content anymore. Will the links ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the correct location for a person born at sea?

I have an individual recorded as having been born aboard a ship while travelling from Norway to the United States. As far as location goes what is the correct way to document this birth?
21
votes
3answers
215 views

What proves a marriage?

My grandmother (deceased 1931) married in 1919 in Victoria, Australia. My mother tells how her mother forgot to register her marriage and when she remembered about it, it was decided they would not do ...
21
votes
3answers
135 views

Where else might I find a ship going from New York to London in Spring/Summer, 1911?

I am looking for the ship on which the following party traveled from New York to London in Spring or Summer, 1911: Charles Jay Foster Minna Cramer Foster Marie-Louise Foster Enid Foster Minna Van ...
20
votes
10answers
7k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Do any programs use Gedcom X (as opposed to Gedcom)?

Gedcom X appears to be an attempt at a next generation gedcom format. "The intent of GEDCOM X is to define a standard for modeling and exchanging the components of the research process that ...
20
votes
4answers
539 views

What standards exist for the exchange of genealogical information?

I've used GEDCOM to transfer data between desktop software and websites, but it all seems a bit old hat. Is there anything better that will mangle* my data less. * For example, GEDCOM can lose some ...
20
votes
4answers
286 views

Making your first trip to a courthouse

I am lucky enough to live within an hour's drive of a Texas county that is significant to my family history. I hear many people talk about going to the courthouse for research, but I still find it ...
20
votes
6answers
845 views

How should I distinguish siblings named identically?

At times when infant mortality was high, families might give a child the same name as a deceased brother or sister. For example Aurelius and Ann MEDWELL had two daughters named Cornelia. They were ...
20
votes
5answers
601 views

What is required to prove who I am?

When recording myself in my family tree, what is required for proof of who I am? I have my mother telling me my name is George XXXXX, I have obtained a birth certificate for a George XXXXX born on the ...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

Are there any privacy issues regarding publishing the image of a grave marker online?

I know that some families have 'family plots' and cemeteries on private land, but there are so many cemeteries open to the public - Am I allowed to just take a photo of any tombstone and publish it ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a transcription standard that separates unclear words from added words?

Right from the beginning I picked up the habit of adding [square brackets] round unclear or illegible words / letters in transcriptions and < angle brackets > round words / letters that I added ...
20
votes
1answer
500 views

What does three small rings in a triangle mean in a Swedish parish registers?

In Sweden during the 18th and 19th century each parish had a "Husförhörslängd", a book tallying the people in the parish keeping track of how well they knew their biblical history, and if they had ...
20
votes
2answers
809 views

Should I donate my family photos to an archive?

I have quite a lot of photos from 1890 - 1930 of my ancestors. They are mainly family snaps but some have historical buildings in the shot. All are from Australia. Is there a benefit to donate them to ...
20
votes
5answers
8k views

Handling and storage tips for old Family Bible

I have an old Bible that was printed about 1821. The Bible belonged to my second great grandfather, Ephriam Benn. I want to preserve the Bible, and I want to share information about the Bible with ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Intra Family marriage / rejoining family trees?

Deep in my families history (1600's or there abouts) our family split in two. About three or four generations later two distant cousins got married creating a split / rejoin. G.G.G....
19
votes
14answers
3k views

How should I record women with unknown maiden name?

When I find a woman's married name and have not yet found her maiden name what is the best way to record her name? If I put nothing, I end up with many Jane or Mary names in my list and have no easy ...
19
votes
7answers
7k views

Contacting living distant relatives?

During my research, I have identified some people currently living who I believe are distant relatives. They are a brother and sister, who are my wife's third cousins. Neither has a family tree on ...
19
votes
8answers
2k views

Of a death certificate and a gravestone, which record should be trusted more in determining birth date?

I have an ancestor for whom I have very little information for. I am trying to identify the exact birth date for this person. I have a death certificate which lists the birth date as "May 1st", ...
19
votes
5answers
315 views

What to do with discarded research data?

What to do with discarded research data? Some time ago, I was looking for anything related to the birth, or the family, of a lady who married into my line back in 1834. All I could see was one ...
19
votes
6answers
630 views

Dealing with family secrets?

How should I deal with a family secret that directly affects a full branch on the family tree? For example, there are two brothers, both married and both have kids. Brother A is the father of his ...
19
votes
5answers
727 views

Statistical Genealogy, or Knowing what is an extraordinary claim

It is often said in genealogy (or any field of research, really) that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. Fair enough. But how does one know what is an extraordinary claim? We can ...
19
votes
1answer
70 views

What constitutes Employment in Labour of a Child in England & Wales?

In 1883, a Requisition for a certified copy of birth for the purposes of the Elementary Education Act, 1876 was made for a youth born in 1872. Given he was 11, would the request have been for ...
18
votes
5answers
410 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
297 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?
18
votes
4answers
2k views

How many sources/citations is too many?

I've been using GRAMPS, and am a little overwhelmed by the citation abilities. So I guess the question for seasoned veterans of genealogy is where do you put the citations, given the ability to cite ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Why haven't more programs adopted Gramps XML free format?

What short comings if any does Gramps XML free format have; that has stopped other major genealogy programs adopted it as a transfer format? Why don't more programs accept it for import seeing it is ...
18
votes
2answers
90k views

Finding information on German soldiers from World War I and World War II?

Does anyone know where I can find information on German soldiers from World War I and World War II? I'd be curious to find out about my ancestors' role in the wars, i.e. what rank they had, where ...

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