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15
votes
2answers
543 views

Why do historical and genealogical scholars differ in their approach to classifying sources?

Historical scholars classify sources as "primary" or "secondary." Princeton University, "What is a primary source" Library and Archives Canada, "Toolkit: Defining Primary and Secondary Sources" ...
16
votes
9answers
4k views

Which name should be a person's primary name?

People can have many different names over time. Examine the example of a woman who immigrated to the US from an Eastern European country. She could have three names over time: Katerina Jurkiewicz (...
12
votes
4answers
136 views

How helpful will joining my local Genealogical Society be if my family research is in a distant location?

I live in Oklahoma (USA), but all of my family research begins in Massachusetts (USA), then moves back from there to New Hampshire, Canada, and England. Will joining my local Genealogical Society ...
10
votes
2answers
206 views

When did patronymics cease to be used in North Wales?

Searching for the marriage of Griffith Roberts and Jane Pritchard sometime between 1855 (when the groom would have been about 18 and the bride 25) and 1866 in Caernarvonshire, Wales (where they were ...
12
votes
3answers
227 views

What details are needed about ancestor to uncover ship they immigrated to America on?

What basic information do I need to have about my ancestor before I start looking for the ship that he/she came to America on? So that I don't waste a lot of time fruitlessly searching for a ship - ...
16
votes
7answers
618 views

Ephemera as evidence?

Wondering what the status of ephemera is given in genealogy? Like a dance ticket or dance card, Grandma's recipes, Valentine cards stored in a scrapbook, Grandpa's receipt for a carwash, etc. ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Tracing Jewish ancestors in Germany before 1800

I have been able to trace my wife's ancestors to people born in the 1790s in the Pfalz region of Germany and in Alsace using civil records of births and deaths. Those records books were started in the ...
8
votes
1answer
184 views

Is there a GEDCOM processing tool to determine lineage society eligibility?

It is a lot of work and hard to determine if you have ancestors that have lineage societies (for example, Mayflower, Brewster, Society of the Cincinnati, DAR, ...). There are quite a lot of lineage ...
10
votes
5answers
948 views

Finding original surname of adopted child from New York?

My late father-in-law was adopted by his step-father when he was 10. My late grandmother-in-law never talked about her first husband and there is some confusion on the first husband's surname. My ...
22
votes
8answers
3k 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", ...
20
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
552 views

Tracing US ancestor back to Germany?

My great great great grandfather came over from Germany, but I don't know how to find when or where. His name is Henry Fischer about 1821-1898, married to Dorothea Holiday Fischer about 1825-unknown. ...
11
votes
6answers
204 views

How can I get others excited about an aspect of my family history without gloating?

For example, one of the major battles of the Revolutionary War was fought on my [several-]great-grandfather's farm grounds. Without sounding like I'm gloating when talking about the event, how can I ...
12
votes
4answers
421 views

Finding New York birth record from around 1804?

My 3rd great grandfather, Charles James Sanderson, was born around 1804 in New York according to the 1851 and 1861 England Census (and some other references I've been able to find). The earliest ...
6
votes
2answers
208 views

Why are scanning devices (such as FlipPal) allowed in some archives, but not in others?

The American National Archives and Library of Congress both allow the scanning of documents with some scanners (see what's allowed and what's not). FlipPal is one of their approved ones. Lorine ...
22
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
15k views

Determining relationship (e.g. number of removes) with cousin?

How do I figure out if someone is a first cousin, second cousin, cousin once-removed, etc?
14
votes
1answer
2k views

When and Why Did Juniors Stop Being Promoted to Seniors?

My name is T. Wetmore IV. My father, grandfather and great grandfather had the names you might expect, and specifically my grandfather was named T. Wetmore Jr. I found an inscription in a book given ...
8
votes
2answers
242 views

What did it mean to come of age in 1684 at Saco (now Maine, USA)?

John Presbury died 1679 of Saco, now Maine, USA, but then Massachusetts Bay Colony. John left minor sons including William Presbury. John's estate was administered by others until his son, William, "...
4
votes
6answers
179 views

After the web, where is the next place to start searching? [closed]

I've done a lot of research on websites but I'm not sure where to go from here. I assume the next step is to contact the organizations the kept the records (churches, government/municipality, etc.) ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Tracing fathers of illegitimate children in Scotland in the 1870's?

In the Scottish Borders in the 19th Century, a significant percentage of children were illegitimate (no father was named on the birth certificate). What sources (courts, churches, etc) exist for ...
11
votes
2answers
944 views

Seeking copy of 19th century South African birth certificate?

I'm trying to find the birth certificate of my wife's great grandmother who was probably born in Durban, South Africa in 1884. I'm currently unable to find any online resources for this. If such a ...
7
votes
2answers
302 views

When did the double date window end?

(Great, now I'm all paranoid about double dates and how they're affecting my data...) Several references have been made to the "double date window", period of time where the Julian and Gregorian ...
27
votes
11answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Birth record for Illinois or Michigan birth in 1881?

I am having trouble locating a reliable birth record for a person in my tree. According to the 1900 census record, a certain Mollie Goetz/Getz was born in Feb 1881 in Illinois. "United States ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the ethics rules for recording information on living persons on online genealogy sites? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What information should or can I publish to a web site? One concern I have with recording information about LIVING persons on sites like Ancestry.ca, the site I use, is that ...
8
votes
2answers
241 views

Can I automatically generate a report for each person in my tree using Mac Family Tree?

Is it possible to generate and export a report for each person in my family tree? I see how I can view, export and save a snapshot to for later use, but how can I automate the process of creating a ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

What are Marriage Banns and how can I use them in my research?

There are three dates listed on my third great grandfather's 1825 Church of England Parish Register of marriages: Oct 23, Oct 30, and Nov 6 All Saints, Tower Hamlets, London, England Source ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

How should I record sex change/gender reassignment? [duplicate]

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
54 views

What resources exist for information about ancestors affected by the Expulsion of the Acadians?

I believe I had ancestors in Acadia who were expelled by the British in the mid-18th century. Are there any surviving records from this event? Where can they be found?
16
votes
9answers
704 views

Locating an elusive UK birth record (Mary Ann Harper born circa 1865 possibly Dudley, England)?

I have a female great grand-mother in England for whom I have her marriage certificate and her death certificate, plus census records from marriage until death. From these I know her unmarried name, ...
7
votes
2answers
501 views

How should I handle French-Canadian “dit” names and variant spellings?

This page gives a good explanation of French-Canadian "dit" names. The short version is that: Illiteracy and lack of standardized spelling means that many of my 17th/18th century ancestors have ...
5
votes
3answers
208 views

What software can reliably store and manage non-linear (eg non-blood or remarried) relatives?

In follow-up to this answer on How to handle indirect family?, what software tools can reliably manage "non-traditional" relations (remarriages, adoptions, step-relatives, etc)? As a part B to this ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I record names involving adoptions in a family tree?

My grandfather's second wife had three children from her previous marriage. After they married, my grandfather legally adopted her children, which changed their last names. When I record the ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What is an effective way to record a photo's annotations?

I have old family photos, some with info written on the back or on a bit of paper included behind the photo in a frame (e.g. date, event description, and/or people in the photo). What's an effective ...
4
votes
2answers
325 views

Alternate German genealogy sources

I've hit a roadblock, as mentioned here. I've found German church records from the middle eighteenth century (1760's) that contain info. The location is around Marbach am Nectar (also spelled "Neckar")...
10
votes
5answers
8k views

What is a “double date”?

What is a "double date"? Why do I sometimes see dates written as January 13, 1718/1719? See also: How do I write the year with a double date?
20
votes
14answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
313 views

Are South Australian Electoral Rolls available to search online anywhere?

Ancestry.com has an Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 database that "contains selected Australian electoral rolls, with the exception of South Australia, that run from 1903-1980". I'm not sure ...
8
votes
5answers
290 views

Assessing accuracy and confidence in different types of records?

My assumption is that an official country census is probably at the highest level of accuracy as although individuals may report details incorrectly, there is a fair amount of cross checking, but ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Citation guides for UK sources for family history and genealogy

Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills (Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. Revised edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., ...
9
votes
4answers
289 views

Where can I find Jewish Historical Information Pre WWII in Europe?

I am looking for a site/records for information on Jewish History in Europe of pre WWII era. Mainly of birth and marriage records from Poland.
15
votes
3answers
233 views

Finding Utah ancestor's parents after exhausting BMD records, census and newspapers?

Though his known life history is quite lurid, I have spent 40 years searching for the parents of my great-grandfather. He was born in 1859, first married in Salt Lake City in 1884, divorced while in ...
21
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I write the year with a double date?

If I have a date on a birth certificate that says: "January 13, 1719", do I write the year as 1719, 1718/19, or 1719/20 (the latter two being double dates). What if the date is April 28, 1719? ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How to handle indirect family?

How should data regarding remarriages, adoptions, etc be handled in a family tree? Should extra branches be created for the "spare" cousins, step-relatives, etc? Or is there another way to map the ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

What information should or can I publish to a web site?

My aunt has collected a pile of family history going way back. She asked me to help her get it in a form which we can share via the internet. I wrote a Silverlight app which works fine and is ...
10
votes
3answers
792 views

Why did my Uncle's Death Certificate Not Appear in the Family History Library's Archives?

In 1987, an uncle, one of my Dad's siblings, disappeared without leaving any word of his whereabouts. At the time, he lived in Denver, Colorado. Fast forward to 1998, I left the military and took a ...
6
votes
4answers
227 views

Finding town or local church for distant relative?

In my situation my Family Name is semi-common. I can find several discussion boards and resources. My issue is that my specific tree is not known. I've asked about my father, grand-father, great-grand-...
13
votes
1answer
187 views

Where do I find the record pointed to by a naturalization index?

I found an image of an index record for a declaration of intent in a New York court, published online as part of the collection Alphabetical Index to Declarations of Intention of the U.S. District ...

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