13

For me, the answer to the question "Is there one generic process a researcher can follow to figure out what records are available for a particular place and time?" starts with a review of history, including learning what laws existed in that time and place which required people to keep records. My checklist looks like this: Learn what records might have ...


10

You need first of all to make sure you've got data from all the parish churches and chapels in the area. https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Lancashire will help you with a list of all parishes and all the chapels in those parishes. Plus data about what's a/v from those places. By no means all registers will be online. Then you need to have a look at ...


10

Edited to be more general and directly related to the question Because different classes of records are available in different places, there is probably not a single common process for every geographical location, and the steps you take will therefore differ. However, a general process would be: Search what is available on the major genealogical sites via ...


10

I have a box of photos from different families and still bother sorting them and identifying the people displayed. You named plenty good ideas whom to contact to help you. Focus on group photos if available, also those which exist elsewhere. Especially wedding photos are somewhat “standardized”, people are arranged according to their relationship and status. ...


10

I've had good experiences in the past few years talking to relatives with various types of dementia including Alzheimer's at the nursing home where my father resided. Many of these people do little talking and some may not recognize you, even if you are and were close to them. A lot of people don't know what to say to them. But, you are lucky if you are ...


9

If you have exhausted all the reasonable possibilities of refinding the source, then it may be best to adopt a different approach. Treat the piece of information as a suggestion of unknown value by a less-than-rigorous colleague (ignore for the moment that it was you in a moment of madness). How would you set about confirming or disproving the claim ab ...


9

When you are uncertain as to the type of records for an area (and time) and their availability, then the Research Wiki at Family Search is a good place to start. For an initial search, just enter the name of the country in the search box. In the case of Italy, there are more than 1,000 pages but the second on the list was called Italy Census On that page ...


9

2020 Update: For the content in this answer, assume that the user has an account with FamilySearch and has logged in to their account. 2017 Update: As of September 7, 2017, FamilySearch has discontinued distribution of microfilm. They are transitioning to digital records access. For the announcement on the transition, see the FamilySearch Newsroom ...


9

In addition to GenSmarts, there are other programs that will help you track your research progress. GenDetective by Rumblesoft, Inc., like GenSmarts, reads files from genealogy software (see compatibility list) and helps you identify research opportunities. Evidentia aids in evidence analysis. According to the home page, the benefits of using Evidentia ...


8

When a straightforward search for a record comes up empty, I think it's important to step back and look at the larger picture, so that one can understand the context of the record -- that often leads to clues about where one might find it. The question as posed actually has two separate questions in it. One is to find out more about the incident in which ...


8

For one particular source, you're in a bit of trouble. It's like losing one particular item in your home. If you really want to find it, you'll have to look everywhere until you do find it. If you have a lot of sources that you haven't documented, then that's a different matter and you'll want to take time to start rigorously going through all your ...


8

I'm not sure whether this works for all films, but when I check the catalog for church records of my home town here in The Netherlands, there is a message saying that the records are available on-line, as you can see here: https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/528701?availability=Family%20History%20Library When I follow the link at the end of the red ...


8

Go to the Card Catalog and search by collection title or keyword, to locate a specific record set. Clicking on the title UK, American Loyalist Claims, 1776-1835 will bring you to a dedicated search page where you can restrict your search to only that database. You can also go to a specific record set in the results of a general search by clicking the "...


8

My first question in response to this would be why you are settling for only two sources that give direct evidence about when your research subject was born, and trying to decide which of them is more likely to be correct, instead of looking for more sources that could give you this information. One record is not proof of a person's birth year -- you arrive ...


7

A friend has offered to take me along on her trips to the local FHC, which has prompted me to think about the question of how to make a general checklist to use while I am pulling and viewing microfilm. Reference works called registers e.g. Register of New York City death records describe the holdings at the FHL and the process needed to use them. If a user ...


7

The book They Came in Ships by John Phillip Colletta has a flowchart. He suggests starting with the following: Your ancestor's full, real name the approximate age at arrival the approximate date of arrival From there he suggests different types of searches, depending on the time period, and the other information you may have, such as the port of entry, ...


7

The first thing to do would be to try to find your father (and his then family) in the 1940 Census (possible here at Family Search or several other information providers). If his surname is very distinctive, you may not have too many candidates in NYC to consider. If you are very fortunate and the daughter's birth was before, or in, 1939 that might be ...


7

In my view there seems to be a genealogical divide between the US and parts of Europe: I rarely discover information regarding my ancestors on the internet. When I look into American genealogy books, magazines or blogs, it seems to be mostly about looking into the right database to find census or other digitalized information. The FamilySearch family ...


7

I don't know if there's a general best practice, but this is what I do. I create the child as a person and add a death event with the cause of death as "stillborn". If your genealogy software doesn't have a cause of death field then a note would be fine - sometimes I use both. This is how I would distinguish them from a child that died on the same day it ...


7

Colin's suggestion to seek newspaper photos is a good one. Jan Murphy's statement about online microfilmed papers being less than clear is also valid. However, many of those news photographs are filed away by newspapers as a hedge against future needs. Those real, clear, sharp photographs or negatives may still exist in the newspaper's files. I would ...


7

The good news about Family Historian is that it's GEDCOM 5.5 compatible. The bad news is that it's GEDCOM 5.5 compatible. Which is a flippant way of saying that as GEDCOM 5.5 doesn't have in the sort of concepts that you need, then, as the programmers haven't seen the need for these concepts, there is nothing immediately available. Against the source ...


7

The Barbour collection is a good example of why researchers need to be aware of exactly what and how they are searching when they investigate this type of compiled collection. One approach is to start with a citation of an item in an online collection and track the search result back to the original source records, as described by Elizabeth Shown Mills in ...


7

You are correct. Most genealogy programs are not designed specifically for medical data. However there are at least a few programs that you can try that specifically say they are designed for health information: AncestryHealth - A free online tool that to preserve and share your family’s health information. It uses your family tree to show your health ...


7

There really are not too many programs of the type that will suggest what to research. But one possibility is Find-A-Record, which was designed to be a research assistant that works specifically with FamilySearch. On their Help page, they state that Find-A-Record will scan your FamilySearch tree starting with yourself and will look for and present you ...


7

I'm sure you know about the little mail icon on the top bar. If you click on that, it will bring up your inbox, which you can switch to your sent messages. You are correct that there is no search and that the messages are not linked to your match. Adding both of those would be excellent suggestions to make to MyHeritage. With hundreds or more of messages, ...


6

The problem with using "current" names as the only name, is that "current" changes over time. Is the Crimea part of the Ukraine or of Russia. If you attempt to use "current" you're dooming yourself to a never ending job of updating locations. I prefer an approach, supported by the tool I use, Genbox, that uses the name at the time of the event which links ...


6

If your father lived in New York, there may be limits on how much information you have access to because of privacy restrictions. I think this is a case where you will be much better off hiring a professional to help you, especially since you live outside of the USA. There are several questions on this site about doing research in New York, and some on ...


6

The GEDCOM standard includes STILLBORN as one of the possible values for its AGE_AT_EVENT item. It gives the following example: 1 DEAT 2 DATE 13 MAY 1984 2 AGE STILLBORN with the meaning that this person died at age approximately 0 days old. Although the GEDCOM example shows this on a death event, I have also seen it on the birth event. GEDCOM also gives ...


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