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New England Ancestors

Before you begin searching the records for your New England Ancestors, spend some time learning about the jurisdictional breakdown of the state where your ancestors say they originated. Each New England State is different. These differences affect what records are available and where you find them. A good place to start is with Val Greenwood’s, The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, published by Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland. 3rd edition 2000. Each basic source is compared state by state. Study the localities including place names both present and past (some are extinct). Make note of the physical setting, is it urban or rural. What are the nearby features? Mountains, rivers, lakes, roads, coastlines and specific residences, these will be important to your research. Changes in localities affect what records have been preserved and … Read entire article »

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Six Brand New Genealogy Publications in 2015

Six Brand New Genealogy Publications in 2015

Six brand new publications from Family History Expos in 2015. This year, once a month, we are holding a 5-day research learning experience in Salt Lake City, Utah. Each day we have classes accompanied with daily research time at the Family History Library. We have created an in-depth research guide for each retreat. All classes are recorded and available for purchase … Read entire article »

Tracing a Southern Pedigree

Tracing a Southern pedigree is one of the most difficult genealogy challenges you will experience—consider:  you have been looking for your ancestors for 20-25 years. And you are still looking.  Every time you come to the FamilySearch Library, you bring the same research tasks you brought with you last time. You are looking for the same ancestor. There are billions of ancestors now online at Ancestry.com. At MyHeritage.com. At FindMyPast.com. And at FamilySearch.org.  Billions!  From all over the world, to be sure.  But, most of the names come from American records and sources.  If this be true—why is it so hard to find your American ancestor?  Your German ancestor? Your Swedish Ancestor? And to know, for … Read entire article »

Ask-the-Pros — Non Conformist Church Records in Wales

Ask-the-Pros — Non Conformist Church Records in Wales

Question: How do I find non-conformist church records in Wales?  Answer:  Here are six points to consider: One- check The Religious Census of 1851: A Calendar of the Returns Relating to Wales, printed in 2 volumes. Available on microfiche from the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, Utah, #6054483. You can order it into any local Family History Center near you. Think about this, … Read entire article »

10 Tips for Using Cemetery Records and Inscriptions

10 Tips for Using Cemetery Records and Inscriptions

Expand your research using clues right in front of you! Here are 10 tips to get you started: Use cemetery inscriptions to fill in vital record gaps for missing census years. Discover original spelling of your surname on immigrant tombstones. Even if the surname changed upon arrival the family wanted it spelled right on Grandfather’s tombstone. Identify places of origin: look for place … Read entire article »

Exciting New Breakthrough on Scottish Ancestors

Exciting New Breakthrough on Scottish Ancestors

After 55 years an ad in the Ayrshire Post gets answered. My personal preparation for the upcoming British Isles Retreat and Family History Library learning experience, in Salt Lake City May 18-22, 2015, has been quite exciting and I’d like to share some of it with you. My Responsibility It is my responsibility to co-ordinate the program, post it online, work with the … Read entire article »

Ask-the-Pros — Question and Answer — Iowa Vital Records

Question: How do I access Vital Records for Iowa and what is available? Answer: Iowa State administrative processing of vital records consist of but are not limited to: adoptions, amendments, births, deaths, legal name changes, marriages, delayed certificate, foreign-born birth, and court-ordered actions. A copy or extract of most original records can be purchased from the Iowa Vital Records State Department of Health or the County Clerk’s office of the county where the event occurred. Effective as of January 1, 2014 vital records fee transactions from the State is $20. Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1880 and general compliance was by 1924. Marriages began to be recorded with formation of the county. Statewide registration began in 1880 with compliance also in … Read entire article »

Bounty Land Records

Bounty Land Records

Bounty land records identify the earliest date of residence or arrival for ancestors. Bounty land records frequently supply other places of residence for them which leads you to additional places to search for them. These sources identify ancestors both military and non-military. Here are a few facts about bounty lands: Military bounty land was awarded in specific tracts or areas where … Read entire article »

Charting for Success

Charting for Success

Visual aids are critical when working on your family history projects. Charts help you to visually understand relationships and identify holes in your research. A variety of charts can be used for different purposes during various stages of research. Here are a few types of charts to use and some info on how they can assist you: Timelines – Use a … Read entire article »

Proving Family Relationships: US Land and Tax Records Retreat

This retreat will focus on fundamental sources and strategies used by expert and professional researchers to successfully document and accurately prove American genealogies with an emphasis on US land and tax records.  These land and property records prove your family relationships and extend your family lines. You will discover how basic sources link together to build and prove a pedigree. The terms “fundamental sources” and “basic sources” do not mean easy or beginning research. They are much more detailed than that. Learn specific research strategies that speed up your search time and focus your attention directly on the evidence you need to identify and document correctly the individuals in your family history. Make sure you have … Read entire article »

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