25% Discount on May 2010 Family History Library Research Trip

As a special to the readers of Genealogy Tip of the Day (website and newsletter), I am offering a special discount on my May 2010 research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. The trip runs 27 May-3 June 2010. We spend one week at the Family History Library, with morning presentations by me, research assistance in the library (both consultations and “drop by” help), and help with pre-trip planning via a password-protected website. For more information on the trip, visit http://www.rootdig.com/slctrip.htmlFor a limited time (until Sunday 1 November at 10:00 p.m. central), you can register for a total of $150 (this is a $50 discount from the regular price). You must use one of these links below in order to get the discount page (Paypal processes the credit card payments, but a Paypal account is NOT necessary):

Registrants are responsible for travel to Salt Lake and accomodations while in Salt Lake. We have a discounted rate with the Salt Lake Plaza hotel–RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the Family History Libary. Very convenient for when you’ve forgotten something or you need a little rest.

Make a Chart

Is there anyway that information you are trying to analyze can be put into chart format? Think about how you could make headings and what items you should extract from each record or source to create a table.

Sometimes just organizing things in a different way makes things stand out that you didn’t notice before.

Spelling Names of Places Incorrectly

I may be a little bit too picky, but when reviewing a GEDCOM file if I see names of places spelled incorrectly (especially names of counties in the United States when the database is compiled by an American researcher), I get a little skeptical of the rest of the file.

Of course, the occasional typo is one thing (which can easily be avoided in most programs by the way), but if the database I find has some of these spellings:

  • Hartford County, Maryland
  • Amhurst County, Virginia
  • Schuler County, Illinois

then I am a little worried about the rest of the data. Call me persnickity, but genealogy is about details. If place names that are established and standard (as these are) are not spelled correctly, how certain can I be that names, dates, and relationships are entered in the way they should be?

I’m not talking about someone trying to read the name of a German town on a nearly illegible death certificate–that’s something different altogether.

There are few absolutes in genealogy

Normally an ancestor has to be dead to have an estate settlement, has to be born to have a birth certificate, etc.

Think about what really HAS to be when you research your ancestor. He didn’t have to get married to reproduce. He didn’t have to name his oldest son after his father. He didn’t have to get married near where his first child was born. He didn’t have to have a relative witness every document wrote. There are few “have tos” in genealogy. Make certain you aren’t using “have tos” to make brick walls for yourself.