Do You Have Color Pictures to Digitize?

Digitizing color photographs should be high on your preservation list, even if you don’t know who all the people are in the picture. Color inks fade more quickly than inks used for black and white photographs. Seize the moment and preserve those color pictures. mjn-idaneill2


Don’t Ignore the Deeds

Years ago, early in my research, I located an early 20th century entry for relative in the seller’s index to local land records. It was in a part of the county where he “shouldn’t have owned property.” It turned out the deed was one where he was selling his small interest in a small piece of property that his grandmother had owned at her death.

And the deed referenced that her former husband had purchased the property in the 1850s.

All from a deed that I didn’t even think was relevant.


Our sponsor, GenealogyBank, is offering an annual subscription for a monthly rate equivalent to less than $5 a month.

Our Tip of the Day Goals

tipofdayMy goals here at Genealogy Tip of the Day are pretty simple. Iwant to make people aware research pitfalls, research procedures, sources, and terminology.

And I try and do this in short tips. That means that many tips  are not complete, lengthy discussions of a topic. There may be exceptions that would take too long to discuss fully. Generally those tips are at most four sentences long.

I try and keep each tip to the point, with the thought that:

  • some people just need a reminder
  • others will see something new and decide they need to learn more about it

Suggestions for additional tips are always welcome.

Genealogy Tip of the Day (and our sister sites Rootdig, Daily Genealogy Transcriber, and Search Tip of the Dayare all written by Michael John Neill

How Was It Split?

The 1889 will of a relative gave his two sons all his real estate without indicating which son was to get which portion. Land records or court records may answer that question and uncover even more information. tomysons

Realizing Who “I” Was

Sometimes it takes a while for things to dawn on us. I had this photograph for years before I realized that the “Mary and I and our old home church” was written by my great-grandmother. After all she and Mary are in the picture so “I” must be her. This was one time when I was glad that “I” was used on the back of a picture instead of the name. Fortunately someone was able to identify the people in the picture for me. writing

Don’t Be A Year Off

Legal records that state the ages of children may indicate their age as of a certain date or state what the child’s age will be on their next birthday. Read the document carefully to make certain you interpret the age and when it was effective correctly. Otherwise you may inadvertently create a year discrepancy where none actually existed. yearoff

A Few Cemetery Trip Suggestions

Before heading to a cemetery to take pictures, there are several things to keep in mind, including:

  • having the permission of the landowner, if appropriate
  • knowing how to get to the cemetery
  • having adequate materials to clean the stone without harming it
  • having some way to take notes to augment your photographs
  • knowing how to use your digital camera or phone
  • dressing appropriately–old clothes are best
  • being prepared to take pictures in the shadows
  • arriving while there is still plenty of light
  • having a cemetery travel buddy may be a good idea as well

This list is not comprehensive, but is suggestive.