I know genealogists who swear by Google. They seemingly use it to tell them when to breathe. It’s important to remember that Google (just like any website, library, courthouse, etc.) does not have everything.  The successful researcher will utilize a variety of sites and sources for information and will carefully evaluate those sites and sources. Google Maps gets close to the house where I grew up, but apparently once the road turns to gravel the Google car turns around. It did the exact same thing when approaching the house from the north. Genealogy Tip of the Day is proudly sponsored by GenealogyBank. Try their “GenealogyBank Search” and see what discoveries you make.    
I made something of a last minute trip to a courthouse about 100 miles from where I live so that I could obtain a copy of a marriage record. The website for the office indicated they had the records for the time I needed and what the fees were. When I arrived, they told me that all requests for genealogical records were handled by volunteers who answered them by mail.  I could not get the record that day. I filled out the form. I paid the fee and I left. Always call and find out research policies before you make a trip. That’s true whether the trip if 10 miles, 100 miles, or 1,000.  It’s especially true if it is 1,000. Genealogy Tip of the Day is proudly sponsored […]
When viewing your DNA “matches” take some care before you assume what the connection is or that there is only one connection. It is possible that: one person has a “error” in their tree; there was an adoption early in the lineage that was completely undocumented; the father (or mother) shown in an online tree really is not the father (or mother); one of the “parents” was married more than once and the “parent” is actually the step-parent; you may be related to the person in more than one distant way. Don’t jump to a conclusion about “where in the tree” the match has to be. A recent match for me indicated a distant relationship to an individual. It turned out that we were distantly related on two families–one […]
An immigrant foreigner who is given certain rights of citizenship. In former British colonies, these rights were usually centered on property ownership. Inheriting property would require special permission of the Crown and denizens usually could not hold office or be in the military.
There are many reasons to organize your genealogical data, including: noticing clues you did not notice before; finding gaps in your research; making it easier for you to share your research; reducing the number of times you locate something you already have; making it easier for you to publish your information (if that’s your goal); making it easier for someone to preserve your information after your death; making it easier for someone looking at your information to help you; and saving money if you hire a professional–they will have to organize it for you before they can help.  
When one encounters the phrase “late of Tuckertown” in a legal document, it typically means that the person used to live in Tuckertown.  The same thing is true of “formerly of Tuckertown.” Sometimes the phrase “late widow of John Jones” may be used to refer to a woman. Usually in those cases it means that the female to whom it is referring has married again after the death of John Jones. Deceased—that usually means dead.
I finally found a used copy of  Fields, Fens and Felonies: Crime and Justice in Eighteenth-Century East Anglia at a lower than usual price at Amazon.com and decided to purchase it. My own ancestor was a convict from East Anglia who was transported to Maryland in 1764. Learning some history is never a bad thing. I discovered this book when doing a Google search for an ancestor. When did you last read some history related to your ancestor? Michael’s genealogy bookshelf can be viewed on my Rootdig website.
Putting a clause in your will that “my genealogical papers are to go to the BlahBlah Library” without some advance planning could have unintended consequences. Some thoughts on preserving your “files” and papers by donating to a library or archives: libraries may not want or be able to maintain random copies of public records that are available elsewhere libraries may not want or be able to maintain random copies made from published books unorganized materials are difficult for libraries to inventory and manage and they are difficult for patrons to use photographs, personal certificates, and other “unique” items are more likely to be preserved and collected, but it can be difficult for some facilities to afford to maintain these collections–consider leaving some financial legacy (if possible) to assist […]
Have you thought about what will happen to your genealogy materials when you are no longer able to maintain them? Think about it now and plan before it’s too late.
We are offering two new webinars on 6 July: Before You Cross that 19th Century Pond Beginning German Research Additional details are on our announcement page.
When records on an ancestor fail to provide information as to his origin, look closely at those records in which he appears shortly after his arrival in the area. Who else is mentioned in those records? When an ancestor is still “new to the area,” he’s the most likely to interact with people he might have known before he moved or with whom he had a connection before he settled in that new area. Research those people he interacted with during his early years in the location. The longer an ancestor lives in an area the more likely he is to know and interact with people he did not know “back home.” It’s those people from back home who could help you find your ancestor’s origins.
I maintain the following blogs. Each has a separate mailing list. Each has subscribe/unsubscribe links on the top of each page: Genealogy Tip of the Day—short daily research tips Rootdig—longer research and methodology discussions Genealogy Search Tip of the Day—websites of genealogy use  
Whether a record is helpful depends upon what is known about the family. This World War II draft card (taken from Ancestry.com’s “U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947”), but available from the National Archives, provides evidence of the father’s name and residence as of the time of the registration. It also provides evidence that the father was alive at the time of the registration. In some cases that could be a really big clue.
The Allen County Public Library is one of the largest genealogical libraries in the United States. This August, I’ll be leading a group trip there for three days of research and learning. The days of our trip are 6-9 August. The first Sunday we have an evening meeting/introductory session–research starts on 7 August when the library opens.  Trip attendees get help with questions, research suggestions and guidance, along with morning lectures. Our group atmosphere is relaxed–we do not herd you like cattle along throughout the day and activities are entirely optional. For more information or to register, visit our webpage.
Deeds are not the only record that can be recorded in an area after your ancestor left. An estate was opened for a relative in Harford County, Maryland, ten years after he died in Ohio, and fifteen years after he left Maryland. He received a settlement in a court case that had taken years to settle–long after his immediate family in Ohio had closed his estate there. Your relative may have had financial ties to an area long after he left it.
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