Category Archives: Ancestry

Podcast, Episode 8: Tell Me the Truth – Genealogy for Biographers

Biography can be really dry and boring stuff, a string of facts without seasoning or flavor. In this episode, I’ll teach you how to use genealogical research of your subject to add spice and life to a biographical book or project. I’ll tell you how I’m using it to write a book of my own, […]

Podcast, Episode 7: I Wish You Were Dead

I hate Valentine’s Day, so this holiday episode is all about death records. They rock my world. The focus is on Social Security and county-level death records, featuring my favorite: DEATH CERTIFICATES! Learn about the 6 W’s of assessing the purpose and value of a record before you ever use it, and then we’ll talk […]

Podcast, Episode 6: Don’t Be a Jeffrey

Genealogy is populated with lots of groovy people, and just enough Jeffreys doing things the wrong way to thoroughly annoy the rest of us. Don’t be a Jeffrey, be awesome! Follow the best practice and best evidence guidelines for Ancestry in this episode and you’ll go far, Cousin. Happy Black History Month to all. And […]

Podcast, Episode 5: Cage Match! Ancestry vs FamilySearch

“Cage Match! Ancestry vs FamilySearch” is about the pros and cons of using Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org, the two main family tree sites used by the majority of researchers I know. Each has assets and drawbacks, but they’re best used together. And get a load of my fan hot spots! All kinds of folks are tuning […]

Support my podcast on Patreon!

Now YOU can support Ancestors Alive!’s new podcast, From Paper To People, on Patreon! There are four support levels – Roots, Branches, Leaves and Blossoms – and each has its own reward. $5 per month: Roots are my base. Your support enters you in an annual (May) lottery for a free Ancestry tree (Ancestry.com membership not […]

Podcast, Episode 2: From Paper To People

This episode is directed primarily toward European-American Mormons, but no matter what, you will get something out of it. I discuss the Mormon Law of Consecration and how I apply it to family history work and working with others; the differences between African-American and European American genealogy; and the specific case of my research on […]

Podcast, Episode 1: From Paper To People

Yes, it’s here! Episode 1 of Ancestors Alive! Genealogy: From Paper To People. It’s a little bare-bones, but we’ll get fancy later. I wanted to start the New Year off right by getting things going, stating my goals. It’s a “getting to know you.” Future episodes will be rife with bells and whistles like intro […]

How African Americans Use DNA Testing to Connect with Their Past

If you are European-American (white), your ancestors wrote the rules and kept the records. They were a part of the white power structure that allowed and supported slavery and Jim Crow. Your records are relatively easy to find. If you are descended of the African Diaspora, your family is in splinters, and your history is […]

Exciting Announcement: Podcast!

We are working on a new podcast! It will feature nitty-gritty information about best use of different types of resources in online research, best practices, and best evidence (aka genie hygiene). It will help you to go from paper to people, to gain an understanding of your ancestors’ lives and make them less abstract than […]

Digitally Gathering Family Lore

Over Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s, I’d like to encourage everyone to take advantage of family gatherings, or technology, or both, to talk with family elders and record valuable stories about your ancestors. Ways to do this: • Write a list of open-ended questions to start discussions, like “What do you remember best about life […]