Category Archives: How To

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 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 […]

Podcast, Episode 3: Folklore, or Just the Facts, Ma’am

“Folklore, or Just the Facts, Ma’am” is for EVERYBODY. If you’re doing research for yourself, or helping someone new start their own, this episode will help you to understand the whys and hows of using folklore-gathering skills to jumpstart your tree. I discuss a few examples of how folklore has helped me, and how asking […]

Folklore, Genealogy, and the Holiday Season

So many festive events, so little time. While it is VERY bad form to work on your laptop while sitting on the couch in the middle of a holiday meal or party, it is possible to add to your family tree during the joy and mirth surrounding the Christmas tree or the Hanukkah bush. In […]

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 […]

Best Practices: Ancestry Profiles, pt. 2

We now return to the fun that is Being a Good Citizen on Ancestry. We left off on the top of the page marked Member Profile. We’ll pick up from there. One of the greatest contributions you can make to the Ancestry community is to let people know what you’d be willing to do for […]

A GREAT Site and Group for Reparational Genealogy

I just stumbled into something wonderful! It turns out that I have African-American cousins. Not surprising, but very good news. In connecting with them on Facebook by way of Ancestry.com, I was invited to join an FB group called DNA Tested African Descendants. I hope to find more cousins there. It is a closed group, […]

How to store your important family documents

While digital copies of photos and documents are preferable, more easily sent and manipulated, and closer to permanent, we all have hard copies of photos and original documents. And while we live in an increasingly digital world, I believe in keeping the best of both resources, even duplicative ones. So, storage. I checked into it a while […]