Saturday, October 17, 2009

Genealogy of Communities: Prostitution

Most genealogists want to know the full story of a family and do want to account for all family members, even those with questionable occupations. In her article, "Genealogy of Communities: Prostitution," Judy Rosella Edwards explores the task of researching this very elusive community. Prostitutes often were listed by first name only, and many were hesitant to give their true names. Even so, as the article points out, becoming familiar with the trends and patterns and learning to "read" census records, this community can be researched with positive results.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

The Bachelor, the Spinster, and the Childless

While many of us do try to record the birth, marriage, and death dates of collateral line ancestors, we may not always go to the time and expense of documenting the information, especially for those ancestors who never married or never had children. We may think such family members have little to tell us . . . but, think again, suggests Cindy Drage in her article, "The Bachelor, the Spinster, and the Childless." It may be they knew more than anyone else -- those familiar with "Arsenic and Old Lace," might agree. 

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

GenWeekly welcomes two new writers . . .

We would like to welcome two new writers to our GenWeekly staff: Cindy Drage and Rita Marshall. We look forward to their contributions. Appearing this week, in our last issue for the month of June, Cindy Drage, in her first GenWeekly article, "Don't Overlook Historical Societies,"examines the valuable support historical society volunteers can provide, especially in locating those unique sources that may not be available online, or anywhere else for that matter. 

Rita Marshall's first article exploring DNA research will appear next week, in our first article for the month of July. Again, to our new writers, Welcome Aboard.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Irish Case Study: Putting the Pieces Together

In his third and final article on the quest for a grandmother's maiden name, "Irish Case Study: Putting the Pieces Together," Kevin Cassidy illustrates the challenge of pulling together pieces of information from disparate sources.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mom's Kitchen, back behind the peanut butter . . .

What do a lawn mower shop and a funeral parlor have in common? Mom's kitchen, and it's not her cooking. On first hearing Larry Naukam's, "The Long and Winding Road," one might think the story a bit far-fetched, but in genealogy anything is possible, which is precisely his point never give up. Experiences such as this really help us take heart and realize the information is out there . . . . somewhere . . . over the rainbow.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Message boards revisited

Message boards work in mysterious ways. Thanks to search engines like Google, your message board queries can be found even by those who are not genealogists and family history researchers, but others with family ties and information. In her article, "And the Walls Came Tumbling Down -- Thank You, Google," Elisabeth Lindsay revisits the benefits of message boards and encourages users to keep their information current so they don't miss a thing.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Tips and strategies for tackling your brick walls

Often at the beginning of a new year we set out to tackle some of our old brick walls. In her article, "Taking Your Brick Walls Head-On," Gena Philibert-Ortega provides a tips and hints for taking a fresh look and developing new strategies.

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Tips and hints for overcoming "Researcher's Block"

Sometimes our mind hits a brick wall, as much as our research. In his article, "Tips on Researcher's Block," Alan Smith provides some ideas to help you get reoriented and maybe take fresh perspective. One idea, for example, is to rearrange the format of your data such as writing out what you know in narrative form, putting it into an outline, or building a scrapbook. The process may shed new light. This and other tips and hints might to refresh your thinking . . . and your enthusiasm.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Strategies for tracking a disappearing ancestor

We all have one or more disappearing ancestors who "are there one census and, like magic, have disappeared the next." My second-great-grandfather is one such ancestor. For forty years we can track him with surety; then, after 1860 he drops from the record entirely. And while we can track the migration of his children from East Tennessee to Texas, we find no record of him. It is reasonable to assume he died between 1860 and 1870, except no record can be found. Also, because he remarried after his first wife's death, and at last record we find him living in Virginia with his second wife, in close proximity to some of her children, it's a distinct possibility that if he did migrate, it was with her family. So the next step is tracking totally unrelated family members in order to find any clue to this elusive ancestor; and this we have been attempting to do, but with no success thus far, given the common names of family members. But the search continues. In her article "Where Did They Go," Melissa Slate outlines the problem of disappearing ancestors and offers good advice on understanding possible reasons for their disappearance and key strategies for tracking them.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tips to help with the inevitable brick wall

How true it is -- the "inevitable" brick wall. We all have them, which often makes genalogy research all the more intriguing. This week, Melissa Slate bring us some of her her personal tips on "Brick Wall Ancestors: How to Uncover the Past." One point, in particular, stands out -- keep an open mind. Be willing to go back and analyze your information, even when you think you know it by heart, because different information is relevant at different times. "Sometimes you need to forget what you know, or rather what you think you know." This is an amazing exercise that is tried and true, and is just one of several tips Melissa provides to help researchers jump hurdle.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Combined resources still the best best in confirming family history

In his article, DNA Surprises, Alan Smith makes the point that for all its benefit, DNA testing has its limitations and historical research is still needed to fit all the pieces together. Reviewing the well-known Thomas Jefferson DNA study, Smith explores a similar inquiry in his own family history and the inherent challenges of researching two-hundred-year-old mysteries.

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