Genealogy In Action Blog
Learn about various record types, methods and strategies, references and resources, and tools and technology to help you grow your genealogy skills. Articles also include a take-action prompt so you can immediately put into practice what you learned.
This post is in memory of Ron Arons, who recently passed away. Ron was the author of Mind Maps for Genealogy: Enhanced Research Planning, Correlations, and Analysis. I have yet to read his book, so I can’t speak to it or his strategies for using mind maps for genealogy—I can only speak to how I use them and the different tools that exist, which I will do in this article.
A mind map is a visual brainstorming tool to help you organize your thoughts. Project managers use them to plan...
Did you know that most of my “brick walls” have been solved by doing one simple thing?
Truth be told, when I sit down and review the research I’ve already done, I have a habit of finding the answer to my research question or at least some clues to point me in the right direction. A lot of this has to do with that old research I did when I was a newbie and didn’t know any better. I missed a lot of key information in those days, as I’m sure you can relate.
For the last couple of months, I’ve been on a journey to digitize my collection of slides and film reels. Probably ten or more years ago I envisioned buying equipment (which is reasonably priced) and doing the job myself. Heck, I even have a slide/negative/film scanner in my Amazon wish list!
But I figured that if after ten years, I still never got around to buying the scanner and doing the project, I wasn’t ever going to get to it. So I decided to outsource the project. There are...
Your favorite genealogy or genealogy-related website may have some secrets…
Wait, what secrets?
Each website has its own search algorithms, so the way you search on one site, may not be effective on another. Case in point: For many websites, a question mark represents one character (e.g., Sm?th), but at WorldCat, it’s the pound symbol (a.k.a. hashtag) that represents one character (e.g., Sm#th).
That’s just one example, but just know that each site's search works...
If you’re looking for another way to learn about the places your ancestors lived, gazetteers are something to be explored. Let’s take a look at what gazetteers are and how to find them (and yes, there are many available for free online!). Plus, I'll share two pro tips so that you can find and utilize gazetteers with ease.
What is a Gazetteer & How Can They Help?
First, you might be wondering what the heck a gazetteer is. Many years ago, when I was first encouraged to seek out...
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