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.

Review Your Research, Break Down a Brick Wall methods & strategies Jan 18, 2023

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.

The...

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My FOREVER Digitization Journey tools & technology Dec 21, 2022

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...

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Are You Reading the Help Section? references & resources tools & technology Nov 09, 2022

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...

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Gazetteers for Genealogy & 4 Ways to Find Them references & resources Sep 09, 2022

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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Listen Up: Another Use for Google Translate methods & strategies tools & technology Aug 24, 2022

If you do genealogy research outside of your native language, you probably already use Google Translate, which is a great tool for figuring out the meaning of a word you’re unfamiliar with. I certainly use it to look up words, but Google Translate serves another purpose for me, which I want to share with you.

You’ve probably experienced instances where names are way off in spelling, making it difficult to find what you’re looking for. From a US perspective, we see this all...

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