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.
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.
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...
Are you reading everything in every record you uncover? I’ll be honest. My answer to this question years ago would have been, “well, I think so,” and I would later discover just how wrong that answer was.
You see, back in the day, I used to be a grab-and-go genealogist. I would grab the few pieces of information I wanted from a record and move on to the next record, and rinse and repeat. It wasn’t until I realized I was missing important clues in records that I really...
As genealogists, we are taught to cite our sources, and while there are several reasons to do so, one of the most important is to help YOU keep track of what you found and where. In a way, our citations become our library catalog to the sources we've accumulated during the course of our genealogy research.
What we may not think to catalog is our educational and reference materials. These could be the books on your shelf, lectures/syllabi, articles in a periodical, and even websites.
You might think that taking the time to build a plan for your genealogy research takes the fun out of it. And many years ago, I would have been inclined to agree with you. But honestly, wandering around aimlessly and coming across the same records over and over again really isn't fun after awhile, is it?
We get to this point in our research where we keep circling the same records and databases hoping that something will magically appear. After awhile, we get bored and/or frustrated and simply...
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