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.

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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5+ Clues You Might Be Missing in US Death Certificates methods & strategies records Jul 27, 2022

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...

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4 Reasons to Catalog Educational Materials education methods & strategies tools & technology Jun 30, 2022

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.

As a...

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3 Reasons You Need a Research Plan methods & strategies Jun 15, 2022

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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My Top 4 Transcription Tips methods & strategies May 05, 2022

Did you know that I transcribe every genealogy record I find? This may seem like overkill, but it has made a world of difference in my genealogy research. Why? Because it forces me to slow down and actually read every word a record has to offer, and that alone, is what leads to the answers I seek (or at least clues that put me on the right path to the answer). Plus, I get a readable digital copy that I can annotate with notes, questions, observations, and hypotheses.

Here are my top four tips...

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