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.

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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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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Plotting Land on Google Maps tools & technology Jul 20, 2022

For years I’ve used Google Maps to plot the land parcels my ancestors owned. I just like to have a visual on a present-day map, especially if I want to visit the area or see what’s become of the land.

For the project I’m working on right now, I want to see all of the original land owners (those that purchased land from the federal US government) in a particular section. While a list is nice, I want a visual depiction. So I’m taking the information and plotting it on...

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4 Ways I Use Notion in My Genealogy Life tools & technology Jul 06, 2022

Last week I posted a video about how I catalog my educational materials. While the tool I use wasn’t the focus of the video, it quickly became the topic of discussion. I received several comments, DMs, and emails asking me about Notion, the tool I use that was shown in the video.

People wanted to know how else I use Notion, and if I use it for genealogy. So…I thought I’d put together a short article about the ways I use Notion for genealogy, along with a video, showing you...

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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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