3 Tips for Getting the Most from Ancestry.com as a New User

GeneosityGenealogy Blog

ancestry.com tips new user

If you are new to Ancestry.com or just signed up, here are some quick tips that should help you get started! 1.Be aware that Ancestry offers both free and subscription-based accounts. When creating an account, you can set it up as free, free 14-day trial (after which point it converts to a paid subscription), or a paid subscription. What you … Read More

Top 5 Learning Tools for NEW Genealogists

Kim HanksGenealogy Blog

5 great learning tools for genealogists

My journey in genealogy began with the goal of finding as much as I possibly could because I was LOVING everything I found. Then I realized I was making mistakes in my facts and documentation because I was becoming a hoarder, rather than a smart genealogist. That is when I took the time to learn from experienced professionals in the … Read More

City Directories: A Great Genealogy Source

Kim HanksGenealogy Blog

city directories family research

City Directories are a great source to assist any genealogist research their family. Because city directories are dated (usually annual), genealogists can find a specific person in a particular place in a specific time. You can find city directories online (for example ancestry.com) or in a library or research center. Using city directories help to create a chronological timeline. I … Read More

Women Homesteading the West: Stories of our Female Ancestors

Kim HanksGenealogy Blog

women homesteading west

Women Homesteading the West: Creating Pictures of Women Ancestors I found Marcia Meredith Hensley’s book Staking Her Claim Women Homesteading The West at a used book sale. It is a book that addresses women’s rights, frontier women as landowners in the early 1900’s, and stories that help genealogists understand what life must have been like during that time. Staking Her … Read More

Who Gets Included in the Family Tree?

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

who family tree

There has been some interesting discussion in Genea-land lately about who to include in family trees. Certainly for those with UK or European ancestry, it won’t be uncommon to find ancestors who lived with or were raised by someone other than their parents. In all likelihood there was no formal adoption. They child may or may not have assumed the … Read More

Taphophila is a Grave Business

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

taphophilia cemetery stones

As my kids know only too well, I am a bit of a “taphophile”. Taphophile: someone with a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries. Taphophilia involves epitaphs, photography, brass rubbing, art, and history of deaths. A Taphophile describes someone who travels to visit cemeteries for the enjoyment of looking at old and unusual stones. Taphophiles are usually more interested in … Read More

I’m Not Sure What My Clan Is

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

scottish clans what is my clan

Having spent several weekends at highland games this summer, assisting people with their Scottish genealogy research, likely the most common comment I heard was,  “I’m not sure what clan I belong to“. As simple as the question seems, the answer is a tad more complicated. You see, most people think that a clan is a family and implies a family … Read More

What Do You Want in Your Obituary?

Kim HanksGenealogy Blog

what do you want on your obituary

Our local newspaper now charges for obituaries. Some obituaries are short and to the point, while others take up several columns. It got me thinking about what I would want in my obituary. What about you? Obituaries and tombstones are so important to genealogists. We LOVE to find connections and important facts through these important research tools. So what would … Read More

Google – Your Genealogy Guru

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

google for geneaology

I love Google. It’s simple, efficient, opens a world of knowledge and makes me feel smart just through its simplicity and ease of use. But did you know that Google is one of the best resources for genealogists? Reading a census and not sure exactly what your ancestor did for a living? Google it Reading a death registration and not … Read More

Why ISN’T Everything Online?

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

family research archives online

We so often hear “not everything is online” And that is very true. Likely less than five  percent of all of the archival documents available for genealogical research is available online. Just imagine what is still to be discovered! But it means traveling to local archives, perhaps in a different state or even a different country. And that is not … Read More

The Fotygraft Album

Kim HanksGenealogy Blog

old book family history story

Most recently I sold used books that were donated by the community. I find many books interesting reading, but one caught my eye. It was a really ugly book, but when you looked inside, the book looked like an old photograph album. It was called “The Fotygraft Album” by Frank Wing (published 1915-1919) and can be downloaded free. The author … Read More

Why It’s Important to Use Desktop Family Tree SOFTWARE

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

family tree software

Big name databases have all encouraged us to create our family trees online. And while this is fine, it is also limiting. You still need to have a software program on your hard drive on your desktop computer, laptop, pad or mobile device. Here’s why: GEDCOM Files Having a software program for your family tree allows you to create a … Read More

Preparing for a Genealogy Road Trip

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

genealogy road trip

If you are planning to head to the state or provincial archives to do research on your ancestors, it is important to plan ahead so that you will have the best chance of success while onsite. Create a research plan: Before you go, take a look at the documents that you already have. This will prevent you spending time duplicating … Read More

Newspapers: Our National Treasure

Kim HanksGenealogy Blog

newspaper stack

Our first amendment right gives us such treasures in the newspapers: from the past and those of today! Genealogists can enjoy the benefits of hours of researching in actual original newspapers, microfilm, online, local genealogy libraries, or personal collections. Newspapers are a good source of pictures. I found a picture of a relative (d 1902) with a news article about … Read More

The Learning Curve – Learn about Genealogy

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

learning about your ancestry family

One of the best things about genealogy is the many opportunities to learn. Workshops, magazines, blogs, conferences and even Facebook pages/groups. Whether you are a beginner, a seasoned researcher or a professional, there are always learning opportunities available. If you are looking for webinars, Legacy Family Tree has a listing here:http://familytreewebinars.com/upcoming-webinars.php Family Tree University has a listing here:  https://www.shopfamilytree.com/more-resources/genealogy-video-courses/expert-webinars FamilySearch … Read More

To Read or Not to Read: Grandma’s Diary

Kim HanksGenealogy Blog

grandma's diary read or not read genealogy

Grandma passed away in December of 2007 at the age of 101( b 1906). Each of us grandchildren felt very close to grandma and despite the years that have passed, I still miss her, as I know all our family does. I have finished transcribing the diary she kept for the years 1933-1936. This may seem strange, but I was … Read More

Researching Ancestry on the Periphery

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

researching ancestors periphery

Do you remember this song from Sesame Street? “Who are the people in your neighbourhood…. They’re the people that you meet When you’re walking down the street They’re the people that you meet each day” Well, that’s important information to know about your ancestors too. Who were the people in their neighbourhood? Examining the connections to your ancestors, whether cousins, … Read More

Family Reunion – Finding Artifacts from the Past

Kim HanksGenealogy Blog

family reunions genealogy

Summer is family reunion time and it was for our ancestors too. What records and artifacts might our ancestors have left for us to find? Photographs: The most obvious and prevalent artifact left for us are photographs. If your family is like mine, it’s possible that you have found photographs with groups of people in them, but the quality is … Read More

Scottish Surnames and Spelling

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

scottish surnames

It is important to note that spelling was not consistent until dictionaries made it standard in the 1800s. Until this time, spelling was quite fluid and tended to be according to the enumerator or registrar. Often this was done in a manner similar to phonetic spelling. It is not uncommon, then, to find that your ancestor’s surname changed from Clerke, … Read More

Canadian Sources, Eh?

Christine WoodcockGenealogy Blog

canadian genealogy sources

If your ancestors originate from the British Isles, and came to north America after the Revolutionary war, it was easier for them to immigrate through Canada and then make their way to the United States since Canada was still part of the British Empire. Library and Archives Canada has a rich database for Canadian genealogy research. You can access the … Read More