Archive for August, 2017

5 Step Process.pngI’ve seen the genealogy research process with various different steps involved. I made my own which I call  a ‘5 Step Process.’

  1. Step One – Gather Tools – You can’t build anything without tools. The tools I use: are a timeline of the ancestor I’m researching, a research guide (I use the FamilySearch Wiki ), and a map [of course I love maps], and of course your research log.
  2. Step Two – Decide What You Need to Find – This includes making a list of missing information and a list of the sources you will need to check.  You can create this list when you look at your research guide.
  3. Step Three- Look for Sources- Check the internet for sources; be sure to look at any online libraries and archives. Check out WorldCat [to see if there are libraries in your area that may have the books you may need]. Check Google Books since most genealogy related books that most of us need will be in the public domain.
  4. Step Four – Collect and Organize- Collect  and ‘pull out’ the information from your sources. Read everything you have found for hidden clues about your family.  Use forms to help you organize your information. For example, a census form will help you see the family in context. Use your timeline throughout this entire process to help you know which information will be of value to you.
  5. Step Five – Enter and Evaluate -Put your data into a database program such as a free online tree [rootsweb.com or FamilySearch.org,  a free genealogy program such as RootsMagic Essentials, or subscription site such as Ancestry.com]. Then evaluate what you have by adding historical context, updating your timeline and identifying new records that may need to be checked.

No, you are not finished. You now go back to Step 3 and continue to drill down until you have found what you need. That is why they call it research – because you Re-Search.

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While getting ready for a class I’m teaching I came Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 3.17.47 PM.pngacross a resource that I hadn’t used for a while. Is is called Linkpendium. It is a directory to everything on the web regarding genealogical information. This directory has over 10 million genealogy links.

Linkpendium was developed by the founders of RootsWeb. Since so many subjects fall within genealogy, the links seem almost endless. I won’t take time here to list everything that you  find.  For that you will want to go to the site itself; however, I will identify a few categories: Census records, Church records, Court records, Ethnic sites, Immigration and Naturalization records, Land records, Libraries and Archives, Maps and Gazetteers, Military records, Newspapers, Obituaries and Funeral homes, Surname websites, Tax lists and Vital records–and there are more.

To use  Linkpendium start with the Family Discoverer, which is the search engine at the top of the page which searches nearly 3 million indexed pages.

  • My search today for ‘Fanny Bliss Tuttle” led me to a different county in New York than I had been researching for this family.  It was a website on Jefferson County [New York] Migrations. I probably would never have found this information without a Linkpendium search.
  • It then led me to early maps from the 1868 Beers Atlas for the towns that Fanny lived in, in New York, and Massachusetts, and a Gazetteer which helped with the historical context of the area she lived in.
  • There is also a Locality Directory search. Using Berkshire MA as an example, I was able to find a County Court Records Directory, a link to an article in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, and a special Revolutionary War Pension Census. I actually found an article that I had written a few years ago on the FamilySearch Wiki, and a link to my own website.
  • There are records for other countries as well, however, mostly they are for the UK and Ireland.
  • It also provides links to message boards within RootsWeb where discussions may be taking place regarding your ancestor.
  • As usual with a linking site like this one, you will want to keep a research log to track the many places you will be visiting.

Happy Hunting!

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If you are stumped in your Family History ResearchBest brick wall.png you might want to take a look at some of the following.

  •  City Directories – occupations, etc. – Cyndi’s List
  • State Censuses –FamilySearch, look in Search Records
  • Tax Lists – shows property ownership and substitutes for Census –
  • Mortality Schedules – 1850-1880 list people who died the year prior to the census – Heritage Quest free with your library card number from most libraries
  • Newspapers – even the ads can be valuable – Genealogy Bank $ subscription or check your local Family History Center for free newspaper sites.
    • Look for ethnic newspapers that apply to your family.
  • Church Records – can tell when people moved in and out of an area –
  • Court Records – in the US at either a County or State Courthouse.
  • Funeral Home Records –
  • Historical Societies – [may be worth joining temporarily]-
  • PERSI [Periodical Source Index] Index is free at Find My Past
  • School Records –
  • Fraternal and National Organizations – [such as Elks, Masons, Grange]
  • Old Photos – Dead Fred
  • Library of Congress
  • NUCMUC [National Union Catalogue of Manuscript Collection]
  • State Archives and University Libraries [see blog July 2016]
  • Maps such as Dave Rumsey Maps and Perry Canstaneda Library Map Collection
  • Newberry Library interactive ‘Atlas of County Boundaries’
  • Google Books has great collection of digitized historical and genealogical books-
  • Google News Archives
  • Internet Archive

These sites and record groups often get overlooked. I have found them to be very valuable, so maybe they will help you also.


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