January 10, 2015

Latest Podcast from Ancestral Findings

AF-003: Marriage Research Advice for Beginners

Are you just getting started looking for marriage records in your genealogy research and need some help finding them? Here are the best places to look.


January 9, 2015

Social Security Death Benefit Records

If you are looking for more information on ancestors who lived in the 20th century and beyond, you should not overlook the Social Security Death Benefit Index. Anyone who had Social Security benefits paid out after they died will be included in this index. It was started in the 1930’s, when then – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt instituted the Social Security program. Men and women alike signed up for Social Security numbers, so they could get retirement income out of the Social Security fund when they reached a certain age. Many women signed up at first so they could get their husbands’ Social Security benefits if they survived their spouses. As time went on and more women went to work, they became eligible for Social Security on their own...

January 8, 2015

A Review of Old Fulton Postcards

Old Fulton Postcards is a wonderful and little known site for genealogical research for people with New York connections. The site is totally free, which makes it even better. It contains over 23 million scanned pages from old newspapers, most of them from New York, though a few are from other states, and even Canada. The newspapers go all the way back to the early 1800’s and all the way up to the 1980’s. The site is searchable in a number of different ways, and learning to search in the best way will ensure you get the results you need without having to scroll through thousands of results. Best of all, by discovering mentions of your ancestors in old New York newspapers (which include newspapers from across the entire state), you may solve long-standing family mysteries and discover information you would never have found anywhere else...

January 7, 2015

This Week’s Free Genealogy Lookups

  • Massachusetts, 1870 Census IndexThis database contains approximately 1,380,000 Massachusetts residents who were counted in the 1870 United States census. This index is quite comprehensive, covering every county in the state of Massachusetts and listing every name, as well, not just heads of household.
  • East Pennsylvania, 1870 Census IndexThis database contains more than 219,000 entries listing heads of household as well as every male over age 50, every female over age 70, and other surnames within the household.

January 5, 2015

African American Genealogy Research for Beginners

Are you interested in researching your African-American family tree, but don’t know where to start? It’s a common concern among those who are beginners in this area of genealogy. People wonder how far back they will actually be able to get, due to lack of records in the era of slavery. However, there are a few important things to remember. One, not every African-American in the 1800’s was a slave; some of them were free people of color, and plenty of records exist about them. Two, records of slaves were often meticulously kept by southern slave owners; this was not always the case, but it did happen in many cases, especially with people who owned large numbers of slaves. Three, there is always DNA to help you trace your roots back farther than you ever imagined, and usually with a few real surprises along the way...