April 27, 2015

Where Did Your Ancestor Live? How to Interpret Plat Maps

Where Did Your Ancestor Live? How to Interpret Plat Maps

Finding your ancestors’ homestead, or at least where it used to be, is a really exciting part of genealogy. If you know where they lived, you can go visit the place in person and see things from their perspective. While the area may have changed (though in some cases it may have not changed at all, or very little), you can get an idea of what your ancestors may have seen every day and the landscape, climate, and natural flora and fauna that shaped their daily lives. You can quite literally walk in their footsteps. It is a wonderful way to get closer to your ancestors and to know them better.
The best way to find where your ancestors lived, the actual precise location of their home and/or land, is to look at a plat map. Most county courthouses have old plat maps going back decades, and sometimes even centuries in some places. If you know the state and county where your ancestor lived, you can often locate their residence on plat maps, if the courthouse has maps going back far enough in time. You just need to look through the court’s plat map books for the correct year or range of years that your ancestors lived in the county, then scrutinize the maps until you find their names...

April 26, 2015

3 Photo Identification Tips You Never Knew

3 Photo Identification Tips You Never Knew

Most genealogists have at least a few old family photos they can’t identify. It is very frustrating to know you have photos of your ancestors, but can’t place them in time or space, or even reveal their identities. You may have a photo of a direct ancestor that no one else has, and not even know it.
Fortunately, there are some sneaky photo identification techniques you can use to give you an excellent idea of where and when a photo was taken. These clues will give you a much better idea of who is in the photo, and may even give you the information you need to make a definite identification.
Here are the three photo identification techniques. Start using them today to tease the hidden information out of our photos and make them reveal their secrets...

April 24, 2015

11 Genealogy Research Tips to Use at Your Next Family Reunion

11 Genealogy Research Tips to Use at Your Next Family Reunion

Family reunions are fun times for reacquainting ourselves with relatives we haven’t seen in years, as well as for meeting relatives who are totally new to us. The bigger the reunion, the more likely there are to be people there who are distant cousins you’ve not only never met, but never heard mentioned. Yet there they are, connected to you by blood and ancestry. Even if everyone in the family is not as into genealogy as you are, you can still incorporate family history research and education into the reunion in a way that is fascinating to others (instead of boring), boosts your own research, and may even create some new genealogy enthusiasts in the process.
Here are 11 genealogy research tips to incorporate into your next family reunion...

April 23, 2015

Ancestral Findings Podcast: #17

Ancestral Findings Podcast

AF-017: Genealogy Basics: Birth Record Research Advice for Beginners

Vital records… records of birthsdeaths, and marriages… are a basic part of genealogy research. They tell you the important details of your ancestors’ lives, such as names, dates, and places associated with them. The information found in vital records can often be stepping off points for further avenues of research, as well. As a genealogist, you should ideally be collecting as many vital records as possible on your ancestors and reading every line of them. You never know when a hidden but important piece of information will be on an unexpected place on a vital record.

April 22, 2015

Journeys Home: Inspiring Stories, Plus Tips and Strategies to Find Your Family History

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rnh1qgjhu9qi70w/Screenshot%202015-04-13%2015.35.17.png?dl=0Addressing the explosive growth in ancestral travel, this compelling narrative combines intriguing tales of discovery with tips on how to begin your own explorations. Actor and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy’s featured story recounts his recent quest to uncover his family’s Irish history, while twenty-five other prominent writers tell their own heartfelt stories of connection. Spanning the globe, these stories offer personal takes on journeying home, whether the authors are actively seeking long-lost relatives, meeting up with seldom-seen family members, or perhaps just visiting the old country to get a feel for their roots. Sidebars and a hefty resource section provide tips and recommendations on how to go about your own research, and a foreword by the Genographic Project’s Spencer Wells sets the scene. Stunning images, along with family heirlooms, old photos, recipes, and more, round out this unique take on the genealogical research craze…

Read More