May 29, 2015

Ancestral Findings Podcast: AF-023: What Happened to the 1890 Census, and What You Can Use to Fill in Its Blanks

Ancestral Findings Podcast

AF-023: What Happened to the 1890 Census, and What You Can Use to Fill in Its Blanks

What happened to the 1890 census? It may be gone, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on 20 years of your ancestors’ lives. Use these records instead.

May 27, 2015

Finding Unnamed Ancestors on the 1790-1840 Censuses


Have you used the 1790-1840 census records in your genealogy research? Many beginning genealogists skip these valuable record sources because they do not believe they will include anything useful for them. After all, these early census records only recorded the names of the heads of households. Everyone else in the household was nameless, though the 1810-1840 census records break down males and females in each household by age group and free or slave status. The 1840 census even lists how many people living in the household are Revolutionary War veterans. This might not seem like much to go on to discover the people who lived with your early ancestors (and discover new ancestors in the process), but it can be done. You just have to know where to look for clues to the identities of those check marks under the gender and age categories on these old census records. Here’s how to do it...

May 26, 2015

This Week’s Free Genealogy Lookups


Maine and New Hampshire Settlers, 1600s-1900s

Discover this sweeping collection of vital records, local histories, pension records, gravestone inscriptions, probate records, and census records. Comprehensive in its coverage of early Maine and New Hampshire, this database references approximately 331,000 individuals.

Early North Carolina Settlers, 1700s-1900s

This unique collection is comprehensive in its coverage of early North Carolina marriage records, death records, land records, historical sketches, and biographies referencing approximately 200,000 individuals. While the books focus on North Carolina genealogy and history, you’ll often find record of South Carolina ancestors.

Early Louisiana Settlers, 1600s-1800s

Comprehensive in its coverage of early Louisiana, this unique collection of census records, family histories, military records, and immigration records references approximately 57,000 individuals.

Massachusetts Genealogical Records, 1600s-1800s

Containing 24 volumes of vital records, family histories, passenger lists, military records, census data, and cemetery records, this collection provides an excellent cross-section of early Massachusetts genealogical data.

May 25, 2015

What is a Haplogroup and What Can It Tell You About Your Family Tree?


If you get your DNA tested, chances are you will come across the term “haplogroup.” What is a haplogroup and how does it pertain to your family history? At its essence, a haplogroup is an ancestral clan. Some clans are the Vikings, Native Americans (all tribes), Celts, Aborignal Australians, and other such groups. Your haplogroup tells you where your ancestors came from deep back in time.
There are also male and female haplogroups, so you can see where your male and female sides of the family originated back in pre-historic times. As with Y-DNA (which traces the male line from father to son) and mtDNA (which traces the female line from mother to daughter), haplogroups also follow straight male and female descendancy lines...

May 24, 2015

Joining a Surname Study: Where to Find Them and What You Can Get Out of Them


Surname studies are some of the most basic of genealogical study groups. They have been around for at least a century, and maybe more. The purpose of a surname study group is to get people together who have the same surname (or have direct ancestors with the same surname) and allow them to share genealogical information on their families. The aim is for people involved in the study to gain more insights into their own family trees and connect with genetic cousins or long lost relatives through the information that is shared. You can find out a lot about your ancestors of a particular surname through a surname study...