Category Archives: Research Tips

The Value in Checking Your Work: A Tale of Two Captains

Earliest Known View of Manchester, CT
Earliest Known View of Manchester, CT

I am going through the tedious process of going over past research and double checking my data. It’s not as “fun” as initial research since you are not usually finding “new” info, however, I have found over the past that it is necessary. I have almost always found errors in my original work.. some big, some small, but all important to the integrity of your genealogy research. Continue reading The Value in Checking Your Work: A Tale of Two Captains

Proving “Assumptions” – Sometimes the Most Difficult Part of Research

I am still in the process of tying up loose ends and breaking down brick walls as I finish up a book on one of my families. Yesterday I was able to prove an assumption about a certain couple through the use of various sources. I get frustrated with what I call “lazy genealogists” who may find an individual in one record or census and don’t double check against other sources to make sure that their assumptions are true. It’s too easy to grab on to a find and say, “Oh, here is so and so and she’s a widow so her husband is dead!”. Wrong! For instance, I have found many women listed as “widows” in different census records. One of two assumptions can be made from this. If you already know that the woman was married, you may assume that the husband is dead. If you don’t have a marriage record for that woman, you may assume that she had been married and was now widowed. These two assumptions are not always true. You must check other sources to make sure that your assumptions are true. Continue reading Proving “Assumptions” – Sometimes the Most Difficult Part of Research

Emotional Involvement in Genealogy Research

Peter Stanford Headstone
Toppled Headstone for family of Peter and Mary Stanford

When I first started doing genealogy research, it was all names, dates and facts. It was just putting together puzzle pieces, with each individual being a part of the puzzle. As my research continued, I felt as if I got to “know” the families. As I collected more photos, I could actually start putting faces with the names. That is when the research took an emotional turn. Continue reading Emotional Involvement in Genealogy Research

Adding “Color” to Your Reports – More on Old Newspaper Articles

As I’ve mentioned before, I love browsing through old newspaper clippings to both get hidden genealogical information as well as to add some “color” to my research reports. We all know that genealogical research can be pretty dry and boring to read. I try to add anecdotal information about the people and places that they lived in to give some life to my reports.

There are a couple of places that I use often for newspaper research. For old articles in the US I use GenealogyBank.com. They have some reasonable annual memberships that have proven to be worthwhile to my reasearch. For old newspapers in the UK, I’ve been using the new database at FindMyPast.co.uk. On FindMyPast.co.uk I don’t have a subscription. Instead I purchase “Pay as You Go” credits. It is 5 credits each to view an article. Continue reading Adding “Color” to Your Reports – More on Old Newspaper Articles