November 27th, 2013

Basic Research Steps for Beginners

I thought I would take the opportunity to review some basic research techniques to help those beginning the search for their family history. More and more people are becoming involved in genealogy projects everyday; for those just beginning the initial concept of tracing their lineage back through the centuries can be quite overwhelming. The following steps however can help you to get a jump-start on your research and simplify the process. The key to a successful search for your ancestors …
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November 20th, 2013

Library and Archives Canada Places 1861 Canadian Census Online

Recently Library and Archives Canada has made the 1861 Canadian Census available online. I must say that it is a welcomed and valuable addition to their collection, and to anyone researching their Canadian ancestry, like me! The census is searchable through an on-site search engine, and the criteria are very simple – surname, given or first name, age, and province. As with most genealogical search screens, you can search a record by name or place, but be aware that some …
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November 13th, 2013

5 Common Genealogy Mistakes not to Make

It’s hard enough when we make our own mistakes, but sometimes the mistakes of others can impede our genealogical research. This is especially true with older documentation, especially transcriptions and the like. Often a person’s handwriting or spelling is responsible, and occasionally completely erroneous information is supplied. Once a mistake is in print, it often carries on throughout the research of others, continually frustrating researchers or bringing them face to face with a brick wall. There are some effective strategies …
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November 6th, 2013

Use Ethnic and Foreign Language Newspapers to Uncover Ancestors

Newspapers are a source of pride and a means of bonding for every community. This is especially true for ethnic communities who may be feeling a little alienated form their homeland. A newspaper written in their own language and relaying news from their native land can help them to stay in touch with their former community, and connect them with others of their culture in their current one. Until the advent of the internet it was almost impossible to access …
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October 30th, 2013

Records of the Civil Conservation Corps – A Treasure Trove of Depression Era Ancestors

After the stock market crash in 1929, several programs were initiated to help the country recover from the depression that followed. One such initiative was the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC), started in 1933. The corps was opened to young men of between 17 and 21 years of age, and eventually 45,000 CCC camps employing more than 500,000 men were established throughout the United States. These young men are credited with building bridges, tending to soil conservation, planting three billion trees, …
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October 23rd, 2013

Picking Through Plantation Records to Find an Ancestor

Finding African American ancestors has its own particular set of challenges. Because of the nature of slavery, there are few records that can be used for tracing ancestors who may have been slaves. One set of valuable genealogical documents does exist however, and they are plantation records. Plantations were huge commercial operations, usually employing more than twenty five slaves, and often hundreds. The plantation managers organized their work force according to two different systems. The first system was the task …
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October 16th, 2013

Ethnic Schools – Often Overlooked Archives of Family Facts

Schools that are devoted to educating a particular ethnic group can be very valuable archives of ancestral records. Although it may take some effort to locate the records we’re looking for, they are out there, and can tell us what other sources can’t. In some cases it may be even easier to locate info on our ancestor in these institutions. For instance, schools overseen by the Bureau of Indian Affairs are excellent sources for those tracing their Native American Ancestry …
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October 9th, 2013

Divorce Meccas That Might Reveal Your Ancestor

Divorce records are held by a number of different courts and associated archives. It depends on the country, state, province or county, and as such they can be difficult to locate. In the United States however, certain areas are known to have been Divorce Meccas; places that granted divorce with little or no hassle. Beginning your search in such areas may greatly reduce the amount of research and time you need to invest in finding divorce records, especially if searching …
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