Sunday, October 15, 2017

I Think My Ancestor Was In Prison. Have I Lost The Research Trail?

No. I can't say that every prisoner is listed, but the census records in the US and UK do list if the individual is an "inmate".

And don't worry about placing their name and situation in your family tree. It's not you, and it's part of their history. Before DNA and more competent testing, people were convicted of many things by heresay.

Monday, October 9, 2017

What Is Citing?

Diggin' Your Ancestors Citing is a small paragraph generally provided by various genealogy
sites (or yourself), that allows others to know where you received that information. It looks confusing, but it will many times tell the agency, book, line, and microfiche film where this proof can be viewed. 

An example would look like: 

England and Wales Census, 1891," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 1 April 2016), Lizzie A Simpson in household of Christopher Simpson, Melsonby, Yorkshire, Yorkshire (North Riding), England; from "1891 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast ( : n.d.); citing PRO RG 12, Yorkshire, Yorkshire (North Riding) county, subdistrict, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.

Sometimes you will see a citing as: "Sally Jones sent this to me in an email." 
I don't put much faith in these citings as it is considered heresay. 

A citing that states, "This is a my grandmother and she personally told me in 1965" makes me feel a bit better, but then I have something to go by in order to find the paperwork.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

I Want To Trace My Family Tree But I'm Afraid Of What I'll Find...

Don't be.

You are not your great-grandmother or your great-great-great grandfather. Their decisions do not taint your life. In fact, their decisions, their beliefs are what have fashioned you today.

Currently in the world, we have this sad practice of 
judging our ancestors by our 21st century beliefs. Who are we to judge another lifetime by our standards? In that age, their lifestyle was acceptable and we would have behaved in the same manner. Who says that we are so far more advanced? Read the newspapers, the history books - you would have been them. Let them come forward, and judge you by their work and belief ethics.

Do not fear what you will find. Be proud of what you'll discover.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Is there somewhere I can post my family tree without purchasing expensive software?

 Absolutely. There are a number of "free" genealogy sites online. What I'm concerned with is, how long will they last? And if they fold, will all your hard work go by the wayside? Possibly. has been around for a long time and has a good reputation. You may wish to check into their services, but it will be a month/yearly paid service for you to access their website. You'll have to keep up your subscription in order to continue updating your family tree. Still, they do have some documentation that others do not have.

Then, there is, supplied through the Genealogy Library at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City. It's a free service and your postings will be available for free for as long as the Church remains. 
However, as in all research, do not trust all information posted by others. Do your own research and be happy with what you feel is correct.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Someone Online Has Already Traced My Family Tree. Can I Just Plug In Their Info?

Be careful.!

What I have learned is that many people copy incorrect information and plugged in incorrect ancestors. Others, believing that they have hit the mother lode, repeatedly copy and paste all this incorrect information into their software. In time, no one knows what is correct or incorrect and the mistakes are all over the internet.

If you do choose to copy someone else's research, continue to trace each individual you brought across for yourself. Be sure YOU feel that they are correct. You may discover there are discrepancies in the tree.

Monday, September 18, 2017

I Can Find Them In Every Other Census; Why Can't I Find Them in 1880?

Naturally, 1880 was a hypothetical situation. But we all have them - families that we can find down through the ages, and then one year, they disappear.

This can be attributed to several things. One, they moved. They left one place before the Census Taker showed up, and arrived at their new home after the Census Taker had been there. Of course, that knocks 10 years out of the research.

Or, the Census Taker got lazy. Yes, it appeared that the longer a Census Taker was on the beat, the more apt some just got lazy. Now, we have nothing but initials, and not always the right ones.

So, if you have a relative named something like Isaac John Anderson, try searching I J Anderson and see what happens. 

Another approach to finding your grandparents (If you can't find them under their names) is search their childrens' names. And choose the child with the least popular name.

You may discover that in this census, the grandparents went by their middle or pet names. Instead of Isaac and Catherine, they are now John and Martha. Isn't that fun? However, by lining up the children's names and approximate ages, you'll know you've found the family. 

The odds of finding people with the exact same children, with the same names, born in the same years, is pretty rare.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Can I Leave Out Information In My Family Tree Because He Was An Idiot!?

There's several different camps when it comes to this topic. You'll have to decide how that will ultimately affect your future generations.

In this world of being politically correct and being seen by the world as perfect, we are chiseling away at our history, our stories, and inappropriately judging past behavior by our 21st century viewpoints.

Ask any genealogist and they'll tell you the cursed phrase of all times - "You don't need to know that." It was generally spoken by our grandparents, and now that they are gone, it takes all our fiber and being to discover key connections we may never find.

Personally speaking, a short marriage that generated no children, or impacted yours or others' personal history, is up to you to report.

On the other hand, if you're really trying to hide a family connection, remember, NO WAY in 1798, did your ancestor imagine that in the future, a little slim book-like box on your table top would reveal his secrets.

You can provide names of blood-relations in your family tree without going into detail about why they irritated the fire out of you, your mother, or your grandparents. Your grandchildren will one day thank you for providing the connections.