Color-coded Genealogy Research Filing System, Part 5: Using the Filing System for Patronymics

Color-coded Genealogy Research Filing System, Part 5: Using the Filing System for PatronymicsBy Barry J. Ewell

There are thirteen steps for setting up the color-coded filing system. The system is time-tested and proven to be the organization resource that will grow with you as you expand your research.

Color-coded Genealogy Research Filing System

This system sets up file folders for the families on your pedigree lines and also shows you how to file information about cousins and other relatives. Pedigree charts and corresponding family group folders are divided into four colors, based on the lines of your four grandparents. Dividing your pedigree by color helps make it clear Continue reading

Genealogy: Two-tier digitizing and archiving evaluation

Genealogy: Two-tier digitizing and archiving evaluationThe first phase is to decide the relevance of digitizing and archiving the subject matter.  If I can answer yes to any one of the questions 1-5, I will certainly digitize.  Overall, I will digitize and archive about 90 percent of records/images. The 10 percent remaining are images that I have a better copy of, or in the case of a child’s activity where I have taken 25-plus images, choosing the top 10-20 percent and discarding the rest. Continue reading

Genealogy: Care and cleaning of 78s

Genealogy: Care and cleaning of 78sBy Barry J. Ewell

The following are details of how to take care of the 78s which I  have used to take care of 100’s of my own 78s.


  1. Place the record between two sheets of plate glass (or any completely flat surface of moderate weight).
  2. DO NOT place any additional weight or add heat, or place them in the sun, etc.
  3. Placing additional weight on the record will cause the peaks between the grooves to flatten out somewhat, causing distortion during playback; heat can cause the shellac to soften considerably, which causes all kinds of problems. Continue reading

Genealogy: Ancestor photographs are important links to the past

Genealogy: Ancestor photographs are important links to the pastBy Barry J. Ewell

One day, I was looking through a series of photographs of my ancestors taken in the early 1900s. For the first time, I noticed the writing on the window behind the row of carriages. I took out my magnifying glass and looked closer to find the name of the company (Spanish Fork Co-op), date it was established, and related information. I took time to learn more about the co-op and found that my great-great-grandfather was president. That piece of information was just the beginning of the stories and documents that helped me build my knowledge of that generation and their place in my history. Continue reading

Genealogy: What is the right scanning resolution?

Genealogy: What is the right scanning resolution?By Barry J. Ewell

The answer will vary depending upon what your needs are.  I have spoken with many professional archivists who are scanning rare documents.   Almost universally, the answer I have received is they scan documents in color at 400 dpi and save the images as .tiff.  Based on their response, I have scanned about 90% of my images at 400 dpi and saved them (as they did) in .tiff format.  The images are large (many exceeding 10 megabytes) and that’s ok.  This is my family history; I am scanning not only for my personal interests but also for the generations that will follow. Now when I share the images, I may save duplicate images as .jpg (usually less than 1 meg in size), but the original .tiff is intact providing the key source of information. Continue reading

Genealogy: Digitizing records and tapes with Audacity

Digitizing records and tapes with AudacityBy Barry J. Ewell

You’ve been ripping CDs for years, but what about those dusty cassette tapes in your attic and all that bargain-basement vinyl at used book sales? With Audacity, you can capture those vintage tunes, clean up their sound, and carry them around on your MP3 player.

Audacity is a powerful free cross-platform audio editor. It includes tools such as noise removal filters and automatic track splitting that can speed up the process of turning your antique audio into shiny new MP3s or Oggs.
Continue reading

Genealogy: Digital Camera Checklist for Research

Digital Camera Checklist for Research By Barry J. Ewell

I use my camera extensively when I conduct field research and through my personal experience built a checklist that I have found important to include with my camera. While I don’t use all of the list each time I am out, I have come prepared to handle most situations that I have that you will encounter.

  1. Digital camera with built-in flash
    1. Two extra sets of rechargeable batteries. Continue reading