Genealogy: Cite and verify every source

By Barry J. Ewell

I was given copies of some genealogy information for Christmas in 1990, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it for 14 years.

As I reviewed the materials in 2004, I found one genealogy line had ended in the late 1700s in North Carolina. I began the process of becoming familiar with the line and finally decided that I would like to see if I could extend it. Within a few weeks of research, I cracked the puzzle and was able to start moving the line out. Over a period of two years, I extended it several generations. I had carefully documented my research and was quite proud of what I had done. Continue reading

Genealogy: Tips for documenting your sources

By Barry J. Ewell

Do it right the first time! Whether the source is a newspaper, journal, court record, personal interview, letter or church record, write everything down while you still have the source in your hands.

The following are a few of the lessons I’ve learned about the value of documenting your sources:

Sources you can rely on. No one has a perfect memory, and some sources will have worse memories than others. The only source you can rely on is an “official” one: birth, marriage, death documents and other confirmable databases and indices. Even if Continue reading

Genealogy: Early Indian Wars 1815-1858, Researching and finding military records

Indian WarsBy Barry J. Ewell
The early Indian wars also known as the old wars refer to conflicts between American settlers or Federal government with Native Americans.  The conflicts include the following:

  • Northwest Indian War 1785-1795
  • Creek War 1813-1814
  • First Seminole War 1817-1818
  • Winnebago War 1827
  • Black Hawk War 1832
  • Second Creek War 1836-1837
  • Cherokee Disturbances and Removal 1836-1939
  • Second Seminole War 1835-1842
  • Third Seminole War 1855-1858

Continue reading

Genealogy: Citing unpublished sources

By Barry J. Ewell

The following are examples of how to cite unpublished resources.

Personal letter

  • Author: Mary Jones
  • Description of the Letter: Letter to Barry Ewell
  • Date:  23 February 1977
  • Detail: Weekly letter from Mary Jones to Barry Ewell on mission in Munich, Germany.  Topic of letter was trip to California.   Continue reading

Genealogy: Citing published resources

By Barry J. Ewell

The following are examples of how to cite published resources.


  • Author:  Michael E. Pollock
  • Title: Bonds of Henrico County, Virginia, 1782-1853
  • Publication Facts (place of publication, name of publisher, year):  Baltimore Maryland, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1984
  • Page Number: 133
  • Formatted: Michael E. Pollock, Marriage Bonds of Henrico County, Virginia, 1782-1853, (Baltimore Maryland, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1984) p. 133. Continue reading