Genealogy: Consider interlibrary loan

Genealogy: Consider interlibrary loanBy Barry J. Ewell

Usually a portion of the library’s or society’s collection is available through interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan allows you to borrow items for specific research and is transferred from library to library. Note: Libraries will usually not exchange information through the LDS family history centers. When you start speaking with the library or society, ask the following questions: Continue reading

Genealogy: Where to use your camera for research

Where to use your camera for researcharchBy Barry J. Ewell

The digital camera has been the most flexible and important tool for capturing digital images. As I have sought to learn about my ancestors, I’ve been fortunate to travel to some of the areas where my ancestors lived and have had the opportunity to do on-site research.  These experiences have ranged from half-day excursions to a month long stay.  I used the camera about 90% indoors and 10% outdoors.

Common places indoors

  1. Libraries.
  2. Courthouses.
  3. Museums.
  4. Historical societies.
  5. Homes. Continue reading

Genealogy: Strategy for field research #7—Photocopying services

By Barry J. Ewell

Photocopying services are available for researchers unable to visit the physical faculty. Researchers are able to request limited photocopies of portions of published works and manuscript collections. Staff are unable to copy entire published works, entire manuscript collections, bound volumes in the manuscript collection, Continue reading

Genealogy: Field research is required # 1

Genealogy Field research is required # 1By Barry J. Ewell

This is where the computer screen ends and shoes hit the street.

It doesn’t take long to realize there comes a point when computers reach the limits of their capabilities in genealogy research. If someone hasn’t digitized, abstracted, or electronically captured an image and put it on the Internet, put it on a CD, or sent it to you in an email, you are going to have to conduct field research, and you will need to leave the house. Continue reading

Genealogy: Use your camera to document your research

Use your camera to document your researchBy Barry J. Ewell

Use your camera in your library, archive, or museum research.

Consider using your digital camera as a tool for documenting and capturing information you find in your research. If you have never used your camera in your library research, practice in your local library under all types of conditions, including very low light. Again, the time to learn isn’t at a cemetery 2,000 miles from home.

Digital photography is all about lighting and location
The first problem you will always face when it comes to photography is lighting. I use flash less than 10 percent of the time. Instead of flash use natural lighting (near a window), light stands with diffusion screen and lights, or a self-contained photo Continue reading

Genealogy: Field research is required # 2—Barry’s experience, John Lee in Knoxville, Tennessee

Field research is required # 2—Barry's experience, John Lee in Knoxville, TennesseeBy Barry J. Ewell

It was 9:00 a.m. on a Sunday in Knoxville, Tennessee. I had driven just under five hundred miles from Washington, DC, the day before in order to meet John, a distant cousin. We were both descendents of Permitt Lee, who had lived in the 1700s. I descended through his daughter Sarah, and John descended through his son Sam. We had corresponded over the previous three months and agreed to meet. Continue reading