Genealogy Tips & Tricks: Search in county and state records

Search in county and state recordsBy Barry J. Ewell

If you’ve located an ancestor on a census, you know their county of residence. Now you’re ready to search for the records at the state and county level to find written evidence of that person’s life. Documents may include newspapers, county histories, special genealogy collections, tax lists, voter registrations, court records, probates, wills, estate papers, and much more. Continue reading

Genealogy Tips & Tricks: Ancestor photographs are important links to the past

Ancestor photographs are important links to the past By 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 Continue reading

Genealogy Tips & Tricks: Keep a log

Keep a logBy Barry J. Ewell

Once you have focused a specific area to research, create a log to help you develop a big picture of what you have and where you want to go. Keep the log up-to-date—it will save you time and energy. Note when and where you viewed the information. The log can include, but is not limited to, the following: Continue reading

Genealogy Tips & Tricks: Carefully consider the source

Carefully consider the sourceBy Barry J. Ewell

Sources are anything or any¬body that provides data. Sources vary in terms of reliability. Original sources are most reliable, but derivative sources can also contain helpful and accurate information. An original source is one that is still in its initial form, such as a birth, marriage, or death certificate. A derivative source is one that has been modified from an earlier form, such as someone transcribed the information from the origi¬nal record. Continue reading

Genealogy Tips & Tricks #15: Transcribe and abstract documents

Transcribe and abstract documentsBy Barry J. Ewell

In order to fully understand all of the clues, details, and actual facts included in documents, transcribe and abstract those documents. A transcript should include verbatim the content contained in the original document. An abstract should minimize the words used, yet maintain the pertinent facts and the integrity of the document. Transcriptions and abstracts are helpful in documents such as deeds, interviews, Continue reading

Genealogy Tips & Tricks: Learn to network

Learn to networkBy Barry J. Ewell

If you are not networking with other genealogists, you are not being an effective genealogist. While I would like to think I am a good genealogist, I would not have found or been exposed to even a fraction of the results I have found had it not been for the willingness of other genealogists, historians, librarians, and local experts to share their knowledge and insights.
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Genealogy Tips & Tricks: Starting out organized-stay organized

Starting out organized-stay organizedBy Barry J. Ewell

It didn’t take long before my own research became weighed down with pedigree charts, family group records, to-do lists, research logs, documents, notes, and research tools. I robbing myself of the precious research time because I spent hours looking for what I knew I had and duplicating research I had already done. When I became organized, I was able to Continue reading