Genealogy: Choose a record or source of information

Choose a record or source of informationBy Barry J. Ewell

Once you know what information you’re looking for, ask yourself where you might find it. Then choose one source or record to on which to focus your research. For example, if I had the objective of finding the birth date of an ancestor, I would ask these questions: “What type of records could I find a birth date in? Where are these records kept? How do I get access to the records?” And so forth. I then record all questions, thoughts, and findings in my research log. Continue reading

Genealogy: Learning begins with a question

Learning begins with a questionBy Barry J. Ewell

Questions and answers are the foundation for exchanging genealogical information. We have many ways to learn, but by simply asking questions, we set the stage for learning and also for sharing what we know.

Narrow the focus of your questions. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the number of questions that need answers. It’s been my experience with genealogy that the further back I go, the more questions I ask. Continue reading

Genealogy: Where to search for your ancestors’ writings

Ancesor writingsBy Barry J. Ewell

The writings of your ancestors hold many wonderful clues and stories that can dramatically aid your genealogy research. The hard part is knowing where to search for your ancestors’ writings.

The following are few ideas to aid your search:

1. Getting access to ancestors’ writings that are in the possession of others
These journals, letters and writings of our ancestors are very precious to those who own them. The owner’s response to your request to access them depends a lot on how well you know each other. If they know and trust you, they may allow you to take the Continue reading

Genealogy: Approximate dating of post cards with no date is present

By Barry J. Ewell

Postcards went through many phases when particular design features were popular, so even if a postcard is not dated or was never mailed, it is still possible to determine an approximate time when it was printed.

Private Mailing Cards Period, 1898 – 1901:

  • During the Private Mailing Card era, messages were not allowed on the back of the cards, so a small space was left on the front, for notes from the sender.
  • The sender had to purchase a 1¢ stamp for the Private Mailing Card. Continue reading

Genealogy: Build an identity profile about ancestors

Build an identity profile about ancestorsBy Barry J. Ewell

The identity of the ancestor is more than a name. It is every known detail of a human life, which includes information about the individual, their relationships and their origin.

Begin by targeting your research location. Search for any document created during the time your ancestor lived. Make sure you understand the circumstances under which every document was created, continually comparing, contrasting and questioning details. Continue reading