Tips & Opinions

Source Materials- It’s almost magic!

I don’t know how it happens but it does, at least for me. As I noted in an earlier post, not all source documents are easy to read. Often they are muddled, smudged, faded, and torn. Sometimes the authors had been quills, bad penmanship or unsteady hands. Yet somehow this stuff is readable. Even when(…)

Source Materials- Microfilm Tips & Warnings

For those of you who have not used genealogical source data before, I can assure you this is an adventure. In most ways, my experiences have been very positive as well as curious. I should also admit that almost all source material I have used has been either German or French Canadian. I have never(…)

Source Materials- Familysearch & Family History

Probably one of the most valuable primary sources of genealogical information today is provided by the LDS (Latter Day Saints- Mormon) Church- FamilySearch.org. The website itself is not really the most useful aspect of their service. In truth, I personally find the online components to their site to be less valuable then that of their(…)

Before you start

A very important dimension of genealogy involves history and context. You may already know that and if so, perhaps this posting is not for you. However for those of you who do NOT remember your geography and history, here are some recommendations. These recommendations are based on the assumptions that: our ancestors lived in a(…)

Are you serious?

Genealogical research always presents dilemmas. These dilemmas almost always have significant impact and represent important family history decisions. I will try to provide some examples. First every family historian or genealogist needs to decide their role and its potential impact: Are you simply trying to gather bunches of names and places -or- are you doing(…)

Data, Friends, and Reviews – part 1

Beware of the free hints at Ancestry.com. One of the biggest problems with Ancestry.com hints is in the poor quality of the research that backs up the actual hint recommendations. Couple that with poor heuristics used by Ancestry for ‘hint’ data validation and you can some real genealogical data disasters. As I noted in an(…)

“Photo” Enhancements

Getting a good picture from an aged image is crucial to developing and maintaining a good family history.  Unfortunately as you look around ManyRoads, you’ll notice countless images that ought to be fixed.  Aside from being a tad lazy, the skills required to accomplish this effort are significant and confusing.

“Document” Enhancement

Image & document restoration is key to successfully reading many genealogical documents. The source documents we have available to us today are often simply scanned or photographic images of original handwritten documents.  Many of the originals are themselves are in poor or suspect condition even before they are digitally captured. Given that is the case,(…)

Recent relatives

One of the great genealogical research problems, for me, is my recent relatives. The folks I am refering to are either still alive or recently deceased.  In either case, they are near enough that their data is most difficult to ferret out.  Most marriages, births, etc that have occurred in the last 50 years and(…)

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