Tips & Opinions

Ancestry Downloads

Ancestry download issues?? Like the rest of you, I need to download my Ancestry work files.  Also like many of you, maybe all of you, I encounter problems. Here’s how things don’t work for me. To perform a download of a gedcom file is not difficult, although the function is pretty well hidden. To access […]

Pick wisely

As you work on your genealogy be sure to work on branches and items in logical groups.  Do not scatter your efforts too much or you risk becoming confused, muddled and inaccurate. I find that my best and most productive work comes when I work in a single or focused area of my family either […]

The best non-genealogy genealogy places #1

Some of the most useful genealogy sites and locations, often are not genealogical in nature, include the following: Internet Archive.  This site is associated with the wayback machine, for those who remember that. The site provides access to a wealth of source documents, histories, etc.  All the documents provided are free of copyright encumbrances, which […]

Be honest

Honesty is one of the most important dimensions of good genealogy and family history.  We all have backgrounds that we would like to say were ours. However, sometimes we have to settle for the fact that we are who we are. If you truly want to provide and accurate family history and genealogy, you need […]

No historical records?

Yesterday while working on my genealogy, I accidently got carried away.  Hard to believe but true.  Here is what I found myself doing, then questioning and finally fixing. I was conducting initial research on Ancestry, seeking the basics about who was born of whom and where.  As is typically the case, I was using the […]

Ancestry Hints!

Beware the hints! I know, I have said that before but the entire prospect of using poorly proofed Ancestry materials conerns me. As many of you may have noticed.  I just broke through a block in my family genealogy (the block of Joseph and Julia Deyo’s parentage and life before entering the US). Once my […]

Say it ain’t so…

Family stories are not always true. If you have been doing any amount of genealogy perhaps you have discovered that out. If not, you may be in for a rude awakening. My family, like most, comes with it’s fair share of myths and fables. Certain family members are seen as being larger than life, other […]

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- 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 […]

The problem of Literacy & Language -part 1

Maybe your family is like mine. We come from a long line of hard working, salt of the earth people. Yes, that means many of them could not read or write.

Data, Friends, and Reviews – part 3

Where does one get good genealogy data? Unfortunately, there is no single correct answer to this question. The answer depends in large part on where you are researching and what you need.

Data, Friends, and Reviews – part 2

So how do you prevent yourself from becoming a contributor to the vast amount of bad genealogy data?

Data, Friends, and Reviews – part 1

Beware of the free hints at One of the biggest problems with 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 […]

Assumptions & Genealogy

Genealogy requires assumptions… Over the past few weeks, I have been working on discovering (perhaps rediscovering) a family line.  My Deyo family tree was incorrect, in a major way!

“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.

The value of time

Time and patience are great virtues in life and genealogy.  It is simply amazing how many things can be accomplished by letting them simmer a while.

“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 […]

Genealogy, Data Quality

Data Quality is the first in a series of posts on “Genealogy Gotchas”. (I thought this might present useful tips & pointers to our readers while I await your votes on my little poll.)

Genealogy Database “Tools”

It has been on my mind for quite a while that I should share a bit of insight into which Genealogy tools I find useful, have tried to use, etc. I’ll expand this posting theme over time but here goes… Genealogy Databases-

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