locating missing ancestors

Missing Ancestors? Check the Feeder States!

Here’s a familiar genealogical conundrum: A researcher has traced his/her ancestors from present-day California back to the Dust Bowl-era in Nebraska, into Missouri just as it was achieving statehood, and finally to Indiana in the 1830s. At…
Five Civilized Tribes

Federal Records of the Five Civilized Tribes

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The following excerpt is from the book, Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes, by Rachal Mills Lennon. This body of work has been the best-selling guide to a very difficult area of research for over a decade. Ms. Lennon, M.A.,…
meaning of gravestone symbols

Cemetery Symbolism (And Their Meanings)

Cemeteries can be an incredibly rich source of information for your family history research, and just one of the places where you can collect your dead relatives. Whether you are there for research or just to visit, cemeteries can also…
library of congress

Utilizing the Library of Congress Genealogy Website

The US Library of Congress (LOC) is the greatest repository of published works in the country including genealogy, local history books and periodicals.  Whether or not you are planning to visit the LOC, located in Washington, DC, in-person…
How to Clean a Gravestone

How to Clean a Gravestone – Cemetery Preservation

Editor’s Note: This morning I came across a YouTube instructional video on how to clean a gravestone. The method, although appearing very effective from a visual perspective, recommended scraping the stone clear of debris and then using astringent chemicals…
Tax lists and Genealogy

Tax Lists and Genealogy

Are you getting the most out of tax lists for your genealogy research? Do you even know where to start? As Cornelius Carroll states in the beginning of his book, The Beginner’s Guide to Using Tax Lists, “Tax lists are one of the most…
county boundaries

Census Records and County Boundary Changes

Editor’s note: The following post on the importance of knowing the county in order to properly utilize census records, and how shifting boundaries can affect that search, is written by author William Dollarhide. An excellent source that can…
passenger lists

How to find your ancestor without a passenger list

No Passenger List? No official U.S. government passenger lists exist prior to 1820. What miscellaneous lists that have survived and been transcribed or published cover only a fraction of the immigrants who arrived in the Americas before 1820.…
new york state census

Fill in the Census Records Research Gaps

Utilizing census records are a fundamental resource for any genealogists. There are two situations discussed here where the federal census records leave information gaps. Namely, when you’re searching for a relative before the federal census…
naturalization records

Naturalization and Denization records in genealogy research

As a body of records, naturalization and denization records are of considerable value, but, until recently, were very difficult to access. Comparable in many ways to census records, naturalization records are a mine of priceless information…