research tips

30 Jan 2016

Finding Ages When All You Know is a Name

From the statistical website FiveThirtyEight.com, an intriguing article suggesting ways for finding ages when all you know is a name in your family research. Using Social Security data and related actuarial data, fivethirtyeight’s article, How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know Is Her Name, solidifies what all genealogists note about the ebb and flow of popular names in family trees.
Picture Mildred, Agnes, Ethel and Blanche. Perhaps you imagine the Golden Girls or your grandmother’s poker game. These are names for women of age, wisdom and distinction. The median living Mildred in the United States is now 78 years old.

Now imagine Madison, Sydney, Alexa and Hailey. They sound like the starting midfield on a fourth-grade girls’ soccer team. And they might as well be: the median American females with these names are between 9 and 12 years old.
According to fivethirtyeight.com, the “method for determining the answer is quite simple.* All you really need is […]

18 Oct 2015

NARA Free Online Genealogy Fair 2015

The National Archives of the United States is hosting the NARA Free Online Genealogy Fair 2015 this coming Wednesday and Thursday.
This annual event is a live two-day program via webcast on YouTube, offering family history research tools for all skill levels on Federal records dealing with immigration, military and civilian personnel, and bankruptcy.

Sessions on are available on genealogical research using traditional and electronic records. The National Archives’ lead preservation expert will hold a special question-and-answer session on how to preserve family records. Sessions and handouts will be available free of charge during and after the event. For complete schedule and participation instructions, visit the Virtual Genealogy Fair website.

WHEN: October 21 and 22, starting daily at 10 a.m. EDT [7 a.m. PDT ouch!]

WHO: Experts on genealogy-related records from National Archives’ facilities nationwide.

WHERE: Anywhere! The Fair will be video streamed on the US National Archives’ YouTube channel::

Day 1: Wednesday, October 21 –Watch live on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-rDaFVYJhU

Day 2: Thursday, October […]

13 Oct 2015

Rootstech Early Bird Reg Ends in 2 Days

Rootstech early bird reg ends in 2 days. Register by October 15 for a RootsTech 2016 conference pass at the discounted price of $149. After 15 Oct, the RootsTech conference registration price rises to $249.

With over 200 classes and an expo hall with hundreds of exhibitors (the best part, imho, and I’m a speaker), RootsTech 2016 is going to be great.

I look forward to meeting you at my Saturday session on Managing Your Digital Research Environment. My session on managing your digital environment for effective genealogy research helps you be a more effective researcher. This session helps you:

1) Put your digital research records in order, using professional archival techniques, and

2) Organize your online life. Learn how to create a master genealogy filing system with just six main folders, and how to link digital and paper records.

Avoid information overload and get organized online using specific Internet tools, and genealogy and productivity apps. Discover ways […]

26 Sep 2015

Search U.S. Newspaper Directory

Search U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present.
Chronicling America at the Library of Congress gets lots of good press from me and other genealogists for the free access provided to a wide variety of newspapers published in the United States over the past 320+ years.

But it’s easy to overlook the ability to search U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690-Present database to find existing copies of newspapers in repositories throughout the United States. The U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690-Present is part of the Chronicling America site, but it’s not too obvious either that it exists or what it can do for your research.

Looking at the example above of the main page, my eye always always goes to the wonderful digitized front pages of newspapers just waiting to be read. What can be overlooked is the link in the upper right (red box added) to search U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690-Present. (Personally, I’ve always thought Google was a big success because of its […]