research tips

6 Aug 2015

Genealogy Gophers

Genealogy Gophers is my new favorite site. It’s a data aggregator that searches 80,000 digitized genealogy books by name and returns search results to you free of charge.
In the example above, I searched for my GG-grandfather, Hans Loe. Searching for Hans’s family is tricky because his birth patronymic was Christensen but his American surname (based on his Norwegian farm name) was Loe.

Genealogy Gophers sidestepped these details and delivered a screen full of results, mostly based in England. But the top hit was for a book in the Family History Library in SLC for a location in Norway called Eker [Eiker]. The title was distorted a bit by Genealogy Gophers not handling diacriticals very well. But a visit to WorldCat revealed that this book is titled A Genealogy of the Loe and Hoen Families from Østre Aker (Eker), Oslo City, Norway, Who Are Descendants of Hans Børgesen Loe Born in 1616. This title was written […]

13 Jul 2015

Place Research Tool

Place Research Tool is the new way to search the huge database of geographical information at FamilySearch. Place Research Tool helps you find standardized information for place names with links to GPS-generated maps, variant spellings, and dates when names were in effect. In addition to helping genealogists search for exact spellings and locations, FamilySearch indexers also use this database.

Place Research Tool has its origins in the now superseded Standard Finder from FamilySearch Labs.

Above is the new Place Research Tool results page, complete with map and below is what the search results page looked like under Standard Finder. As always, double-click to enlarge images.
I wrote about Standard Finder in this blog some time ago, noting its ability to advance place name research. This is particularly helpful for areas where the borders changed frequently and place names varied between different languages, as seen in this ancestral village of mine that was once was Rawitsch in Prussia and now is Rawicz in Poland.
The new Place […]

2 Jan 2015

First Friday Genealogy January 2015

Available (you guessed it) the first Friday of the month, “First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane” contains tips and tricks for your family history research, highlights from this website, and special content for subscribers only.
The First Friday Genealogy newsletter for January 2015 has been delivered to subscribers. This month’s issue looks back at the top posts from my blog in 2014. The most popular post this year was about finding missing marriage records.

Download the free January issue of FFG here. To receive each monthly issue in your mail, start your free subscription here:

My focus is genealogy from an archivist’s perspective. Topics include using primary sources effectively, search strategies, archives news, and technology tips. Information on how to organize genealogy research, catalog family photographs, and simplify sources and citations are also favorite topics. I also like sharing information on using iPads and iPhones for mobile genealogy.

There are lots of genealogy newsletters out there, so I want you […]

4 Nov 2014

Request Free FamilySearch Scans – Tuesday’s Tip

UPDATE: The Family History Library has announced: “Online requests for photo duplication services of microfilm and books are no longer available.” Click the link above for more information from FamilySearch.
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Did you know you can request free FamilySearch scans for specific records? The good people at FamilySearch.org have been offering to scan and email specific records from microfilm and books in their collections for free for some time. But FamilySearch recently unveiled a new online form for requests, so even if you have used the service before, this post can help you.

Here are the steps to request free FamilySearch scans:

Register for a free FamilySearch account here, if you do not already have one.
Check to make sure record is available in the FamilySearch.org collections and that it is not already available online.
Submit a maximum of five requests (one image per request) each month, using the new photoduplication request form.
Provide the following REQUIRED information in the online form, so that the Photoduplication Team can […]