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Marriage Records: Look Out for Multiple ...

Marriage Records: Look Out for Multiple Marriages

Marriage records are a foundational record for genealogists. I have discussed many times  how finding a female ancestor’s new married name led to breakthroughs. Most of us automatically think of that when we suddenly “lose” woman. What hasn’t come naturally for me yet is anticipating multiple marriages. Maybe two marriages is the maximum my mind […]

Shaky Leaves and the Importance of Thoro...

Shaky Leaves and the Importance of Thoroughness

We’ve all seen those shaky leaves on Ancestry. For a long time, I never clicked on them. But last year I found some treasures hidden within the hints, so now I periodically investigate all those shaky leaves. Earlier this week, I found a leaf for Syvoid Holt, a collateral ancestor. The leaf linked to an […]

Matilda: Back Another Generation

Matilda: Back Another Generation

I have been having some tremendous breakthroughs in this year. With every new name, a piece of me and and my history slides into place. Into memory. Searching for Matilda’s Roots My search for my great-grandmother Matilda’s roots is a wonderful example of the value of cluster research. For many years, I knew nothing about […]

A White Father: Direct Evidence

A White Father: Direct Evidence

My friend Aaron has made an incredible find that I wanted to share because it is such a rarity. Many people researching former slaves have encountered interracial children in their family trees. Enslaved women frequently had children with white men. Enslaved women did not own their own bodies and were commonly sexually abused. Sometimes the […]

Untangling Matildas: Brick Wall Crashes ...

Untangling Matildas: Brick Wall Crashes Down

My great-grandfather John Smith was born in Georgia and migrated to Jacksonville, Florida sometime around 1900. His roots in Georgia continue to be one of my greatest brick walls. (Update, 2018: DNA uncovered his roots!) I had a huge breakthrough on John’s wife’s family yesterday. This is an excellent case study in evaluating evidence. Georgia […]

One Step Closer in Alabama: the Fendrick...

One Step Closer in Alabama: the Fendricks Family

This beautiful picture is of my great-grandmother Effie Fendricks. I have posted before about my long odyssey researching her roots. I had a breakthrough in August 2009 when I found a duplicate death certificate. In this research, I encountered the common roadblocks of migration across state lines and name changes. On top of that, their […]

Collateral Research: Research All Siblin...

Collateral Research: Research All Siblings

In our research, we’ve got to include all the siblings in each generation. This is called collateral research. Your collateral ancestors are those who descend from siblings of your ancestors; people who are not your direct ancestors. I promise you that researching them alongside your direct ancestors will uncover new information about your family. This […]

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