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Searching Ancestry Databases: Things You...

Searching Ancestry Databases: Things You Should Know

Since Ancestry remains the primary website for genealogy research, I’d like to share a few tips for researching its databases. For the first example, I’ll use the marriage database below called Maryland Compiled Marriages, 1667-1899: We Must Know the Source Typically, we put the names of our ancestors in the search box. If the search came up empty, we might conclude […]

Never Rely On Just the Census

Never Rely On Just the Census

  Ah, the census. The glorious census. It’s such an important document in genealogy, I would venture to say even a foundational document. But its flaws are many. Those who rely on only the census to reconstruct their ancestral families do so at the risk of recreating a family inaccurately. Take for example the case of my ancestor […]

Deed Record Bonanza

Deed Record Bonanza

I’ve discussed deeds in this blog before and why they should be a cornerstone record in researching the lives of your ancestors. In this post, I show how using deeds connected a family from the 1850s through the mid-twentieth century. Levin Waters Levin Waters and other ancestors lived in Somerset County, Maryland in a little community called […]

Follow the Witness: They May Have the An...

Follow the Witness: They May Have the Answer

Many of our artificial brick walls are caused by our inability to extract every clue from each source. One of my favorite suggestions is to tell people to Follow the Witness. Many of the most common sources we use, such as deed records, probate records and marriage records, are legal documents that in many cases needed […]

What is Genealogy “Methodology”?

What is Genealogy “Methodology”?

Thanks to everyone who commented on my previous post about slavery and slaveowners. If anything, it kicked off some great discussions and dialogue about the country’s worst and most contentious period of history. I’ll leave that topic with one quote from one of our greatest slavery historians, Ira Berlin: No understanding of slavery can avoid these themes: […]

 
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