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If this is your first time visiting my blog, or if you are a longtime reader, I’m glad you’re here. This is what Reclaiming Kin is all about:

  • **to document family history research in a way that teaches and engages the reader,
  • **to share discoveries, finds, strategies, and tools that further research,
  • **to suggest how to make our research exciting for others by adding social history,
  • **to shine a light on resources, repositories, websites, and other sources, and
  • **to highlight and discuss the many challenges of slavery and slave research. Occasionally, I do “thought” pieces, which usually stem from dealing the complicated aftermath of slavery in our history

In addition to this blog, I post genealogy tips and short tip videos on Reclaiming Kin on Facebook (follow me to receive updates):

I have a rich set of links to genealogical tips on, at:

Below, you’ll find links to a representative sample of the posts here. If you’d like to read more, you’ll find a separate link in the tabs above dedicated to Archives that you can explore.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading and growing your genealogical skills through my posts, and I look forward to hearing your comments and your questions! ~Robyn

Evidence Analysis/Skillbuilding

Beware the Death Certificate
Searching Ancestry Databases: Things You Should Know
Prove Identity: Don’t Match Names
Never Rely on Just the Census
Using Charts in Your Genealogical Research
Cluster Research at the Cemetery
Tips for Family Photographs
Dating Family Photographs
Tips on Using World War Draft Registrations
Collateral Research: Research All the Siblings
Do You Have an Artificial Brick Wall?
Verify Your Oral History
Extracting Every Clue from the Census
Are Your Assumptions Leading You Astray?
When Original Sources are Wrong
Follow the Witness: They May Have the Answer
Finding Criminals in the Family
Sorting Same-Named People
I Found You Mary Neal: Analysis Uncovers and Identity
Lie to Me: Inaccurate Records
Is the Wife Really the Mother of Those Children?
Cluster Research Reunites Sisters

Slavery/African-American Research
The Complexity of Slave Surnames
Suggestions for the White Descendants of Slaveholders
Slave Research: Four Things You Need to Know
How Were Slaves Sold?
Slaves Are in the FAN Club, Too
Mind of the Slaveowner
A Rare Census Find
There Were No Good Slaveowners
The Long, Long Hold of Slavery
A Slave’s Letter to His Former Master
Henry’s Slaves: One in a Million
The Criticality of the 1870 Census
Tracing Enslaved Ancestors Through Probate
Finding State Laws about Slaves and Free Blacks
Africans Enslaved Other Africans: NOT
What Did Slavery Look Like?
Freedmens Bureau Uncovers Likely Slaveowner
Slaves Search for Their Family Members in Newspapers
Slave Research: Search the Slaveowner’s Wife’s Family Too
Freedmens Bureau Labor Contracts



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