Meanings for 40 Common Terms Found in Probate Records

Just the word “Probate” causes people to freak out, primarily because it is a legal process, different in every state; it is combined with the loss of a loved one and requires cooperation between family members, many who do not wish to cooperate. But for genealogy purposes, they are incredibly valuable sources of terrific information […]

16 Hidden Genealogy Clues That Help Determine Relationships

A major goal for genealogists is to seek records and determine relationships. Many records such as census records and birth, death, and marriage certificates have evidence you need right there on the document. But there are lots of documents and other materials that simply provide clues.  They do not have the answers written on them. […]

Free Online Archives and Digital Collections for Historians and Genealogists

As genealogists and historians, we strive to know more about our ancestors and other subject people. It is imperative, especially as family historians that we research and understand the locales, surroundings, and events that occurred during their lifetimes. While we constantly look for new records, we must also research history, including local history. There are […]

21 Online Newspaper Research Do’s and Don’ts

There are several ways to enhance your ability to find what you are looking for in an online newspaper collection. Then again, there are also several ways to screw it up. Here’s a list of Do’s and Don’ts, that if followed, will improve your success rate. These tips are presented as a Quick Reference Guide. […]

How to Get the Most from Chronicling America

Chronicling America is a very popular website that provides free online digitized newspapers from the United States. It currently has almost 20 million digitized pages. It helps to understand the background of this website as well as some features that are not widely known. This QuickSheet tells you about how Chronicling America gets its database […]

Use the National Archives’ Numident Computerized Files to Search Social Security Applications, Claims, and Death Records

There are 3 types of information available online from the National Archives Social Security Numident files, which is a computerized database that contains SS-5 Application data, Social Security Claims information, and Death Records. There are almost 150 million records available to search. Here’s a summary description from the Social Security Administration and the National Archives: […]

20 Things You Can Find in Church Records to Help Find Your Ancestors

Prior to the recording of civil records and even now, Church Records have become a necessary and valuable category of collections that should be researched. They provide information that often cannot be found anywhere else. Baptisms, marriages, and funerals are commonly thought of when we discuss church records, but there is so much more. For […]

Did Your Ancestor Complete an Alien Registration Affidavit?

One of the best documents for information about your ancestor is an Alien Registration Affidavit. It only was completed by about 500,000 people starting in November, 1917. It was to identify German people in the U.S. who were not naturalized and hence may have allegiance to Germany rather than the U.S. It was required of […]

Are You Using Mortality Schedules from the Census Records

  What’s a mortality schedule you ask? Well, the U.S. Census Bureau, starting in 1850, began preparing special Non-population Schedules. Population schedules are the ones that we are always using and we tend to call them just “Census Records”. There have been several Non-population schedules, including Agricultural Schedules, Manufacturing Schedules, Social Statistic Schedules, Business Schedules, […]

How to Determine the State of Residence from Social Security Numbers

Generally, if you wish to find out information about an individual’s Social Security application, you will need to acquire that person’s SS-5 form, a photocopy of which can be obtained from the Social, Security Administration for a fee of $21.00. See SS-5 Form for the form itself and mailing instructions. The information included on the […]