24 Things You Can Find from Cemetery Records Besides Tombstone Inscriptions

Cemetery records and cemeteries in general are a very large part of our family history and are a significant pursuit for many genealogists.  Sometimes, the information on a headstone is the only information available for certain ancestors. There are different types of cemeteries. Just being buried in a specific cemetery may provide a clue to …

Search Hyphenated Words in Historical Newspapers to Get Up To 30% More Results

Finding your ancestors in newspaper articles is in my opinion – an art, not a science. You must be clever and resourceful to get around the quality limitations in old newspapers A “feature” of older newspapers is the use of the hyphen. Hyphenated words were often used heavily to save space and due to the …

13 Hidden Gems in Old Newspapers to Amplify Your Ancestors’ Life Stories

If you are trying to add to your ancestor’s life stories, what better way than interesting newspaper articles about their lives? Absent direct accounts from your living relatives, seeking these hidden gems in old newspapers will tell you things about your ancestors that there is no other way, absent a biography or autobiographical book, that …

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 …

25 Reasons to Research Probate Records and Wills

Does the thought of locating and searching through old probate records and wills turn you off, because you will need to go through some court’s smelly basement, where you have to pore through dusty old files of records? Let me tell you, whether you have to find them that way or online, they are incredibly …

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 …

13 Ways to Find Physical Characteristics Without Photos

As we all know, there are no photos available for all of our ancestors, especially many of those who lived primarily in the 1800s or earlier. On the other hand, we may have photos in our collection in what I call my “Unknowns,” where they have not been identified, and may never be identified. So …

Two Hidden Secrets to Find a Ton More Results from the FamilySearch Catalog

Full disclosure:  I love the FamilySearch Catalog! For those collections that are available online, and the books that have been digitized, there are tens of thousands to choose from. For the online collections and books, I can use my PC at home to scroll through digitized page after digitized page, just as if I had …

32 Free Genealogy and Newspaper Research Quick Reference Guides

In the past couple of months, I have been inspired to create what I call Quick Sheets, more commonly called Quick Reference Guides. There now are a total of 32 of them. Here are all of them. Just click on the link to the right of the word “Download” to view and download the pdf. …

11 Reasons Why Alumni Records are a Gold Mine for Genealogists

Maybe it’s just me, but I have never heard anyone write or talk about using Alumni Records in their genealogy research. I use them personally and have discovered mountains of information in these gems. I contend that alumni records are part directories, part newspapers and magazines, part biographies, part obituaries, part yearbooks, part vital records, …