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 …

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 the detailed description from the Social Security Administration and the National Archives: …

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. …

Why the Heck Aren’t You Researching Old Newspapers – The Third Dimension

I have to admit to a huge bias here – but I will say it – Searching old newspapers for articles about my ancestors is without question the most fulfilling research about my family history. Period! Everyone has different motivations for genealogy research. Some are name collectors, some want to be tied to someone famous; …

10 Bits of Advice for New Genealogy Researchers

This is going to be a different kind list of items for new (and newish) genealogy researchers and family historians. I am not going to try to suggest how or what to research. There are tons of places for you to find information about researching. But hopefully, this list will help you in a different …

A Really Easy, Free Way to Make a Genealogy Timeline

Laying out your ancestors’ important events in a visual way is a great way to analyze their lives and compare them to others in your family tree. Personally I like using timeline software applications as a way to display these events for some branches of my family tree. If you like, it is a visual …

Historic or Historical? That is the Question

As genealogists, we deal with history, so naturally, we use the words historic and historical. Sometimes interchangeably, and therefore incorrectly. I am a (hopefully) past transgressor of this crime. But through developing better word habits, I think I have overcome this error. If you read through some of my past articles on this website, you …

8 Reasons You Can’t Find Squat About Your Ancestors Online

Whether you search online, or offline at libraries, courthouses, or archives, many times our ancestors can be elusive. Sometimes they just cannot be found. Whether it be a birth date, census entry, or death date – or anything else of interest to us – we just can’t seem to “score.” There are lots of reasons …