One of the keys to writing powerful client reports is using variation and descriptive words. Because client projects are limited in time, writing a professional sounding report in a shorter amount of time means more time available for successful research. These synonyms and phrases will help you achieve this. As you write your own reports, add to these lists, especially the phrases you are writing. Many of them can be used again and again, saving you time.
While researching family records, there is nothing more frustrating than coming to a roadblock in our work. We often can become stumped in our progress when records we need just can't seem to be found. One tragic roadblock occurs when a county has suffered record loss due to fire or other natural disasters, careless record keepers, lack of space, or war. What can we do when a county suffered record loss? These record losses are a large hurdle for genealogists, but with an understanding of substitute records, alternative information can be found to document our families. Part I will focus on alternative information, and Part II will focus more on substitute records....
While researching family records, there is nothing more frustrating than coming to a roadblock in our work. We often can become stumped in our progress when records we need just can't seem to be found. One tragic roadblock occurs when a county has suffered record loss due to fire or other natural disasters, careless record keepers, lack of space, or war. What can we do when a county suffered record loss? These record losses are a large hurdle for genealogists, but with an understanding of substitute records, alternative information can be found to document our families. Part I will focus on genealogy methods to use, and Part II will focus more on substitute records....
Often when researching ancestors in early time periods or in counties with record loss, we cannot find the records needed to document our ancestor or extend a line. We often refer to this as a brick wall.
By researching the FAN Club, also called cluster research, we can often find the clues necessary to piece together evidence which can lead us around the brick wall.
Elizabeth Shown Mills created the acronym, FAN Club. See her QuickSheet: The Historical Biographer’s Guide to Cluster Research (the FAN Principle), (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2012.)
Who is in the FAN Club?
Immediate family: direct-line spouse, other spouses, children, parents, siblings
During most of the early history of the United States, women came under the legal status of their husbands. This meant that women were not required to be directly involved in many of the records kept at that time. Since this can make women harder to find, to be successful you need to understand which records might provide you with their names, or at least clues you can combine together to identify them. To find women in the records, it is important to focus on the men they were related to: husbands, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, sons, and even uncles or cousins.
Records are listed in general order, starting with the records most likely to be successful du...
When designing an organization system, it is important to find a system that works well for you. This is a system we have used for many years and it is fast and efficient for saving everything. We have spoken with other professional researchers who use a similar system.
Within 4 quick clicks you can find any document on any person.
When sharing research, it is easy to send the entire surname folder or just an individual's folder.
By naming each file as shown below, the individual files are listed in order, like a timeline, to provide an easy overview.
Create an alphabetical folder for each letter you will need.
The progress of the world has allowed easier access to many records in family history work; It can almost be overwhelming!
Thirty years ago we were limited. We could write a letter requesting a certificate, spend hours reading one microfilm, or travel to the city where your ancestor lived to look at original records. Today however, is much different! The challenge (and blessing) today is websites with 5 billion records, which also brings the challenge of deciding which records to search first.
Understanding which records provide the best information and which are easier to access can make your genealogy research time more productive. This post gives a list of records in...
Both Ancestry & FamilySearch have billions of records to search. The problem is, when you search their entire website in one general search, the results you need might be on page twenty-six, so you never see them. Here are some suggestions on how to improve your results!
“Less is More”- a principle for database searches:
If you enter too much information, the search engine won’t be able to find it all in one record so you get few or no results.
When you search, make sure you only include facts that would be on the record you hope to find.
Have a specific question in mind
Searching for a specific record, such as marriage record for an ancesto...
One of the reasons family history is among the most popular hobbies in America is because of the vast amount of information that is available online. This is also one of the great challenges in doing genealogy - there is so much information out there, where do you search first? And then next?
BestSteps Genealogy evolved from the need we saw in our professional research to make sure we were utilizing the best sources out there for our clients. We would ask each other, "What do you think is the best source to find...?"
In searching for the best methodology we have learned from research experience, reading books and blogs, listening to webinars, and attending genealogy confe...