Creating Your Own Map

I’m not a big fan of “genealogical activities” that fall into my definition of cutesy or time-wasting. I realize others may have different points of view and that’s their opinion. Activities that have a purpose or cause me to analyze my materials in more details are always good. Creating maps, charts, and other visuals can […]


Records in Shorthand?

Can you read shorthand? I certainly cannot. Shorthand testimony was taken in regards to the naturalization of Jane Alice Donald in Adams County, Illinois, in 1921. The material appears with other loose naturalization-related documents from Adams County, Illinois. It’s not often I discover this much shorthand in a record–let alone an entire record written in […]

Including Identification Details

I really like this picture of my great-grandparents and their two youngest children. Unlike many photographs I have, it doesn’t seem staged–the clothes are on the line, after all. And the daughter seems to be shooting her father a funny type of look. But identifying the picture got me to thinking… I’m still toying with […]

One-Eighth Irish or What?

On paper, I’m 1/8th Irish. My great-grandfather, Charles Neill, was born in 1875 near West Point, Hancock County, Illinois, to parents who were natives of Ireland. My DNA ethnic test results tell a different story. We’ve mentioned before the difference between a paper pedigree and where your DNA says you originate. The DNA ethnicity goes […]

A Church in the Distance

originally published in August of 2013 on our old site How closely do you look for clues in the backgrounds of pictures? When the below was enlarged, there was a faint shadow as shown in the oval: Had I not known where the photograph was taken, the church would have been a clue. It is […]

DNA Webinars Offered Again

Due to popular demand we are offering live sessions of these two presentations I gave earlier this year. (view our list of recorded presentations) Sifting Through Your AncestryDNA Matches–Followup to “Working with AncestryDNA Matches” This session assumes listeners/attendees have a basic understanding of what AncestryDNA offers, how to navigate their AncestryDNA matches, how to track […]

FHL Cards: Here a Courthouse, There a Courthouse, Everywhere a Courthouse

Knowing what you are looking at is crucial to evaluating genealogical information. Campbell County, Kentucky, has two courthouses. Many of the county’s records have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and are available on microfilm at the Family History Library or online digitally. Some of the card catalog descriptions of microfilmed materials do […]