Month: January 2017

Your Ancestor Was…

At one point in time, all of our ancestors were living, breathing humans. Sometimes in our search for records and answers this crucial fact is forgotten. This week we discuss several facts and characteristics of individuals that can cause them to be listed in records (or even sometimes to be omitted). Are there features of […]


Genealogical Misconceptions

Note: This originally ran in the former Ancestry Daily News on 29 February 2000. This is a semi-serious look at some misconceptions that genealogists (and non-genealogists) have about family history. 1) We all have a famous ancestor, somewhere. I have found the names of over three hundred of my ancestors and have yet to have any of […]

The Original Structure of the Records

Microfilm and digital copies of records are wonderful in that they provide access to records to individuals who may otherwise not have access. These reproductions also help reduce wear and tear on the original records. Discussions of the limitations of microfilm and digital copies tends to focus on: poor quality of image missing records organization […]

Basics of Citation Webinar Released

I just finished my “Basics of Citation” webinar–I went over the allotted time and had good questions from attendees. We looked at several examples during the hour-long presentation and discussed the philosophy of citations in a down-to-earth, practical fashion. Our focus was on typical documents and sources researchers use. We did not focus on the […]

Granddad Ufkes Would Have Been 100 Years Old

27 January 2017 would have been my grandfather’s 100th birthday. His baptism on 18 February 1917 is recorded in the records of the Immanuel Lutheran Church south of Carthage and east of Basco in Hancock County, Illinois. I’ve always assumed his parents were living on what’s known as the Ufkes homeplace (purchased by his grandfather, […]

“Now” You Tell Me

“Now” is one of those words that can create minor confusion in legal documents. It means what it says: “now.” The 1871 illustration from the estate of Michael Trautvetter indicated that among his heirs were the following: Wilhelmina (now wife of George Kraft) Barbara (widow of his brother Henry, now decd) Ernestine (now Wife of […]

Is Some Source Better than No Source?

Yesterday’s Genealogy Tip of the Day, “Remember Your Cousin in Santa Fe,”  was an extremely shortened version of genealogical citation. Extreme is probably an understatement. It was written more out of frustration than any desire to rewrite the methodology of genealogical research. While some may take me to task for the citation format that was used and suggested, there […]