Month: January 2018

Some Simple Things

I use the online trees for the occasional clue. However in reviewing many of these trees while searching for research leads this week, I was reminded that apparently not everyone is aware of the following: People do not marry after they die. People do not have children after they are dead. People are not born […]


The Third Grader’s 1850 Census

From the Ancestry Daily News  Michael John Neill – 8/2/2000 ———————————————— It started out in desperation. It was years ago, when I was behind on a deadline; my daughter wanted to “work” with me in my office. Unfortunately, this was not an afternoon when I had time to “play.” I quickly printed out a blank family […]

Good Notes Should…

I finally received my copy of Val Greenwood’s The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 4th edition. I have two of the earlier editions, but Greenwood’s book is essential to genealogical research in the United States–especially once home sources have been used and “easy to figure out people” have been “figured out.” The book is especially helpful in developing a […]

Join Michael on a 2018 Research Trip

Sometimes there’s nothing better than getting away for nothing but research. Join me on one of two research trips in the summer of 2018. We have a great time, are focused on research, don’t have a list of “group” activities, etc. More details are on our announcement pages: Family History Library in Salt Lake City–May/June […]

An 1822 Court Case Mentioned in the Newspaper

Newspapers can be great ways to learn of court cases. This December 1822 reference to Aquilla Jones from the Franklin, Missouri, Missouri Intellingencer (available in digital format on is one such example. The legal notice suggests that Aquilla is suing John Earthman for $500. The legal notice does not indicate what the suit was over. However the […]

Citation Creation and Error Reduction

We are usually told to cite our sources because it allows us to go back and find things again if necessary and it assists us in the analysis of information. Another reason: Reducing errors created by the researcher. Creating citations after the research has been done can be time consuming, tedious, and repetitive process. For […]