• Surnames are All About — What?

    Aug 21

    Family names or surnames all started in one of several different ways. In England the use of surnames did not start until the 1200s through the 1300s. In Ireland surnames started in 900 AD. Across other regions such as the Middle East and Asia there were many different methods of identifying a specific family or clan. Many were first based on wh...


  • Finding the Right Stuff at the Courthouse

    Aug 19

      The hometown city or county courthouses are wonderful sources of official documents to use in your family history research. However, you do need to be prepared. First, learn by visiting, emailing, phoning or sending a regular letter to the hometown courthouse to see what records they do have available and in what format (microfilm, paper, ...


  • Taboo — What to Do With Family Secrets?

    Aug 13

    Oh, it will happen ... you'll come across some information on an ancestor that might be seen as scandalous. Of course in today's standards versus decades ago, the news may not be that disgraceful. You want to backup with facts or proof anything you do find, never accept the first thing you find is correct. Once you do have all the proof do make...


  • British Slave Owners

    Aug 11

      You might think only Southerners in America had slaves on plantations in the 1800s, but human slavery did go back to colonial times (1700s) in the British Colonies and in other British territories such as the Caribbean Islands. The British slave trade was ended in 1807 and the British government abolished slavery in its territories and colo...


  • Updated Newspapers on Chronicling America

    Jul 31

    Twenty-six new and updated collections from Chronicling America Newspapers from the Library of Congress are now available. Ten states / district included: Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina and West Virginia. The updates represent additional newspaper issue dates. Some e...


  • Occupational Clothing

    Jul 29

    Sometimes in your research on family members you might not think of the type of clothing they wore at their job. Many would wear the style fashionable of that decade. However, many did have to wear special outfits for what they did as a occupation -- even the ladies. Decades ago some of those outfits were a bit outlandish for the times. The follo...


  • Family Heritage Month

    Jul 28

    The month of August is known as 'Family Heritage Month.' So what is family heritage? By definition: Researching your family tree would help you gain a sense of your personal heritage. It is those cultural traits passed down through the generations from great grandparents to grandparents to parents. It can include personality and skill traits, such ...


  • Nicknames

    Jul 27

    You have tried and still can't seem to locate a specific ancestor. You have tried the various spellings for the surname and still no luck. It just might be that all documents, records, census papers, certificates, etc. the individual used one or more nicknames rather than their birth proper name. Or there is a combination of nicknames and proper ...


  • Tree of Weddings

    Jul 25

      Someone in the family about to be married? Is there a big wedding anniversary coming up soon? Here is a gift idea that will be appreciated by anyone. Create a 'Tree of Weddings'. It is the family tree idea using photos of couples on their wedding day. Now that can prove to be a challenge, gathering all the needed photos. Even if it is not ...


  • Insurance Companies & Your Ancestors

    Jul 23

    Now that may be an area of research you have not checked yet in reference to your ancestors. You may have just passed over any insurance papers when sorting through documents held by a relative. Plus they might have held policies that actually belonged to a distant ancestor. I found such a document, an fire insurance policy for a distant cousin'...