• Names in Wordle Word Cloud

    Jan 13

      This can be a fun project to work on a cold day this winter. Even if you do not have your family complete (and who does?), you do a long list of given names and / or surnames to create your own word cloud. Using the Wordle web site, it can be easily achieved. The more names you can add, especially repeating a surname, such as Johnson - say...


  • Flu Season and other Illnesses

    Jan 7

    Holidays are over but many times these winter months can also bring on colds and especially the flu. With the 21st century medicine it is not so much a worry as an inconvenience dealing with the illness. This was not the case for our ancestors. Many people, young and old alike died during this time of year from such diseases. Today in fact many ...


  • Skills Your Great Grandparents Had That You Don’t

    Jan 6

    It seems like every generation laments about how little the younger generations know. In general, this complaint is about the skills that the older generations learned and the younger generations don't know how to do. There are several skills that your great grandparents had that you probably have no idea how to do. Writing Letters Today, peo...


  • Online City – County Directories

    Dec 31

    An often overlooked research in locating where an ancestor lived are the city / county directories. You might only have idea of a region in a state where a relative lived but using directories, just might help narrow down the search. Directories vary over the decades, some providing just a person's name and the city they lived in. Others will in...


  • Xmas – Origin

    Dec 23

    Many people today prefer that the holiday be written out as 'Christmas' but there a long standing tradition of using the 'X'. In 1436 Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with movable type. In the early days of printing typesetting was done by hand and was very tedious and expensive. As a result, abbreviations were common. It first was u...


  • Funny Things Your Ancestors Said

    Dec 19

    Every generation has its own collection of slang words or phrases. Some remain for several generations, others have a 'short life span'. Knowing some of these key words and terms can help you better understand a great grandparent's generation. Also at the next family gathering to see how many people can correctly identify. From the 1910s: ding-b...


  • The History of Christmas Cards

    Dec 16

    Have you finished sending out all your Christmas cards? Sending Christmas cards out to family and friends is an longstanding tradition. As such, many of us take the time (and spend the money) to send a Christmas card to a long list of people. Some of them may be people we don't even connect with at any other time if the year. Have you ever wondered...


  • History of the Polaroid Camera

    Dec 8

    The things that you grew up with, and look back upon with nostalgia, are probably foreign objects to your children. The games you played outside with the kids in your neighborhood have been replaced by video games (played with kids across the world). Today, teens get out their smartphones so they can take “selfies”. They might not quite underst...


  • Lesser Used Records

    Dec 1

    Think you searched every official document -- well there just might be some other records you didn't think to try. First, your ancestor may have owned a dog and the hometown they lived in required a dog license. On that official form could be information (address and names) you didn't know about. Another overlooked resource are other census reco...


  • Collections of U.S. Historic Photos

    Nov 7

    There is a saying: "A photo is a window into the lives of your ancestors." Never were there truer words. Many of us would given anything to have some image of a grandmother, great uncle, etc., but don't give up -- many people have located images of ancestors they never knew existed. Yes, there will be some that were never taken, so of course don't ...