Tag Archives: family history tips

5 Common Genealogy Research Questions and Answers for Beginners

Answers to Frequently Asked Genealogy Research Questions 

Common Genealogy Questions and Answers for BeginnersAre you new to genealogy? If so, then you probably have a lot of genealogy research questions!

What is the difference between genealogy and family history?

What is the name of my ancestor in this old photo?

Where can I find the best family tree software?

These questions and others will certainly arise as you begin to research your family’s history. But some genealogy-related questions are more common than others among beginner researchers. Here are just a few of these important questions and answers to help you along your genealogy research journey. 

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Identifying Unknown Family Photos for Genealogy

How to Use Photo Clues to Identify Family Members in Old Pictures

Identifying Unknown Family Photos for Genealogy

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One of the most enjoyable tasks of family history research is sitting down to sift through old family photo albums. While some may spark fond memories from childhood, or even help us recall events our parents and grandparents shared about their own lives, other photographs have narratives that remain unidentified. At one point or another in your research, you will stumble upon these pictures of relatives or distant ancestors whom you don’t recognize at all. It can certainly drive you crazy at times as you wonder, “Who is this ancestor, anyway?” and “What is this person’s story?”

Instead of continuing to wonder, use these photo clues and identification tips to help you decipher when pictures may have been taken, and figure out which relatives are in the photos.

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Helpful Oral History Prompts to Get Your Older Relatives Talking

How to Encourage Family Members to Tell Their Life Stories

Oral History Prompts to Get Older Relatives Talking

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We all have a story or two to tell. But when we are met with resistance from relatives who are too bashful to tell us the stories of their lives, it can create holes in our family history research that can often result in empty family tree branches.

Conducting oral history interviews with your older family members is that important when it comes to your family history research. The memories your relatives have of their own lives hold a good amount of historical importance — even if family members don’t think their lives were particularly interesting! In fact, oral history interviews can sometimes lead to the discovery of ancestors you never knew about in the first place. But if you don’t record these stories now, they could be lost forever.

So how do you get your older relatives talking about their lives? The following oral history prompts and tips may just jog the memories of your older relatives so you can capture and collect their important stories.

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Basic Principles for Storing Family Heirlooms Correctly

Don’t Learn the Hard Way! Here’s How to Store Your Priceless Family Keepsakes 

Tips for Storing Family Heirlooms CorrectlyIf you wish to keep your family’s legacy in tact for future generations, you should probably think twice about storing your priceless family jewelry and other vintage heirlooms in the basement or attic. Just as you should store old family photos in the proper manner to ward off deterioration and other damage, there are also right and wrong ways when it comes to storing family heirlooms. This is because temperatures and moist environments that are often found in basements and attics tend to fluctuate, which can completely destroy your favorite valuables and genealogical documents.

But how do you store family heirlooms correctly for posterity? The following tips offer basic storage guidance for your family treasures so that your relatives can enjoy their beauty and benefits for years to come.

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7 Things All Family Historians Should Know How to Do

Researching Your Family History? Learn How to Do These Things, First

Things All Family Historians Should Know How to DoEveryone can use a little bit of help with their family history research whether they’re just beginning a family tree, or have been conducting research for some time. Just as there are some basic guidelines everyone should follow when researching their families, there are also a few key skills that every family historian should master to get the most out of their research.

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10 Simple Tips to Start Researching Your Family History

How to Kickstart Your Family History Research Right Now

10 Simple Tips to Start Researching Your Family History

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Congratulations! You’ve decided to take on the important task of researching your family’s history. And if you’re like many novice family historians, you’ve likely went straight to online resources such as this one to start a family tree, search historical records and more. But while the Internet has made finding information about your ancestors simpler, beginning your research without a set plan may have caused you to skip some fundamental steps that could make things even easier on you — and far less daunting.

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6 Great Reasons Why You Should Start a Genealogy Research Blog

Simple Tips to Begin Blogging Your Genealogy Research

6 Great Reasons Why You Should Start a Genealogy Research Blog

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If you’re new to researching your family’s history it probably goes without saying that you were inspired to do so by something you saw online. Whether an ad on Facebook for an online family tree website prompted you to click, you discovered vintage family photos pinned to a Pinterest board, or you simply stumbled upon this genealogy blog, the Internet has likely fueled your decision to take on this newly discovered pastime.

In fact, many of the free genealogy and family history resources you will stumble upon online are available partly because of passionate genealogy and family history bloggers. Genealogy research blogs like GeneaBloggersGenealogy Tip of the DayGenea-Musings and others have helped both new and seasoned genealogists uncover important information about their families and identify elusive ancestors. These reasons and more are why you should think about adding your own blogging initiatives while researching your family’s history.

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Citing Genealogical Sources Correctly: How to Cite Your Sources

A Guide to Citing Genealogical Sources Right the First Time 

How to Cite Genealogical Sources Correctly

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This is the second post in a two-part series intended to improve how you cite your genealogical sources. Read the first post on why citing is crucial to your genealogy research

Every beginning and seasoned genealogist knows that genealogy research is more than a hobby. In fact, you know that genealogy research takes passion and dedication if you don’t want to wind up throwing in the towel after your first, long, unsuccessful hunt for an elusive ancestor. And when you do finally find those missing pieces of your family tree, it can be quite the rewarding experience. And sometimes, you can get so excited about your findings, that you forget to add source citations. You may think that it doesn’t matter because you can always go back to add it later, but it’s actually a big genealogy research mistake that can create flaws in your family history.

Citing genealogical sources is important for not only verifying that genealogical information is correct, but it also helps future generations of genealogists build upon your family’s story.

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Citing Genealogical Sources Correctly: Why It’s Crucial to Your Research

Your Family History May Be Incorrect, And Here’s Why

Tips for Citing Genealogical Sources Correctly

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This is the first post in a two-part series intended to improve how you cite your genealogical sources. 

Researching your family history can be quite the eye-opening and rewarding experience. And it isn’t for the faint of heart, either! Whether you’re new to genealogy research or a seasoned family historian, you know how much time and dedication is needed to uncover the hidden mysteries of your family and fill in the branches of your family tree.

But if someone were to ask you where you found each piece of your thoughtfully-researched information, would you be able to tell them?

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5 Reasons Why You Can’t Find Your Ancestors’ Occupations

Research Mistakes and Remedies to Help You Figure Out Ancestors’ Jobs

5 Reasons Why You Can't Find Your Ancestors' Occupations

Photo credit: By Pierce, C.C. (Charles C.), 1861-1946 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Family historians should always be thinking of out-of-the-box ways to trace the steps of their ancestors, especially when they hit brick walls. But what if you’ve finally found a handful of your once-elusive ancestors, yet still can’t seem to figure out their occupations? Not only can this leave gaps in your family’s story, but it can also be rather frustrating when you wish to create a more robust and comprehensive family history.

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