Monthly Archives: January 2018

A cemetery field guide for the 21st century

Published January 31, 2018

I’ve written any number of “Roots & Branches” columns about cemeteries and tombstones. And I’ve written a fair number of columns reviewing books about genealogy in the last three decades. But I’ve never read as perfect a book as The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide: How to Find, Record, & Preserve Your Ancestors’ Graves by …

Sweeping away a repository’s cobwebs

Published January 23, 2018

It’s a not infrequent experience for me to encounter a genealogist – at a conference, by e-mail or even an occasional “cold call” on the phone – who utters the magic phrase, “Well, I’ve searched everything.” Sometimes these folks are talking about a website. Or a library. Or a courthouse. Or one particular type of …

Right source makes the difference

Published January 16, 2018

Even though I offer research-for-hire as part of my genealogy business, I’m not super-aggressive about promoting it since I’m often busy traveling to lecture as well as writing columns such as this one. But when a high school classmate of mine named Peter Engel posted an ancestral tombstone on Facebook – in reply to a …

Some people are still avid readers of each day’s newspaper obituaries. I’ve never been a word-for-word, everyday reader … but I do scan over them. Some days it’s seems that everyone dying is over 90 – and that brings a bit of smile to me at the thought of so many having decades in their …

Researching a new area? Start with GenWeb!

Published January 1, 2018

In a world that proves more and more quickly the truth of the cliché “the only constant is change,” it’s needed to check in again and again about the websites and methods recommend for genealogists to use. An outfit I had not checked in with for sometime is the USGenWeb project. This project, started as …