Sunday, August 31, 2008

Insider's Look at Genealogy


The Ancestry Insider

The unofficial, unauthorized view of the two big genealogy websites: Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org .
The Insider reports on, defends, and constructively criticizes these two and associated topics. The
author attempts to fairly and evenly support both. (more...)


Database review: Historic Land Ownership Atlases


NFS rollout update for 26-Aug-2008


Maps online from the New York Public Library


Notice: The Ancestry Insider is independent of Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. The opinions expressed herein are his own. Trademarks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. The Ancestry Insider is solely responsible for any silly, comical, or satirical trademark parodies presented as such herein. The name Ancestry Insider designates the author's status as an insider among those searching their ancestry and does not refer to Ancestry.com. All content is copyrighted unless designated otherwise.

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Independent but expert, this featured blog takes us inside the latest developments at Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org (and other genealogy sites). Valuable tips and loads of links--as you can see from these recent post titles. It's now on my (lengthy) bookmark list of must-visit genealogy sites and blogs.

Because my Eastern European relatives lived in towns that belonged to different nations at different times, links on this blog to historical maps are helpful in figuring out where to continue searching. My maternal grandfather came from a town that was once in Hungary, later considered part of Czechoslovakia, and today is in Ukraine. Can't wait to find out about the towns in Latvia etc. where my paternal ancestors originally lived.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Connecting through CousinConnect


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I connected with my husband's second cousin by answering a genealogical query on a site like this. I also connected with a cousin of the daughter-in-law of a great aunt, which led me to uncover more roots and three second cousins I hadn't known about.

These experiences have made me such a believer in queries that I've posted some on every forum connected to a surname in my family tree and my husband's family tree.

My first query wasn't specific enough, as a kindly (and anonymous) correspondent pointed out. She suggested I mention dates and places and names of several family members, which I now do. Thank you!

Monday, August 25, 2008

When did great-grandpa die?

One of the biggest mysteries of my family's genealogy has been finding out exactly when and where (and why) my father's grandfather died. Come to think of it, I wasn't sure exactly when and where he was born. When nearly every other Mahler ancestor died, he or she had a brief obit in the New York Times. Not Great-Grandpa Mahler.

But yesterday I reexamined the 1910 Census very carefully and sure enough, Great-Grandma Mahler was a widow in April, 1910. I checked NYC death records and found an entry for Great-Grandpa in January, 1910. Quick as you can say "ten bucks" I sent to NYC for the record.

Thanks to Ancestry, I already knew that Great-Grandpa had become naturalized in 1900. Out came my checkbook again and I sent for that record, as well. It will take weeks, but I'll know a lot more about my Mahler roots (in Latvia) when these two documents show up in the mailbox.