A name is a human being's primary identifier.  It is the specific collection of sounds that proclaims, "I, and not another.  I, and no one else," and so it bothers us when people spell it wrong, or pronounce it wrong, or don't even bother to learn it.  As far as we are...

Happy spring, everybody!

This week, we're going to dive right into a record type that, over the past year or so, has become one of my favorites.  It's not a glamorous record and doesn't contain a huge amount of information per ancestor, but it does a job that almost no...

After another unplanned extended break - the vast majority of my time is spent chasing a tiny child with the frame of a linebacker and the speed of a running back around the house (on the plus side, my legs and arms look great) - we're starting another new series on th...

In the past, I've made a big deal about the dangers of making assumptions in genealogical research.  Quick refresher: there are three types of assumptions.  There are fundamental assumptions, which are the things that -- according to the basic laws of physics and biolo...

That's right, I've decided to go full clickbait style for this blog post because the baby has learned to walk (read: toddle drunkenly towards anything dangerous) and most of my energy is currently devoted to keeping him from cracking his skull wide open.  

Whe...

We all have family stories that have been passed down over the years, and these stories come in a variety of flavors.  They can be short little snippets, or long, sweeping epics.  They can be presented as a form of absolute truth that defines your family's existence ov...

There's a saying: "Genealogy without records is mythology."  It's blunt and maybe it sounds a little smug, but it's true.  Truth, or at least as close as one can get to it in this context, is based on evidence.  We believe in what the documents tell us.  Of course, thi...

The title of this week's post comes from a quote from a 1982 Frank and Ernest cartoon: "Sure, [Fred Astaire] was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything hedid... backwards and in high heels."

The genealogy version of this statement would be a little di...

Once upon a time I had a website and a blog, and I was, at the very least, decent at updating every so often.  Then I had a baby (or, as we genealogists would refer to him, "a descendent") and everything about my schedule went straight to hell in a blender set to "puré...

“Organization is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.” – A.A. Milne

There are times in life when I say, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  Not many, but a few.  This, you will find, is one of them.  It’s not out of any misplaced...

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