NARA’s History Hub

Posted by on Aug 31, 2018 in Genealogy Education, Military research, NARA, Useful Tips | 0 comments

Have you used the History Hub at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)? Who better to ask about NARA Records than NARA itself! The History Hub is a place on the web where you can visit and ask questions in different communities at NARA. Do you have a question about finding military records or want to learn more about a topic? Then one of the related communities might be a place to look for information that has been posted, or post a question of your own. To view content and ask questions, you will need to register for a...

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Interview with Historian and Author Alexander F. Barnes

Posted by on Jul 28, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Recently, I had a chance to ask WWI Historian Alexander F. Barnes about his latest book, “Forgotten Soldiers of World War I: America’s Immigrant Doughboys” written with Peter Belmonte. In it, he discusses the impact our immigrant ancestors made by fighting in WWI.   1) What inspired you to write this book?   In 2014 I wrote a book called “To Hell with the Kaiser: America Prepares for War 1916-1918” in which I described how the American Army was organized, trained, and deployed to fight in France. I spent a lot of time...

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Have you checked out TimeMapper?

Posted by on Jul 2, 2018 in Genealogy Education, Useful Tips | 0 comments

Recently, one of the people I follow on Twitter mentioned using TimeMapper to create timelines with maps. If you have attended one of my lectures, or read my books, you will know how important it is to build timelines. Maps are also vital to understanding our ancestors. So imagine how exciting it would be to combine timelines and maps together. TimeMapper is a is free, open-source tool that is a product of the Open Knowledge Foundation Labs. TimeMapper. can be found here. On the main TimeMapper page there is a 1 minute tutorial to show you...

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3 Ways to Find WWI Officer Experience Reports on Fold3

Posted by on Jun 24, 2018 in Military research, Useful Tips, WWI | 0 comments

This week I have been working with an interesting record set, the WWI Officer Experience Reports-AEF on Fold3. These records are reports from officers about engineering activities in the AEF. Although there are names in these records, their usefulness goes beyond individual names because they hold information about the military organizations. The names are those of the officers filing the reports to the Chief Engineer of their Army, but the activities are those of the whole military organization to which they were attached. If you had a WWI...

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Are you a “Genealogy Detective” or a “Genealogy Engineer”?

Posted by on Jun 8, 2018 in Genealogy Education, Useful Tips | 0 comments

At a conference a while back, I noticed how many of the presenters were engineers. That got me thinking about how engineering skills help in genealogical research. Then I wondered if genealogists might be more like engineers than detectives. Usually, genealogists think of themselves as detectives. That makes sense as we interview people, dig through records, and scan for the smallest details of an ancestor’s life. We try to connect the dots and align different versions of an ancestor’s life to establish the truth. We use timelines....

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Genealogy at the Movies

Posted by on Jun 3, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There are many movies about families, and while they naturally put us in mind of genealogy, there are some movies where genealogists, or genealogy plays a major role. Recently, I watched “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. In that movie, James Bond posed as a genealogist to infiltrate the lair of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the head of SPECTRE. Blofield had been communicating with a London College of Arms’ genealogist Sir Hilary Bray in an attempt to establish his claim to the title of ‘Comte Balthazar de...

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“Who Do You Think You Are?” is back

Posted by on May 25, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Season 9 of “Who Do You Think You Are?” is here! The episodes are airing Monday night on TLC. Last Monday had two strong episodes with Jon Cryer and Laverne Cox. Discussions with genealogists and interpretation of DNA results were a part of both episodes. If you would like to stop by and comment during (or after) the episode you can stop by our Facebook page: A Week of Genealogy Facebook Page Full episodes from this season and Season 8 can be viewed online...

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Family History Outing: WWI at the Holland Land Office Museum

Posted by on May 6, 2018 in Family History Outing, Military research, WWI | 0 comments

In addition to the displays of Holland Land Office material, discussed in the Family History Outing: The Holland Land Office Museum blog post, there was another exhibit of interest to me. The HLOM has an exhibit “Over There to Over Here: 100 Years Later, Genesee County in the Great War,” which is featured on their website. The Museum is home to artifacts from the Great War. Soldiers’ equipment, uniforms and other WWI memorabilia are on display. There are artistically decorated helmets, and sheet music. Every item is clearly...

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Family History Outing: Holland Land Office Museum

Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Family History Outing, Genealogy Education | 0 comments

Although online research lets us visit places virtually whenever, wherever, and wearing our pajamas, there are definite benefits to traveling to visit museums, chat with experts and historians, and meet with local researchers. This Spring I had a chance to do all that (and more). Beginning in 1801, the Holland Land Company sold the land from the Holland Purchase, from its office in Batavia, NY. Agents opened offices in other areas of the purchased land. By 1840, all their land was sold. Much can be learned about the Holland Land Company in...

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New At FamilySearch

Posted by on Apr 15, 2018 in Genealogy Education, Useful Tips | 0 comments

Recently I attended the monthly meeting of the Anne Arundel Genealogical Society about “What’s New on FamilySearch” given by Michael Butterworth who is a Director at the Annapolis Family History Center. FamilySearch has new features and new mobile apps. When you sign in to, you see a personalized home page. This page includes links to suggested tasks and the recently viewed people in the FamilySearch Family Tree. There is also a to-do list for you to track your tasks. (if you do a search, then sign in, you...

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