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           April, 2007

      Carol Sanderson, Editor
      Charles Hansen, Advisor

      Newsletter Archives   |  E-mail                    

  Genealogy Research Tips
— Charles Hansen

        Last month I wrote about not trusting indexes which was tip number eight in the booklet I received for renewing my subscription to Internet Genealogy Magazine named:  101 Best Genealogy Tips. Today, I will write about four more tips, number 12, Trade Places, number 13, Sign Up for Newsletters, number 15, Join a Historical Society and number 16, Volunteer, but not in the order they are in the booklet.

        Join a Historical Society tells about historians being kissing cousins to genealogists as they may be researching in the same area or people in whom you are interested. I was rather surprised in that of all the 101 tips there is none on joining a genealogical society or societies. That is one way to find people with the same interests you have, and maybe researching where you research. Both Historical Societies and Genealogical Societies have seminars where you can learn how and where to research, so joining both have many benefits.

        A tip on breaking your brick wall is Trade Places. Find someone to check your research, maybe at your local genealogical society (good thing you joined), or at the genealogical society where your ancestor lived. Another person looking may have some clues, or someone where your ancestors lived who may know sources of which you never thought. Our genealogical society does a sign up for researchers every few years where they have a sign up sheet for each state and most foreign countries, You list the surnames, counties, or parishes where your family lived and then you can get together with others researching in the same area. My great, great grandfather lived near Ursa, Illinois and I found another person who had family in the same area. We are not related, but in a town with a church and a few houses, it is very unusual to find someone with family from Ursa also.

        Sign Up for Newsletters. When I was first on-line I would read the weekly newsletter on the Prodigy Bulletin Board, and collected all of them. I later found out I was related to the author, and so we have been close ever since then. Today my favorite newsletter is from Dick Eastman. He writes a weekly newsletter that is free. There is a subscription one also. Ancestry has a weekly newsletter and Rootsweb Review is also a good newsletter. I also like the newsletters from the local genealogical society and the several surname societies to which I subscribe. Do you have a favorite newsletter? Post a note about it on the bulletin board, maybe others will like it also.

        The last one is Volunteer. It is hard to believe but you will always get more out of volunteering than you put into it. Doing research for others makes you a much better researcher, while indexing helps not only you, but also everyone else who uses your index. Writing articles for newsletters benefits you, while everyone can learn from your experiences. In February, I wrote articles for four newsletters and all the editors were happy to have the articles. Have you written an article for any newsletter or magazine? What do you do that might interest other genealogists? Newsletter editors are always looking for articles.

  Myths vs. Facts
— Carol Sanderson

        The other day I read an article that made me think that I should write about this. The author was trying to pin down some family tales to determine if they were true tales or just myths. I think every family has some of these; I know mine did.

        When I was a youngster, my grandmother told me about a great uncle who had been researching the family lines. Among some of the things she told me was that we were related to one of our presidents. That tale persisted in the back of my mind for years. I guess my brother had heard her story too. I say this because at one point, I remember his son remarking about it and then saying he was going to the library looking for more information.

        I had questioned my grandmother further about this and got the story of three brothers immigrating to America and then going their separate ways, to found three separate lines of the family. Eventually, I was hooked by genealogy and started to research my line. There was no way I could get back to this president. I took a course at the beginning of my search and one of the things the teacher told us was the "myth" of the three or more brothers.

        My searching on my line and the story led me to find the genealogy done on this president. There was no way my family was related to him in this country. If there is a relationship, it is across the sea and then probably not as my immigrant ancestor left not much to go on in looking for his line in Scotland. It makes a good story but is not one that we can prove.

        If you have such stories, I urge you to check them out thoroughly. They may be true but they may also be just a figment of someone's imagination.

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