Wednesday, November 21, 2018

What Day Was That?

Have you ever wondered on what day of the week your great-grandmother was born?  Or have you wondered whether someone famous was born on the same date as your father?  An excellent perpetual calendar resource on the Web can be found at's 10,000 year calendar Web site at  Here you can select a century, a year and a month and click to display a calendar.  Then, click on the day of the month if you want to learn the moon phase, historical events on that date, the names of famous people born on that date, and much more information.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Online Library Reference Resources

Some libraries also have made their reference sheets about their collections, sometimes referred to as "pathfinders," available on the Internet. Others may have produced one or more brochures, such as the one for the Allen County Public Library's impressive Genealogy Center (see brochure here) to highlight their collection. Other libraries may simply provide an informative webpage such as the one for the Florida History and Genealogy Library's collection at the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library.

Archives like the US Library of Congress showcase special collections as individual components of their website. Others, like the National Archives and Records Administration (a unit of the US federal government) provide an entire Resources for Genealogists webpage to help you use their vast collections. And FamilySearch, the venerable Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Salt Lake City provides its helpful online resources in the form of the FamilySearch Research Wiki with more than 88,000 articles as of this writing.

All of these may include instructions for locating materials in the collection, bibliographies by document type, online images, special collections, and aids for items that may not have been added to the electronic catalog.

These informative resources be conveniently accessed on the Internet from your home computer 24/7. They also can help you learn in advance of a research visit what materials they hold in their collections so that you can prepare yourself for a more effective research trip. When visiting public and academic libraries' and archives' Web sites, don't forget to check on the availability of online, electronic materials.

Take some time to learn how to effectively use the facility's online catalog. And don't be shy about contacting and asking questions of the reference librarians.

Royalty free mage from Pik Wizard.

Monday, November 19, 2018

MyHeritage DNA Black Friday Offer!


As we head into the holiday season, I am excited to let you know about our amazing Black Friday offer.
Enjoy the lowest price EVER on MyHeritage DNA — ONLY $49! 
This is the perfect opportunity to share this offer with your family and friends, who can discover their ethnic origins and find new relatives. Buy as many kits as you want for ONLY US $49 each! They make truly unique holiday gifts.
USA: Enjoy free shipping on all orders with promo code: FREE18.
Non-USA: Enjoy free shipping on orders of 2+ DNA kits.
MyHeritage DNA kits make the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Hurry up and order now before the sale ends!
Happy holidays!
Daniel Horowitz
Genealogy Expert
MyHeritage Logo Eurovision

Thursday, November 15, 2018

MyHeritage LIVE in Oslo - Recap and Address by Gilad Japhet, CEO

MyHeritage held its first user conference in Oslo, Norway, the first weekend of November 2018. Every report stated that it was an outstanding success.

MyHeritage Founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet, kicked off the conference with an inspiring and emotional keynote address which is available to watch online. You will definitely want to listen to Gilad's announcements of the exciting things coming to MyHeritage in the way of new records, new technology, and great expansions in the MyHeritageDNA arena.

You will also enjoy the recap of the conference described in the company's blog at MyHeritage Blog


New from MyHeritage: Shared Ancestral Place

The news about DNA research, its expanding capabilities for genealogy, and the offerings from the DNA test providers continues to be exciting.

We received an announcement from Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage about a new feature for their DNA users — the display of Shared Ancestral Places for DNA Matches. MyHeritage now shows you towns, countries and U.S. states where birth or death events of ancestors took place that appear in your family tree and that you have in common with your DNA Matches. This feature makes their DNA Matching even more useful by helping pinpoint how you and your DNA Matches could be related.

You can read all the details about this exciting new facility in the MyHeritage blog at

The Shared Ancestral Places screen at MyHeritage.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Use Google Maps to See Your Family Homes

As you'll have heard announced on The Genealogy Guys Podcast Episode #351, George is now writing for The In-Depth Genealogist magazine. In addition, he is joining with other of their writers as a contributor to their free blog at

The blog post of 8 November 2018 at was written by George and details one of his favorite things to do: use addresses found in census returns, return addresses on envelopes, and addresses on all sorts of mail sent to and from family members - and then look for the property on Google Maps.

We thought we'd share this blog post and also alert you to blog posts by the excellent writers for The In-Depth Genealogist. You can subscribe to this and other blogs using blog readers such as Feedly ( and have the articles routed right to you!

Don't forget that our podcast listeners can a $10 discount on a subscription to The In-Depth Genealogist magazine (http://theindepthgenealogist.comusing the coupon code GUYS+IDGmag at

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Record Dates and Places Consistently

It is important to record dates in your research in a consistent manner, whether on paper or in your genealogy database program. The accepted standard among genealogists is to use the European method of indicating Day Month Year. For example, my mother's birthdate of July 10, 1911, would be recorded as 11 July 1911. 

Sometimes the dates you are recording are only approximate and you want to indicate that they are not exact.  You might specify an approximate date as either 'about' (recorded as abt) or 'circa' (recorded as Ca. or ca.) or 'before' (recorded as bef) or after (recorded as aft).  

It is better to be approximate in this manner if you are not certain instead of indicating a specific date. It is also helpful to indicates in the fact notes for the event in your database what it is in the evidence you have examined or why you have indicated other than an exact date.

When you have no proof of a date, it is better to leave the date blank and add a note in your database fact notes if appropriate. This can remind you the next time you research on that person what evidence you have (or have not) examined and what your thought processes were at that time.

Place names should always be entered as they were at the time of the event. Boundaries and geopolitical jurisdictions changed over time. By doing so you will always be prompted to search for additional records from the same time period in the right place. Use histories and historical maps to help understand who was in control at the time. Here are some examples.

  • John McKnitt Alexander was born 6 June 1733 in a specific place in New Munster in Cecil County Maryland. Since this pre-dated the American Revolution, Maryland was an English colony. You would record the place as:
New Munster, Cecil County, Maryland, British Colonial America
He died on 10 April 1917 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. This was now a part of the United States. You could record the place as:
 Mecklenburg County, North Carolina   or
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, United States of American   or
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA 

  • Thomas Beswick Sissons was born in Yorkshire, England, on 25 August 1880 and died on 22 June 1942 in New Zealand. In my RootsMagic genealogy database, I reflect a number of events/facts with dates and locations as precisely as I can so that I will be able to home in on them again as needed. (Source citations help me find the location of the actual evidence I examined and I may also have acquired an image (media) of the evidence.) Here is a portion of my database screen.
Record for Thomas Beswick Sissons from the
 author's RootsMagic database.
These entries may also have fact notes explaining my analysis, hypotheses, and conclusions.
One of my Morgan ancestors purchased a piece of property in what was Orange County, North Carolina, in 1755, and part of the property still remains in the family. Over the years, counties were formed and boundaries changed. For example:
Orange County NC was created out of parts of Bladen, Granville, and Johnston counties in 1752.
Caswell County was formed from Orange County on 8 April 1777.
Person County, formed from Caswell County in 1791 and effective 1 February 1792.
A second cousin owns a portion of the original land parcel, and it now lies in Person County. In the course of my research, I researched land, tax, and probate records for my ancestral line in Orange County, then Caswell County, and finally in Person County. The jurisdictional changes also caused me to look for marriage records and other documents for many family members in those other counties. By recording each event with the county name/jurisdiction, I have been able to return in my research again and again to the right county courthouse. I've also been able to share information with other researchers and direct them to the right place.

An excellent reference source for exact county formation and boundary change dates in addition to historical maps is the FamilySearch Research Wiki at Be sure to use this great resource in your research!