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War Diary

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

We got an email from Germany this week. It said that after 2 1/2 years of work, they had finished the graphic novel that contains part of my children’s great-grandfather’s diary from WWI. The goal is to interest young people in their history, something that we as family historians deal with often. It tells the […]

Washing Hogs

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

I didn’t start out to write a two part post but this post has become part 2 of last weeks about the nonfiction contract. What inspired this post, and last week’s as well, are a couple of recent run-ins with some nineteenth century “nonfiction.” Clearly standards were different over one hundred years ago and the […]

The Nonfiction Contract

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

We research our ancestors to learn the facts about them, about their lives, their times, the places they lived, their occupations, and travels. The list, as they say, goes on. First we gather documents that are clearly relevant. Then we gather documents that are more subtly related to our ancestors. Though we may never finish […]

Travel

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

It is a long weekend in the U.S. The one that traditionally starts the summer. For many it is a weekend for getting into the car and driving, sometimes down expressways, sometimes down smaller, winding roads. As a child one of the things that fascinated me about driving vacations was how once one returned to […]

Records Evolve

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Records evolve. Some records are created to preserve specific information. These certainly change over time. Go far enough back in time and death records might not give the cause of death, something you expect to see today. Other records are created to gather statistics. These, it seems, evolve much faster. If one simply wants to […]

Not Quite Gone

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

I found a reference to a man, Anders, that I was researching. It was a reference to his drowning. I checked the death registers for the date that was given and sure enough, he was listed. So were two other men. There was a note squeezed into the margin. It was hard to read but […]

I is for Identity

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Identity must be one of the most fascinating facets of genealogy. Isak and Ovra where recorded twice as parents. Those were the names that were written into the birth registers. When one of their sons died the information about his parents matched Isak and Ovra with one exception, their names. Ignatz and Charlotte were the […]

Pushing the Limits

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

There is something special about those times when records don’t simply stop but fade. Times long enough ago that identity was seen differently. A man is not known by two names but by one name and the place where he lived. When his child was born, all that was recorded was the date, his given […]

Near Enough

Monday, April 14th, 2014

David J. Hand, the author of the book The Improbability Principle has a list of items that go into his principle- The Law of Inevitability The Law of Truly Large Numbers The Law of Selection The Law of the Probability Lever The Law of Near Enough In the book he describes events that seem like […]

Top Ten

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

In light of David Letterman’s impending retirement, here are the- Top ten reasons to give up genealogy 10 Tired of the search result “Buy Ichabod Whittleby products on Amazon.com!” 9 Thought people were kidding about the 1890 census. 8 Upset by DNA match to Justin Bieber. 7 Discovered that someone has copied your idea to […]

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