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Puzzles and Panoramas

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

One of the most common analogies for what genealogists do involves jigsaw puzzles. We say that we find the pieces and carefully fit them together to prove facts about people’s lives and the relationships between ancestors. Sometimes we even throw in the nasty little fact that the pieces that we find might not all belong […]

Oh My! Oh Maya!

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Once again the world has failed to end on schedule. Now I guess I’d better write a blog post. I love calendars, I’m not equally fond of the end of the world. I love using calendar peculiarities to solve genealogical problems, I don’t like the thought of my data being engulfed by a sea of […]

Memorial Day

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Memorial Day has just come and gone. I took my kids for a bike ride to the nearby cemetery. There, four of their great-grandparents, one great-great-grandparent and several of their great aunts and uncles lie buried. The main family plot is easy enough for me to find but one of my uncles is buried elsewhere […]

That Flash of Recognition

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I suppose everyone has had the experience of learning something new and suddenly that little fact seems to pop up everywhere. That experience has just happened to me again, so I’ve been inspired to write about it. A few posts back I wrote about This Republic of Suffering, about death and dying in mid-nineteenth century […]

Grave Portents

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

It’s been said many times in genealogical circles that it is important to keep track of who an ancestor’s associates were. You never know when they will lead you to or even be previously unknown relatives. There are many places to find your ancestors’ associates. The one I’m thinking about at the moment is the […]

Shredding Documents, Part 3

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

My first reason to “shred” documents (that is to look closely at each statement a source makes) was that it forces you to be aware of the details. The second reason to shred documents was to allow you to get a sense of the truthfulness of each statement on its own merit. The third reason […]

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