Today’s Genealogy Tip—Only the census records from 1850 to the present have the names of everyone in the household available. From 1790 to 1840, only the heads of household were listed. You can still get a good idea of who was living in the household on these early census records, though, because they list how many males and females within certain age ranges were living there. You can sometimes identify an ancestor from that information alone!
Today’s Genealogy Tip—The census is your friend. Most people really start making new discoveries about their families in the census. Don’t just look for your relatives in obvious places, either. Look for them in surrounding towns, with other relatives, and even in orphanages and boarding houses. You never know what you’ll find in the census that will deepen the story of your family and lead you to new generations you have yet to discover.
Today’s Genealogy Tip—Don’t forget to check any memorial parks in the towns in which your ancestors lived. These aren’t cemeteries, but places where statues, plaques, and bricks are placed to commemorate certain people, events, and landmarks. Your ancestor may be honored in one of these places and seeing the memorial may give you more personal information on him or her that you didn’t have before.
Today’s Genealogy Tip—Genealogy can make a great Christmas gift, and help others in the family appreciate their heritage. Scrapbooks, old family recipe books, printed and framed family tree charts, memberships to genealogy websites or organizations, and framed photos of long gone ancestors are all perfect presents to place under the tree for your loved ones.
Today’s Genealogy Tip—Don’t forget to keep your genealogy research organized! For those of you with regular access to a computer, a good family tree program is all you need. Family Tree Maker is highly recommended. If you don’t have a computer or prefer to not use one, then invest in some pre-printed family tree chart…s and family group sheets to keep everything organized and easily accessed.
Today’s Genealogy Tip—Newspaper records are an excellent source of genealogical infomation, and can help fill in gaps in the family tree when no other records exist. You can find lots of old newspaper records online going back to the 1700s. Just type in your ancestor’s name to see if he or she shows up. GenealogyBank.com has a particularly good set of searchable old newspaper records available.
Today’s Genealogy Tip—Don’t neglect your local courthouse (or the courthouse where your ancestors lived). Some contain vital records, wills, probate, and court case files going back two centuries or more. Some only contain recent information. But you never know what you might find out about your ancestors if you don’t check!
Today’s Genealogy Tip—Don’t forget to check with your local historical society for information on your family. You may be surprised at what you’ll find in their article repositories. Because most of these repositories are so little used, you may come across a gem that no genealogist has discovered before!
Today’s Genealogy Tip—Use land records. Available at the county level, land records show you where your ancestor lived, when he lived there, when he bought or sold land, and who he bought from or sold to. This information can help you establish important relationships between people. However, if your ancestor bought land from the federal government or filed a homestead claim, these records will be held at the National Records Administration.