Aug
12
2010
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How rich was my ancestor?

photograph of oscar wildeIf you are researching your family history and in particular your English and Welsh ancestors, then a useful new resource is now available online: the England and Wales National Probate Calendars for the 19th and 20th centuries. These Calendars were previously only available for inspection by making a personal visit to a Probate Registry in [more...]

Jun
24
2010
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What are County Land Ownership Maps?

land ownership map Knox County IllinoisLand ownership maps are an important resource for researching your ancestors in the United States. The most useful ones for researching your family history were created between 1860 and 1918 when America was being opened up to settlers and the railroads. As the name suggests, the majority of maps were drawn up to show land [more...]

Nov
01
2009
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How Can I Get Free Ancestry.com Records?

Your Ancestors Knew How To Have a Good Time (Flickr Commons nkcr)subprime mortgage lenders Ancestry.com is the 600-pound gorilla in the family history field… it simply can't be ignored, and is, in fact, the richest, deepest source of genealogical information available online. It also costs money! In the neighborhood of $150 for an annual subscription for US ancestor research, and close to $300 for full access [more...]

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Oct
04
2009
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How Can I Find Any Musicians in My Family History?

Musicians at a square dance, ca 1939 (Flickr Commons nckr)You got your musical chops somewhere. But in which branch of the great family tree of your ancestors did the musical talent first make itself known? There are a number of very good sources for searching back several generations or more to find musically talented folk who were part of your family’s heritage.   The [more...]

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Aug
04
2009
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Was My Ancestor a Medieval Knight?

A medieval knight, and perhaps your great, great (etc) grandfather (PD photo)Anyone can research their ancestors going back a generation or two.  Just ask grandma! But how about going back, say, six or seven centuries.  A new genealogical database will let you do just that, particularly if your family has roots in England, and even more particularly, if one of your ancestors was a medieval soldier. A [more...]

Mar
21
2009
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Do I have ancestors with a criminal record?

Statue of Justice above the Old Bailey (photo by Rachel Scott Halls CC-BY)Family history researchers must be always ready to be shocked when they find a ‘skeleton in the cupboard’ while researching their family tree. Thieves, arsonists, bigamists and even murderers can be revealed. In the UK, types of records relating to their criminal past can be many and varied, and found in many different archives including [more...]

Mar
11
2009
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Will I be able to hide my past?

Today’s news, tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper. (photo by James Cridland CC-BYThere are a few of us who have made mistakes in our life and have seen ourselves appear in newspapers. Perhaps for court appearance, a criminal conviction, or a scandal involving our private life. Until a few years ago it was possible to go on with your life knowing that after 20 or 30 years [more...]

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