Oct
29
2010
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Where Can I Find Someone’s Date of Death for Free?

zachary taylor find free death date nkcrIf you need to know a person’s date of death, there are some incredibly deep resources on the internet where you can find the information for free. For relatively recent deaths (since about 1960) in the United States, search for the person’s name at the Social Security Death Index.  SSDI contains not only dates of [more...]

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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...]

Mar
29
2010
1

Could I be a descendent of Charlemagne?

charlemagneYou could indeed be a descendent of Charlemagne, but if so, then probably so is everyone else you know (but you don't have to tell them). Charlemagne was crowned on Christmas Day in the year 800, which endears him to people who have trouble remembering dates. He married Hildegard in 772, and they had at [more...]

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Feb
17
2010
6

Where did Johnny Cash's Scottish ancestors come from?

Easter Cash, Fife, Scotland: Did Johnny Cash's ancestors live near here? (Photo by Iain Gillespie, CC-BY)In the 1670s a young Scotsman called William Cash sailed to the New World and set up home in Virginia.  Nine generations later his direct descendant, country music star Johnny Cash, wanted to explore his ancestry. He crossed the Atlantic in the other direction, to visit the part of Fife once known as the “lands [more...]

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Nov
01
2009
2

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...]

May
08
2009
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What was Einstein’s telephone number?

Albert Einstein (photo PD source Wikipedia)In 1930, Albert Einstein, the famous theoretical physicist, was dividing his time between living in Berlin in a five-storey house at Schöneberg, Haberlandstrasse, 5, then located near Berlin’s zoological garden, and his summer house at Caputh to the south of Berlin. The 1930 Berlin telephone directory lists him as: Einstein Albert Prof. Dr. Univ. -Prof., [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...]

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