It’s sweeping the nation and garnishing lots of news! How can you use A. I. to make your family history better? I used Storied’s story writing platform which uses A. I. to generate stories and it was pretty fun! I’m not a good storywriter and this really helped me.
Check out this video about the process and the platform called Storied. They also have a cool way to share those stories with your family. Worth a look.
U.S. National DNA Day was April 25th. Have you caught the bug to do a DNA test? Boy, those tests are selling like hotcakes! Whether you’re trying to find birth parents, other ancestors, or determine your ethnicity, DNA tests can assist you tremendously.
What test should you take? If you are trying to find matches to find parents or other relations, I would suggest Ancestry.com. They have the largest database and the more folks in it, the better your chances to have matches that assist you in your objectives. If you are of Jewish heritage, I would recommend MyHeritage.com. They are based in Israel and will identify if your heritage is Ashkenazim (German or central European) or Sephardim (Spanish, Portuguese or North African base).
If you are not sure how to take a DNA test click here. If you’ve taken a test and want to know what those results mean on Ancestry.com click here.
If you are interested in taking a Y-DNA or mtDNA test go to FamilyTreeDNA.com. If you don’t know what a Y-DNA test or mtDNA test is, check out this video:
It’s tough… it is. You’re not alone if you’re frustrated. When you are trying to find the parents or the origins of someone in 1830 or 1780, you need to approach your research differently than you do after 1850. Since the U.S. Census only started recording the names of all members of the household in 1850, researching prior to that is difficult for many. This type of research makes up the bulk of my client projects. You’ll find some videos below that will make a HUGE difference. You can do it!
Learn my initial steps when approaching a project pre-1850.
In my experience, deeds are probably the MOST overlooked record set.
Probate records involve more than just wills, what can they provide for you?
And finally newspapers. Often a newspaper will be the only death record you can find.
Census records are GOLD in genealogy research! Not only do they put someone in a particular place and time, they provide ages, places of birth AND best of all, the names of other family relations! But their value doesn’t stop there. They can tell you if your ancestor owned property, owned a radio, served in the military, and the list goes on and on!
It’s a good practice to find your ancestor in all applicable census records, but sometimes, they are elusive. At Rootstech I visited with Mike Mansfield of MyHeritage. His vast experience in record collections, and the issues the companies have in indexing them, provided a lot of valuable tips for searching for your ancestors in census records.
If you haven’t yet, you need to search for your family in the 1950 U.S. Census! The records were indexed in record time by the big genealogy companies, but if you’re still having trouble, check out this video for help.
Finally, if you want to know what questions were asked in the various U.S. Censuses, this may help.
Are you interested in taking a DNA test? Have you done so but looking for more information? My latest video discusses the various DNA test options one has for genealogy research and details Y-DNA tests. Or visit my DNA playlist for other videos that may help (Click HERE).
In most cases thus far, I’ve been able to find family and friend’s family in 5-15 minutes. Where did your family live? Who was living with them? The first video outlines the methods of finding them and the second video, releasing Thursday at noon, answers questions about navigating between pages and some of the new responses to the census questions. Check them out and find your family!!
*Notes added are my opinions – I am not “sponsored” by anyone.
MyHeritage is giving you free advanced DNA tools when you upload your DNA (which is free). They are also offering 50% off their complete subscription plan and DNA kits are on sale.
FamilyTreeDNA is offering a lot of discounts on their various DNA tests. They also allow you to upload your DNA for free.
American Ancestors – Society with a number of early American records – $25 off.
Geni – world family tree with sources – half off.
National Genealogical Society – very worthwhile membership – $10 off membership.
My favorite new innovator – TrackUBack.com – REALLY cool tree visualization, added historical facts and wonderful maps (and map layering capabilities) for your ancestors – Free Version or $63 a year for all the bells and whistles.
My second favorite new innovator – TheGenealogist.co.uk – Cool map capabilities with layering historical maps. They appear to be also a good resource for records in the United Kingdom, but I haven’t checked that out yet. Discount being offered for Diamond Subscription.
I’m often asked what websites and books I use most for my professional research. Below is a video outlining my favorite family history websites which is premiering Tuesday 7am (pacific). The next video is about my favorite genealogy books and available now.
Here are links to the books from the video on Favorite Genealogy Books (the links below are through my Amazon affiliate account where I receive a small commission, but there is no additional cost to you).
These missed the show, but I just ordered them – one on land grants, land grants and deeds are essential for genealogy research, the other on tax lists, another frequently overlooked resource for difficult genealogy problems.