All posts by Sheilagh Doerfler

My family is Scandinavian . . . now what?!

1866 parish register of marriages, Lavik, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway, viewed at

In the years after the American Civil War, an influx of immigrants from Scandinavia settled in the United States. Pushed from their homelands by famine, overpopulation, and..

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The most tedious records of them all . . .

1770 Exeter tax roll showing Elizabeth Gorden, from FamilySearch.

Reading town records can be daunting. They are often the very last set of records that we consult in our research. Town records are often out of order, difficult to read, and contain pages upon pages..

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Uses for Civil War regimental histories

The Battle of Winchester

Regimental histories can provide a lot of information regarding our Civil War ancestors, and are often overlooked in research. Compiled by many Civil War veterans in the years after the war, these histories can provide new insight into their..

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Putting your best foot forward

Image source:

It is difficult to imagine leaving everything you have ever known behind. Yet millions of our..

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"My ancestor was born ... where?!"

Detail, view of Saint Helena. Images courtesy of

One must always expect surprises when researching family history, because you just never know what you might uncover.

When researching my paternal ancestors, I discovered that our family had ties to one..

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“Beginning at a stake and stones…”

According to John Emory Morris’ Stephen Lincoln of Oakham, Massachusetts, His Ancestors and Descendants (1895), Stephen Lincoln first built a home in Oakham, Worcester County, Massachusetts, in 1784. As late as 1895, this house stood on the road leading from Rutland..

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