Category Archives: Research-tips

Catalogs for Genealogists

I hardly remember the experience of using a card catalog—those clunky piece of furniture which were once an inescapable aspect of research. When I came of age, libraries were already phasing out physical card catalogs in favor of digital databases. I do have a small..

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Finding Irish Origins in Newspaper Archives

Those of us researching our Irish roots are always hoping to discover our family’s place of origin in Ireland. But even after searching diligently for every scrap of information possible in U.S. records, we are often left frustrated. Too many U.S. records simply list..

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Looking More Closely at DNA Shared Matches

We can use DNA as another source in our genealogical research toolbox to help discover family connections and break down brick walls. DNA evidence and traditional documentation, like vitals and census records, should be used to help prove relationships between two..

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Stories of People in Poverty: The Trail Continues

1864 Tewksbury Almshouse Intake Records #21827 and #21828 for Margaret Kellaher and John C. Kellaher.

I wrote about Margaret (Mulligan) Kelleher and her infant son John Cornelius Kelleher a few months ago in a previous Vita Brevis post. While I thought the trail had..

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The Elusive William Ashton of Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania

A painting by artist John Carwitham shows the Port of Philadelphia in 1752. Source: Hiddencityphila.org.

This past May, I taught a class on 18th century Pennsylvania and highlighted some documents I had discovered for my Pennsylvania ancestors. As I prepared for the..

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A New Tool for Interpreting Central and Eastern European Maps

Main interface for Maps of the Past

Recently, the Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History, part of the Polish Academy of Sciences, unveiled a new interactive map feature on their website: Mapy z Przeszłością (Maps of the Past). The online tool superimposes..

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Linking Parents and Children—Without the Help of Vital Records

Photograph of children from the author’s family tree. From top left: Amy Hart, Vivian Hart, Harriet Hart (center), Florence Hart, Mary-Elizabeth Hart. C. 1909, Westwood, New Jersey.

On November 2, 2022, my husband and I welcomed our first child: a son, named Jack..

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My Technological Nightmare

For many years, I have advocated backing up one’s work using an external hard drive. In fact, I have been using a portable external hard drive for years, purchasing a new one only when I needed more space—I have many of images of documents stored, relating both to my..

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Facebook’s Locational Genealogy Groups

Portion of the marriage certificate of Engelhardt Heene and Anna Theresia Czerwinski, which someone in Facebook’s German Genealogy Records Transcription Group transcribed and translated for the author.

Did you know that, at least as of 2021, there were more than..

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Genealogical Clusters

Genealogical clusters develop when offspring of families marry spouses who are related to them by blood, marriage, social position, or wealth—often continuing for generations of marriages.

I have written about clusters before , I often uncover them while researching..

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