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Lorraine I. Quillon

When Your World Crumbles

By Lorraine I. Quillon Many of my friends will be saddened to learn that I recently went through a divorce. It was a very painful experience and caused me an immense amount of shame and embarrassment. However, with time, I hope to be able to get over it. Before you panic and start worrying about my mental (and marital) state, may I hasten to add that this was a genealogical divorce. It was triggered by a realization that the woman I thought I had found to be my third great-grandmother was entirely... Read More →

Holly T. Hansen

PERSI and Its 8,000 Periodicals

By Holly T. Hansen What Is PERSI? The Periodical Source Index Commonly referred to as PERSI, the PERiodical Source Index is a comprehensive subject index to articles appearing in historical, genealogical, and ethnic publications. A periodical is a magazine, journal, or newsletter that is published weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, or annually. Simply, it is a published work that appears in a new edition on a regular schedule. You will be amazed at the amount of information gathered by small,... Read More →

James L. Tanner

Ask-the-Pros: Kinship Systems and Genealogy

By James L. Tanner Some of the online genealogy family tree programs accommodate different language naming patterns such as the difference between the pattern used in England and the pattern used in Spain, but few programs support the entry of kinship relationships. Because of this lack of support or even awareness of kinship relationships, there are likely a number of “brick wall” situations that are more apparent than real. For example, using the Choctaw language, if a record showed... Read More →

Kaleidoscope of My Mind

The Kaleidoscope of My Mind

By Lorraine I. Quillon It may be the weather (rainy and gray). It may be the fact that it is Monday morning. It may be the demands of multiple pleas for attention that has my brain flitting from one subject to the other as I try to get my mental bearings. Whatever the cause, I’m definitely scattered as I begin this day, just like the fragmented images we see in those old-time kaleidoscopes some of us used to play with as children. As a family historian, I hope I am not alone in this malady. When... Read More →

Heritage Collector

Navigating FamilySearch.org

By Holly T. Hansen FamilySearch.org is a robust website with many different aspects to help you with your research. Not only does it hold data on ancestors, it contains educational materials for your benefit. If you think of FamilySearch.org as a house with many rooms, it will help you move around a bit easier. Just think, each time you click on a main tab it takes you into a new room. With so many rooms, having a blue print of the whole house can be very helpful. I have used FamilySearch for years—nearly... Read More →

Family Interviews

Nine Tips for a Great Family History Interview

Tip One: Set the Stage Before an interview, you may want to ask the storyteller to gather important information such as the birth dates and places of their parents and siblings, dates and locations of places they lived, or the names of schools they have attended.  Old photos and documents can also help jog the storyteller’s memory. Tip Two: Do Some Homework Jot down what you know about the storyteller’s family – names of relatives, family structure, timeline and history – or items of special... Read More →

GrillingSteaks

Hungry?

By Lorraine Indermill Quillon Ever walk out of an eat-as-much-as-you-want buffet and then see a billboard advertisement for another restaurant? How enticing did you find that billboard? Did the sizzling steaks look as scrumptious as they did on your way to the restaurant you just left? Probably not. This reminds me of a lesson I learned the past couple of weeks. For many years, I have been taunted by the shortest of the “blades” on my family tree fan—my second great-grandmother, Elizabeth... Read More →

Tenacity

Tenacity vs. Pusillanimity

By Holly T. Hansen Over the years I have had many people ask me to help them or give them some ideas on how to break through a brick wall on their ancestral pedigree. Enthusiastically, I listen to their questions and then take a look at the problem. At this point, I begin to make a list of things that must be done in order to push forward. Brick walls exist for a reason! The easy stuff has already been done. Grandma or Aunt Marg, or whoever stopped working that line because they had exhausted all... Read More →

Francis L. Dye

Create and Use Genealogy Charts

Written by Holly T. Hansen As you are researching your family history, be sure you create charts. It helps you and others make sense of where you are going with your research. Family charts have been created by individuals, governments, and researchers for generations. LOOK FOR THEM!! Genealogical societies and associations collect them and make them available for you to research and make copies. They print them in their periodicals, or at least list indexes to them. On one of my research trips to... Read More →

Court Records

Learn to Use Court Records

Written by Holly T. Hansen There is a huge volume of court records in the United States that is valuable for genealogical research. Understanding how these records are organized and where they can be found is critical to using them in your research. The government of the United States was created by the joining together of a group of sovereign states for economic cooperation and common defense against their enemies. The Federal Constitution reserves to this central government exclusive requirements... Read More →