Sep 2021

Philadelphia Congregations Early Records Project

Led by the Christ Church Preservation Trust with a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and funding by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, “Digitizing the Records of Philadelphia’s Historic Congregations: Providing Documentation for the Political, Social and Cultural Developments in Philadelphia” is exactly what it says. Well, okay, it could bear […]
Sep 2021

YouTube as Contextualization Tool

I don’t think I need to tell anyone what YouTube is or how it works. I may not even need to say how useful it can be in building your genealogical knowledge base. But just in case I do, I’ll quickly point out that YouTube channels host tons of educational videos for organizations like FamilySearch […]
Aug 2021

Subtitles from the NGSQ “Genealogical Gleanings” Series

In last month’s issue, I wrote about the NGSQ online index, its limitations, and how best to use it. Among the examples of searches I discussed was author Peter Wilson Coldham and his 52 installments of the “Genealogical Gleanings in England” series published in NGSQ between 1971 and 1993. I also mentioned that this massive […]
Jul 2021

Gold-Rush Wagon Trains

“Two events occurred in 1848 that forever changed the course of American history and the lives of tens of thousands of American families:” wrote Myrtle Stevens Hyde in NGSQ in 1988. “[T]he United States wrested California from its Spanish owners; and word leaked out that gold had been discovered there on the farm of John […]
Jul 2021

Using the NGSQ Online Index

When NGS rebuilt its website a few years ago, we lost the functionality of the online index to NGSQ. It was a difficult blow, but it’s part of the reality of non-profit organizations with limited resources when advancing technology leaves outdated technology behind. Now, thanks to NGS board member, Ronald V. Hodges, PhD, and the […]
Jun 2021

Unpacking Real Estate Abstracts

As more and more newspapers are being digitized and made broadly available, it’s worthwhile to pay attention to some of their more mundane sections. Take, for example, real estate notices: brief abstracts of public real estate transactions, including transfers or conveyances and mortgages. These abstracts often name the grantee(s) and grantor(s), locate the land, and […]
Jun 2021

Same Event; Different Stories

In this month’s first feature article, we discovered a fair amount about Luke Magee and his family. We even began to discover a bit about Luke’s son-in-law, Adolph Cooning, including the fact that more records than not call him Adolph Cooney. We could see that Adolph headed a household in 1892 that included his wife, […]
May 2021

War Department Errors Etched in Stone

The white stones of Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, as in other national cemeteries, are beautiful in their simplicity. Their uniformity and alignment form mesmerizing geometric patterns, just as the assembled soldiers they represent once did. The sheer volume is sobering. Whether you’re prepared for it or not, silence falls on you, along with […]
Apr 2021

Federal Census Indexing Woes and Cures

We’re fortunate in the 21st century to have various forms of genealogical help groups online, most accommodating a broad range of experience and skill levels. Facebook hosts a number of those groups, like some of my favorites: New York City Genealogy, Descendants of New Amsterdam Founders, and AAHGS NY – Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. […]
Apr 2021

Genealogical Puzzle Solved: City Directories

In last month’s issue, I presented a puzzle involving a city directory.[1] It was particularly tough. I won’t pretend otherwise. To put it in New York Times crossword terms, it was definitely a Saturday puzzle, the toughest of the week. If you missed it or forgot some of the details, take a minute to revisit […]