Author Archive

28 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.
30 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:
30 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
30 Mar 2021

Filling the Inside Straight

Meet the Wallings. This early American family, migrating from one colony to another, left tracks so few and far between that only an approach from both directions sufficed to “fill the inside straight” and reconstruct the family
30 Mar 2021

Genealogical Puzzle: City Directories

Who was William Brown (abt. 1763–1827) of New York City? Given information: William Brown married 27 February 1785 at Trinity Church, New York City, Mary Ball.[1] Their children were William, Richard, John, Benjamin Moore, Samuel Provost, Nathaniel
28 Feb 2021

From Enslavement to National Leader
: Richard Allen (1760–1831)

Relatively few people have ever heard of Richard Allen, including myself until I stumbled across part of his story while conducting research in Philadelphia in 2008. The more I found out about him, the more I was
28 Feb 2021

The Other Side of DNA Testing

“You see all these ads, so much marketing from the DNA industry, showing that this is a happy, joyous occasion when your results come in, but there’s this other side,” said investigative journalist Samuel Burke in a
31 Jan 2021

Assess Thyself

Most of us who have worked in the business world are pretty familiar with self-assessments. They’re generally the first step in an annual performance review with your manager that directly impacts your compensation and position or title
29 Jan 2021

Highlights from the 2021 Family History Conference Program

The Family History Conference this year marks the first conference since the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) merged with NGS, and the slate of events for the conference reflects the combined organization’s purposes. See this month’s first
31 Dec 2020

Alternatives to Onsite Research

If there’s one thing we’ve learned this year, it’s that there are actual, functional alternatives to the normal way of doing things. Libraries and archives are some of our favorite (and most useful) resources, but most have