Jan 2018

Dutch Naming Systems in Early America

Among the NGSQ Archives are countless articles on sound genealogical research methodology. Some of those articles are so well-written and useful that they have become must-use resources for genealogists ever since. One such timeless contribution comes from NGS Hall-of-Famer Rosalie Fellows Bailey (elected in 2010). In 1953, she published the two-part article, “Dutch Systems in […]
Dec 2017

Four Ways to Give Back to the Genealogical Community

  Giving back is critical for a community such as ours, one that is uniquely self-supporting and depends whole-heartedly on the kindness of strangers. The financial burden that societies bear to digitize records, create indexes, and educate our ranks is impossible to meet without each of us volunteering time and donating money. Here are just […]
Nov 2017

Georgia Passports Illuminate Migrations

Many very early nineteenth-century travelers to the territories that would become the Gulf states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana migrated there from the Southeastern states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. If your ancestor is among this group, you know how hard it can be to unwind that migration westward and determine their […]
Nov 2017

Evaluating Court Testimonies as Genealogical Evidence

The Genealogical Proof Standard includes “(a) a reasonably exhaustive search in reliable sources for all information that is or may be pertinent to the identity, relationship, event, or situation in question[.]”[1] Court records are generally considered “reliable sources,” but what of the testimonies recorded in court cases, particularly when they conflict? Is it possible to […]
Oct 2017

Hidden Truths

People who lived in the past had secrets. Just as those living today may hide parts of their lives and conceal facts about their families, so may have people who lived centuries ago. Genealogists know that first-hand information is more likely to be accurate, but just because information is first-hand doesn’t mean that it is […]
Oct 2017

Tracking and Reporting Our Own Research

Life has a way of interrupting plans. While we are deep into work, focused on solving a genealogical mystery, a bump in the road could push us in another direction. We set our research aside, intending to restart as soon as we’re able. But when we come back to work, the details that were fresh […]
Sep 2017

Reducing Risk by Using Original Sources

In a mere three pages in the September 2016 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, author Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, illustrates the risks genealogists run when they do not pursue original sources.[1] Sources fall into one of three categories: An original source is described by Elizabeth Shown Mills as “material in its first […]
Sep 2017

Genealogists and Books

On National Read a Book Day, celebrated 6 September 2017, the public was encouraged to spend the day reading. Many family historians need no encouragement to do that; books are an important part of every day. Genealogists use books for research and they read them to learn about records, techniques, history, society, laws, and much […]
Aug 2017

Modern Eyes, Old Records

We’ve all heard the expression that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Viewers bring their individual interpretations and ideas to what they see. The phenomenon extends into everything that people look at, including historical documents used in genealogical research. Genealogists looking at sources created decades or centuries ago bring a modern-day point of […]
Aug 2017

The Sibling Connection

When faced with a challenging research problem, expanding the search to records of the subject’s family, friends, and associates frequently will bring a solution. One of the most effective paths is through a person’s siblings. If a person’s own records fail to name parents, a sibling’s records could directly state their names or offer clues […]