Thursday, February 27, 2014

Those Places Thursday: Tracing Your English Ancestors

  Sometime the "oldies" are the best sources. I was recently asked about British genealogy, which I know almost nothing about. I followed my usual procedure of reviewing any genealogy book I could find in my local library. This is how I discovered Colin D. Rogers's Tracing Your English Ancestors: A Manual for Anaylsing and Solving Genealogical Problems, 1538 to the Present. It's an "oldie" (dating from 1989)but delves thoroughly into the available sources, possible problems with these sources, and how to overcome them. You can easily skip the outdated sections - and many resources are now available online. I would highly recommend the read!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Francois Weil Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America

   I finally managed to finish Francois Weil's Family Trees: A History of Genealogy in America. I've heard many critiques of the books, as well as many positive reviews. I'd been waiting to read it myself for quite a while.
  Everything said and done, the book was an interesting read. Although it is not presented as such, the book functions as a history of genealogy in white, English America. Family Trees is strongest in its initial analysis. The book convincingly places the average 18th and 19th century genealogy effort within America's efforts to define itself: was the country to be white, European, aristocratic? It falls apart in the later sections. Weil suddenly jumps from European genealogy to the study of Roots. He also adds in a discussion of the professionalism of genealogy - a touchy subject in modern genealogical discussion. Begin the book as a colonial history, rather than a true history of genealogy, and you will enjoy it much more.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tech Tuesday: Ancestry Family Trees

  I've heard all the debate about Ancestry.com trees: they make it too easy to copy bad information, people will add whatever they want, etc. Only rarely do I hear the good comment - that they offer great hints.
  I've been doing some research in a new region lately and had hit a brick wall. I always check Ancestry just in case. I figure that it never hurts... Well, surprise, surprise, a public tree referenced a publication on a family that sounds like it will be a huge help. Since I don't research in this region, I never would have checked that journal. What fantastic luck!
  The longer I research, the more open I become to open-ended searches. I've found graves in other countries than expected - and this time, a set of vital records that wasn't supposed to exist.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Those Places Thursday: Wadsworth Mansion, Middletown

  I've already talked extensively about Wadsworth Mansion, so I"ll save a reprise. But if you're related, take a look at their blog. It's a fun view into the new "life" of this historic home. And yes, historic buildings do not have to be replaced to be modernized...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Follow Friday: Arnold Genealogy

 I love recommending family genealogy blogs - no matter how basic - just because they may offer you that needed clue.  The blog Arnold Genealogy fits squarely into this category. Right now it is very basic. The main page summarizes the family line, while "Colonial New England" lists the family's famous ancestors. However, it looks like it might turn out as a fantastic read. I love the fact that they've included an anecdote section!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Another photography site

   I have mixed feelings about promoting genealogy sites selling historic family artifacts. I don't want to encourage family members to part with their things just for the chance to make some money (it happens), but I also know how much finding these items means to those of us who study our family history. Laurel Cottage Genealogy has a post-card that might mean something to a Norwich family.