Sunday, August 31, 2014

Family Photo Detective

 Since I periodically teach beginning genealogy, I love stumbling across clear explanations of genealogy techniques and theory. I am in love  with Maureen Taylor's new book. Family Photo Detective introduces genealogists to the different ways that photographs can be used in genealogy. She touches upon how to date a photograph from type of photography, clothes, and even the photographer's mark. This is the ultimate "how to." Have you ever examined your photographs that closely?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Follow Friday: Connecticut Digital Archive

 UConn is in the midst of developing something that will eventually be a huge help to Connecticut researchers. The Connecticut Digital Archive is still a work in progress, and you can trace the steps on their blog. However, the foundation of the project is already laid. With the help of UConn, local institutions have the opportunity to digitize their collections and to make them accessible to the public. Check out the documents already online. You may find some information about your family.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tech Tuesday: It's not always all there...

  As a Connecticut genealogist, I often hear the comment "everything I need is at the State Library. Why should I go to the town?" In theory, the genealogist is right. Town records were filmed by the Family History Library in the 1940s and 1950s. Going to the State Library can provide a quick shortcut to researching in multiple towns.
   However, as I discovered recently, the Family History Library didn't film everything. I needed to look at Middletown's 18th century land records. The films were easily accessible, but almost impossible to search. Different films covered the same years, and the index was no where to be found. Instead of throwing in the towel, I ended up in the deed vault at City Hall.
  The trip was well worth it. The town's copies of the records were organized by year and the index was easily accessible. Were the microfilms off a different copy? Had the town records been rebound? I have no idea. But if I'd stuck with the microfilm, I never would have found my records. In the town, I found them in minutes.
  Which provided a good lesson. Although some may argue microfilm or digital copies to be "original" sources, they are only as good as the person filming and the copy being filmed. It is easy to leave out records. It's worth double checking when you can't find something.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Follow Friday: Godfrey Library Blog

  I often see questions come up on genealogy listservs about the Godfrey Scholar and the genealogy resources they offer. What's the best way to find out? Turns out they have a blog. Check out their new updates at