As genealogists, we occasionally encounter funny genealogy records that makes us giggle. Here's a collection of some of our favorites!Most researchers have felt the thrill of discovering a little-known document that connects the dots on a family tree, but generally a lot of time is spent slogging through pages of records with little to show for the effort. However, researchers who spend copious amounts of time in censuses, wills, and land records are often rewarded with a few giggles to make the journey more enjoyable. The gems in this article were collected by researchers from Legacy Tree Genealogists.Funny Genealogy Records: Unusual OccupationsThe occupation of J.F. Brown was listed on the 1880 census as “whorehouse pimp,” and the occupation of his wife Maude was “whore.” It is unknown whether these jobs were self-reported or if the census taker used other means of ascertaining their employment.1880 census entry for J.F. and Maude Brown, Rockport, Atchison County, Missouri. …Read more
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When seeking to identify a biological relationship, don't overlook the importance of casting a wide DNA net. We'll show you how!*names have been changes to protect privacyWhat Does "Casting a Wide DNA Net" Mean?Over the last decade, DNA testing has proven to be a powerful tool in genealogy research. One of the strategies repeated most often is the recommendation to "cast a wide net", or test at all the major testing companies. This is also commonly referred to as “fishing in all ponds.” The idea is to include your DNA at all the major databases in hopes of finding matches through any or all of them, as you never know which company your key match is going to test at. It sounds good in theory, but how effective is it really for solving genealogical problems? A recent client’s story highlights what can happen when multiple databases are used together to solve a genetic genealogy mystery. If At First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again...Reuben* was born in the southern United …Read more
Randy Lindsay, author of The Milkman's Son, shares tips for writing a family history others will want to read, PLUS a giveaway for a copy of his book.Randy's StoryIn the summer of 2005, an ordinary trip to visit my dad changed my life. I should have known I was in for a surprise when he muted the sound on the television and had an actual discussion with me. Dad told me he was having dreams. He saw the faces of people he believed were his ancestors and even though none of these ghosts spoke to him, he knew they wanted their family history work done.The responsibility for researching the family tree fell upon me. I became The Keeper of Names for both sides of my family. While I loved all of the work, the research into my surname was by far my favorite. The Great Lindsay Quest took me back as far as William “The Immigrant” Lindsay.” And that’s where I hit a serious brick wall.William was born around 1800, in Ireland, but I could find no trace of him there. I switched gears …Read more
How do we know when we have compiled enough evidence to consitute genealogical proof of a familial connection? Read on to find out!How do we know when we have compiled enough evidence to constitute proof? Is a birth certificate or an autosomal DNA test result sufficient to declare this person is the child of that person? Must we collect every record regarding an individual – the deeds, the tax lists, the newspaper clippings, the census reports – before we can declare a familial connection?The Genealogy Proof Standard (GPS) directs us to perform reasonably exhaustive research, which requires that we identify and review all available records related to an individual. This is being as thorough and accurate as possible and is a goal toward which we should all aspire in our genealogical research. But, let’s be honest: most of us do not want to spend weeks or months (or even years) documenting one person before moving on to the next individual. We don’t want to know every detail of …Read more