The backbone of genealogical research is vital records. Birth, marriage, and death certificates are often sought after to learn not only the specific facts about the person on the certificate, but also information about their family members. In the United States, post-1900 birth certificates usually include the parents' names and ages, and often occupations and their residence when the baby was born. Marriage records can give you the names of the parents of the bride and groom, and you might also find a sibling or relative listed as one of the witnesses to the marriage. Death certificates can provide the names of parents (including the mother’s maiden name), and sometimes even additional information about the informant for the certificate, who was often a relative. Where do you find vital records? So where do you find these records? The answer to that is tricky because every state (and country!) has a different answer. Some places only allow access to records for a certain time …Read more
Hand-picked, tested and trained, our professional genealogist team knows how to find your story. We search the world for answers. Find the un-findable. And we’re experts at everything from tracking down rare international records to analyzing DNA test results. Based near the world’s largest family history library in downtown Salt Lake City, we also work with researchers and archives around the globe. Contact us today if you would like help discovering your ancestors!
I learned about foundlings - abandoned newborns - in Italy while tracing my own immigrant ancestor back to the province of Palermo in Sicily. My maiden name is Palumbo, but as I tried to move backwards from my immigrant ancestor, Salvatore Fortunato Palumbo, I discovered that Palumbo was not his original surname. Explaining this discovery in detail is beyond the scope of this blog post, but I have documented evidence that my paternal great-great-grandfather’s name was Salvatore Fortunato Esposito inteso Palumbo. I had no idea where the “Esposito inteso” portion of my surname originated until I located Salvatore’s death certificate, which stated his parents were listed as “parenti ignoti” or “unknown parents”. Then the pieces began to come together. As I continued to investigate further, I learned that the surname “Esposito” was a common surname given to foundlings. It appears that the Palumbo family may have fostered my great-great-grandfather (or perhaps he apprenticed with them), and …Read more
*The details of this genealogy research project are shared with client permission. The innate desire to know more about who we are and where we came from is as old as time itself, making family history research a wonderfully unique and timeless gift that is sure to be cherished not only by the recipient, but also for generations to come. As professional genealogists, we are frequently contacted for this very reason—to provide loved ones with memorable gifts for all occasions—birthdays, retirement, anniversaries, holidays—that will connect them with their ancestors and preserve their legacy for the future. Kathleen contacted us in search of the perfect gift for her mother, Thora. Thora had recently celebrated her 90th birthday, and Kathleen had struggled to come up with a gift that was meaningful. “I was keen to give her something of real value,” said Kathleen. “I wanted something that showed we value her family and all they contributed to making our family who we …Read more
You have taken your DNA test, and you have your ethnicity estimate, but how does genetic genealogy testing actually help you with your genealogy? Where do you even begin? By developing a DNA testing plan you can ensure that you pursue your research with a focused goal in mind, which will help determine how best to proceed. Even though ethnicity estimates get a great deal of attention, the most genealogically valuable element of your DNA test results is the match list which connects you to others based on your shared DNA inheritance. As you begin working with your DNA test results within the context of your genealogy, we recommend sharing and collaborating with your genetic cousins. The main goal of your correspondence with genetic cousins might be to determine the nature of your relationship, but could also include sharing information regarding your shared heritage and ancestors, or requesting their help in recruiting additional relatives to test. However, your match list may …Read more