"Why is it not on the map?" We discuss how learning history can help you in your family history research--especially when it involves areas with shifting boundaries and name changes!One of the biggest frustrations for a family historian is finding a new place name written in a family record … but then not being able to find that place on a modern-day map, as was the issue we recently discussed in our blog article, Finding Vital Records for Galicia, Austria-Hungary.Sometimes this quandary develops because the place name has been mangled through phonetic or oral transmission over generations or after immigration. In other instances, it may be due to an actual change of the place’s name or a shift in the boundaries of the higher jurisdiction to which the place belonged politically. This can happen anywhere in the world, but we’ll give some examples from both the United States and Europe, as well as a suggestion about how to account for place name changes in your family history …Read more
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Historical maps of Europe are an often underutilized resource in European genealogy research. We share a free tool that allows you to add European maps to your genealogy toolbox!Since most records were held on the town/parish level in Europe, locating the correct town is an essential first step before researching your ancestors in their country of birth. Over the centuries, borders in Europe sometimes changed drastically, so it is important to know to which country or empire your ancestral hometown belonged in the time period of interest as well as today. Border changes can impact where records are held, the language(s) in which they were recorded, and even the name of the town. Sometimes smaller villages or hamlets named in records no longer exist today, but their former locations and names are preserved on historical maps. Finding a contemporary map of the area in the time period your ancestors lived there can also add fascinating detail to your understanding of their lives. Did …Read more
Historical name and border changes can affect what records were created and where they are held today. In this article, we look at how to find vital records in Galicia, Austria-Hungary. Before historical records can be searched for any location, it is necessary to understand the historical names and border changes associated with that place, since this can impact what kinds of records were created and where they are held today. If you have ancestors that reported they were from Galicia, Austria-Hungary in an immigration record, locating that place on a map can be challenging at first glance, since the region is not known by either name today.The Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria [Königreich Galizien und Lodomerien], also known as Galicia, was originally established as a result of the First Partition of Poland in 1772. The former territory was created from the entire southwestern part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and became a crownland (province) of the Austrian Empire in …Read more
Whether you want to build your family history with as many names and dates as possible, or choose to instead focus on discovering the stories and details of your ancestors' lives, there's no right or wrong goal. It's about choosing what's important to you.Choosing How to Build Your Family HistoryAs project managers, one of the questions we ask our clients is whether they want us to build their family trees as quickly as we can, only including biographical material if it is of unusual interest. A second option is to include limited biographical material, focusing our efforts on extending the family tree as far back as possible within the allotted research time. The last option is to spend time expounding upon biographical information, including material from documents beyond those used to prove genealogical linkages.Why do we offer all three options? In our experience, everyone is interested in slightly different results.Building a Broad Family TreeOne cousin of mine has spent …Read more