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    • Evaluating Evidence While Researching Your Family Tree - Genealogy Basics

      Have you found yourself asking, "how do I know this document is about my ancestor?" Or, "how reliable is this genealogy source?" If you have, then you are evaluating evidence in your genealogy research. Learn some fundamental genealogy principles that can help you climb your family tree with confidence. Why do genealogists gather evidence? While doing genealogy research, you gather clues. As you gather those clues together, you create a pile of evidence about an ancestor. Hopefully, you'll gather so much evidence that if you saw your ancestor walking down the street, you'd be able to pick them out. In the above video, I show you how to evaluate your own genealogy sources confidently by featuring the death certificate for Henry J. Geiszler. Click on this link to watch. What are sources in genealogy? In genealogy, a source can be anything that provides you information about your ancestor. They can be: interviews (written transcripts, audio clippings, video files) letters diaries family bibles government documents church documents military records passenger lists and more For genealogy source ideas, be sure you download my free Brick Wall Busting Guide, which includes an exhaustive list of US genealogy record types. The most essential detail on a genealogy source is the information it provides about your ancestor. If you're not sure if the record does relate to your ancestor, read this blog post as well as the rest of this article. Questions to Ask About Genealogy Sources When you're looking at your sources, you're trying to ask a couple of things. What is it? Why was it created? Where is the source kept? Bonus Question: Did I save it? You need to understand the type of source you're looking at. What media form are you reviewing: book, digital images, photocopies, loose documents, or audio files. You want to understand the caretake for the resource. How was the record preserved? Is the record part of a series of documents that may contain further information about the family? Are there any other records that are usually associated with the collection? Where are other associated sources located? Before you continue evaluating your record, be sure to save a link to any of your digital discoveries to a family tree. That way, you can always get back to your source when you need it again. Another pro genealogy tip: Review the collection information. FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and other record collection providers share information about creating the collection. Be sure you read that information to help you answer the questions above. What Information Does a Genealogy Source Provide? Genealogy sources can provide a lot of details. These details can be provided by someone who witnessed the event or by someone who compiled information about the event later. In a Tax Record, you can know information about your ancestor's property and how much taxes he or she paid. Typically US tax records were created by county assessors and collectors. They witnessed the property your ancestor owned or the taxes they paid. In a death record, a lot of information is provided by several sources. When an informant is named, they may provide biographical information. When the attending physician was specified, they provided information about the deceased cause and time of death. If an undertaker was identified, they provided the date and place the individual was buried. In some cases, these individuals had first-hand knowledge of the recorded details. In other cases, they are providing second-hand information. The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual provides guidelines on determining the reliability of the information on each relevant genealogy source. Questions to Ask About Informants on Genealogy Records In many genealogy records, it's unclear who provided the information to the document creator. Census records before 1940 fall into this category. If you can determine who provided the information on a record, you should ask the following questions: Would the informant have witnessed all of the recorded information? Would the informant have any reason to lie? When are they recording the information they provided? Why did they not include information? Why did they give the details rather than allow another person? ↪️ Are you new to genealogy? Grab your copy of this FREE Beginner Guide: How Genealogy Sources Answer Research Questions Experienced genealogists rely on quality research questions for success in climbing their family tree. With their questions in mind, they review the information on a genealogical document or source material and determine how it answers their query. Information from a genealogy resource can answer questions: directly indirectly negatively Direct Genealogy Evidence For genealogy information to be direct evidence, it must answer a question without any ambiguity. The answer may rely on one quality genealogy resource. If a question is, "Who is Henry Geiszler?" direct evidence will provide the full name (i.e., Magdalena Hoppe). Indirect Genealogy Evidence Indirect evidence requires you to make an educated judgment based on available information. Suppose a question is, "What is Henry Geiszler?". In that case, you can indirectly answer the problem with a death date and the age at death in months, days, and years using a birthdate calculator. Negative Genealogy Evidence Think of negative evidence as an absence of evidence, not that the evidence disproves other information. This category of evidence is extremely confusing. On the basic level, one could say it includes the following example. For instance, a death record does not have the name of the deceased's parents. The lack of information is negative evidence, particularly if the informant should have known the parents' names. It could also include searching for a man in tax records. When they stop appearing in these records beginning at a specific date, then you have negative evidence. You can then use that negative evidence to suggest they died, aged out of paying taxes, or moved. To keep it simple, focus on negative evidence being the lack of information you would expect to have found. Which Type of Genealogy Evidence is Best? That is a trick question. You have to determine which evidence provides the correct answer. A woman might directly state that her parents are Frank and Lola Shelley on her marriage record and the parents might be listed as unknown on all other records for this ancestor and their siblings. Why wouldn't the other siblings name their parents given the opportunity? It could be that they were unknown. And it could be that the child who did name her parents might have falsified their names in order to marry into her groom's family. In genealogy, we would typically throw out such a theory, unless we have enough evidence that proves it is accurate. However, the point is that genealogy records are not infallible. Proceed with caution and don't stop your research because there is the possibility that every record contains errors. Instead, be open to the possibility that you'll stumble upon inaccurate details from time to time. Three Quick Questions to Ask Each Time You Review a Genealogy Source: To sum up, I like to keep things simple so that I'll remember them. You can do the same each time you review a genealogy document. Ask yourself: What kind of source am I looking at? What type of information is on it? How reliable is the data? Continue Learning About Evaluating Genealogy Records If you want to learn more about evaluating evidence, then I think you'll enjoy the following tips and training. How to Evaluate a Find A Grave Memorial How to Evaluate FamilySearch Hints How to Evaluate a Death Record for an Ancestor Evaluating a Family Story for Accuracy 5 Questions Genealogists Need to Ask (Family Tree Magazine) Evaluating Genealogy Evidence (Legacy Tree Genealogists) Understanding Genealogy Sources Links to images featured in this video: Diary on Hathitrust Bible on FamilySearch Catholic Confirmation Record on Findmypast Military Draft Record on Ancestry Passenger List on Ancestry

    • The Basics of Researching FindMyPast's Newspaper Collection

      Think like a reporter and discover the cool articles on Findmypast for your British, Irish, and US ancestors. For folks with British and Irish ancestors, Findmypast has the largest online newspaper archive for your research. That alone might be reason enough to purchase a subscription. However, Findmypast also has newspapers from all 50 US states plus Washington D.C., Panama, and the Virgin Islands. To follow the process step-by-step, watch this video. How to Begin Searching for US Ancestors in Findmypast Newspapers Newspapers, even the ones on Findmypast, do not have all the details we offer in each article. In fact, reporters were notorious for using abbreviations to save space the make a column fit. Thus, if you will start with a broad search and then narrow down your results, you'll have more chances of success. In the "Who" box, only fill in a surname. Often articles are reported as Mr. Finlay or Mrs. Robertson. Adding the first name does not improve your searches. Only add a surname in the "Last Name" box. If your results are too broad, add in keywords, as shared in the following blog posts, to filter your results Use Keywords in Newspaper Research to Find Genealogy Gold Explore the Social Life of Your Ancestors Using Old Newspapers From Birth to Death: Researching Your Ancestor's Vital Events Using Newspapers Traveling Ancestors: Using Newspapers to Follow Your Relatives' Movements Filter Your FindMyPast Newspaper Results With Caution Findmypast offers additional filters that can help you narrow down your newspaper results. You can filter by city, by publication, and by date. Be careful with filtering your results by city and publication. There are times when your relatives can appear in a newspaper outside of where they lived. For instance, in our video about traveling ancestors, Mrs. Stewart from Washington, D.C. appeared in a Philadelphia newspaper. However, filtering by publication can be useful once you isolate a newspaper in which your ancestor appears. You can filter your results to the Newark Advocate and run a variety of keyword combinations on your searches. Filtering by date is useful, especially in Irish and British newspapers or common name research. Searching for Smiths can prove difficult until you fine-tune the date to a 10-year range. HOWEVER, some articles are written many years after you expect to read about your ancestors. If you are not finding the documents you expected, expand your date range. ↪️ Are you struggling to break through your brick walls? Grab your copy of this FREE Brick Wall Busting Guide: Save Your Images to Events on Findmypast Family Tree At the time of this post (and video), you can not directly save your newspaper discoveries to your family tree. Instead, you can save download a PDF version of the file to your computer and attach it to your genealogy software program or file it in your digital folders. Or you can add an event to a profile on Findmypast and save the link. Open a new browser window. Navigate to the profile page for the individual mentioned in the article. Click on "Fact & Events" Click the "Add Fact" button Select a fact from the list or create a new one. After the fact is selected and a new entry created, click on "Sources" and complete the form. Add the hyperlink from the newspaper image on Findmypast to the field labeled "Web". If you downloaded the PDF, you can click on "Media" and upload the PDF to this fact as well. You can use this technique to save any image to any fact on the Findmypast Family Tree. More Newspaper Tips and Tricks If you want to continue learning about how to use newspapers in your genealogy research, read the following: How to work around OCR errors in newspaper research Write About A Day in the Life of Your Ancestors Using Newspapers More Findmypast Research Tips and Tricks If you want to continue learning about how to use Findmypast in your genealogy research, watch the following: FindMyPast Catholic Baptisms Records FindMyPast Catholic Marriage Records: Explore Your Ancestor's Church Wedding Using the FindMyPast Card Catalog to do Locality Based Genealogy Research Social History Research Using Find My Past

    • How to Link Family Videos to the FamilySearch Family Tree

      Do you have home videos that you want to easily share with your family members? Learn how to share videos from YouTube to people on FamilySearch. to make it easier to share your family stories with others. FamilySearch Doesn't Allow Video Uploads While FamilySearch does not allow you to upload videos to its platform, that doesn't mean you can't share family history videos using the platform. You first have to find videos on YouTube or upload home movies to your own channel. If you're not sure how to do this, thankfully, I have you covered check out the following training: YouTube: A Library of Learning and Family Bonding How to Share Family History Videos By Using YouTube Once you have a video that you want to link to FamilySearch, the next step is to grab the URL for the video. On the YouTube page for the video: Click the "Share" text or arrow. Click the word "Copy" beside the URL This will save the URL to your computer or device's clipboard. Grab a Still From the Video for FamilySearch You'll an image to make this FamilySearch tip work. Play the video on YouTube Create a screen capture Print Screen Button on Windows Shift + Command + 4 on Macs Crop the image in a photo editing program (I used Paint on my Windows machine) Save the image as a jpg file. To see how to link a video to FamilySearch, watch this training. Create a Story in the Memory Section of FamilySearch to Share a Video In the FamilySearch Memories Page (or Tab), you'll see four options: Photos, Documents, Stories, and Audio. Navigate to the Stories Section, then do the following: Click "Create Story." Upload your saved image. Key in a title for the story, such as "VIDOE; An Interview with Richard Kevern." In the story section, type the story and then the phrase "click here to watch" followed by the URL. Or, add begin with the phrase "Click Here to Watch," then the URL, then the description of the video. Now you have a quick way to share videos via FamilySearch Memories with your relatives. They can stumble upon these memories that link to videos, and then they can go watch them over on YouTube. If you have further questions on how to do things in FamilySearch, please let me know. ↪️ Are you new to genealogy? Grab your copy of this FREE Beginner Guide: For more family history tips and tricks Make sure you're getting the most out of using FamilySearch or that you're preserving your family history by reading the following articles: FamilySearch App: How To Do Genealogy Research With a Smartphone or Tablet How to Use Hints to Easily Do Genealogy How to Preserve the Treasures in Your Home The Most Important Thing To Do In Genealogy This Year

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    • Genealogy Education | Family History Fanatics

      Discovering our family histories can be frustrating and challenging. We share simplified and applicable instructions, so you strengthen your family by enthusiastically learning from your genealogical past. ​ We help you understand your DNA, climb your family tree, and write your ancestors' stories along the way. ​ If family history isn't fun, you're doing it wrong. How to Do Family History The following posts help you find your family history through easily unstable and actionable instructions that also emphasizing enjoying the journey. 5 min Evaluating Evidence While Researching Your Family Tree - Genealogy Basics Have you found yourself asking, "how do I know this document is about my ancestor?" Or, "how reliable is this genealogy source?" If you h... 3 min The Basics of Researching FindMyPast's Newspaper Collection Think like a reporter and discover the cool articles on Findmypast for your British, Irish, and US ancestors. For folks with British and ... 2 min How to Link Family Videos to the FamilySearch Family Tree Do you have home videos that you want to easily share with your family members? Learn how to share videos from YouTube to people on Famil... Explore More Articles ? ↪️ Do you have a genealogy brick wall of this FREE Genealogy Research Guide --> Grab your copy "Do It Together" genealogy and DNA research training, interviews with genealogy educators, and bonus content available exclusively for channel members. Join the community and access this archive ---> FHF Xtra.

    • Become an FHFXtra Member | Family History Fanatics

      Extra Genealogy Training in FHF Xtra Genealogy education should be fun and informative. ​ As an FHF Xtra YouTube Channel Member, you will access members-only training and our video archive! Each month, you'll receive access to a from our in-person presentations or direct to video. members-only live stream and a webinar You'll also receive loyalty badges that will appear as you participate in public lives streams and video premieres. ​ Show your support for Family History Fanatics and increase your access to a wealth of genealogy training. ​ Click on a category to see what video content awaits you as soon as you subscribe. Join FHF Xtra Now New This Month Videos Available to FHF Xtra Members DNA Research Writing If you are a member of FHF Xtra, use these categories to access members-only category-specific content. Organize Misc Upcoming FHF Xtra Training

    • Online Genealogy Conferences| Family History Fanatics

      Virtual Events - The Most Engaging Genealogy Webinar Experience The Family History Fanatics virtual events bring fun and interactive learning to your home, around the world. Each eConference features four talented lecturers who will share their knowledge while you see them, their slides, and ask questions, or leave comments, throughout each session. No more disembodied voices! Some eConferences benefit genealogical and historical societies and will be noted as such. For these eConferences, you'll be learning and helping to raise funds so these societies can continue their missions and initiatives. Plan Ahead for 2021 We are in the process of developing our 2021 calendar. Stay tuned. See the Difference in our eConferences Scenes from past eConferences. See the difference? P resenters appear onscreen throughout their sessions either in full screen or thumbnails over the slides. Participate in live polls. Ask your questions throughout the sessions with an open chat for all to read and interact. Some presenters also take advantage of whiteboard technology! JOIN the revolution in virtual learning!!! Register for an eConference today! Recent Posts How to Add Source Citations to Your Family History Book How to Record Stillbirths on Your FamilySearch or Ancestry Family Tree 30 Days of Genealogy Videos - Happy Genealogy Vlogmas

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