Tracing Lines

by Ruby Coleman

Most Recent Articles

My articles are for any type of audience of genealogists or would-be genealogists. I try to write to influence and assist people at various levels of research. They probably pertain to good methods of research (methodology) and because of the interest in computing, I work in genealogical computing.

Archived Articles

Dot to Dot Research
Methodically we stay on track, but without a plan we loose our way and have to back track or start over.

Memories and Tributes
Becoming lost in a multitude of records to prove the vital statistics, I had wandered off the path of human reality.

Using DAR Resources
The purpose was and continues to be to promote patriotism, preserve American history and secure the future through better education for children.

Understanding Old Medical Terms
While reconstructing your medical pedigree, don't forget that what was terminal for an ancestor years ago, is not for you today.

Finding Newspaper Records
I still enjoying picking up a newspaper to read breaking news and more. It's the "more" that usually interests the genealogist.

Researching Mental Records
No lineage is without some ancestors or relatives with unusual behavior, mild or severe.

African-American Marriage Records
Researching African-American families requires a good deal of ingenuity when it comes to locating records.

Genealogy Today and Tomorrow
In the last decade many changes have occurred in genealogical research and record keeping.

Genealogy Among the Living
Most research done by genealogists pertains to ancestors and researching backward in time.

I Do -- Marriage Record Research
During the colonial era many couples were married by circuit riding preachers who did not keep track of their marriages, baptisms and burials.

Vitally Vital Death Records
Just say "death record" and a certificate filed in the state where the deceased died comes to mind. More should come to mind!

Tips for Successful Research
Beginners and advanced researchers alike often find their research comes to an abrupt end. Those ends can often be picked up and with some ingenuity researched for satisfactory results.

War Before the Civil War
Do you have Revolutionary War ancestors? A rule of thumb is that men who served were born between 1740 and 1765.

Successful Research Trips
Summer is a great time to travel, visit relatives, cemeteries, courthouses and libraries. It is important to have everything prepared in advance in order to have a successful trip.

It's In The Book
Those were the days before we had access to a good deal of microfilm and also Internet.

Rooting and Googling
There are many search engines on Internet, some proclaiming to be the most up-to-date, some the fastest, and some that search more than one search engine at a time.

Finding THE Grave
One of the most exciting processes in genealogical research is to find the grave of an ancestor. But first we need to locate the grave and before that the cemetery and/or location.

The Grand Old Grand Army of the Republic
After the Civil War, Union soldiers bonded together and formed an organization known as the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).

What Went Wrong?
If you research several lines at one time, keep them straight. Don't give up on one in midstream. This means allocating your time to do proper research.

Homesteading the Homestead
Often I hear people talk about the old family homestead. Without clarification this could mean the land obtained by the Homestead Act or it could mean the actual old building that they lived in on the property.

Basics of Land Record Research
The acquisition of land had an effect upon the colonization and settlement of the United States. Land is human history. Your research should always include land records.

Books, Magazines and CDs
The computer has not replaced the need for books and magazines.

Digging Deeper
How much is enough? When you have sufficient proof of a fact pertaining to your ancestor, such as date and place of birth, is that enough proof?

Keeping Track and On Track
It is easy to loose your way in genealogical research. Beginning researchers have it easier as they usually have a handful of names, dates and locations to sort out.

Estate Records and Files
Even though it is very helpful for genealogists to locate a last will and testament, there may be more records than you realize for intestate individuals.

Civil War Resources
It was a war that divided families and even though we now know the outcome, most of us find it interesting and rewarding to learn more about our Civil War ancestors.

Road Blocks and Detours
We have to know where we are going and what we need to do and see along the way. Here are some ideas for preparing a research plan.

Searching with Search Engines
It would be difficult to locate web pages without search engines ... much like using a large book that has no index or table of contents.

Finding Probate Records
Not all of our ancestors left wills and understanding that provides insight into furthering our research.

Publishing Your Genealogy
No matter what format you use for sharing your family history, careful thought and consideration should go into it.

Understanding the 1930 US Census
Particularly on the 1930 US Census, it is helpful to understand the column headings and content of the extractions.

Ancestors in a Sterile Environment
The most sterile environment your ancestors can be found in is on a genealogical form or in a computer database.

Research Thoughts and Ideas
Genealogy friends, students and acquaintances often ask sincere questions regarding their research concerns and needs.

Shouting About Ancestors
While it is easier to locate people on the Internet who have the same surname interests, it is soon apparent that not everybody uses the Internet.

The Elusive Maiden Name
Our female ancestors bless us with new names, but locating their maiden names can be frustrating.

The Worth of An Ancestor
The further back you research the less likely family stories will have survived and there will be fewer personal documents that can be located.

Genealogical Gambling
Perhaps we are all gambling that our research will produce positive results.

To Organize or Be A Genealogy Slob
Beginning researchers have the best of all worlds as it is more fun to do the research than file, sort and create order.

Hit the Road to the Cemetery
Spring are fall are ideal times to visit the cemetery. So, let's hit the road. First we need to make some plans!

Looking at Our Ancestors
Everybody has photographs, most of which are unidentified. They open doors to our research and put faces on our ancestors.

Preparing for the 1930 U.S. Census
This spring will also bring the long-awaited 1930 U.S. Census which will be released on April 1st.

Top Ten Genealogy Questions
Answers to questions that seem to be on the minds of people, particularly beginning genealogists.

Brickwall Resolutions
Genealogists use the word brickwall for the challenges in research. Here are some of the many ideas for getting over brickwalls.

Filling in the Gaps with Manuscripts
Information can be found in old letters, slips of papers in books, diaries, journals, business papers and personal papers.

Castle Garden, 1855-1890
Not everybody was processed through Ellis Island!

Using the Social Security Death Index
People use the index thinking they will find all their relatives and ancestors.

Research Profiling on Internet
Internet is no quick fix for genealogical research, but it can be fun and exciting.

Researching Czechs in America
The first known Czech in America was Augustin Herman(n) who came to New Amsterdam in 1633.

Walking Where Grandpa Walked
Unless your ancestors never moved, genealogical research will take you to many locations.

Click on the Library
Libraries comes in many sizes and shapes of content and in many locations.

Records of the Poor
As long as there has been life and poverty, society has dealt with the paupers.

Challenging the Courthouse
Records in courthouse jurisdictions are of prime importance to the genealogist.

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