Friday, January 30, 2009

What's Your Haplogroup?

In this video, I talk a little bit about haplogroup testing.  I'm no expert, but am annoyed by some of the myths that prevail.

I'd love to hear what haplogroups you all have found yourself associated with.  Please feel free to comment or make your own video.

Find Your Ancestors in Family Histories and other books

Whether famous, infamous, wealthy or poor - you may find some of your ancestors in family history books written by your distant cousins. Here are a few sites to start the search for genealogies and histories written about various parts of your family!

URLs mentioned in the video:

Also be sure to check out the ideas in the comments section below the video on YouTube here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Your Unexpected Finds?

The discovery by a distant cousin of mine that one of our ancestors was wanted in connection with a crime led me to wonder what other types of unexpected finds you all have had when researching your family trees.

I'd love to hear your own stories of crazy, interesting, or unexpected things you discovered in your own genealogical research. Feel free to reply to the video via comment or vlog.

First Web Resources - Part II

Part II of this video presents two other great Web resources for tracing your family tree.  Both of these are free.

The first is World Connect Community Project:
The second is simply Google:

Also, check out these Google searches, modified especially for genealogists

I found several of them very helpful!

Monday, January 5, 2009

First Web Resources for Researching your Family Tree!

This video, along with the links below, should help you get started on a lot of totally free resources out there on the Web for finding your ancestors and the all-essential, birth, death, marriage and census data. Some sites will give you the information for free but will require a fee or subscription for the actual records...

I find that what you can find truly for free varies depending on the ancestor, the timeframe, his or her location, etc...  These links should give you plenty to start with, and I will be bringing up more interesting websites and reviews in the future!  Stay tuned!


Search the Social Security Death Index
(one of several sites to do this):

Order your deceased ancestor's SS-5 (Social Security application) ONLINE at:

FamilySearch has listed a LOT more free records and indexes online on this PDF:


On a side note, because there is a lot of confusion surrounding these, I thought I'd paste in what the Social Security Association has to say about genealogical research and what they can do to help:

Q9: What information is available from Social Security records to help in genealogical research?

A: You might want to start by checking out the Social Security Death Index which is available online from a variety of commercial services (usually the search is free). The Death Index contains a listing of persons who had a Social Security number, who are deceased, and whose death was reported to the Social Security Administration. (The information in the Death Index for people who died prior to 1962 is sketchy since SSA's death information was not automated before that date. Death information for persons who died before 1962 is generally only in the Death Index if the death was actually reported to SSA after 1962, even though the death occurred prior to that year.)

If you find a person in the Death Index you will learn the date of birth and Social Security Number for that person. (The Social Security Death Index is not published by SSA for public use, but is made available by commercial entities using information from SSA records. We do not offer support of these commercial products nor can we answer questions about the material in the Death Index.)

Other records potentially available from SSA include the Application for a Social Security Number (form SS-5). To obtain any information from SSA you will need to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Getting Started - Tracing Your Family Tree

Here are my thoughts on getting started - the first steps you should take in tracing your family tree.  Video below.  As for the links mentioned in the video, I'll place them just below the video.

In addition to watching and checking out the links below, I'd recommend checking out fellow researcher on YouTube, jeromeyward's video series on genealogy on the cheap. In his first video there is an explanation of some totally FREE software for keeping your tree which is downloadable on

Pedigree chart:

Other useful paper forms:

The steps I cover:
  1. Get organized.
  2. Record what you know.
  3. Reach out to family.
  4. Search the attic, the basement, etc...
  5. Plan your next move.
More to come in the next video on online databases for continuing the search!

Welcome and Introductions

Hi folks!  Here's a brief introduction to a blog / vlog dedicated to genealogical researchers and family tree enthusiasts - beginners and long-term hobbyists alike.  Thanks for stopping by!