Category Archives: Thoughts and Musings

Genealogists Should Abandon the “Brick Wall” Metaphor

Have you ever built a brick wall? Me neither, but I know a little about the process. A brick wall is solid. Creating one takes a lot of skill. It’s not just slapping some bricks and mortar together and hoping … Continue reading

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Who Do Ewe Think Your Ancestor Is?

You’ve looked high. You’ve looked low. You’ve looked wide and far. You’ve examined every common record you think might contain information about your ancestors, their friends, their associates, and their neighbors– all without much luck. Have you tried the records … Continue reading

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Wrestling With FamilySearch Record Collections That Use the Russell Index

The Russell Index. Just mentioning the name causes some to shudder. The skeleton key symbol emblazoned with its cryptic “l-m-n-r-t” message. The dreaded columns and rows.  Letters and numbers all over the page. Noooooo! If you do research in Pennsylvania, … Continue reading

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Attention Ohio Residents: New Gambling Law Passed in the Northwest Territory

In 2013, gaming in the (former) Northwest Territory is a hot topic. Casinos, internet cafes, or Keno games dot our Territory and can be found in just about every city, town, village, or station. Here in Cleveland, the opening of the … Continue reading

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Meet More of Your Ancestor In Original Records

I need to apologize to my 4th great-grandmother in advance – sorry 4th Great-Grandma Staats, but thank you for the record I use in this example.  This particular example is brought to you by the fabulous record-keeping of the Quakers, … Continue reading

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Corbit v. Corbit: Oh, the Family Stories Court Records Tell

While looking for case law to sort out an entirely different issue related to recording of deeds, I came across this fascinating story.1 It did nothing to help me in my particular dilemma, but illustrates what an underutilized source court reporters really are. … Continue reading

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The Osborne Family: A St. Patty’s Day Tribute

Rather than indulging in green beer and other St. Patty’s Day shenanigans, I thought it better instead to briefly thank at least one of my many Irish families that left their homes, made it to America, and managed to survive … Continue reading

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Tough Choices, Goals, and Dreams

For the first time since starting this blog, I didn’t post at the beginning of the new year- reviewing my successes (or lack thereof) in meeting the previous years goals, and then laying out new ones for the twelve months … Continue reading

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Q&A with Judy Russell: A Conversation About The Upcoming WRHS Seminar, “Genealogy And The Law”

Disclaimer: I am the seminar chairperson for the Western Reserve Historical Society and also chapter representative for the Great Lakes APG chapter. I also think Judy is pretty awesome.   In anticipation of Judy Russell’s upcoming Cleveland, Ohio appearances on April 12 … Continue reading

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New Presentation Topic Added: ” Where Does It Say That? Learning to Love Indirect Evidence”

Where Does It Say That? Learning to Love Indirect Evidence Direct evidence, the sort of evidence that completely answers a research question by itself, is often scarce. It can also be wrong, or we may discover two pieces of direct evidence … Continue reading

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