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3 Reasons to Introduce Kids to Genealogy

In a recent post, I mentioned getting involved in genealogy as a teenager. I don’t remember doing this as a child, such as for a school family tree project. But I wish I’d have been introduced to family history research at a younger age. Today I’d like to share why that is by sharing three reasons you might want to introduce your own kids (or those in your life) to genealogy sooner rather than later. 1. It...

When is it Time to Hire a Professional Genealogist...

If genealogy is just a hobby for you, chances are good access to basic tools like Ancestry.com will keep you busy researching various branches of your family tree for years. But what happens if you get stuck and can’t get over a particular hurdle on your own? One option is to hire a professional genealogist. But is this always necessary? Is it worth the cost? This is something I’ve thought about doing for my...

How Social Security Numbers Can Help With Family H...

One of the most valuable tools for me in researching my family members in the U.S. has been the Social Security Administration. Today I want to briefly explain why that is and how you might be able to learn an ancestor’s social security number (and what knowing that can tell you). First, I should note this won’t help you in researching living family members, or even recently deceased in many cases. This is more...

What Got You Into Researching Your Family History?

Genealogy isn’t just about digging for facts. It’s about telling stories —¬†our¬†stories. Sometimes curiosity about those stories alone is enough to drive us into researching our family histories. But sometimes it’s more than that — something specific we wanted to learn about ourselves, a particular connection that drove our passion to know more, or maybe even a school assignment that piqued our...

Where Are You Really From?

Growing up, if you asked me what my ancestry was, I would have simply said “German and Irish.” My father’s side of the family was German. My grandfather on that side was a German immigrant after WWII, and my grandmother’s family came to New York from Germany a few generations earlier. My mother’s side of the family was Irish. They looked Irish. They identified as Irish. And they had very Irish...