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When Family History Research Feels Overwhelming

I’ve been researching my family’s history since I was 16 years old. And it’s something I feel both passionate and curious about. But every now and then I step away from that genealogy research because it feels overwhelming. I have almost 3000 people in my family tree at this point. And as much I love learning my ancestors’ stories, there’s only so much time in a day. Who should I focus on...

Should You Have Your DNA Tested for Genealogy Purp...

I’ve been wanting to get a genealogical DNA report for a while now. One of my brothers did previously, and we found some surprises, but also some things we expected. For example, we found Sardinian DNA where I didn’t expect it (though it could be tied to an Italian line, it was still surprising to see a significant amount of DNA from that region given how long ago the last known ancestor from there appeared in our...

What You Can Learn in Census Records

Some of the best genealogical tools available to family history researchers are census records. Not only can they tell you where your ancestors lived at different points in time, but they can tell you much more about them, their lives, and their families. While the information found in federal census forms varies a bit from decade to decade, here are some examples of the kind of information you may be able to...

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...