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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...

Backing Up Your Genealogy Records

This might be a quick and common sense tip for most folks who regularly work on family history research, but I was reminded of something today — you absolutely must back up your genealogy research. I learned this lesson the hard way when I was just a teenager. I started climbing my family tree when I was 16. I started with the basics — interviewing family in older generations for example, including both of my...

2018 Genealogy New Year’s Resolutions

I know most regular visitors to this blog come for the conversations about German dual citizenship.  But that’s just a tiny part of why I launched this blog so many years ago. Climb Your Family Tree was meant to be a journal of sorts about my own family history research and what I found. But it was also supposed to be a genealogy resource for amateurs like me. Given that I’ve been conducting this research for...

Where to Start Your Free Ancestry Search

Are you new to researching your family history? If so, you’ve probably been in this situation at least once: you found a family history research site, you ran what looked like a free ancestry search, and then you were told that the site found results for your ancestors. “Awesome!” you probably thought. But wait. Then you found out the records were only viewable if you paid for premium access to the site....

Free Family Tree Charts: Printables

Family tree software is great. We can add a wealth of information about our ancestors, and it’s conveniently searchable and sortable. But every now and then I still like to see a printed family tree, especially when I’m working on a specific branch and I don’t want to be distracted by the endless supply of mysteries waiting to be solved. That’s where printable family tree charts come in. Plus,...