nav-left cat-right
cat-right

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...

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...