Wednesday, July 20, 2016

AMERICAN ANCESTORS (Spring/Summer 2016)

American Ancestors (Spring/Summer 2016) contains several articles of likely interest to our genealogists:

Choosing the Right Genealogical Software for You: The author believes that choice of genealogical software is very much an idiosyncratic decision. Features on a given program that you consider crucial for a genealogy application may well be dismissed by another user as “bells and whistles.” The author does note some essential features that every genealogy application ought to have, and then provides a handy Genealogical Software Comparison Chart.

Becoming More Expert in Genealogy: The author explains how a change in perspective has made genealogical research easier for him. While “brick walls” used to be a source of great frustration, he notes that they seem easier to solve now that he views them as a chance to become “more expert” on a particular genealogical topic. He discusses several approaches he’s developed that usually help him solve genealogical riddles.

Using Satellite Imagery to Connect the Past with the Present: a Case Study: The author notes that advances in technology mean that genealogists have numerous mapping tools that they can use to provide family histories with a unique visual dimension that can’t be conveyed by words alone. He illustrates his point by discussing how he used various mapping tools to research his mother’s Danish-Prussian lineage.

First to Enlist: Researching a Family Civil War Story: We’ve all got (or have heard) genealogical tall tales: Great-Grandma was a Cherokee princess; our family name was changed at Ellis Island; our family is related to (name a celebrity) in some fashion. Such tales are usually fairly easy to disprove, but sometimes doing so requires a fair bit of research. The author discusses his quest to determine if his great-great uncle was the first man to enlist in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

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