How to Identify all Possible Alternative Surname Spellings

How to Identify all Possible Alternative Surname Spellings

Most if not all surnames have been passed down over hundreds or thousands of years. The vast majority of holders would not have been able to read or write so we get massive discrepancies in surname spellings. Below are some great ways to make sure you’re searching for all available alternative surname spellings. 1 – Soundex – This was developed before the Internet existed and has been a staple in genealogy since it was created. It was originally created to…

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Recording Unnamed Infants Guide

Recording Unnamed Infants Guide

Once you start digging into individual family units you’ll quickly realise the unfortunate fact that a lot of children were stillborn or within a few days of birth. Recording Unnamed Infants is often crucial when trying to understand the mindset and mental health of ancestors. An example I came across recently was my 2x Great Grandmother. I had three recorded children in my tree and I was in the stage of researching my family tree when I was searching GRO…

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Websites To Help With Researching Italian Ancestors

Websites To Help With Researching Italian Ancestors

Below are three great websites that can help with all of your Italian research and finding your italian ancestors. 1 – Antenati “The Portale Antenati (Ancestors Portal) – promoted and sponsored by the Direzione Generale per gli Archivi (Italian National Archives) – was born out of the necessity to make available the huge treasure of documents that are stored in the State Archives, not only for the purposes of genealogical research, of recreating the history of families and individuals, but…

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How Can I Work Out What Relationship Someone Is To Me From DNA cM Shared?

How Can I Work Out What Relationship Someone Is To Me From DNA cM Shared?

Sometimes, you’ll get a match on AncestryDNA, 23andme, FTNDA or another commercial DNA test and not know who this person is, or how they fit in to your tree. Using DNA Painter you can eliminate the relationships that aren’t possible and narrow your list down to a few possibilities and find out what relationship you have based on DNA shared. Firstly just enter in the cM shared or percentage between you and the person you’ve matched with, then it should automatically…

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Does DNA Testing Show Both Maternal and Paternal Ancestry?

Does DNA Testing Show Both Maternal and Paternal Ancestry?

Many commercial DNA tests such as Ancestry or 23andMe offer up a massive wealth of information on the tester’s ancestry, however some information is sometimes misinterpreted when researching DNA tests. A lot of people seem to think that if a male takes a test they can only see their Paternal Ancestry and if a female takes a test they can only see the Maternal part. This is not necessarily true, there are three main types of DNA test. Autosomal, Y-DNA…

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Searching The UK Protestation Returns of 1641/1642

Searching The UK Protestation Returns of 1641/1642

The UK Protestation Returns of 1641/1642 are the closest thing that we have to a census. If you are lucky enough to have traced your ancestry back to this time and you know the exact parish that they lived in, then it could be worth taking a look at these records to see if their names appear in them. In 1641 by order of the House Of Commons, every adult male was asked to declare an oath of allegiance to the Protestant…

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How To Know Which GRO Index Is The Correct One

How To Know Which GRO Index Is The Correct One

Which GRO Index is the correct one? This post relates to the Birth and Death Indexes in England & Wales. Often when searching the GRO Indexes or searching for people with particularly common surnames you might find yourself with a few, possibilities as to which is the correct certificate. Most people will guess and hope for the best, if it’s not one then they’ll buy another until they have the correct one. But there are actually a few tricks you…

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Validating Old Place Names That No Longer Exist

Validating Old Place Names That No Longer Exist

Often when looking for ancestors, you will come across a place name that you don’t recognise and when you try to look it up, it doesn’t exist anymore. There are ways you can validate old place names. Usually you’ll find these in places that have changed governments or allegiances to differ countries throughout the last couple of hundred years. It’s good practice to record the place as it was at the time that the particular record was written. Some steps…

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Open Ended Questions to Ask Older Generations of Your Family

Open Ended Questions to Ask Older Generations of Your Family

Almost everyone will have older members in their family that might not be around for that much longer, so it’s great to ask them about their lives and the lives of their Siblings, Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Parents and Grandparents. Below is a list of great questions to ask older generations. The majority of the time they will jump at the chance to give you what you’re after as long as you don’t go down the ‘survey’ avenue. I’ve seen a…

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What Sources You Should Be Looking At In 15th-17th Century English Research

What Sources You Should Be Looking At In 15th-17th Century English Research

There are many additional sources you can use for pre 17th century English research. Most people can trace their tree back to at least the 1800s using conventional methods such as Birth/Marriage/Death and Census records but not many realise they can go back a lot further than this using other record collections. Most records still need a visit to an Archive especially older more specialist ones as they aren’t often digitised, and when they are they haven’t always been transcribed…

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