Poolside Chats

Finding the Original Record When the Index is Unclear

Sometimes to find the original record based on a reference or an index will require a concentrated effort and logical thinking skills to find that record. A well‐prepared index can greatly enhance the usefulness of a resource to researchers, but it is important that we understand how this tool was created. Come along as we try to find several important records and discover what is really there – using a step-by-step process.

Researching in Federal Land Records

Over the history of the United States, almost 2 billion acres of land have been in Federal ownership at one time or another. Federal public land came into private ownership in a variety of ways, from cash sales to preemption to homesteading. Federal land was also granted to railroads and states, who then sold it to private individuals. We will look at how our ancestors acquired federal land and how to find the records of these transfers.

Case Studies in Gray: Identifying Shared Ancestries Through DNA and Genealogy

You’ve identified a group of shared DNA matches, but you’re stumped on how you’re all related. Learn how to let DNA take the lead in determining who and where to search to uncover the group’s most recent common ancestor.

Put Some Meat on ‘Dem Bones

Combine your research with historical information and turn your ancestral data into a compelling story even the non-genealogist will want to read. Learn how to bring life to your ancestors, structure a story line, depict time and place, use general information as a backdrop, and let the tale evolve into a fully developed story. No previous writing experience is required.

Cluster Research: Using Groups of People to Find Your People

Our ancestors did not live in a vacuum. They lived, worked, socialized, and married in the midst of a larger group of people. Those people included not just family members but friends, neighbors, employers and fellow employees, fellow churchgoers, and business associates. Genealogists often refers to this group with the clever shorthand of the “FAN” club—their friends, associates, and neighbors. Researching this larger group of people often leads to greater success in reconstructing families. Ms. Smith provides guidelines and several case studies of applying the technique.

Grandpa Was a Tail-gunner: Researching Army Air Corps Ancestors

Over 2.4 million men and women served in the Army Air Forces (aka Army Air Corps) during World War II. This presentation provides strategies and methods for discovering their stories, whether they served on air crews or in support units. Learn what individual and unit records are available, where to find them, and how to interpret and analyze their content using a variety of contextual resources.

Seeing the Patterns: Organize, Visualize, and Evaluate the Evidence

We gather lots of information, data, and evidence as we research our ancestors. The difficulty lies in analyzing the information, correlating and comparing it to data gathered from multiple sources, evaluating the evidence, and ultimately concluding what it all means. Organizing data using timelines, chronologies, charts, tables, and other assemblages can help us visualize the evidence to make it easier to analyze and evaluate. We can discover gaps and missing information, see how pieces of the puzzle fit together (or don’t), and uncover new paths for research.

Her Name was Not Unknown: Finding Female Ancestors

“What’s her maiden name?” “What happened to her after her husband died?” “How do I start researching my great-grandmother?” We’ve all felt the disappointment of seeing the word “unknown” to describe a female ancestor’s name. How do we go from “unknown” to finding a name? This presentation will explain techniques, methodology, and resources vital to family history research. Enhance your research skills using a 5-step approach to researching (and finding) female ancestors.