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Finding Your Ancestry - Tips For The Search

Since you are reading this blog, you probably have more than a passing interest in family genealogy. I have been a family genealogist for many years now, but long before that I was an academic, an historian of Russia and Eastern Europe. I have fully recovered now, but I bring to this blog tips and tricks that an academic researcher uses in exploring the past. In this blog I will pass some of those along, hopefully making your search for family easier, and perhaps more accurate.

For example, what dates can you believe in death certificates?

Which U.S. Census(es) are the most useful for tracing family?


Which is the least? (Spoiler alert – the 1890 census met with multiple catastrophes that ultimately reduced its usefulness to near zero.) Check out the story here. The U.S. Census is just one starting point, but provides information – some accurate and some not – to trace ancestors not only here, but abroad as well. Often there are clues to family origins hidden in the census-takers’ notes.

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