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30 September 2016

Finding Her Maiden Name: Not an "Impossible" Problem

TheOccasionalGenealogist.com is having some technological growing pains. This course isn't currently available.

free course of genealogy problem solving, brick wall busting

Sometimes I feel like the topic of finding a maiden name has been covered from one end to the other. As far as information being available, out there... somewhere in the world, it has been. But every day, more people start their family tree for the very first time. They don't know where all that knowledge is. In fact, I think writing about finding a maiden name is probably more valid, simply because there are so many "new" genealogists out there.

So today, I'm launching the very first Occasional Genealogist mini-course. Specifically, it's about finding maiden names, but it's also designed to show you a methodology that can be adapted to any problem you label "impossible" (also called a "brick wall" in genealogy).
23 September 2016

10 FREE U.S. Record Collections to Search Later


Not all genealogy research can be fast (ok, maybe I should say, most genealogy research is not fast). Even with online searches available, sometimes it just takes time to use online records. So here are 10 FREE online U.S. Record Collections that are worth the time, even if you have to use them later.
10 September 2016

Genealogy Collections for Your Bullet Journal (a list of lists)

Yesterday I posted an infographic of genealogy lists you could create in a bullet journal or anywhere you like (infographic also included at the bottom of this post). I keep information like this either in Evernote or Trello depending on whether it is just a list or involves a process, respectively. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm trying to keep a single paper notebook so I don't have to open Evernote or Trello when an idea strikes.

I created the suggestions for the lists based on information I thought would do well in a list format. I think some of them might need a bit more explanation. I hope these short descriptions also help you think of other "lists" that could benefit your genealogy research.

09 September 2016

Genealogy Lists for Occasional Genealogists (or the Bullet Journal Concept for OGs)


I finally clicked one of the myriad "bullet journal" pins I kept seeing on Pinterest. I was starting to think it might be a good system to incorporate some genealogy but needed to learn a bit more. After learning a bit, I'm still not interested in a formal bullet journal. I'm giving the general idea a try, though. Here's what I think will work for me (and any Occasional Genealogist).
  • A collection of lists
  • One "repository" for everything (all those lists and more)
  • Simplicity
Since coming back from my last maternity leave about a year ago, I've decided that digital just works for me. But that doesn't mean it's always the fastest option. So why a paper journal if I love digital? Sometimes it takes too long to get to the "right" digital place to enter information. I need an organized notebook I can have beside me for when an idea strikes (because all my best blog ideas come while I'm doing something else). Since I have dedicated digital locations for certain information, it's not that hard for me to digitize a hand written idea, later. I just can't manage multiple analog locations in addition to the multiple digital locations (which I can manage).

Read on to learn a little more about how these same features of a bullet journal can help an Occasional Genealogist. (if you want to skip to the descriptions for the collections on the infographic, that's in this post)
01 September 2016

Where Do Online Genealogy Records Come From?

This post is mainly to alert you to several aspects of genealogy you may not know exist. These are particularly related to where online records come from (hence the post title). Believe it or not (once you read what they are), knowing about these aspects can make a difference in your research. If you're involved in the genealogy community, you likely already know about them. If you don't, I wanted to at least clue you in to their existence.

Big Conferences

There's a big genealogy conference starting today. It's commonly called the FGS Conference (FGS is the Federation of Genealogical Societies). This conference is for individual genealogists so don't let the sponsor name throw you. I wrote a mini-series on my J.P. Dondero Genealogy Blog about offline education. Here is the link to the post about genealogy conferences if you don't know about them.

What's important to an Occasional Genealogist?