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31 October 2016

"Burned Counties" aren't always "burned"

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Burned counties aren't always "burned."  Don't give up.
Does a burned county mean an automatic dead end in your research?

Should you just turn around and go home?

No, if you want to complete your journey, you have to treat a burned county like a literal dead end street. Go back and try a different way!

UpFront with NGS has an interesting post today about the return of some VERY early Charles City County, Virginia records. You can read the post, here.

A "burned" county is the term generically applied when civil records are lost, often to a courthouse fire. However, in the post I've linked to above, the record loss was from records stolen by Union Civil War soldiers. In this case, the records have finally been returned.

23 October 2016

50 Genealogy Tasks You Can Do In 15 Minutes or Less

This is the 50th post on this blog so I'm celebrating with 50 suggestions. Since this blog is for Occasional Genealogists, these suggestions can be done in 15 minutes or less, or I suggest how to do them in multiple sessions of 15 minutes or less.

Occasional Genealogists can often find 15 minutes or less for genealogy. But what do you do in 15 minutes or less? Here's 50 suggestions.
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Don't have time to read the whole post right now?


21 October 2016

Research Planning & Budgeting for Research

Budgeting for Genealogy 3-plan examples
Welcome to Part 3 of Budgeting for Genealogy. You can read part 1, here, and part 2, here.

My main goal with this post is to provide some real life examples. However, I'm also providing some additional "how-to" for those of you that may need it.

As I was preparing to write this post, I kept coming up with different variations of budgeting while planning. If you aren't going to be doing this research right away, this additional choice is good. This is the scenario most Occasional Genealogists (OGs) will be in.
14 October 2016

Budgeting for Genealogy Part 2: Planning and Budgeting

Last week I provided a number of suggestions for budget friendly genealogy. This week I want to talk about "budgeting" as in setting a budget. I like to think of this like a grocery budget. I can't speak for you, but I need to do genealogy almost as much as I need to eat.

OK, that's a bit extreme, but it really is like a grocery budget. You have to eat and it's going to cost you money, one way or another. Time is money. If you want to be successful at genealogy (achieving whatever your goal is), it's going to cost you money, one way or another.

With food, you can obtain it in a variety of ways, grow it yourself (very time-consuming but "cheap" in comparison to other options), buy groceries and cook (takes hands-on time and some money), order take-out (involves waiting, less hands-on time, but more money), or dining out (involves travel and various levels of expense).

Are you starting to see how this is like obtaining genealogy records? If not, let's look at your equivalent genealogical options.
11 October 2016

Best writing or journaling supplies for on-the-go


I have a confession. I'm always touting the advantages of digital organization (for genealogy or everyday), but I love paper. I don't love organizing with paper. I hate it, hence my promotion of digital methods. It's the actual paper I love. I also love fountain pens. I love the way they write. I like the "scratch, scratch" of metal on (high quality) paper. So, I've decided when I write (instead of typing) I want to indulge in metal on paper.
07 October 2016

How to Save $$$ on Genealogy Records

Today I want to look at some places to get free or cheap access to records and also highlight some techniques to use if you have to hire someone to get records for you.

Next week I'll talk about budgeting as part of your research planning.
How to save money on genealogy research