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Genealogy Research Skills Improvement

This isn't my normal type of post. This is essentially a round-up of my own posts related to a specific topic. But a topic you can't easily find with a search or a label.

This post rounds-up my posts about improving your genealogy research skills. If your genealogy skills need a boost, you're in the right place. I hesitate to label these as intermediate skills or advanced skills because we all have different ideas about what is "intermediate" or "advanced" genealogy.

Let's just say these posts will help you improve your genealogy skills. Some people will call these beginning skills, some intermediate, and some will consider them advanced skills. It doesn't matter, you skills have to improve to continue researching your family history.

Evernote Form for Census Correlation
Census Comparisons Continued
Is Your Genealogy Knowledge "Fuzzy?"
"Burned" Counties aren't always "burned"
Success in "Burned Counties" --- easy techniques to start with
Find Every Clue in U.S. Census Records
Cousin Baiting: What is It, Should You Do It?
What's the Opposite of Genealogy?
More Reverse Genealogy
Finding Aids vs. Library Catalogs
Evaluating Evidence: Books
Finding Female Ancestors: The Importance of Siblings
Make Your Genealogy Skills Go Pro
The 3 Genealogy Mistakes You Have to Tame to Improve Your Skills
Genealogy FAN Club: What Is It? Plus What It Is Not.

Have You Found the Hidden Features at AncestryDNA?

I really hope this post teaches you nothing. I know, strange to say. But I'd be thrilled if you are already using these in-house autosomal DNA tools from AncestryDNA.

As I'm preparing my new course, Overcoming AncestryDNA Overwhelm, there are some basics I want to make sure are covered. I don't want to keep the information just for those taking the course.
Discover AncestryDNA's Hidden Featuers


In this post, I'll show you three features people treat like they're hidden, point out four "hidden in plain sight" features, make sure you're aware of the basic tools, and give you some hints for using the newly revealed information. Don't worry, it's not an overwhelming amount of information. When we're done, you'll know where the hidden features are to make every visit to AncestryDNA more productive.

How to Pick the Best DNA Test for Genealogy

So many choices!

Are you interested in using DNA to research your family history but don't have a clue where to start?

This post will give you some information to answer the question "what's the best DNA test for genealogy." I was going to also include "what happens after I test" but that is a subject for another post.
best DNA test for genealogy

What Is the Best DNA Test for Genealogy?

First, there are actually three types of tests you can take. If you know nothing about using DNA for genealogy (referred to as "genetic genealogy"), you are probably thinking about autosomal DNA. That is the type of test you see advertised on T.V.

If you're just getting started, here are my recommendations.

Three Genealogy Shortcuts That Aren't Cheats

There really aren't any shortcuts in genealogy.

Most of the "shortcuts" come in organizing, filing, and using technology--rather than record usage.

It's really about being efficient.

However, I've got three fantastic shortcuts that really can help you. Here are three suggestions to save time while still doing great genealogy.
map and vintage photo with text overlay three genealogy shortcuts that aren't cheats


If you haven't been doing some of the things mentioned (like creating a research plan and keeping a research log) because you're trying to save time, you're not taking a shortcut, you're cheating.

It'll come back to bite you in the end.

Genealogy FAN Club: What Is It? Plus What It Is Not.

image with text overlay do you know what cluster research is
If you got here because you Googled “genealogy FAN club,” you probably are embarking on a really fun stage of your genealogy research. At least I hope you are.
image of vintage fan with text overlay What is a Genealogy FAN Club?


A genealogy FAN club is not a “fan club” for people who are FANatical about genealogy. Although if you’re ready to learn about FAN clubs, you probably are a genealogy fanatic.

Resource Library Links

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