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Tips

Family history questions worth asking older relatives

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Family history interviews with older relatives are necessary to get started on a good genealogy research journey. These interviews are the foundation of any genealogy project. Watch this short video from YouTube channel Ancestral Findings for some interviewing tips and helpful questions you can ask your elderly relatives. (Note: Not affiliated with publisher i30 Media Corporation).

Disclaimer: This YouTube video is being posted for informational purposes only, using the embed code YouTube provides to members of the public. i30 Media Corporation and its publications are not associated with the creators of this YouTube video or any other person, service, or product mentioned in the YouTube video. i30 Media Corporation cannot be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or special damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with the use of this YouTube video. Copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights belong to the original creator(s) of the video.

6 techniques to find living relatives

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As genealogists, we tend to be pretty good about finding documents and information on our past ancestors. But what about finding living relatives? This video will provide 6 groups of techniques to consider in any search for living relatives. (Note: Not affiliated with publisher i30 Media Corporation).

Disclaimer: This YouTube video is being posted for informational purposes only, using the embed code YouTube provides to members of the public. i30 Media Corporation and its publications are not associated with the creators of this YouTube video or any other person, service, or product mentioned in the YouTube video. i30 Media Corporation cannot be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or special damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with the use of this YouTube video. Copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights belong to the original creator(s) of the video.

DNA structure and replication – a crash course!

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Hank, of YouTube channel CrashCourse, introduces us to that wondrous molecule deoxyribonucleic acid – also known as DNA – and explains how it replicates itself in our cells. (Note: Not affiliated with publisher i30 Media Corporation).

Disclaimer: This YouTube video is being posted for informational purposes only, using the embed code YouTube provides to members of the public. i30 Media Corporation and its publications are not associated with the creators of this YouTube video or any other person, service, or product mentioned in the YouTube video. i30 Media Corporation cannot be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or special damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with the use of this YouTube video. Copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights belong to the original creator(s) of the video.

What risks to consider before taking a DNA test

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Trying to find out about your ancestry? This video details some things to consider before you buy an at-home DNA testing kit. Your data, for instance, may wind up in the hands of a third party. Read the fine print before spitting into any test tube, says Gizmodo! (Note: Not affiliated with publisher i30 Media Corporation).

Disclaimer: This YouTube video is being posted for informational purposes only, using the embed code YouTube provides to members of the public. i30 Media Corporation and its publications are not associated with the creators of this YouTube video or any other person, service, or product mentioned in the YouTube video. i30 Media Corporation cannot be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or special damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with the use of this YouTube video. Copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights belong to the original creator(s) of the video.

Genetics 101 by National Geographic

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What is a genome, and how are traits passed from generation to generation? Learn how pea plants helped launch the study of genetics and how the field of genetics research has evolved over time in this video from National Geographic. (Note: Not affiliated with publisher i30 Media Corporation).

Disclaimer: This YouTube video is being posted for informational purposes only, using the embed code YouTube provides to members of the public. i30 Media Corporation and its publications are not associated with the creators of this YouTube video or any other person, service, or product mentioned in the YouTube video. i30 Media Corporation cannot be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or special damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with the use of this YouTube video. Copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights belong to the original creator(s) of the video.

How to interview your relatives for family history

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In this video from YouTube channel Road to Your Family History, find out how to prepare for an interview with relatives about your family history. Some basic questions should be covered in every interview and preparing ahead of time will give structure and help advance your genealogy research faster. (Note: Not affiliated with publisher i30 Media Corporation).

Disclaimer: This YouTube video is being posted for informational purposes only, using the embed code YouTube provides to members of the public. i30 Media Corporation and its publications are not associated with the creators of this YouTube video or any other person, service, or product mentioned in the YouTube video. i30 Media Corporation cannot be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or special damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with the use of this YouTube video. Copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights belong to the original creator(s) of the video.

How to make a family tree on Ancestry.com

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Ancestry enthusiast Andrea talks about her experience building her own family tree and how to build one on Ancestry.com. She gives advice on what to ask relatives and what you can do if you reach a dead end while researching living family members. (Note: Not affiliated with publisher i30 Media Corporation).

Disclaimer: This YouTube video is being posted for informational purposes only, using the embed code YouTube provides to members of the public. i30 Media Corporation and its publications are not associated with the creators of this YouTube video or any other person, service, or product mentioned in the YouTube video. i30 Media Corporation cannot be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or special damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with the use of this YouTube video. Copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights belong to the original creator(s) of the video.

Heredity: A biology crash course

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Get a quick lesson in biology in this short video from CrashCourse brothers Hank and John, who discuss heredity using the gross example of relative ear wax moistness! (Note: Not affiliated with publisher i30 Media Corporation).

Disclaimer: This YouTube video is being posted for informational purposes only, using the embed code YouTube provides to members of the public. i30 Media Corporation and its publications are not associated with the creators of this YouTube video or any other person, service, or product mentioned in the YouTube video. i30 Media Corporation cannot be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or special damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with the use of this YouTube video. Copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights belong to the original creator(s) of the video.

How to build a genealogy research plan

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Genealogy research plans are crucial for a researcher’s success. In this short video by LisaLisson of YouTube channel “Are you my Cousin?”, find out what goes into a great genealogy research plan so you can be a more successful and efficient researcher. (Note: Not affiliated with publisher i30 Media Corporation).

Disclaimer: This YouTube video is being posted for informational purposes only, using the embed code YouTube provides to members of the public. i30 Media Corporation and its publications are not associated with the creators of this YouTube video or any other person, service, or product mentioned in the YouTube video. i30 Media Corporation cannot be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or special damages of any kind, or any damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with the use of this YouTube video. Copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights belong to the original creator(s) of the video.

Dealing with multiple spellings of a surname

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If you are descended from a someone whose surname could have multiple spellings, the best thing to do is create a document of possible variations. The further away from English surnames, the more ways there seem to be for people to botch the spelling.

Why is this? It really wasn’t until the 20th Century that the exact spelling of a person’s name became important. In earlier eras, spelling was more fluid. Sometimes it was phonetic, particularly if it was a census taker speaking to an immigrant family who could not write or speak perfect English. The census worker would oftentimes make a best guess at a family name. There are instances where you can get a hint of a person’s accent simply by looking at the way a clerk spelled his or her name on a document.

Let’s look at an example. For my Combs ancestors, I have seen the surname for my great-great-great-great-grandfather (or fourth great-grandfather) Charles spelled the following ways:

  • Coombs
  • Combes
  • Comes
  • Coombes
  • Comb

If you throw an immigrant into the mix, there can be even more options. For example, my German ancestor John Miller sometimes had his first name spelled Johann, Johannes, and Johnathan. His last name was spelled Mueller, Müller, or Mueler.

Heary uncle with horses - multiple spellings of last name

Was your ancestor’s surname spelled consistently?

So, as a family researcher, what should you do? My advice is to make a list of all the possible ways a person could spell a non-English sounding name (think phonetically) can be a real asset to your research.

By simply creating a list of every possible way a name could be spelled, and then updating it when you find one not on your list, you will have a cheat sheet of sorts to help in your searches. This is particularly important when you are using an index or database that does not take into account spelling variations and only lists the spelling as seen on a record.

There is one other thing to keep in mind as you conduct research. When you are identifying people in records, you need to look at all the alternatives and not dismiss a person simply because the name was not spelled the way you think it should be.