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Memory joggers for prominent links on this Page.

  1. County Formation Maps
  2. Google Searches
  3. Living People Lookups - updated Sept. 10, 2018 with
  4. Newspaper Research
  5. Source Citations

The Challenge of Adding Sources to Family Trees

My favorite blogger James Tanner is writing a series about "The Challenge of Adding Sources to Family Trees". He has a great perspective on the topic with a trial lawyer background and years as a researcher and teacher of genealogy.

  1. The Historical Reality (20 Aug 2016)
  2. The Citation Issue (4 Sep 2016) James lists many (ten) citation standards.

Forms for Genealogy

Various sources of blank genealogy forms

Irish Genealogy

  • Irish Genealogy Toolkit and Irish Genealogy News by Claire Santry. Irish Genealogy Toolkit was created as a way of passing on that knowledge to another generation of amateur genealogists and, she hopes, sparing them the wasted hours and money of going round and round in circles or following blind alleys. It covers all the basics of tracing ancestors in Ireland. Irish Genealogy News came along a few years later to keep family historians up to date with the surprisingly fast-moving world of Irish genealogy. Professionals and amateurs alike have come to depend upon it.
  • The Septs - Outstanding publication about Irish Genealogy
  • Irish Clans, Tribes and Septs - Tries to be the biggest index of freely available eBooks (or 'e-Books' if you prefer) on Irish History, Biography and Genealogy! The eBooks are listed in a wide range of categories.

Word Clouds

  • is the simplest to use and the most flexible of all the word cloud generators I've seen, and, it's free
  • If you have a Family Tree in, the web site has a namecloud function for your ancestor's first names and last names that's pretty good.
  • Also does word clouds from pasted-in text, but it requires Java.

Free Conference Calling

Completely free, they claim. See a review of five sites that advertise free conference calls.

Genealogy Web Site Ranking with

Will rate your favorite web site numerically & analyze in many ways. See if your favorite web site stands up to this scrutiny. An example is:

Census Search

Find out details about your city. Originally developed as a research tool for reporters to include background information.

Migration Analysis

Web site discussion American Migration Patterns. Recommended by James Tanner in 2014


This is a very powerful and free genealogy tool. It is similar to in that it has record search and Family Tree capabilities. A separate page for this topic has been developed as well as several other links to the site,

Google Search

  • Six "Secret" Genealogy Google Search Tricks, especially the "around(x)" operator.
  • Google Advanced Searchhas a form for you to input a variety of search terms. Very useful!
  • Google Genealogy Searching Article from Genealogy In Time Magazine.
  • Search Term to produce list of Free Kindle Genealogy Books" “Free in Kindle Store” Your Search Term(s)
  • Guide to Google - - Will make you an "Expert" Google searcher
  • Good overview course on Google search by a Google scientist.
  • Focused Searches: Precede your search with the tilde symbol to limit the search to synonyms... e.g. ~genealogy (Google says they removed this feature)
  • Remove items - If you want to search for something and exclude results, add a word preceded by the dash symbol
  • Exact phrase - Surround a series of words by quotes e.g. "William Cullison George"
  • Search just for images including uploading a .jpg file, and find similar images.
  • Find Clipart... Google "clipart genealogy", or use "clipart genealogy" and find even more genealogy clipart
  • Search for date ranges, add this to your query "1910..1930"

Twitter-Based Source/Citation Genealogy Chat

Online Calendars

Publishing a family's history

Newspaper Research

Find GPS Coordinates

  1. Type in address to get coordinate:
  2. Navigate Map to get coordates:
  3. In Google Earth - Navigate to your location, then click on New Placemark Icon (looks like yellow stickpin), move to desired location, then copy paste L/L from the New Placemark Dialog Box
  4. In Google Maps - Navigate to the location, then right-click and click on "What's Here"

Social Security Death Master - Find Social Secuiry Numbers Just change the date in the URL. You might get lucky. e.g.

Finding Live People

Here are my favorite "live people" search sites. If you REALLY want to find out about someone, you can find a lot by using any/all of these sites. The latest one I added is that estimates your home's worth if you supply the address. I read about it on Dick Eastman's Blog

  3. * Comprehensive
  4. ( this also points back to infobel - seems to be non-US oriented)
  5. (kind of slow)
  11. * Gathers from Multiple sources
  17. * Very good


Connecting with Irish History

Ireland History

Scotland History

Correcting On-Line Family Trees

An excellent article by Kimberly Powell of It covers seldom-discussed on-line trees such as Ancestry's Online Family Tree, One World Tree, RootsWeb's WorldConnect Family Tree

How to Find Maiden Names

James Tanner had a blog post about this that also referred to a FamilySearch Wiki article and a more detailed article. All were very informative.

Regional Research Assistance

New York

Find photos of Street Addresses and Values of Homes

  1. - Provides real estate values.
  2. - Key in street & see a picture of property via Google Maps

DNA Testing

My wife and I have "indulged" in DNA tests (Autosomal Tests with Ancestry, FTDNA and Y DNA with FTDNA for me, a Y DNA test fo rmy wife's brother's son and an autosomal test for her). We found very close Y matches with our same surnames, but unfortunately, none of our matches have done research far back enough to identify who the common relatives are. There is a lot to learn about genetic genealogy, especially if you want to understand what is being tested. It's complicated and geneticists have their own terminology, A DNA SIG was started by the SRVGS group in 2012 to help us understand it and ended about 6 month later. There are many web sites that shed light on the subject. DNA testing can be expensive and, I would imagine, quite profitable for the companies that provide the testing. Therefore there's a lot of advertising and inflated clains. YDNA tests cost between $125-$175 and mitochondrial test are over $200. Autosomal (so called "Family Finder") tests are more reasonable as millions are taking it, on special as low as $59 and normally about $99. Here some links I've run across:

I would say that and MyHeritage have helpful sections on their web sites that focus on DNA matching and connect common individuals in uploaded family trees. This saves a great deal of effort.

Genealogy Tools

Calculate birth date from death date and age on tombstones and death certificates

Behind your Name

These sites can be used to discover the meaning and history of your name.

TNG - The next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (version 9)

After being shown some TNG web sites recently, I became very interested in this software. It appears to be a very flexible way to put your personal genealogy on the Web so that potential collaborators will see it and contact you with a wealth of new information. It has been installed successfully in August, 2011 and my wife and I are experimenting with it. They came out with a version 9 earlier in 2012 and it's working well. Some example sites are: Lisa and Roger, Author's TNG Site (Darrin Lithgoe), Linda's Genealogyand the Kloosterman family. It is very cool software, only costs $30. See also a TNG web page I'm using to accumulate information about it.

Lots of info about obituaries and a bonus is many manual chart forms that you can easily download from their site map.

Gedcom Issues

There appears to be a dearth of good information about the Gedcom format used to transfer genealogy data between computer programs. Maybe there's a book or web site that's so good, nobody needs to publish anything else! Well, I think that people concentrate so much on their own genealogy programs that they don't share data with other programs. So they don't have issues of sharing files between genealogy programs. I noticed a couple blog entries from blog dealing with this very issue and I hunted down a couple other web sites that talk about Gedcom issues.

Find Cities and Towns - from Rootsweb

Publish Free Genealogy Web Sites and Files

Browser Access Web Sites

Free Sites to save file

County Formation Maps and Historical Boundaries

There is an excellent Ani-Map program from they call the County Boundary Historical Atlas. Several web sites give credit to Ani-Map in generating their County Formation maps. One is and another is with an example using Pennsylvania Counties. Also, has an extensive set of Ani-map-like county formation maps. Another tool is the Newberry Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (mentioned in James Tanner's blog. Randy Majors created a free website tool that uses this excellent Newberry source, overlaid on a Google Map. Just type in any present day US address and historical year.

He also has one for countries of the world at

Also, read two blog posts by James Tanner that cover this topic very well. Take Time for Geographic Timeline

History - Growth of a Nation and World

Ancestry Magazine Back Issues

Ancestry has ceased publishing the Ancestry Magazine. But all back issues are available from Google Books.

The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)

This is an authoritative approach to genealogy research that is approved by Board of Certification of Genealogists. It has been documented by the web site and in a Lisa Cooke Episode 20 interview of Mark Tucker. has a process map and a PowerPoint explanation to demonstrate the GPS. Tip: The uses Web 2.0 free slideshare technology to display the PowerPoint file.

The GPS is like a Process Map. The process map outlines the steps needed to meet standards and starts with defining your research goal or step and then follow the GPS.

  1. Conduct a reasonably exhaustive search.
  2. Need a complete and accurate source citation.
  3. Do analysis and correlation of what you've found so that all facts correlate with each other.
  4. Work to resolve conflicting evidence. Use additional resources to resolve conflicts.
  5. Write sound, reasoned, coherent conclusions .

After using this process, when you talk to a genealogy professional about your work, you will be talking the same "language".

Personalized Maps

Discovered this map-making gadget & couldn't resist showing our travels, mostly in the U.S., Mexico & Canada and UK with some Caribbean. The web site, has ALL KINDS of artsy craftsy web pages like this, from calendar makers to comic book captions.

Travels of Bill and Diane through 2014
Make yours @
Make yours @
Make yours @


The Genealogy Research Plan

To do family history research, you need to have goals and a plan.

Research Assistance

Search Your Family Tree Using Google

Macintosh Genealogy Resourse

TV Programs about Genealogy:

Local (to Castro Valley, California) Genealogy groups:

Regional and National and Regional Genealogy Groups

Census Analysis Tools

Very Helpful Tools when analyzing Census Record. Try googling "Census Image Templates"


Genealogy Research Libraries - Bay Area

  • Oakland Regional Family History Center (with list of 12 Bay Area FHCs)
    4766 Lincoln Avenue
    Oakland, Alameda, California, United States
    Phone: 510-531-3905
    Hours: T, W 10am-9pm; Th, F, S 10am-4pm
  • National Archives Pacific Region
    1000 Commodore Drive
    San Bruno, California 94066-2350
    Phone: 650-238-3500
    Fax: 650-238-3511
  • Sutro Library

    480 Winston Drive
    San Francisco, CA 94132
    Phone: (415) 731-4477
    Fax: (415) 557-9325
  • Santa Clara Central Park Library
    Genealogy Collection in Heritage Pavilion (search for Central Park Library)
    2635 Homestead Road
    Santa Clara, CA 95051
    408-615-2900 Reference Desk


Genealogy Lineage Software




Research Web Sites

Charts for Genealogy

Books (free)

Common Genealogical Data Format

Popular SF Bay Area Libraries

Photography Sites useful to Genealogists

Genealogy Blogs

There are some very informative Genealogy Blogs. A couple noteworthy ones are Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy, Genea Musings, the Genealogy Bank Blog and a terrific Resource, a genealogy blog finder.

Genea Musings' Randy Seaver has daily "themes" that are useful to follow. He was kind enough to create a special daily list for us, with these categories

"Some explanations about my "theme posts" (see suggested daily genealogy blogging prompts here):"

*  The Amanuensis Monday posts (amanuensis means to transcribe) may help other researchers by providing a transcription for a will, deed or other document.  I am contacted occasionally by researchers who share the person for whom I've transcribed a document.  Transcribing the document helps me - I often see details that I missed earlier, and leads to additional research for more family history data and documents. I've created an Amanuensis Monday page to make it easier to find these posts.

*  The Tuesday Tip's post series are to help other researchers investigate genealogy resources that I discover and mention.  I often explore a new genealogy website, or describe a record collection on a free or commercial website. 

*  The Wordless Wednesday posts are presentations of my family photographs, and an explanation of them. It seems that some of my readers have a better eye than I do, and tell me of details that I've missed.  At some point, my goal is to collect these posts in family groups and produce digital books of the photos and posts. 

*  The Treasure Chest Thursday posts are presentations of heirlooms and documents, and my analysis of them as they pertain to my family history.  When I post and transcribe or extract from them, I often learn something new that I've missed from earlier analysis.  Sometimes, these posts spark a reader comment that provides more pertinent analysis, or tells me that I've helped someone.

*  The Surname Saturday posts are pure "cousin bait" - somebody may do a Google search on an ancestral name and find my post, and either comment or contact me.  I try to add authoritative source listings to these posts.  Other researchers comment on these posts with suggestions for additional resources, or to point out problems or errors in my listings.

*  The Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) posts are intended to add a little levity, challenge and fun to our genealogy week, and often lead readers to check out a new resource, test a software feature, or write a  post on a specific topic.

*  I often write blog posts about my current genealogy research in hopes that readers will comment on my findings, or suggest other research opportunities.  I'll take help from anybody, and appreciate it. I realize that I don't know "everything" about every locality, genealogy subject or record repository collection, but am willing to learn, and  sometimes my readers significantly contribute to my research effort.  Some examples of crowdsourcing my genealogy research include The Whittle Research Compendium and Crowd-Sourcing Cousin Edith.

*  All of these "theme" posts, and the others that fill out the week, keep me busy writing something every day, and I have fun doing them while learning something myself, helping readers with educational or challenging tips and techniques, and keeping me in the Genealogy Cave instead of out roaming the bars, bowling alleys and the mean streets of Chula Vista from early morning to late at night.  Linda usually knows where I am!  I do get out occasionally to genealogy society meetings (once or twice a week), cemetery excursions (rare now), and library visits (rare now), or to seminars and conferences.  

See this list of daily posts at


Podcasts are very helpful. You can play them on your mp3 player (iPod or equivalent) and learn when you have downtime traveling or waiting. You just downlod the podcasts (mp3 files) and upload to your music player. iPods and iPhones make it very easy to automatically choose and get new podcasts using iTunes.


British Royals

Research Tools

Genealogy Inc - See also their list of county formation maps of most states. I use this one from Pennsylvania

Some Interesting Genealogy Sites:

  1. Family History 101 - Great Genealogy site - Contains much information including a nice selection of genealogy forms and how county map boundary formations evolved.
  2. Shoestring Genealogy - Save Money! -
  3. - Very compelling way to share your family tree and motivate relatives to provide biographical information.
  4. Genetic Genealogist web site
  5. Surname Distribution in the world - Shows where people with your same last name are living in the world. Read about it.
  6. Free Genealogy Program, PAF (Personal Ancestral File) - This is an excellent, free Genealogy program from LDS. There also are help files and frequently asked questions available.
  7. Cyndi's List is a tremendous resource, at
  8. Google Genealogy Search - There is also a clever genealogy search page using Google technology that's quite helpful at
  9. Family Tree Searcher - This is a Multi-Site Genealogy Search utility that lets you search eight genealogy sites at once. It may save you some time.
  10. A good free resource for beginning genealogists is They have podcasts and frequent email updates available as well as the web site itself.
  11. History of the Census
  12. Millions of users - Do a search on "Genealogy" to find friends, blogs, podcasts and web sites. Maybe get lucky and run into relatives (and maybe not).
  13. Self-publishing site for people who want to publish their blogs.


George Genealogy Research

I am working on a brick wall, trying to locate any information about my third great grandfather. I have information about my second great grandfather Samuel George, b. 1815 Indiana cty, PA, d. 1889 Mercer Cty, PA. An 1880 census record indicates that Samuel's father is from Ireland. That's all I know about him. So I'm looking into immigration from Ireland to the U.S. before 1815 and families that existed in nearby Indiana, PA. I located a William George born in Ireland, who lived close to Indiana, PA and am tracing his family. Updated Mar 2015. Fairly likely guess at given name for 2nd ggf is "William" according to Irish family naming conventions. So I'm on the trail of William George, in early Pennsylvania (1810-1830), and before. My aunt and I commissioned some work by Salt Lake City LDS Researchers and found some additional information including a will, where a William George left Samuel George land and a home in Pennsylvania. It's looking like William George may be our man.

I'm also researching the George line using Ancestry, Rootsweb, MyHeritage and FamilySearch sites.

  1. George Surname Origin & Last Name Meaning
  2. George Study
  3. George DNA Surname Project
  4. Rootsweb George Surname Mail List
  5. Memorabilia - Crests & gifts
  6. George Surname web sites on
  7. My family is connected to Sir Godfrey Kneller, it is thought through family lore - But it isn't clear how. I have Knell surnames. To find out more Google Godfrey Kneller and visit this web site and the Wikipedia Page on him at
Last Updated September 10, 2018 by bg
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