Thursday, July 25, 2013

Periodicals Besides Newspapers

Are you searching GoogleBooks for materials besides printed books? I recently discovered a set of bound issues of an Illinois county farm bureau newsletter that contained several references to a great-grandfather. Not the sort of thing a person usually thinks to search for.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BYU Family History Books Now at FamilySearch

Digital books in the Family History Archives at BYU  are now available at Family History Books.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Need Historical Weather Data?

If you are needing historical weather data for a project or just out of curiosity, try this site from the National Climatic Data Center:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Genealogy Class-Researching Female Ancestors

Summer Class-Researching Female Ancestors

Female ancestors present special challenges for the American researcher. Consider taking our homework-optional class! To keep this post short, we've linked to the more detailed post here. 

Have You Tried Elephind? ( claims to have indexed 45,285,868 items from 1,034 newspaper titles.
Only free sites are included.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Free Databases in Scott County, Iowa (Davenport)

If you have family in the Scott County, Iowa, area (which includes the City of Davenport) consider looking into these free databases on a website sponsored by the Davenport Public Library ( You'll have to get clever with your searching as Soundex-based searches are not allowed.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Personal Digital Archiving

The Library of Congress has an excellent set of guide materials to assist individuals in "personal digital archiving" at Check it out for ideas on preserving your own materials.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Last Names of Spouses At FamilySearch

This trick will not work when both husband and wife have common surnames, but if at least one of the last names is slightly unusual, consider searching at FamilySearch using just the last name of the "main person" and their "spouse."

You might be surprised at what you find.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Organizing Genealogical Information-July/August 2013

Need to grow your research skills this summer? Consider taking our homework-optional class! If you have registered you should have received your welcome message--email me at if you did not.

Organizing Genealogical Information:
A Short Course
With Michael John Neill
(scroll down for specific schedule)
Organizing information is an important part of genealogical research—perhaps more important than the actual research. This short course (only 4 sessions) is intended to provide the students with exposure to a variety of ways to organize information with an emphasis on problem-solving. The course will consist of four lectures (topics and schedule below), problem assignments, virtual follow-up discussions, group discussion board interaction, and student submission of work (optional). There is no assigned grade—you get from this what you put into it. Students will also be able to share their work and ideas with other students.
Citation of sources is important, but presentations will not focus on citation theory.
This time the course will be presented a little bit differently. Students will be able to download the lecture and view it at their convenience--ideally all on the same day that the download link is sent to registered students.
Course registration is only $30 for this run of the course. Class size is limited to 30 to encourage group interaction. Attendees will need to register 24 hours before the class starts. If you registered for a previous session and were not able to actively participate--email me to be put in this series at no charge.
  • Assignment/Study 1Charts, Charts, and More Charts (we will discuss a variety of charts and table to organize your information and your searches—all students work on same problem
  • Assignment/Study 24 Step Research Process (we will discuss a four-step process to research organization)—pick your own problem
  • Assignment/Study 3— Constructing Families from pre-1850 Census (discuss of how to ascertain family structure from pre-1850 US census records)---all work on same problem
  • Assignment/Study 4— Problem Solving Chart (problem-solving techniques not discussed in previous lectures)– pick your own problem

Lecture downloads:
  • 21 July
  • 28 July
  • 4 August
  • 11 August
  • 23 July 8:45 PM Central
  • 25 July 8:45 PM Central
  • 7 August 8:45 PM Central 
  • 14 August 8:45 PM Central
Lectures and discussions will be via GotoMeeting.

Register via this link.

To view this email as a web page, visit:


Michael John Neill
Genealogy Tip of the Day

Florida Memory Collection

Those with Florida connections may wish to check out the Florida Memory Collection at the website of the Florida Division of Information and Library Services. Over 300,000 records from their collection have been digitized.

The link is: