August, 2009

The Guild of One-Name Studies

In recent weeks, we’ve spent some time examining particular surnames and their variants.  We looked at worldwide and regional distributin of names and we tried to determine what is actually a “variant” and what is a mere mis-spelling.  Having been through that experience, I decided that I need to have some more robust guidance on the matter of surnames.  That …Continue reading →


Things to Do After Breaking Down a Wall

Last in a series–for now 1.  Breathe . . . . 2.  Do the Genealogical Happy Dance! 3.  Breathe . . .heavily.  (Take arthritis remedy). 4.  Notify family. 5. Seek peer review*. 6.  Publicize your research via blog, social network, etc. 7.  Publish your research in a respected journal. 8. Revise family trees, files, websites, genealogies. 9. Pat self on …Continue reading →


You’ve Broken Down a Brick Wall–Now What?

Hint: You’re Not Going to Disneyland! Next in a multi-part series As with a physical barrier, breaking through a genealogical “brick wall” may expose an entirely new landscape.  The new landscape must be explored, analyzed, and documented.  In other words, once the barrier is breached, the real work begins.  If one realizes this fact early, the new territory can be …Continue reading →


We’re on The Genealogy Guys Podcast!

Two of the leading members of the genealogy community and genealogy media, Drew Smith and George G. Morgan, are “The Genealogy Guys.”  They have a podcast which this week features Janet Horvorka, the “Chart Chick,”  and moi. These guys do great work and they turn up just about everywhere genealogical news is to be found. Our interview was done at …Continue reading →


Breaking Down A Brick Wall–The Problem with Surnames, Part II

Fifth in a multi-part series I  had hypothesized that my Gines people were associated with English-speaking people named Gines who came from the West Midlands area.  They came to Virginia and North Carolina and from there moved on to South Carolina and other states of the Deep South, eventually winding up in Louisiana and Texas.   That hypothesis was based on …Continue reading →


MyHeritage Adds Maps in Family Tree Builder 4.0 announced Thursday in London and Tel Aviv the release of Family Tree Builder 4.0.  The key improvements of the new version include a map module, a family toolbar with Family Chat™ and extensive support for albums to organize a family’s photos, videos and documents, the company said in a press release. Gilad Japhet, CEO and Founder of, was …Continue reading →


Breaking Down A Brick Wall: The Problem With Surnames

Fourth in a multi-part series In the comments to the last post  our friend Apple [her blog is Apple’s Tree; visit it!] writes: It certainly seems like the right family. I’ve seen some interesting name variations but how did they get Guion from Gines? Or visa versa. I’d be very comfortable going with this. That’s the very question presented for …Continue reading →


Genealogy, Paleontology, and Cosmological Narratives

Paleontology Genealogy is the science of moving from this————-> to this: without ever having seen one. During the course of my intensive Gines research, it occurred to me that putting the flesh on newly discovered bones without having ever seen the actual creature or even an exemplar thereof, is fraught with risks of uncertainty, ambiguity, and plain old mistake.  No …Continue reading →


“So What Makes You So Sure You’ve Knocked Down a Brick Wall?”

Remember the The Wrong Longs? Third in a multi-part series One of my other great-grandfathers on my mother’s side was named James William Long.  As with Richard William Gines, I set out to find the parents of James Long.  That search seemed like a stroll in the park compared to this one!  I quickly found a James Long in Kansas …Continue reading →


The Process of Breaking Down a Brick Wall

Second in a multi-part series Here’s a synopsis of how I achieved my #1 research goal: finding the parents of my great-grandfather, Richard Gines of Shreveport, Louisiana.  Bear in mind that eahcof these steps took months or even years to complete and some ran concurrently. Step 1:  The  Neophyte Phase.  I was new to genealogical research and had fairly easily …Continue reading →

August 2009
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