Research Note Replies to “Those Oldies But Goodies”

After having posted about “ancient research aids,”  I got a very pleasant email from John Bacus, a product manager on’s search engine.  He pointed out the “location filters” on the search engine.  They are located just under the location box in each search box, just as the name filters are just beneath the name boxes.  These filters,allow a user …Continue reading →


Research Note: The SSDI (Part II)

This article is about the Social Security Death Index, not Social Security Disability Insurance. In our last post we learned a few things about the Social Security Death Index. First we found out that the government doesn’t use the term SSDI; this term is used by nongovernmental concerns to describe the product that they derive from the Social Security Administration’s …Continue reading →


Research Note: A Bit of Info about SSDI

A poster on the APG public mailing list recently asserted that she had come across an error in the date of death listed for a person on the SSDI. She questioned how this could happen when the entry was supposedly verified by a family member.  In response another poster said that as far as she knew, the Social Security Administration …Continue reading →


Finding Federal Court Records for Free [Mostly!]

“Court records” can mean literally anything of public interest filed with the courts.  But some of the juiciest stuff is to be found in criminal cases and civil lawsuits.  Ron Arons has an excellent book out called Wanted:US Criminal Records–Sources & Research Methodology.  He describes the state and federal repositories for these records.  I’ve used his book several times in …Continue reading →


Research Note: Don’t Overlook the Simple Way

Chris Dunham at The Genealogue has made genealogical “challenges” a somewhat regular feature of his blog. These are quite interesting, fun, and test one’s rapid research skills. I enjoy them a lot, because I always learn something, either about the particular subject or about some research resource I may have not known about before. I always have to work fast …Continue reading →


Research Note: Historic Missouri Newspaper Project

Thanks to a link I found in the Genealogical Research Resources Group started by Denise Olson, I found myself at the Historic Missouri Newspaper Research Project. The project is a collaboration among several institutions in Missouri, including Lincoln University, the University of Missouri- Columbia Libraries, the Kansas City Public Library, and the State Historical Society of Missouri. There are not …Continue reading →


Research Note: On the Ground in Cemeteries

[Posted from Kansas City, Missouri] I’ve spent several days in cemeteries on this trip and the following have proved useful: 1. Call ahead to ascertain the hours both the gates and the office (if there is one) will be open. 2. Stop by the office (if there is one) and interview the staff. Learn the history of the cemetery as …Continue reading →


Some Info On Texas Birth and Death Records

I have written occasionally about my mostly positive experience getting Texas birth and death records. I recently came across this article at that adds some important information about researching Texas death records. By the way, Texas (not surprisingly) has an “Heirloom Birth Certificate” available for your favorite Native Texan. It can be ordered through Texas Online. I’m getting one …Continue reading →


Google Books

If you haven’t searched on Google Books, go there immediately (immediately after reading this post, of course!). There are tens of thousands of genealogy and history references available there. Controversy initially dogged Google books when first introduced; Google was accused of copyright violations in its program to digitize entire libraries. Much of the initial hubbub has died down and now …Continue reading →


Finding the LeJays: Parlez-vous Francais?

I have written before about the difficulty I have had finding the Lejay family. My great grandmother was Sylvia Lejay Gines and her mother was Syntrilla Brayboy Lejay. I believed that Sylvia’s father’s, and Syntrilla’s husband’s, name was Lewis. I know that they’re connected to both Louisiana and South Carolina. Finding records of them has been very difficult especially in …Continue reading →

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