Category Archives: Research Tips

Resource – Family Search Pilot Site (Revisited)

For quite a while I’ve been meaning to write a follow-on post to my earlier one on the Family Search Pilot Site. This one is going to focus on using the Philadelphia (PA) Marriage Index. As the name suggests, this collection is images of the Marriage Index Books, not the marriage licenses or applications themselves. There is no search feature, as this collection has not been indexed. The process here is much more like flipping through the book electronically – or possibly going through microfilm a frame at a time. Warning: This process requires downloading the images that correspond to the pages in the index book. I have a high-speed, fiber-optic broadband connection and it can still be a little slow. I really can’t imagine using this collection extensively on dial-up or even the slower variety of DSL connections.

To use this resource, you start by picking a year range, then the letter of the alphabet corresponding with the surname you are researching. Note that you can look-up the surname of either the bride or the groom since both are in the index book you will be viewing. Continue reading

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Obituaries – A Great Genealogical Resource!

I love reading obituaries – particularly old ones! Okay, in terms of the general population, I guess that’s a little strange. But for the average genealogy buff/family historian, it’s probably normal. In fact, if you visit my genealogy website, you can find many obituaries that I have transcribed for my various family lines.

Obituaries written in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are often very different than the ones written now. I love the phrases they used – “worthy and useful citizen,” “interesting child,” “much esteemed,” and the somewhat jarring “[insert name here] is no more.” Continue reading

Genealogy Resource – GPS

A genealogical resource (or tool) that I’m currently under-utilizing is GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) technology. There are just so many ways this technology could help with genealogical research, and I have only been taking advantage of a few of them.

First, it pretty much goes with out saying that if you have the address of a courthouse, genealogy society, library, etc, you can plug that into a car GPS unit to get you where you need to go without worrying about getting lost. But suppose you want to go to a cemetery, homestead site, mill ruins, or some such place and you don’t have a street address. Continue reading