There’s a new kid on the block – Crestleaf



Crestleaf is the newest kid on the block of genealogy websites.  Joining is free, as is browsing.  Since the site is new, you won’t find a huge amount of people from your family tree (unless you get very lucky) but this will change as more people join and start sharing.

You can also store family photographs.  They allow you to upload 250 for free. After that, you can purchase more storage for photos.  There is never any charge to add family members to your tree.

There is also a blog on the site where they provide interesting and useful information and how-to tips and it is worth checking out.

While it may not give you the bells and whistles Ancestry does, it isn’t a bad place to start for folks who don’t want to pay Ancestry’s ever increasing membership prices.

Wikipedia for Genealogy? You bet!


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All through my college courses, we were constantly told that Wikipedia was not an allowed source for information.  This must have stayed with me because I would never have dreamed of using Wikipedia for genealogy purposes.  So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Wikipedia’s listing of online newspaper archives!

Broken down by country (and as in the case of the good ‘ole USA, by state), the list indicates if the newspapers are free or a pay service.  This is a valuable resource you’ll want to bookmark since it will continue to grow as more and more newspapers are digitized.

While you are there, you can also look over their listing of records used in genealogy.  This list is helpful to those who have recently undertaken tracing their family roots and are stumped on what types of records they can use for gathering information.

It goes without saying that just because you found it on the Internet, doesn’t mean it is accurate.  Wikipedia also offers information on the reliability of records and sources, another must-read article!

How do you say that?



Have you seen the movie, Leap Year?  Anna goes into an Irish Pub wanting to use a phone.  The barkeep has his back to her but his name is emblazoned across the back of his shirt: EOGHAN.  She did what most of us would do – pronounce it phonetically.  It was wrong of course.

So just how do you say that?  Wonder no more my fellow genealogists.  Just hop on over to Hear Names and enter the name you want to hear.  You can also search by nationality.  What a wonderful idea this is!  Now if you are going to be traveling, bookmark this site and don’t be caught up in embarrassment because you didn’t know that Eoghan is pronounced like Owen.

American Ancestors


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If you have ancestors who lived in the New England states, you may want to visit American Ancestors and look over their free databases.  They have a nice collection of records that you can browse and search for free.  They also have tips on searching and town guides to assist with your research.  If you find you have a lot of research to conduct in those states, you can join American Ancestors for as little as $80 a year.

Free Database County Records


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Everyone needs a starting point to begin their genealogy project, so today I am going to provide you with a link to free databases of county records to get your search underway.  These databases are broken down first by county and then by record type.  The list is at I Dream of Genealogy’s website.

Be sure to check out their other tips, records, and features while you are there.  Once, while browsing someone’s personal genealogy site, I found a marriage notice of my gg-grandparents, something I had not been able to find!  You never know what gems you will find so explore, explore, explore!

Historic Irish Street Maps


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If you have Irish roots and hopes of visiting Ireland to see where your ancestors lived, then you’ll want to visit the website of Joe Buggy and Shane Wilson. Their site hosts a collection of digitized street maps of Dublin and Ireland, viewable in Google map format.

Also on their site are several links to other Irish genealogy sites and of particular interest, Mr. Wilson is willing to do lookups from various Dublin directories from 1848 forward. 

This site is one you’ll want to bookmark and follow for your Irish genealogy!

Free Access at


, is offering free access to just-released global records.  Search out new global collections of vital, census, church, and immigration records to learn even more about the lives of your ancestors. Start searching now – free access ends September 1 at midnight.

What if a relative resided in a “poor house?”


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Not every person had a roof over their head, food to eat and clothing in good repair to wear.  Many people fell on hard times due to family illnesses and death, their own physical or mental illnesses, and the lack of a skill that would sustain them economically.  These people would seek shelter at a poorhouse, also called an Almshouse.  Today, I happened upon a website that is dedicating itself to providing historical and genealogical information on our country’s poor houses. 

While Poor House Story isn’t complete, it would be well worth keeping an eye on and if you have photos or information to contribute, I’m sure they would love to hear from you.  They are in the process of redesigning their website,  so be sure to bookmark and check back often.

Pinterest for Genealogy?

I’m not sure that Pinterest would come to mind when thinking about genealogy research, however, maybe it should.  When I Googled ‘hidden gems in genealogy,‘ I was given a link to Pinterest boards and I thought, why not?!  Many folks that do their family history pin interesting finds to Pinterest and those finds just might have a gem waiting for you to discover!  Happy pinning!

County Clerks

When doing research at a local courthouse, it is generally a good idea to call ahead and find out what records are available, hours of operation, the format the records are in and what are the copying fees.  But who do you call? 

The folks at County Clerk Court Records have that all sorted out for you.  At their site you will find a listing of over 3000 county clerk offices with contact information and addresses.  This is handy information to have when planning a trip to do some research!  A big kudos to the folks that put this information together. 


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