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. 

Is it down?

Have you ever had the aggravating experience of doing some genealogy research only to find the website you are trying to reach isn’t available?  I know I have.  For that reason, I was quite happy to find this site where you can check to see if the site is simply having problems or is no longer around.  It’s called Is It Down Right Now?.  You can see what sites are up, which ones are down and other users will post comments on sites they have tried to access and were unsuccessful.  My only question is – where do you go to see if Is It Down Right Now? is down?. . . . . .

New records at Roots Ireland


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RootsIreland continues to expand it’s records of church baptisms by recently adding 5400 records for 12 churches in County Down and County Antrim.  Some records date back as far as 1720!  Records can be searched by surname, first name, and year.  When you register, you can perform up to 100 free searches.


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