I'm trying to figure out why my great-great-grandparents told the 1900 US census they were from Denmark, when really they were from Sweden. Would there have been some reason for the lie at that time? [more inside]
Was it typical/usual/done at all for immigrants to the US (20th century, pre-WWI) to marry in the United States even if they had previously married in their country of origin? [more inside]
We've got two photos, a first name and potential surname, rough year and known location at that time, distinguishing marks and military rank. What are our options for finding out more about someone from the past with this amount of information? [more inside]
I'm trying to compute all the variations of my family last names in hoping of finding more leads to my family tree. [more inside]
For the past several years I've been working on my family tree on Ancestry, which has been great. Lots of work has already been done on a number of branches, so there's lots of information. However, I've hit a few genuine dead ends and have run out of ideas of where to look and what to look for. Would hiring a professional researcher help? [more inside]
Quick and simple question: How common is the name Janeskie or Janeski as a given or first name for women in the Philippines? [more inside]
I'm starting a group that will be pursuing Freedom of Information requests (mostly under state laws, not federal FOIA) to have genealogically and archivally relevant materials released from local and state archives and governments and put online for free access. But we need a name for this new group! [more inside]
I'm putting together a genealogy website. Half of it is about my personal family history so my own relatives can look at it. The other half is about genealogy research itself, things of interest to other genealogists in general. I'd like a cool, fairly unique name for this website. Maybe a phrase? Any clever suggestions? Thanks!
My 3-greats grandfather departed Liverpool, England with all of his children for America and arrived here in New York on November 18, 1866. The thing is, I am as sure as I can be that he lived in Raphoe, Donegal, Ireland. Why would he go alll the way to Liverpool when Londonderry was so close? [more inside]
This is my uncle's passport. It was issued in 1949. He was originally from Aleppo, Syria, but he lived elsewhere. I'm not certain what some of the words are (in French and in Arabic) on his passport. [more inside]
I have a photo of my grandfather from the 1930s standing in front of the doorway of a building. I'd like to figure out what the building is and have a few hints that may help narrow it down, but I haven't had any luck just yet. [more inside]
I was helping my dad with some genealogical research, trying to figure out how his ancestors migrated from Swedish-ruled Skåne in the 17th Century to Russian-ruled Gdansk in the 18th. I transliterated our family name, Tulinius, into Russian (Тулиниус). I didn't have much luck finding ancestors, but I did come across a fictional Icelandic Тулиниус in a Russian translation of a French spy thriller in the Coplan series by Paul Kenny. As far as Google translate can tell me, the original name of the book is Coplan sème la panique. As my dad is fluent in French, I'd like to get this as birthday present for him, but I want to be sure the character's really named "Tulinius" and that it isn't just a false hit caused by transliteration of a similar name. Is there any way I can find this out?
I am seeking locational and historical information on addresses, building use history and genealogy resources about Ystradgynlais, Wales. [more inside]
We discovered this picture. Not even the oldest people in my family can identify the man. As the family historian, I should know who it is but i don't. As you can see from the picture, the license plate is visible. I think this is in Maryland. Has anyone ever used license plate info for genealogy? Are these records even kept?
I have a photograph of my 3-greats grandfather, who was born in Denmark in 1848 and died in Iowa in 1926. There's text on the reverse of the image that is in Danish. I don't know what it says. Do you? Difficulty level: old person's crabbed handwriting. Thanks!
Some time in the mid-to-late '80s, I borrowed a book from my local public library (in the UK). I recall neither its title nor the author's name, but I think it may nevertheless be uniquely identifiable from those details of its plot I can remember. Its protagonist is a genealogist, who is hired to discreetly research the family background of a US presidential candidate. There is an element of cat-&-mouse as unknown individuals try to put a stop to his researches, but he perseveres... [more inside]
I have located on-line a 1772 marriage record from Alsace, France pertaining to my family but can't make much out The image is sharp and clear enough but it looks to be in Latin. I can send a copy. Any help would be appreciated.
How can I help my dad digitize his extensive collection of genealogical documentation? [more inside]
My grandfather was born in Pennsylvania to Italian parents during the 1920s in Lackawanna County / Scranton. I was able to obtain a new birth certificate from the PA Dept of Vital Records, but the last name was misspelled. When I called about this, they could only tell me that the mis-spelling "was what it said on the birth certificate". How do I go about seeing the original to get the mistake corrected? [more inside]
I need help deciphering a last name in a 1914 birth record. It sounds Lithuanian, but I think it is spelled worng, because I can't find anyone else with that name...ever. [more inside]
I'm researching my Irish ancestry and am befuddled by inconsistent birth dates. When I compare my ancestors' Irish baptism records (baptisms being close after birth) to their much later American records, the birth dates almost never match up, being sometimes up to six years apart. [more inside]
When I was young, I was told that my maternal grandparents were from Russia. I had my grandfather's birth certificate translated by a friend, and found that he was born in Kishinev in 1904. Currently Kishinev is in Moldova, but my reading has uncovered a ping pong game of ownership regarding Bessarabia and the surrounding areas during that time frame. Perhaps I'm being dense, but I can't quite make out what country Kishinev was a part of in 1904. Any help would be appreciated.
This snippet is from a petition for naturalization filed in North Dakota (USA) in 1908. It is referring to the birth place of a man born in Sweden in 1874. Anyone with more knowledge of historical Swedish parishes and/or turn-of-the-century handwriting care to help me decipher the first word? [more inside]
I've been looking into certain aspects of my family history and I'd like to learn more about one particular person, who I'm told left Poland in about 1941, after members of his family were sent to Theresienstadt, and went on to serve in the British army as a cryptographer. [more inside]
I need help with Irish genealogy websites and where to look. I've joined a couple of sites; the site that looks the most promising is nickel-and-diming me to death just to look at the info that shows up in their searches. Irish records can be spotty, so some of them are totally wrong. So, askMetafilter, where do I go from here without spending another 34 euros to see five records that are probably incorrect anyway? The details (What I know 98% for-sure): [more inside]
My extremely-uncommon and forever-mispelled last name—Huxham—happens to also be the name of a tiny village right outside of Exeter in SW England. My ancestors left Britain from the port of Plymouth on the other side of Devonshire, so I feel fairly confident this might be where my last name comes from. However, even though I have the means and the desire to visit this hamlet…what do I do there? Just start knocking on doors? Should I contact the parish priest and/or tourism board? [more inside]
Does anyone know if gis data for irish townlands, parishes, and/or electoral districts is available? If not, would it be possible to draw a vector map and then somehow connect each region on the map to data on a spreadsheet? I can always color the hundreds of little pieces by hand, but I thought I'd check if there was an easier way, maybe in cartodb or processing. Note: I am not a programmer. Thanks! [more inside]
I am a male. I am the family historian. In an effort to fine-tune my own research into my maternal grandfather's family (the "Jones"), I have my male first cousin take a Y-DNA test, since he has the "Jones" Y-Chromosome (I have my Dad's Y chromosome). Lo and behold, the test comes back with a perfect match, and a predicted Most Recent Common Ancestor within 3 generations. I have researched back farther than that and I know all of their names. None of the last names match. My occupation doesn't take me anywhere near genetics... but I am assuming that a Y DNA match with a MRCA that close should have the same surname for his male ancestor, correct? Except if there's been adoption or infidelity or rape, correct? I sent the results to my cousin, prior to the lightbulb going off over my head. He knows a lot less about this than I do. He hasn't called me yet, but what if he does? Should I just let sleeping dogs lie? Ugh!
How far does genealogy go back in different countries/cultures? [more inside]
Asking for a friend. In a nutshell: My friend has been contacted by at least two different people seeking to identify their biological father, a sperm donor. My friend has enough information to make an educated guess about the identity of the sperm donor. How should he proceed? [more inside]
Trying to obtain Italian citizenship via Jus Sanguinis. Found all relatives born or married in the US and now moving back toward Italy, but running into a wall with Italian records. Does anyone know how to obtain birth and marriage licenses from Italy either online or in person? Family would be from the 1880s-1920s and primarily be from Sicily, Puglia, Calabria, Campania, and possibly Basilicata. Gov't records would obviously be ideal, but Catholic Church records would also be an option. Thank you! [more inside]
I am looking to buy an analysis of my mtDNA, but my search engine seems to be only giving me foreign companies. (This is why I hate tailored searches because they pigeonhole you.) Can anyone help me?
My brother shares his name with one other person in the world (as far as we can tell from Google anyway). This man is probably related to us. Should we write to him? If so, what should we say? [more inside]
My father passed away when I was a kid. I want to contact some of his friends to learn more about him, which is awkward enough, but more so when some of his close friends are public figures. Looking for advice on how to go about this. [more inside]
I have a good scan of the group photo from my grandparents wedding. I know who several of the people are in the photo, and I know that all my grandmother's eight brothers are in the group, but I do not know which brother is which. My Dad has made his best guesses, but he's not sure about many of them. I have recently made contact with several second cousins in the family while doing my genealogical research, so I thought I could get each of them to give me their best guesses in some sort of online survey, and compile the answers to get a sort of family crowd-sourced opinion. But how best to do this? [more inside]
How do I get information about a turn-of-the-century criminal? He was my great-grandfather. [more inside]
Genealogy Software - can't decide between Family Tree Maker and Ancestry Quest. [more inside]
Genealogy question! What does the bolded mean in this record of marriage taken from a 1911 genealogy: Margaret Harris, b. Dec. 12, 1810; m. (1st) Abraham Mitchell. (Barrow, Ind.) [more inside]
ThanksgivingFamilyTimeFilter: Let's talk about family tree-building! I'm looking for genealogy solutions that prioritize narrative as much (if not more) as data. Help me sift through the options? [more inside]
My father's grandfather was adopted with very little paperwork or evidence trail as to his biological origins. Earlier this year, my father's uncle got his DNA tested. Unfortunately, the closest Y-DNA relative we've isolated from the tests is 13 generations back. But, I have a related question: All of the matches, through multiple services (having manually entered the data into other services) have a wide variety of non-repeating last names. Given that Y-DNA matches father-to-son, wouldn't there be at least some names repeating? [more inside]
I found a link to an old court case involving a relative of mine. Google Books won't show me the whole thing - can anyone find it elsewhere or suggest how I can get a copy? I don't have access to legal databases. This is the link, and my relative referred to is Erno Scheiner.
Can I and should I request court records from a 1942 manslaughter case in Tucson, AZ? [more inside]
Archiving Really old photos: Your suggestions on methodology and tools? [more inside]
My great aunt was murdered somewhere in the USA around 1970 by her husband. I only know her first name. How do I find out the details?
My great aunt was murdered somewhere in the USA around 1970 by her husband. I only know her first name. How do I find out the details? [more inside]
How complete are DNA tests at determining ethnic / racial background? [more inside]
I'm a reference librarian trying to help a patron find some information. The father of her children claimed to be Native American, but she is no longer in contact with him. She does have his first and last name and social security number, but no other information. She would like to find out whether he was telling the truth and what tribe he was part of, and share that information with her kids. I've told her that her best bet is to check the tribal rolls in the area that he lived, but she hasn't had any luck there. Any other suggestions?
Does anyone know anything about the Irish trade unionist and politician William X. O'Brien (23 January 1981 - 31 October 1968)? I read that he was born in Clonakilty and, descending from the O'Brien family in that area, I'm curious if he's a relative. I would think it'd be easy to get a little family information on him given his relative prominence, but I haven't turn up much.
Reminded by this question, I want to know if any of my fellow genealogists or history enthusiasts have ever visited their local Mormon FamilySearch Center. [more inside]