I just saw a commercial for ancestry.com that sold me on finding out interesting things about my family that I wouldn't even think to look for or ask about. What are my options in terms of services (are there better genealogy sites than ancestry.com?), and what will this cost me? Have you had a good experience with a genealogy service?
At our upcoming family reunion (the first in a good seven years), my mother wants to run an audio "story booth" where family members can come and tell stories to be preserved for posterity. Can y'all think of any tips -- before, during and after -- to help this run smoothly and get the most interesting stories? [more inside]
Dear HiveMind, please help me think of a name for a new web project I'm building. It's essentially a "genealogy search engine in a box", based on a customized build of Apache Solr. It will allow moderately tech savvy genealogy geeks, whether individual genealogists or small genealogy organizations, an easy way to index and search datasets of names and any related data, with a nice front end UI for doing searches. Notable features include faceted search (by record year, record town(s), record source, etc.), soundalike surname searching, customizable given name synonyms (i.e. searching for "Becky" also finds Rebecca), and pop-up Google Maps linked to record locations. And the entire project will be open source. The project is already about 90% completed, but I need something snappy to call it before I can release it. Ideas welcome!
I have lots and lots of photos of tombstones and I want to get the information into a machine-readable format - ideally a spreadsheet. I think I can find volunteers to transcribe them, but I need a way to do it efficiently. Can anyone suggest a way to do this online, perhaps using some sort of blogging or Wiki-like software?
Deciphering old handwriting...please hope me. [more inside]
Do people really trace their family trees back that far? I'm pretty much dead-ended in the 1850s. [more inside]
I need an English-speaking genealogist in Austria with experience searching Austro-Hungarian military records. I haven't had much luck using search engines. Any suggestions?
[biogeography filter] Both of my parents are adopted. How can I find out more about my ethnic heritage? Complicating factors inside. [more inside]
How are people using software and the net to gather and write local history? [more inside]
I'm tracking down my grandparents' backgrounds in Germany. Point me in the right direction? [more inside]
Etymological/genealogical question--tips or tricks for finding the origin of a very elusive family name when Googlefu, Ancestryfu and all other manner of -fus fail? [more inside]
Starting an on-line family tree: Geni or MyHeritage? [more inside]
How can I find common words in two (or more) lists? [more inside]
Good genealogy themes for a Wordpress blog? [more inside]
How can I compare the text in two excel cells for common terms? [more inside]
Are there any good, preferably free, widgets that I can use to build a family tree and put it on my blog? Ideally I would like a widget that has some sort of database behind it, and I would link to a database record for a specific ancestor when I write about them . It would also be cool to show an attractive family tree as a navigational tool to go to old blog posts about specific ancestors. You could click links in the genealogy widget to posts about all of the stories that are tagged "great grandpa Joe," for example.
What are some resources I can look at describing the conditions of northern Germany during the 19th century, and why people may have wanted to emigrate from there? [more inside]
Are there any published works that attempt to trace the descendants of famous historical figures, especially those we read about in ancient history? For example, Cleopatra had children by Julius Ceasar and Marc Antony. One of her daughters was married off to Jubal, king of Numidia and Mauretania. What became of their children? Looked at another way, who among those alive today can trace their lineage to the most distant dates? Royal families would seem to have the advantage here, but not necessarily.
I need help visually and clearly showing/analyzing surname data retrieved from 23andme.com's Relative Finder feature. [more inside]
Help me find a (reputable) person or agency who can procure genealogical records from Italy (specifically Sicily) -- preferably who can communicate in English [more inside]
I'm currently working on my family tree and managed to track down a marriage certificate for my great grandfather. The problem is I can't decipher the handwriting. Can anyone help identify these addresses? [more inside]
How should I organize my family heritage digitally? Quick and easy methods needed. [more inside]
Need help converting very old Family Tree Maker .ftm file to gedcom. [more inside]
Is it legal for a random genealogy website to display my full name, birthdate and mother's maiden name without asking my permission? [more inside]
Genealogy - I would like to find out where an ancestor was buried. [more inside]
Help me scan some precious old family photos! I need advice on the best settings to use: TIFF, dpi, encodings, and the rest of it.. [more inside]
My grandparents were part of a group taken to Austria as slave laborers via the Strasshof concentration camp. The last surviving member of the group remembers their destination as being "Landerthal near Blaustaden, Austria". Does anyone know where this is?
My girlfriend has been doing a family history... [more inside]
I want to get some feedback on my idea for photographing eroded gravestones before I go out and buy the materials to test it. I propose taking two camera flashes and putting green film over one and red film over the other. Then I'll mount one on the left and one on the right of the camera. I hope that this will give green shadows on one side of the carvings and red shadows on the other, and by fiddling with the resulting photo in Photoshop I'll be able to see the faded carvings better. Does this sound as though it would work? Could I get by with a single coloured flash? Is there a better way?
For the Genealogists, armchair or otherwise: You are a Man or Woman living in the 1500s. All things being average, how many descendants would you have today? [more inside]
My grandmother was adopted in Roseau, MN, in April of 1921 at the age of 6 months. On October 13, 1920, she was born, and given into the care of the Lutheran Children's Home Society of Minneapolis. I've found the new name of this organization, and I have the proper forms to fill out to find her original birth certificate. I still worry, however, that this won't go too far. [more inside]
If a woman had a son with Mr. X, then a subsequent son by Mr. X's brother, what would the childrens' relationship to each other be? [more inside]
When did we stop inventing new surnames? [more inside]
What should I do with personal family photos of Notable Historical Personage, my Chinese great-grandfather? [more inside]
Seeking recomendation for immigration attorney in Los Angeles for Italian citizenship by descent case
Please recommend an attorney -- preferably one in the Los Angeles area -- for an unusual Italian citizenship by descent case. Looking for one with knowledge of complicated 20th Century treaties regarding the former Ottoman Empire, modern Turkey, Italy, and Greece, and experience dealing with a lack of some typical primary citizenship evidence. [more inside]
with all this internet connectedness, I've met a few different people online (either through facebook, twitter or geni) who share my not-very-common last name, and we've tried to determine if we're related by relating some of the oldest relatives we know who share the surname, but usually we don't find any overlap. As a genealogical novice, what should my next steps be in trying to find out if we're actually distantly related or if some clerk at Ellis Island just liked to give a bunch of French/German immigrants the same last name? [more inside]
My Father-in-law and wife are going to Edinburgh, Scotland this summer to try and locate his relatives. I thought I'd try to help by visiting geneaology forums and posting some information, but for the life of me I can't find a genealogy discussion forum that doesn't require a subscription. Is there such thing? [more inside]
GenealogyFilter: Looking for an application that represents lifespans down the vertical axis and allows durational events to span across the horizontal axis. And imports GEDCOM. Seen some old programs, and they look pretty Windows 3.0-y... Anything new under the sun? Web 2.0 stuff? I'm already using geni.com--I'd like to stretch the rectangles and slice with horizontal bars. [more inside]
Help me understand emigration patterns of my ancestors. [more inside]
I've been sucked in by the hobby of genealogy. now what? [more inside]
How much should I offer someone in Hungary to photograph graves in a cemetery? I'm doing genealogical research and I need about a dozen graves photographed. I found someone willing to do it, and I don't want to either insult him or drive the price up.
What are the meanings of the surnames Seliukova and Bessadna? [more inside]
Today I had a reason to be looking up a family document, and once again I became fascinated looking at the old family certificates and documents I have in my files. [more inside]
Wondering if anyone here has had a Genealogical DNA test for purposes of learning more about your distant (ie. not recent/paternity) ancestors. I have questions about the differences (price, service, thoroughness) of the various companies offering this service, the type of data that different tests can produce, and ways this data can be (constructively) interpreted. [more inside]
How do I find family overseas? [more inside]
Where can I find an affordable, thorough, genealogist to help me research my Irish ancestry? [more inside]
Strategies for Research: I'd like to go through each of the US Presidents, and show my kids how they're related to each. George Washington was pretty easy, as his ancestry is detailed back to the Scottish kings, so I can show the kids how they're the 22nd cousins, 11 times removed of the first president of the US. The going hasn't been so easy, since, and I'm fishing for some suggestions on tactics I can take to make the going a little easier. [more inside]
Where exactly did my ancestors disembark in New York when they arrived from Ireland? [more inside]
What's the oldest believable continuous genealogy for a live person? [more inside]
If my maternal grandfather was my (alleged?) great-grandfather's biological son, why would his last name be different from both of his parents'? [more inside]