About Amy Johnson Crow

Amy Johnson Crow is a Certified Genealogist and an active lecturer and author. Her roots run deep in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. She earned her Masters degree in Library and Information Science at Kent State University. Amy loves to help people discover the joys of learning about their ancestors and she thinks that there are few things better than a day in a cemetery. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Amy Johnson Crow.

Past Articles

Getting the Most from Your Offline Research Dollars

Posted on January 28, 2016 in Research

Unless you were the winner of the recent $1.5 billion lottery, you probably don’t have unlimited money to spend on your genealogy. Although Ancestry provides access to billions of records, there are times when you have to obtain a copy directly from a record office. Here are some tips for making the most of your offline genealogy… Read more

Tracing American Deaths Abroad

Posted on January 25, 2016 in Collections

Arthur Amson of St. Louis, Missouri was a student of philology at the University of Leipsic in Germany. He died there on July 7, 1875. While we commonly think about “traditional” death records, there is a special group of records created for Americans who died abroad. United States consulates are to report the deaths of… Read more

Guardianship: A Misunderstood Probate Term

Posted on January 14, 2016 in Collections, Research

If you’ve searched in the probate collections and skipped over a result for a guardianship because you know one of the parents was still alive, you should go back and look at that record. Guardianship is an often-misunderstood concept in probate. What Guardianship Is and Is Not Guardianship is when the court appoints someone to represent the… Read more

Using the Lancaster, Pennsylvania Mennonite Vital Records

Posted on January 12, 2016 in Collections

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, area is known for its Amish and Mennonite heritage. Over the course of many years, the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society has compiled more than 210,000 index cards with records of the Mennonite families in the region. Until recently, these cards were only available to researchers at the society’s library. Now, LMHS has partnered… Read more

Preserving the War of 1812 Pensions: An Update

Posted on December 23, 2015 in Collections, Military Records

The Preserve the Pensions project is raising funds to digitize and preserve the 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 pension files. These files had never even been microfilmed. Each time someone requested a file from the National Archives, it required handling the paper file. All of that processing over the years has been hard… Read more

How to Estimate a Date of Death With a Will

Posted on December 1, 2015 in Research

Death records are one of the things that we want to find for each ancestor. However, there are times when that record doesn’t exist.  (Don’t you hate it when an ancestor dies before that state started keeping death records?!) If you can’t find a death record and his or her tombstone hasn’t been found or… Read more

Researching U.S. Merchant Marines

Posted on November 16, 2015 in Collections, Content, Military Records

People researching members of the U.S. Merchant Marine have to be creative with their searching, as the records aren’t as plentiful as they are for the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard. Recently, that search became a little easier for those who are researching in the early 20th century. U.S., Merchant Marine… Read more

Getting to Know Pennsylvania WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files

Posted on November 11, 2015 in Content, Military Records

Although the United States was involved in World War I for a relatively short period of time (1917-1918), the records generated by and about those who served should not be overlooked. The records go beyond the well-known World War I Draft Registration Cards. Pennsylvania WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files A new collection on Ancestry… Read more

What We Are Reading: December 19th Edition

Posted on December 19, 2014 in In The Community

Much like the mixed bag of gifts that Santa carries, we’ve been reading a mix of topics this week. One thing that they have in common is that each of them makes us think about the sources we’re using and the stories we’re telling (or not telling). Denise Hibsch Richmond shows how newspapers can tell… Read more

What We Are Reading: December 12th Edition

Posted on December 12, 2014 in In The Community

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer. Judging from what we’ve been reading this week, it’s also the season for writing about the wrong-doings of our ancestors! Bill West tells us about an incident involving his ancestor and wayward horse. Let’s just say that he forgot to tie it up one night and things escalated from… Read more