Your Quick Tips

Making a Game of It
For fun, I used to recite my ancestors, starting with the immigrant ancestor Thomas Porteous (he came to Vermont then Montreal circa 1785-1790), and name the subsequent direct-line, male descendants down to me. I would then ask one of the children on the spur of the moment who their great-great-grandfather was, and they would tell me. Then I would ask who his father was and his father too. I’m sure you get the idea. My children are now ages 28, 23, 22, and 16, and they know their Porteous direct-line ancestry as far back as we have been able to go. When children are young, make it a game and it becomes fun.

Glen Porteous
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Grandma’s Violets
My husband’s family has a wonderful way of preserving a “living” legacy from his grandmother. When she died back in the 1970s, her ten children got together to divide up the estate. Grandma had quite a few beautiful African violet plants. The plants were divided and every sibling’s family got a cutting. Now thirty-odd years later, we are all still dividing the plants among the descendants as they establish their own homes. Such a simple thing, but now even great-great grandchildren who never knew Grandma can have a loving, living personal part of her legacy. I even still have Great-Aunt Amanda’s cactus–she died in 1956!
Janet Carlson
Maple Grove, MN

Census Search Tip
My tip involves a little, heretofore overlooked (at least by me) gem in connection with census searches. 

When you are looking for someone and you know the approximate area (town, city, community) where they lived, and you know a family member or neighbor who lived very near to them, do a search on that family member or neighbor. Click on the “(year) United States Federal Census Record.” Look down at the info provided before you click on the census image itself. You will see either “Neighbors: View Results” or “Family and Neighbors: View Results.”

I knew one of my grandmother’s first cousins lived less than a quarter mile down the road from her, but could not find them in the census records. By locating the cousin in the index and clicking on “Neighbors: View Results,” there he and his wife were–with their last name definitely misspelled!

As the phrase I coined says: “The rainbow is where you find it, not necessarily at the end of the rainbow.” I found him, but not where I expected.
Pat Almquist

If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!

Quick Tips may be reprinted, with credit to the submitter, in other Ancestry publications, so if you do not want your tip included in a publication other than the “Ancestry Weekly Journal,” please state so clearly in your message.

11 thoughts on “Your Quick Tips

  1. I certainly do not like this new format. When I want to print out an article, which used to be very frequently, I get two or three pages,which is a waste of time. Perhaps I am doing something wrong, but before I only got the one article I wanted. It just took me 3 pages to get this article.

    Please pass this along. Thank you very much.

  2. I love that idea about passing down the flowers! My parents have a climatis vine that used to be my grandmother’s and some day one of kids will get it, unless we can figure out a way to divide without killing it. I’ve done this myself with a huge aloe and a jade tree I got from a dear friend that has passed on. I’ve passed babies and cuttings from these to my children and they love it. What a wonderful way to remember somone dear! I think heirloom seeds would be another fun thing to pass down to families.

  3. I found the note about the violets interesting. I still have a pot of sanservia (mother-in-law’s toung) that started in a dish garden my family received when my brother died in 1963. The plants are now 6′ tall. When I was overseas, my mother kept it for me.

  4. I always had time before to read the article that came up on the daily version, now I find I try to get to the weekly version and read a weeks worth of articles all at once and I just do not have that much time to take from my other task. I have not been able to read 1 weekly journal since you changed and wish you would go back to the daily version.
    Glen C. Farmer.

  5. I find the weekly journal OK. I print it out and read it when I have the time. Let’s give the new format a fair trial, and keep our opinions for about 6 months, then let the editors decide whether or not to keep the format.

  6. I like the tip aboput clikcing on “neighbors” or “neighbors and friends” but where do you click on it? I use the censuses on and have never seen a place to click that says that.

  7. I donot like the new format
    I really miss the daily quick tips, I used to look forward to them

  8. First, I wanted to comment on a quick tip about using Windows Live Local, but that tip isn’t even here when I clicked on the link, so you have a problem there. Second, be aware that Windows Live Local is just like Google Earth — the maps are terribly old and out of date. For something like a cemetery, that may not matter, but if you are looking for the current location of someone’s home, or business, then you may be out of luck. For instance, the current map of my home doesn’t even show our subdivision — and it’s been here for about four years now. So be forewarned!

  9. I must agree with Glen and Nancy. I looked forward to the daily newsletter, and to the Quick Tips. There is so much to read now that sometimes I don’t get back to the letter to finish it before deciding to delete it. I guess it’s like that daily cup or two of coffee vs. a whole pot! Can’t do it!

  10. I LOVE the plant idea. My Mother & I have done that for years. I have outside flowers that belonged to my Grandmother, Great – Grandmother, and several aunts. Whenever I have company, they actually receive my family TREE tour.

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