Linda Barnickel

Linda Barnickel is a professional archivist and freelance writer. She is the author of the award-winning book,Milliken’s Bend: A Civil War Battle in History and Memory (LSU Press, 2013) and has written on numerous historical, genealogical, and archives-related subjects. Learn more about her work at lindabarnickel.com.

Family Foodways

Posted by Linda Barnickel on October 18, 2017 in Guest Bloggers

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary perhaps says it best. Foodways are the “eating habits and culinary practices of a people, region, or historical time period.” Foodways include the growth and production of food, methods of cooking, spices, who cooked the food, social occasions, and special events. Even the intangibles such as aroma, food’s association with memories, folktales and Read More

October is American Archives Month

Posted by Linda Barnickel on October 10, 2017 in Guest Bloggers

October is American Archives Month, and institutions throughout the country are celebrating! Here are seven ways you can get involved: 1) Attend an event Many archives will be having special events throughout the month. These might include open houses, lectures, tours, exhibits or other activities. Check the websites of nearby repositories, including college campuses, public Read More

Compile a Reading History For Your Family

Posted by Linda Barnickel on August 29, 2017 in Guest Bloggers

Have you ever considered doing a “reading history” for your family? What insights might you gain about your more recent family by learning more about what they read, and the newspapers and magazines they subscribed to. Here’s a few examples from my own family. It might not be surprising to learn that I was a Read More

Make Misspellings Work For You

Posted by Linda Barnickel on June 27, 2017 in Guest Bloggers

Often, beginning genealogists miss their ancestors by sticking too firmly to the idea that “that’s not how my family spelled their name, so it can’t be my ancestor.” This statement ignores these basic truths: 1) Ancestors who were illiterate would have no idea how to spell their own name, let alone how someone else should Read More

Strike it Rich with Freedman’s Bank Records

Posted by Linda Barnickel on February 24, 2017 in Collections, Guest Bloggers

By now, many researchers may be familiar with the massive collection of federal records produced by the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (BRFAL), more commonly known as the “Freedmen’s Bureau.” But a frequently overlooked source, with a very similar name, holds a wealth of detail as well. Records from the Freedman’s Savings and Read More

Exploring Your DNA Results Further

Posted by Linda Barnickel on December 1, 2016 in AncestryDNA

This is a guest post by Linda Barnickel. Although I had my DNA tested with Ancestry over a year ago, I only recently discovered the wealth of information accessible through two unobtrusive links to be found on each individual match page. Predicted Relationships Choose one of your individual matches and go to that page. Click Read More

5 Hidden Questions in the U.S. Federal Census

Posted by Linda Barnickel on August 24, 2016 in Research

It doesn’t take long for even a beginning genealogist to recognize the value of federal population census schedules. Tracing a family or individual back through censuses, taken every ten years, makes building a family tree or pedigree relatively easy. But within these schedules, even experienced researchers may forget or overlook these “hidden” questions from certain census years. Read More

“Prologue” Magazine

Posted by Linda Barnickel on May 19, 2016 in Website

Guest post by Linda Barnickel Whether you are exploring National Archives records found on Ancestry, planning a research trip to our nation’s capital, or just want to know more about American history, Prologue, the quarterly publication from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), is an outstanding resource. For decades, Prologue has guided researchers, authors, Read More

Attending a Conference “Virtually”

Posted by Linda Barnickel on April 29, 2016 in Events

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) annual conference  is just around the corner (May 4-7) in Fort Lauderdale, and if you aren’t able to attend in person, there are still ways you can learn from this outstanding gathering of genealogical speakers. Sign Up for Streaming Sessions Hurry! The deadline is May 3. NGS is live streaming Read More

5 Tips for Getting the Most from City Directories

Posted by Linda Barnickel on February 26, 2016 in Collections, Website

City directories are useful for the year-by-year portrait they can paint of our ancestors. They document their moves, changes in occupation, and may note the widowed status of a wife who has recently lost her husband. All of this information can be obtained by simply looking up an ancestor’s name. But consider the other types of information Read More