Your Quick Tips

Ask Around on Local Research Trips
Always ask around when you pay a visit to a family locale. On our way to Alaska, my husband and I made a side trip to Chelan Washington to do some genealogy. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the local historical society, asked the attendant if they knew of the “Van Meter” family and she answered, “Why yes, I do know we have some photographs, entries in the baptismal records, and you will find some headstones in our cemetery!” Genealogy heaven! Now, I never hesitate to ask, ask, ask!

Karen Binkley
Long Beach CA

Correspondence Log
To maintain my letters of information about ancestors from relatives I added them to my notebook in clear sleeves so you can show who its from, then the data received. This saves time searching for these letters and other data that they sent. I put each in the notebook sleeves according to the dates received. This saves a lot of time searching for information.

Atlas Helps Sort Out Boundary Changes
The Oxford Atlas of World History is a fascinating help when researching the actual national homeland of an ancestor in a particular year. National boundaries change throughout history so the location of a city or area may be in a different country now than it was when your ancestor emigrated!

Susan Peck

If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: mailto:[email protected] . 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.

3 thoughts on “Your Quick Tips

  1. The tip on an easy way to keep a correspondence log prompted me to submit my tip on keeping a research log. I keep my daily journal on my Pocket PC, which makes it easy to write the data I find during my research into the journal. Then I copy and paste it into another Word file that I call my genealogy journal. I date each entry and give it a meaningful title, change the style of the text to “heading 1, bold and centered”. You can do that in Word using the style and format toolbars.

    I created a table of contents by clicking insert, then reference, then index and tables. Select the tab for table of contents and select the style you want. Your table of contents is created automatically using the text designated heading 1. I also created an index by marking the items I wanted in the index. To do that in Word, just highlight the item, press alt+shift+x and fill in the dialog box. You create your index the same way as your table of contents.

    As I copy each entry into the genealogy journal, I mark the index items, then I update the table of contents and index by clicking anywhere in the table of contents or index to highlight it and pressing F9. The table of contents or index is then updated automatically.

    My method has it backed up in my daily journal, which is printed out on a monthly basis. The genealogy journal can be printed out monthly or yearly as you choose, complete with index and table of contents.

  2. Atlas Helps…
    Not only the boudaries, but the spelling of the town may have changed with the language spoken there. Where Once We Walked, the new edition, identifies more than 23,500 towns in Central and Eastern Europe where Jews lived before the Holocaust. Includes 17,500 alternate names. Gives latitude/longitude, Jewish population before the Holocaust and cites as many as 50 books that reference each town. Includes soundex index and “nearby town” index. Even if your relatives weren’t Jewish, you may be able to use the book to locate the city. Names change and boundaries change, but the latitude and longitude don’t.

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