Arches at Glendalough 2009

Friday, February 20, 2015

Little star

A quick tip of the day: Use the * when conducting a search on any database or search engine.

I couldn't find a family member in NJ -even though I knew he was living in Paterson. (The city directories showed him there!) By using the first three letters of his name followed by an asterisk, I found him!

Amazing what a cute little star can do for a genealogist!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The genealogy future

I may have posted something similar a few years ago. But since then some things have happened to make me rethink my genealogical research. Between 1860 (give or take a few years) and 2000 we have had the luxury of looking for our ancestors in traditional resources-census records, church records, obituaries, and city directories-just to name a few. But think for a second. How will the future genealogists find us?

Would they look for us in the city directory or phone book? Think about it...when was the last time you saw a phone book let alone find yourself in it?

Ok, you are thinking perhaps in a newspaper or obituary. True. But think about how many people are bypassing newspapers and going for online newspapers. Perhaps if future genealogists are very lucky, they may find an online article about you. But I know quite a few people-including family members- who have chosen not to have an obituary published. (The good news is that funeral homes have been publishing them online. There is that one constant source still available!)

Church records? More and more people are not following the traditional routes of church memberships. Churches are not seeing the memberships they had in the 1960s and 1970s.

Social security records? You have to wait 3 years before you can see someone who passed in 2015. Could a future Congress close all of these records?

School records? My district keeps those private.

Census records? I am wondering what we will see when the 1950 and 1960 census are released.. And the last census form I filled out in 2010 had very little of information for the genealogist.

Land records are still a good source-if you purchased property. And of course tax records will be available. I wonder if  the IRS records would one day place these records in the National Archives?

It is very hopeful that the future genealogists will be able to type a name and find something online. But what if the unthinkable happens? How will the future genealogist find you?