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Ancestral Discovery

Mark Fearer is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado.

Stealing our ancestors?

Recently, I was told by my credit union that there had been a security breach for cardholders, and they were issuing new cards to prevent any further problems. This kind of situation is becoming more common as technology advances, especially in the arena of identity theft. Why am I writing about this?

Because genealogy is affected by this trend everyday.

Here are some common fears we hear about when people are trying to steal our identity:

Fear: People use genealogical databases to get your mother’s maiden name.

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The bureaucracy of death, part 2

Last column, I focused on death certificates, obituaries and Social Security application records. But death leaves many other records behind. And just to be clear, I’m addressing US records (with one exception at the end). Eastern European records will be addressed in other columns.When a death occurs, there is usually a chronological order to events: if the death was notable (i.e. the person was well known, death was unusual, such as suicide or murder), there might have been news coverage, an...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 January 2009 08:38 )

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Death and bureaucracy, Part 1

As we have been told all our lives, death and taxes are inevitable, and fortunately for family historians, both result in a number of records being generated.Documents about deaths are probably the second most commonly sought after records, after census records, because we often don’t know when or where our ancestors were born, especially if we can’t find them in the census.In a previous column where I discussed vital records, the most obvious death record is the death certificate. The ease ...
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Let technology help you with genealogy

Since my last column focused on organizing your paper genealogy, we’ll focus this time on using your computer to organize all those genealogy material.While many family historians still limit their records to paper, almost every serious genealogist uses genealogy software.Why? First, once information is entered, you can locate anyone (and his or her family) in literally two seconds.Software is a great way to enter many pieces of information about a person in one place, and record what sources ...

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 February 2009 05:55 )

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Organizing the forest

As astute readers may have noticed, almost all genealogical topics fall into one of two categories: methodology or resources. Since both are critical for creating accurate family histories, I try to be even handed between the two, but like most genealogists, I tend toward the resources category (as the last two columns demonstrate) — show me the records! To balance that bias, let’s talk organization in this column.It won’t take long after you start digging up your roots, to find that you s...

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 February 2009 08:54 )

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