At a genealogy conference a year ago I bought a two volume A Basic
Course in Genealogy
. It is actually the text of the time [about 50 years
ago] for LDS genealogical training classes. Needless to say, it does not
include computers.

One of the more amazing things to me is those questions we struggle with,
how to indicate this, what about this, are answered. As we struggle with
them now we are reinventing the wheel. Example, “place of birth is known but
it is in a town different from the christening or “full date of an event
unreadable.” [Imagine that!] There is a procedure for listing children who
die before their 8th birthday and their name is not known. [son
Jones/daughter Jones] Those who die after their 8th birthday and their name
is not known are Mr. Jones or Miss Jones.

Why the 8th birthday? It doesn’t particularly matter why. It is a system
that works in all cases and provides uniform recording, something we all
strive for. We may not want to use that system but we can look to it for
suggestions on how to handle sticky or unusual issues.

It also tackles foreign sources because so many LDS came over from Europe in
the 1800s.

Way out of date and yet useful — give those old books a second look even if
they don’t mention computers.


Here’s a link to an article on basic genealogy that makes some good
points for everyone to remember:

It’s fairly short.


Here is an interesting web site:

Your ancestors had to come from some and most of them came by boat.* [Well, I have a couple who apparently came by UFO. Further research indicates that time and place apparently had a lot of UFOs.] This web site is a list of links for, the owner thinks, all the online passenger listings. There is also some information on naturalization papers.

*Obviously I am talking about coming to the US. Admittedly this blog is centered on research in the USA.


The new second edition of Rose and Ingalls’ Complete Idiot’s Guide to
is out. So what did they do with the first edition? It’s
available free online!

Go to

and download it. It’s a BIG file and it downloads immediately with no help
from you so keep that in mind if you are on dialup. It’s worth the time.

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