When we turn our hearts to our ancestors, something changes inside of us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves~Russell M. Nelson

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tuesday's Tip~Gettin' By With Help From Our Friends-Dustin Austin

This edition of Tuesday's Tip comes from Ohio genealogist, Dustin Austin.

Dustin's Tips:
1. Follow the money $$$$
No matter if your family was rich, middle class, or poor, there is always a trail to follow! Following the money, no matter how much it was can lead you a wealth of information. Many people have the mindset, that if their family didn’t have any money, it wasn’t worth checking out. In one case I was able to find the birth and death dates for all of the children of my 4x great grandparents. Several of the children were not even listed in the Catholic Church books. There was a little black book that my 4x great grandfather had written notes in, which would be admitted into court during the settlement of his estate. In this book were the birth and death dates of all children including the infant children who died shortly after birth. You will never know what you may find if you look in all places possible! 

2.DNA Matches
So often as I am speaking and talking about DNA, many people say to me “Dustin, my matches never message me back!?. I have found to have great success with getting more matches to respond to me with the way I word my messages. 

Dear Cousin,
RE: the test you admin for: R.E.

I see that we are a DNA match, and I would love to help figure out the connection. Based on our shared matches and my research at this point, I believe that we are Austin cousins. Does this surname sound familiar to you? 

Would you mind sharing with me the surnames of R.E.’s great grandparents (if known), and I will try to figure out the connection. 

I look forward to hearing from you soon,

Your Cousin,

What you will find is that I am putting it back on myself, and I am willing to do most of the work to figure out the connection. Once people know how you are related, they are more willing to share photos and information. Many people want others to figure out the connection for them, or are too wordy in their messages, and lose their attention before they finish reading. Then they never hear back from that match! So, to round out this tip, make your messages short, to the point, and put the work back on yourself!  

3.Public Ancestry Member Trees
Although sometimes useful, use caution when adding information from Ancestry Public Member Trees. So often people get hooked by those Ancestry commercials and think they can have their family tree “done” within hours. The most import thing to keep in mind is to look at the sources under any specific public tree you are looking at. If their only source is “Ancestry Family Trees” you will want to go check out that source and see which tree the information came from. In most cases, it came from another unsourced and undocumented family tree, and that tree will also be sourced as “Ancestry Family Tree”.  Using them as a guide can help in your research, but verify any information you find in them! 

4.Deed Research
One place you may not think of putting at the top of your research list is those deed records! When someone has real estate, it is typically their most valuable asset. Transferring or mortgaging these assets requires lots of documentation, especially when it comes time to transfer those assets upon their death. That means deeds could leave great information behind. Before you go spending $25-$75 on a death certificate, you may want to check with the county recorder’s office. In several cases, I have found copies of those expensive estate records, death certificates and letters WITH the deed records. When I researched in one county in Michigan, I found they charge $2.00 per page for their probate papers. Some probate offices will not copy sections for you, it's all or nothing.  Well the idea of spending $150 to get one estate packet, did not sit well with me. So I drove down to the recorder’s office and found the estate papers I was looking for there, at a cost of only $6.00. You may save yourself a decent amount of money at the recorder’s office if you look there! 

Dustin Austin is an Ohio native who loves genealogy! His greatest passion is family history research, with his more recent specialty, DNA! You will find Dustin all over northwest Ohio speaking for local groups, organizations, and libraries. He is a banker by day and a genealogist by night. He defiantly knows a thing or two about following the money in any family, which can lead you to valuable pieces of information. He is President of the Seneca County Genealogical Society, A Chapter of The Ohio Genealogical Society, and trustee for the Huron County Chapter Genealogical Society, A Chapter of The Ohio Genealogical Society. He is also active in several other chapters. You will find him “hanging out” in various online Google Hangouts, which he loves to do! He loves spending time at the county offices researching because it’s not all online. He started doing genealogy in 2005 and kicked his research in high gear in 2012, after the passing of his beloved grandfather. He realized the importance of talking with these older people before something happens to them. After a conversation with a cousin at the funeral showing of his grandfather, it finally struck him he simply cannot wait. 

Thanks so much for your tips, Dustin! 

What are your best tips for genealogy research?
We'd love to for you to share them.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,

Blogger Tricks

Sunday, July 30, 2017

This Week On My Family History Calendar

July 30-August 5

August 1~
 My maternal great great grandmother, Bessie Mae (Eargle) Price (1878-1943) died 74 years ago in Columbia, Richland, South Carolina from heart disease. She was buried in the Graniteville Cemetery, Aiken, South Carolina.

Bessie Mae Eargle Price
Graniteville Cemetery, Aiken, South Carolina
©Cheri Hudson Passey
August 5~
 Samuel James Bradford, II (1815-1875), my paternal 3rd great grandfather died 142 years ago in Sumter County, South Carolina. 

Who's on your calendar this week?
Thanks so much for stopping by!

 Helping you climb your family tree,

Celebration Sunday~Genealogy Happy Dance!

You know the dance. You know you've done it. The one every researcher does after finding something new. The one where you want to jump up and down and shout to everyone around that you found the document, contacted a cousin who has the family Bible, made a DNA connection or found a whole new branch to your tree. The one that is met with glazed stares and eye rolls.
                                                          Celebration Sunday is a place to share your discoveries. 
This is a weekly series to enable everyone to tell about their Genealogy Happy Dance moment. This can be done by scrolling down and adding your story to the comments section. You may also put a link to a blog post.

My Happy Dance This Week: This was a great week for cousin connections! I had several people contact me via online trees and on my facebook business page who are related to me in one way or another. If you are not blogging and posting your tree online, you really need to do so!
      Share your discovery!
                                                                                   Let the dancing commence!

Share the fun! Click below to tweet this post! 

Looking forward to reading about your Happy Dance moment!
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Helping you climb your family tree,