This guest post has been written by expert genealogist Miriam J. Robbins. Miriam has been instructing and lecturing in the United States since 2005. She has been interested in her family history since she was a young girl, living in Southeast Alaska. She began her genealogy research in 1987, and ten years later was successful in reuniting her grandmother with her biological family. Miriam writes an award-winning genealogy blog, AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors, and keeps busy adding links to her Online Historical Directories and Online Historical Newspapers websites.
The month of October is known for Family History Month as well as the holiday of Halloween. What better combination of the two than to learn about death records in genealogical research? Death records are one of the first and best types of records used in beginning genealogical research because of the variety of formats in which they appear, the basic facts which they contain, and the immense details that many list about both the decedent's life and death.
It’s important to learn a little about the history of death records in your ancestor’s location, as it will help you understand how the facts were gathered and recorded, what information the records may contain or omit, why the records themselves may be missing or difficult to find, and where to locate the death records currently.
Today’s edition includes map resources (including Google Earth), genealogy classes covering diverse topics, information on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a Maryland newspaper digitization project, easing adoptees’ efforts to obtain their original birth certificates, and the start date for the new US season of "Who Do You Think You Are?".
ON THE MAP
The New England Historical and Genealogical Society provided more major map collection resources:
- The Boston Atlas
- The Harvard Map Collection
- The Yale Map Collection
- Historic USGS maps of New England and New York on the University of New Hampshire Library website
- New York Public Library Digital Gallery maps
- David Rumsey Map Collection
- Library of Congress Map Collections
- Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas
- Historic Atlas of Canada Online Learning Project
- Historic Cities
GOOGLE EARTH CAN HELP YOU
Researching your family history most certainly has its ups and downs.
Most of us, however, receive a net benefit from the research, such as the feeling of familial inheritance, the joy of family stories or just the thrill of the chase.
Look hard enough, though, and you're likely to find something lurking in the closet. Perhaps a skeleton, if you will. Of course, there are many ways to deal with these issues and, for many, the revelations will be so old that you can detach yourself completely from the embarrassment.
Others, however, are left in a situation where their new hobby has suddenly unearthed life-changing facts about their heritage. Covering up these discoveries involves heartache and obvious holes in family research. Adopting an honest policy is desirable, but those life-changing facts can be too hard to bear even in modern society.