5 Branches of US Military Records for GenealogyFinding US military records for genealogy depends on which of the five branches your relative served in: Army Navy Air Force Marines or Coast Guard. Here, military expert Michael Strauss introduces each one and tells us where to look for their records, both online and...
Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 258 DNA Problem Solving
DNA Problem Solving Strategies for Genealogy
Listen to Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 258
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This audio comes from my YouTube video series Elevenses with Lisa episode 44. You can watch the video interview at the Elevenses with Lisa episode 44 show notes page.
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Researching to write a family history narrative
Dale Spaulding discovered remarkable stories when he was researching his family for over 30 years. But he got a little worried that these really uniquely American stories were going to be lost to time if he didn’t do something about it. Maybe you have some of those same fears. It was his determination to preserve that family history that was really the driving force behind why he sat down and wrote a book about it. It’s called Fortitude, Preserving 400 years of an American Family’s Faith, Patriotism, Grit, and Determination. (This affiliate link helps support this free content.)
Dale joins me to share how he went about getting started researching his family tree to prepare to write his narrative. He also shares what motivates him to keep on researching.
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Downloadable ad-free Show Notes handout for Premium Members.
What is a Family History Narrative
- Creative Nonfiction
- More than Genealogy Names/Dates
- Stories about your Ancestor’s Lives
- Begin with Dramatic Event (Leaving the Old Country)
- Project Entails Exhaustive Research
- The Why? Legacy to Pass to My Descendants
Getting Started in Research
- Nail Down the Genealogy Data
- Caution on Ancestry.com
- Seek Corroborative Record Evidence
- Meticulous Documentation – Source Notes (Watch Source Citation for Genealogy)
- Become a Student of History
- Stories from Aging Relatives
- Town History Books
- Local Librarians
- Newspapers.com and Fold3.com (Watch Digging Deeper at Newspapers.com)
- Small Town Halls
- National Archives (Watch How to Search the U.S. National Archives Online Catalog for Genealogy)
- Census Records
- Facebook Groups: New England Genealogy
- Put on Your Detective Hat (Premium Members Watch Genealogical Cold Cases: A Step-by-Step Process.)
About Dale Spaulding
Dale R. Spaulding is a lifelong student of history. He’s discovered remarkable stories of his family’s long and rich past during thirty-plus years of research. Concerned that these uniquely American stories would be lost to time, he was determined to preserve them for generations to follow – one of the reasons he authored Fortitude: Preserving 400 Years of an American Family’s Faith, Patriotism, Grit and Determination.
During his career, Dale navigated the oceans and seas of the world in his twenty-two years of service in the U.S. Navy retiring as a Lieutenant Commander. Following the Navy, he was a software quality engineer and technical fellow at The Boeing Company. Dale then served as director of a national church planting organization.
Dale is a graduate of Auburn University and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. Now retired, Dale and his wife Nancy reside in Virginia and they have two sons and four grandchildren. He is passionate about his faith, his family and his country.
Visit Dales website: https://dalespaulding.com
Downloadable ad-free Show Notes handout for Premium Members.
Stay tuned for upcoming videos on Dale’s writing process.
More Videos & Show Notes:
- Reconstructing Your Family’s Amazing Stories (Premium)
- Share Your Life Story in a More Meaningful Way (Premium)
PERSI for Genealogy: the Periodical Source Index
Have you met PERSI? You should! PERSI is the Periodical Source Index. Use PERSI for genealogy and you may discover your ancestors in thousands of articles you never knew existed.
You may have heard me talk in the past about PERSI. In case you haven’t…PERSI is not a person—it’s the acronym for the Periodical Source Index. PERSI is THE master index for periodicals with over 2.7 million entries. Thousands of magazines, newsletters, journals, and other periodicals from the U.S., Canada, Britain, Ireland, and Australia are indexed here.
PERSI is maintained by the Allen County Public Library’s Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They have the equivalent of 6 full-time staff who are dedicated to subject-indexing every issue of every known genealogy or historical periodical and even the tiniest society newsletter.
Curt Witcher, who runs the Genealogy Center at Allen County and who has been a guest on the podcast in the past, estimates that if you don’t consult periodicals in your research, you could be missing up to 30% of your research leads! That’s a lot of leads! PERSI has long been a staple resource for advanced and professional genealogists to help them break through brick walls. With its help, you can much more quickly locate articles like biographical sketches of ancestors (or people they knew), transcribed indexes to naturalization or probate records, church records, school records, and the like. There might be just-what-you-need histories of places or the organizations your ancestors belonged to.
These key articles are often buried so deep in back issues of little local genealogy newsletters that you may never come across them on your own. Sometimes, they’re what we call “orphaned” content: articles we’d find in totally unexpected places.
HOW TO SEARCH PERSI ONLINE
PERSI used to be searchable on Ancestry, but it isn’t there anymore. The current version of PERSI is exclusively on Findmypast and they’re doing something really cool with it: they are gradually adding digitized articles to the index! They are doing this by signing contracts with each individual society or journal publisher, so it’s not a fast process. The vast majority of entries on PERSI do not have digitized articles linked to them yet. It’s a bonus when you do find them.
To search PERSI at Findmypast you do not actually need a subscription. They allow anyone to search and see the list of results. To see details about specific search results (including any digitized images), you will need a subscription OR you will need to purchase their pay-per-view credits. Findmypast does offer a 14-day free trial. You can also use Findmypast at Family History Centers and at many libraries that have institutional subscriptions.
Once you have located an article, it’s inexpensive to order a copy directly from the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. Simply download the order form PDF from their website, fill it out, and mail it in. Last we checked, you can request up to six articles for only $7.50, which you pre-pay and then they bill you separately for copies at 20 cents per page.
Sometime soon, why not take 15 minutes—or your next lunch break at work–and search PERSI for your top surnames and locations? Again, the database is PERSI, it is at Findmypast, and the chance to discover is all yours.
MORE GEMS ON PERSI
PERSI Digitized Collections Gaining Ground
New FindMyPast Hints Help Find Records
The Genealogy Gems Podcast Premium Episode 135: Comparsion of Google Scholar & PERSI (Premium Member Subscription Needed)