In this episode:
News from the Blogosphere with Genealogy Insider Diane Haddad
Read Diane’s blog posts on the Genealogy Insider blog: Surname Genealogy Strategies: My Favorite (And Least Favorite) Last Names to Research.
You can get the webinar recording for download at Family Tree Shop.
David Fryxell is back to explain how an unusual surname can be an asset when researching your family history. And he’s got 6 strategies for using those oddball names to your advantage from his article, “The Unusual Suspects,” available in the Jan/Feb issue of Family Tree Magazine. Get the digital issue here.
- Count on the Cluster
- Go for the given names
- Consider geography
- Cast a spell
- Find the game changers
- Research extinct surnames
101 Best Websites
Family Tree University Crash Course
- Go to Google first
- Use search operators such as quotation marks to denote exact phrase that must be in all search results
- Add the word Genealogy to increase the chances that the website containing other keywords will be genealogy/family history focused
- Surname distribution maps – Learn more about them from the FamilySearch Wiki
- US Board of Geographic Names (click Search Domestic Names)
- Search for your surname
- Things named with that name
- Surname Genealogy Research Strategies OnDemand webinar, with Nancy Hendrickson
- Google Earth for Genealogy (Video Tutorial CDs)
- The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox (book)
Download Google Earth Pro for free
From the Publisher’s Desk with Allison Dolan
- Dictionary of American Family Names from Oxford University Press, searchable on Ancestry.com
Fun tool to look up facts about a name: meaning, distribution, places of origin (example: Riesenbeck).
- Behind the Name
Great for looking up surnames and given names by country/ethnic background, “Unpuzzle” name mysteries; e.g., figure out the native spellings of a name that’s been garbled or the spelling Americanized
- American Surnames by Elsdon Smith
An interesting reference book on the origins of surnames – helps you understand how your ancestors got their surnames, cultural influences.