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History Mystery #4: Answered!

Posted by Ian Lamont on

History Mystery #4: Answered!

Last week's History Mystery was tough. Only one of you wanted to take a stab at the mysterious 12-sided metal objects, which are known as dodecahedrons. The sole response was a good one: Perhaps they were a jeweler’s tool used to determine finger size for rings, or used by an armorer to build gauntlets, which has fingers.  I’m guessing they were found in Europe or Asia, somewhere craftsmen were located. They look very old, plus never having heard of them before tells me they came from a far away place, from a very long time ago. Maybe Byzantium or Rome? I...

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Tips for organizing genealogy files and genealogy data

Posted by Ian Lamont on

Tips for organizing genealogy files and genealogy data

The winter months are perfect for genealogy. On the EasyGenie Facebook page, we polled followers on their winter genealogy plans, asking whether the focus would be on organization, genetic genealogy, breaking through "brick walls," or something else.  Of the two dozen replies, organization was high on the list. And no wonder - every family historian has a pile of old papers and photos that should be filed in a more systematic manner, or new research discoveries that have yet to be entered onto paper charts or software programs.  It's a big task. Author Shannon Combs-Bennett devoted an entire chapter to organization ("Preserving Records...

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How to use EasyGenie charts to perform genetic genealogy triangulation

Posted by Ian Lamont on

How to use EasyGenie charts to perform genetic genealogy triangulation

While some people use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to organize DNA matches, it's also possible to use paper worksheets to record information and narrow down the search for ancestors. Paper forms are easy to use, and don't require purchasing Microsoft Office or learning how to use spreadsheet software.  Regardless of the tools you use for triangulation, don't expect instant breakthroughs. The process may take months to triangulate DNA matches to a specific shared ancestor. It will almost certainly require reaching out to DNA matches and encouraging them to share family details that may not be included in their website...

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Finding Your Roots resumes with new stories (Season 8)

Posted by Ian Lamont on

Finding Your Roots resumes with new stories (Season 8)

It's back! Genealogists' favorite television show, Finding Your Roots, returns for an eighth season on January 4 (Tuesday night!) on your local PBS affiliate. We have a link below to the complete season 8 schedule.  Hosted by Harvard historian Henry Louis Gates Jr., the program delves into the genealogy of TV personalities, politicians, authors, musicians, and Hollywood stars. The show works with professional genealogists to go deep into the past, often finding stories that have long been forgotten.  The interviewees go on camera not knowing what's going to come out about their families' pasts. It may be touching, troubling, funny,...

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EasyGenie History Mystery #3 Solution

Posted by Ian Lamont on

EasyGenie History Mystery #3 Solution

(Want to participate in the next EasyGenie History Mystery? Sign up for the free EasyGenie newsletter, which regularly feature a mystery photo and ask subscribers to guess what it is.)  This was the best history mystery so far. There wasn't much to go on - just a picture of an old wooden contraption - so people's imaginations worked overtime to come up with a solution. Some people's imaginations worked overtime! The answer is below, but first, some of the other guesses.  Visions of treasure hunts were high on the list:  "Turbines can use water to create power (like electricity). It looks old...

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