FAQ for January 2017

IMAG0057Hello fellow researchers!  Our FAQ of the week is changing to monthly….and I’ll include all FAQ’s I have for that month.


1.  My son is interested in hearing about our family tree, but doesn’t want to do any of the research or even help me at the library.  What should I do to get him more involved?  (He’s 11) Signed- Lazy son?


Dear Lazy Son?,

No, your son isn’t lazy.  He’s a typical eleven year old…but more.  He wants to hear about the past, his family and what you do.  Don’t force him to learn to research.  My suggestion is that you not make him follow you around at the library, searching through books and old newspapers.  This may actually do the opposite of what you are hoping for.  Always mention a newfound ancestor to him.  Tell him all that he wants to hear but don’t push it.  If you want to get him more involved without pushing him away take him on a picnic.  When my children were young we used to go to the cemetery and picnic with our ancestors.  After we were finished eating we would walk around the cemetery and clean up any litter or debris.  (We did this sort of thing at parks, too…so it didn’t feel like a punishment.)  There was playing involved, too…but always respectful.


2.  I noticed in the last 24 hours a lot of genealogy people and organizations commenting on the immigration issue right now.  What are your thoughts on it?  Signed – Political Question


Dear Political Question,

Genlady isn’t political at all.  If you want to talk politics in 1820, or ask her about her ancestors who were elected officials she’ll tell you all about them, including their political beliefs as she knows them.  However, politics today has no business in genealogy research.  It won’t help us to search better, it won’t help us to search faster, it only serves to cause problems between family members and split up friends.  Genlady’s alter ego has her own opinion, but it will not be shared here.


3.  I’m trying to research a family who supposedly lost most members during a flu epidemic.  Do you know where I can find more information on flu epidemics across the Country? Signed – Not sick now.

Dear Not sick now,

I haven’t found any ancestors of my own who passed in an epidemic.  I have included some links below that may help you in this research.  Good luck to you!

The most dangerous epidemics in US History

Major US Epidemics – Family Tree Magazine

Health, Epidemics and Diseases – Genealoger

Epidemics in US History – Genealogy Buff

Ancestry DNA

I had my DNA done a few years ago at  I love having it there.  I have a pretty much full tree posted and myself tagged so that anyone who matches me can look at my tree and possibly find a match, even if Ancestries Hint system doesn’t catch one.

One thing I find very annoying is when someone has taken the time and money to do a DNA test, but hasn’t posted a tree…or their tree has twelve people.  I don’t understand the reason for this.  Ancestry doesn’t do health reports, so these people are there specifically for their family tree.  The only possible thing I can think of is this;  They don’t want to share with everyone, and they figure they’ll just look at the family trees of others and find the match, usually then not even sharing their information with their matches.

This is very sad, since, as genealogists, we should be willing to share with our cousins.

After going through all pages of matches, I would guesstimate that 75% of my matches have no family tree or an extremely small tree, which makes it impossible to find a match. (I have over 300 pages of matches with 50 per page)

If everyone thinks this way, soon we will have a bunch of matches and absolutely no way of finding out how we connect.

Which brings me to another problem I’ve found…responding to messages.  I have sent messages to all of my 4th cousin or closer matches and have received only a handful of responses.

If you aren’t going to post a tree, and you aren’t going to respond what are you there for?

Oh that’s right…you want to look at my tree.  Well let me tell you something, you’re missing out on a world of information because my tree doesn’t include some documents, pictures and amazing family stories….nor will it ever.  Those are reserved exclusively for those cousins who take the time to contact me or respond to my message.

Please post a tree!  Please respond to messages!  Please contact cousins and get to know them!