Some Notes on Chinese Genealogy

To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right. – Confucius (551 BC…

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Happy Mothers’ Day

The mother in this picture is my grandmother, Margaret (DeWitt) Gile. The tiny baby is my mother. Being a mother now myself I realize how difficult it really is. I only have one kid right now and she is so demanding I can’t even imagine how hard it is raising five like my grandmother did,…

Ella Mae 1900 census crop

The Cliffords, Part 2: Family Scandal

This is a continuation of my account on the Clifford family. For more information, see Part 1. In 1878, Sophia Clifford sold the land that she and Lewis had bought in Iowa. Apparently her sons (Fred was 20 and Charles was 15) wanted to seek more opportunities out west rather than stay and work the…


Using Historical Place Names

A good question came up on my favorite genealogy Facebook group, Genealogy! Just Ask! yesterday. I tried to answer it as best I could on the original post, and others gave some good input as well, but I thought it would be helpful to some if I answered it more in depth here on my…

Taking the census LOC

Can Census Records be Wrong?

Featured Image: Taking the Census. Illustration in Harper’s Weekly, 1870. Found in Library of Congress Digital Collection. A few decades ago, it was very difficult to find one’s ancestor in a census record. You had to go to an archive or library and really know what you were looking for to find the record. Today,…

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The Cliffords, Part 1: Brick Wall Immigrants

Featured Image: Hamburger Hafen (Port of Hamburg) by Adolph Friedrich Vollmer, 1840. Ah, yes. Clifford. Kliefoth. The family that made me want to study German Genealogy in college. And I studied for four years and still didn’t find them. But they will be found. Someday. They originated in Germany as Kliefoth (pronounced like “klee-fote”), and…

John Wesley Andrew 3

Research Summary: Andrew

Featured image: John Wesley Andrew sitting on his porch in Geneva, Nebraska Surname summary: I have decided to devote my research time each month to one direct line surname that exists in my five-generation pedigree. My surname for the month of November was Andrew. This is one of the few lines on my grandmother’s side…

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Recording Homosexual Relationships in Your Genealogy Database

Regardless of whether you believe that individuals in a same-sex relationships should be allowed to marry or raise children, currently same-sex marriage is legal in the United States, Canada, the UK, and other countries, and children are raised in these unions. To record an accurate genealogy, you must acknowledge these facts.