How to Research Old Diaries & Personal Journals for Genealogy

Introduction: Mary Harrell-Sesniak is a genealogist, author and editor with a strong technology background. In this guest blog post, Mary gives examples of how your ancestors’ diaries and journals—some available online in various collections—are invaluable to your family history research. As family historians, we turn to newspapers to corroborate vital records—but often neglect to... (Read More)

Where to Put That Old Family Journal Online?

Do you have an old family journal or diary from your ancestor? What are you doing with it? Curt Balmer transcribed his great-grandfather’s journal. The old journal is a record of John Balmer (1819-1898) and Margaret Ann (Carey) Balmer (1831-1890). The Balmers were born in Ireland and moved to Ontario, Canada. John’s journal recorded... (Read More)

Genealogy Serendipity: Ancestor’s Bible & Journals Returned to Family

Let me tell you about my cousin Ransom and the kindness of a stranger who returned his long-lost Bible and journals through a serendipitous chain of events. Ransom Ferdinand Smith (1864-1940) lived in Woodstock, New Hampshire. He was a first cousin of my great-grandmother Frances Lila (Sawyer) Huse (1863-1958). On Monday (Sept. 10th) I entered the details... (Read More)

It’s a great day for genealogy!

It’s a great day for genealogy! And, it’s a particularly good day for me too!Today marks exactly 43 years since I started working in genealogy. Wow, it’s been fun. It was 26 July 1965 – in Stamford, CT – George B. Everton, Sr. (1904-1996) and his wife Ellen (Nielsen) Everton (1902-1987) were conducting a... (Read More)