Finding the Parents of Isaac Straughen

You’d think with an unusual name like “Straughen” that it wouldn’t be difficult to identify my ancestors, but it hasn’t been easy! My 2nd great-grandfather Isaac Straughen (pictured at the top of this post) was born in 1817 in New Jersey. He reported in the 1880 census that his father was also born in New... Continue Reading →

“Closed” vs. “Open” Stacks

If you have looked at visiting a library or archive as a part of your genealogy research, you might have seen or heard the terms "closed stacks" and "open stacks" before. What do these phrases mean? And how will these designations affect your visit? Let's examine each one. Open Stacks If you have ever been... Continue Reading →

“Old School” Genealogy

I recently started a new job as a Local & Family History Librarian in St. Joseph Co., Indiana. (Dream job, I know.) I am loving every minute of it so far! The library has a beautiful genealogy department and a treasure chest of resources. If you are in the area, you should definitely take a... Continue Reading →

Obits in your Inbox

A few weeks ago I attended a fantastic webinar put on by the Guild of One Name Studies. If you haven’t heard about their free webinar series this year, I highly recommend signing up for some of their offerings! During the webinar a really interesting resource was mentioned in passing and afterwards I immediately went... Continue Reading →

Walter Bell’s First Marriage

There are two ancestors in my family tree that I continue to revisit whenever I'm up for a challenge. One of those is Walter H. Bell (1881-1934), my great-grandfather. Chipping away at Walter's past has been tricky but fascinating. He moved all over the country during his life. It seems he had three or four... Continue Reading →

My Genealogy Goals for 2018

Happy New Year everyone! Okay, I'm a little late, but I've been out of town for a few weeks. Now I'm back, graduated, and not yet employed. Let's start the new year off by reviewing the goals I set in a blog post this time last year: Research - 3 out of 4 goals achieved, not... Continue Reading →

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