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genealogy

Family History: Public Records Search

Family History By September 6, 2019 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Doing genealogy can be an exciting mystery to solve. However, knowing how to start and where to look for leads is sometimes overwhelming. There’s a lot of information and databases available. Some are free. Some cost money. Of course, there is always Google. But Google’s expansive database requires you to know exactly what you’re searching for to get the desired results. Naturally we highly encourage using family history websites such as Ancestry.com. Beyond genealogy websites, there are some other fantastic sources to search through. Public Records, specifically, hold tons of information.

We’ve compiled a list of some great public records worth examining.

The National Archives

Every ten years the US government conducts their census. In those census records you can go back as far as the 1790 Census, and as recent as the 1940 Census. Within the records a plethora of demographic information is contained. It is important to note that a Census record must be so old before the information is accessible to the public due to privacy concerns. The census’ currently available are found at The National Archive website. Along with access to some military records and other historical documents and data.

Military records are an awesome way to find enlistment and discharge dates of specific family members. There are plenty of other resources to search for military records outside of the National Archives, but if you’re already there you might as well scan their records. Not all information is available to preview online, but you can request copies from the National Archives.

Immigration Records

Immigration records are a fantastic way to search a specific family members name and find out exactly what year, their age, and what country they arrived from. If a name change ever happened down the line Immigration records will also often show those. You can make a free online account at the Ellis Island website, which will give you access to immigration records, pictures, and ship information. Many genealogy sites include immigration records as well.

Criminal and Court Records

Besides immigration records, court and criminal records can be a great help in learning more about your ancestors. This doesn’t necessarily mean your relative killed someone if they have records showing up in court cases. Minor infractions such as speeding tickets will also show up on their records. Some court records will also hold birth and death certificates that can be beneficial to your search.

Cemetery Databases

The next database we recommend searching is cemetery archives. This is especially helpful if you’re looking for someone from a small town. Cemetery databases will often have birth and death dates, images of headstones, and where they’re buried. You no longer have to go to graveyards to find this information, however, if you decide you are on the adventurous side and want to physically visit gravestones here are some tips for when you go.

Public records only scratch the surface for all the information out there, but they are fantastic starting points. For more great genealogy resources and guides check out The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Genealogy.

Now that you know where to start looking, wondering what to do with all your newly found information. We have a suggestion!

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wooden family tree

Why Make a Family History Poster

Family History, MyCanvas Products By May 29, 2019 Tags: , , , , , , , , No Comments

Family history is on the rise with technology simplifying the process for hunting down lost relatives. It has also made it that much easier to put together family trees—whether digitally, in a book, or a poster. Each way to store your genealogy has its own perks. We are specifically covering the benefits of a physically printed family history poster. But no matter what your preference is having access to your family history is amazing!

Bring on the benefits.

It’s Decorative

family history posterLet’s start with the more obvious reason; it’s easy to display. A family history poster adds a beautiful personalized touch to any room decoration. It’s something that is completely unique to you and your family. Not only is it a lovely piece in your home, it can easily become a family heirloom that’s passed down. If you’re worried it won’t match your style, there are a plethora of websites available to create custom posters; making it easy to match your aesthetic perfectly. It’s also a much simpler process than creating an entire book. Of course here at MyCanvas we print high quality family history posters that include customization options.

This leads us to our next reason.

It’s all About the Stories

Growing up did you hear stories about infamous ancestors from your grandparents, parents, aunts or uncles? Imagine having easy access to pictures or your family line showing exactly how you are related—all while listening to another retelling. A family history poster does just that. Being able to visualize as well as hear the orations not only makes it more captivating, it adds a sense of realness; becoming more than just a story.

It’s in the Research

Doing your family history can be captivating. You become a family detective piecing together the puzzle of your ancestors. As you begin to dig you might find changes that need to be made, updated information, or just cool stories to add. Having your family tree online is great for keeping information relevant, however, it can be complicated keeping track of your findings in the process before you are ready to update. Creating a great reason to have a physical copy of your family tree nearby is a great way to track it. Use sticky notes for each time you discover something new about a relative and stick it to the correlating relative. Now you have a visual map of exactly where that ancestor falls in your line, and it simplifies the updating process. It’s similar to a good student who writes out research points before starting their paper.

Our final reason is a personal favorite.

It’s About Bringing Family TogetherPeople Playing Tug-of-War

Last, but not least family history posters are great for family reunions. Because extended families are sometimes overwhelmingly large; keeping track of everyone’s relationships can be difficult. And there isn’t always going to be Wi-Fi access for you to pull up your genealogy and figure it out in the moment. But coming prepared with a family history poster of the whole family makes it significantly easier to find the connection. On top of that as a family you can share findings and make corrections together. It’s a great focal point for any family reunion. You can find even more great ideas for family reunions here.

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DNA Testing and Your Genealogy

Family History By May 5, 2017 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Over the years, genealogy sites have come out with an amazing array of new genealogy tools. One such tool, DNA testing, helps both casual researchers and experienced genealogists find their ancestors in a way you can’t find with simple records. DNA testing also has the great research benefit for people studying regional groups and migration patterns, or tracking down members of a diaspora.

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How to Customize MyCanvas Family Tree Poster Backgrounds

Family History, MyCanvas Products By November 22, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Family Tree posters are a great way to share your heritage. One of the benefits of using MyCanvas is that you can completely customize your family history charts by adding pictures, embellishments, and choosing your favorite background.

Today, we want to share with you the three different ways MyCanvas offers for customizing family tree poster backgrounds…

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family history poster research

Why Should I Print a Family Tree Poster?

MyCanvas Products By November 11, 2016 Tags: , , , , , 5 Comments

A family tree poster is a great way to organize your family history. There are multiple types of family tree charts that you can access online, which makes editing them really easy. The only problem is, navigating through your family tree in a digital format can take a lot of time. Not only do you have to make sure you follow the right line, you are also hoping that the website doesn’t crash or your computer turns off. If that happens, you have to…

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