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May I help you?

  • Speaking – Inspiring and educating audiences on the magic and wonder of the art of genealogy
  • Writing – Decoding the process, strategies, and resources that make genealogy a lifetime of fascinating pursuits
  • Researching – One-on-one partnerships with searchers to unlock that historical door

Your video is one I will put on my list for them to watch. I repeat - excellent job! Summarizes, teaches, all the things you'd like to tell people to watch out for, how to look harder - how to do true research for the love of one's relatives and for the pure joy of finding things out about those who helped me become who I am. Thank you.
— Sherry Presley Morgan

While conducting genealogy research over the years, I've built a number of tools, aids, and references to make the process easier and faster. Now I'm sharing these tools - you won't find anywhere else - with you. I hope you find them helpful, and if you do, please let me know!

Click on a topic below to see available resources.

Genealogy Worksheets

It's easy to get overwhelmed by the facts and data unearthed by genealogy research. These worksheets help the genealogist keep things organized and the research moving forward.

  • Research Checklist Template
    This checklist helps keep track of what types of records, i.e. census, military you have found and need to find for an individual or family). In Excel for paperless tracking.
  • Simple Ancestor Timeline Table with Source List
    This spreadsheet provides the framework for building a timeline or chronology for an individual. Number each source in the Source List and cross reference them in the timeline.
  • Types of Colonial Governance
    Five minutes into researching your Colonial ancestor's land records you discover it is very important to know how the that colony's government was organized and how it impacted land distribution. It was different for each colony, and it varied over time. Here's your handy cheat sheet to know what's happening where.
  • Definitions of Colonial Governance
    There are primarily three government structures in the Colonial era. What they are and how they determine land distribution from the King of England are explained here.

Genealogy Bibliographies

I've taught genealogy classes for a number of years now. I've always thought it would be great to hang the bibliographies somewhere for easy reference for anyone to use after the class. Well, here they are! Think of them as a cheat sheet to jump start any research project. Help yourself.

Maps, Charts, and other Cool Stuff

  • Bounty Land (Military Reserves) Map*
    This map illustrates the sections of land the US government set aside for bounty land, and the dates the land set aside. It doesn’t show individual plots, but it is a great aid in understanding the nature and scope of the Bounty Land Program. Source: Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States.
  • Colonial Land Acquisition Chart
    Edward Price in Dividing the Land gives the best explanation I’ve seen of how land in the Colonies was distributed from Crown to individual. He aptly describes it as a “mosaic” of methods. I’ve extracted the information and organized it into a handy, annotated chart. If you want to understand what’s happening with land in the Colony your ancestor settled, this is a great place to start.
  • Colonial Land Survey Map*
    I was riveted by this map in Edward Price’s Dividing the Land. Heretofore, I’d assumed all surveys in the Colonies were of the irregular “metes and bounds” variety. Not so! The map tells us what survey technique was used where. To understand why each technique was used, check out the Price book.
  • Introduction to the Midwest Genealogy Center
    The Midwest Genealogy Center is one of the premier genealogy facilities in the United States. Want to know more? Here's a quick tour of what you'll find on your next visit.

* Cool documents created and published by cited authorities. Not original to Genealogy Decoded.

Tips and Best Practices

  • 10 Places to Find FANs
    FANs - friends, associates, and neighbors - can often lead you to clues about your own ancestors. This document identifies places you can find your FANs.

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