Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tip #51: Discovering Your Ancestors

Discover your Ancestors at! like I recently did. I came across some Naturalization Records of my paternal great grandmother's family.  I had seen these before but never really spent the time reading them until this week. 

There had been some mysteries as to the spelling of their last name. We new it had been changed when they arrived, but we didn't know what is was before.  And there it was, right there in the naturalization records. I don't know why I didn't focus on this the first time I came across them.

I also noticed something else.  Not only was the last name changed, so was the first name, and this got me thinking.  Did my paternal great grandmother (who I spent quite a lot of time with when I was little) also have a different first name.

Her sister's naturalization record referenced the date and ship of her immigration to the United States.  I hadn't seen this before on, but then again I hadn't specifically looked for it, unitl now.

After a few minutes of searching, I found it.  There was her sister (matched by her original legal name that she immigrated to the United States with), and there was a list of all her siblings and parents with their original names.  Her sister's name on the passenger list matched the name on her naturalization record.  Now I had to match each person's original name to their americanized name.  I was able to do this by a combination of age matching (as the passenger record had this) as well as other naturalization records of the other siblings.

While I have not been able to find my great grandmother's naturalization record, I have been able to (through the process of elimination) find her legal birth name (which I do not think any living family member knew.) 

My paternal great grandmother, Esther Gerson, was originally named Astor Gerschinowsky.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Tip #50: Give the gift of Ancestry this season

I have realized that many people in my family have been really excited and happy about all the family history I have uncovered over the past 2 years using

Since it was Black Friday/Cyber Monday recently I have been thinking that maybe something like Getting 10% Off Gift Memberships from would make a nice Holiday gift for someone else.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Tip #49: Ordering State Vital Records - Alabama

This Tip provides information on ordering vital records from the State of Alabama

Vital records are records of life events kept under governmental authority, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates. In some jurisdictions, vital records may also include records of civil unions or domestic partnerships. In the United States they are tyically maintained at the state level.

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You can order geneaological vital records from the State of Alabama website by clicking here