Thursday, February 28, 2013

Women’s History Month 2013: 31 Sources for Researching Female Ancestors

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

Women’s History Month is a great time to start thinking about researching female ancestors. While the “old reliable” genealogy websites we use for research should be used, you might also want to consider other types of websites that can assist you in finding information on your ancestor’s life, her community, and even social history.

For March, I will feature a different source for researching your female ancestors each day. Please take some time to check out these websites, and explore how they can help you with your genealogical/historical research.

Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you found helpful.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day 2013

I want to take a moment to wish all of my readers a Happy Valentine's Day.

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ephemera, Genealogy Style

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

One of my favorite events every year is a vintage paper fair in Glendale (California). This year I was able to pick up many great finds that are genealogical in nature including postcards, photographs, membership documents and occupational documents, church records and more.

I will be featuring many of these documents in blog posts and articles as examples of what our ancestors left behind.

Interested in attending a vintage paper fair? Below are the dates for California. For those outside of California try Googling "vintage paper fair" and the name of your state.

Want to know more about ephemera and genealogy? I wrote this post, Ephemera: A Surprising Fertile Genealogical Resource  for GenealogyBank on ephemera, including images of pieces from my collection.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Church Record Sunday: American Church Records Resources

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to the San Diego Genealogical Society on the topic of American Church Records. For this Church Record Sunday, I thought I would share a list of the resources I provided in the handout for this presentation.


American Catholic Historical Society <>

University of Notre Dame Archives  <>

Early California Population Project at

Local Catholic Church and Family History  < >

Women of Vision, Index of Catholic Nuns in Australia


General Commission of Archives and History

Archives of Ohio United Methodism <>

Boston University Methodist Organizations and Archives

Latter-day Saints

Links for Researching Mormon Pioneers  on Gena’s website <>

Church History Library <>

L. Tom Perry Special Collections (BYU Library)


Nu? What’s New? A Jewish Genealogy E-Zine <>

350 Years of Jewish Life in America via the Library of Congress <>

American Jewish Historical Society

General Resources on the Internet

PERSI at or Heritage Quest

Cyndi’s List. Religion & Churches  

In Family Search,,  to find Church Records do a library catalog subject or keyword search for the name of the religion or do a locality search and then click on Church History or Church Records.

The FamilySearch Wiki has various research topics including church records. Go to the Wiki <> and use the search engine to find the information about the religion you are researching.

Church Records Index. Connecticut State Library  <>

Beverly Whitaker’s Genealogy Tutor on Religious Features for the Family Historian

Locating Church Records by Val D. Greenwood 

Church Records: Genealogical Clues by Myra Vanderpool Gormley


Humling, V. (1995). U.S. Catholic sources: a diocesan research guide. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry.

Warner, M. D. L. W., Munnick, H. D., Beckham, S. D., & Munnick, A. R. (1972). Catholic Church records of the Pacific Northwest. St. Paul, OR: French Prairie Press.

Sperry, Kip (2007). A Guide to Mormon Family History Sources. Utah: My, Incorporated.

Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (1994). Genealogical Publishing, Inc.

Berry, Ellen Thomas and Berry, David. Our Quaker Ancestors: Finding them in Quaker Records (2002). Genealogical Publishing Company.

Church Records by Elizabeth Crabtree Wells, In The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy (2006). Ingram Publishing Services.

Vosburgh, Roydon Woodward. Early New York church records; a report and digest of the records transcribed by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1918 to 1920.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Interested in Vintage Photos? Check out KwikTips.

A note from Gena: I'm excited to help announce my friend Gary Clark's new laminates that help researchers date historic photographs. Gary owns and besides these laminates  has a new book that debuted this week. You can read more about his books and laminates at

For Immediate Release Announces: The KwikTip™ Series of Photographic Laminates
Illustrated tip sheets that help researchers date historical and family photographs.

February 5, 2013, Carlsbad, CA.™, the leader in delivering historical photograph information to genealogists and collectors has released the first in a series of laminated KwikTips™ that give genealogists and historians an easy‐to‐use, yet comprehensive source to help achieve accurate date analysis of 19th century photographs.

The KwikTips are laminated, letter size, two page reference sheets with illustrative photos, historical information, and timelines, all in an attractive and easy to use design. KwikTips are available for:

•Daguerreotype, ambrotype, and tintype photographs
•Cartes de visite and cabinet cards
•Imprints of cartes de visite and cabinet cards

The Daguerreotype, Ambrotype, and Tintype KwikTip reveals the introduction, popular use, and complete life‐cycle of cased images. In addition, the 50‐year evolution of tintypes is outlined along with dated images.

This Cartes de Visite and Cabinet Cards KwikTip presents the introduction, use, and end‐of‐life of the popular paper photograph from the Civil War to 1900. Illustrated with beautiful dated photographs, this KwikTip guides you through the major changes of paper photographs in the 1800s, giving you the knowledge to help you date mystery photographs.

The Imprints KwikTip reveals much information about the photograph. Imprints are the studio identification, artwork, and services that are listed on the front and back of old photos. There are secrets within the imprints that can help a researcher determine within a few years when a photograph was produced.

Detailed KwikTip laminates from give the researcher a detailed yet easy‐to‐use set of timelines, photograph characteristics, and great illustrations to help date old photographs.
These durable, easy to use, and beautifully illustrated laminates are perfect for quick reference in the home, office, library, and on research trips. Designed to last, they are easy to store and carry, and answer the most common questions to dating 19th century photographs.

KwikTips are available exclusively from Family Roots Publishing ( at $5.99 each.

About the Author
Gary Clark is a professional photographer, restorer, and genealogist who has merged these skills with his passion for collecting old photographs. His 30 years of experience in digital imaging brings a unique and thorough understanding of photograph history, the technology, and the historical role photos play. Clark introduced to genealogists and collectors in 2000, and he continually expands the free information with a gallery of over 1,000 images, weekly case studies, and historical information about 19th century photographs.

Contact: Gary Clark,
Images & Press Release: is a trademark of KwikTips is a trademark of

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Church Record Sunday: Have You Tried a School of Theology Library?

I decided that for today's Church Record Sunday we would explore a topic I've written about before, the libraries of theological schools. As genealogists, it's important that we explore all types of repositories that could hold materials important to our research. Now if you go to the reference librarian at a school of theology and ask them for genealogy related works they are going to tell you that they have no genealogy related items. Remember, you are doing history, and  theological schools  have archival collections relating to the history of church communities.

Consider some of these examples.

Looking at Boston University's School of Theology Library, Their Archival Collections consist of church records, manuscript letters and memoirs, and other primary source material. 

I found some great manuscript collections at Emory UniversityPitts Theology Library   including this list of manuscript collections involving women. Here you will find personal and family papers. Their other manuscript collections can be found on their webpage Subject Guides to Collections.

In the Andover-Harvard Theological Library Manuscript and Archives Collection you can find personal papers, congregation records and institutional records involving the Unitarian Universalist Church. 

The list of wonderful resources goes on.

Schools of theology have archival collections, those collections can include individual congregational records as well as manuscript collections involving individuals, ministers and families. 

The original post on this topic I wrote in 2009 is below. The post includes additional links, including one of Theology libraries that you may find useful as a reference.


I was talking to a genealogist at a local society where I spoke this month and she was telling me about some of the wonderful places she had researched and what she had found. One of the important truisms she echoed was that sometimes, places that don’t have genealogy collections do have genealogical information. 

In this case she was researching a Methodist minister ancestor and was at the Claremont School of Theology (CST). She mentioned this because I am a graduate of the school, which is a Methodist seminary located in Southern California.

She went to the reference librarian and asked if there was any information on her particular ancestor. Well, because this isn’t a genealogical library, the librarian initially said no, but then directed her to a series of reports that did include biographical information that was immensely helpful to her research.

CST is a Methodist seminary so of course they do have some materials on the history of Methodism and those who served, as well as other religions. No, it is not a genealogy library but remember you are doing historical research. And in this case she was doing research on Methodist religious history.

CST has an online library catalog and other resources which you can access at

There is a list of accredited theological schools at This list might provide you with some libraries and their online catalogs that might assist you in your research.