Microsoft Office OneNote 2013

Microsoft OneNote free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration. It gathers users' notes (handwritten or typed), drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries. Notes can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a network. Note that OneNote is available in a number of different forms and on a number of different platforms. For those not familiar with it, OneNote is an MS Office 2003 program similar to Evernote (which was first released in 2008).

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Searching Google

How Search Works (video)

Every Word Matters

Word Order Matters (video): The particular sequence of terms you put into your query can shift the meaning (and the results) quite a bit. If you are not seeing the results you want change the order.

Searches are bot case sensitive

Punctuation is generally ignored

Google Recognizes State and Other Abbreviations

FL, GA, US, etc.

Search using words as you would use them in your genealogy data.

Use birth, death, burial and NOT birthday, died or funeral

"OK Google" voice search may provide you answers to a spoken sentence but for your genealogy searches only use the words that you are looking for.

Instead of: how many years old was Walter George Wood when he died

Search for: Walter George Wood age at death

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Free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcasts

FH Logo PLAINIf you are not familiar with podcasts, they are similar to a radio show where the host discusses a topic and sometimes has a guest or two. Podcasts are generally in the MP3 audio file format that can be played on a number of devices includes computers, tablets and smartphones. Many, like this series, can also be played using iTunes. There are also apps you can download and install that will allow you to subscribe to one or more podcasts shows and play them for you on demand. You can find podcasts on all manner of subjects. Some contain commercials and some do not. Some even charge a subscription fee in order to listen to them. Podcasts can run from just a few minutes to over 2 hours. One benifit of podcasts is that with a smartphone or iPod you can listen to them anywhere.

Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems has both free and subscription podcasts. In 2008 she recorded a series of podcasts titled Family History: Genealogy Made Easy that are available on her website. There are 45 episodes in this collection and they are available free. These contain step-by-step directions for both beginning and experienced genealogists. The topics include Getting Started, Vital Records, Genealogy Records, Census Records, Using Family History Centers and many more. While a few like those that cover "best websites" and "genetic genealogy" are out of date, most are still relevant today. The length of these is around 30 minutes.

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The Family History Guide is Now Available Online

By permission from Dick Eastman · April 1, 2016 · Genealogy Basics

The Family History Guide logoThe Family History Guide is a huge website aimed for beginners and advanced genealogy researchers alike. It is not a simple ebook published in PDF or some other format. Instead, it is a full interactive guide that contains some of its information on the Family History Guide's own web site and adds hundreds of links to other web sites that also contain useful information.

A video explaining much of the use of the Family History Guide is available at

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How to Use

Below are some commonly asked questions about using You can find the answers on While some of these only apply to the LDS Ordinances most will be very helpful using the Family Search Family Tree.

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10 Free Reources for African American Research

Anyone who has researched their African American ancestors knows what a challenge it can be, but as interest in family history research continues to grow more and more free resources are available to help you on your quest. Read about these 10 free resources from Family History Daily at 

Online Genealogy Dictionaries & Other References

By Dick Eastman · December 30, 2016

The Web is fast replacing reference books. References to almost any information can be found online quickly. In fact, it is often faster to look up information online than to look in a book already on your bookshelf. Of course, an online lookup is also much cheaper than purchasing a reference book.

Here are some reference sites that I have found to be useful to genealogists:

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