Anyone who has Irish genealogy knows that searching for your Irish ancestor can be challenging. Fortunately, Irish resources are vastly improving and Irish Lives Remembered makes some of those sources available to genealogists. Download a copy of their free October issue here or read it online.
Sometimes when we are searching for specific genealogical information on an ancestor, we search for the obvious and forget to dig deeper. Check out this great checklist from The Ancestor Hunt about locating birth records here. Use it as a guideline in your research to filll gaps in your genealogy.
Genealogical dead-ends have long plagued all of us at once time or another. Somehow, you just can't break those ancestral blockades. Fortunately, as technology has evolved so have the choices for discovering family through affordable DNA packages provided by Ancestry.com, 23andme.com, and gedmatch.com.
Recently, I helped a friend discover her biological father after years of unsuccessful searches. She purchased a AncestryDNA from Ancestry.com and waited for her results. By the time, they came in, I had already mapped out her maternal genealogy right down to the German ancestry she didn't know she had, but she was no further to the truth about her father ... that is, until she received a AncestryDNA match of 96% from an unknown relation. The match was with an Italian family as possible 4th cousins. My friend had little information from her mother about her father, even his last name was as questionable as his character. But it was enough for me to eliminate five other possibilities and confirm what I already had suspected. Working with the proper time frames, census records, vital records, and the female generations of this immigrant Italian family, we traced the family by triangulating the data, and found an exact match to her grandmother and confirmed her marriage in the North End of Boston. There we also found her son, a promising ball player who gave up his career for the mob.
There is much more to the story but the point is that old-fashioned genealogical research techniques coupled with DNA can help solve your genealogical roadblocks.
One of the problems with using Google/Bing as a genealogical search engine is the broad range of "hits" that may seem overwhelming as you try to narrow your search to something more managable. Mocavo, a relatively new genealogical search engine tries to address this problem. By entering just an ancestor's name in quotes, Mocavo's targeted search can slim your results pages more accurately. Instead of looking at thousands of exact and potential hits, Mocavo reduces "hits" to tens. This allows you to conduct genealogical searchs for ancestors more quickly and efficiently.
One of the bonuses of such ancestral hunting is the ease in which female ancestors are matched with parents and spouses. Such pinpointing makes tracing elusive maternal lines easier. Another area which Mocavo excels is the ability to bring up burial information for families across many different cemeteries. This is a nice way of consolidating a genealogical search for a "family unit," and also help find the next generation of descendants and/or ancestors.
A new feature coming to Mocavo will allow you to upload your family tree. Once completed, your tree will be scanned for results across the web and emailed directly to you. At the same time, your tree remains private unless you choose to publish it. Uploading the tree can be done through Facebook. A link to their Facebook page is provided at the Mocavo web site.