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Author: Michael J. Leclerc

Handwriting vs. the Computer

The modern age has brought a movement away from writing with pen and paper. Younger people may look upon it as “old fashioned,” and perhaps there is a certain amount of truth to that. Yet studies have shown the benefits of writing by hand instead of typing on a computer. There are other reasons why…
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Stonewall 50 logo

Honoring Our LGBTQ Ancestors

As we celebrate 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, this year’s LGBTQ Pride Month is more significant than ever. It is a well-established fact that ever since there have been humans on the earth, there have been LGBTQ people. Noted historian John Boswell traced our history from our unions in Greco-Roman times to the Church-sanctified…
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The Reluctant DNA Match

We’ve all been there. You open up your account and see new DNA matches. You find one that is relatively close. You excitedly jot off a note, explaining who you are, what you believe the relationship is (if you know it) or how you might be related, and your willingness to share information. Then you…
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Meuse-Argonne Cemetery in France.

Time Will Not Dim the Glory Of their Deeds

Once again Memorial Day is upon us. It is one of three days each year in the United States that we honor military service: Armed Forces Day Celebrated last Saturday, this day is marked annually on the third Saturday of May. This is the day that we celebrate and express gratitude to those currently serving…
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World War I Burial Maps and Citizen Archivists

Preparing for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday next week, the National archives has released a valuable new set of digitized maps. These are maps of the original burial locations of World War I soldiers. During the war, there was often no time to send soldiers’ remains homes, or to bury them in cemeteries. Many soldiers…
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FamilySearch website showing how to find an FHC.

What is a Family History Center?

I’m often asked what a Family History Center is. Many believe that this is just a generic term for a facility that has resources for family history. It is actually a term for a very specific facility, run by FamilySearch. Many people are familiar with the FamilySearch website, but are less familiar with the physical…
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Sons of the American Revolution application.

My SAR Journey: The Application

Completing the application takes some time, but it is not overwhelming. Before starting to fill out the application form, be certain that you have completed all research. You will need a copy of your birth certificate and, if you are married, your marriage certificate. For every generation back from you to the Revolutionary War ancestor…
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Slavery in French Canada

As we’ve discussed before, Americans often think of a slavery as an institution only of the American south. But slavery was a scourge felt around the world to one extent of another. This includes our French-Canadian ancestral home. Slavery’s roots in Canada pre-date European settlement. Indigenous tribes used captured member of other tribes as slaves.…
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The Amazing Race logo

Genealogy’s Amazing Race

I’m not a huge fan of “reality” television. Much of it has nothing at all to do with reality. And as much as these programs claim to be unscripted, it is painfully obvious how scripted many of them truly are. Worse is much much influence producers can have on the final outcome, going against the…
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Football field goalposts.

How Do You Know You’ve Reached Your Research Goal?

It sounds like a perfectly reasonable question. “Have you met your research goal?” The answer to such questions, however, can often be far more difficult to ascertain than you initially thought. To wart, the goal must be very specific, leaving no room for ambiguity. It must be possible to look at the goal and give…
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