Genealogy research tidbits and recommended websites

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

I’m sometimes asked how I come up with the subject ideas for my columns — especially after nearly 45 years of doing this.

Sometimes, I base columns on an issue or challenge people have recently asked me about. And sometimes, like this week, I come across a magazine that is full of interesting articles and things that are new to me, and I want to pass that information along. Take, for instance, the October/November issue of Internet Genealogy, available at

The lead article details how to find out information on a criminal or convict in your family. The articles sources are based in the United Kingdom, as well as Australia, which was founded as a penal colony. For the latter, the article suggest and Information on some 90,000 convicts who ended up in various British institutions (1780-1925) is at

There is also an article on the Dublin Gazette, a major newspaper that isn’t fully available online, although big chunks are online. Diane Richard of North Carolina, one of the most prolific researchers and editors, writes about the Adam Matthew Digital Collection at It’s an academic resource, so it may be hard to connect with, but it includes sources from Colonial America, the East India Company, Jewish Life in America and the Virginia Company Archives. It’s a gold mine, and one I never heard of. Sue Lisk writes about what it took to be a farmer, something for city folk to ponder. Preserving your family’s food history and recipes are also covered.

Plotting your family history book

A new genealogy website — — helps you outline and lay out your family history book. You can take advantage of a free trial. Then, pricing starts at $25. For someone needing some guidance for layout and planning ideas, it could be worth a try.

Popplet is a fun app

Also, is a brainstorming app for all ages. You can create mind maps, timelines, storyboards and other items to create more visual stimulation for various projects.