Genealogy Tips from the Past Fifty Years

During our fifty years of encouraging family researchers and budding genealogists, the society has provided advice through meetings, webinars, and in the Bluegrass Roots magazine.

In this post, we review some of the best Bluegrass Roots articles that we have transferred to Bluegrass Roots Online. These posts have received the most positive feedback and contain plenty of good tips and tricks from our society.

Kentucky Land Grants: Where Did My Ancestors Live?

Literally locating your Kentucky ancestors might involve understanding the different ways they attained land. For many, they used the Land Patent Process that is described in this post by expert Kandie Adkinson.

Read More: Beginner’s Guide: Researching Kentucky Land Grants

Records Gone with the Kentucky Courthouse? Not so fast!

The county courthouse has been a central location for records since Kentucky became a commonwealth. Often we are reminded that records didn’t survive because of a natural disaster or other accident. The idea for this article came from an older post that KYGS member, Michael Watson, wrote for the Bluegrass Roots magazine in 1999.

Read More:Don’t Let a Courthouse Disaster Demolish Your Research Plan

Did You Check the Kentucky County Tax Records?

A good source of genealogical information may be found in the various county tax lists. Kentucky is one of the few states that offers the researcher an excellent listing of the early settlers along with other interesting information. Milton D. Thompson contributed the roots for this post in 1985.

Read More: Finding Early Kentuckians in the Tax List

Looking for an Early Kentucky Resident?

Littell's Law Books contain rich details about what our ancestors were doing in the early years of Kentucky. In the early 1800s, Kentucky lawyer William Littell (1768-1824) published five volumes called Littell’s Statute Law of Kentucky that contain plenty of names and activities of the early residents.

Read More:Using Littell's Law Books to Reveal Early Kentucky Settlers' Lives

Applying the Research Technique

When confronted with family research issues that seem to be difficult to solve, genealogists should apply the research approach. In an earlier issue of Bluegrass Roots, member J. Harvey Uttrell walked us through the process for a family member who lived in Bullitt County, Kentucky.

Read More: Case Study: Applying the Research Approach to Craig Family

Researching Obituaries for Clues

Obituaries are important tools for family history research. KYGS President Chris Padgett shared eight tried and true resources for locating the most obscure death notice.

Read More: Our Tips for Finding Your Kentucky Ancestor's Death Notice

Where Did My Kentucky Ancestor’s Go?

All family researchers have Kentucky ancestors who simply disappear from the records. Landon Willis provided some tips for why they vanished and how to find them.

Read More: Dealing with Brick Walls: Those Disappearing Ancestors

Did You Try a Soundex Search?

A high-tech algorithm called the Soundex Code indexes many genealogy records. Well, it was high tech in 1918 when Robert Russell invented it. This code is still useful for searching genealogy records today.

Read More: Soundex Makes Surnames Common for Today’s Genealogist

Death Was Not Uncommon, but the Cause Was

Learn common causes of death and the reasons in the 1800s from a modern-age medical doctor. In the Spring 1986 edition of Bluegrass Roots, Dr. David B. Davis, a family researcher and medical doctor from Michigan, discussed the common causes of death.

Read More: Learn the Common Death Causes of the 1800s

Editor’s Notes

If you have an idea for a blog post, let's hear it.

More Bluegrass Roots Content

A brief Scots-Irish history in the Appalachian area written by a descendant of early settlers.

A gift to newlyweds in early Kentucky was a log cabin.