Category Archives: Blogging

Empty Branches – 8th Blogiversary!

It’s one day early, but Empty Branches will celebrate its 8th blogiversary tomorrow. I have to admit that 8 years have flown by and I’ve loved every minute of it.

  1. I’ve posted 2,812 articles, including at least one every day since September 2014.
  2. My best one-day total views was 831.
  3. I’ve had 378, 484 page views.
  4. Readers have taken the time to leave 3,802 comments. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to do that. While it may look like I don’t respond to many of them, I actually privately email readers.

I’m not one to spend much time patting myself on the back, so instead of sharing my “best” or favorite posts, I’d like instead to guide you to the tabs underneath the header photo above.

Over the years, I’ve added to and expanded links in each of those categories. Please take a few minutes to check out:

County Histories – links to thousands of digitized county histories for all 50 U.S. states

Education & Methodology – dozens of links to MOSTLY free resources to sharpen one’s research skills

GeneaGems – links great websites that I’ve come across on a wide variety of topics and places

Genetic Genealogy – Just like it sounds – free resources to learn more about genealogy & DNA

Maps and Land Records – self explanatory!

Non-U.S. Links – also self explanatory, but mostly covering locations to which my own research has led

Reference Tools & Organization – self explanatory!

U.S. State & General Links – links to resources in all 50 states, at the state level

Lastly, I’d like to thank every person who has taken the time to read my blog. I’ve heard from so many distant cousins and made many new virtual friends who I someday hope to meet.

Another wonderful benefit that I’ve found in blogging is that it has forced me to learn so much more about my ancestors’ lives, their cultures and the times in which they lived. I’ve enjoyed every new discovery.

When I started Empty Branches 8 years ago, my husband never thought I’d stick with it because of the technology end of things. Well, I’ve managed to learn just enough to make me dangerous, but I’m cautious enough to look for help with issues arise – like a couple of days ago when a new Jetpack plugin update broke my site! Thankfully, the tech support I have fixed everything and problems don’t really happen very often.

I’m looking forward to another fun year of sharing stories, tips and resources. I tell everyone my blog is my baby and I’m loving what I’m doing. 🙂


Empty Branches – 7th Blogiversary: Genea-Gems for All!

Yet another year has flown by and Empty Branches is now 7 years old!

I’ve rarely paid attention to stats in the last few years, but I am proud of several.

  1. I’ve posted 2,042 articles, including at least one every day since September 2014!
  2. My best one-day of views was 825!
  3. Readers have taken the time to leave 2,439 comments. Thank you. While it may look like I don’t respond to many of them, I actually privately email each reader.

Thank you – readers and newly found cousins – for 7 fun years!

Many bloggers share past posts that are favorites, have the most views, etc. I’ve decided to share my Genea-Gems, discovered during the past 7 years. They are always popular and, because of the varied topics and websites, there is something here for everyone to explore.

The list has gotten quite lengthy, but here they all are:

1. State Library and Archives (Posted 24 Sept 2014)
2. Historical Societies (Posted 25 September 2014)
3. State Genealogical Societies (Posted 26 September 2014)
4. Ethnic Societies (Posted 27 September 2014)
5. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) General Land Office (GLO) (Posted on 14 Jan 2015)
6. Boston Public Library (Posted on 18 Mar 2015)
7. United States, New England Petitions for Naturalization (1791-1906). (Posted 18 May 2015)
8. Kentucky State Tax Records  (Posted 14 June 2015)
9. FamilySearch Wiki (Posted 22 June 2015)
10. Oklahoma WPA Project (Posted 28 June 2015).
11. WhatWasThere (Posted 9 July 2015) – website linked to Google Maps that allows you to upload historical photos and overlay them in current neighborhoods. There is a fade in-fade out feature on the photo to compare present and past views. Free to register and use and lots of fun!
12. Genealogical Newsletters and Periodicals (Posted 22 August 2015)
13. Masonic Membership Cards Online (Posted 11 February 2016)
14. Moravian Church Records, North Carolina (Posted 23 April 2016)
15. MyHeritage Digital Book Collection for Free (Posted 28 May 2016)
16. ArchiveGrid (Posted 21 June 2016)
17. Book Review: Elements of Genealogical Analysis by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG (Posted 30 June 2016)
18. Book Review: Organize Your Genealogy by Drew Smith (Posted on 27 July 2016)
19. BSO Alert: Brad Lyon’s Exploring Family Trees (Beta) (Posted 13 September 2016)
20. Missouri Probate Records on FamilySearch (Posted 22 October 2016)
21. U.S. State Digital Collections (Posted 1 November 2016)
22. 1866 VA Census of Children of Ceased Cohabitation (Posted 2 November 2016)
23. Revisiting Stephen Morse’s One-Step Web Pages (Posted 14 November 2016)
24. DPLA & Family History Research (Posted 18 April 2017)
25. The Gateway to Oklahoma History (Posted 19 April 2017)
26. Oklahoma School Records 1895-1936 on FamilySearch (Posted 10 October 2017)
27. Tips & Quips for the Family Historian (Posted 19 November 2017)
28. Google Play and Genealogy: New GeneaGem (Posted 2 January 2018)
29. New GeneaGem: PhotoTree (Posted 10 January 2018)
30. Chronicling America Tab – U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present (Posted 5 February 2018)
31. GenGateway (Posted 21 June 2018)
32. Some New Research GeneaGems – Archives & Library Aids (Posted 15 December 2018)
33. History of American & Canadian Funeral Customs (Posted 12 January 2019)
34. GeneaGem: Oral Histories of Aroostook County, Maine (Posted 16 March 2019)
35. New GeneaGem: American Panorama (Posted 16 May 2019)
36. New GeneaGem: American History & Genealogy Project (Posted 28 May 2019)
37. New GeneaGem: FamilySearch Wiki Page – U.S. Libraries and Archives (Posted 26 June 2019)
38.New GeneaGem: Genealogy Village (Posted 13 August 2019)
39. New GeneaGem: Mapping the Nation (Posted 9 October 2019)
40. New GeneaGem: NARA Record Group Explorer (Posted 27 January 2020)
41. New GeneaGem: Digital Library on American Slavery (Posted 19 February 2020)
42. New GeneaGem: NARA Prologue – Genealogy Notes (Posted 8 September 2020)

Bloggers’ Genealogy Toolboxes 2020

It’s that time again – time to take a look at genealogists’ research toolboxes on bloggers’ websites.

As has been my custom, I’ve updated the 2020 list from past years and have only included those websites with new content published within the last few months. Some previous sites are still found online, but have gone dormant.

There are also may first timers on the list, but this list includes professional (business) bloggers in addition to the non-professionals.

Please take the time to visit each of these blogs and take a look at their toolboxes. Resources such as blank forms, reference books, free websites, local resources and DNA are just a few of the link categories. Be sure to leave the blogger a comment, too – we love reading comments.

GenealogyBargains and Destination: Austin Family – Thomas MacEntee’s websites with links to all kinds of genealogy resources.

Ancestral FindingsNEW – There is a Resources tab at the top right with a drop down menu, including one on Hard to Find Surnames.

Ancestry IslandNEW – There are a couple of categories that have resources.

Anxiously Engaged! – Peggy Lauritzen has a number of buttons leading to multiple categories of resources.

Board for Certification of GenealogistsNEW – Check out the BCG Learning Center.

Cow Hampshire – Janice Brown includes a BLOGS AND LINKS tab with many resources.

DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy – Roberta Estes’ HELP button has links all about DNA and its use in genealogical research.

Empty Branches on the Family Tree – While you are browsing bloggers’ research toolboxes, I hope you will take a look at mine, too. Category links are located right under the header image on the home page. Last year, I finished adding links to all 50 states. 🙂

Evidence Explained – Elizabeth Shown Mills’ website is the place to go for source citation tips.

Family History Across the Seas – NEW – There is a Resources tab on the home page.

Family Tree Knots – Check out the Links of Interest button under the header.

Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family – Vera Miller has a LINKS button to lots of Russian/Eastern European resources

Fortify Your Family Tree – DiAnn Iamarino shares her resources in tabs under her header image.

From Maine to Kentucky – Elizabeth Handler has a link to DNA resources.

Genea-Musings – Visit Randy Seaver’s  “Randy’s Genealogy Links” right next to his HOME button.

Geneabloggers Tribe – NEW – Lots of articles and information with blogging advice

Genealogy à la Carte – Gail Dever has a robust list of tools for those with Canadian roots and created an ever-growing list of Canadian genealogy groups on Facebook.

Genealogy by Paula – Paula Stuart-Warren has a RESOURCES button with a long list of her favorite research links.

IAAM Center for Family HistoryNEW – Tons of resources (not just on Black History) on various family history topics on this website.

Irish Family Roots – Donna Moughty’s focus is Ireland with links.

Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog – Check out Jana Last’s Research Toolbox link in the top button bar

Karen’s ChattNEW – Look for the Links tab at the right top area and follow the drop down menu for many links on various topics.

Kitty Cooper’s Blog – Kitty has multiple buttons with links to DNA and genealogy information

Leaves and Branches – Colleen Brown Pasquale has multiple tabs under her header image.

Lois Willis – Genealogy and Family History – Lois has a RESOURCES tab to check out.

Megan’s FamilyNEW – There is a research toolbox icon at the top right which has multiple categories with links.

Olive Tree Genealogy – Lorine McGinnis Schulze has a blog along with her website, which is a huge research toolbox for ships’ passenger lists, along with links to many other Canadian and American records.

Pima County Genealogy Society – There is an Arizona Research Toolbox.

The Ancestor Hunt NEW – Kenneth Marks’ website is the place to go for links to online newspapers!

The Educated GenealogistNEW – Sheri has links to California resources and African-American research.

Treasure Chest of MemoriesNEW – Laura has a Resources tab with several categories at the top of her home page.

Writing My Past – Teresa has a lengthy set of links to all things genealogy.