Family History Research: How to Successfully Start—or Restart.

Mark your calendars. Registration details for this virtual course will be released soon. Sponsored by Clayton Library Friends in Support of the Houston Public Library Center for Family History Research Center at the Clayton Library Campus. 

Family History Research: How to Successfully Start—or Restart. This is a 4-week online US. based course led by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG ®, FMGS, FUGA.

March 4, 11, 18 & 25
Saturdays 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Central Time, with some great bonus sessions and extensive handout material. 



New book: The Sawtooth Slayer. An Investigative Genetic Genealogy Mystery

Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s 2022 second book in the Venator Cold Case series is a winner. A fictional novel with mystery, genealogy, and genetics. Did it hold my interest? You bet it did! The author is based in England but did an amazing job with this story based in the U.S. I was provided with a copy of the book for this review. 

It covers a series of murders that have a pattern in which the deceased women are found near churches, but the locations are where they were killed. Detectives, a forensic pathologist, and a coroner join forces to assess the situations, take DNA samples, compare the injuries on the victims, and figure out a connection to some foliage found at the latest victim’s strange placement. I could explain that better, but I won’t give away some of the details that are followed through by the experts in the case. Oh, the Pandemic that began in 2020 also played a part in what developed.

The lead detective, Maria Gonzalez, works with an investigative genetic genealogy company to sort out DNA, try to link to people who may be related to the killer, or to the killer directly. The author fleshes out personal stories on the genetic genealogists, the killer, and some others. I was glad to see how the personal stories ended up except for one area that just might be leading to another book in the series. (Fingers crossed that I am correct.) The insight into the killer’s life and mind, the genealogy and DNA leads, and all that led to the outcome were seamlessly written.

Goodwin masterfully tells the tale, covers genealogy and DNA, police work, and more. I kept trying to figure out how his mind worked so that he could keep it all flowing and present an intriguing story that kept trying to keep me from the research case work I was supposed to be doing.

You don’t have to be a genealogist or have experience in DNA testing, or DNA puzzles to enjoy the book. Share it with family and friends.  It might convince them to become more involved in your family history. I highly recommend The Sawtooth Slayer. An Investigative Genetic Genealogy Mystery. 

Check out all the books by this author:


A Prologue in genealogy terms is not always in the beginning of a book or musical piece

One of my favorite periodicals is no longer being published and I am thankful I did subscribe for many years. It’s still in my mind a lot and I do read it in print and online. The articles provide much background for historical and genealogical research. They lead me to understand some federal records in a different way and lead me to new source material.

The articles were written a decade or decades ago, but still stand the test of time. Some or all the records discussed may be better indexed, digitized online, and especially updated by other articles and lectures that are more current. Check,, and other sites for some of these records and indexes today.

What is this periodical? It’s Prologue, a magazine published quarterly by the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Sadly, the last issue was the Winter 2017-2018 issue, Volume 49, Number 4. The first issue was in the Spring of 1969. That’s 49 years of the story of records at the various NARA facilities and some Presidential Libraries. The articles and editorials are written by people on the NARA staff, other government agencies, and some other experienced researchers.

Accessing the publication today.

  1. Many articles and issues from over the years are now free and available on the NARA website.
  2. Volumes 1-48 are free on HathiTrust Digital Library.
  3. Many issues are on Internet Archive
  4. On the shelves at libraries, archives, and historical societies.

A handful of my favorite articles are listed below along with the URL for viewing them online.

More found on the NARA website,

Cyndi Ingle who compiles the extensive has a link to Prologue on the National Archives website under her U.S. National Archives category and directly to many of the specific articles under her a various subject and place categories.



First time to GRIP? A scholarship for two genealogists!

The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh reminds family historians that a neat scholarship is available to first-time registrants. Choose from 2 weeks of courses. The Donn Devine scholarship reminds me of the great man for whom this is named. A brilliant and caring man with a smart mind and wit. A fantastic genealogist, lawyer, archivist, volunteer, and that’s just some of his work we should remember. 

“GRIP’s Donn Devine Memorial Scholarship awards full tuition an applicant who has never been to GRIP. GRIP believes this scholarship will reward a genealogist who has emulated Donn Devine’s giving spirit of volunteerism but has not had the opportunity to attend. Application deadline is January 30, 2023 with the winner notified by February 15. GRIP will award two this year. One for online via Zoom 18-23 June 2023, and one in person at LaRoche University 9-14 July 2023.”

More details at



County historical societies hold great wealth for genealogy research

How many of you have done research at a county historical society? Whether you have already done some or not, this is a good time to check out the website, blog, Facebook page, other social media, or newsletter related to some of your U.S. ancestral counties. You may find family files, county record books, newspaper indexes, county history indexes, maps, census abstracts and indexes, cemetery records, city and county directories, vital records, local business records, tax records, clippings scrapbooks, and school records. Of course, each one you seek will have different research items, but all are worth a look. Much of what they hold has not been digitized, but bless those with online indexes, descriptions of holdings, and a really helpful website.

To whet your appetite, here are a handful of Minnesota county level historical society research library websites. Many require an advance appointment for in-person research.

MyHeritage adds 1.7 million records for Israel

This past week, MyHeritage published a big new collection that will help researchers with connections to Israel. It covers immigration to Israel form 1910 forward totaling 1.7 million records. Don’t read Hebrew? You are in luck with name translation. 

Read more details on the MyHeritage Blog and website.

From MyHeritage:

“This collection is one of the most comprehensive sources available for genealogy in Israel. It contains lists of immigrants to Israel from 1919 onwards, transcribed by MyHeritage from images stored at the Israel Archive. Most of the content is in Hebrew, but thanks to MyHeritage’s Global Name Translation Technology™ it can be searched in English and other languages. The index contains the name of the immigrant, birth year, age, former residence, immigration date and place, the ship, and relatives.

The collection was created from books that contain lists of names of immigrants (mostly in Hebrew), arranged in chronological order according to the date of arrival to Israel. The books also list passengers who arrived as tourists, or were Israeli residents returning to Israel from a trip abroad. Some of the immigrants who traveled to Israel in later years arrived by air and not in ships. The images may include additional information that is not found in the index, such as occupation.”



Family History Library in Salt Lake City and Family History Centers Change Names

Last fall I found out about the changes and began changing the names in my lecture handouts and PowerPoint slides. It’s now been officially announced.

Today’s press release: FamilySearch Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. © 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—FamilySearch announced new names for its flagship Family History Library located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and all local and regional family history centers worldwide.  The library will now be known as the FamilySearch Library and local and regional family history centers will now be FamilySearch centers. The name changes will better align local centers with FamilySearch’s expanding global brand.

FamilySearch is known worldwide for its popular free FamilySearch.orgwebsite and state-of-the-art family research and discovery facility in Salt Lake City. Lesser known are its more than 5,000 local centers where visitors can receive individualized help and utilize web-enabled computers to access other premium family resources—all for free.

Watch “Your FamilySearch Center”.

“FamilySearch is a global brand with free local FamilySearch centers in most countries to help individuals make fun, personal discoveries about themselves and their ancestors. Center patrons can receive in-person help, and access millions of additional historical records online. The more you learn about yourself and the history of your family, the more your sense of who you are is deepened, and the more relationships and communities are strengthened,” said Steve Rockwood, CEO for FamilySearch International.

In addition to FamilySearch centers, there are nearly 1,800 affiliate libraries (public libraries, museums, universities, and archives) that have privileges to limited-access FamilySearch databases. There will be no name change for the FamilySearch affiliate libraries. 

People around the world are more and more interested in family, their familial origins, and making family connections. FamilySearch is uniquely positioned to serve this demand through its growing network of local FamilySearch centers, discovery experiences, help services, and vast, ever expanding online collections of genealogical records.

For the full details: FamilySearch Newsroom.



2023 Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) registration opens in February!

GRIP takes place during two separate weeks in 2023 with different courses each week. I am once again the coordinator and lead instructor in the June course, Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills. The other excellent instructors are Cyndi Ingle, Debbie Mieszela, and Cari Taplin. This course includes an extensive syllabus, hands-on work, and a homework project.  I am also an instructor in that week’s Spirit of the Inland Seas: Research in the Great Lakes Region led by coordinator Cari Taplin. Full details on both courses are on the GRIP website along with many other courses.

June 18-23, 2023. Virtually via Zoom as GRIP has done in the last three years. 

July 9-14, 2023. In-person on the campus of LaRoche University in Pittsburgh. 

REGISTRATION opens Wednesday, February 22 at noon Eastern for the June courses and 2 PM Eastern for the July courses. 

Click on and look at the listings of Courses. Click on each course title to see the lineup of instructors and sessions. Then click on Registration to learn more about the process and how to be ready for the February rush. Being partially registered is vital in the process of choosing a specific course on registration day. It’s like a head start. 




Happy New Year with lots of genealogy education!

Over the last few days, I have updated several PowerPoint lectures and the accompanying handouts for upcoming presentations. Lots of changes and new things! I took all of December off from presentations and 2023 is lining up to be busy. Of course, there’s always room for more. If your organization is looking for a virtual presentation, send me an email PaulaStuartWarren at gmail dot com for full details.  My topics are listed online under the Speaking tab above.

For these January 2023 Virtual presentations, click on the society name for more details.


January 7, 2023. Free morning webinar Northwest Suburban Genealogy Society. [Illinois] 10:00 a.m. CST. My presentation and handout “The U. S. National Archives: The Nation’s Attic.


January 12, 2023. Free Evening webinar. McHenry County Illinois Genealogical Society. 7:00 p.m. CST. My presentation and handout cover “Genealogical Goldmine: The Records of Old Settlers Organizations.”

January 28, 2023. Free virtual half-day Seminar Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County [Florida], Saturday, 10:00 a.m. EST, 9:00 a.m. CST. I will be doing two presentations accompanied by handouts. Registrants limited to 100.

The U. S. National Archives: The Nation’s Attic”
“Newspaper Research: The Dailies, Weeklies, and Beyond





2023 Legacy Family Tree Webinars spectacular education lineup!

Have you peeked at the 2023 lineup of speakers and topics for the variety of webinars Legacy Family Tree Webinars? WOW! Education galore. During 2023, the number of webinars offered will hit 2000! 

For most webinars, the initial presentation is free and is viewable for a week. After that, it becomes part of the individual membership benefits. To sign up for the 2023 webinar initial presentations, click here. A regular membership is $49.95 for an entire year. If you join using my affiliate link, you help a bit to fund my blog and website. 

Membership benefits:

  • Access to 1) all the existing 1,900+ classes in the library, 2) plus the 180+ webinars that will be added during the 2023 season, 3) plus any additional bonus members-only webinars (hundreds of these so far) – all available for the duration of your membership
  • Access to all 7,100+ pages of instructors’ handouts plus the new handouts of the 2023 season
  • Chat logs from the live webinars
  • Chance for a bonus subscribers-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Advanced navigation of videos with playlists and chapters
  • Exclusive section for all webinars you’ve registered for
  • Option to bookmark your favorites

Click here for the Legacy blog notice about the 2023 spectacular. I’ll see you on September 15th for an in-depth look at city directories. I think you’ll be surprised at some of the long-standing beliefs that I show are not exactly true and how many special directory editions exist. It will be my tenth webinar for Legacy.