Link report: March 22 tip digest

Does anybody ever call up a neighbor for a good how-to tip these days? I don’t: Google has replaced the backyard fence as the portal of earthly wisdom. You name it, my first impulse is to Google it. How to clean baked-on gunk from a cookie sheet? Google. Best wording for a first-communion party invitation? Google. How to be a First Footer on New Year’s Day? Google.

Today I pay tribute to the how-to, can-do quality in these genealogy links:

• Katrina McQuarrie’s wonderful Kick-Ass Genealogy blog is an encyclopedia of how-to goodness. Her most recent post is about making a master research map to keep you from losing focus during those times when you can’t work on your genealogy 24/7 (which is, like, 24/7). But I can’t get enough of her practical wisdom in general.

• In my husband’s hometown of Springfield, Ill., two “cemetery hunters” share stories and insights from years of trooping among tombstones. The also share some interesting tips on how to read hard-to-read stones!

• For Irish-Americans, St. Patrick’s Day often awakens that dormant urge to figure out where we came from in Ireland, even if nobody knows who came to America in the first place, or when. If you’ve just decided to take on the challenge, the Irish Echo offers a great, basic list of tips on beginning the search for your Irish roots.

• Finally, newspaper advice columns are the ultimate tip source, although you wouldn’t expect to find a genealogy question in one. But that’s just what happened recently in the Washington Post’s Ask Amy column. A reader asks how best to approach the widow of the recently deceased family genealogy hound for access to his treasure trove of photos and records. Read what Ms. Amy advises, and consider — what do you think ought to happen to your genealogy treasure trove after you pass on, and what will you do about it?


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