Author Archives for Allison Aston

To Crop, or Not to Crop; That is the Question

The answer: To crop, of course! Thank goodness for the cropping tools on picture editing software. IrfanView, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, Picasa, all of these programs have the ability to crop documents and get rid of wasted space. The benefits of cropping are clear. You save ink, utilize the space on the page more effectively, […]

The Ads4Africa Search Engine: Help the Living While Searching for the Dead

A friend of mine created a great search engine that I wanted to share with all of you. It is, as the title of this blog post suggests, the Ads4Africa Search Engine. The wonderful thing about this search engine is that every search you perform generates money that is then used to fund microloans for […]

Plain Text and Clipping: Two Terrifically Useful Tools on Google Books

Do you ever find wonderful information in a book on the Google Books website, only to quickly become discouraged because you can’t figure out how to print a page of the book and you don’t want to spend a lot of time transcribing the information in it? I have, and I’m guessing many others feel […]

The Unnamed Child

The other day I was researching in the parish registers of St. Cuthbert’s, an Anglican church in Darlington, County Durham, England. As I was studying these registers, I came across a curious baptismal entry that was recorded in the early eighteenth century. Which of the entries do you think it is? Look at the entry that reads […]

Quite the Death-Defying Trick

Shhhh! I have a secret that I want to share with you. But don’t. tell. anyone. If I’m in a hurry to get a death certificate that isn’t available at the Family History Library, I’ll often order it from This can be difficult sometimes because they ask for a specific date of death in […]

Genealogy: Just An “Older Adult” Hobby?

The average age of the people employed at ProGenealogists, Inc. is roughly 36.6. Half of us are under the age of thirty. Yes, I am in the younger category, and I am proud to be a young adult Genealogist. More and more young genealogists are cropping up all the time, and it makes me giddy […]

Filling in the Ten-Year Gap

A lot can change in a family over the course of ten years. Couples marry, children are born, (although not always in that order), family members pass away, and a myriad of other things happen. In many cases, not much remains to tell us about the lives that our ancestors lived, and it is important […]

Confessions of a 21st Century Genealogist

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how lucky we are to be genealogists in the 21st Century. I’ll only provide one example of this, although there are many to choose from. I’ve only had to search through United States Federal census records on microfilm once. That’s right. Once. My more experienced colleagues have told […]

Allison Aston

ALLISON ASTON Associate Genealogist ProGenealogists®