Author Archives for Deborah Gurtler

Have You Read the Latest?


We live in a marvelous age where information from all around the world is available to us with the click of a mouse. Have you ever wondered how genealogists keep up with all the new databases and technologies that are available? One of the keys lies in three little letters: RSS. RSS stands for Really […]

A Pair of Plaid Pantaloons!


Recently I spent a lot of time poring over probate records. One particular entry caught my eye. It was a receipt turned in to the court by a guardian for items he had purchased for a child. Among the shoes and the gloves was “a pair of plaid pantaloons!” Can’t you just picture them? Bear […]

City Directories, How Do I Love Thee?


Recently I’ve rediscovered the joys of city directories. A city directory makes a wonderful census substitute in non-census years. Bear in mind however, that directories, like most records we find for our ancestors, are male oriented. The person usually listed is only the head of household and as you know more often than not that […]

“. . . thence south 60 poles to a white oak. . .”


I spent the better part of an afternoon last week transcribing some land patents from colonial Virginia. While reading the documents, I let my mind transport me to the land. I imagined two or three men out walking the land measuring out the distance in poles and choosing landmarks to identify the boundaries and mark […]

Hooray for Indexers!


The other day as I was perusing deed indexes for some family names, I began to think about all the hours that had been spent indexing those deeds. I thought about the tedious work someone had done going through those deeds page by page trying to carefully note the names of the parties involved along […]

You Found What?


“I found this great book (or online family tree). It pushed my family tree back five more generations!!” How many times have you heard that and wished, “Where is the book like that about my family?” Well maybe you should think twice about that wish. How reliable is that book? Oh the joys and frustrations of […]

When is Work not Really Work?


When is work not really work? When you’re doing something you love. I have had a love of family history and genealogy since I was in high school. Through my adult years I have worked on compiling my ancestors off and on as time and circumstances allowed. Being a wife and mother came first and […]