Best of Family History Fanatics Blog Posts 2017

While we’re on holiday break from homeschool and the like, Andy, Caleb, and Devon Noel Lee are look back so they can move forward by examining the most popular blogs and videos that we posted in 2017 so we can plan ahead for 2018. Take a look at the posts on this blog.

#10 –  3 Suppliers to Start Your Scrapbook Stash

3 Suppliers to Start Your Scrapbook Stash

If you’re just starting out in digital scrapbooking, you’ll want to purchase Photoshop Elements. Then, you’ll want to visit these three talented designers for all the necessary supplies you’ll need for your beginner stash of supplies. You’ll have templates, background papers, decorative elements, and title art.

#9 –  German Names in Print?

See German Names in Print Online

“Do you know what is the best on this site? I can see what my German last name looks like in print. I’ve assumed the German β would look just like that in print. But when I look at the name, it seems ‘weird.’ The newsprint version doesn’t have the distinct demarcations that I see in a computer screen version of the letter.”

#8 – Why I Share Family History with My Children

#8 - Why I Share Family History with My Children

“My fear of my children not knowing their grandpa came true when history repeated itself when my father died. Two of my superheroes have met him, but they were so little that they don’t remember him.

My mother lived long enough to meet all of my children, and my oldest kids have memories of her. They’ve had a closer relationship with my in-laws that I ever had with any of my grandparents, and for that, I’m grateful. They will experience less loneliness than I did as a child.”

#7 – 3 Methods for Organizing Your Genealogy 

3 Methods for Organizing Your Genealogy

“The best advice is to ORGANIZE AS YOU GO. When you make a discovery, determine where the finding should be filed and then place it there. You do not have to look at a stack of papers, research, photos, and such, and feel like everything has to be organized at once.

Develop your system as you slowly work through your discoveries. That way, if you need to make any changes, you make them while your system is still flexible enough to accommodate any modifications.”

 #6  – Your Ancestor is Not a Flower or Tree

Stop using flags, flowers, and other graphics on trees #ancestry #genealogy

“Online genealogy is a wonderful way to collaborate, and I highly encourage you to put your trees online and take advantage of the research hints that many database services provide. I love receiving clues about new-to-me records about my ancestors. I am especially ecstatic when there is a newly discovered photo of my ancestor in my hint queue.

What I cringe at are pictures of trees, flowers, and flags!”

#5 –  Why Should You Add Historical Context To Your Writing?

The power of adding historical and social context to your family history. #writing #ancestry #genealogy

“Your relatives lead boring lives, right? Do your dead ancestors have nothing worth writing about? If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second, I have two words for you.


You ancestor’s life sketch or biography instantly becomes more fascinating when you add a little historical context to the mundane facts for their existence.”

#4 – 15 Tips For Searching Online Collections

15 Tips For Searching Online Collections

You have free time – be it in the middle of the day or the middle of the night. You have the urge to search for more information about your ancestors. What should you do? How should you spend your time? And how can you find more discoveries?

Discover 15 ways you can have more successful online researching sessions when you use,, or!

#3 – My Ancestor Has Multiple Names, Which Name Do I Use?

Which Names Do You Use on Your Family Tree

“Let’s say you discovered a birth record for your great-grandmother. That birth record identifies her parents’ names. Names you have never seen before. Hooray! That’s exciting.

It is exciting, but this is when beginning genealogists often have difficulty. They want to add this new relative to the family tree, but they’re not sure which names to use. When they discover spelling variations, should they change the names? If so, how do they decide which name is the most correct when records conflict?”

#2 – How to Critically Read a Family History Story

How to Critically Read a Family History Story

“Often locations, people, and objects are mentioned in family histories without further explanations and the reader is left wondering, “huh?”

That’s where you come in. Critically re-read those old family histories and make notes (or mark up copies that can be replaced) when you come across such situations.”

#1- Finally Accessing the Original German Lutheran Records

Finally Accessing the Original German Lutheran Records

“ has brought impressive new record collections to light. Not only that, the records are indexed and have some English translations to help us search the record set.  At this time, I can’t know German, so I had to rely upon the searchable indexes now available in the “Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1500-1971“.

For the first time, I saw the church record for Daniel Zumstein who married Maria Niergarth in Obermiesau, Bavaria! “

What do you think about this Best of 2017 list?

Did your favorite Family History Fanatics post make this list? What should we focus on for next year? More scrapbooking? More research tips? More cool finds? Tell me in the comment section below.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

2 thoughts on “Best of Family History Fanatics Blog Posts 2017

  1. I like the post about your ancestor not being a flower, flag, or tree. My husband's surname is a made up/revised name – my eye rolling comes when someone posts the family crest in conjunction with one of his ancestors. Happy New Year!

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