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Cathy Kristiansen

Family History Profiles

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Red Cross records, NARA II, College Park

Digging up roots: Online resources for DIY genealogy Cathy Kristiansen. Published by Thompson Reuters Australia in Online Currents, August 2015 SUMMARY: The internet can be a highly productive place to conduct family history research. Enormous searchable databases of digitised birth, marriage and death records, property documents and wills, ship passenger and convict transportation lists, and countless other pieces of history, are becoming available at a rapid rate, driven by a soaring interest in ancestry. Aside from tapping into existing old documents, the new tool of DNA testing offers an unprecedented avenue for reaching into the past. Libraries are a key part of the explosion in genealogy interest, setting up family history websites stocked with articles and online links for ancestral research.

1. Cathy did miracles learning about my Danish family, discovering that some of the ancestors I thought were Danish started out in Germany. Her specialty is Denmark, but when she found roots going back to Germany, she explored the historical events in the regions and towns in both countries where my ancestors lived, discovered what their professions were, and even the streets where they lived and the churches they attended. And she found historic drawings and photos of those places. She spent weeks researching and writing about the world they lived in. It's pretty amazing what she discovered about people I would never have found by myself. And she found a photograph of my great-great-great grandfather in 1865! Knowing about the times they lived in makes the document she produced very interesting and, because Cathy is a professional writer, it is also fascinating to read. By Jean Christensen, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A. 2. The 30-page document about my great-grandmother is a remarkable family heirloom. We knew so little about her, but now we have an authentic sense of her rural childhood and her long stretch in the city after marriage. We learned about dramas in her family, the impact of events like the Prussian battle for Schleswig, and what it meant for her to take a paying job in those days. It is a priceless historical document and family record. By Vivian Thomsen, Copenhagen, Denmark 3. I really wanted to know about my Danish great-grandparents, but could never find time to investigate. Family History Profiles collected anecdotes from other family members, did research and wrote up a 15-page booklet for each of them. The documents contain facts, history, pictures and other visuals of the time they lived. Great to have and pass down to my daughters. By Josephine Jones, Alton, U.K.

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