Combine Religious Records With Related Sources to Discover Family History

By Jeanne Rollberg Early religious records around the world are gold mines for genealogists as they seek key information that may not be found in civil records or newspaper resources (such as birth, marriage and death announcements) for certain time periods. People investigating religious records may find baptism, marriage, and death information in some denominations’ church…

Why Do Spanish Ancestors Have so Many Last Names?

By Nydia Hanna The surnames in Spanish families are tied to traditions of land, wealth, social status and religion. For a Spanish person, their whole name, including two surnames, correctly identifies them and their parents. This identity is deeply rooted in the histories of their ancestors and the names they carried. Spaniards believe that the…

Halloween Ritual and The Gentle Call to the Cemeteries

By Jeanne Rollberg Boo! The commercialized Halloween holiday in the United States reminds us of costume parties, spooks, goblins, spiders’ webs, witches, skeletons and cemeteries. Usually shortly after Halloween, countries all over the world – from Germany to Sweden to Latin American countries’ Dia de los Muertos – celebrate ancestors’ lives with multiple-day events, many…