About Kerry Scott

I'm the Online Community Editor for Family Tree Magazine/Family Tree University.
Hand punching machine, Census

Time-Travel with Dad

Have you checked out the 1940 US census yet? Waiting for the rush to subside, or the index to be completed? I thought I would do that too…then I found out Indiana was up and available on Ancestry.com by 1 p.m., day one. This news made me rush to my computer and start looking. Luckily for me, I knew the cities and townships in Indiana where my family lived. Plus, they were living in small communities that had few enumeration districts. In my dad’s home … Learn More →


A Pension File Reveals a Family Tragedy

I spoke briefly, in a previous post, about the mystery my husband’s family has carried around for nearly one hundred years. Who was Harry G. Coad? From the first time I heard the story it intrigued me, and of course as soon as I began researching our family histories, I just had to find out all I could about this man. My husband has nicknamed me, “The Destroyer of Family Myths,” as it seems I have been crashing down all of his old family legends … Learn More →


Using Death Records

Our 2-Week courses are designed to help beginning genealogists develop a solid foundation of research skills. While expert instructors are on hand to answer any questions, they play a far less active role than in our 4-week offerings. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN How to find and analyze official death certificates How to find other death records when official death certificates are unavailable How to find and use death indexes How to cite death records Tuition: $39.99 ($35.99 for VIP) Course Length: 2 Weeks Instructor: Lisa Alzo … Learn More →


Minnesota Genealogy Crash Course

Find Your Ancestors in the North Star State Whether your ancestors were Scandinavian settlers of the Minnesota territory, French fur trades or native Sioux, you’re in for a treat. The Land of 10,000 Lakes offers a wealth of resources for genealogical research, and many of them are online. Paula Stuart-Warren will shares her special techniques and advice for revealing your roots in the North Star State. This webinar comes with a free copy of our Minnesota Research Guide. SESSION STATUS: Digital Recording Available (Download Here) … Learn More →

The Army and Navy monument, Indianapolis, Ind.

One Hour of Hoosier Heaven

You know that I hail from Indiana by now, which means I signed up for the Indiana Genealogy Crash Course webinar as soon as I saw the announcement from Family Tree University. My boys even cooperated by going to bed 15 minutes early that night so I could get my paper and pens ready, sit down with a cup of tea, and plug my headphones in. It was well worth all the anticipation. It did go very fast, and there was a lot of information … Learn More →

UsingProbateRecords_LiveWeb_200 copy

Using Probate Records

Probate records are a tremendous, though somewhat intimidating, source of genealogical information. Many family historians don’t realize that even poor ancestors may have left behind a probate file filled to the brim with valuable information. Popular genealogist and blogger Marian Pierre-Louis demystifies the process of finding and interpreting the probate records left behind by your ancestors. Date: Digital Recording Available (Download Here) Starting Time: On-Demand Length: 1 hour Price: $39.99 for individual video class or $59.99 for the complete Power Course Probing for Clues Presenter: … Learn More →


Mrs. Bennett Goes to Washington (And Squeals in the Middle of the National Archives)

I squealed in the research room of the National Archives. Yes, squealed. Stood up, bounced on my toes, waved my hands, and went, “Eeepppp!” Nobody turned around, stared, or said a thing to me. I guess this must be a regular occurrence. Before I get to the reason I yelped, I should let you know a little about how I got there. Through careful planning, and in conjunction with my mother-in-law’s visit, I was able to spend two days at the National Archives in Washington, … Learn More →


Were These Immigrant Ancestors Beamed Down?

Most Americans have at least some immigrants in their family tree. They took ships, trains, airplanes, and even walked into this country. That is, unless you are from my family, where I would swear they sprung fully formed in place like Athena from Zeus’s head. Tracking down those pesky immigrant ancestors has given me headaches, backaches, and eye strain. It has left me muttering to myself, the results of which were concerned looks from my boys and amused grins from my husband. In an attempt … Learn More →

Paul Combs

A Family Story Delivers a Knockout Punch

I never really knew my dad’s dad; he died just a few months after I turned two years old. There are a few recollections in my head of him; more impressions of him in my head than memories. However, I have pictures and stories. Boy, do I have stories. Growing up, there were several stories my grandmother would tell over and over again. The more outrageous or “wrong” a story was, the more likely she was to tell it, repeatedly. One of those stories was … Learn More →

Mary Jane Hayden and her youngest child, Mary Cordelia, in the mid-1870s

Genealogy Studies Lead to Research Breakthroughs

January was a busy month for classes and webinars. Not only did I take the course on the Civil War, but also Reverse Genealogy: Working Forward to Break Down Brick Walls taught by the Google Goddess, Lisa Louise Cooke. In addition, I also participated in the Kentucky Genealogy Crash Course: Find Your Bluegrass State Ancestors webinar lead by J. Mark Lowe. Both were excellent and gave me more than enough places to look, things to think about, and research to do. The Kentucky webinar is … Learn More →