My name is Maggie Champion, and I am the sole proprietor of Maggie’s Genealogy Service.  I am a professional genealogist, and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

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You have reached my Blog page.  My blog had its first post on Tuesday, 31 January 2012!

Thank you for visiting!

Maggie Champion

If you know that your ancestor migrated to the west in the 1800’s, and now you can’t find the ancestor, take a look in the original home of the ancestor. It could be that the ancestor moved, and later decided to return to the original place. Not all ancestors stayed out west!


So, you have found a book that has an index in it. Hooray!! Or, is it good. Make sure to look at the beginning of the index and determine what is found in the index. It could be that it is not an EveryName index. If not, it is better to search through the book instead of using the index.

Be careful!


I am sure that you have many family heirlooms. Are their photos available that show your ancestor using the heirloom? Have you written down the history of the heirloom?

You may know for sure the history of the heirloom. However, it is important for others to know as well. You may not be able to “tell” them the history verbally. But, you can “tell” them the history by providing a written history and photos.


As I continue to “clean-up” my computer, I am learning more about RootsMagic. I have RootsMagic 6 because this was the current version when I purchased it.

One thing I did right away was to join the RootsMagic Facebook group. This is a closed group – one needs to ask to be in the group. So far, I have received much assistance from this group!!

The primary reason that I decided to move my FTM family files to RootsMagic was that the version of FTM that I have (Version 8) was beginning to act up – there were times that I couldn’t back up my file. And, other little things began to happen.

At first, I attempted to create a GEDCOM of each of my FTM family files. I did create the GEDCOMs, but RM did not import them correctly. I contacted someone at the RootsMagic forum. They did not know why the GEDCOM was not importing correctly (some of the data was not imported), and the suggestion was that I do it again. The next time I did it (saving the GEDCOM under a different name), other data was not imported. So, I decided to leave RootsMagic alone for a while. So, after about 2 months, I decided to try again. This time RootsMagic worked wonderfully!

I am continuing to learn more about RootsMagic. I have merged files, added people to some of my family files, and have even saved a copy of one of my files to Dropbox!


Have you ever found a database that contained records for the years 1850-1920? Did you search for your ancestor, knowing good and well that she should have a record since she lived in the area in 1865-1872? But, you did not find a record of her living there?

Did you remember to check the description of the records before you did your search? It could be that the description will show that the database does not contain records for the years 1865-1872. It may contain records for other years, but not those years.

Be careful to always check the description before using the database. It could save you quite a bit of time if there really are not records for the time period you are searching.


If you cannot find your ancestor’s marriage record, check to see what modes of transportation were available to them. If a train was available, they may have traveled by train to the county seat to marry. Do not automatically assume they married in their home town!


I have an interesting situation in my family. A few generations ago, second cousins married. And, they had the same last name. So, they had a common ancestor with the same last name.

I have to admit that it took a long time to get it all sorted out – which of the same last names went together! But, I did it.

So, be careful if different “lines” have the same last name. They may be related!