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.  Since 2005, I have been researching families – hoping to find a way through brick walls, and also, hoping to find “new” families, for my many  clients.  Please see Research for more information.

You have reached my Blog page.  Please feel free to read and comment!

Maggie Champion


You have just found the grave site of your ancestor at!  Wow!

Along with the photo of the gravestone, there is much information – information that is NOT on the gravestone.

From where did this information come?  Is permission given for saving the photograph?

Contact the person or persons who contributed the information and photo.  They can tell you from where they got the information, and they can give permission for you to print out the photograph.



Do you need to re-start the research on an ancestor?

Sometimes, when “stuck”, if you go back to the beginning and research anew, you may find things that you missed the first time.

I am preparing to do a re-start on a family.  I will be posting updates here in my blog.


You may have seen this notation in a transcription.  Do you know what it means?

[sic] is used after a copied or quoted word that may appear odd or erroneous – it is used to show that the word is quoted exactly as it was in the original.


When researching land records, do you know the difference between grantor and grantee?

The grantor is usually the person that had title to the real property, and was transferring it to the grantee.

And, there can be more than one grantor and grantee listed on the deed.  See the example below.


Have you found different information for your ancestor on different documents?

Do not assume that any particular document has the correct information.  And, don’t automatically assume that you have a different person if the information is different.

Sometimes census records give different places of birth. The same records may give different ages, occupations, and other family members.  The two census records may be about the exact same person – information given by two different people.

Do not assume that just because the information doesn’t quite match that you are finding an entirely different person.


Have you looked in newspapers for an ad about your ancestor’s business?



This partial-page is dated 5 May 1925. If you ancestor was W. E. Perkins, Mrs. R. L. Berry, Dr. J. J. Byrne, or S. E. Hubble, this page would be of interest to you.




Don’t just check articles for a mention of your ancestor – check the ads as well!


Have you backed up all of your data?

Make sure that you have multiple backups made of your data.  I have backups made automatically with Carbonite.  Plus, I have three external hard drives – one for all of my files, and two for certain types of files (such as family photos and genealogy files). It doesn’t really matter which service is used.  What does matter is that the backups are made.

Back up those files!