ABCs of Family History: D

D… is for DNA. DNA testing has quickly become a trendy tool for genealogical research. But is it necessary? Some would argue that genetics testing is superfluous, especially if your family tree is well developed. However, there are several key reasons why DNA testing should be considered. #1—DNA is another genealogical record. Just like a census […]

ABCs of Family History: C

C… is for census. Census records are a staple of genealogical research. They provide vital information for each household member, such as name, sex, race, age, marital status, education, and place of birth. Census records also paint vibrant pictures of the family’s everyday life. For example, a census will reveal each individual’s occupation and the value […]

Obituary of Compton Stafford

The obituary of Compton Stafford (1847-1905)—my 2nd great grandfather—tells a sad tale. A coal miner by profession, Compton sought employment at the Hatfield mines in Nolan, West Virginia. While walking on tracks, he was hit by a train owned by the Norfolk and Western Railway. Compton left behind a wife and seven children with “scant means […]