Sunday, November 29, 2009

Casefile Clues

A couple of months ago, I saw that Michael John Neill was starting a subscription genealogy e-newsletter called Casefile Clues. I've always enjoyed Michael's writing, from his articles at Ancestry (free even if you don't have a subscription) to his Genealogy Tip of the Day. I've also had the pleasure of hearing him speak, as he was the featured presenter at my local genealogical society's October Workshop in 2006.

Michael offered to email me a sample copy of his Casefile Clues, which I gladly accepted. I was impressed by the content and the quality of the newsletter, and signed up for a year's subscription, $15.00 - easily purchased via Paypal or with a credit or debit card. I have not since been disappointed. Every week, I receive a copy of Casefile Clues in my email as a .pdf attachment. Each newsletter is about eight or nine pages long and focuses on a distinct research strategy and its process, whether it is determining if an individual with the "wrong" name in a census is actually the individual whom you are seeking; knowing when a record has missing information and why; or understanding whether it is time to hire a professional and exactly what you should ask him or her to research. Going to the Casefile Clues website provides document images and links that correspond with each newsletter.

There are several reasons I'm excited about Casefile Clues. First, it doesn't matter if you are someone who prefers offline research over online, or vice versa. Casefile Clues newsletters are timeless in that the strategies they offer can be used for any type of research, including ethnic records. The information is not going to change in three months! Another point is the focus I've seen on court and land records (although he discusses all record groups), areas in which I feel I am an "advanced beginner," having read a lot about these records but not having as much experience as I'd like in them. I'm looking forward to delving further into these record groups. The third reason I enjoy Casefile Clues is one I've seen listed in other bloggers' reviews: reading these newsletters is causing me to reexamine my own lines with a different focus. I'm very excited about this, as I have been working on some brickwall ancestors for the past couple of months and am now starting to chip away at some of the obstacles, just by the inspiration and tips I've received from Michael's writings!

This publication is definitely worth putting on your Christmas wish list! Additionally, now through Monday, November 30th, Michael is offering a Cyber Monday deal of only $12.00 for a year's subscription (52 issues). Believe me, even at the regular price of $15.00, this publication is well worth it and is, in my opinion, a better resource than many of the genealogy magazines offered out there! This is a publication that should be on your must-have genealogy resources list.

[Disclosure: I received a sample copy of Casefile Clues--at no charge to me and available to any requester--with no obligation to publish a review. I have not been compensated monetarily in any way for this review.]


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