Save on Casefile Clues Genealogy How-Tos and Get the Blog Update Free

To celebrate the start of our 4th volume of Casefile Clues, we’re offering new subscribers a chance to receive a full volume of issues and receive my weekly blog update for free. The blog update is normally $5 a year but is free if you subscribe to Casefile Clues by 5:30 pm on 26 September.
The blog update is weekly and summarizes postings to my four blogs along with premium content:
  • tombstone of the week
  • citation the week
  • photograph of the week
  • term of the week
The blog update is short and to-the-point. A sample is posted online.
Casefile Clues is more in-depth and focuses on a specific document, brick wall, or research concern in every issue. It is easy-to-read, practical, and based on actual research situations and always summarizes the record being discussed, the pitfalls of that document, and where to go next. Our goal is to get you thinking more about each record you find. Samples can be downloaded here. We cover records from a variety of time periods across the United States.

Newsletter Subscribers Can Get Michael’s Weekly Blog Update at No Charge

A subscription promotion is going out today where new subscribers to Casefile Clues can receive my weekly blog update for a year for free when they subscribe.
So that long term subscribers to Casefile Clues are not left out, we’re offering newsletter subscribers the opportunity to receive the weekly blog update at no charge–if they want it.

You can see one of our recent weekly updates on my Rootdig blog. It contains a few premium items that are not a part of any of my blogs.

You will not be automatically put on the weekly blog update distribution list unless you specifically request. The email to send your request is:

Missing Issues?

If you are a paid subscriber to Casefile Clues and are missing issues, please email me at and let me know what issues you are missing.  Please use “missing Casefile Clues” in your subject line and then tell me what issues you need.

Issues are numbered sequentially and named as


where x is the volume number

and yy is the issue number.



Going Forward

I’m excited about Casefile Clues being up and running again. Writing is always an excellent way to strengthen your research, see things you overlooked, get new ideas on other problems, etc.

As a reminder, I only write on families or use examples from my own personal research on my children’s ancestry with an emphasis on my own background (a copy of my ancestor table is posted on our blog). There’s  quite a bit of variety there and I try and pick items that are representative of records in general and make commentary about the records and not just the family they involve.

I don’t just “grab” a record from a random family and discuss it. Every record was created in several contexts: historical, social, political, economic, and familial. I don’t like analyze any record without knowing something about the family the record involves. That helps to make the analysis stronger and sometimes causes me to notice things in the record that might be overlooked.

I always try and include a “where to go next” based on the document being discussed in those issues that are focused on one record. While looking at everything is always the ideal, it’s not the reality for a variety of reasons. That “where to go next” section tries to emphasis which records should be accessed first, which ones may be cost-prohibitive to obtain, and which ones are less likely to have the desired information. It’s sometimes difficult to make those suggestions without knowing something about the family. Part of our purpose is to give readers ideas to help them in their own research.

I’m working on a list of general topics that will be the focus of future newsletters and will post that when it is complete.

Thanks for your support of Casefile Clues. It is appreciated.



Grow Your Research Skills with Casefile Clues–20% Off Celebration

At long last, we’ve finished volume three of Casefile Clues. To celebrate, we’re offering a 20% discount on any order of back issues of the newsletter. The coupon code is casefileclues. A complete list of issues and topics can be seen on our listing–where you can order as well.casefileclues

Casefile Clues is produced as a separate PDF file for each issue. Orders can be for individual volumes (52 issues each) or the entire set of 156 issues–that’s over 800 pages of genealogical instruction that’s easy to read, easy to understand, and practical. Our intent is to help you with your research by concentrating on the process and the method, not just the neatly-wrapped finished product. Seeing the how and why of the research is important as well. We’re also not trying to impress with five-syllable words or waist-deep prose that requires four readings to understand.

Download is immediate–after your order an email link will be sent allowing you to download your purchase.





About Casefile Clues

It has been a little while since I posted anything to the blog about our philosophy here at Casefile Clues and since we have some new subscribers I thought I would.

Casefile Clues is not geared towards the totally new genealogist. There already is a great deal of basic how-to information on the internet and in print form. Our audience is the experienced genealogist. Our focus is also on the process, why certain things were done, what worked, and most importantly what did not work.
I only writes about families I am actually researching. That does limit the scope somewhat, but my children have a fairly diverse background so there is variety. Suggestions for ideas are welcome, but unless you are related to me (as one gentleman in Topeka was), I’m probably not going to write about your family.
Casefile Clues does not accept any advertising, either in the PDF version of the newsletter or on the Casefile Clues website. This is partially because what time I do have for the newsletter is I want to devote to researching and writing. I don’t want to have to worry about advertisers, ads, etc. And…since Casefile Clues has no advertisers there is no one to worry about irritating. We really don’t get controversial in Casefile Clues , but this way I don’t have to worry if an advertiser won’t like that I “left out” their site, book, etc. I also don’t want readers to think I’m writing about a certain site or service in an attempt to promote it. I write about how I actually research. It is that simple. And suggestions are always welcome if you think I have overlooked something, because sometimes I do. Everyone does.
Some blogs, newsletters, and websites write about vendors or sites in hopes that their blog, newsletter, or website generates traffic to that site and generates them income. I’m certainly not opposed to income and I’m certainly not opposed to advertising (I use it on my site just to be upfront about it), but I really want Casefile Clues to be completely about the research.
If you’ve found helpful to your research, consider:
  • mentioning it on your website/blog
  • sharing information about the newsletter with others
It really does help and I do appreciate it.
And your positive comments and support are also appreciated. There are a few taped up in my office for motivation when deadlines are looming.