31 January 2007
Are notations from the census department making if difficult for you to find you relative in the census? The entry here (1900 for baseball great Babe Ruth) contains notations over several names. Of course, this makes reading the names to make an index even more difficult than usual. For this reason more creative search techniques may be necessary. Or (heaven forbid!) one may have to search the census manually---which is what we used to do anyway ;-)
30 January 2007
More information on our trip can be found at http://www.rootdig.com/slctrip.html
Questions can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We'd love to have you join us!
29 January 2007
CNN is reporting that Emma Tillman of Connecticut, died recently at the age of 114.
We've posted her 1920 census enumeration right here--she and her husband are living in Ward 7 of Hartford, Connecticut.The 1920 United States Federal Census can be searched at Ancestry.com.
- How often do we include source information on an image we scan?
- Do we always remember to go to the "original?"
- Have I looked at all mortality census records that might help me in my research?
That is almost too many questions, but still good food for thought. I know I have document scans on my hard drive, CD files, etc. that might not be titled in ways that help to locate from where the original came. In the case of this scan, the title page was also included, but is not included here.
This of course is not the actual mortality schedule for Pea Ridge Township, Brown County, Illinois. I should look at the microfilm copy to see if I would read the information in the same way.
There are probably other mortality census schedules I have not thought to look for in my research and now might be a good time to go back and consider those records.
And one last thing....have I made a notation somewhere so I remember WHO was on the document that caused me to scan it in the first place? Remembering all those names is not going to happen!
In case anyone wonders, my ancestor is the Henry Miller listed above as an 81 year old tailor.
27 January 2007
Shortly after his death I posted a copy of his obituary on my website.
I have his "letter" from playing basketball for the former Basco [Illinois] High School. When time allows I'll write about ways to preserve similar fabric memories. What is really neat is that I have pictures of him wearing it during his high school years. His "B" also reminds me of how much some things keep on changing. This year is the last year for the high school I went to---they are converging with two adjacent high schools. Change is the only thing that stays the same.
24 January 2007
Several well-known individuals are listed more than once occasionally too, including
- Mark Twain
- Robert E. Lee
- Humphrey Bogart
- Katherine Anne Porter
- Frank Lloyd Wright
- Thomas Edison
- Jack London
- Charles Lindbergh
and a few more.
We've posted them at http://www.rootdig.com/famous_two.html
23 January 2007
They may be as close as your computer desktop. Google may be able to locate them for you, as long as someone has posted them on the Internet. A quick search at http://images.google.com brought up images of two of my mother's first cousins, neither of whom I have seen since my great-grandmother died in 1986.
I also located a picture online of my wife's 3rd great-grandfather in upstate New York this same way. Might be worth a try.
Particularly interesting to me was one recipe submitted by Mrs. Cecil Barnett of Sutter.
She was my grandma Neill's sister--born Luella Trautvetter on a farm near Tioga, Illinois, in 1900 (she "went with the years" as we used to say). Occasionally Aunt Luella (or "Law" as she was sometimes called) would be at Grandma Neill's when we were there. Once in a while she'd be at Christmas or Thanksgiving at Grandma's as her children all lived a distance from her. For some reason I can remember her laughing frequently and most of the time she and Grandma having a good time.
I can send high resolution scans for any relatives who'd be interested.
22 January 2007
In order to order a pension from the National Archives it helps to know some details about the unit in which your ancestor served. Genealogists who are trying to pinch pennies, now have one more source to help them find if their ancestor got a pension from the federal government.
Footnote does charge, however, you can view some information at no charge...just not the images. Footnote has the Regimental Index to Union Civil War pensions on their site. Viewing the cards on the site is NOT free and requires a membership or a fee per image. However, the citation listed underneath the card is free and is enough to allow you to order a pension from the National Archives. And if your guy is in the index of pensions, then he obviously has a pension.
The image here is one you would need a membership to view, but the "citation" below the image would be enough to order the pension from the National Archives.
There are other finding aids for Civil War information, some of which are free and some of which are not. Our page of Civil War pension information has links to these sites and some articles about obtaining and using Civil War pension records.
In my high school graduating class, I was related to very nearly 10% of my graduating class, including myself (but I doubt it they know it). I was also related to one of my fourth grade teachers (probably doesn't know), my Jr. High math teacher (knows), my high school accounting teacher (double cousins-knows), my pre-school Sunday School teacher, my kindergarten Sunday School teacher and my 3rd grade Sunday School teacher (double cousins--she knows)...and they were all different people.
Over the past 4 years, I have lost pretty much 70 pounds by walking the dog, eliminating soda and many sweets. No money spent on a gym or any fad diet.
Spring Breaks for me during college were not spent on the beach. That was the week the the barns always needed to be cleaned out at home. Most times my 70something grandmother would be right out there with us...and Grandma and I would sometimes get kinda silly when Dad was out on the pasture running the spreader. We always made certain not to be laughing when he came back in the barn.
I never was in an airplane until my early thirties. The first time the noises made me nervous, but I realized if the "regular" flyers were not screaming or praying that all was probably ok. Now I fly on a regular basis and avoid driving if the distance is over 400 miles.
I was the Illinois state champion in the oral competition at the 1986 Illinois state math meet. The topic was geometric constructions (give me a straight edge and a compass...). I can't remember the questions, but I do remember being EXTREMELY NERVOUS. The other kids were from large Chicago area surburban high schools and were headed off to places like MIT. Then there was me: the farm kid from the rural school where everyone had been going to school together since kindergarden. So goes the war--I can remember that while I was reviewing a simple things at the last minute to "relax," they were bragging about one thing or another......
15 January 2007
Footnote.com has come to the rescue. The website has many National Archives microfilms on its site, but the organizational index to pensions is one that provides enough information that free users can still get a great deal of use out of it. Knowing that a man in a certain unit received a pension generally is enough to order the actual pension.
I found that several of my ancestor's comrades in the 78th Illinois Volunteer Infantry received a pension, including two who provided testimony in my ancestor's pension. Researchers can browse the index by state and then by unit here.
Riley's card is here and can be viewed on the site at no charge. There is enough detail that his pension could be ordered if I had not already had it.
13 January 2007
Those who are active in identity theft usually are stealing the identities of multiple people and typically do not bother getting copies of birth certificates. Typically they get access to people's social security numbers, credit card numbers, credit card applications, etc. via means outside of vital records agencies. Think about the last story of identity theft you heard in the media---were you warned about your birth certificate? NO. You were told to protect your private information, not leave personal information "unshredded" in garbage bags, etc. Rarely is one told to go to the courthouse and shred your birth certificate so someone cannot make a copy of it.
Identity thieves typically work with large numbers of victims. It is impractical to obtain copies of all their vital records.
Obtaining copies of vital records now requires identification. In the last year we needed copies of birth certificates for everyone in our household. In three cases, the person needed to show identification in order to obtain the certificate. I had to show my driver's license to get my daughter's certificate and before I got the copy she compared the name on my license with the father's name on the record. The only reason my mother didn't have to show ID to get my birth certificate is that everyone in the rural courthouse already KNEW who she was.
Another item at play in the identity theft arena are lending institutions who are eager to give "instant" credit in order to get the sale. Instant credit applications are not necessarily subject to the amount of scrutiny that other applications are.
And complaints about the SSDI are unwarranted. That database is USED by financial and other institutions to quickly check for social security numbers of DEAD people so that applications with those numbers are denied. DUH. And frankly any bank that issues a credit card to a dead person deserves to be left holding the bag.
For more about records access and identity theft, check out the posting by a professional genealogist in Connecticut.
Elivis may have left the building, but he has not left the SSDI.
08 Jan 1935
38116 (Memphis, Shelby, TN)
However, when I search the SSDI for a social security number of
(and leave everything else blank), no results are obtained. Obviously there should be at least one entry: Elvis.
If I search for 40952*, I find him.
If I search for 409522*, I don't.
Apparently more than 5 digits creates problems and I have too much time on my hands ;-)
11 January 2007
I immediately thought, how many Claud Sartoriuses can there have been in the United States during the World War I era? My great-great-grandmother's brother was Claude Sartorius and I was hoping the record from the Investigative Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation, 1908-22 would provide me with new clues on my uncle's life.
I was wrong.
The image to the right is clearly for a Claud Satorius. Only problem is that this Claud Sartorius was from Idaho, not Illinois. A search of Ancestry.com's World War I Draft Registration Cards located a Claud Sartorius in Idaho (the one from the Investigative Case Files). Census and other records indicated that this Claud Sartorius was not the Claud Sartorius who was my uncle (and born in Illinois as a son of Hinrich and Trientje Behrens Sartorius).
What did Claud do? He made the mistake of criticizing the President and saying we needed the Kaiser. Probably not the best statement to make in Idaho in 1918. Of course, people say all kinds of things in poolhalls (not that I would know...)
This is just one of the thousands of neat images on footnote.com. The searching was relatively easy and for $1.99 I was able to view and download the image. I could even have added comments if I had wanted to and I just might go back and do that. For those of a distance from NARA this site with the available indexes it has is a significant time saver.
I'm going to keep looking in their databases...sooner or later someone will turn up.
A variety of records are included at footnote.com, including:
Papers of the Continental Congress (1774-89).
Mathew B. Brady Collection of Civil War Photographs.
Southern Claims Commission.
Name Index to Civil War and Later Pension Files.
Investigative Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation, 1908-22.
A complete press release with more details can be viewed here. I was very excited to learn that these records were online and searchable.
I found a man I thought was a relative in the Bureau of Investigation Files. There are a variety of subscription plans, but I thought I would just download the one image for now as I didn't think I would have lots of time to really use the site now.
Using my credit card, I ordered the one image this morning and received a quick confirmation of my order. Unfortunately there were issues with the image file on the site. Instead of hitting the computer I submitted a comment and included the image number. When I returned from lunch later that afternoon, I received a followup to my email along with the readable copy of the image which would be uploaded to that site later in the day. I was very pleased with the customer service.
Later I'll post an entry about the specific image I got. It was quite enlightening.
10 January 2007
We have located her in four different passenger manifests from the 1940s and 1950s returning to the states through New York. On a few of those a Constance Mac Kenzie is listed also--I'm wondering if that is her mother. Anyone who knows is welcome to fire off an email to me at email@example.com
The images can be viewed for free on our site at:
All I had to do was bring in my driver's license and my number. The lady asked me what my middle initial stood for and what my mother's maiden name was. Both were answered easily and I got my form and left.
I asked about my deceased grandmother's number, which is very close to mine. Her response to that question was "we aren't going to go there" probably because of concerns about fraud. The only thing she would tell me is the month and year my number was issued.
05 January 2007
04 January 2007
I was surprised to learn that a few of my cousins visit this website on a somewhat regular basis (Hello Pat!). I will have to be careful what I post from now on (grin!).
I think on at least two occasions, I discussed (from memory) how old the Neill siblings (children of Charlie and Fannie [Rampley] Neill) were when they died. For those who are interested.
Cecil 1903-1968--aged 65.
Ralph 1905-1986--aged 80.
Nellie 1910-2001--aged 91.
Herschel 1912-1990--aged 77.
I had never really given it too much thought until I was asked about it.
I remember them all except for Grandpa who died first when I was too small to remember anything. They didn't talk much about the "old days," mainly because times were hard and they didn't have too much. Aunt Nellie told me once that when she was starting college, Grandpa sold some hoghouses he had built and gave her the money to help with her tuition bill. It's a short, one sentence story, but it's still a good one to have.