25 February 2008
The article discusses how the letters were analyzed for further information and what types of clues they contained. Also included is a general discussion of how such letters should and should not be transcribed and ideas for how to utilize them.
The Baby was Thick and Fat: Clues in 1880s Letters to Nebraska can be viewed on the Ancestry.com blog.
22 February 2008
BYU Library Book Images and search interface.
Footnote-there are some free things
Social Security Death Index at Rootsweb
New databases are free for 10 days—some things are free for good.
You can see snippets of some newspaper items at no charge
Books at Google
Most things are free the first ten days.
Family Search Labs
I didn't mention the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress
If I forgot something or there are questions, post a response or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the conference is available online.
19 February 2008
A search for "Rampley" resulted in a few hits, one of which was this biography from a Bedford County History. While I already had located the biography, this full text search would have made it easy to find in seconds--much easier than the first time I located it.
Thomas Chaney is my ancestor--I descend through his daughter Elizabeth Chaney Rampley.
The Family History Archive at Brigham Young University has digitzed a number of family histories and placed them on their website.
I found one book that I already had used years ago, but it is nice to know I can easily access it if I want to refer to pages that I did not copy originally.
A clip from page 19 of the DeMoss Family in America is a part of this post (John DeMoss born 1718 is my ancestor). Of course, be certain to doublecheck anything you find in a published family history. These are excellent resources, but they are still compiled sources. The images are full-text searchable and pages can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat. No membership or account is required to use the site.
18 February 2008
The Society meets at 7:00 in their library at 629 S. Main Street in Princeton, Illinois.
Their website hasn't been updated for a little while, but more information on the society can be seen here.
One I think must have simply been overlooked. She should have been living in southwestern Hancock County, Illinois, in Walker, Rocky Run, or perhaps Warsaw Townships. Sophia Trautvetter was born in 1808 in Germany and was Rocky Run in 1860 with her family in the census. She died in 1877 and is buried in Tioga. I simply cannot find her, but no evidence indicates she returned to Germany or moved elsewhere. Her children were all living in those townships in 1870.
The other two are individuals whom I'm not exactly certain where they lived. Most likely it was west-central Illinois, but they could have temporarily moved further west only to return. Johann Ufkes (born 1838 in Ostfriesland, Germany) and his sister Antje cannot be found. From 1880 until his death in 1924, Johann is in Hancock County, Illinois. He immigrated in 1869 and lived initially in Adams County, Illinois, near Golden. Antje also immigrated before 1870, but cannot be located either.
Searching for the Ufkes siblings is an excellent situation where the researcher needs to track every online search as it is conducted in order to make certain a specific search has not been overlooked. Otherwise it is VERY EASY to go in circles and overlook the same search set of parameters that could be successful. And without tracking how you are searching, it is difficult for anyone to help you and provide suggestions that you have NOT already done.
I'm just concerned now that with the advent of searchable databases, most genealogists are not coming anywhere close to tracking what they search for in a specific database or on a given website.
If I am searching for a family in an online 1860 census index, am I keeping track of all the necessary variants of the first name and the last name? If I fail to locate the likely head of household, am I searching for all the other likely household members? Do I write down all the variants for the last name and think about what is the best combination of wildcard and soundex searches for those names? Do I do the same with the first names? Am I searching for all nicknames, diminutives, etc.?
If the likely residence of a family geographically small, I can search the census manually. If it is large, this may be possible or it may be impractical. I've seen articles where it has been said someone cannot be found in a census. I rarely see where the specific unsuccessful searches are listed out in an attempt to defend the "can't find them statement." If the census is searched manually then listing the procedure really is not necessary (but the source is). But if a manual search is not done and it is said "she can't be found" then the search parameters should be included.
The genealogical community is more aware of the importance of sources than they were twenty-five or so years ago. Now we need to work on our tracking of search parameters, particularly when we are indicating someone "can't be found" and a manual search is impratical.
The name I'm "stuck" on is the one in the fifth line from the bottom, which looks like "Frieden" but may be something else.
We'll post updates as we determine to whom Lina is referring.
15 February 2008
The only "legal" trouble he apparently had stemmed from his mother-in-law. This article appeared in the Valley Falls Vindicator, Valley Falls, Kansas, 21 August 1903 and is on worldvitalrecords.com. We will continue to post more about Troutfetter's affairs as we discover them.
VIGO COUNTY, Ind- A building in downtown Terre Haute is storing more than a century's worth of Vigo County's history. Now commissioners have decided to throw part of it away.
More details are here:
We don't normally try and keep track of all the genealogy "news" here, but thought this worth mentioning. If you have Vigo County ancestors, get busy and start contacting people to work towards a solution.
Starting with the word "Dirk" in the first line, it basically indicates that Dirk (can't read last name) shot himself in the barn of Enne Koffman and that an "English girl" is in mourning.
I'm trying to determine who shot himself in the barn--needing the last name. Lina doesn't really indicate how long ago the shooting took place or where it took place, but her letter was dated 20 September 1887. My assumption (which may be incorrect) is that the event took place in Hancock or Adams Counties in Illinois.
If these details do not ring a bell, I'll start looking at death records in 1887 and newspapers for the same time period.
We've looked for great-great-grandma for years on passenger lists and I'm just excited to find her (I think).
14 February 2008
A search on google just now for "bernard geissler" brought up numerous hits, including search results on Ancestry.com-the 6th result on the image shown in this post.
This is the first time I have noticed Ancestry.com search results coming up on a Google search. Has anyone else noticed this?
12 February 2008
Family Search Record Search has added some of the WW2 draft cards for the "Old Men's Draft" for those men born between 28 April 1877 and before 16 February 1897.
At the time of this writing, the project is 29% complete, including the states of:
- New Hampshire
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Cards are arranged pretty much alphabetically by state and users have to browse these images--at present there is no "click and get it right away" index. However, this still is an excellent set of records to have available at no cost.
The sample image is from Peter Verikios, my wife's step-grandfather. I've got a whole bunch more to find in the Illinios set of data. I had searched these before, but time never allowed me to search for all the cards I really wanted.
11 February 2008
08 February 2008
01 February 2008
Researching Your European Origins Online http://www.rootdig.com/european2.html is a page I use as a part of my lecture on this same topic. It is not meant to be comprehensive and is more intended to be a starting point for further work. Maintaining a page with hundreds of links is not something I care to do, but this is a good place to get started and provides links to pages I use when I'm working on a family from "across the pond."
Mailing lists are especially helpful. The Ostfriesen mailing list at Rootsweb is one of the best around.