Casefile Clues

29 August 2008

German Topographic Maps At Ancestry.com

Ancestry has added German topographical maps from the 1860s to the early twentieth century
to their site.

These are really nice maps. A sample image has been placed here. It is from the 1901 map for the Aurich area, but only Holtrop and the surrounding area is shown. This is where several of my families lived in the 1860s and before.

The "overview map" has also been scanned and is where users should start and indicates what pages of the map contains what areas (click on Ɯbersichtsblatt to get the image--it is large).

We will be posting additional suggestions for using the maps, but I wanted to make blog readers aware of their availability on Ancestry.com. I'm hoping to have more time to really get into these maps over the next few days.
Blog readers who do not have a subscription can get a free trial at Ancestry.com and do some experimentation.

28 August 2008

Checking Your Filter and your Junk Mail Folders?

How often do you check what goes into your junk mail or s *p*a*m folder? I just checked mine last night and there was one from a relative. Who knows how it got in there, but it pays to periodically scan those messages so that something does not get overlooked.

21 August 2008

1855 Illinois Census-Peter Bigger


I've been doing a little more work in Ancestry.com's Illinois State Census database, particulary the 1855 Illinois.


The only census reference I have to ancestor Peter Biegert/Bieger (take your pick on how it is spelled), is his 1855 census reference in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois. It indicates Peter is between 20 and 30 years of age. This is the only record that allows me to approximate his age which means he was born between 1825 and 1835. His wife (in the same age bracket) and his two daughters are also listed.
Peter died in November of 1855. I am just fortunate that they were in Illinois for the 1855 census. Somehow he and his wife (so far) have not been found in 1850. Speculation is that the family was moving at the time of the census as they Bieger family is known to have arrived in Illinois in 1850 from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Another Suggestion for Footnote.com

I am still working in the city directories at Footnote.com . I have a suggestion.

There needs to be another way to browse the images in a dataset other than scrolling to the very end of moving ahead one or two sets of images. The Chicago city directories are well over a thousand pages each. My searches for "thomas frame" many times bring up no results and searches for "frame" bring up too many. Since the directories are alphabetical, I like to just go to the Frame section.

The problem is that because of the way the "paging through" works, it takes forever to get just to the "F" section. It could always be worse, but I wish there were a way to jump faster through the images when a text search does not work and one wishes to get to a specific page or area of the image set.

1892 Chicago City Directory At Footnote.com

I have been using the Chicago City directories on Footnote.com again and have noticed an irregularity with the 1892 directory. According to the pages currently on footnote, the online images jump from page 20 to page 1001. There definitely is a jump as the directory goes from general advertising into the "M" section of the alphabet.

Bummer as I'm looking for Thomas Frame. Hopefully it gets fixed soon. I do like what Footnote.com has online, but this is a little frustrating.

All the current online city directories at Footnote.com can be searched here. You can browse the Chicago ones by year from 1843-1909. Feel free to post searching suggestions for the city directories here. You can see what other city directories Footnote.com has as well besides Chicago.You can also get a free trial with footnote.com if you do not already have a subscription.

14 August 2008

No Feed

We are having difficulties with our feed at feedburner. This is an attempt to fix the problem.

09 August 2008

11th Annual Genealogy Computing Week

March 2009 will be the 11th annual Genealogy Computing Week at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois. We are in the process of setting topics. In the past we have had all-day hands workshops on:

  • Using Ancestry.com
  • Using Footnote.com
  • Overseas Research
  • Maps and Images
  • Family Tree Maker
  • Using Genline for Swedish Research
  • RootsMagic
  • DeedMapper
  • Online Research Techniques

We are soliciting topics and ideas for content for 2009. Suggestions can be sent to me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com. Our registration fee will remain the same in 2009 at $35. We realize that it costs to travel and many of our participants are not local residents. Galesburg is easily accessible via interstate and Amtrak does run to Galesburg. Unfortunately there is no campus housing, but there is an Enterprise can rental very close to the train station. Questions about our workshops can be sent to me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com.

07 August 2008

Google them All...

Honestly, I have not been in the habit of "googling" each and every relative, especially those who have probably been dead twenty or more years.

I am slowly (very slowly) working on the descendants of Barbara Haase (died 1903 Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois). One granddaughter, Ruth Haase Hillberry was born ca. 1894 and lived in Michigan in the 1950s. On a whim I did a Google search for ruth haase hillberry and one of the results was a webpage hosted by Albion College's Special Collections Department that contained names of College alumni. One alumni was apparently Ruth Hillberry--see Ruth Haase. I contacted the college to see if they have any information on Mrs. Hillberry.

Just goes to show what you might locate when you google. I think I've got some more work to do.

1825-1865 Illinois Census


The 1825-1865 Illinois State Census have been released on Ancestry.com.

The images here are a quick shot of the entry for James Rampley in Hancock County, Illinois, in Walker Township in 1855.

The enumeration indicates there is one 40-50 year old male, 1 20-30 year old male, 2 males between 10 and 20 and 1 male under 10. There is 1 40-50 year old female, and two females between 10 and 20. This is consistent with what is known about the
family.

The right hand side of the entry indicates James had a cooper's shop and that 4 in the household were eligible for the militia. The other numbers have to do with the amount of production from the family's farm.

Those with family in Illinois during the time period can search The 1825-1865 Illinois State Census for their own family. All of these census records are head of household enumerations only. They are also on microfilm at the Illinois State Archives and the Family History Library. ISA does have some indexes, but they are not available online.

04 August 2008

Getting the Most out of Obituaries on Ancestry's Blog

Juliana Smith recently posted my article "Getting the Most out of Obituaties" newspapers on the Ancestry.com site.

Some of the suggestions are general for searching any newspaper, online or not. Some suggestions are based upon the fact that the searches of Ancestry's papers are done with OCR technology.

I've spent some time searching the several Davenport, Iowa, newspapers on their site. The obituary for a Conrad Krebs is used as an illustration in the article.

The article can be viewed on Ancestry's blog here.

03 August 2008


Robert Barnes' Baltimore County Families 1659-1759 is free on World Vital Records for the next seven days.

The image in this posting is for Lewis Demoss--my ancestor. The daughter listed as "Pine" is now thought by some researchers to actually be "Jane." At some point in the transcription, the handwriting was misread--which is why it is imperative to trace things back to the original as much as possible.

And when downloading a page from a book, always make certain that the sources or other explanatory material are downloaded as well. In this case the sources of the entry for Lewis Demoss are indicated in the parenthesis at the end of the entry.

World Vital Records has several databases that are free for the first seven or so days of their inclusion on the site.