Casefile Clues

29 October 2008

Using Meyers Orts to find German Locations

Readers have been posting a few suggestions on using Meyers Orts based upon my recent article on Ancestry.com's blog. The article can be viewed on the actual Ancestry.com blog. Please post any suggestions for using the gazetteer on either this blog or the Ancestry one.

Western Michigan Seminar-Grand Rapids

I'll be making two presentations at the Western Michigan Seminar on 1 November 2008 in Grand Rapids. Registration is closed. I'll be lecturing on

  • Seeing Patterns
  • Brick Walls from A to Z

Readers are welcome to come up and introduce themselves after the lectures.

Those who would like me to present at their conference or seminar can email me for more information at mjnrootdig@gmail.com.

Pictures from the Newspaper

Ancestry.com has newspapers on its site in addition to those newspapers on Genealogy Bank. One site complements the other. Searching on only one site may cause the researcher to overlook references.

The image with this post comes from the Ogden Standard Examiner from 15 February 1931. The pictures shown are William Henry Price (top), killed in late 1930 in Kansas City, Missouri, and Ben Siebels, killed in Tyro, Kansas.


The article from the Examiner focuses on the kids involved in this crime spree with additional details not given in many of the other accounts. In this case, many of the newspaper articles were pretty much repetitive, but a few follow up pieces done a few months later contained information not originally published.
The article's headline is included here as well. I'm not including pictures of the "cradle mob," but they appear in the paper as well.


It always to visit more than one source. The Ogden Standard Examiner is online at Ancestry.com (at least partially).

28 October 2008

Spanish Language Paper mentions Siebels Murder

One never knows when a foreign language newspaper might contain something related to your family, even if they did not speak the language in which the paper was written. This is another reference to the 1930 murder of Ben Siebels in Tyro, Kansas.

The newspaper that printed this reference was located on Genealogy Bank and listed as the Prensa in Texas. I'm not exactly certain where in Texas it was published, but this reference comes from 6 January 1930.

This was located by searching on Genealogy Bank's newspapers for Haldiman, and limiting my search years to 1929-1931. It doesn't contain any real new information, but does make the point that one never knows what language one might find information in.

Siebel[sic] was actually Siebels. The German speaking family most likely could not have read this newspaper reference. It's not too hard for me to read it, but it has been nearly two decades since my high school Spanish days.

More on Ben Siebels Murder--1930 Tyro, Kansas


Ben Siebels (actually John B. in this enumeration) was listed individually in Caney Township, Montgomery County, Kansas, in the 1930 census. He is listed as a gas station attendant in this reference which was located on Ancestry.com . His parents (Ben and Mary) are also enumerated on the same census page.
Genealogy Bank had two references to the murder of Siebels which were located searching for Everett Haldiman, one of the gunman mentioned in the newspaper article my cousin located in a relative's clippings. Willis Harley was also involved in the murder and two girls, Fern McNabb and Aletha Rush were also involved.

The one clipping shown in this blog post was located on Genealogy Bank and comes from the Dallas Morning News of 30 December 1930. It was located (as can be seen in the image) by searching for Everett Haldiman. There are several name variants that I could also search for as I attempt to learn more about this case. It is certainly tragic.


Ben Siebels maternal grandmother was Annepken Hinrichs Ufkes Habben (1831-1905).

Siebels Murder




My cousin found several clippings in a relative's family history collection, including one that is partially reproduced here. Ben Siebels was a son of Maria Habben Siebels. Maria was a daughter of Annepken Hinrichs Ufkes (1831-1905). Annepken was a sister to Johann H. F. Ufkes (1838-1924), my 2nd great-grandfather.
The location of Tyro here is Tyro, Kansas. We'll be posting more as time allows. Ben was born in Ostfriesland, Germany. His family came to the United States in the 1910s.

26 October 2008

Using Meyers Orts

The last two articles I've written for the Ancestry.com blog have focused on using their German geographic finding aids.

The first one was an overview of using Meyers Orts and the 19th and 20th century topographical maps at Ancestry.com. Those who have never used Meyers Orts might want to give the article a look as it provides a few examples and suggests additional finding references to help the user when working with these materials.

The second one was a follow up focusing on a family who just could not seem to stay in one place and whose records in the United States gave a variety of places of birth. It also provides suggestions as well about navigating the German topographical maps at Ancestry.com

23 October 2008

Searching the Social Security Death Index for Middle Names

I could have sworn I was dreaming.


My grandmother died on 9 September 2008 in Bradenton, Florida. It was a few weeks later when her name appeared in the Social Security Death Index --first at Genealogy Bank. I did not print out the reference, but I really did not think I had seen her maiden name in the original entry. When I searched for her again today. The entry was there--with her maiden name as her middle name.







I went and searched at Ancestry.com to see what results I obtained on their site. I was hoping they were using an "older" version of the database.



Ancestry.com was apparently using the same version of the SSDI as GenealogyBank was--the results also had Grandma's maiden name listed on the entry (the second image in this post).



I also searched for Grandma at FamilySearch and there found her without the middle name. Unfortunately, my quick experimentation with FamilySearch's SSDI leads me to conclude that they do not return middle names or initials in the search results even if that information is in the SSDI (this is based upon my quick search of Ufkes relatives who appeared in the SSDI at Ancestry.com and GenealogyBank with middle names or initials).


I still could have sworn the entry for Grandma I located a few weeks ago did not have her maiden name included and actually included her middle initial of "A." But maybe I was dreaming.


At least I learned that the Social Security Death Index at FamilySearch does not give middle names or initials in the search results.


And of course, the SSDI at Rootsweb, hasn't been updated yet to include Grandma's entry.


20 October 2008

Uncle Virgil in UK Incoming Passenger Lists 1878-1960


Ancestry.com recently released UK Incoming Passenger Lists from 1878-1960 on their website. A little searching located my great-grandmother Neill's brother, Virgil A. Rampley, who was in World War I.

The images are pretty nice. The screen shots shown here are from the heading (which indicates the "Lancashire" landed on 21 August 1918) and the bottom of the page where Virgil Rampley's entry appears. Several of the men on the boat with him were also men from Hancock County, Illinois.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008. Original data: Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and successors: Inwards Passenger Lists. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA). Series BT26, 1,472 pieces.

18 October 2008

Genealogy Bank Adding Content


I don't keep too close tabs on what Genealogy Bank adds, I just search periodically. After all, there is only so much time.


I discovered this little item on Genealogy Bank today. The son of a cousin was accidentally killed in August of 1834. This item appeared in the Baltimore Gazette and Daily Advertiser. William Rampley (the father) was a brother to my ancestor, Thomas J. Rampley.

03 October 2008

2009 Trip To Salt Lake City

We still have openings in our 2009 trip to Salt Lake City this next May. We have had a great time the past three years and are looking forward to our 4th annual trip. We work with participants in helping them plan before we ever leave and have morning presentations for each day we are in Salt Lake. I am in the library for on-site consultations as well or for shorter questions as needed.

We stay at the Plaza, right next door to the Library.

Those who want to learn more about our trip can visit our website at www.rootdig.com/slctrip.html

Questions can be emailed to me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com

02 October 2008

Perjury claim in Troutfetter case


It has been a while since I worked on the case of Philip Troutfetter. A search on Genealogy Bank located several new references to Philip's case, including the one shown here. Philip did eventually avoid the charges, but I am not yet certain if the perjury as mentioned here is the reason why or not.


This story just keeps getting better.


Try Genealogy Bank for your own family.

Cook County Illinois Declarations of Intent

The Cook County Illinois Clerk's Office has placed an index to declarations of intent in Cook County for the years of 1871 to 1929 on their website. This is an index only, but is searchable by first name, last name, and place of birth.

Please read about the collection before searching. Not quite the time period I need, but we all can't be lucky.

Genealogy Week-Galesburg, Illinois-March 2009

We have posted dates and topics for our 11th annual Genealogy Week at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois.

Days and Topics:
· 9 March 2009-Using Ancestry.com
· 10 March 2009-Using Footnote.com
· 11 March 2009-Using FamilySearch.org
· 12 March 2009-Using Land Records
· 13 March 2009-Genealogy Problem Solving
· 14 March 2009-Using Non-English Language Records

This is our 11th year of having a whole week of genealogy at the college. We are excited about our new offerings and topics. Registration is for whatever days you choose and is $40 a day. All materials are included and web-based offerings are in a computer lab. Registration is limited. For more information email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com.