30 September 2009
28 September 2009
I will admit that the Maps (Beta) at Ancestry.com are neat, but I'm not always immediately impressed with the latest.
I am well aware of the importance of geography in genealogy.
I am also well aware of the importance of not assuming something is more accurate than it is.
The 1910 census for a relative indicates he was living in Lima, Adams County, Illinois. The census indicates only Lima Township...not the village of Lima which is where Ancestry.com's map "puts the dot."
The problem is that Lima township is not the smallest thing and it certainly encompasses more than the village of Lima. The "red" on the map shows the civil township of Lima with Adama County. There's a vague gray dot on the map which represents the village of Lima.
I just wish the maps beta was more accurate with regards to location and did not indicate a level of precision that is not there.
I haven't taken a look at maps for the Colonial era.
I hope it is just me (well actually I don't). If it is just me, then I'm really confused.
The 1910 census search results I've been getting today at Ancestry.com provide city and county, but the state is not listed. It is there if I click on more specifics, but in my results page it would be nice if the state were shown.
Is anyone else having this same problem?
Update: My contact at Ancestry.com is looking into this.
26 September 2009
If you had been indexing the 1820 census for Nicholas County, Kentucky, how would you have read the last name of the Sarah who appears in this image?
I know what it is (or at least think I do), because of research I have done on this person in this location. But an indexer usually has not done extensive research on all the families in a certain area. Consequently they must guess as to what the last name is.
For reasons like this, one always has to think of other ways letters could be read and other ways sounds could be spelled.
24 September 2009
23 September 2009
However, like any tool, it needs to be used appropriately and users need to keep in mind that finding aids are created by humans.
21 September 2009
- child and parents on a birth
- bride and groom on a marriage
- deceased on a funeral
19 September 2009
18 September 2009
Lorine over at Olive Tree Genealogy has indicated that the Ancestry.com access to the Drouin Collection at Ancestry.com will be back on Monday.
This is excellent news. As readers may be aware, my children are 1/16 French-Canadian. Their great-great-grandmother Mary Demar Apgar Verikios Williams, born in 1895 in upstate New York was of French-Canadian ancestry. Her maiden name was actually Desmarais. And the other three names are a LONG story.
Now if we could just get his picture.
15 September 2009
"Farmington Hills, MI, September 10, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, along with The British Library and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), have made nineteenth-century British newspapers available on the internet. The database, known as “British Newspapers, 1800-1900” and available at http://newspapers.bl.uk/blcs/, gives users access to over two million newspaper pages from 49 different national and regional newspapers from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Chosen by leading experts and academics, the newspapers represent a cross-section of nineteenth-century society and contain illustrated materials on a variety of topics, including business, sports, politics and entertainment."
Readers know that I'm not a big fan of copy a press release and call it an article or a blog entry. This is to let readers know that I've got access to this database and will be searching it for my wife's English forebears over the next few weeks.
Readers who have questions about this database can fire off an email to me at email@example.com I make the blog post with my report and I'll see if I can get the answer!
Casefile Clues is growing slowly and I am really happy about that. It is still somewhat in transition as I work out topics and a few issues with style and form. Readers have had articles on a variety of topics, including these recent ones:
- Civil War Pension File
- Locating a 1913 era Chicago birth
- Locating a Chicago Christening Record
- Tracking a potential sister of an ancestor born ca. 1843.
More are coming....one a week. Upcoming topics include:
- Kentucky Land Platting
- Ferreting out a potential parent in the 1850 era in the Midwest
- Bureau of Land Management Case Files
- A Homestead Claim completed after death
- The Infamous Fleming County, Kentucky Pig Murder of the 1830s
- and more
Topics are always in flux--if a neat document or record crosses my desk, everything else may get pushed back.
We are working on integrating a citation format based on Evidence Explained. Our style will hopefully evolve and we encourage reader submission of ideas and feedback. Blog readers are encouraged to subscribe to "Casefile Clues." Our subscription price is only $15 a year, for 52 weekly issues.We have a "fan page" on Facebook. Facebook users can search for "casefile clues" and find us. I have an awful time getting a link to the fan page to work.
14 September 2009
This is a part of the actual marriage license for Harm Fecht and Engel Loeschen from Champaign County, Illinois in 1905. Astute readers who compare this image to the "informational" section of the license (which I blogged about earlier) will note that the license asks for the age of bride and groom as of their next birthday and the license asks for their age at the time of the marriage.
Maybe this was to trick them up to see if they were giving their real age.
It always pays to make certain you research everything. The image on the right is part of the marriage license for Harm M. Fecht and Engel S. Loeschen from 1905 in Champaign County, Illinois. This is part of the license that was returned to the clerk after the marriage ceremony was performed.
Champaign County, Illinois, also had "applications" where the couple answered a few questions about their eligibility to get married. The unsuspecting researcher might locate the applications and assume that is all the record there was. In this case, that would be a big mistake.
Being familiar with Illinois records during this time period, I knew there would be more than just the application. Consequently I kept looking in the drawer of microfilm for more marriage records besides the applications. One should always learn about the records in the location in which one is researching.
Harm M. Fecht and the witness John M. Fecht (who was also his brother) were sons of Kea Goldenstein, as given on the marriage license. Her name was actually Fraukea Goldenstein. She was a sister of my 2nd great-grandfather, Focke Goldenstein.
13 September 2009
More information on Casefile Clues is online at http://www.casefileclues.com
The discount subscription page can be accessed here.
12 September 2009
11 September 2009
We all know that in some families names are repeated and used, over and over. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a search interface that worked like that?
Say for example I have a family with the following structure in 1850?
Children: Emma, Ira, Lucretia, Edwin, Martha, Permelia. Places of birth are in Illinois, New York, and Canada.
Lucretia marries--I don't know his last name. But I think that she might have used the names of some of her siblings for names of her children. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a way to enter as search terms Lucretia's place of birth and the names of her children and search for households with a Lucretia above a certain age and with say maybe half of the children having the name Emma, Ira, Edwin, Martha, or Permelia? It would not be proof that I had the right family, but it would at least give me some families to work on. This is one of the difficulties in locating women when their married name is unknown.
Does this make sense (is anyone even listening)? I might not have formulated my thought as precisely as I wanted.
10 September 2009
I went through old correspondence (20 years and older) on my Sargent line and in there was a letter asking about someone who I now think may actually be my ancestor's sister. I replied to the letter writer, but am glad I kept her letter. It gave the name of the potential sister's husband, something I would not have had without the letter.
How many of us "really" keep old emails that might contain clues like these? How many of us actually scan or search them every so often for new names and leads that we encounter? I am starting to wonder how many really good clues are lurking in old emails. Maybe we should start searching what is on our hard drive a little more often.
09 September 2009
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the website with the discount registration payment form.
Those who aren't aware of Casefile Clues can find out more at our website.
08 September 2009
Consider this challenge. Ask a genealogy friend (preferably who is NOT related to the family you will be writing about) if they will work out a trade with you.
You will write up one family or research problem. Your friend will write up one of their own research problems. Both of you should write up problems on families on which the other one is NOT working. You should cite sources. You and your friend can set a word length or range (2,000-2,500 is good, but entirely optional).
Trade writeups. Your assignment then is to:
- find 4 resources you think the writer should utilize in searching the family.
- gently comment on any reasoning or logic you do not understand.
- write down any assumptions the writer makes that you think might need to be changed.
- anything else that you think might help the researcher to solve their problem.
Your job is not necessarily to edit grammar and the like (unless both parties agree to that). You are to be polite and gentle if there is some glaring error or omission, not mean and spiteful. The goal is to help each other with your research. Remember that your reader does not know the family like you do. You will have to provide background information where necessary.
You and your friend have a lot to gain. Are you up to the challenge?
07 September 2009
This is part of the death certificate of Lucretia Price who died on December 14, 1916 in Sullivan County, Missouri. Her maiden name was Sargent as evidenced on this part of her birth certificate.
I think Lucretia (wife of Frederick Price) was the same Lucretia who was the daughter of Clark and Mary Sargent of Winnebago County, Illinois. They also had a son Ira Sargent who I think is my ancestor.
There will be an update on how I found this record and Lucretia in an upcoming issue of "Casefile Clues." But don't you just hate it when a death certificate is as informative as this one is.
According to her death certificate Lucretia was born in 1839 in Canada. Other records indicate she might have been born a few years later in New York State. I'm not certain right now.
She died in Green City, Missouri, and is buried in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
A website visitor sent me this copy of an SS5 form completed in 1960. It contains a similarly worded stamp on the far left hand side. This card says "NO RECORD IN DAO"
This pretty much seals it for me. I don't think the Social Security Administration would use the word "DAD" on a stamp and they were concerned about tracking earnings, not anything else. Remember, this is the 1950s and 1960s we are talking about, not the 21st century.
06 September 2009
04 September 2009
Robert P. Bynum
Based upon this reading (and the submissions of several members of the APG list, the Gen-Newbie List, and the Roots-L list), I am going with
Next question: what made her get her card in 1963? See how one thing always leads to another?
03 September 2009
The entry page is:
The ads don't work and I don't have time to fix them at the present. However, the links to the larger images of the signatures and their correct interpretation work just fine. Have a look, and give them a try.
02 September 2009
More information on Casefile Clues, Michael John Neill's weekly genealogy how-to newsletter, can be found at http://www.casefileclues.com
Summarizing the offer:
If you can provide convincing evidence that your ancestor was one of the first 50,000 English convicts sent to America in the 1700s, then Nathan W. Murphy would like to hear from you.
Be one of the first 50 people to contact Nathan, a professional genealogist in Salt Lake City, and he will research that person’s life and overseas origins for you at no charge.
Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG, an expert in tracing transported convicts and indentured servants in Colonial America, is collecting information on these immigrants for his Ph.D. dissertation. Nathan can be contacted at email@example.com. You can visit his website at www.pricegen.com/nathanwmurphy.html to learn more.
Nathan has added my James Rampley to his list of immigrants. James was convicted in 1754 in County Suffolk. We'll be posting more information about James and the project as time goes on.
I wanted readers to know that Nathan still needs convicts for the project.
My "Casefile Clues" column which ran this week discussed how I located this record. It wasn't as easy as one might think. This article was part of a series on Anna Apgar, born in 1913 in Chicago. In upcoming issues of "Casefile Clues" I'll discuss why I think the baptism took so long (she was 9 years old) and who the sponsors were. That is not all straightforward either.
Anna married Ola Lake in 1930 and passed away in Moline, Illinois in 1987. She is my my wife's maternal grandmother.
Those who subscribe to "Casefile Clues" in the next day will get this week's article even though their subscription will start the following week.
01 September 2009
According to Grandma she was born 1 Sept 1910 in "Tiogee." She meant Tioga, but she always said it to sound like "Tiogee." Actually Grandma was born in Wythe Township, Hancock County, Illinois, somewhere near the metropolis of Elderville. She wasn't born in Tioga. Wythe Township is the location given on her birth certificate and christening record. Her family was living in Wythe Township in the 1910 census as well. I've got scans of those records I'll have to post on the site when I get time. Grandma listed her birth place as Tioga on every record where she provided the information.
Grandma's father's family was from Tioga and that's where she was christened, which is probably why she thought she was born there. Her parents were George and Ida Trautvetter.
Grandma's in the SSDI http://ssdi.rootsweb.com/. There are only 7 Ida Neills in the index at the time this post was written.
She married my Grandpa Neill in December of 1935. They travelled from Loraine, Illinois, where Grandma lived, to Keithsburg, Illinois, to get married. According to the newspaper, Grandma wore a light blue dress for the ceremony. According to Grandma, she and Grandpa split a Snickers bar sometime later in the day. Times were hard and money was tight. They went back to their respective parents' homes until they set up housekeeping in the spring of 1936. Grandpa rented a farm near Plymouth, Illinois for the first few years or so after their marriage. They later moved to Carthage.
Grandma rarely left the farm and lived most of her adult life on the farm she and Grandpa bought north of Carthage, Illinois. She passed away at home in July of 1994 and was buried in the West Point [Illinois] Cemetery. The chickenhouse still stands.
[I'm having difficulties posting images with blogger.com so I'm just posting text for this post.]