Casefile Clues

29 May 2010

Memorial Discount on my Casefile Clues Newsletter

Every week Casefile Clues brings you analysis, sources, and methodology. It is one of the best genealogical bargains around and our goal is to get you thinking about your own research and give you ideas to get you re-charged and on your way. We are offering a Memorial Day Special on Casefile Clues.

Get a year of Casefile Clues with our Memorial Day Discount offer of $15 for an annual subscription of 52 issues.

12 May 2010

Genealogy Lecture at Knox College

I will be giving a lecture "Where We Are Planted:A Lecture on Genealogy" sponsored by the Association for Black Culture Centers at Knox College(Galesburg, Illinois) tomorrow. http://www.knox.edu/calendar/?E19383

All are invited.

Thursday, May 13, 2010
4:00 p.m.
Ferris Lounge, Seymour Union
Free and Open to the Public
Everyone is welcome

11 May 2010

What is this last name supposed to be?



I'm working on this family for issue 42 of Casefile Clues.

To see a larger image click on the image that appears with this blog post.

What does that last name look like to you? I'll post what it is "supposed" to be in a few days. And based upon the actual name, this variant isn't all that far off, but it's the only time I've seen it.

Plaza Still Has Rooms for our 2010 Family History Library Trip

The Salt Lake Plaza still has rooms for our 2010 trip, although our block has "expired." If there are any researchers who would like to be a "late" add, just email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com.

Information on the trip is at http://www.rootdig.com/slctrip.html

Bureau County, Princeton, Illinois 26 August

I will be making the evening presentation at the monthly meeting of the Bureau County (Illinois) Genealogical Society in Princeton, Illinois, on 26 August.

Details will be posted here:

I always enjoy my trips to Princeton. Bureau County has a very active group.

10 May 2010

Searching by townships in New Search of 1880 Census


Am I missing something?
I am trying to search the 1880 census for entries in Prairie Township, Hancock County, Illinois, using the new search.
I can't seem to narrow my search down to just that township in the new search. Am I missing something?
I can use the old search to do a search based upon township, which I really like and which in many cases is necessary.
Just not convinced the place name "thing" they are using is all that it is cracked up to be although the "search adjacent counties" I like.
Found the ad running on the Ancestry.com site to be particularly ironic.

05 May 2010


This is a followup to my original post about the timelines on the Family Trees at Ancestry.com.

The "ages" as shown in the timeline are not pulled from the census, but rather are pulled from the year of birth listed in the timeline. I concluded, incorrectly, that since the year of birth was approximate that ages shown in the timeline would also be shown as approximate.
The image here with the birth empty does not have any ages shown, which seems to indicate the age is pulled from the birth.

The second image with the year of birth, listed as approximate, shows ages.

When I create timelines based on approximate years of birth, I include "about" in front of every age because the ages at specific points in time are not based upon a precise date of birth.

If there was one improvement I could suggest, it would be to include "about" before ages that are calculated from an approximate year of birth.

That said, Ancestry.com is not drawing the ages from the census enumeration. It was incorrect when I indicated they were. The problem is that nowhere on the screen does it indicate from where the ages were inferred. Had I had other records for Abraham, the ages would have been shown for every event.

All of which points to the importance of citation. I'm not certain Ancestry.com really has room to cite sources in these timelines and I'm not certain people really want that. But I bet it wouldn't be too hard to insert an asterisk after the age indicating it was inferred from the year of birth. And that might even encourage more genealogists to be concerned about citation and that wouldn't be a bad thing.

03 May 2010

DearMYRTLE's commentary on World Vital Records

DearMYRTLE had an interesting commentary on World Vital Records use of email addresses from Genealogywise.com users.

I received the same email DearMyrtle referred to. Take a look at more detail on her site. I won't repeat it here.

Seems to me that Genealogywise needs to be careful in using the email of members.

Default Search Settings on Ancestry.com for NY Federal Non-Population Censuses

I am confused.

I searched for the last name of Drolet in the non-population 1850-1880 census schedules at Ancestry.com. The help box tells me that "default" name settings will get exactly what I typed, Soundex matches, or "similar meaning or spelling to the one you typed."

There were no matches as can be seen in the bottom screen.

Yet when I change the search options on the last name to "restrict to exact--soundex" I get matches with the spelling of the last name as Draulette. Draulette is the soundex equivalent of Drolet (what I typed in) and it should meet the definition of "similar meaning or spelling to the one you typed."

Am I not understanding the default settings?

I do NOT like the default setting of "similar meaning of spelling to the one you typed." That doesn't really mean much to me and with that I don't know how to tweak my search.

Ancestry.com says Bernard Goldenstein is related to President Tyler's Wife



I was doing a few quick lookups on Bernard Goldenstein for an upcoming Casefile Clues article at Ancestry.com and decided to try the "famous relative" link that came up.

Imagine my surprise when it actually pulled up someone--president Tyler's third wife.

A quick look at her ancestry did not indicate where the connection was made and the link to show relationship was not working.

Mrs. Tyler had an ancestor born in the Netherlands which is close to Ostfriesland where Goldenstein's ancestry originated. However looking at her available pedigree chart did not reveal any connection.

Being 5th cousins 5 times removed to Mrs. Tyler means that Ben Goldenstein's 3rd great-grandfather/mother was a fifth cousin to Mrs. Tyler. My guess is that the program is "grabbing" one of Mrs. Tyler's Dutch ancestors and assuming it is the same person as one of Goldenstein's Ostfriesen ancestors.

Without seeing the way Ancestry.com is connecting them, it is difficult to tell. I'm pretty skeptical that there is any relationship.

When it indicated a relationship between Goldenstein and a famous person, a more realistic possibility (and I said POSSIBILITY) is the late Senator Everett Dirksen. He was from Illinois (where Goldenstein's family actually settled) and was also of Ostfriesen extraction. Perhaps senators don't qualify as "famous."

I'll update on this if the "connection" ever shows at Ancestry. I got error messages when I tried it again just now.

1870 Agricultural Census Column Headings

Those who need a list of the 1870 agricultural census enumeration headings can find a set here:



01 May 2010

Dicsount offer on my weekly how-to Casefile Clues

In honor of my missing NGS in Salt Lake City this week, I'm offering a special on a set of back issues of Casefile Clues (currently at 40 issues!) and a year long subscription for $30.

This is a $6 off offer and will end Saturday of this week (today is Wednesday)--same time the NGS conference is over. I'd say supplies are limited, but they aren't because I don't print anything and many of my readers don't either.

Here's a link to past topics.

We'd love to have you join the Casefile Clues family.