Casefile Clues

30 November 2010

German Find on Google Books

A search for Adam Trautvetter on http://books.google.com turned up a result from a

Jahrbuch der Deutsche-Amerikanischen Historischen Gesellschaft von ...: Volume 3

It mentions his membership in a church near Hamilton, Illinois, and a few other details that I need translated. Just a wonderful find. Makes me think I need to do even more searches on Google Books.

George Trautvetter in the Civil War & Two Census Images

I've written briefly about George Trautvetter who was in the Missouri Infantry before. It turns out that there were two George Trautvetters in the Civil War--and they were first cousins.

This George Trautvetter's Civil War service records appear on Footnote.com. The image here is just one of the cards in his file. The card actually comes from Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Missouri which are on Footnote.com.

This George was discharged from his service, but he must have died before his uncle's estate was probated in the late 1860s as he's not mentioned as an heir and his siblings are George appears with his family in the 1860 Census in Montebello, Hancock County, Illinois. Note that there's also an Adam and Eve Trautvetter living in the household as well. This lighter 1860 census image comes from Ancestry.com. The image from the microfilm isn't much better and this is a pretty good digital version.


I decided to look at the same 1860 census entry on Footnote.com to see how different the image was. It was darker, but just as legible. The indexing was the same--but it's always worth it to search at other indexers just to make certain nothing has been overlooked.

We'll be writing about this George and the other George and their military careers in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues.

29 November 2010

Cyber Monday Discount on Casefile Clues

Casefile Clues is offering it's second annual Cyber Monday subscription discount of 20%. This discount is good for 29 November 2010 only and will be pulled at 11:59 west coast US time. Our special rate is $13.60. Credit card payments can be processed via Paypal. Email casefileclues@gmail.com if you need alternate payment options, but credit card payment is preferred as it is easier to manage and process. Renew or extend your subscription, too--but please use this link for renewals and extensions.

Casefile Clues is delivered weekly as a PDF file through your email. This will be our last discount of 2010. Other Casefile Clues discounts sometimes get extended. This offer will NOT be extended.

Every week Casefile Clues brings you one or more of the following:

  • Sources--Some weeks Casefile Clues focuses on a specific source or type of record, discussing how that source can be accessed, researched, and interpreted.

  • Methodology--Some weeks Casefile Clues works on one of Michael's problems. Many times these problems are "in progress," and Casefile Clues reflects that by explaining what was researched, why it was researched, and where to go next (and why).

  • Case Studies--Some weeks Casefile Clues focuses on a specific record on a specific person and analyzes that record, discusses what it says (and what it does not) and where to go next based upon that person and the specific record.

  • Citations--Casefile Clues includes citations of sources and records. Articles can easily be read without them, but we include citations for those who prefer to have them and we do try and model citations in the style of Evidence Explained.

  • Reasons--Casefile Clues tries to give you insight into why certain research avenues were pursued over others. Often the genealogist simply does not have time or money to locate every piece of paper available. Sometimes it is necessary to go with what likely will give us the "most bang for the buck."

  • Readable--We work very hard to make Casefile Clues readable. Columns are not "fluff" or generic "how-to" pieces.

  • Coverage--Casefile Clues covers all American time periods and records. All families discussed come from the ancestry of Michael's children who lived in a variety of states and countries. All examples are from actual families on which Michael has worked or is working. If you are subscribing when Casefile Clues begins discussing Philip Troutfetter, you'll see that you just can't make this stuff up.


Subscribe now before you forget and the 20% discount is gone.

28 November 2010

Cleaning Mother's House

"Cleaning Mother's House "
(c) 2002 Michael John Neill mjnrootdig@gmail.com for reprint requests.

It has been nearly a year since fictional genealogist Barbara passed away. Her daughter Charlene reflects upon that year in a letter to her friend Karen. Charlene truly has been busy. Barbara is probably rolling over in her grave.

Karen,

As usual, my cards are late. It has been a busy year.

We spent much of the year settling up Mother's estate. The house sold well, but cleaning it took longer than we expected.

You are probably the only person who did not know Mother was a genealogy buff. She told practically every human she encountered. I'm convinced that genealogy "nut" was the most accurate phrase. The stuff was all over the house. The inheritance would have been enough to pay for my new Mercedes had she not insisted on spending money on that blasted hobby. I don't know why she couldn't be more like Tom's mother. Nadine spends her day doing needlepoint and watching reruns of 50s television shows. Tom just does not realize how lucky he is, but men never do. My mother had to run off to cemeteries and courthouses. She even went to a conference in Davenport, Iowa, last year! Can you imagine? Davenport, Iowa! After she got back, she was so excited about all that she had learned and all the fun she had. She was planning on going to another one in California this year. Well the grim reaper took care of that.

Because of my promotion to head of knick knack sales at Garbageforless.com, I had not been home for several years. I was appalled to learn that Mother had converted my old bedroom into her family history "headquarters." My shelves of Teen Beat and other magazines documenting my adolescence had been replaced with old family photographs, copies of old documents, and something called family group sheets. She even got rid of the pants I wore to my first junior high dance. I cried at the thought.

I could not bear to go in the room and be reminded that my childhood had been stripped from me and replaced with an obsession with the past. I told the children that if they would clean the room and prepare the items for the garage (should I say "garbage"?) sale they could have the proceeds. I learned what true entrepreneurs they are.

Kenny stripped Mother's hard drive in under ten minutes. I kept hearing him say "GedCom is GedGone . . . GedCom is GedGone . . ." I have no idea what it meant, but the computer fetched a good price. Before he unplugged the computer, he erased all Mom's floppy disks and downloaded public domain games. He sold these at a nominal price.

Susan took the old photographs to a flea market and was able to sell many of them. Some special labels had to be taken off and we had to take them out of protective envelopes. Mother had written the names on the back of many of them. At least none of those pictures of depressing old dead people had our last name written on them. I don't want to be associated with such sour people.

Mother had some type of old plat book -- whatever that is. Kenny tore out the pages individually and sold them separately on Ebay. It was so clever. His dad said he got much more than if he had left the book in one piece.

Susan didn't tear the bibles apart though. I thought that showed tremendously good sense. She's learning that not everything can be marketed in the same way. The 1790 bible brought her a good penny, but she couldn't get the one from 1900 to bring more than fifty cents. She donated it to a local church, and here is where I am so proud of her. We can write if off as a charitable deduction. Someone had written what they had paid for the bible on the back cover. Susan converted that to 2001 dollars and will use that for our tax deduction amount. I've already enrolled Susan in tax lawyer summer camp this coming August.

There was some old large certificate of written on heavy paper. The silly thing wasn't even in English, so why would Mother keep it? Kenny used the other side to keep track of the things he had sold. Waste not, want not. When we were finished we put the paper in the recycling bin.

The kids put an old wedding dress from the 1870s in the washer to get the stains out. It was terribly filthy. The worthless thing didn't even survive the extra long cycle and the half-gallon of bleach. It's doubtful we can even use it for cleaning rags.

The dress was in some kind of old trunk. I'm not certain what it was for, but it had a name stenciled on the front in huge letters along with the name of a town. Susan gave it a good coating of red paint and sold it as a toy box.

The filing cabinets were emptied of their contents, as were the three shelves of binders. Kenny got the bright idea to shred the paper and sell it in bags as New Year's confetti. The file folders were too heavy to shred.

The baby did not react well to any of this. She cried and fussed almost the entire time. Kenny thought she wanted tea, which made no sense to me at all. As she cried, it sounded like she was saying "family tee." She can't even talk yet and I think Kenny was hearing things. The baby does look exactly like my mother though, it's the oddest thing. The fussing didn't stop until she spit up an entire bottle of strained prunes on my junior high jeans, which we did find in the basement. They were ruined -- it was the one real loss. Now my past has really been taken from me -- magazines and all.

Charlene

Whether you have a child like Charlene or not, have you thought about what might happen to your genealogy collection upon your demise?

27 November 2010

Three Trientjes in Three Adjacent Households


This image comes from the 1910 Census for Northeast Township's Second Precint, Adams County, Illinois. In three households in a row the lady of the house is named Trientje. I always knew Trientje was a good Ostfriesen name (my great-grandmother was a Trientje), but this really drove the point home.
As a note to those who have an ancestor named Trientje, it is a diminutive for Katherine/Catherine. Consequently that's why you might see it Anglicized to Katherine and variations. Of course, some people used Tena, which is what my great-grandmother used.
The couple on entry 35, Henry and Trientje (Behrens) Sartorius, are my 3rd great-grandparents. I'm working on locating her on a ship manifest for an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues.

24 November 2010

One Mayflower Lineage

1) Isaac Allerton (1586-1659 New Haven, CT) and Mary Norris (1588-1622 Plymouth, MA).

2) Remember Allerton (1614 Leiden, Holland-?) and Moses Maverick (died 1686 Marblehead, MA)

3) Abigial Maverick ( 1644 Salem, MA-1685 Salem, MA) and Samuel Ward (1638 Hingham, MA-1690 Quebec)

4) Martha Ward (1672 Salem, MA-1723 Ipswich, MA) and John Tuttle (1666 Ipswich-1715 Ipswich, MA)

5) Samuel Tuttle (1691 Boston, MA-1742 Chelsea, MA) and Abigal Floyd (1691 Chelsea, MA -1773 Chelsea, MA)

6) Tabitha Tuttle (1724 Chelsea, MA -1804 Hubbardston, MA) and Thomas Sargent (1720 Malden, MA-1795)

7) Samuel Sargent (1748 Hubbardston, MA -1819 Marlboro, NH) and Deborah Sylvester (1751 Leicester, MA-1791 Marlboro, NH)

8) Samuel Sargent (1774 Ashby, MA-1841) and Sarah Gibson (1774 Ashby, MA-1847)

9) Clark Sargent (1805-1847 Winnebago County, IL) and Mary Dingman

10) William Ira Sargent (abt. 1845 Ontario-1916 Peoria County, IL) and Ellen Butler

11) Ida Mae Sargent (1874-1939 Quincy, IL) and George Trautvetter (1869 Tioga, IL-1934 Jacksonville, IL)

12) Ida Trautvetter (1910 Hancock County, IL-1994 Carthage, Hancock, IL) and Cecil Neill (1903 Stillwell, Hancock, IL-1968 Keokuk, IA)

Ida Trautvetter Neill was my paternal grandmother. I've got at least one more Mayflower lineage I may get around to posting as well.

23 November 2010

22 November 2010

Genealogy Trips for Christmas

A genealogy trip makes the perfect Christmas gift. Consider joining me in Salt Lake or Ft. Wayne for a genealogy road trip in 2011!

Looking for Harm Habbus


I'm trying to locate information on a "Harm Habbus" who apparently was in Clayton Township, Adams County, Illinois, in 1872 or so.

This is part of an 1892 newspaper clipping from the Quincy [Illinois] Daily Journal that references Habbus as the father of a baby born to Volke Behrens, daughter of Ulfert Behrens in Clayton Township.

I'm working on an article on the court case for the next issue of Casefile Clues, but have been unable to locate any information on Harm.

Based upon the name and the location, I'm guessing he was a native of Ostfriesland, Germany. That's merely speculation on my part.

19 November 2010

Last Day to Get Year 1 of Casefile Clues at Discount

Starting 20 November, back issues from Year 1 of Casefile Clues will only be available on Lulu.com. The price on lulu.com is much higher than what I've been selling issues for (right now it's $1.25 an issue). $20 will get you all of year 1 of Casefile Clues and is still an excellent bargain.

Here are Casefile Clues Topics from Year 1:


  • 52--Benjamin Butler in 1880 and 1870--correlating an 1880 and 1870 census enumeration when the head of household has a different first name

  • 51--Clarifying Clara--a widow's War of 1812 Bounty Land application

  • 50--Special Examiner's Report--Discussion of testimony taken by a Special Examiner in a Union Civil War Pension File

  • 49--Levi Rhodes' War of 1812 Pension--A discussion and and an analysis of a War of 1812 pension issued in 1871.

  • 48--Determining Your Own Chain of Migration--Ways to determine the unique migration chain that your ancestor took

  • 47--Finding the Ellen--Finding someone in an 1870 census when she's a child and I don't have the names of the parents. Discusses proximity searches, eliminating false matches, etc.

  • 46--Ira Located--the correct marriage record for Ira Sargent was located. This issue includes the image and a complete transcription, an analysis, additional searches that were conducted, and where to go next.

  • 45--Organizing My Search for Ira--discusses brainstorming to locate the parents of Ira Sargent, how and why records were prioritized, and how records would be searched.

  • 44--Philip Troutfetter in the Special Collections of the Kansas State Historical Society--fraud, postal investigations, and abandoned wives--all from one relative.

  • 43--Unacquiring Property--ways your ancestor might have "disposed" of his real estate.

  • 42--Multiple Johns--two brothers with the exact same name--apparently.

  • 41--Brick Walls from A to Z--the title says it all--ideas for breaking those brick walls

  • 40--Finding John--analysis, including charts and maps, in an attempt to find a missing 1870 census enumeration.

  • 39--Multiple Marias--Analyzing more than one 1893 obituary for a Swiss immigrant in Iowa.

  • 38--From their Mouth to Your Screen. Discusses all the "filters" information passes through.

  • 37--Pullman Car Company Employment Records. Discusses several employment records from the Pullman Car Company in Chicago. Discusses William Apgar, Thomas Frame, Louis DeMar.

  • 36--Where are they in 1840? Analyzes an individual who is "missing" from an 1840 census. Includes a discussion of how he was "found" and how land records actually solved the problem. Discusses Abraham Wickiser.

  • 35--A 1910 Birth. Analyzes primary and secondary sources for a date and place of birth in 1910 and how differences might not be all that different. Discusses Ida Trautvetter.

  • 34--Ready to Go? Discusses some things to contemplate regarding your genealogy material before you die.

  • 33--Where there is a Will there is Confusion. Analyzes an early 19th century will from Maryland and what the different bequests likely mean and what potentially brought them about. Also discusses different ways some things can be interpreted. Discusses John DeMoss.

  • 32--When There is No Probate. Some things to think about when there is no probate file.

  • 31--Analyzing the Mortgage. Discusses an 1870 era mortgage in Illinois. Discusses John Ufkes and Rolf Habben.

  • 30--Behind the Scenes Chaos. Discusses the importance of thinking about what "caused" a record to be recorded.

  • 29--Un-American Activity. Discusses an invesigation by the fore-runner of the FBI into a German-American family in World War I. Discusses the Fecht family.

  • 28--Do You Ear What I Ear? Discusses things to remember about how things are heard.

  • 27--Analyzing Andrew Trask. Discusses work on an Mass. native (born ca. 1814) who lived in St. Louis, southern-Illinois, and western Illinois where he died in the 1880s. Focuses on analyzing and working on later records to discern patterns, etc. Discusses Andrew Trask.

  • 26--Using Google Books.

  • 25--Finding Valentine. Steps in locating a man whose only real mention is in an 1870 era estate settlement. Discusses how I organized my search for him.

  • 24--The Brick Wall is in Your Head. Talks about ways you may have made your own genealogical brick wall.

  • 23--You Ask and I Wonder. Things that pop in my head when a person asks a certain genealogical question.

  • 22--Crossing the Pond.

  • 21--One Clipping Leads to More.

  • 20--Organizing 1870 Census Search--thoughts on organizing online census searches.

  • 19--Public Sale--Analyzing an old sale bill.

  • 18--Analyzing the Biography--Charting and Organizing what You Know Using a Biography

  • 17--Working with the Professional. Getting started with the professional genealogist who is performing Chicago area work for me.

  • 16--A Lot from Barbara's Lot. Clues from a series of records on a small lot in a town in rural Illinois betwen 1856 and 1905.

  • 15--Finding Gesche's Girls. Tracking down an "evaporating" German native who "condensed" somewhere in the United States.

  • 14--Jumpstarting Your Research. Just some ideas to get you started.

  • 13--Brick Walls and the Census Taker

  • 12--The Heirs Complete the Homestead

  • 11--Is the Wrong Name Correct?

  • 10--Connecting the Iras. Working to determine if two men of the same name are the same man.

  • 09--Pre-1850 Census Analysis. Analzing pre-1850 census records for a family to determine the household structure. Discusses Thomas and Sarah Sledd.

  • 08--Platting Out Thomas Sledd's Heirs. Platting out the estate division of the Thomas Sledd estate in Kentucky in the 1830s. Discusses Thomas Sledd family.

  • 07--Looking for Ira's Lucretia. Working on my "brick wall" Ira through his sister Lucretia. mid-to-late nineteenth century work.

  • 06--The Civil War Pension file of Riley Rampley. An overview of a Union Civil War pension record.

  • 05--Finding a Chicago Christening. How a 1913 era Chicago christening record was found. Discusses Anna Apgar.

  • 04--Multiple Parents

  • 03--Preemption Claim. The Missouri pre-emption land claim of John Lake. Discusses John Lake.

  • 02--Passport Records. Discusses an early twentieth century passport application. Discusses Robert Frame.

  • 01--Lessons from an Estate Record. Analyzes an 1870 era Illinois set of estate records.


Other Back Issue Purchase Options:

The whole set can be purchased from me directly for only $20.00 until 20 November 2010.

16 November 2010

Nearest Relative on a World War Two Draft Card


I've been browsing the World War II "Old Men's Draft Cards" on FamilySearch looking for good signatures for my "Daily Genealogy Transcriber" page.

This is the card for Virgil Rampley, brother to my great-grandmother Fannie Neill. I really didn't expect her to be listed as the person who would always "know your address," but sure enough she was.

Of course, the relationship was not stated, but if I hadn't know where she lived during World War II this would have been a nice find.

14 November 2010

Genealogy Tip of the Day Is Available on Kindle

For those who have seen my "Genealogy Tip of the Day" blog, it is now available via Amazon.com on your Kindle.

Visit this link to subscribe http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004C44H1S

Visit Genealogy Tip of the Day at http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com/

11 November 2010

World War II Draft Registation Card


This is the World War 2 draft registration card for my Granddad Ufkes. Over on "Genealogy Tip of the Day" we discussed these cards briefly today in terms of how to access them.
The cards from the "Old Men's Draft" are publicly available, but this card is for one of the younger guys and has to be accessed individually and I had to prove Granddad was deceased.
These are a wonderful source. Might have to write about them for an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues.

New Samples of Casefile Clues

We have two NEW free samples of my weekly how-to newsletter, Casefile Clues. To receive the PDF files as an attachment, simply send an email to

casefileclues@gmail.com

to make your request. Your email address will not be shared, given out, etc.

Thanks!

10 November 2010

Friend Discount on Casefile Clues

Current subscribers can get a free month when a friend subscribes to Casefile Clues. It's this simple, your friend needs to use this payment link INSTEAD OF the regular one. This link tells me it was a "friend" susbscription, allowing me to track it.

When your friend subscribes, they should put YOUR name and email in the memo box. That's why it is important they use the link in this blog post. Your friend can request sample copies of Casefile Clues at samples@casefileclues.com.

Oh, this offer ends on Friday at noon West Coast Time.

Questions? Email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com.

William Rampley in 1900 Census in York, Pennsylvania


This is a copy and paste job on part of the 1900 census for W. A. Rampley who appeared in several newspaper entries n the newspaper archive atGenealogyBank.

He apparently is listed as a "Carriage Builder," aged 33 years old and born in Maryland in the 1900 Census at Ancestry.com. Note that his mother is also in the household. Her census entry indicates she is born in Pennsylvania and yet William indicates his mother was born in Maryland. Obviously something is not quite correct with this enumeration. The inconsistency is minor but this should be noted when transcribing the record.

Carriage Shop Burns


Another neat discovery on the newspaper archive atGenealogyBank, again on W. A. Rampley of York, Pennsylvania.

This article from October of 1899 in the Philadelphia Inquirer indicates that Rampley's carriage factory burned on 11 October 1899. Next goal is to try and find him in the 1900 census as hopefully he's still there.

Might work this up for an issue of Casefile Clues, not yet certain.

Help Wanted in 1899


This ad comes from the 6 May 1899 Philadelphia Inquirer, under the "male help wanted" section.

W. A. Rampley is looking for a carriage painter for his shop in York, Pa.

I'm not certain how, but Rampley is likely a relative of some shape or other to my own Rampley family from Harford County, Maryland.

This gem was discovered while looking around on the newspaper archive at GenealogyBank.

62 Issues of Casefile Clues for $16!

It doesn't get any lower than this. Today (through midnight west coast time on Wednesday 10 November), we're selling our first 62 issues for $16! That's over 440 pages of how-to advice, complete with illustrations, explanations, and citations (starting in issue 10). Remember, our focus is on explaining research, not selling advertisements, promoting other products, etc. Casefile Clues has no advertising in the newsletter or on the website.

Orders can be processed securely here with a credit card--a PayPal account is not necessary.

Spread the news! I'm working on obtaining new material for upcoming issues and this is our little "fundraiser" for that effort.

09 November 2010

A Distressing Accident


While looking around on the newspaper archive atGenealogyBank, I discovered a reference in the Baltimore Gazette and Daily Advertiser from 18 August 1834. Apparently John A. Rampley, the youngest son of William Rampley, fell off a load of hay into some water where he drowned.

William was a brother to my ancestor, Thomas Rampley.

This newspaper account is the only reference to the son I can find.

As they add more newspapers, perhaps I'll make more discoveries. Based on this, it appears that the son died on 2 August 1834.

08 November 2010

Free Registration Drawing for our 2011 Family History Research Trips

Blog readers know that I am leading a research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake and a research trip to the Allen County Public Library in 2011. Trip dates are these:

From now until 30 November, we are holding a drawing for a free registration for each trip(drawing is for registration ONLY--hotel, transportation, expenses are the RESPONSIBILITY of the winner). However a free registration will save on your trip expenses. The links above explain more about each trip.

To enter the drawing for the Salt Lake Trip, send an email to saltlake-drawing@casefileclues.com.

To enter the drawing for the Fort Wayne Trip, send an email to acpl-drawing@casefileclues.com.

Be certain to let your friends know!

04 November 2010

Joseph Oades Homesteads in Nebraska.

This is one page from the homestead proof for Joseph H. Oades, one of the husbands of Emma Sargent.

The testimony, made out on 6 January 1876 indicates that Oades had a wife and eight children. I'm not certain right now how that fits into what I have on Joseph and Emma--they are living in separate households in the 1875 Nebraska State Census, but this document may still be referring to her as his wife. I'm going to have to sit down and look at the children from the 1875 in both households to see just how reasonable this is. To be really honest, I just searched for Joseph Oades on Footnote.com on a whim to see what results there were.

I also need to obtain divorce records for Joseph and Emma as she married again in Iowa and he lives in Nebraska for some time after this homestead was completed.

This record was scanned and indexed Footnote.com which is where this image was lcoated. Footnote.com is adding the homestead records to their website.

We'll have updates here on the blog and probably a longer article in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues.

Seminar in Redwood City, CA.

I will be giving 4 lectures this Saturday in Redwood City, CA for the San Mateo Genealogical Society.

There's still room and late registrations are possible.

The flyer is available online at: http://www.smcgs.org/temporary/fall_2010_seminar.pdf

Questions can be emailed to programs@smcgs.org

03 November 2010

I'm related to a President's Wife and Why Genealogists Will Have Work For a Long Time


I finally got the "famous relative" section of the trees at Ancestry.com to work. I've posted the image showing the connection of my great-grandmother, Tjode Anna Goldenstein to Cornelia Melyn, the supposed 3rd grandmother of Julia Gardiner, wife of President Tyler.
The lineage of my great-grandmother is correct. The earliest ancestor shown is Ancke Jansen, who died in Ostfriesland, Gemany in 1719. Ancke is the mother of Johann Hinrichs, who died in 1768 (my line) and the mother of Johan De Lange, born in 1728. Ancestry gives this relationship 4 stars (out of 5) for reliability.
There are other interesting things in the lineage on the right, including a person born in 1848 having a child born in 1628. Clicking on the graphic will pull up a larger image.
I love the indexes and other finding aids Ancestry.com has to census and other original records. This stuff is something else.

02 November 2010

Holding Court at the Opera House




In reviewing images for the latest issue of Casefile Clues, I noticed something in a 1907 partition suit petition for Hancock County, Illinois. Court was not being held at the courthouse--it was held at the Opera House in Carthage.
I wondered about this, then I remembered that the October 1907 term of court was being held when the current courthouse was being constructed on the site of the old one.
I never thought about where they had court during that time until I ran across this reference. Anne's partition suit was the topic of issue 9 of Casefile Clues.

Casefile Clues Discount for Facebook Fans

Tip of the Day now has 1737 fans on Facebook. To celebrate, fans can subscribe to Casefile Clues, for $17.37, fans can have their new subscription to Casefile Clues start with issue 9 (coming soon) and get issues 1-8 at no charge. Subscriptions can be processed securely here (a PayPal account is not necessary). More about Casefile Clues is on our website.

If you're not a fan of "Genealogy tip of the Day" on Facebook, search for us("genealogy tip of the day") there.

Shooting Nicholas Trautvetter


I ran across this item on been searching for members of the extended Trautvetter clan at GenealogyBank.

I am not certain how Nicholas Trautvetter is related (or even if he is), but this family always causes the best type of newspaper articles to be written.

This one made two points that have nothing at all to do with the Trautvetters.

The first is that searching of sites that use OCR technology requires some thought. This article was located by searching for "Trantvetter" instead of Trautvetter.

This article was also in a St. Louis newspaper, the St. Louis Republic on 3 March 1897. This is quite a distance from where the murder took place.

Watch those spellings and consider the possibility that a newspaper item could appear hundreds of miles from where your ancestor actually lived.

Genealogy Magazines, Newsletters, Speakers, etc.

This is more opinion than usual. And it's not as organized as I usually am, but that's because my thoughts on this subject are somewhat in flux.

Genealogy print magazines continue to "bit the dust." A genealogy magazine in the UK, Practical Family History, will cease publication in the near future. Ancestry magazine recently ceased publication as well and others in recent years have also stopped publication.

Part of this is due to general trends in the publishing industry and part of it is due to the fact that some genealogy how-to magazines are really not responsive to the needs of the genealogy "public" and that editors of some (not all) genealogy magazines are not actually genealogists. Many of the editors got "into" genealogy because they were hired by a company to edit a genealogy periodical. In some cases, that's part of the problem. Some editors understand editing, but they do not understand genealogy and they do not understand what genealogists need and want in a genealogy periodical. And when editors change, the focus of the periodical changes which also can lead to a decline or change in readership. Some former genealogical periodicals really "watered" down their content in an attempt to reach the masses. The problem is that long-term subscribers were put off by the change.

New readers, who liked the "fluff," were not likely to be long term subscribers, at least in my opinion. A few of the beginners got "converted" to long-term genealogy researchers who end up needing more than fluff after a while. A high number of beginners move on to something else besides genealogy for a variety of reasons. Both groups are not going to renew their subscription. When you are reaching out to beginners, and only beginners, you constantly have to reach out and get new subscribers because experienced people don't want beginning articles all the time and those who lose interest do not renew their subscription anyway.

Periodicals that focus on light pieces end up repeating content after a while. And to be frank, after you've run 6 articles about the 1880 census what else is there to say?

Genealogy newsletters and magazines used to be the place to find out about "news." With the internet, that's no longer true.

Some may say that the blogs are the place to learn genealogy "how-to." I'm not certain of that myself. Most blogs are about personal research and (in my opinion) very few really explain the "how" of research. It takes a great deal of time and practice to write how-to material clearly. Some that do, don't really explain the research adequately or the explanations offered indicate the researcher might not have quite as much experience as they think they do. For many blogging is a great way to share research with others and to reach "new" relatives. There are not so many that really offer expertise to the intermediate or advanced researcher. And the people who have that level of experience often do not have time to really write well on their blog for free. Time blogging takes away from other revenue producing activities.

Some magazines tried to be all things to all people. The problem is that it shows. Trying to please everyone means that you actually please very few people. I see genealogy newsletters (both paid and free) that write on topics where it's clear to those with some experience that the writer really does not know their stuff.

The same can be said of some speakers and lecturers. I recently heard a presenter make a presentation about their research in early twentieth century records. Very interesting and, for the most part, well put together. It was a well-done presentation.

As attendees do, a question was asked that had nothing to do about the presentation. It focused on early seventeenth century research in frontier New York. I'm asked questions that have nothing to do with the lecture I gave and about which I am nearly clueless. I usually indicate that, without using the word "clueless" of course, and provide a general reference and indicate the researcher search for case studies on similar people in the same location for approaches if I can't think of any off the top of my head. The speaker gave an answer and several research suggestions, but it was clear that the question was out of her area of expertise because her answer referenced records that were not available during the frontier period and an approach that was more appropriate for an urban ancestor. She wanted the audience to think she had an answer for every question and "knew everything."

I've always been a big fan of admitting when you don't know something.

I have a few more ideas on genealogy publishing, newsletters, etc. but won't share those here because I'm trying to use them to market Casefile Clues. I've always been wary of people who claim to share "everything they know" about a certain industry, marketing method, etc. Usually people who "know everything" know enough not to share it. For the same reason, I don't believe people who claim to give investment advice. If the advice is so great, why aren't you using it youself?

Sharing what you know about genealogy research is a little different--lots of people aren't going to do it anyway as sometimes it's boring and tedious and people tend to avoid things that are boring and tedious.