Casefile Clues

30 December 2010

Family History Library Trip in May 2011 Early Registration Extended

We've extended the early bird registration deadline for my annual Family History Library (Salt Lake City) Research Trip until 31 December 2010!

For more information, visit this blog post:


http://rootdig.blogspot.com/2010/06/reserve-spot-in-my-2011-family-history.html

or email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com

29 December 2010

Elmore Drollette in San Francisco Newspaper


This image of Elmore Drollette San Francisco News Chronicle from August of 1909. His father was George Drollette, uncle of my wife's great-grandmother. It just goes to show that one never knows what one might find in scanned copies of old newspapers.
The eleven year old apparently travelled alone from China back to the United States after spending several months with his father. The article hints that he's travelled across the Pacific before with his mother and indicates that he is returning to his grandparents in Indiana.
I stumbled upon this while working on a Casefile Clues article on the father's employment in China from about 1901 until the 1930s.
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Age and Birth Date on Ancestry.com's Canadian Crossings


Don't get me wrong, I like Ancestry.com and use it daily, but this really has me confused.
A match on the Canadian border crossings shows an Elmer E. Drollette arriving on 8 November 1916 at age of 22 years, 8 months. Fine. How does this turn into a date of birth of 31 Oct 1866.
The image shown here was a screen shot, with no changes made. I'm going to be much more cautious now about the inferred dates of birth from these records. The actual record does not provide a date of birth, at least not one that I could see.
Elmore is a first cousin of my wife's great-grandmother and I'm working on him for an upcoming Casefile Clues column.

Discount Offer on First 68 Issues of Casefile Clues

For the next 24 hours, you can purchase the first 68 issues of my genealogy how-to newsletter Casefile Clues for $25. That's a lot of genealogy how-to reading. Payment can be made via credit card here.

Topics from the first 16 issues of year 2 are:

  • Volume 2-Number 1--Problem-Solving--a variety of techniques for breaking through those brick walls.

  • Volume 2-Number 2--A 1907 Committal--An insanity record.

  • Volume 2-Number 3--A 1921 Divorce--looking at a 1921 era divorce from Chicago

  • Volume 2-Number 4--Leaving John's Hands: Documenting Post-Death Land Transfers

  • Volume 2-Number 5--The Acquisition of John Michael Trautvetter's 228 Acres

  • Volume 2-Number 6--The Original Versus the Record Copy

  • Volume 2-Number 7--Multiple Marriage Mayhem:
    Starting the Search for Emma (Sargent) Pollard Ross Oades Pollard Snavly Olenbaugh

  • Volume 2-Number 8--A Handful of Problem-Solving Strategies

  • Volume 2-Number 9--Two-Thirds of an Acre from Uncle John: A Partition Suit Proves a Sibling Relationship

  • Volume 2-Number 10--A Minimal Estate Gives Some Direction: The 1886-1888 Probate of Benjamin Butler

  • Volume 2-Number 11--Signing What We Could Not Read--immigrants unable to read English sign a 1870 era document that is incorrect and a lawsuit results.

  • Volume 2-Number 12--Dad Raised my Daughter--A newspaper account of a court case in the 1880s discusses an early 1870 out-of-wedlock birth.

  • Volume 2-Number 13--Using the 1860 Census to Formulate a Passenger List Search Strategy

  • Volume 2-Number 14--Search Strategy for Benjmamin Butler in pre-1870 Census Records--this looks at ways to find the missing 1850 and 1860 census enumerations for man who "appears" in Iowa in 1870.

  • Volume 2-Number 15--Pre-1850 Census--analyzing 1810-1840 census entries for Thomas Chaney in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

  • Volume 2-Number 16--Names in the Probate--analyzing various names in a probate settlement from 1903. Nicknames and diminutives were part of the problem.



Here are Casefile Clues Topics from Year 1 (in reverse order):


  • 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.

27 December 2010

Alfred Butler Pension Card


I have always been a big fan of the pension payment cards from the National Archives. More specifically, these cards are the Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900 (NARA T289.).
We'll be discussing Alfred Butler in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues. I think he is a possible son of the Benjamin Butler who in 1870 is in Davis County, Iowa, and later in Vernon County, Missouri. I'm not yet entirely certain.
If you don't have access to Footnote.com, the cards are on Archive.org. There they are a little tricky to get to at first--I blogged a while back about searching them on Archive.org. They are not indexed on Archive.org and you MUST know the state and the unit to use Archive.org's digital images. Footnote.com's images are indexed.

Two Cemeteries Have Stones for Same Man


A search of the Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, 1879-1903 turned up two cards for headstones provided apparently for the same man. The cards have to be referring to the same man as there can't be two Alfred Butlers in Co. K of the 9th Michigan Calvary. While it is possible that there is, the chance is fairly slim.
I think this Alfred Butler is the same one who is the son of Benjamin Butler in an 1850 Census enumeration in St. Clair County, Michigan. I'm working on Benjamin and Alfred for an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues. If I get this figured out, I'll post an update here. Hopefully two cemeteries claiming him results in more records.

26 December 2010

Casefile Clues Year 2's Issues 1-16

Readers of Rootdig.com know that I write a weekly newsletter, Casefile Clues. Periodically we post information here about Casefile Clues. Topics from the first 16 issues of year 2 are:

  • Volume 2-Number 1--Problem-Solving--a variety of techniques for breaking through those brick walls.

  • Volume 2-Number 2--A 1907 Committal--An insanity record.

  • Volume 2-Number 3--A 1921 Divorce--looking at a 1921 era divorce from Chicago

  • Volume 2-Number 4--Leaving John's Hands: Documenting Post-Death Land Transfers

  • Volume 2-Number 5--The Acquisition of John Michael Trautvetter's 228 Acres

  • Volume 2-Number 6--The Original Versus the Record Copy

  • Volume 2-Number 7--Multiple Marriage Mayhem:
    Starting the Search for Emma (Sargent) Pollard Ross Oades Pollard Snavly Olenbaugh

  • Volume 2-Number 8--A Handful of Problem-Solving Strategies

  • Volume 2-Number 9--Two-Thirds of an Acre from Uncle John: A Partition Suit Proves a Sibling Relationship

  • Volume 2-Number 10--A Minimal Estate Gives Some Direction: The 1886-1888 Probate of Benjamin Butler

  • Volume 2-Number 11--Signing What We Could Not Read--immigrants unable to read English sign a 1870 era document that is incorrect and a lawsuit results.

  • Volume 2-Number 12--Dad Raised my Daughter--A newspaper account of a court case in the 1880s discusses an early 1870 out-of-wedlock birth.

  • Volume 2-Number 13--Using the 1860 Census to Formulate a Passenger List Search Strategy

  • Volume 2-Number 14--Search Strategy for Benjmamin Butler in pre-1870 Census Records--this looks at ways to find the missing 1850 and 1860 census enumerations for man who "appears" in Iowa in 1870.

  • Volume 2-Number 15--Pre-1850 Census--analyzing 1810-1840 census entries for Thomas Chaney in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

  • Volume 2-Number 16--Names in the Probate--analyzing various names in a probate settlement from 1903. Nicknames and diminutives were part of the problem.


Issues 1-16 can be purchased for only $6.
Annual subscriptions are $17.

Ancestry Matches Make Me Wonder


I have a few trees uploaded on Ancestry.com. Occasionally the "green leaf" matches are helpful, but there are times when I really wish I could set some parameters on the matches or wish that Ancestry.com had search parameters set a little tighter. While I fully understand the fact that what I have in my database could be a few years off, the "green leaf" on my Erasmus Trautvetter brought up a match from the 1930 US census.
The only problem with this is that if the "green leaf" maker at Ancestry.com had looked, my Erasmus Trautvetter had children born in the 1790s and dying in the 1870s and 1860s. Kinda doubtful that this person is a match.
In actuality, the Arthur Trautvetter that is a "match" for Erasmus is a descendant of Erasmus. I'd have to go looking, but I'd guess he's at least a great-great-grandson of Erasmus.

22 December 2010

Daily Genealogy Transcriber

Don't forget that I post daily "Can you read it?" type problems over on my blog "The Daily Genealogy Transcriber." Answers are usually posted in a few days and readers are encouraged to guess at what they think the name or words are.

Enjoy!

19 December 2010

Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad Locates George Drollette



I don't often make really interesting discoveries on relatves overseas. Today I did. Ancestry.comrecently released a new set of records on their site and I made what is a major discovery. Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad, 1835-1974 contains information on the death of George Washington Drollette in Hanoi in 1933.

I've mentioned Drollette before and know that he had been in China as early as the very late 1890s. He was a native of Saranac, New York, and apparently remained in Asia until his death in 1933.

I'm not certain if his remains remained in Hanoi or not. There is quite a bit of followup to do here, but it'll have to wait until after the start of the New Year. This probably will be at least one Casefile Clues article and we'll blog post here as well as time allows.

Drollette was the brother of Marie Drollette Desmarais/Demar, my wife's great-great-grandmother.

Santa Clause in Saline County Missouri 1900



The 1900 Census for Saline County, Missouri, shows Santa Clause as a 13 year old, born in April of 1887 in Missouri living with his parents William and Henrietta Clause.

Search for Santa on other sites, such as:


Feel free to post comments or updates on Santa here. We'll be adding additional census and other images on Santa as we find them!

17 December 2010

Swedish Records on Ancestry.com

For some reason the image on this post is a blurrier than it is on my actual computer screen. I'm working on a better image. Swedish church records have been added to Ancestry.com's set of images. This image (line 17) is from Tjarstad in Ostergotland and is for Samuel Otto Johnson, son of Johan Sund annd Anna Lisa Eriksdotter and ggg-grandfather of my children. It takes a little bit of practice to read the handwriting.

Ancestry.com is adding the Swedish church records to their online collection. We'll be posting additional research comments and discoveries to these records as time allows. Given that my children are 1/16 Swedish, this is exciting news.
The image of just the parents names at the bottom of this post is more in line with the actual resolution of the images. These are nice images and I prefer the interface at Ancestry.com to the one that Genline used. Keep in mind these records are not indexed, but having access to through Ancestry.com is really nice. I know I'll be spending even more time searching through Ancestry.com's Swedish church records and we'll have updates as new information is located.
Samuel Otto's wife is a little bit of a mystery and hopefully now with home access to these I'll make some discoveries.

15 December 2010

Genealogy Tip of the Day Nominated for Top 40 Blogs

Our sister site, "Genealogy Tip of the Day," has been nominated for one of the Family Tree Top 40 blogs. Remember that Tip of the Day is not about being long-winded, selling stuff, or dreaming up things we've never done or used. Just quick tips. Tip of the Day is free (unless you choose to get it on your kindle) and can be viewed at http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com.

Give us a vote--and pretend you're from Chicago--vote often.

That's it for the plug--there are Casefile Clues columns to write!

Thanks for the nomination.

13 December 2010

Virgil Burrows Enters the Marines in 1928



While working on an article for Casefile Clues, I came across this reference on GenealogyBank's Newspaper Archive for Virgil A. Burrows in the Colorado Gazette-Telegraph from 28 January 1921.

I really wasn't looking for Virgil specifically, but rather brief information on his parents, particularly his mother Freda Meyer, daughter of Louise/Louisa Bieger Meyer(s) sister of my gg-grandmother Franciska Bieger Trautvetter.

This was a nice clipping to find actually. I had traced Louis (husband of Freda) and his family to the Denver area via 1920 census and other records. Now I can search for Virgil in the records from the Marine Corps at Ancestry.com . Before I had not really thought to look for him in those records, but the clipping makes the searching a little easier. Maybe down the road we'll work up something on Virgil and family for Casefile Clues.

Update on Archives.com

Still no refund on my Archives.com subscription. I don't mind paying for access to databases. What frustrates me is that I was lead to believe that something was a part of their subscription that was only available in limited daily doses of ten images or less. It is not the paying for something that bothers me--I don't expect to get anything for free.

What frustrates me is the approach and the response I've received from customer service at Archives.com.

UPDATE--I did receive a refund "because I felt so strongly." Translation-I pitched a fit. Of course I did, $39.95 is $39.95.

12 December 2010

Archives.com Limits Your Access to NewspaperArchive.com images

To make consumers aware--Archives.com includes images from NewspaperArchive.com in their search results. Once you've looked at ten of NewspaperArchive.com's images in a day, that's your daily limit.

Tomorrow Never Came


I've been playing with the newspaper databases and found this reference to my grandmother's brother.


I knew John Trautvetter died in a car accident in Quincy, Illinois, but I did not know that it made as many newspapers as it did.

The first reference is from the Greensburg, Indiana, daily newspaper on 26 July 1937.


The second image came from the Hammond [Indiana] Times of the same date. It just goes to show that sometimes you never know where a newspaper article on a relative may appear.

09 December 2010

Family History Trip Deadline

The deadline for my annual Family History Library trip to Salt Lake City's LDS Library in May 2011 is coming up fast.

For more details on the trip and to make your payment by the early bird deadline, go to http://rootdig.blogspot.com/2010/06/reserve-spot-in-my-2011-family-history.html.

03 December 2010

Tracking Your Searches

The citation of genealogical sources has come a long way since I first began my genealogical research in the mid-1980s. That's a good thing.





But the tracking of how we research is one area where many genealogists still fall short. How many of us when we search online databases keep track of how we search? Do we keep track of what we enter in the various search boxes and what options are "checked" or "unchecked?" When names are found easily, I suppose it does not matter all that much. However, when a person or family is not found, it does make a difference.





As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm thinking about searching again for the passenger list entry for a relative who came to the United States with his family in the mid-1800s. Henry's one brother and daughter immigrated together in the 1850s, but I have not found Henry.





My search for him needs to be systematic. Otherwise, I am going to search the same variations over and over again and may overlook other options. The best way to do this is with a chart of search options based upon the search interface.



I will make a chart with one column for each of the search parameters I choose to use. This allows me to track my results.

We've used charts in many issues of Casefile Clues and several were used in a recent article that focused on a couple where I was able to find their passenger list entry from about the same time period. I do not think Henry and his family will be as easy to locate. And maybe that's why it would make an excellent article.

In a much earlier issue, we used 1870 census enumerations to determine the likely father for a woman who married in October of that year, shortly after the census. Our search procedure explained all the ways the census index was searched, in an attempt to locate every possible match within a several county area. Then the matches (except one) were eliminated for consideration as being the desired person. Reasons for the elimination were included along with the reasons for how the searches were constructed.

I'm a big fan of citing sources (Casefile Clues is heavily cited), but I'm a big fan of citing procedure as well. It is just as important as the citation of sources.

02 December 2010

One Day Discount Offer on Family History Library and Ft. Wayne Library Trips

For the past several years, I've lead research trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Both trips have focused on helping registrants with their research and keeping registration limited.

For just 24 hours after this post goes live, we are offering a 20% discount on both these research trips. I'm running two trips in 2011, one to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and one to the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

From now until 2:00 P.M. CST 3 December 2010, you can register at a twenty percent discount in either or both trips. This offer will not be repeated or extended. Links are below. Full payment must be made to get discount rate.To get the discounted rates, use the payment in this post only-return to this blog post if necessary after reading about the trip.


Make this your early present to yourself.

Passenger List Search for Henry Trautvetter Family

I thought it would not be too difficult finding the passenger manifest for the family of Henry and Barbara Trautvetter and their family. The family came to the United States in the mid-1800s, settling eventually in Illinois, but probably making a short pit stop in Kentucky on their way.

The family was in Montebello Township, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1860 which was mentioned in an earlier blog post. Searches for the family in the 1850 census were unsuccessful and searches of them in the passenger lists at Ancestry.com didn't yield too much either. Even unusual names are not always easy to find.

It is time to stop typing names in boxes and get organized.

In a recent issue of Casefile Clues, I mentioned a search process I used to locate another German family from about the same time span. It might be time to use a similar approach for this family.

I won't repeat the whole process here, but it boils down to:
  • What I know about the parents.
  • Look at the rest of the family.
  • When did the father naturalize.
  • Are any of the immigrants in 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 census.

Henry died in the early 1870s and Barbara died sometime after the 1880 census. Death records are not going to help on the passenger list problem. Two sons were alive in 1900 and might have provided a year of immigration to the census taker. That year or those years could be used as an estimate when searching the manifests ,but it could be wrong. An older daughter married in Germany and immigrated with her own family in 1853.

While I would like to find the manifest entry for the family, there's another question: Do I actually need it? Is it worth my time to find it? While every record can be helpful, in this case the time might be better spent.

I already have good leads on where Henry and Barbara were from in Germany through records on the children of Henry's brother. I know where Henry's brother was born in Germany and who the parents were. The manifest might reveal a new detail about the family, but it's not likely to provide me with information I already have.

I should organize what I have on Henry and Barbara in an attempt to locate their manifest entry. I'm not certain though that spending several hours on the actual search is worth it. Sometimes one has to prioritize.

Rootdig Blog on Kindle

The Rootdig Blog is now available on your Kindle. Remember that Rootdig is pretty much what crosses my desk as I research, with opinion, suggestions, commentary, and the occasional bit of attitude thrown in.

I don't put press releases here, don't really "promote" sites, etc. Usually I write about research that I'm actually doing, usually for my newsletter Casefile Clues. I don't write about things just to increase my web traffic, don't copy and paste information from other sites, and don't write about something because everyone else is doing it.

Stay tuned and get us on your Kindle.

01 December 2010

Rootdig for Your Kindle

The Rootdig.com Blog will be available for Kindle within a few days. We are making some minor changes to the blog with that in mind:
  • Notices about sales and promotions for Casefile Clues will be less often. We are going to be running fewer sales on Casefile Clues in the future so that I can devote more time to writing.
  • Minor formatting changes.
  • We don't "do genealogy news" on Rootdig.com. It's just about the research. We are going to try and get back to more opinion based articles here as were on here in the past.

I already have these blogs on Kindle:

Stay Tuned!

We will have an update when the Kindle link is operational.