25 June 2013

Receiving Receipts

Receipt signed by Anna Goldenstein, 16 December 1924, obtained from Family History Library microfilm copy of court packet.

Receipts are sometimes overlooked by genealogists. They shouldn't be.

This 1924 receipt tells me that Anna Goldenstein was alive on 16 December 1924 and that she received a "distributive share" in the court case referenced on the receipt. For those of us who like to collect ancestral signatures, receipts are a great way to do that.

For those who are struggling with ancestral problems, receipts can help with that as well. This receipt does not provide residential clues for Anna Goldenstein directly, but there is a clue. This file contains over fifteen receipts and several have out-of-state locations written on them--and some do not. While it is not "proof," the absence of any "out-of-state" location on Anna's receipt should cause the researcher to begin looking for her in Adams County. It always pays to look at all the items, not just the one that is of immediate interest. Comparing Anna's receipt to others in the file helps me see how hers is the same and how it is different.

Of course Anna Goldenstein is not the most common name, but had the name been a common one the potential residential clue would have been helpful.

And, if I'm using "lack of a location" on the receipt as the basis for my assumption she was living in Adams County, Illinois, (or very near to it) in 1924, I should include that in my research notes and not just leave the thought in my head.

And I should cite the source. In these blog posts, we're not including complete citations--but there is enough information in the post for the researcher who wants to create the citation to do that.