31 July 2006

We're Really Cousins

I received an email today from a cousin. It is difficult for me to explain the relationship precisely because:
  • her paternal grandfather and my mother's paternal grandfather were brothers.
  • her maternal grandmother and my father's paternal grandmother were sisters.
  • and, one of her great-grandmothers was a sister to my great-great-grandfather.
Needless to say we're related ;-)
Once you get back five generations on her pedigree chart 5 out of 8 names in every generation are also on my pedigree chart!
Double cousins are pretty common for me---which explains why I have one genealogy database instead of several separate ones.

Found William Faulkner and J. Edgar Hoover

These were two of our contests and we have winners for locating:
1910 William Faulkner
1930 J. Edgar Hoover

Open contests are listed on our site.

29 July 2006

New Famous Census Search Contests

We have added the following Famous Census Search contests to our site, complete with new prizes:
1870 Thomas Edison
1930 J. Edgar Hoover
1910 William Faulkner
1930 Geogria O'Keefe

Good luck!

27 July 2006

Oct. 7, 2006-Spokane, Washington

I'll be presenting the Fall Seminar at the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society in Spokane, Washington, on October 7 2006. More information can be found on the society's website.

Reading Signatures

We've posted twentysome signature samples on our site. Those who are interested can take a shot at reading the writing.
Some are easier than others and we'll work on adding more as time goes on.

26 July 2006

Got Stones?

My ancestor Riley Rampley has three tombstones:

Riley died first, which explains the stone with just his name.

Look around near your ancestor's stone. You may find relatives. Or you just might find duplicates!

Riley and Nancy are buried in the Buckeye Cemetery in rural Hancock County, Illinois, a few miles west of West Point--and not too far from where their farm was located.

An Actress in NYC

One never knows what one will find.

The 1893 obituary for Marie Cawiezell in Davenport, Iowa, indicates her daughter Emma had died a few weeks earlier in NYC. Until I saw the obituary reference, I just assumed Emma had died "young" and eluded death records in Davenport and was buried in an unmarked grave.

A search of NYC death records indicated that she was living as an actress in NYC under the name of Emma Davis. Fortunately, her real name also was included on the death index. A copy of her death certificate can be viewed on our site.

Now to find out more about her.

25 July 2006

Found Mae West in 1930

We have a winner in our 1930 Find Mae West contest.
The entry has been posted at:
More contests will be announced later.

20 July 2006

WW Two era draft cards

This is the World War II draft for my grandfather. These cards are available from Selective Service as long as you can prove the registrant is deceased . We have an article on our site about accessing these draft cards from Selective Service.

19 July 2006

The Source

The newest version of the Source has just arrived in my mailbox. For those genealogists who don't have a copy and need some summer reading, it will provide you with hours of learning. The first edition of the source was one of the first genealogical reference books I ever bought.

The Source can be purchased directly from Ancestry.

We will be reviewing the newest edition of The Source in an upcoming column on Ancestry's blog.

18 July 2006

FGS Boston 2007

There is still plenty of time to register for the Federation of Genealogical Societies' conference in Boston, Mass. 30 Aug through 2 Sept. I'll be there, speaking, visiting the exhibit hall and catching up with other genealogists.

For the conference program grid and to register: http://www.fgs.org/2006conf/FGS-2006.htm

To keep up-to-date on conference details and news: www.FGSConference.blogspot.com

To see the list of Exhibit Hall exhibitors: http://www.fgs.org/2006conf/conf-exhibitors.asp


Did Grandpa and Grandma Immigrate Too?

Tips from the Pros: Did Grandpa and Grandma Immigrate Too?

from Michael John Neill (from the 24-7 Family History Blog at Ancestry.com)

Don’t overlook Grandpa and Grandpa in your search for immigrant ancestors. When it is determined that an ancestor emigrated as an adult, the thought many times is that the parents remained in the old country, never to see their child again. This is not necessarily so. There were no age limits on immigration and ship manifests are scattered with names of individuals in their sixties and seventies leaving their homeland.

Widows or widowers whose children had all left were more likely to emigrate, perhaps when the last child left. It may explain why an elderly couple has disappeared in the old country.

In my research, when one set of my ancestors disappeared from the church records of their local parish, I assumed it was because they moved to a nearby parish and I had just failed to locate them. A comprehensive search of census and cemetery records for the children in the United States located them on the opposite side of the Atlantic. They were enumerated with a married daughter in the 1870 census and are buried in the same cemetery as that daughter. So if Grandpa and Grandma are lost, don’t neglect the possibility that they might have crossed the pond as well.

The post can be viewed on the Ancestry.com blog here along with other posts

Florence Nightengale in 1871 and 1881

I added these images to make our Florence Nightengale UK census page complete.

Lewis Carroll in 1841 and 1851

We have added 1841 and 1851 census images for Lewis Carroll to our site (of course, Lewis Carroll is not his real name).


Summer is a great time to visit cemeteries and photograph tombstones. Just remember to leave no mess and obtain permission before crossing private property. More suggestions on photographing stones and making rubbings can be found on our site.

The picture to the left was taken at the West Point, Hancock County, Illinois, cemetery and is the stone of my great-grandparents.

17 July 2006

Karl Marx in the Census

Karl Marx spent a great deal of his life in the United Kingdom (which I forgot) and is enumerated in the 1851-1881 Census for the UK. We have created a webpage with links to the images here:


Famous United Kingdom Residents in the Census

We've modified our UK Famous census page, which includes links census images for the following:

Queen Victoria
Lewis Carroll
Charlie Chaplin
Agatha Christie
Winston Churchill
Charles Darwin
Charles Dickins
Alfred Hitchcock
Rudyard Kipling
A A Milne
Florence Nightingale
Beatrix Potter
Alfred Tennyson
J R R Tolkien
H G Wells
Oscar Wilde

14 July 2006

Find Mae West in 1930

We have announced our latest search contest:
Mae West in 1930
More details have been posted at:

13 July 2006

2007 Research Trip to Salt Lake

We are taking reservations on our 2007 trip to Salt Lake City, where you can overload on genealogical information. More information about our trip has been posted on our site.

Before Looking for a Civil War Pension

There is a lot one should do before searching for a Civil War pension, and there are several finding aids to these records that are NOT online.

A recent article posted to our site discusses searching for pension records--one of the best genealogical sources there is.



1920 Famous Census Additions

We have added the 1920 census image for
Mae West
Cy Young

to our site. These two individuals were subjects of our "famous census" search contest.

The images can be viewed from

03 July 2006

Fred Astaire, Irving Berlin and Henry Ford

We've added census images for the following to our site:
1910 Henry Ford
1910 Irving Berlin
1920 Fred Astaire

Just go to our main page and choose the desired year:

These were submitted by contest winners. We are hoping to announce more contests later in the week at http://www.rootdig.com/contest/


01 July 2006

Primary and Secondary

The difference between primary and secondary confuses many genealogists. I posted an article today which discusses the difference. It is also important to remember that classifying a piece of information as either primary or secondary is only PART of the process by which one decides how reliable a given piece of information is.

The article can be found at:



New Famous Census Search Contests

We have added famous census search contests for the following individuals on our site:

1910 Henry Ford
1910 Irving Berlin
1920 George Burns
1920 Fred Astaire

details are on our site at:http://www.rootdig.com/contest/