16 August 2006

A few funnies

Here are some questions I have had in my email:

1) Why am I not in the Social Security Death Index?

2) I heard you had all the Illinois marriage records in the basement.

3) Can you find the email of my grandpa in Arkansas in 1910?

Here is an attempt at genealogical humor.


15 August 2006

Brick Walls From A to Z

Virtually every genealogist has at least one brick wall that they can't seem to surpass. Mine is Ira Sargent, born ca. 1845 in Canada, living in Illinois by 1880.

Regardless of where, when, or how there are some common ways that some brick walls can be broken. We've posted a list from A to Z of brick wall breakers on our site in the article section.


10 August 2006

Rich and Famous Ship Manifests

We've posted a few well-known people in ship manifests:

Charlie Chaplin, Jane Addams, Errol Flynn, Mark Twain and many more are listed.

08 August 2006


I am looking forward to the annual Federation of Genealogical Societies' annual conference--this year in Boston, Mass at the end of August. There is still time to register and the conference looks to be a great one. Kudos to Michael and Sue for lining up a great agenda in a great venue. More information on FGS and the conference can be located on the website at http://www.fgs.org.

Immigrant Trunk

This trunk belonged to my aunt who immigrated ca. 1870 to Keokuk Junction, Illinois (now Golden). It is not in the best of shape, but the front is lovely. All but two of her numerous siblings settled in either Adams or Hancock counties in Illinois, including Focke (Frank), my great-great-grandfather. I have one of his trunks too from a later voyage, but his name is not stenciled on it.

05 August 2006

Getting copies

I finally got a copy of my grandfather's 1917 birth certificate when I was in Salt Lake a few months ago. I had seen it years ago, but was too cheap to pay for an official copy. I thought it listed his first name along with both his middle names. My memory was incorrect, only one middle name was listed and the anglicized version of his mother's name was used. I also got his time of birth (2:45 a.m.), which I didn't have before. It's always good to get these events down as precisely as possible!

Remember that the Family History Library may have something on film which you sometimes can get much cheaper through your branch library than you can at the courthouse. In the case of this birth certificate from 1917, even with ordering the film on loan, I saved $6. In states where copies of vitals run as high as $20, the savings can be substantial.

And remember---RARELY do you need a birth or death certificate immediately, via fax, overnight mail, etc. If you are ordering the certificate online from anyone BUT the local records office, you are paying too much.


03 August 2006

Analyzing pre-1850 census entries

As most genealogists know, pre-1850 census records provide less direct information on the individuals enumerated. Names of only heads of household is a limitation. However, it is possible to do some analysis on these entries. We've posted a series of articles analyzing pre-1850 census entries for one family from Pennsylvania on our site for those who may need some direction on using records from this era.

02 August 2006

Genline workshop

We still have room in our two-day hands on workshop on using Genline.com for Swedish genealogical research. For those who are not aware, Genline offers online access to church records for all of Sweden and is an excellent source for those with Swedish ancestry.

Our workshop is on 18 and 19 August 2006 in Galesburg, Illinois, on the campus of Carl Sandburg College. All attendees will have their own computer to use for the duration of the workshop.

More information on the workshop can be found at:

More information on Genline can be found on their site.


Heritage Bears

For Christmas a few years ago, my mother had teddy bears made from my paternal grandmother's chenille bedspread. I thought this was a neat idea and have posted pictures of the bears on our site.