30 April 2007

What name do you use?

I've used my complete name ever since I started writing and lecturing about genealogy. However, the funny thing is that many times I get "billed" as John Michael Neill or John Neill.

Ironic when one considers that my name was actually supposed to be in that order. That is another story.

But it goes to show that occasionally even genealogists get names wrong. I'm not bothered by the name change, but it does make a point: even family historians, who are often painfully aware of name variants, can occasionally make a mistake.

The only thing that really irritates me is when my last name is written as O'Neill. Since 1864 we have never had an "O." I figure why start now?

It also gets spelled as Neil or Neal and the ways it gets pronounced never ceases to amaze me. But it could have been worse: My mother's maiden name was Ufkes and my grandmother's maiden name was Trautvetter.

Which DAR line to work on?

I've been thinking about the two lines of descent my wife has from Revolutionary era ancestors. And after some thought, I've decided which line will probably be easiest to prove. Unfortunately it is not the Jones line that I have been working on the past several days.

The Jones line has two problems. The first is connecting the Benjamin Jones of Stokes County, South Carolina, with Revolutionary service with the Aquilla Jones who was in Tennessee and Missouri. I think they are father and son and can make a reasonable case, but there are still holes in it. I'll continue to work on it as it is an interesting problem--but I think it will be a while before it stands a fair amount of scrutiny (unless there is a document out there just waiting to be found). The second issue with this line is proving the connection between the Aquilla Jones (of Howard County, Missouri) and the Wesley Jones of Macon County, Missouri. .

The other line may be easier--partially because the last name is not as common as Jones.

Conrad Wickiser (variant spellings) of Luzerne County, PA had military service. Connecting him to his son Abraham Wickiser will be easier than making the Jones connection. Abraham migrated to Delaware County, Ohio, leaving no neat and easy records proving his children either and he and his wife are apparently both dead by the mid 1850s. However, there are a series of deeds that fairly clearly indicate Abraham's daughters, including Lucinda Wickiser Kile, of Mercer County, Illinois.

Lucinda had many children, including a daughter Nancy. Nancy never married but had children and herein lies the problem. Long story short is that Nancy had several children with the same man, clearly evidenced by various records. One of these children is my wife's great-grandmother, Jennie Kile Smith Trask, born in Mercer County, Illinois, in the 1870s. From there until the present day the line is pretty easy to establish.

I'm not certain how DAR deals with out-of-wedlock issue. Nancy and her children's father were clearly not married. It is not just a case of a missing marriage record (the father was married, but to someone else).

I'll have to add work on the early generations of the Wickiser family to my list for Salt Lake.

Is there a cat in the hat nearby?

The 1910 census entry shows a young Theodor Geisel living with his parents in Massachusetts. I'm not certain whether or not they were eating green eggs and ham on the day the census taker came...they don't ask interesting questions like that ;-)

Is there a brewery nearby?

The occupation column for this census page contains several well-known individuals, all employed in the Brewery business. In fact, many of the individuals on the entire page are apparently working for the brewery.
The family name will be easily recognized, but remember they are not related to another family whose name is very similar but missing the "h" on the end.

St. Charles Genealogy Society Makes St. Louis Post Dispatch

There is a nice article in today's St. Louis Post Dispatch about the St. Charles County [Missouri] Genealogical Society.

I've presented quite a few times for the St. Charles folks and they are a really great group of genealogists. The article was a good one, too.

29 April 2007

Are you just overwhelmed?

Sometimes one can only handle so much genealogical information or stories to work on.

Readers of the blog might remember that I'm trying to cement connections between a Revolutionary serviceman from the Carolinas, Benjamin Jones, with an Aquilla Jones who married Lettie (Hooper) Cooke in Davidson County, Tennessee and later settled in Howard County, Missouri. Aquilla is probably the father of a Wesley Jones who marries Matilda Patrick in Randolph County Missouri in the 1830s.

Then there is a the brother of my great-grandmother who was probably murdered in Kansas City in the 1920s. That story is still on my to-do list, although a search of Kansas City newspapers resulted in no mention of the case.

Last week, I found out that a first cousin of my great-great-grandfather Trautvetter was on the run from the law in April of 1902 and apparently apprehended in Boston. More on that as I am able to add details. This was a story I had never heard.

My wife's uncle George Washington Drollette was a private secretary to the US ambassador to China Edwin Conger in the 1901 era. So far, I have not had much luck locating information on his service overseas either.

Add these to the dead ends I've got and there is quite a list.

28 April 2007

More on Analyzing Pre-1850 Census Entries

I had nearly forgotten that several years ago we posted an extensive series of articles on searching per-1850 census records for Thomas Chaney of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Those articles are housed on our site at:

Land Patents of Aquilla Jones

I am still thinking that the connection between Aquilla Jones (of Davidson County, TN and later Howard County, MO) needs something more concrete than what I currently have.

In an attempt to locate more information I searched for Aquilla on the BLM Land Patent site. There were three results as shown. Turns out that the first two are probably for the Aquilla I am looking for. The first one from 1961 is a delayed patent, originally intended to be issued in 1825 and the second one indicates the Aquilla Jones is of Howard County. Both of these warrant followup, especially how the land was disposed of by Aquilla. Hopefully there was an estate or deed to settle it up. Consequently I'll be looking for probate/land records in both Franklin and Howard Counties.

But I nearly overlooked the 1961 deed thinking it was too late--just goes to show.

Small images of the two patents are included in this post

Searching pre and post 1850 census records

One hurdle faced by family historians is working in pre-1850 census records. Although only the heads of household are listed, these records do have value. Head of household census records can provide valuable clues about family structure that may not be available in other records. Census records should be included as an integral part of any research plan for 1790-1850 era research.

Assessment of pre-1850 federal census enumerations needs to be done carefully, as occasionally different interpretations can reasonably be made. It is important to note assumptions....

Our discussion of the analysis of the census records of Augusta Newman 1820-1860 continues in the article posted on our site. I'd be interested in hearing from any descendants of Augusta--he's my 4th great-grandfather.

Those interested can Search US Federal Census Records at Ancestry.com

27 April 2007

Need a death date for a Civil War Veteran?

Need a date of death for a Civil War veteran, but have no idea where to look?

The Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900, on microfilm at the National Archives, the Family History Library (card catalog reference), and Footnote.comhas a line on each index card for when and where the soldier died.

Many cards do not have a death date and place (at least I saw quite a few that did not), but it might be worth a try if you know the guy was in the service and just can't find out where he died and do not want to order the entire pension file to find out.

The card in this post is a sample of one from the 78th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, the same unit as my ancestor and his brother. Of course their cards did not have a date and place of death, but I already knew it.

The main thing is that this might be a help. Using the cards on film (NARA or FHL) requires that one know the unit (because that is how the cards are organized). Using the cards at Footnote.com
only requires a name as they are indexed.

Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation

I located a first cousin of my ancestor in the Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation from 1908-1922 at Footnote.com.

John Fecht of Varna, Illinois, and two of his children were suspected of pro-German activity. There are three interesting pages of testimony from the agent assigned to the case. The file contains just of three pages; only the first one is reproduced here.

The unnamed daughter was a teacher and "radically pro-German." She also had "some bank account."

According to the testimony, John still had siblings in Germany, including one brother in the Army. The family at first did not appear conducive to the agent's requests, and wanted nothing to do with war bonds and had no interest in the government's involvement in the war. The agent asked several other questions and gave the father and the two adult children the night to apparently "think things over."

The next morning, the agent accompanied "them" to the bank and watched the son Anton buy war bonds. Whether "them" is all three or not is not clear.

The Case Files can be browsed at Footnote, but viewing images requires access.


Source information:

Suspect Name: John Fecht

Collection Title: Investigative Reports of the Bureau of Investigation 1908-1922
Publication Number: M1085
Series: Old German Files, 1909-21


Footnote Users Meeting at NGS-Richmond

Footnote.com will be hosting a meeting of Footnote.com users at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 10:00 AM. Footnote users who live near Richmond or who will be attending the 2007 NGS Conference, are welcome to attend.

Unfortunately I won't be at NGS in Richmond...

Those unfamiliar with Footnote may wish to do some exploring of the site which offers digital images of NARA microfilms not found elsewhere.

26 April 2007

Working on Benjamin Jones

A search of the Family History Library Card Catalog indicates they have several items for Stokes County, Northa Carolina that may be helpful in my search for more information on Benjamin Jones:

My real concern is to try and connect Benjamin Jones with Aquilla of Davidson County, Tennessee and Howard County, Missouri. That is one of my goals while I'm on my trip to the Family History Library in May.

Delayed births are not always with the delayed births

For reasons that are not entirely apparent, Lillian Apgar's birth certificate was recorded on 3 March 1931, one day after her twenty-first birthday. Her sister's was recorded a few days later, but has the wrong date of birth. These certificates were recorded with the 1910 births and not in a separate series of records.

These certificates and the certificate for a younger brother of these two sisters are analyzed in an article on our site.

What was interesting in this case of Chicago birth certificates was that of the four children the parents had, one daughter's record was never recorded.

Unfortunately that missing daughter is my wife's grandmother.

A German Takes the Census

Would you have thought that entry 70/71 was supposed to be Riley Rampley? Sure enough it is. The first time I searched for Riley years ago, I never realized this entry was for him. I knew the family was living in Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois--where they had lived for years, but could not find them.
The German-born census taker occasionally put his own spin on the surnames when completing the enumeration. The wife of Riley is actually Nancy, but it has been spelled Nanzy.
And the Thomas Ramplie (71/72) is Riley's older brother.

25 April 2007

A good way to prepare for any research trip

A good way to prepare for any research trip is to write up the information you already have, as if you were going to submit it for publication. You don't have to submit it to anyone, but just the fact of writing it up, organizing it, and making your case and summarizing the details you know will get you on track for continuing your research and noticing holes.

I've often pulled up old Ancestry articles I have written to use when at a library when doing research.

Your writing need not be fancy (but it should be sourced). And your written up summary is better to take with you than just untranscribed copies of your records.

Take with a grain of salt

I'm going to have to take the material that comes in the Amy Jones Doyle book with a grain of salt (as one should information from any published compiled genealogy). She does not indicate that any of Wesley Jones' children married a Rhodus/Rhodes. Yet the probate for Wesley Jones clearly indicates that he had a daughter Lucretia M. K. Rhodus. The "M" likely stood for Matilda. Doyle indicates another husband for this child.

However, it does not appear that Lucretia was married before either. There is an 1850 Macon County, Missouri marriage for Jones and Rhodes, using those last names--pretty much eliminating the possibility that she was married before her marriage to Rhodes/Rhodus.

I'll still get the genealogy when I'm in Salt Lake this May and copy or scan it--whichever I can do fastest. But I'll use it as a source of clues and leads not as facts--which is how one should use any compiled genealogy.

Connection to Aquilla Jones

This is a quick sketch of the connection to Aquilla Jones.

1) Aquilla Jones, died 1843 Howard County, Missouri.
2) Wesley Jones, born likely in Davidson County, Tennessee, died 1878 near Callao, Missouri.
3) Matilda Jones, married William Rhodes. Died and buried in Macon County, Missouri in the 1880s.
4) Clara Rhodes, married Granville Lake. She was born in 1867 in Macon County, Missouri and died in 1921 in Macon County, Missouri.
5) Ola Lake (1906-1969), married Anna Apgar--my wife's grandparents

Working on Benjamin Jones

A google search turned up an abstract from the Revolutionary War Pension file of Benjamin Jones. There was speculation in this file that Benjamin was the father of Aquilla, but nothing concrete and no source listed. That helps.

A search for Benjamin Jones on WorldConnect yielded several hits, but the only sources I was able to locate were:

  • A will reference. Aquilla supposedly had a brother Gabriel who wrote his will in 1806 and an Aquilla Jones is listed as the executor. I'll have to see if these records are in the Family History Library.

At this juncture, I'm not too worried about who Benjamin's parents are. The WorldConnect postings disagree about Benjamin's parents, but at this point I'm more concerned to proving/disproving the connection of Benjamin with service to Aquilla Jones, ancestor of my wife. I think what I need to do is also look for land/probate records in Stokes County, where this Benjamin Jones died. I need something connecting him to Aquilla.

There's still room for those who want to join us on our trip to the Salt Lake City Family History Library in May.

24 April 2007

Getting Ready for Salt Lake City Family History Library

I'll have a small amount of time to work on my own families while leading our second annual research trip to Salt Lake City's Family History Library this coming May, so I've decided to work on one of my wife's families. She's been wanting to join the DAR, so I decided upon two lines that will be the easiest to prove descent from. Each have problems.

The first line begins with a Benjamin Jones in the Carolinas. The problem is attaching him to an Aquilla Jones who ended up travelling through Tennessee and Missouri. The case I have seen so far is somewhat circumstantial and I have to make certain I have the right Benjamin Jones. The line of descent from Aquilla to my wife is fairly solid.

The second line begins with Conrad Wickiser who served from Pennsylvania. I think his service is pretty solid and the connection to his son Abram is as well. Abram left no will or probate records, but a series of land records in Ohio seems to indicate one of his daughters was Lucinda Wickiser Kile, who later lived in Mercer County, Illinois.

The problem comes a couple of generations later. Lucinda's daughter Nancy had several out of wedlock children. They are fairly well documented, but there are no birth records for the children, but several records indicate Nancy was their mother. The problem will be convincing others of the connection.

So in my spare time I'm organizing my information on these two lines and looking at the card catalog for the Family History Library for these two families and will work on them hit and miss as I can. The organization is something I'm encouraging our trip participants to do. The hit and miss aspect of it I'm not.

There is still room on our May 2007 trip to Salt Lake City's Family History Library for those who've never made the trek to the world's largest genealogical library.

Using Gmail for my mailing lists

I've used gmail for sometime and really like it for subscribing to the genealogy mailing lists that I am on. The messages stay threaded in the display which saves space and makes deleting topics I am not interested in. And having a "permanent" email address is really nice--especially one separate from my "other" email address.

I'd encourage anyone who didn't have a gmail address to get one. Or at least get an account at yahoo or hotmail to handle your genealogy mail.


Yahoo mail



World Vital Records and Everton's Handy Book

Everton Publishers (via their World Vital Records site) is offering an electronic copy of their Handy Book free with a two-year subscription to World Vital Records. The Handy Book is the first genealogy how-to book I ever bought over twenty years ago and one I still use on a regular basis. The maps of migration trails in the back are just excellent and particularly helpful.

Additionally the book has county maps of every state and information on state records in every state.

The ad below will take you to the World Vital Records site.

The Handybook is one of those books that every genealogist must have. And now it won't even take up spaec on your self.

How to appear in Photos

Yahoo has this article on how to look thinner in photographs, which is all fine and good, I guess. However there are those who are suggesting using Photoshop to "clean up" the pictures. How will we ever know which side of the family got "the nose" if they have edited them out of the picture?

If great-grandma edited her picture, how would we know who got her facial features?

1930 Census-President Bush

Future president George W. Bush is only enumerated in 1930 with the "W" he's the Walker shown here in part of the 1930 census enumeration for he and his family.

1930 Census Bob Barker

Bob Barker's getting ready to retire from the "Price is Right" television game show. Well...after all, he was six years old in 1930...so you do the math. The image here shows part of his 1930 census entry in Missouri with his family.

You can View Census Records Online at Ancestry.com or you rcan read our suggestions for a 14 day free trial here.

23 April 2007

Playing with Obituaries at GenealogyBank.com

I got to playing around with the modern obituaries today at GenealogyBank.com. The only reason I should not have is that I kept finding things I wanted to look at. Using it for some of my more uncommon last names (Ufkes and Trautvetter) I located a few people I was not already aware of. Personally this is much easier than searching for obituaries on google or one of the many other search engines.

There were only three Cawiezells listed, now to just figure out how they are related.

If you haven't given the modern obituaries at GenealogyBank.com a try, consider doing it today.
But don't forget to browse around and find out what papers they have and what years they cover...good methodology tells us we need to know what we are searching.

Footnote adds some OCR capabillities

After a little experimental searching, it appears that Footnote has added some OCR capabilities, at least for some of those records that were typed in the first place. While experimenting around with the Investigative Reports of the Bureau of Investigation 1908-1922, I noticed that results were coming from within the body of a document, not just the bibliographic citation. The part of the page containing the located text is enlarged, so one can tell if the word is really the desired one.

My search for Mimke and Mimka turned up some interesting hits, only a few of which were because of the first name Mimke/Mimka--which is what I was actually looking for. However, I did like that on the results page was a snippet of the page showing the located item. This way I can determine if I need to view the entire page or not. This is a helpful feature--especially for those who are still on dialup.

Footnote's website can be viewed here http://www.footnote.com

Of course, OCR technology is difficult to perform on handwritten text.

Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Seminar

Saturday I presented four lectures at the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society Seminar. I enjoyed my brief trip to Pittsburgh and hope everyone who attended took some ideas for continuing their own research.

The websites mentioned (besides those in the handout) were:

The "Old German files" are here:

The unit index to pension records are here:

My page on pension records is here:

19 April 2007

Getting Ready for Pittsburgh

I'm wrapping up my presentations for the Western Pennsylvania Genealogical Society' s Spring Seminar in the Pittsburgh area this Saturday, April 21st. I'm looking forward to the seminar and my trip to Pittsburgh.

I'll be talking on the following topics:

  • Organizing Your Information: Seeing the Patterns

  • Discovering Your Own Migration Trail

  • Researching Your European Origins Online

  • Brickwalls A to Z

I'm not certain if they are taking registrations this late or not, but there is a phone number on their registration page.

18 April 2007

Emailing Scanned Pages at ACPL

The Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne has an HP Digital Sender 9200C which allows users to scan documents and email the image to themself or to another researcher.

You could email images to yourself for use on your own computer, to send to another researcher, or to post on your blog. Just remember to not violate copyright!

WiFi at Allen County Library

For all those who are going on our trip to the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne this May, the library does have wifi access throughout the building. You can easily connect your own laptop or other device to the internet while at the ACPL and communicate/share what you find as you find it. Of course, you won't want to spend all your time at the ACPL online. That you can do at home.

However, the ability to communicate instantly while at the library with anyone via email or chat can be very handy. The library also has microfilm scanners.

More information about our library trip to Ft. Wayne can be found on our site.

17 April 2007

Ft. Wayne Research Trip--Hotel Information

Just to remind you....the cost of the trip does not include the hotel. One version of our flyers seemed to indicate the hotel was included. It is not. Those arrangements need to be made separately. More information on our trip is at:

Questions about the trip can be sent to me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com. If I cannot answer them, I will forward them to someone who can.

15 April 2007

Still room on Ft. Wayne Trip--May 2007

There is still room on the trip I am working on with the St. Charles County (Missouri) Genealogical Society to the newly remodeled and improved Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana in May of 2007.

You don't have to live in the St. Charles/St.Louis area to join us. We have people who drive or fly to Ft. Wayne and meet us there (more information on the sliding fee scale is at http://www.rootdig.com/acpltrip.html).

This is our 9th annual trip and we always have a good time and the St. Charles group is a excellent bunch of people to work with. You don't have to be a member of the society to attend either.

I'm in the library the entire time it is open for the duration of our trip for consultations and to help you on the fly as needed. We have people attend who need little direction and people who are new to library research that feel they need some guidance. For those, I usually review their problem, give them "homework" and have them report back when they have done that. For others, a few quick suggestions are all they usually need.

For more information, visit our trip website at www.rootdig.com/acpltrip.html. We'd love to have you join us. Questions can also be emailed to me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com

Still Room on Salt Lake City Trip--May 2007

We still have spaces on our genealogy research trip to Salt Lake City in May 2007.
I'll be there to help you with your research while at the library and problems/questions can be submitted to me before so we can have you ready to start researching when you arrive.
We don't just drop you off in the library to let you wander around and wonder what to do...we are there to help.
For more information on our trip, visit out site at http://www.rootdig.com/slctrip.html
or email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com
We'd love to have you join us.

DeedMapper Seminar in St. Charles, Missouri

Saturday afternoon I spent several hours making a computer presentation on using DeedMapper for genealogical research for the Genealogical Society in St. Charles, Missouri. Given the mathematical nature of plotting property in metes and bounds, I like showing how the program works and the ways of entering in property descriptions to have the maps automatically drawn and how to fit parcels together.

Drawing out estate partitions in metes and bounds states or land patents isn't super easy, but with a program like this it is not difficult at all. Fitting them together can sometimes be a challenge.

I've given the Deedmapper presentation as an all-day workshop in some locations. Email me (mjnrootdig@gmail.com) if you'd be interested in having me make the presentation for your group.

09 April 2007

DeedMapper and Preserving Information Workshop-St. Charles, MO 14 April

There are still openings in our workshops as of now.

Anyone who is stillinterested is welcome to join us, but please email the two individuals listed on our webpage to let us know you are coming.

The St. Charles County Genealogical Society and St. Charles Community College are co-sponsoring two half-day computer genealogy workshops inSt. Peters, Missouri, for the St. Charles County Genealogical Society on 14 April 2007. One session will be on preserving and publishing your research online and the afternoon session will be on usingDeedMapper to plat ancestral properties.

Sessions will be held in a computer lab and registrants will have acomputer to use during the applicable parts of our workshops.The workshop will be held at St. Charles Community College in St. Peters.More information on the workshop can be found athttp://www.rootdig.com/stchas2007.htm

Genealogy Cruises

Dick Eastman has been mentioning genealogy cruises on his blog and their apparent popularity.

I am afraid that I just don't understand the appeal. Opportunities for genealogical instruction are great, but I'm not convinced that the cruises are for everyone.

One draw of the land-based conferences is that I don't need an entire week or more of time off work to attend. In fact, I can even attend half of the conference if I so desire..and I can leave whenever I need to. This gives me great flexibility. I have too many obligations at home to be gone for over one week.

The exhibit hall is another huge draw for me as well. And personally, I would love to spend either a week in Richmond or in Ft. Wayne. There are excellent research facilities in both venues and Richmond offers a close proximity to a wonderful variety of historical sites for the genealogist who is not from the area.

And if I ever get to go on a cruise, I don't think I want to be attending lectures, classes, etc. every day while doing it. A vacation is supposed to be a time to "get away," not a time to "drag it with me." And I know me...the chance I go on a cruise is close to zero. If I get the time and the money, I'm visiting ancestral homelands in Europe--I'll leave the cruises to someone else.

Of course my opinion is biased. This is written by someone whose never been inside a casino or made the thirty mile trip to visit one of the Mississippi riverboat casinos either (nor have I ever bought a lottery ticket...)

06 April 2007

Surviving Four Husbands...

Wills can answer questions or raise them. Sarah Turberville's Orange County Will is one such document.

From Orange County, Virginia, Will book 2, pages 310-311:

In the Name of God Amen I Sarah Turbervile of Orange County in the Colony of Virginia . . . do make & Ordain this my last Will . . .
I give to my Son John Willis one Shilling sterling . . .
I give to my son William Willis Ten Shillings . . .
I give to my son Henry Wood Two pounds . . .
I give to my son David Hudson one Shilling sterling . . .
I give to my son Joshua Hudson one Shilling Sterling ....

and so it goes. The question is, how many times was Sarah married? And how many husbands did she outlive? The search for information on Sarah led me through several husbands and taught me about Virginia inheritance and probate settlement in the mid-18th century.

Articles about Sarah on our site:

The Oftmarried Sarah
Rushing Around to Figure Sarah Out
The Reality of Sarah's Realty

Sarah is my ancestor. She's also the ancestor of a well-known radio personality who shall remain anonymous.

President Madison in 1820

Residing in Orange County, Virginia, former president James Madison had his name underlined and commented on to make him easier to find.
Those who want to see the entire entry can search the 1820 at Ancestry.com. His name is spelled correctly in the index.
If you don't have a subscription to Ancestry.com, you can read our suggestions for a 14 day free trial here.

Working with pre and post 1850 census records

We recently posted an article about my work on a family in the 1820 through the 1860 census, determining what the records said and what they did not say. In a future posting, we'll look at how this analysis compared with additional records.

05 April 2007

Samuel Morse in 1860

The man credited with developing Morse code is shown as a 69 year old "professor" in this 1860 census enumeration from New York City. He has several other family members living with him, including one who is termed an idiot.
You can search the 1860 Census at Ancestry.com for your relative---who may or may not have been listed as an idiot. If you don't have a subscription, you can read our suggestions for a 14 day free trial here.

1860 Census Belle Starr

She's not really named Belle Starr--although that would have made her easier to find in the census.

Search the 1860 Census at Ancestry.com for your relative---whose name hopefully is known to you. If you don't have a subscription, you can read our suggestions for a 14 day free trial here.

Free Genealogy

Like a sine curve which repeatedly rises and falls, there is always a discussion that genealogy should be free and that companies should not charge for what one can get for "free" elsewhere. Ever been to an airport? Right next to the drinking fountain they sell bottles of water for $2.50. I don't see any picket signs. I don't see any protestors. Where is the outcry? There is never discussion that they should not sell water when one can get it for free.

I can go down to the library and get census on microfilm. Free. Just gotta haul my butt down there when it is open and wait for a machine. And hope they have the census for that county 600 miles from here.

Frankly, I'm more concerned about the health care crisis and general literacy levels in this country than I am the "free genealogy crisis."

I choose to pay to have access to the indexed census in my home rather than go to the library. I love libraries, but I don't always have time to get there. Someone wants to index records, digitize them and charge for access. Getting paid for work, or should they work for free? Tell that to the company holding your mortgage.

Well, they charge for water to come into my home and heaven knows I NEED water a lot more than I need genealogy data. I can survive for years without an indexed census. I can't live very long without water. Of course, I can always go down the creek with my bucket. That's free...as long as I don't get caught trespassing.

And to be honest anyone who is on one of the many genealogy mailing lists might be surprised about how much help they will be able to get for free. More help and assistance right in their own home than we would have dreamed up twenty years ago.


04 April 2007

Google ads on our site--more McCain ads

I'm always a little bit curious about the banner ads from google that appear on our site. An ad for John McCain appeared again on the very bottom of our main page. This is the second time I've seen a McCain ad on our site. In fact, his ads are the only political ads I've seen on our site. Not really genealogy news, but I wonder what demographics about my site visitors or text on my pages made them think it was worth placing the ad. Back to genealogy work...I'll keep looking for the dead..whether they were voters or not!

What is that Name?

This is an ancestor of mine in the 1920 census. This censustaker had wonderful penmanship. We'll allow reader comments on this name and the name of her son below. It took me a while to find this great-great-great-grandmother in 1920. In fact, I only have two great-great-great-grandparents alive in 1920 and both were deceased by the 1930 enumeration.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1901

The image on the right shows Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the 1901 United Kingdom census living in Sussex. The Scottish native is listed as a physician.

1901 Census--Virginia Woolf

She wasn't always Virginia Woolf...in 1901, she is enumerated with her father as Adeline Virginia Stephen with her widowed father in London.

The 1901 England Censu is available at Ancestry.com

Claude Monet in 1901

The image on the right is part of the 1901 census entry for artist Claude Monet. The French-born artist is living in England in 1901.

The 1901 England Census can be searched at Ancestry.com.

Searching the Census the Old Fashioned Way

Let's face it. Sometimes the index does not work and a manual search of the census is necessary. Some names are impossible to read or simply get transcribed in such a way that wildcard and soundex searches are not effective. This was the case with my search Panagiotis Verikios in Chicago--the index just did not locate him. The details of the search , Panning For Panagiotis can be found on our site.

A $31.44 Inheritance

In the 1950s, my grandmother inherited $31.44 from a relative, Anna Haase. The estate settlement of Miss Haase points to the importance of tracking down such records for relatives who die with enough property to probate and no descendants of their own. The article I wrote on the estate settlement and estate records in general may be worth a look if the only wills/probates you have searched for have been for your own direct line ancestors.

A $31.44 Inheritance explains how Grandma's $31.44 inheritance was determined and how intestate probate cases in these situations usually work.

Famous People in the 1930 Census

Here is a list of all the people for whom we have a 1930 census enumeration. Each name is linked to the actual census image. Suggestions for additions (or corrections) can be sent to me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com. Subscribers to Ancestry.com or Heritagequest.com can serach there for additional names if they are not on our list. If you don't have ancestry.com and decide to get it, please read our free trial suggestions first.

Roy Acuff
Ansel Adams
Edie Adams
Jane Addams
Max Adler
Spiro Agnew
Eddie Albert
Buzz Aldrin
Andrews Sisters
Actress Bea Arthur
Louis Armstrong
Maya Angelou
Publisher Moses Annenberg
James Arness
Ed Asner
Fred Astaire
Vincent Astor estate--a whole page
Gene Autry
Lauren Bacall
Burt Bacharach
Lucille Ball
James Baldwin
Norma Jean Baker (Marilyn Monroe)
Theda Bara (Brabin)
Bob Barker
Alben Barkley US VP under Truman
John Barrymore
Lionel Barrymore
Ida Wells Barnett
Frances Bavier
Warner Baxter
Saul Bellow
Jack Benny
Wallace Berry
Milton Berle
Irving Berlin
Leonard Bernstein
Yogi Berra
Chuck Berry
Clarence Birdseye
Joey/Joseph Bishop
Richard and Henry Block--H & R Block
Erma Bombeck
Sorrell Booke
Tom Bosley
Clara Bow
Marlon Brando
General Omar Bradley
Charles Bronson
Mel Brooks
Helen Gurley Brown
William S. Burroughs
August Busch
Barbara Bush
President George Bush
Sid Caesar
Jimmy Cagney
Cab Calloway
Archie Campbell
Al Capone's House
Truman Capote
Frank Capra
Johnny Carson
Art Carney
President Jimmy Carter
Rosalynn Carter
George Washington Carver
Adriana Caselotti---the Voice of Snow White
June Carter Cash
Jeff Chandler NEW
Anton Cermak
Charlie Chaplin
Lon Chaney
John Cheever --- author
Julia Child
Dick Clark
Rose Mary Clooney
Claudette Colbert
William Coates--"oldest" man in America?
Imogene Coca
Nat King Cole
Ronald Coleman
President Calvin Coolidge
Gary Cooper
Adolph Coors
Ellen Corby
Judge Joseph Crater NEW
Joan Crawford
Betty Crocker
Bing Crosby
Ty Cobb
Perry Como
Lou Costello
Walter Cronkite
e e cummings
Charles Curtis--Vice President in 1930 NEW
Tony Curtis
Marion Davies
Jim Davis
Ossie Davis
Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley
Emmett Dalton (last surviving member of Dalton Gang)
Doris Day
John Delorean
Cecil De Mille
Jack Dempsey
Babe Didrikson
Phyllis Diller
John Dillinger
Joe Dimaggio
Walt Disney
Bob Dole
Herbert Dow (founder of Dow Chemical)
Kirk Douglas
Howard Duff
Irene Dunne
George Eastman of Eastman Kodak
Clint Eastwood (parents)
Amelia Earhart
Buddy Ebsen
Nelson Eddy
Thomas Edison-- New Jersey
Thomas Edison--Florida
Dwight Eisenhower
Duke Ellington
Ralph Ellison --author
Everleigh Sisters
Max Factor
Philo Farnsworth
William Faulkner
Mark Felt (Watergate informant "Deep Throat")
Richard Feynman NEW
W. C. Fields
Larry Fineof the 3 stooges
Harvey Firestone
Henry Fonda
Betty Ford
Edsel Ford
President Gerald Ford
Glenn Ford
Henry Ford
Mary Ford
Redd Foxx
Arlene Francis
Betty Friedan
Milton Friedman
Robert Frost
Ernest and Julio Gallo
Joe Garagiola
Judy Garland
Janet Gaynor
Dizzie Gillespie
Jackie Gleason
John Glennon (archbishop of St. Louis)
Billy Graham

J. Paul Getty
George and Ira Gershwin
John Gilbert
Dizzy Gillespie
John Glenn
Samuel Goldwyn
Benny Goodman
Peter Graves
Andy Griffith
Merv Griffin
Woody Guthrie
Comedian Oliver Hardy
Jean Harlow
Bill Haley of Bill Haley and the Comets
Earl Hamner (Walton's Mountain)
Helen Hayes
Rita Hayworth
Publisher William Hearst
Katharine Hepburn
Woody Herman
Milton S. Hershey
Charlton Heston
William Hewlett
Jimmy Hoffa
Billie Holliday
J. Edgar Hoover
President Herbert Hoover
William Hoover (vacuums)
Hedda Hopper
Lena Horne
Curly Howard
Rock Hudson
Howard Hughes
Langston Hughes
Zora Neale Hurston
Burl Ives
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Al Jolson
President Lyndon Johnson
Lady Bird Johnson
Spike Jones
Boris Karloff
Howard Keel
Helen Keller
William Kellogg (cereals)
Gene Kelly
Grace Kelly
Alfred Kinsey
Jeanne Kirkpatrick
Jack Klugman
Don Knotts
Ray Kroc
Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys
Cloris Leachman
Janet Leigh
Joe Lewis
Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh-- again!
Guy Lombardo
Jack Lord
Myrna Loy
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
President John F. Kennedy
Jerome Kern
Jack Keroauc
Buster Keyton
Coretta Scott King
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Don Knotts

Fitness Guru Jack LaLanne
Ann Landers
Estee Lauder
Comedian Stanley Laurel
Tommy Lasorda
Harper Lee
Jerry Lewis
Actress Carole Lombard
Vince Lombardi--
Alfred Lunt
Peter Marshall of Hollywood Squares
Alberta Martin-supposed last surviving Civil War Widow
Dean Martin
Mary Martin
George Mikan
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Ann Miller
Jeanette Mac Donald
Frederic March
Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall
Groucho Marx
Louis Mayer
Barabara McClintock
Joel McCrea
Ed McMahon
Steve McQueen
Ethel Merman
Margaret Mitchell
Tom Mix
Walter Mondale
Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Baker)
Agnes Moorhead
Harry Morgan
Grandma Moses
Paul Muni
Stan Musial
Patricia Neal
Eliot Ness
Bob Newhart
Pat Nixon
Carroll O'Connor
Flannery O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor's Parents (she should be listed, but is not)
Jack Paar
David Packard
William S. Paley owner of CBS
Arnold Palmer
Bonnie Parker (of Bonnie and Clyde)
Rosa Parks
George Patton
Les Paul
Norman Vincent Peale
Gregory Peck
J. C. Penney
Mary Pickford
Vernon Presley father of Elvis
Actor Anthony Quinn

Vincent Price --the actor
John Raitt -- singer and father of Bonnie Raitt
Tony Randall --the actor
Martha Raye
Charlotte Rae -- from "Facts of Life"
Nancy Reagan --former First Lady
President Ronald Reagan
Donna Reed -- actress
William Rehnquist - Supreme Court Justice
Don Rickels
Hyman Rickover
Pernell Roberts
the Rockefellers
Edward G. Robinson
Alvah Roebuck
Gene Roddenberry -- creator of Star Trek
Composer Richard Rodgers
Esther Rolle - From "Good Times"
Sigmund Romberg
Mickey Rooney
President Franklin Roosevelt
Edith Roosevelt-Mrs. Teddy
Fred Rogers -- of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
Roy Rogers -- see how they spelled his name!
Ethel Rosenberg
Julius Rosenberg
Babe Ruth
Baseball great Jackie Robinson
Colonel Harlan Sanders Natalie Schafer -- From Gilligan's Island
Marge Schott former Reds Owner
Rod Serling
Dr. Seuss
Jonas Salk
Carl Sandburg -- well-known poet
Doc Severinsen
Charles Schulz--creator of Peanuts (Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, etal.)
Dinah Shore
Bobby Short
Beverly Sills
Neil Simon
Frank Sinatra
McLean Stevenson
John P. Sousa
Dr. Spock
Barbara Stanwyck
Jean Stapleton
Maureen Stapleton
John Steinbeck
Jimmie Stewart
Vice Admiral James Stockdale
Leopold Stokowski
Gloria Swanson
Iwao Takamoto
Maria Tallchief
Charles Tandy--founder of Radio Shack
Vic Tayback
Irving and Norma Thalberg
James Thurber
Strom Thurmond
Spencer Tracy
Shirley Temple
President Harry Truman
Earl Tupper of Tupperware
Gloria Van
Dick Van Dyke
Kurt Vonnegut
Porter Waggoner
Honus Wagner
Ralph Waite
Charles R. Walgreen
Mike Wallace
Barbara Walters
Sam Walton
Ruth Warrick
Ethel Waters
Dennis Weaver
Johnny Weissmuller
Eudora Welty
Mae West
William Westmoreland
Betty White
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Shelley Winters
Andy Williams
William Wrigley
Joanne Woodward
N. C. Wyeth
Jane Wyman
Frank Lloyd Wright
Orville Wright
Malcom. X
Cy Young
Loretta Young

From their Mouth to your Screen

Have you ever really thought about how that word got from your ancestor's mouth to your computer screen? There are many steps from the time your ancestor said his name until the index entry appears on your at-home terminal. Each step has the potential to create an error or "brick wall."

From Their Mouth to Your Computer Screen was posted a while back on our site, but it's comments on how your ancestor's name gets into a database are still valid and worth thinking about.

Famous People in 1920 Census

Here is a list of all the people for whom we have a 1920 census enumeration. Each name is linked to the actual census image. Suggestions for additions (or corrections) can be sent to me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com. Subscribers to Ancestry.com or Heritagequest.com can serach there for additional names if they are not on our list. If you don't have ancestry.com and decide to get it, please read our free trial suggestions first.

Max AdlerSpiro Agnew
Sherwood Anderson
Andrews Sisters
Ansel Adams
Jane Addams
Eddie Albert
Fred Astaire
Louis Armstrong
Lionel Barrymore
Count Basie
Frances Bavier
Irving Berlin
Mel Blanc
Humphrey Bogart
General Omar Bradley
Hugh Brannum Mr. Green Jeans
Lizzie Borden
Joseph Bulova
Ralph Bunche
Jimmy Cagney
Frank Capra
Willa Cather
George Washington Carver
Anthony Cermak
Jeff Chandler
Lon Chaney
Charlie Chaplin
John Cheever
Julia Child
Walter Cronkhite
Ty Cobb
Perry Como
Calvin Coolidge
Ellen Corby Adolph Coors
Bing Crosby
Richard Daley
Jim Davis
Dizzy Dean
Olivia De Havilland
Cecil De Mille
Phyllis Diller
John Dillinger
Walt Disney
Thomas Edison
Mamie Eisenhower
Ralph Ellison
Dale Evans
Wyatt Earp
Duke Ellington
Douglas Fairbanks
Max Factor
William Faulkner
Mark Felt
Harvey Firestone
Ella Fitzgerald
Henry Fonda
Joan Fontaine
Tennessee Ernie Ford
future President Gerald Ford
Henry Ford
Milton Friedman
Robert Frost
Clark Gable
Lou Gehrig
George and Ira Gershwin
J. Paul Getty
Dizzy Gillespie
Betty Grable
Billy Graham
Oscar Hammerstein
Jean Harlow
Rita Hayworth
Earnest Hemingway
Katharine Hepburn
Milton S. Hershey
William Hewlett
Billie Holliday
J. Edgar Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Bob Hope
Howard Hughes
Shoeless Joe Jackson
President Lyndon Johnson
Boris Karloff
Howard Keel
Helen Keller
William Kellogg
President John F. Kennedy
Frederick Kerry--grandfather of former presidential hopeful John Kerry
Gene Krupa
Ann Landers
Kennesaw Mountain Landis
Estee Lauder
Joe Lewis
Carole Lombard
Vincent Lombardi
Huey Long
Juliette Gordon Lowe (founder of Girl Scouts)
Dean Martin
Mary Martin
Oscar Mayer
Ethel Merman
James Michener
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Glenn Miller
Edward R. Murrow
Ogden Nash
Pat Nixon
Richard Nixon
Georgia O'Keefe
Marjorie Merriweather Post one
Marjorie Merriweather Post two
future President Richard Nixon
Jack Paar
David Packard
Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde
Rosa Parks
Gregory Peck
Mary Pickford
Katherine Anne Porter
Anthony Quinn
John Raitt
Charles Ringling
Ronald Reagan
Orville Redenbacher
Tex Ritter
John D. Rockefeller
Roy Rogers
Will Rogers
Sigmund Romberg
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Carl Sandburg
Harlan Sanders
David Sarnoff Randolph Scott
Frank Sinatra
John Sousa
John Steinbeck
Jimmie Stewart
Billy Sunday NEW
Strom Thurmond
Harry Truman
Earl Tupper
Dear Abby (Abigail Van Buren)
Honus Wagner
Charles Walgreen
Mike Wallace
Mr. Walmart--Sam Walton
John Wayne
Mae West
E. B. White
William Westmoreland
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Tennessee Williams
Woodrow Wilson
Grant Wood
Frank Lloyd Wright
Orville Wright
N C Wyeth
Cy Young