30 April 2009

the Flu, Guardianships, and Court Records

I discovered a court case that was appealed to the Illinois State Supreme Court while searching on Google books. I have included part of the summary here in this post. The parents died within ten days of each other in 1920. I am not certain what they died from, but will have to add getting death certificates to my list of things to do. The mother is a first cousin of my great-grandfather Trautvetter.

My great-grandfather Trautvetter's sister and her husband died during the 1918 flu epidemic and their children were raised by family members after the parents died.

Have you considered if the 1918 flu or other epidemics impacted your family members? Leaving minor children with no parents created a problem and in some cases those problems might have resulted in court or other records.

Another great-grandfather had a sister and brother-in-law who died during the flu. Now I'll have to get on that and research that family as well.

The image in this post was from:

Reports of Cases at Law and in Chancery Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Illinois
By the Illinois Supreme Court
Published by Supreme Court, State of Illinois, 1921
Item notes: v. 297
Original from Harvard University
Digitized Aug 15, 2007
located on http://books.google.com/

29 April 2009

Typo on CNN home page

Ok, it has nothing to do with genealogy, but just goes to show that errors can creep up anywhere. Can anyone spot the error on the part of CNN's page that I've posted here?
Of course, by the time I blog about it, they will probably have it fixed.

28 April 2009

1870 Census at Pilot Family Search Site

Ok, is it just me or is there no way to search by location?

I am searching for someone I know is in the census, just to "prove" that I can find him at Family Search's site for the 1870 United States Census. The problem is that the last name is so messed up on the census that I cannot find him when searching for his last name. There are too many Johns born in 1859 or so living in 1870 to make that a practical search without a location entered in or chosen to narrow it down. Is there something about searching at Family Search that I am missing for the 1870 census?

The person I am searching for is John Habben, born ca. 1859 in Germany. He is in Adams County, Illinois, in 1870 as I've found the entry before in the census. I just wanted to prove I could do it at FamilySearch as well and I'm having difficulty.

Partial 1920 Census Index Free at Family Search

FamilySearch's Pilot Site recently released a partial index to the 1920 census. I am always glad when datasets get a new index, especially when it is a census year where I have had difficulty finding someone.

I have been looking for Anna Apgar/Verikios in the 1920 census since shortly after my wife and I got married. Anna is my wife's grandmother and was born in Illinois in 1913--likely in Chicago. I have searched for her to no avail. She was likely born Anna Apgar, the daughter of William and Marie/Mary Desmarais/Demar Apgar. Her parents split ca. 1918 and by 1920 her mother was in a relationship with Peter Verikios. I have searched for Anna as:
  • Anna Apgar/Apker, etc.
  • Anna Demar/Desmarais
  • Anna Verikios

Throughout the entire state of Illinois, trying all variants of these three last names that I could think of. All to no avail. Consequently I was excited when FamilySearch released their 1920 census index that includes Illinois. Maybe I would find her. Again, no such luck.

There is a remote chance that Anna was in New York State in 1920--which is where her mother was born and where her mother had siblings living. I will hold off on any more creative searches until New York State has been included in the index at Family Search. Maybe one day I will find her.

1892 New York State Census

FamilySearch's Pilot site recently released an unindexed version of the 1892 New York State Census.

The image shown on this screen shot is from Election District Number 2, page 11, from Ausable Forks, Clinton County, New York.
Louis and Mary Demarra (actually Desmarais) are my wife's great-great-grandparents. The ditto marks indicate the entire family was born in the United States and the "c" indicates they were all citizens. The mother died a few years after this enumeration and some members of the family made their west to Chicago, Illinois.

Given the lack of an 1890 census, this is a wonderful source for researchers with New York State relatives.

Booking Speaking Engagements

I am booking speaking engagements for seminars and workshops for the rest of 2009 and 2010.

The following dates/weekends are already booked:

  • 28 July 2009
  • 3 Oct 2009
  • 17 Oct 2009
  • 24 Oct 2009
  • 24 Apr 2010
  • several other dates are tentatively scheduled

Seminars are engaging, informative, and entertaining. For more information on bringing me to present at your annual conference, workshop, or seminar, please contact me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com.

23 April 2009

German word I cannot quite make out.

I'm working on a Casefile Clues column and cannot quite make out the word in yellow on this baptismal entry from the Bethany United Church of Christ in Tioga, Illinois.

I can make out the rest of the entry for Luisa Trautvetter. I just can't make out the word in the box where the names of the parents Michael Trautvetter and the "hausfrau" Franciska geb. Bigert. appear.

Any thoughts?


Michael is on Twitter

For now, I am on twitter


I'll post short occasional updates there about the website, articles, research, etc.

21 April 2009

BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

I will be making four presentations at the 2009 Conference on Family History and Genealogy on the campus of Brigham Young University at the end of July. More details will be posted here as they are developed. Topics include:

Establishing Your Own Migration Trail
100 Acres, a Mortgage, and Three Sisters
Pig Blood in the Snow: Court Records Can Solve Problems
From New Jersey to Ohio - Establishing an Early 19th Century Migration Trail

Email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com for information about bringing me to your society's workshop or seminar.

20 April 2009

Genealogy Tip of the Day

Life got me woefully behind on my "Genealogy Tip of the Day." I am in the process of updating it now, but I have quite a few days to add. If you havn't been there in a while, I am adding all those "missed" entries that got stuck in some virtual hole somewhere.

16 April 2009

Philip Troutfetter Divorce

I finally received the divorce papers for Philip Troutfetter yesterday from the Colorado State Archives. The image that appears on this post is the index card. Those with Colorado family may wish to check out the archives' website as there are many finding aids on it and quite a bit of general research information.

We'll be posting more information about Philip in future blog posts and Casefile Clues columns. There is quite a story behind this man.

Illinois State Genealogical Society Conference October 24, 2009

I will be the featured speaker at the 2009 Illinois State Genealogical Society Conference on 24 October in Elgin, Illinois.

More details will be announced here and on the Society's website as they are developed. Stay tuned.

15 April 2009

Sun City-Huntley Illinois

It was nice to meet the folks at Sun City in Huntley, Illinois, on the evening of the 14th.

WorldCat- http://www.worldcat.org
Archive of scanned books http://www.archive.org
Blogger http://www.blogger.com
Family Search Images (pilot site) http://pilot.familysearch.org

If there is something I forgot, email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com

09 April 2009

Expert Connect at Ancestry.com

There has been much discussion on the APG (Association of Professional Genealogists) mailing list and others regarding the upcoming "ExpertConnect" site at Ancestry.com (http://expertconnect.ancestry.com/). In a nutshell, researchers and providers can use the site to connect. Ancestry.com takes a significant part of the research fee for providing the service. Whether or not this bidding process will work in the genealogical field remains to be seen. Individual fee-based researchers will have to decide if using the service is something they need to do to increase their business and if they can afford Ancestry.com's fee. Their bids will have to reflect the fact that Ancestry.com is charging them for "connecting" the researcher and client. One question the provider needs to decide is how much it is worth to them for Ancestry.com to do their "marketing" for them.

Obviously Ancestry.com is looking at this as a revenue stream. Are there enough "providers" hoping to make a living at "providing" that it positively imacts Ancestry.com's bottom line? I am not certain. Is there an "unmet" market for lookup and research services that is not being met elsewhere? Again, I am not certain.

Five services are being offered:
  • record pickup
  • local photo
  • ask an expert
  • record lookup
  • custom research

Personally, I won't be using the service, for the time being either as a provider or a client. There are still a variety of ways to make contact with quality researchers and not have to pay a "bounty" to do it. But I do have one question:

"If Ancestry.com continues to promote and expand this service, how will that impact the mailing lists and message boards where requests for help (particularly record lookups, local photos, and record pickups) are common?"

If that issue has been discussed somewhere I have not seen it. Such requests are common on several Ancestry.com sponsored mailing lists and message boards that I am on.

07 April 2009

Seattle Washington

I was in Seattle, Washington, last weekend for the annual conference of the Organization of American Historians. It was a whirlwind.

I gave a paper on modern genealogy for the historian in a Saturday morning session at the conference. I co-presented with Elizabeth Shown Mills who gave an excellent paper on modern genealogy methodology and practices. Our papers were well received and hopefully we provided the attendees with a look at current trends in genealogical research. My goal was how genealogy can be incorporated into the classroom to motivate students' interest in "microhistory" and how documents and records on the "common man and woman" can be used as a springboard into discussions on larger historical and social trends.

The picture in this blog post (Elliott Bay is in the background) is courtesy of Cyndi of http://www.cyndislist.com/. Cyndi graciously picked me up at the airport when I arrived and she hosted a wonderful lunch on top of the Space Needle. She told me that her father built it singlehandedly and she has the scrapbook of pictures and clippings to prove it. Actually, he did work on it while it was being built--something about bubbles in cement. Cyndi also drove me around the market area and while we couldn't find a place to easily part, we had a really nice conversation and I did get to see some of the sites. We solved the problems of the genealogy world and raising teenagers all in one afternoon. I had a great time--even if it was really windy on top of the Space Needle and if we never figured out the "meaning" of the buildings that comprise the nearby music museum.

My long-time friend, history professor Juli Jones was also in Seattle for OAH and we had a nice dinner Friday night getting ready for the Saturday morning presentation. It was great catching up and meeting her new husband.

I hit the book vendor area after my presentation with Elizabeth Shown Mills was over and managed to pick up six books to occupy my spare time (topics: women's history, frontier Midwest, and public school history). I'll be mentioning those in the upcoming months here on this site and in my Dick Eastman column. Stay tuned.

I dropped my books off at my hotel (the Roosevelt in downtown Seattle which was very nice by the way) and met my first cousin once removed Nancy Ufkes (Alvin's youngest daughter for those relatives who are reading this). I hadn't seen Nancy in probably twenty-five years or thereabouts. She wasn't able to come to the funeral of her grandma Ufkes (my great-grandmother) and I missed the funeral of her father a few years ago as well. It was great catching up and we Ufkeses do have an interesting sense of humor. We had a wonderful lunch at a restaurant on the lake whose name I forget (both the name of the restaurant and the name of the lake).

Nancy took me to the first Starbucks so I could get my picture taken and purchase a mug for my oldest daughter who is a big Starbucks fan. Nancy also drove me past the Microsoft campus and we sat in a wine/coffee shop and chatted while we watched a young lady at an adjacent table dump her blind date right in front of our very eyes. We also discussed our some of our common family history--both in and out of print!

A great time. It's not often I get to connect with old friends and relatives while on a weekend trip. And I don't mean "old" in the negative sense of the word either--I don't want Cyndi or Nancy giving me any flack!

Thanks to Juli for asking me to co-present at OAH and thanks to Cyndi and Nancy for showing me around during my whirlwind tour of Seattle.

04 April 2009

1930 Famous Census Images

For those who are interested, we have started slowly adding our 1930famous census images to our site.

We have 1930 census for:

John Kennedy
Jimmy Hoffa
Richard Nixon
Walt Disney
Yogi Berra

Our 1930 census site is located at:
Suggestions for additional people to include are welcomed.

03 April 2009

Corrections at Ancestry.com

When I see an error at Ancestry.com, I usually take the time to report it. Sometimes I do this just because I might want to find the item again and I would like for others to be able to find it as well. I never keep track of how long it takes for these corrections to be "updated," although Ancestry.com sends a notice when that has happened.

I noticed that my uncle Eielt Janssen Ufkes was indexed in the World War I Draft cards at Ancestry.com as Eielt James. I made the correction. I have no idea how long ago it was submitted, but today I got an email that it had been added. I'm glad that Ancestry.com is adding corrections, but I'm not certain why it takes so long.

02 April 2009

Wildcards at Ancestry and Footnote

Footnote.com lets searchers perform wildcard searches with just two initial letters. This is different from Ancestry.com which requires searchers to enter three initial letters before usign a wildcard character.

Footnote.com will allow searches of Ne*, Ni*, etc.
Ancestry.com allows searches of Nel*, Nei*, etc.

1930 Census at Footnote

Footnote.com's 1930 census index is now 84% complete. There are some neat features on this site, particularly the "I'm Related" part.

I searched for my wife's grandmother and located her relatively easily (I already knew where and when she was, so that part was not difficult).

There was a link for "I'm related" which I clicked on and which brought up the first screen shot seen in this post.

The next time someone else searches for Anna Apgar in the 1930 census at Footnote.com, they will see this screen when they click on the link for the one living in Chicago.

Pretty slick.

The images at Footnote.com (one is shown below) aren't too bad either.

And Footnote.com has a monthly and annual subscription rates that are pretty reasonable.