29 May 2009

Margaret Hodgson born 1764 Castle Carrock

One of the families I worked on while in Salt Lake was that of James and Barbara Hodgson of Garthfoot, Castle Carrock, Cumberland, England. This entry comes from the 1764 register of that parish.

It actually is not all that difficult to read, but I still find the scan easier to use and the scans were definitely preferable for those entries that were not as legible as this one.

Margaret was married to John Watson and died in Castle Carrock in January of 1852 at the age of 88. It was known that she married John in Castle Carrock in 1789. The date of her marriage and birth originally came from the International Genealogical Index on FamilySearch, but I used that to search through the actual church records. Margaret's death in 1852 at the age of 88 allowed me to narrow in on a year of birth. Her maiden name was obtained in her marriage record, but there were several other families in Castle Carrock with the name of Hodgson.

Margaret Hodgson Watson is my wife's 4th great-grandmother.

Looking for a Researcher

I am looking for Mabel from Syndey Australia. In 1999, her email address was wardrop@southernx.com.au.

She posted a post on one of my wife's family to a Rootsweb list, which is archived here:

I am trying to locate her or what happened to her, but so far not having any luck.

28 May 2009

Downloading Revolutionary War Pensions at Footnote

While I was at the Family History Library in Salt Lake, I decided to spend some time downloading items from Footnote.com. The image shown here is part of the Revolutionary War Pension of Elam Blain. The likely New Jersey native served from that state and lived there and in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The images at Footnote.com come from the National Archives microfilm and are fairly nice images. The only drawback is that each image has to be downloaded separately. This pension file had approximately sixty images. Actually it only took me about ten minutes, which was not all that bad. We've discussed this pension file before and I had downloaded some of the images, but somehow deleted a few of them. This time I'll be more careful.

Is Paula Deen Pouring or Poring?

I've never watched Paula Deen (Southern cooking is off my diet), but I was bored at Walmart yesterday and was looking at her pans (now there's a phrase!).

I realize she may pour when she cooks, but if she's looking at things in antique stores, then she and good ol' Aunt Peggy are poring over antiques. I hope she wasn't pouring Aunt Peggy in antique shops.

Sounds like it was a poor spell checker to me!
Maybe someone was too busy poring over their pores when they should have been poring over those pan wrappers.

Hopefully the recipies in the books get proofed better than this did. After all, it only takes two little errors to change fig bars into pig bark. Now there's a typo!

It's not genealogy, but hey...it's my website!

Images used on this site

To answer a question I received about the images used on this site over the past week or so. They have all been from digital scans I made from microfilm while on my recent trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake. In fact, I did not make one paper copy the entire time I was at the library. I stayed at the library for a few days after my group trip was over and made approximately 300 digital copies of various records, putting them on a flash drive. Of course, that flash drive is already backed up in several places.

I have made paper copies of some of the scans I made. But the scans are easy to use and very portable. I will be posting more of them over the next few weeks.

27 May 2009

Can You Read It?

This handwriting was written by the testator in his will from Hanock County, Illinois. The German native was born in approximately 1795 in Thuringen, Germany. The will is undated, but was filed for record on 6 October 1862 in the Hancock County, Illinois Probate Court.
This will was obtained from the microfilm of the original will at the Family History Library in Salt Lake. Those who think they can read the name of the testator can post their suggestions to this blog entry.

Selling a little booze?

I copied the entire file the last time I was in Salt Lake--The People of the State of Illinois vs. John M. Trautvetter.
There are not many details in the file in the case which was based on events that took place in 1898-1899. It was brought to the Hancock County, Illinois, County Court in 1899.
I need to follow up on the case. In my haste to make digital copies, I broke one of my major rules of digital scanning from LDS microfilm--scanning the "title" page of the reel. I wish I had done that here. At least I did scan the cover sheet from the packet of papers.
The judge did not sign the part of the packet indicating there was probable cause. It looks like I'll have to do more searching to see just what happened in this case.

26 May 2009

Genealogy Tip of The Day

I've gotten behind with Genealogy Tip of the Day lately. With the end of school and my group trip to Salt Lake things have kept me from it. I'm hoping to get back to posting here in the next few days, making up for lost time. Being in Salt Lake for a week gave me plenty of new ideas, just to get them on the site!

25 May 2009

Signatures of John and Peggy (Hodgson) Watson

These signatures come from a 1789 marriage record in Castle Carrock in County Cumberland, England. John Watson and Peggy Hodgson were married there in 1789. This is just a part of their marriage record and one of several documents I scanned while at the Family History Library in Salt Lake.
Joseph Hodgson signs as a witness. I'm not certain of the relationship. There were several Hodgsons in this parish. I'l be blogging and writing more about my research into these families. Readers who are related to the families are welcome to contact me. John and Peggy are my wife's 4th grandparents.

Registration Pages posted for SLC Group trip in 2010

As noted, I have already set the dates for the 2010 Rootdig.com research trip to the Family History Library (FHL) in 2010. Those wishing to save their place early can do so by visiting our website at:


There is information there on payment and fee options and those who wish to make hotel reservations early using our block can contact me for information on doing that too. Itis not necessary to stay at the Salt Lake Plaza in order to join us. We have had locals commute, people stay at an RV park, or with friends or relatives.

23 May 2009

Marriage Record Signature

I collected several new signatures while in Salt Lake at the Family History Library last week. This one comes from the 1868 marriage of Eleanor Frame in St. Mary's Parish, Carlisle, Cumberland, England. It was Eleanor's second marriage and it confirmed for me the name of the man I supsected was her father, Thomas Carlisle. Elearnor Carlisle was born in Whitehaven, County Cumberland in the 1810s. She is my wife's 3rd great-grandmother and spent most of her life in Carlisle.

22 May 2009

Can You Read It?

This is the signature of my German-born ancestor, born somewhere in the Germany of the 1820s. This signature for her comes from her husband's estate papers and is a last name she barely had for a few months.
The digital image of the estate papers was made while at the Family History Library in Salt Lake this week.

It was a liquid estate

This image comes from the estate of my forebear Peter Bieger which I copied yesterday while at the Family History Library in Salt Lake. This estate was probated in Hancock County, Illinois, in the mid-1850s.

He had twenty gallons of cherry brandy, amongst a variety of other items, some of which are shown here.

I'll be writing about this estate in an upcoming Casefile Clues column, so stay tuned.

Flash Drive Suggestion---in case you lose it

Based upon my experience this week at the Family History Library in Salt Lake, I'm going to add a file on my flash drive, in the main directory.

I'm calling it--read me if found and saving it as a text file that can opened with virtually any word processor.

The file will contain my name, cell phone number, and email address. Then if my drive is lost and the finder is so inclined to open it, they should see the file. Of course information on the outside is good, too. But as we all know permanent marker isn't permanent and tags hooked to the flash drive become separated from it.

Dates for 2010 Salt Lake Group Research Trip

The dates have been set for my 5th annual group trip to Salt Lake City, Utah.

27 May 2010-3 May 2010. The library will be open their normal Monday hours on Memorial Day 2010. Previous trip members have commented positively on our choice of beginning and ending dates, so we are keeping Sunday as a "mid" day during our trip. We will be posting more details and a registration brochure as soon as I get it proofread. Those who want to reserve their space can make a deposit payment to hold their spot. Anyone with questions about the trip can email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com. We have had previous attendees from numerous states and Canada.

Salt Lake Research 2009 Trip Wrapped Up

My 2009 Family History Library Research trip is wrapped up. I haven't been posting too much between helping attendees, consulting, and squeezing my own research in between. We had a great time and are looking forward to returning to Salt Lake in May of 2010. Stay tuned to the website. I will be posting details on next year's trip as soon as the final details have been arranged.

17 May 2009

ISGS-Elgin, Illinois, Topics

The topics have been set for the Fall Illinois State Genealogical Society Conference on 24 October 2009.

  • Determining Search Parameters and Really Tracking Your Online Research
  • What is Unwritten?
  • Establishing the Neighborhood
  • Finding Gesche's Girls and Barbara's Beaus: Two Problem-Solving Examples from Illinois

The Society's website will have more details as they are announced. Stay tuned!

15 May 2009

At the Family History Library

After an uneventful trip, I have arrived at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. In between consultations and meeting with trip participants I have a few of my own problems that I am working on. I'll be blogging about those as time allows.

My one project is to try and locate the passenger list for the lady who is named on this trunk. I have the trunk in my home and the individual listed in my great-great-grandfather's sister, Altje Goldenstein.

13 May 2009


I got busy about a month ago and my Ancestry.com subscription lapsed. So far, I'm waiting to renew it. That may seem odd, but I realized I had stacks of copies and documents that I have not analyzed or compiled, and articles and other materials that need to be written. Sometimes the 24/7 availability of the materials on Ancestry.com can be a distraction for me. Perhaps that is just me. I may be in the minority, but for a while I'll let the subscription go. I have plenty of genealogy work to do and quite a few columns to write.

It is important to remember what Ancestry.com will and will not do for your research. It won't help me analyze those twenty deeds I copied last year on my Bourbon County, Kentucky, families where I need to plat the metes and bounds descriptions. It won't help me analyze those pre-1850 census entries I located for several families where I need to determine as best I can how many children those individuals probably had. And the stacks of court records and other materials need to be analyzed. And then there are the several Revolutionary Pension files that I have where the digital images sit, unanalyzed.

I decided it is time for me to start really putting together what I have. Ancestry.com provides me great access to various information, but organizing and synthesizing that information is something I have to do myself.

Illinois State Genealogical Society Conference Oct. 2009

I will be the featured speaker at the Fall 2009 Illinois State Genealogical Society conference in Elgin, Illinois. More information will be posted on the society's page and this site as it becomes available.

12 May 2009

Using Genline-28-29 August 2009-Galesburg, Illinois

Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois, will be hosting a two-day workshop on 28 and 29 August 2009, "Using Genline." Attendees will have complete access to the Genline workshop for the duration of the day and there will be time for searching of actual family members in addition to classroom instruction and "practice" time.

More information is available on our Genline webpage at:


11 May 2009

Getting Ready for Salt Lake City

This week I leave to join my trip participants on my 4th annual research trip to Salt Lake City's Family History Library. I will be blogging about the trip, the library, and some about the bits and pieces of research I will be doing while there.

07 May 2009

Mercer County Illinois County History on Archive.org

Archive.org is just a great place to find things. This biography was cut from the PDF version of the scan of the 1882 History of Mercer and Henderson Counties [Illinois] which is one of the several Mercer County histories on the site.

Am working on an article on Andrew Trask, focusing on his life in the 1840 era. Would really love to know more about his working on a ship, but that will have to wait. Unfortunately we don't know who his parents are or anything about his life on the East Coast other than what is in this obituary.