29 April 2010

1870 Non-population Schedules at Ancestry.com

Ancestry added several non-population census schedules recently. This is nice. The problem is that the microfilm on some of these years was a little difficult to read so the column headings are really hard to determine. It would have been nice if in the documentation they had listed the column headings. If it was there, I did not see it.

Magnification did not help. A link to a page with the headings would be helpful. If a Google search turns them up, I'll post a link here.

27 April 2010

NGS in Salt Lake--It's ok if you can't go

Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to attend the NGS conference in Salt Lake this week. And you know what, it's ok if you are at home. While there is no doubt that conferences can be fun to attend, your research will not suffer because you are home. It is important to remember that much genealogy learning can take place in your own home or local records repositories. There will be a lot of online news about the conference and that's great, but after Saturday, the hubbub will die down and everything will return to normal.

Don't forget there are books, websites, newsletters (Casefile Clues!) and blogs that you can use to assist you in your genealogical education. There are online classes, including those sponsored by the National Genealogical Society. There are a great many serious, dedicated and respected genealogists who are not in Salt Lake this week. This is not meant to say that you shouldn't try to attend a national conference, but all of us are simply not in a position to go and it's not the end of the world.

Personally if I could go to a three-day conference or have three days of uninterrupted research at a state archives or national archives, I think I know where I would be.

So what can you do this week if you can't attend NGS? Read a journal article (your local library may subscribe to scholarly genealogical publications), read a research outline from the Family History Library (http://www.familysearch.org), or re-analyze some of your own research (and write it up!). Post a query to a message board, or work on a family you've put off for some time. Work on learning how to create citations or reading those records in a foreign language.

In other words, create your own personal learning experience.

Of course, you can also subscribe to Casefile Clues, my weekly how-to newsletter. This week we are offering all the back issues 1-39 and an annual subscription at a discounted rate--the "Michael's NOT at NGS Discount."

Topics in issues 1-39 can be viewed here..click "Back" to return to this post.

24 April 2010

Links FromTopeka

Here are the links from the Topeka workshop that weren't in the handout or were things I mentioned "off the cuff." I enjoyed my time in Topeka and hope attendees at the workshop did as well.

World Connect

Blog Post on how to search Pension Payment Cards on Archive.org

Finding Civil War Pensions

If anyone wanted the discount rate on the newsletter for Topeka seminar attendees and didn't get to see me, send me an email at mjnrootdig@gmail.com

22 April 2010

Google Before You Blog

The question is the occupation of two daughters of Christian Troutfetter in the 1880 census for Alexandria, Clark County, Missouri. I knew it wasn't a matchmaker and had a long blog post written up about what it was. Then I decided to just google what it looked like--"mantuamaker." Sure enough it found it and now it looks like I actually have the occupation for these two daughters. Basically they were dressmakers. Readers who want to learn more can perform their own google search.

Subscribers to Ancestry.com can view the entire census image here.

The two daughters with these occupations were 23 and 21 years old.

Learn something new every day.
And of course, I was not even interested in the occupations when I found this reference. I was working on the brother of these mantuamakers for an upcoming column of Casefile Clues.

Tired of the Way they Digitize Newspapers?

Is your online database provider of digital images of newspapers putting them online in a really hit and miss matter? A few days for this month, a few days for that month, spreading them out in an apparently random fashion.

I think it is time we told the database providers that there is NO good reason for this approach to digitization.

Contact your database provider today and let them know you aren't happy with it.

20 April 2010

Burbank, CA for the Genealogy Jamboree

I will be presenting at the Southern California Family History Jamboree, 11-13 June 2010

Topics are:

Restacking the Blocks: Organizing Your Information
From New Jersey to Ohio: Establishing an Early Nineteenth Century Migration Trail
Pig Blood in the Snow: Court Records Can Solve Problems

Email me with questions at mjnrootdig@gmail.com or to have me present to your group.

Loveland, Colorado 25 and 26 July 2010

I will be presenting at the Family History Expos-Loveland, Colorado 25 & 26 June 2010

Searching Tips and Tricks
Where Did the Farm Go
Where Do I Go From Here?
Restacking the Blocks: Organizing Your Information

Email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com for information or to have me present at your seminar or workshop.

Cleveland County, Oklahoma Seminar 24 July 2010

Cleveland County, Oklahoma Summer Seminar, 24 July 2010--to be held in Norman, OK

  • Using Probate Manuals and State Statute
  • Barbara, Nancy and Antje-Three Midwestern Women and Their Records
  • Pig Blood in the Snow-Court Records Can Solve Problems
  • Organizing Your Information

Email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com for more information or to have me speak to your group!

San Mateo County Genealogical Society 6 November 2010

It's official when they start putting things in their newsletter.
I'm looking forward to my first trip to the San Francisco area when I present the Fall 2010 Seminar for the San Mateo Genealogical Society in Redwood City, CA on 6 November 2010.
Society members will receive updated information in their newsletters. Those within driving distance can get updated information on the society's website http://www.smcgs.org/ and my website here. Topics are on our agenda and will be announced as they have been picked.
Mark your calendars and stay tuned.
Stay tuned!
Email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com to have me present at your seminar or workshop.

19 April 2010

Casefile Clues Discount TODAY

Get issues 1-38 of Casefile Clues and a year of upcoming issues for only $29! (That's a $6 savings)

Click here to process payment.

Offer good on 18-19 April 2010 only.

Back Issues Topics of Casefile Clues

Readers may know that I write a weekly how to genealogy newsletter, Casefile Clues. One of the neat things about the newsletter is that it's very affordable ($17 for a year of weekly issues) and covers a wide variety of topics.

Here are recent Casefile Clues article topics (this page will be updated as time allows):

  • 37--Pullman Car Company Employment Records. Discusses several employment records from the Pullman Car Company in Chicago. Discusses William Apgar, Thomas Frame, Louis DeMar.
  • 36--Where are they in 1840? Analyzes an individual who is "missing" from an 1840 census. Includes a discussion of how he was "found" and how land records actually solved the problem. Discusses Abraham Wickiser.
  • 35--A 1910 Birth. Analyzes primary and secondary sources for a date and place of birth in 1910 and how differences might not be all that different. Discusses Ida Trautvetter.
  • 34--Ready to Go? Discusses some things to contemplate regarding your genealogy material before you die.
  • 33--Where there is a Will there is Confusion. Analyzes an early 19th century will from Maryland and what the different bequests likely mean and what potentially brought them about. Also discusses different ways some things can be interpreted. Discusses John DeMoss.
  • 32--When There is No Probate. Some things to think about when there is no probate file.
  • 31--Analyzing the Mortgage. Discusses an 1870 era mortgage in Illinois. Discusses John Ufkes and Rolf Habben.
  • 30--Behind the Scenes Chaos. Discusses the importance of thinking about what "caused" a record to be recorded.
  • 29--Un-American Activity. Discusses an invesigation by the fore-runner of the FBI into a German-American family in World War I. Discusses the Fecht family.
  • 28--Do You Ear What I Ear? Discusses things to remember about how things are heard.
  • 27--Analyzing Andrew Trask. Discusses work on an Mass. native (born ca. 1814) who lived in St. Louis, southern-Illinois, and western Illinois where he died in the 1880s. Focuses on analyzing and working on later records to discern patterns, etc. Discusses Andrew Trask.
  • 26--Using Google Books.
  • 25--Finding Valentine. Steps in locating a man whose only real mention is in an 1870 era estate settlement. Discusses how I organized my search for him.
  • 24--The Brick Wall is in Your Head. Talks about ways you may have made your own genealogical brick wall.
  • 23--You Ask and I Wonder. Things that pop in my head when a person asks a certain genealogical question.
  • 22--Crossing the Pond.
  • 21--One Clipping Leads to More.
  • 20--Organizing 1870 Census Search
  • 19--Public Sale
  • 18--Analyzing the Biography
  • 17--Working with the Professional. Getting started with the professional genealogist who is performing Chicago area work for me.
  • 16--A Lot from Barbara's Lot. Clues from a series of records on a small lot in a town in rural Illinois betwen 1856 and 1905.
  • 15--Finding Gesche's Girls. Tracking down an "evaporating" German native who "condensed" somewhere in the United States.
  • 14--Jumpstarting Your Research. Just some ideas to get you started.
  • 13--Brick Walls and the Census Taker
  • 12--The Heirs Complete the Homestead
  • 11--Is the Wrong Name Correct?
  • 10--Connecting the Iras. Working to determine if two men of the same name are the same man.
  • 09--Pre-1850 Census Analysis. Analzing pre-1850 census records for a family to determine the household structure. Discusses Thomas and Sarah Sledd.
  • 08--Platting Out Thomas Sledd's Heirs. Platting out the estate division of the Thomas Sledd estate in Kentucky in the 1830s. Discusses Thomas Sledd family.
  • 07--Looking for Ira's Lucretia. Working on my "brick wall" Ira through his sister Lucretia. mid-to-late nineteenth century work.
  • 06--The Civil War Pension file of Riley Rampley. An overview of a Union Civil War pension record.
  • 05--Finding a Chicago Christening. How a 1913 era Chicago christening record was found. Discusses Anna Apgar.
  • 04--Multiple Parents
  • 03--Preemption Claim. The Missouri pre-emption land claim of John Lake. Discusses John Lake.
  • 02--Passport Records. Discusses an early twentieth century passport application. Discusses Robert Frame.
  • 01--Lessons from an Estate Record. Analyzes an 1870 era Illinois set of estate records.

Want to order back issues? These are the current prices. We will honor any other prices on the site obtained via PayPal links that have not been removed.

Getting Ready for Topeka

I'll be making four presentations for the Topeka, Kansas Genealogical Society's conference this upcoming Saturday, April 24th. The conference will focus on female ancestors, which cover half of the family tree--quite a bit of ground for one day.

The society is still accepting registrations for the conference--email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com & I can put you in contact with the society representative. We'd love to have you join us.

I'm going to research the family Philip Troutfetter at the Kansas State Historical Library Friday, hoping to find some information for the newsletter.

Preserving versus Sharing

Keep in mind that blogs, websites, genealogy "network" sites, etc. are great places to share and exchange information, but one still needs to be concerned with preservation. In the modern digital age, publication should not be equated with preservation.

Genealogy Blogs of 2009

I took a look at the list of most popular genealogy blogs from 2009 and was surprised that several appear to have had infrequent updates over the past few months.


15 April 2010

Still room to join Michael in Salt Lake May 2010

Anyone who wants to join me in Salt Lake at the Family History Library in late May...check out my group trip page:


Columns Out of Order in 1880 at Family Search

I realize it is not a big deal, but the columns as displayed in the 1880 census results on FamilySearch are in a different order from the actual census.
I was going to use this transcription as a basis for one in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues, but I think I'll just start from scratch as I want the columns in the newsletter to be in the correct order. The transcribed data is not wrong, just that the column order is different in the original census.
Oh, and in this case the relationship listed for Henry J. Fecht is not "Other." Readers of the newsletter will find out what's likely up with Henry.

14 April 2010

Ancestry's RedBook

I co-wrote the chapters on Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Ohio in the 3rd edition of Ancestry's RedBook.

San Mateo County Seminar 6 November 2010

I will be the presenter at the November 2010 Genealogy Seminar sponsored by the San Mateo County Genealogical Society in Redwood City, California.

Details have not yet been set, but the date is 6 November 2010. We'll have updates as things are firmed up. Save the date if you are in the area.

13 April 2010

Tennessee Genealogical Society

I will be the featured speaker at 16 October 2010 Genealogical Seminar sponsored by the Tennessee Genealogical Society. Mark your calendar and stay tuned here and to http://www.tngs.org/ for more details as they are developed.

Preliminary Results of the Casefile Clues Genealogy Survey

We had 595 respondents to our Casefile Clues Genealogy survey.

Preliminary results are posted here:

12 April 2010

Genealogy of Commoners

On a whim, I created a group on Facebook, Genealogy of Commoners. I think this link might work, but with Facebook and me you never know


I even created a blog, too:


We'll see how it takes off--all in fun. I'm a little fatigued with all the "genealogy of the famous" things that are floating around.

11 April 2010

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

I will be making the following presentations at the following upcoming conferences/workshops over the next several months:

Topeka Genealogy Society Seminar, 24 April 2010
  • The Oft-Married Sarah
  • Female Ancestors: After the Marriage
  • Barbara's Beaus and Gesche's Girls
  • Widows Denied-Pensions for Widows and What they Can Tell You

Southern California Family History Jamboree, 11-13 June 2010
  • Restacking the Blocks: Organizing Your Information
  • From New Jersey to Ohio: Establishing an Early Nineteenth Century Migration Trail
  • Pig Blood in the Snow: Court Records Can Solve Problems

Family History Expos-Loveland, Colorado 25 & 26 June 2010
  • Searching Tips and Tricks
  • Where Did the Farm Go
  • Where Do I Go From Here?
  • Restacking the Blocks: Organizing Your Information
Cleveland County, Oklahoma Summer Seminar, 24 July 2010--to be held in Norman, OK
  • Using Probate Manuals and State Statute
  • Barbara, Nancy and Antje-Three Midwestern Women and Their Records
  • Pig Blood in the Snow-Court Records Can Solve Problems
  • Organizing Your Information
More workshops seminars will be announced as they approach and as they are scheduled. If you are in the area, please consider attending! And if you'd like to bring me to your seminar or workshop, please contact me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com for details.


Casefile Clues: "Subscribe before it goes out Discount"

I'm wrapping up issue 37 of my weekly newsletter Casefile Clues as this is posted. If you subscribe before issue 37 of Casefile Clues goes out this weekend, you can do so at $15 by clicking on this secure link to Paypal for payment processing.

This blog post will be removed once the issue has been emailed.

10 April 2010

Can You Read It?

This partial census entry comes from the 1880 Census for Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois.

It took me forever to find them in the online index although searching the actual census was not difficult as the township is rural and this family did not move around very much.

Any ideas on the last name of the head of household? Regular readers of my blog and Casefile Clues will probably recognize the last name, but try to pretend you've never read anything about these people anywhere else.

06 April 2010

Are these names the same?

I've posted two images at Casefile Clues that are from an upcoming article. I don't normally crossblog like this, but readers might want to look at the two signatures and see if they think they are from the same person.


Can You Read That?

It has been a while since I posted an handwriting sample for interpretation.

I know what the last name here is for the second person listed on this 1900 census entry from upstate New York.

Wondering if site users have any ideas what it might be. It makes a good point how why searching online indexes can be difficult and why first name searches are sometimes effective.

The head of household in this entry is actually 16 years old, but that is another story altogether.

03 April 2010

Casefile Clues Genealogy Survey to close

Casefile Clues genealogy survey will close on 6 April 2010 at 9:00 AM CST. If you haven't answered our questions (generally geared towards American research), you can do so here


Results will be posted when they are available.

02 April 2010

Salt Lake Trip May 2010--Still Time

There is still time to get in on our 2010 Salt Lake City Family History Research Trip. We are in Salt Lake for a week in late May and early June of 2010. Trip includes:
  • help with pre-trip planning
  • help onsite
  • morning prestentations (optional)
  • assistance with equipment at library
  • lodging NEXT DOOR to library--why waste time walking

More information is on our site at http://www.rootdig.com/slctrip.html

Come and Joine Us!