25 September 2010

Saturday Specials at Casefile Clues

We are offering two specials today on my weekly how-to newsletter, Casefile Clues. More information is located here:


23 September 2010

Out on a Limb about Footnote.com and Ancestry.com

There is much lamenting the acquisition of Footnote.com by Ancestry.com.

Is it a monopoly? Let's see--I can obtain genealogical information at a variety of other sources. Much of what Ancestry.com/Footnote.com has is on microfilm from the National Archives. What they are digitizing will also be available on FamilySearch at no charge.

While I greatly enjoy genealogy, it is important to remember that it is a hobby. Ancestry.com is not controlling food, gas, housing, transportation or other prices. On the list of things in the United States that concern me the acquisition of Footnote.com pales in comparison to:
  • the state of the American economy
  • the access some Americans have to health care
  • the security of our borders and our handling of illegal immigrants
  • occasional safety concerns over our food supply
  • general levels of American literacy
I don't have answers to those problems either and won't post any comments one way or the other about them here.

Personally if I'm going to spend any time fighting "injustice," there are greater things to concern myself with.

And for those who've complained about the acquisition, do you know how well your local library is funded and how local records in your own area are being preserved?

15 September 2010

James Rampley Finds Horses in 1782

I've been doing some searches on Genealogy Bank today and have made a few new discoveries, one of which is on this page.

James Rampley apparently found some stray horses and advertised them in the 16 July 1782 Maryland Journal. While not a major genealogical revelation, it would confirm that James was living at a certain point in time if that were necessary. It also would make a lovely illustration in a family genealogy. I never thought I'd find my 5th great-grandfather's name in a newspaper.

Hopefully I'll find some things I can use in Casefile Clues. Genealogy Bank has a variety of newspapers on their site, even some older ones like this.

We'll be posting additional items as I find them.

12 September 2010

Daily Genealogy Transcriber

I've been having a great deal of fun with the Daily Genealogy Transcriber which is hosted at blogspot at http://genealogytranscriber.blogspot.com. Every day I post a new signature or name from a document and encourage readers and viewers to interpret the name and post suggestions.

Then usually within twenty-four hours or so, I post the answer. Reading the interpretations others have of the names is extremely interesting and provides additional perspective on searching for these names in records.

The Daily Genealogy Transcriber is one of two "daily" sites that I host--the other is "Genealogy Tip of the Day" at http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com. Comments to this site have been disabled because I was getting too much spam. Both sites have fan pages on Facebook where viewers of the site can post comments, etc.

Tips and images for the transcriber site ususally come from things I am working on for Casefile Clues, my weekly subscription based how-to newsletter. The blog for Casefile Clues provides some ideas and suggestions there as well, but really is just the tip of the iceberg compared to what is in the newsletter.

Not everything in genealogyland can be free--we all have bills to pay. One viewer of the "Tip of the Day" site was bothered that the newsletter was occasionally mentioned. She was entitled to her opinion (as was the person who agreed with her), but the fact remains--if you give everything away for free, you're left a little short at the end of the month yourself. And the last time I checked, the plumber or electrician didn't come to my house for free.

I encourage site visitors to use the Tip of the Day site and the Genealogy Transcriber site to help develop their research skills--even if you don't subscribe to the newsletter (you can subscribe to the tips via an RSS feed without any charge). There's even some suggestions on the Casefile Clues blog that are helpful, even if you don't subscribe (we're working on including more Google Maps in our regular posts there).

There are ads on the Tip and Transcriber sites--in reality they don't provide any significant income. And I'm not one to overload sites with ads or spend hours writing posts that will generate high search engine rankings with little actual content. I'd rather the Tip and Transcriber sites help readers--that's the the real goal (and of course generate a subscriber or two to the newsletter).

The Casefile Clues site and blog is completely free of advertisements, affilitate links, etc. The only link to any subscription anything is for the newsletter. That way there is no preceived conflict of any sort. We also keep the price of a subscription to Casefile Clues as low as possible--there aren't other how-to magazines out there at $17 a year! Our overhead is low.

I'll be pretty blunt. I write Casefile Clues for myself with the kind of information and guidance I wish I had when I began my research. It seems like that has gotten a good response from readers and subscribers. I know I can't please everyone all the time--so I'm not trying.

07 September 2010

Family Search Pilot Site Adds a Scattering of Illinois Probate Records

There are a scattering of unindexed Illinois probate records on the Pilot Family Search site. They include materials from the counties of:

  • Alexander
  • Coles
  • Effingham
  • Gallatin
  • Hamilton
  • Hancock
  • LaSalle
  • Logan
  • Madison
  • Massac
  • Piatt
  • Pope
  • Rock Island
  • Shelby
  • White
  • Whiteside

05 September 2010

Labor Day Sale On Casefile Clues

Through tomorrow, we are running a Labor Day Sale on my newsletter Casefile Clues. A year of issues for $14.50--that's a 15% savings. Check it out at