29 September 2011

Tacoma, Washington Seminar 8 Oct 2011

I will be presenting at "Autumn Question" at the Heritage Quest Research Library's seminar in Tacoma, WA on 8 October 2011.

  • Where Did the Farm Go?

  • Locating Emigrant Origins

  • Researching Through Footnotes

  • I Found It: Now What?

Details are on the group's website. I'm looking forward to my trip to Washington.

26 September 2011

Flip It Over

Undated newspaper clippings and other paper materials are frustrating for the genealogist.

It always pays to flip the clipping over. Sometimes there are "between the lines" clues that give an idea of when the clipping was actually published.

And then there is this one.

This clipping was found amongst my Grandmother's paper. The other side indicates the three infants who baptized along with their parents.

One of the infants was me, so I already had the date--but this would have helped if I had not known it or the clipping had been for someone else.

Flip those clippings over...there could be subtle, or not so subtle, clues on the reverse.

21 September 2011

The Anonymous Census Entry

Yesterday's posting at the Daily Genealogy Transcriber was for an entry that was apparently "anonymous," literally.

The entry comes from the 1865 Illinois State Census for Cooperstown in Brown County, page 55. The actual images are housed on FamilySearch.

The entry of interest is the second one on the page, shown partially in the image above (click for a larger version). Those three dots are not ditto marks--they are a "footnote" to the entry on the far right hand side of the page, shown below.

The "remark" indicates why the entry is "anonymous" and also makes it clear that those marks can't be ditto marks as not even the last name of the person is known.

It reads:

"A family just moved in--absent from home & no person new[sic] her name"

It is not often someone appears as anonymous in a census. The entire image is posted below for anyone who would like to see it.

20 September 2011

Access to Virginia Vital records

Posted with Ms. Little's permission. Please make other aware of impending changes to Virginia vital records access. Thanks! Michael (who is essentially 1/16 Virginian....)

--------------------------------start of copied posting-----------------------------
The Virginia legislature is considering changes to Virginia’s laws on access to vital records which could either expand – or severely limit – research access to birth, marriage, and death records.

It is critical for all members of the genealogical community to file comments by October 6 with the Virginia legislative commission considering this issue.

Currently, birth records held by the Virginia Department of Health are closed for 100 years, with marriage and death records closed for 50 years. After these time periods, the records are supposed to be turned over to the Library of Virginia (LVA), though VDH has tried to delay this. The copies of marriage and death records at the Virginia county or city level are not closed, but are public records (if they can be found).

VDH has limited access to its statewide “closed” records to “immediate family
members,” excluding even grandchildren.

Senator Harry Blevins of Chesapeake put in a bill in the 2011 Virginia General Assembly to modestly improve access to records, which was referred to the Virginia Joint Commission on Health Care (JCHC) for study. When the Virginia Genealogical Society (VGS) became aware of this study, it offered comments urging i) that death certificates held by VDH become open records immediately, since there were no legitimate privacy or identity theft reasons for keeping death certificates closed, and ii) that the range of family members who can access closed vital records be significantly liberalized.
VGS and LVA worked with JCHC staff educating staff about genealogists’ need for these records, the Surgeon General’s emphasis on family medical histories, and supplying information from physicians about the importance of death certificates in compiling family medical histories.

We were therefore very disappointed when a JCHC staff study was released on September 19 which is confusing at best, and proposes restrictions, not liberalizing, access.

Indeed, staff testimony made it clear that they supported closing all records (including the open county and city marriage and death records) and lengthening the closed VDH period to 125 years for births and 75 years for marriages and deaths.

While the staff report suggests allowing an Ancestry-type indexing system of the VDH database to allow close relatives access, the staff made it clear that VDH, not LVA (which has the genealogical experience) should do this, potentially taking vital records away from LVA.

I have attached the staff report, which poses eight options for legislators on pp. 23-27. [Emailbvlittle@earthlink.net for a PDF of the full report]

Please email comments referencing SB 865 (with your name and address) to

sreid@jchc.virginia.gov, or fax them to 804-786-5538, or mail to: Joint Commission on Health Care, P.O. Box 1322, Richmond, VA 23218, to arrive by close of business on Thursday, October 6, 2011. If you are out of state, you might explain that you do research in Virginia, and that closing records will discourage travel to Virginia for research.

If you have examples where your current research has been blocked by VDH, include this.

Please urge the Commission to take the following actions on its eight options:
Option 1: Oppose Option 1, (doing nothing) since Virginia’s overly restrictive laws
should be liberalized.
Option 2: Support Option 2B, reducing the birth records closed period to 75 years.
Option 3: Support Option 3B to open marriage records now.
Option 4: Support Option 4B, in principle, but instead of 25 years retention of death
records, open them immediately.
Option 5: Support Option 5 (disclosure of decedent’s social security number).
Option 6: Support Option 6, and urge that “family members” be defined liberally.
Option 7: Support Option 7, and urge that “family members” be defined liberally.
Option 8: Support Option 8 in principle, but the Library of Virginia should create and
operate any index of vital records, since it has the expertise to do this.
Unless extensive public comments are received by October 6, Virginia’s vital records
may become closed, threatening genealogical and family medical history research, and
blocking new members for lineage societies.
Please send in your comments now!

Forwarded by

Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS

--------------------end of copied posting-------------------------------------------------

17 September 2011

Genealogy Webinars start tomorrow

I'll be presenting a series of genealogy webinars in September and October using www.gotowebinar.com. You don't have to "join" Gotowebinar or create an account--it's just what we use to bring the seminar to you. Viewing/participating instructions will be sent after registration, along with reminders.

Seminars are an hour long, include a PDF handout, and 30 minutes for questions. Topics are:

  • Court Records--18 Sept
  • Two German Women in Illinois--23 Sept
  • Seeing Patterns and Organizing Information--25 Sept
  • Determining Your Own Migration Trail--1 Oct
  • Introduction to Federal Land States--16 Oct
Attend from the comfort of your own home!

More information is available at http://www.casefileclues.com/webinars_neill.htm

15 September 2011

Livestock Registrations from the American Angus Association

This is not really a big genealogy clue, but it just goes to show that you can find information about anywhere.

This is a screen shot of the pedigree of "Carthage Barbara" who was born on my Grandpa Neill's farm in 1952.

It was a little difficult to pull from the American Angus Association website as I had to search for "carthage" and then hope I found something for which I was looking. Searches cannot be conducted by member number, address, etc. I'm probably not going to spend hours looking on here, but it did confirm Grandpa's address in 1952--which really was not in doubt anyway.

If I really played around with it, I might get an idea of how long my grandparents had lived in Carthage. However, I already KNOW that. But in some cases, one never knows what might be a clue.

Maybe I'll see how Elizabeth Shown Mills suggests we cite this (grin!).

14 September 2011

1930 Mexican Census At Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com has apparently released the 1930 Mexican Census with index and images.

Surprisingly it is in Spanish.

Chicago City Directories for Elias Apgar

I've been doing some preliminary city directory work on Elias Apgar--who I'm trying to find in the 1880 census and who I think may be the adopted father of William Frame Apgar, who was born in Chicago in 1888. So far, I've just got the entries for 1879 and 1880. I'm not certain if I'm going to trace Elias in every directory--my goal is to try and learn if he really adopted William Frame.

The 1879 and 1880 entries follow.

Elias Apgar is listed as a moulder with a house at 325 Illinois.

There is no Elias Apgar in the 1880 Chicago City Directory on Fold3.com. This may explain his absence in the 1880 Federal census. Amos, George, and Philip Apgar are listed in 1880 as shown below.

City directories are useful, but I'm not certain how helpful they will be for me in this problem. I'm looking to see if Elias Apgar adopted William Frame some time after Apgar married in 1874 and before he died in 1894. I'm not certain directories will provide much assistance and I'm hesitant to spend the time on it at this point. Suggestions or ideas are welcomed.

13 September 2011

Chicago Voter Registrations for the Frame and Apgar Families

The potential adoption of Frank and Willie Frame continues to be the focus of some of my research time. In this update, we look at Chicago Voter's registration records for Elias Apgar and Thomas Frame. 

Part of the "reasonableness" of whether Elias Apgar adopted Willie and Frank Frame is tied to the residences of Willie and Frank Frame's father Thomas and how close that residence is to Elias Apgar. Keeping in mind that Elias Apgar died in 1894 and that his wife Ann(e or a) died in 1895, addresses in the 1880-1895 period are crucial. In attempt to locate and compare the family's whereabouts, I looked at their entries in the 1888, 1890, and 1892 Chicago. These lists (1888 Voter Lists1890 Voter Lists, and 1892 Voter List) are online and indexed at Ancestry.com.  

Elias Apgar in the 1888 Chicago Voter's Registration Records

Elias Apgar in the 1890 Chicago Voter's Registration Records--as E. Apgar

Elias Apgar in the 1892 Chicago Voter's Registration Records

Thomas Frame in the 1888 Chicago Voter's Registration Records

Thomas Frame in the 1890 Chicago Voter's Registration Records

Thomas Frame in the 1892 Chicago Voter's Registration Records


Determine how close these addresses were at the end of the 19th century. I cannot use modern maps as the street numbers were changed after these records were created. 

I am also going to search city directories at Fold3 for Chicago and determine if there are any clues in those records. I'm doubting it as those records too will just show proximity. They are unlikely to provide any direct evidence of the adoption of Willie and Frank by Elias and Anna (Hartmann) Apgar. 

We will have an update after we've looked at the directories and contemporary geographic information.

Stay tuned.

12 September 2011

An Apgar Connection for William Frame Apgar?

I have never really understood why William Frame took the last name of Apgar. The earliest reference with him listed under the name of Apgar is his 1909 marriage record to Mary Demar. This image comes from the FamilySearch database Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920. William is clearly listed as William Frame Apgar on this record. As mentioned in earlier blog posts (Framing the Apgars and Framing William Frame and, I'm pretty certain this is the right record and the right couple.

The question really remains: "Why Apgar?" While I know that people can change their name for any reason, there's usually is SOME reason. William Frame's English background has been traced for several generations and there's no Apgar ancestors--and no apparent connection to an Apgar family.

A blog reader recently contacted me and gave me the first lead on the Apgar connection. Bonnie H. emailed mem and sent me a letter written by her aunt Blanche Hartmann Gayan in 1976 which reads in part:

She is referring to John, Henry and Chris Hartmann and their two sisters Annie Apgar and Gustie Ehrensperger. A marriage record was located for Elias Apgar and Anna Hartman in Cook County, Illinois.

Elias Apgar and Anna Hartman were married in Chicago on 3 June 1874. This image comes from the FamilySearch database Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920.

The Apgars died in the 1890s. Elias died in 1894 and Anna died in 1895.Both of these certificates were obtained from the Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1922 on the FamilySearch site.

There is no indication on the certificates who the spouse or widow was. However, given the marriage certificate and that Elias is married and Anna is a widow and the undertaker and cemetery are the same, it seems pretty clear the certificates are for the same people.

Annie died in 1895 as shown on her death certificate.

The problem is that there is nothing in these records to indicate whether or not there were any adopted children.

The letter indicates that the Apgars adopted a Willie and a Frank, but does not provide any more details about these children. The assumption is that they were brothers, but the letter does not specifically make that statement. William Frame did have a younger brother Frank. One problem is that I'm certain why they would have been adopted. However the adoption would explain the use of the last name Apgar.

I'm working on the "next steps" in this research. That includes searching the 1888, 1890, and 1892 Chicago Voter Registrations at Ancestry.com and the 1880 census for Elias. Then I'll compare the locations I have for Elias with those for Thomas and Elizabeth Frame, William's parents.

11 September 2011

Framing William Frame

Framing William Frame (this article was originally published in the Ancestry Daily News on 15 April 2004--we are in the process of updating the article for an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues--complete with citations)
If you combine a divorce, a relative who “evaporates,” and a potential name change, you have the makings for a brick wall. This week we return to a problem from Chicago, Illinois, that involves all these difficulties and more.
In a nutshell, the situation is:
William Apgar and Mary Demar Apgar divorce in Chicago in 1921. They are the parents of four children. According to the divorce record, they were married in Chicago in 1909.
The corresponding marriage record for the couple in Cook County, Illinois, gives their names as William Frame Apgar and Mary Demar, with the bride's father, Louis, giving consent. In the 1910 census, Louis Demar's Chicago household includes a William and Mary Frame (and their daughter).
In a previous column, “Framing the Apgars”, this census entry was analyzed item by item, comparing the known William and Mary Apgar with the William and Mary Frame from the census enumeration.
After concluding that William Apgar was likely enumerated as William Frame in 1910, it was decided that perhaps the reason William Apgar could not be found before 1910 is that his name really was William Frame.
A World War I Draft Registration Card for William Apgar indicated he was born in Chicago in 1888. No Apgar families living in Chicago and Cook County in 1900 were found to have a William listed. While William's family could easily have spent time outside the Chicagoland area, it was decided that before the Apgar search was expanded a similar search for Frames should be conducted.
My search for William Frame began with the information from his 1910 enumeration combined with what I knew about William Apgar from other sources. I made the following assumptions:
- William was actually a Frame, and he used that surname until at least 1910.
- The information on William's 1910 census enumeration was fairly accurate.
- William lived his whole life in Chicago.
I will continue to remind myself of these assumptions as the work progresses.
I began with the following:
William Frame, a painter (at least from 1910 to 1921), was born 1888 or 1889 in Chicago, with parents born in England. I have this information (and my assumptions) written on a sheet of paper with an indication of where each piece of information was obtained.
And So I Started 
Part of the difficulty in this case is the lack of an 1890 census, the closest one to William's date of birth. What I needed was a source of residents in the Chicago area as close to William's date of birth as possible. Two potential sources came to mind: voter registration lists and city directories. The voter registration lists are available in microfilm from the Family History Library, the Illinois State Archives, and to Ancestry.com subscribers. The directories are available in a number of locations both in print and on microfilm. I chose to use the voter registration lists first because they are easily accessible and they provide the registrant's place of birth. I make a note on my sheet of assumptions that once I have exhausted leads from the voter registration lists the directories should also be checked, as William's father might not have registered to vote.
Searching the Voter Registration Lists 
The 1888, 1890, and 1892 Voter Registration Lists included several Frames, but only two born in England—Thomas and Ralph. Since 1888 was approximately the year William was born and in 1910 William Frame indicated his father was born in England, it was decided to follow Thomas and Ralph through as many census records as possible in order to determine if additional research on either of these men should be performed. The voter registrations did not provide the men's ages, so even though Ralph is not listed in 1888 he could easily have been William's father and simply have been too young to vote.
The voter registration of 1888 indicated both men had lived in Chicago for at least twenty years, so the 1880 census was checked.
Thomas and Ralph Frame were found living in the same household, with Thomas as the father. Both were of an age to have been William's father. The 1900 census entry for Thomas Frame was most interesting. A partial extraction from 1900 Cook County, Calumet Township, Chicago City, Enumeration district 1121, sheet 11B follows:
Thomas Frame, 62, born England, painter
Elizabeth Frame, wife, 55, born England
Edward R. Frame, son, 22, born Illinois, printer
Frank Frame, son, 15, born Illinois, at school
Willie Frame, son, 10, born Illinois, at school
Lottie Frame, daughter, 6, born Illinois, at school
It was not concrete proof, but at least there was a Willie Frame living with the English born Thomas Frame in 1900 and this Willie's age was consistent with the age of the William Frame listed in 1910 with Louis Demar. Ralph Frame's 1900 entry did not include a son William and it indicated that Ralph's wife had only had one child, apparently the daughter living with them in 1900.
Interestingly enough, Thomas Frame was a painter just as William Frame was in 1910. In 1910 Thomas Frame was living in the same general neighborhood as Louis Demar and William Frame, which is another good sign.
A Potential Loose End 
It is possible that there are multiple William Frames in the Chicago area. The 1910 census in Cook County, Illinois, was searched for all William Frames to see if there was more than one with a similar date of birth and background. The only William Frame in 1910 who “matched” the one living with Thomas Frame in 1900 was the William Frame living with Louis Demar.
To recap what I've found:
- Thomas Frame in 1910 is living in the same neighborhood as William Frame in 1910 with Louis Demar.
- The William Frame listed with Thomas Frame in 1900 has a census entry that is consistent with the William Frame who was living with Louis Demar in 1910.
- There is only one William Frame in 1910 Chicago whose information is consistent with the William Frame living with Thomas Frame in 1900.
Our work is far from done. Here's what remains to be done:
- Locate probate information for Thomas and Elizabeth Frame.
- Locate Thomas Frame in as many census records as possible in an attempt to re-create the family structure. Perhaps a record on one of Thomas' other children will shed light on William Frame.
- Search city directories for 1908-10 (at least) for Thomas and William Frame and compare their residences with those of Louis Demar.
Tips from This Case Study
- Learn about the records in the area. In this case, the voter registrations helped get me started.
- Do not grab the first person who “matches.” Make certain there are not multiple individuals living in the same area with similar names, ages, and backgrounds. It can easily happen.
- Remember and annotate any assumptions that were made as a part of your search. It may be necessary to change them as research progresses.
Next week we will look at the census, marriage, and death index entries for the Frame family. We will attempt to piece together the family structure using online materials.
Readers can search the Chicago tax lists at Ancestry.com here:

Framing the Apgars: How Much Proof?

Framing the Apgars: How Much Proof? 

(this article was originally published in the Ancestry Daily News on 25 Sept 2002). The census entry discussed can be viewed here http://www.rootdig.com/census/louisdemar1910.html.

How can I prove that a reference to William Frame in the 1910 census is actually supposed to be a William Apgar? And just how much information do I need to have to show that two individuals are in fact the same person? It depends.

And that's not meant to be a cop-out answer. There is no hard and fast rule that can be applied to every genealogy problem. Generally speaking, the more information the better. The problem is that not all information coincides and in some cases, very little information is available.

An excellent simplified guideline is to:

  • Locate as many records as possible.
  • Track what you searched and how you searched it.
  • Take accurate notes—not scribbles.
  • Keep your assumptions in check.
  • Delineate in writing your research process.
  • Delineate in writing your record analysis and conclusions.
  • Learn about the general area and records that were created.

    It sounds easy, but sometimes it is not. This week, we'll look at a relatively recent and simple example from a family that has been discussed in earlier columns.

    The Record1910 Census, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, Enumeration District 1449, 26 April 1910 [extract],

    Demar, Louis, head aged 49, M, born New York, machinist
    ------, Alfreda, wife aged 50, M, born Sweden
    Loll, Fred stepson, aged 21, S, born Denmark, electrician
    Frame, Wm, Roomer, aged 21, M, born Illinois, painter
    -----, Mary, Roomer, aged 17, M, born New York
    -----, Lillian, Roomer, aged 2/12, S, born Illinois

    The SpeculationThe three last individuals in this household are actually William Apgar, Mary Apgar, and Lillian Apgar and not William, Mary and Lillian Frame. William Mary and Lillian are known to have been in the Chicagoland area in 1910 and several details about their life are already known and well-established from a variety of other records. Mary Apgar is known to be the daughter of a Louis Demar from New York State. It is thought that the Louis in the 1910 census is actually Mary's father.

    I decided to take this census entry apart bit by bit as best I could and compare what the census said with other records I had on this family. In this example, in the interest of space, we'll include complete citations for some of the references. Of course in my records, I've got complete citations for every reference.

    Proving My CaseWHY WAS LOUIS IN CHICAGO? Louis gives permission for Mary to marry in 1909 in Chicago. It is assumed that he was actually present at the office when the license was obtained (instead of his daughter bringing in a signed letter of consent). This would put Louis in Chicago in 1909. Research should follow up with appropriate Chicago city directories for the time period to determine if his residence in Chicago was permanent or temporary.

    THE GENERAL RESIDENCE: Louis Demar in 1910 lived at 42 W. 119th St. This is in the Pullman area of Chicago and is in the same general neighborhood where: 
  • Mary Apgar lived when she divorced William Apgar in 1921.
  • Mary Apgar's sister lived in the late 1910s.
  • Mary Apgar lived when she married again in 1922.
  • William Apgar appears in Chicago directories in the late 1910s.
  • William Apgar appears in the World War I Draft Registration.

    The residence appears consistent with other records on the family.

    FRAME NAME: William Frame Apgar and Mary Demar were married in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois in 1909. Louis Demar, father of bride gives his permission. [Source: Apgar-Demar Marriage License, 1909, Cook County, Illinois, Marriage License 525022, Cook County Illinois Vital Records Office]. This seems to be a fairly solid explanation of the reason why William might be listed with the Frame surname instead of the Apgar surname.

    WILLIAM'S OCCUPATION: The 1921 divorce of William and Mary Apgar indicates that William was a painter. [Source: Mary Apgar vs. William Apgar, 1921, Superior Court Records, 21 S 365365, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois]. While not an overwhelming consistency at least the occupation is not in conflict with other records.

    WILLIAM'S AGE: The World War I draft card of William Apgar indicates he was born in September of 1888. This age matches exactly the age of William Frame in the 1910 census.

    WILLIAM'S PLACE OF BIRTH: The World War I draft card of William Apgar indicates he was born in Illinois. William Frame also indicates he was born in Illinois.

    LILLIAN'S AGE: The Social Security Death index indicates Lillian was born on 2 March 1910. Lillian would have actually been several days shy of being two months old at the time of the census (date of census was 26 April). However, her age is very close and this researcher does not feel it is off far enough to warrant concern. Note: Lillian was located in the Social Security Death Index using her married name (here omitted) and her month and year of death.

    MARY'S AGE: From death records and the 1920 census, Mary was born ca. 1894. The age of Mary Frame in the 1910 census is 17. Mary Apgar's calculated age in 1910 from other records is approximately 16. This does not appear to be a major discrepancy.

    MARY'S PLACE OF BIRTH: From death records and the 1920 census, Mary was born in New York State. This is consistent with Mary Frame in the 1910 census.

    LOUIS' AGE: From christening records, Louis was born in 1854, probably in the month of March. This would make Louis 56 at the time of the 1910 census. This is a seven-year discrepancy from the age of 49 listed in 1910.

    LOUIS' STATE OF BIRTH: Louis' 1870 and 1880 federal census entries and his 1892 New York State Census entry all indicate he was born in the state of New York.

    ALFREDA? Louis's wife and daughter Mary's mother Marie Demare died in upstate New York in 1896. Louis could easily have married again.

    THE RELATIONSHIP? This is perhaps the biggest question of all. Why are William, Mary, and Lillian, not listed as son-in-law, daughter, and granddaughter? I'm not exactly certain.

    Again, a reminder: include the citation with each reference.

    The intent here was to pick apart each aspect of the 1910 census entry and compare it to information obtained on the family from other sources. Some pieces of information fit well, but there are a few which do not make as much sense as I would like (especially the relationship). However, information obtained from different sources will not always fit together into a neat and tidy package. The biggest key to connecting the 1910 census reference to known family members was that William listed Frame as his middle name on his marriage record. Had this original record not been utilized, the case would not have been as strong.

    Benefits?Delineating my case in this manner provided me with several benefits. First of all, it forced me to analyze my research and to consider additional sources that had not been used. Secondly, it helps me to see potential weak holes in my line of reasoning. Finally, if someone asks me "why" I think this census refers to the Apgar family I can provide them with my list of sources and conclusions.

    After performing my analysis, I immediately thought of three records I should also locate.
  • Information on Louis' marriage to Alfreda-probably in Chicago.
  • Chicago City directories for Louis Demar.
  • Birth record for Lillian Apgar-probably in Chicago.
  • Birth record for William Frame Apgar-considering either Frame or Apgar to be his name—probably in Chicago.

    So far, my attempts to locate William Apgar in the 1900 census (hopefully with his parents) have centered on the Apgar surname. Now it looks like my research should also include the Frame surname as well.

    Analyzing this 1910 census entry was relatively straight forward, but it indicates that further research in this family might not be so simple. In future articles, we'll analyze other situations where the analysis is more complex. Keep in mind, if you back up a conclusion with your sources, the information they contain, and your line of reasoning, your genealogical case will be much stronger.
  • 10 September 2011

    Genealogy Webinars in Sept and Oct of 2011

    I'll be presenting a series of genealogy webinars in September and October using www.gotowebinar.com. You don't have to "join" Gotowebinar or create an account--it's just what we use to bring the seminar to you. Viewing/participating instructions will be sent after registration, along with reminders.

    Seminars are an hour long, include a PDF handout, and 30 minutes for questions. Topics are:

    • Court Records--18 Sept
    • Two German Women in Illinois--23 Sept
    • Seeing Patterns and Organizing Information--25 Sept
    • Determining Your Own Migration Trail--1 Oct
    • Introduction to Federal Land States--16 Oct
    Attend from the comfort of your own home!

    More information is available at http://www.casefileclues.com/webinars_neill.htm

    07 September 2011

    Was William Rhodus A Confederate? Getting Started...

    Fold3 has an entry in their Civil War Soldiers material for a  William Rhodus from Missouri. The real question is whether or not it is my wife's William Rhodus.

    This image comes from Footnote's Missouri Compiled Service Records from the National Archives:
    The problem is where to go next in order to determine whether or not this the William Rhodus I am searching for.

    Here's what I think I should do:

    • Review what I know about the William Rhodus I am searching, estimating his date and place of birth as best I can.
    • Review William in census materials and determine where he likely was living in Missouri at the time of the Civil War.
    • Search for a roster of men in the same unit
    • Determine if William had any brothers of military age for the Civil War
    • Determine where other men who served in this unit were from (at least county or the region of the state).
    When I've done that, it is time to evaluate and go from there. We'll have a report when I've done more research. 

    06 September 2011

    Is It Really New at Ancestry.com?

    Today's screen shot at Ancestry.com:

    I like Ancestry.com. I really do.

    However, I get tired of "new" databases that are either just updated, tweaked, etc. and may or may not really be "new." Or if they are new, it is not obvious to the user what is new and what is not.

    The Ancestry.com website indicated today that they recently released updated UK Incoming Passenger Lists from 1878 to 1960. I'm not certain what is new about them, but I used them in 2008 when I created a blog post about my uncle Virgil Rampley appearing in them.

    I would like it if they would be a little more clear what's new, what's changed, etc.

    All of which goes to prove how important it is to track what you do and WHEN you do it.

    05 September 2011

    Immigrating As Economists

    A recent posting to the Daily Genealogy Transcriber got me started looking into "economist" or some form thereof, being listed as an occupation on passenger manifests in the 1850s. The original entry from 1853 can be viewed here. That ship landed in Baltimore.

    After some discussion of this on the APG mailing list, I remembered that I had seen "economist" listed before as an occupation--the actual word in English, not in German. After some searching, I was able to find the entry I had noticed a few years before. This entry is part of a manifest of arrivals in New Orleans on 3 November 1855 on the D Kohlmann (NARA microfilm publication M259, roll 42).

    A manifest which includes several immigrants listed as "Economists" and can be viewed here.
    We'll have an update later, but I wanted to include the image and link to the entire manifest for those who have expressed an interest in the term and its use.

    UPDATE 5 Sept 2011-1:22 PM Central time:

    I'm inclined to believe the word on the 1853 manifest was a variation on Oeconom which is sometimes interpreted as "farm administrator." Frankly, I'm not certain what that means in terms of the George Trautvetter on the first manifest or the several people on the second one. What I do know is that it's not an economist in the sense we think of the word today and I don't think that's what is meant on the second manifest. What I do know about Trautvetter is that he did have enough money that he was able to by several hundred acres of farm land in Illinois outright within a few months of his arrival in the United States (based upon land records). I don't know about the others. At the very least it probably means that they were not land owners upon their arrival in the United States.

    Being "economical" with someone's property is likely what it means literally--or something like that.

    There is a wonderful list of German occupations here http://www.european-roots.com/german_prof.htm.

    (Descendants of Hermann Sartorius are encouraged to contact me. He's my uncle...)

    04 September 2011

    Labor Day Weekend Special On Casefile Clues

    We are offering a Labor Day Weekend Special on my how-to newsletter--Casefile Clues. More information here.

    03 September 2011

    Archives.com and their census update

    In reference to my postArchives.com sent me the following message:

    "1870 is the only year w/out a county+state location. Im[a]g[e]s from other years will be added in coming months."

    Before anyone criticizes the form of the message, it was sent via twitter, which has some limitations.

    We will have updates on Archives.com as I have time to experiment with it.

    02 September 2011

    Archives.com and Their Census

    Regular readers know that I'm not a "copy and paste" sort of person.

    I've been reading about Archives.com and decided to take a look at their new materials--particularly their census indexes and images. I'm always on the lookout for new indexes or different ones that may "find" a person I have been unable to locate elsewhere. There census offerings have generated a fair amount of press, but I'm not certain people will want to give up their other memberships just yet--although Archives.com is a alternative for those who don't need access to some of the other databases. Note that as of this writing all images did not appear to be up (we'll update this if changes to this post are needed).

    I did a little searching. My search was for James Rampley--mainly because they are not many of them and I know who most of them are and where they should be. I found the ones I should, in the places where they should be.

    The images do allow users to manipulate the image right in the browser--zoom/contrast/brightness controls are included.

    At the time this post was written, there were not active links to 1920 and 1930 images--although there were index entries for those years in my search results.

    In my searches, I noted links to actual images for the census years as indicated below. ALL CENSUS YEARS WERE INDEXED.

    • 1790-no image
    • 1800-no image
    • 1810-no image
    • 1820-no image
    • 1830-no image
    • 1840-no image
    • 1850-image
    • 1860-no image link on some--some were linked to Footnote.com[sic]
    • 1870-image
    • 1880-no image link
    • 1900-image
    • 1910-no image link
    • 1920-no image link
    • 1930--linked to Footnote.com[sic] images

    I was pleased with the ones that had image links---and liked the images. The one below is from 1870:

    I noted on the 1870 results that the specific residence was not listed. For the John Habben who appears in the next image, there was not a location more specific than Illinois, but with the film numbers, it would be possible to determine the location if the image were not available. It would be preferable to have the location on all search results pages.

    It's worth a free trial at Archives.com to see if there are references you've not found anywhere else. That's what I'm hoping for in my own research. We'll post updates here as I look more into Archives.com and what it has to offer--there's always hope I find Anna Apgar in 1920.

    That will be the real test of Archives.com for me...whether I can use it to find those hard to find people.

    I also did not appear to be able to narrow searches by county--only by state. This is a limitation that's somewhat serious.