30 April 2013

Theodore Trautvetter Returns in 1890

Not all relatives who disappear are located. Some simply vanish into thin air never to be heard from again. It was easier to disappear in 1890 than it is today. It can be difficult to find these missing relatives one hundred years or more after they disappear. Sometimes they are never found at all. 

That's not the case with Theodore Trautvetter. In fact, I never even knew that my uncle was temporarily missing as he's "in all the records" in the area where he lived. Stories of disappearances of this type are not always the type of stories that families pass down from one generation to another.

The 4 February 1890 Quincy Daily Journal indicated that Theodore Trautvetter had returned to the Warsaw, Illinois, area after disappearing. 

I've written briefly about Trautvetter's disappearance before after having located another article on his absence in the same paper. I knew his disappearance was not permanent as he is enumerated in later census records in Hancock County, Illinois, where he also is buried. 
obtained in digital format on the Quincy, Illinois, Public Library website
There are several ways to pursue this story further. One is that the Quincy newspapers probably did not provide the amount of detail on Trautvetter's disappearance that local newspapers did. The article referenced in this clip indicated that the Keokuk Democrat was the source of its information. Keokuk, Iowa, was closer to where Trautvetter lived than Quincy and newspapers there (besides the Democrat) should be researched. The Warsaw, Illinois, newspapers should be researched as well.

If Trautvetter's location is Kansas is indicated specifically, then newspapers there should be referenced as well to see if his "appearance" is mentioned from their perspective. I may try searches of the newspapers at Ancestry.com  and Genealogybank.com.  Searches of the digital newspapers at the Library of Congress did not locate any references to Theodore. However even if digital images are located, it still may be necessary be necessary to perform manual searches of newspapers in the immediate area once the location in Kansas has been determined.

Hopefully the local newspapers shed a little more "light" on the story. There are many reasons why Trautvetter may have decided to be absent from home.

Theodore Trautvetter is a brother to my great-great-grandfather, Michael Trautvetter. Their father, George Trautvetter didn't disappear, but did return to Germany in approximately 1870, never to see his wife or children again--they all stayed in the United States. George was approximately 71 at the time.

South Dakota 1905 State Census

 These three cards are from the South Dakota, State Census, 1905, which is available on FamilySearch.org.

The cards appear to have been filmed alphabetically, which is not the way they are arranged here. Loid's was first, Louis' was second, and Mary's was last in the arrangement of the cards on the FamilySearch.org site. I am not certain if there are actual census sheets from which these cards were made.

The cards do have places of birth for the enumerees and their parents. Louis' father was actually born in Ohio, not in Sutter, Illinois. While one cannot be certain who provided the information, it would be reasonable to surmise that Mary did--as Louis would probably have known where his father was born. Louis' father died in 1893 and Mary probably never met him (given her marriage into the Rampley family in the early 1900s). She could easily have just assumed her father-in-law was born where her husband was born as that was where the family had lived for some time. Louis' mother was alive when the Rampleys were married--in fact she lived until the 1920s, so Mary knew her and may have been more inclined to know the state of her mother-in-law's birth.

I had hoped that Mary's card would have given more information on the specifics of where her parents were born, but only Ireland was listed.

The card for "Loid" Rampley shown below is the Rampley's only child. The child's name is actually Lloyd.

The household structure here has been surmised from the cards being put in "card number" order. These cards were filmed in alphabetical order so viewing neighbors is not possible. I only located these cards by browsing after finding Mary Rampley. If there are individuals

The Rampleys were in the Dakotas for less than ten years and it was hoped that the cards would provide some additional information, but that was not the case. The family returned to southern Hancock County, Illinois, by the 1920 census enumeration and remained there until their deaths. Louis Rampley is a brother to Fannie (Rampley) Neill (1883-1965), my great-grandmother and Mary  is a sister to Charlie Neill (1875-1948), my great-grandfather.

29 April 2013

ELCA Records At Archives.Com--Did You Let Them Know?

Apparently Archives.com has been hearing complaints about the inability to browse the ELCA records. Good. If you have been frustrated with concerns about these records that were discussed in our two posts:

Make your voice heard. There won't be changes unless they know that people are unhappy and "not experiencing a good customer experience." The finding aids are not up to par and the inability to browse is unacceptable. 

I even made the point in my email that I was glad I was not relying on the digital images of these records to perform client-based work.

You can email Archives.com at feedback@archives.com.

How Johann's Certificate Got from Tioga to Rio

Admittedly, we need a better picture. But this post is not really about the picture anyway.

This is a photograph my daughter took of the 1899 baptismal certificate for Johann Julius Trautvetter. I've not often seen many from this era that actually have a gold seal on them.

Fortunately the certificate was framed. However, the backing used for this appeared to be two pieces of wood siding or perhaps old shingles. That is how the document came to be in two pieces as it appears a mouse or something ate through the crease between the two pieces of backing. The lower piece also had a small hole in it which also is why there's an additional hole in the upper part of the lower left quadrant.

I'm fortunate to have the document.

Whenever one obtains a document of this type, provenance should be discussed. Materials like this rarely just fall from the genealogy sky. A brief story of how these documents were obtained needs to be included with the documents.

This certificate (and one for Johann's brother George Elmer) were in the attic of the home of Pete and Mildred Trautvetter of Loraine, Illinois. Pete was a brother to Johann (John) and George Elmer (Elmer) and all three men were brothers to my grandmother, Ida Trautvetter Neill (1910-1994). After Aunt Mildred's passing in 2011, these certificates were found in her attic and were given to me by her son and daughter-in-law. My supposition is that at some point the certificates were taken down and put in the attic of the home where they remained until a few months ago. The home in which they were located was purchased by the parents (George and Ida [Sargent] Trautvetter) of the Trautvetter siblings in the 1910s or 1920s and most likely were brought to the home when the family moved there. Pete Trautvetter acquired the home upon the death of his parents.

New On FamilySearch

New or updated on FamilySearch as of today:

27 April 2013

Bears From Grandma's Spread

This is something a little different from our usual fare on Rootdig.

On the Facebook page for Genealogy Tip of the Day there was a discussion of "repurposing" old items as a way to preserve things.

These bears were made from my Grandma Neill's chenille bedspread. I've had them for a while as my mother (Grandma's daughter-in-law) had them made after she rescued the bedspread from a tractor in the shed. That was how my Dad repurposed the bedspread.

I'm not certain how long Grandma had the bedspread, but the bears were made some time after she died at her home north of Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, in July of 1994. Grandma was born Ida Laura Trautvetter on 1 September 1910 near Elderville in Hancock County's Wythe Township.

Is It What You Think It Is?

This image that appears below purports to be part of an affidavit signed by Focke J. Goldenstein and was included as an illustration in a blog post made yesterday. The green line was obviously not on the original document, but other modifications to the image were made before it was used as a blog illustration.

It is clear that the top portion of the document is missing, but what might not be so clear is that there is more missing than just the top portion. 

There was more to the affidavit that Goldenstein's statement about his name. There was additional discussion about the witness and then Goldenstein's signature appeared. The discussion about the witness was removed and Goldenstein's signature "moved." 

The omission was done to make the image smaller, and because the discussion of the witness was not germane to the posting about Focke's first name. Document extracts also leave out portions of documents that are not considered relevant to the discussion at hand.


Would you have realized that there was material after "that is his name." and before his signature if it had not been mentioned in this post?

I'm not saying that individuals intentionally publish modified images of records on their blogs. But it would not be difficult to remove something "unsavory" from a document image before posting the image to a personal blog or website.

This is one reason why a citation to an image should include the actual website where it was located in addition to the location of the original document (if known).

And this is why if I ever decide again to "edit" a document image, I'll make notations of some type on the actual image itself.

Note: this affidavit was made out by Focke J. Goldenstein in the completion of his 1880 era homestead claim in Dawson County, Nebraska. The original was obtained at the National Archives.

26 April 2013

First 124 Issues of Casefile Clues

There is a listing here of the topics for the first 124 issues of Casefile Clues. We are working on an updated list.

Was He Focke or Fokke?

What name to "use" for an immigrant ancestor is often a dilemma for the genealogist. It can be made worse when the ancestor is a native of an area whose names are not readily "translatable" or for ancestors who decided not to change of Anglicize their names.

Such is the case with Focke J. Goldenstein. Sometimes he is Fokke, Focke, or Foche, and other times he is Frank. What name should be used as his actual name? Once in a while, we are told by our ancestors what they prefer to be called.

In an affidavit made in his 1880 era homestead application file for parcel of land in Dawson County, Nebraska, Fokke's preference is clear: Focke. 

The image above is part of an affidavit made by Focke J. Goldenstein in his homestead application for property located in Dawson County, Nebraska. Not all applications contain such statements, but there were irregularities in the transcribed names for Goldenstein in several of the documents and this affidavit was made in response to those inconsistent spellings. It is not often that affidavits clearly spell out exactly the name that our ancestor preferred. I'll have to go back and see exactly what is on his tombstone.

Of course, when transcribing documents the spelling on the document is used. One does not "correct" records when transcribing them. Notations or comments can discuss any irregularities on the document in regards to names.

I once had a genealogist tell me I was spelling "Focke" wrong and that  I should use "Fokke" instead. Based upon this record, I'm using Focke.

A Cancelled Timber Claim from Nebraska

Records of cancelled federal land claims are an underutilized resource. Because the claims were not completed, patents were not issued and the original claimant never acquired title to the land. Because of this, the ancestor would not appear in property records as owning the property.

Yet the files can contain quite a bit of information, depending upon how far the claimant completed the process and whether or not he actually relinquished his claim or simply abandoned it for greener pastures.

These images are from the relinquished timber claim for Jurgen Ehmen in Dawson County, Nebraska.

We are sharing these images with readers in an attempt to make genealogists more aware of them--please do not use them in presentations, handouts, articles, other materials without asking permission. I don't know of anyone other than myself who is actively researching the Ehmen family.

These images are "front" and then "back." These images may be at a slightly lower resolution than they were obtained at the National Archives. The color scans are wonderful.

It takes some finesse to learn about the existence of these claims that were not completed. The tract books from the former General Land Office have to be searched manually. Without a completed claim, this is difficult if the area of settlement is unknown. In this instance, Ehmen's claim was within a few miles of several others in his extended family of immigrants. Two of those relatives completed their land claims. Because of that there were patents issued in their names which were recorded in the land records in Dawson County, Nebraska. Armed with the legal description of the property, the tract books were manually searched at the index entry for Ehmen's claim was located.

In a future post, we'll have more on claims of this type and how to research in these records. We'll have detailed analysis of these materials in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues.

Citation reminder: We are a strong believer in citing genealogical source material in the spirit of Evidence ExplainedHowever, we choose not to include properly formatted citations in these blog posts. There's always enough information in the post to create a citation and full citations are included in my how-to newsletter Casefile Clues. 

Note: Jurgen Tonjes Ehmen was born in Wrisse, Ostfriesland, Germany, in 1832. He was a first cousin of Fokke Goldenstein, my great-great-grandfather.

This post is: http://rootdig.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-cancelled-timber-claim-from-nebraska.html

Was Cornelia Albers Under-aged When Her Father Naturalized?

Cornelia M. Albers was young woman when she made out this homestead entry in Nebraska in 1883. She also indicated that she was over the age of 21 and a citizen of the United States. There's a simple reason why the native of Ostfriesland, Germany does not have a naturalization record in Nebraska where this claim was filed or in Illinois where she and her family originally settled.

I'm betting her father actually is the one who naturalized, probably having done so in Illinois before the family moved to Nebraska. If Cornelia was under age when her father naturalized before 1883, she would have automatically become a citizen upon his naturalization.

My time is best spent looking for the naturalization of Lubbe Albers, her father, and determining how old Cornelia would have been at that point in time.

We'll be discussing Cornelia in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues.

A Nice Trip to Princeton

I enjoyed giving the evening presentation on "Tightwad Ancestors" for the Bureau County Genealogical Society in Princeton, Illinois. The group in Princeton is always a great one to work with.

The society was recently involved in a filming of a episode of the Danish version of "Who Do You Think You Are." There is a Danish actress whose ancestors immigrated to Bureau County in the mid-19th century, leaving behind their oldest son from whom the actress descends. Some of the society's research was used for the episode. Did your immigrant ancestors leave any children behind in Europe? We tend to think of entire families immigrating, but sometimes adult children were left behind.

There was also a story passed on by one member of a researcher who discovered that for unknown reasons, a set of "grandparents" did not marry until they were in their sixties, well after their children were born. The marriage was almost not located because the only reference to a bride and groom with that name was "way too late in the entries." Sure enough it was the correct ancestors--right name and right ages. The researcher was surprised to find the couple marrying that late.

Any chance your ancestors really did not marry when you think they did?

And it sometimes pays to look later in the records than you think you need to.

24 April 2013

Charting Peter Bieger in 1850

Charts are very popular genealogical research tools.

With that in mind, I'm posting an image that was used in Casefile Clues a while back. This chart is a starting point to organizing my search. The problem was that I was having difficulty finding Peter Bieger in the 1850 census. In order to search for him effectively, I used several different websites that index the 1850 census. However, looking at the same entry over and over got a little tedious.

To keep track, I started with a simple chart as shown below. I didn't include links to the specific website's image. What I was concerned about was the dwelling and the family number (along with the State, County, and Town/City) as that would be on the census page regardless of what website I was using

I could easily add columns for this chart--the best one to add would be a comments column for "why" I rejected this person as being the Peter Bieger of interest. If you do not track why a certain person was rejected, it is difficult to go back and analyze again if assumptions change about the person of interest.

I still have not found Peter in 1850, but the chart at least helps me track what I have done.

Swedish Church Records at Ancestry.com Are Not Full-Name Indexed

Ancestry.com includes quite a few Swedish church records as a part of their international collection. Users should be aware that (as of this writing) they are not indexed by name. There are no name boxes to use on the search interface. The index will allow you to determine what records are available for which counties and parishes. Full name searching is not currently available. 

Sweden, Church Records, 1500-1941 from Ancestry.com
A search for "Carlson" as a keyword resulted in zero hits. Any Swedish researcher worth their lutefisk would  know that name search for Carlson in a Swedish datatabase should bring back quite a few hits. 

It is worth noting that most of the older records are in loose ledger format and are not easy to read. Indexing these records is not an easy task. Most Swedish records are "cross-referenced" and are usually fairly detailed. They are not as difficult to use as some other records during this time period. 

But they are not name indexed--yet. But if you are a member of Ancestry.com, you can search them from the comfort of your home at 3:00 a.m. Just don't type Samuel Otto Johnson in the search box.

23 April 2013

Speaking in Princeton, IL on 25 April

I will be making the evening presentation at the Bureau County (Illinois) Genealogical monthly meeting on Thursday, 25 April 2013. The topic is research on a tight budget. Genealogy is not free, but we will look at some ways to make the most effective use of your genealogical dollar and your genealogy time. Readers or followers who live in the area are more than welcome as guests. For more details, visit http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ilbcgs/meetings.htm

22 April 2013

A 1917 Baptism

Chances are the actual baptismal certificate for my grandfather is long gone and I'll never see it. It likely was destroyed in a 1923 house fire which destroyed the family home. I never really thought about looking for the church record of Granddad's baptism.

Granddad Ufkes was one of those Germans with four names: a first name, two middle names, and his surname. Granddad was the oldest in his family and the only child to get a German name. He was named for his Grandfather Ufkes, who had the exact same name as he did. Both grandfather's Anglicized first names were John, but the Ufkes grandfather had a High German name (Johann) and his maternal grandfather had a low-German name (Jans).  To the Ostfriesen ethnic community Johann and Jans were different.

Granddad's younger siblings were all given "English names."  Born in 1917, he was arrived before the First World War brought an end to the use of the German and Platt names that had been passed down for generations.

Baptismal entry for Johann Heinrich Friederich Ufkes, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Basco, Hancock County, Illinois; digital image, Archves.com. 

The entry really isn't all that noteworthy. The information about his birth and the names of his parents are all details I have known forever--in fact, his mother lived long enough to see me graduate from high school, nearly seventy years after Granddad's birth. His parents are listed correctly as Fred[rich] and Trientje Janssen Ufkes and the indication is that he was born on 27 January 1917 in Bear Creek Township. His baptism was 22 days later on Sunday, 18 February 1917. His sponsors were his father's brother Eielt Ufkes and his wife Antje. The name of the sponsors and the date of his baptism were the only pieces of information I did not already have.

Granddad's brother's baptism is recorded a few years later in 1923 and that's the last entry for the family in the Immanuel Lutheran Church record book. His three younger siblings are not there. The reason they are not there is simple, but it took longer than it should have for the reason to dawn on me.

It was one of those things that never made sense, but was never questioned. My grandparents lived on the Ufkes "homeplace," west of Basco and maybe a half a mile from Immanuel Lutheran Church where Granddad was baptized in 1917. Yet my Grandparents didn't attend the rural church. They, Grandad's mother, and my family attended the Lutheran church several miles north in Carthage. I always thought it odd that despite their proximity to the "south church," they went to church in town. Granddad's mother lived in Carthage my whole life and I lived north of Carthage, so it going there for us made perfect sense to me.

The story, which I learned sometime later, was that Fred Ufkes wanted his children to learn English, which was spoken in the town church while the south church continued to have services in German.

When I remembered that story, I knew exactly why the younger children were not listed in the records of the south church. They were born after the family had transferred their membership to the town church. I had it in my head that the transfer happened during the First World War, but it did not as my uncle was born in 1923.

The timing of the family's transfer probably was not the war. It most likely was the fact that Johann Ufkes, Fred's father, died in 1924. There are no entries for the Fred Ufkes family after that time. Johann was an early council member of the south church and it was where all his children were baptized and confirmed and it was in that church cemetery where Johann's wife Noentje and infant son were buried. It seems more reasonable that there was a wait to leave the church until the grandfather passed away in 1924.

21 April 2013

New-Updated on FamilySearch-North Carolina Estate Files

This collection is marking as new or updated as of today 21 April 2013:

North Carolina, Estate Files, 1663-1979

The Goldenstein Trunk

I've written about this trunk before and have actually had it for over ten years. It's not a new acquisition, but I decided to revisit it after Genealogy Tip of the Day readers suggested it.

The trunk belonged to Altje Goldenstein and is likely the trunk she had with her when she immigrated to the United States sometime before her August 1870 marriage in Adams County, Illinois, to Hinrich Schuster. Altje has never been located on any ship manifest, but quite a bit is known about her life and her family. Altje was born in Wrisse, Ostfriesland, Germany, the daughter of Johann Luken Jurgens Ehmen Goldenstein and his wife Tjode Anna Focken Tammen. She was a part of a much larger chain of migration to Adams and Hancock Counties in Illinois that included all but two of her siblings, an aunt, an uncle, and numerous cousins. Even if she arrived alone on the boat there was family waiting for her in Keokuk Junction--her destination which is stamped on the trunk. 
Keokuk Junction was a railroad train stop in northeastern Adams County, Illinois, and today is known as Golden. It was home to a large contingent of Ostfriesen immigrants. 

Altje was a sister to Fokke Goldenstein, my great-great-grandfather. That is how the trunk came to my possession. In the days before blogs, I posted much of my family tree on my website. The antiques dealer who purchased this trunk from an estate sale, told me that the trunk was originally wrapped in canvas and that after removing the canvas and cleaning it up, she decided to perform some internet searches for the name on the trunk. 

Fortunately my website was one of the results. The antiques dealer emailed me, we agreed to a price, and the trunk is now in my possession.

Altje died in 1907 in Hancock County, Illinois, and is buried in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery near Basco. The trunk probably never left the immediate area as the dealer who purchased it was based in Keokuk, Iowa. 

Apparently it was used for a toybox at one point in time because it is painted bright red inside and wheels were attached to it at one time. The dealer was unable to tell me where she bought the trunk. She did not live far from the area, so my supposition is that the trunk was in someone's attic, garage, or barn until the dealer purchased it. 

I also have her brother's trunk that he used on a return trip to visit Germany in the early 1900s. His trunk does not have his name stamped on it, so I'll have to take Grandma's word for it that it was his trunk. 

20 April 2013

Organizing the Scotts

Work continues on the family of John and Rose Anna (Neill) Scott of the Drumachose Parish in County Derry, Ireland.

A search of various databases at FamilySearch, coupled with the online index to baptisms at the Derramore (Ireland) Presbyterian Church has given me a tentative list of the children of John and Rose Anna (Neill) Scott. The earlier records do not indicate Rose Anna's maiden name, but the information on each row of the chart below was obtained from the source indicated.

The events listed are in chronological order by year.

Last Name
First and Middle
1 February
John and Rosanna Scott
FamilySearch, “Ireland, Births & Baptisms 1620-1881.”
Elisa Jane
2 Feburary
John and Rosanna Scott
FamilySearch, “Ireland, Births & Baptisms 1620-1881.”
12 January
John and Rosanna Scott
FamilySearch, “Ireland, Births & Baptisms 1620-1881.”
13 May
John and Rose Ann (Neill) Scott
FamilySearch, “Ireland, Births & Baptisms 1620-1881.”
12 March
John and Rosanna Scott
FamilySearch, “Ireland, Births & Baptisms 1620-1881.”
18 August
John and Rose Ann (Neill) Scott
FamilySearch, “Ireland, Births & Baptisms 1620-1881.”
26 September
Of Derrymore
John and Rosanna (Neil) Scott
Derramore Presbyterian Church records
23 May
John and Rose Ann (Neill) Scott
FamilySearch, “Ireland, Births & Baptisms 1620-1881.”
16 Nov
John and Rose Ann (Neill) Scott
FamilySearch, “Ireland, Births & Baptisms 1620-1881.”
18 June
Of Derrymore
John and Rosanna (Neil) Scott
Derramore Presbyterian Church records

What I need to do now is:

  • Locate the original records that were used to create the index entry in the FamilySearch database mentioned above. The index entries are a start, but I need to see the actual information to see if any other details are included--particularly names of sponsors. 
  • Determine why there are gaps in the years of birth for the children from 1856-1864
  • Attempt to track the family in more recent records.
  • Matilda's birth in November of 1871 and Sarah's baptism in June of 1872 warrant some study. 
A chart was used to organize the information as that is this author's preference. I'll wait to perform database entry when I've some connections a little more firmed up. My immediate goal is to try and find out what happened to the parents and see if I can locate any additional siblings for Rose Anna Neill. I'm already fairly confident that she is a sister of Samuel and Joseph Neill, Irish immigrants to West Point, Hancock County, Illinois, in the late 1860s.

New On FamilySearch

New or updated on FamilySearch since our last post:

South Dakota, County Naturalization Records, 1865-1972

19 April 2013

A Sister for Samuel and Joseph Neill?

I have been stuck on my Neills for years. A thirty-second lookup a few days ago lead to the likely discovery of one sister of my Irish immigrant forebear, Samuel Neill. The family and the discovery are summarized here in a way that makes sense--instead of how I researched it. I'm hoping that a descendant of the likely sister makes their way across this post and contacts me.

I am lucky that one of my Irish immigrant relatives was born in Ireland in the early 1860s--my ancestor's niece was born a few years before the family left Ireland, so our story will begin with Sarah's baptismal entry in a church in Derramore, Ireland.

Sarah Ann Neil was born on 24 October 1862 and baptized on 7 December 1862 at the Derramore Presbyterian Church in County Derry Ireland. Her parents were Joseph Neil and Ann Bryce. The family was "of Derrybeg" at the time of her baptism. A transcription of this record was obtained on RootsIreland at http://www.rootsireland.ie.

On 16 January 1862 at the Derrymore Presbyterian Church, Joseph Neil and Ann Bryce were married by Wm. [Jamison?], with witnesses of Wm. Mc Intosh and John Archibald. Joseph was of full age and was a bachelor who lived in [Taques] Hill in the parish of Drumachose. Joseph was a servant, and was the son of John Neil who was a laborer. Ann was a spinster of full age and was a servant living in White [??] in the parish of Drumachose. Her father was James Bryce, a laborer. This information was taken from the "Quarterly returns of Marriages 1862 Ireland Vol. 9," Family History Library microfilm roll 0101440, page 375.

This Sarah, her parents, and her uncle Samuel Neill, Joseph's brother, immigrated to New Brunswick, Canada in the 1860s and finally settled in St. Albans Township, Hancock County, Illinois. As mentioned in another page on this site, the Neills indicated they were from Newtown Limavady at the time they immigrated. Information on Sarah and her parents in Ireland is consistent with information on Sarah and her parents in Hancock County, Illinois.

Off to Google

A Google search for the Derramore Presbyterian Church located a website for the page, which I had seen before. What was not there previously was a transcription of early (1825-1899) baptisms from the church. I located the reference to Sarah Ann Neil, but I also noted that there were two births to a Neil mother--both with a residence of Derrybeg:

  • Maria, baptized on 26 September 1869
  • Sarah, baptized on 18 June 1872
Both children's entries indicated their parents were John Scott and Rosanna Neil of Derrybeg. There were only twenty-five entries with Derrybeg as a residence between 1825 and 1899--and only three of those indicated a parent with a last name of Neil.

I went back to the http://www.rootsireland.ie. website and paid for one more marriage record. This one was from the Christ Church in the Drumachose Parish (Church of Ireland). There on 1 August 1850, John Scott and Rose Ann Neil, both of Ruskey, were married. John Scott was the son of Robert Scott, laborer, and Rose Anne Neil was the daughter of John Neil, laborer.

The case is pretty solid. The chance there were two different John Neils with children who were contemporaries in the Derrybeg area seems fairly slim.

Next on the agenda..looking for John and Roseanna (Neil) Scott on the FamilySearch site.

Have Full Text Searches of Books Been Turned Off at FamilySearch?

A few years ago, I wrote about a discovery of a book I made on the Family History Archive (fornerly http://sites.lib.byu.edu/fhc//index.php) at Brigham Young University. The item of interest was located because I was able to perform a full-text search on that site. That search page that I used to use has been moved to the FamilySearch website as part of the reorganization.

And now it appears that the full-text search does not search the full text of the book any more.

I can get to the "advanced search" of the books on the FamilySearch site and it will let me perform a "full text" search, but it does not appear that I am actually getting full text results. Maybe the book description and catalog items for the book are being searched, but it does not appear that I am getting full-text results.

I really hope that I'm doing something wrong--otherwise I'm pretty disappointed.

18 April 2013

He Was Not In Montebello in 1855

Sometimes one has to get past the  Ancestry.com "hints" and "suggestions." 

While working on a Daniel Crow, I came across a reference indicating that in 1855 he lived in Montebello Township in Hancock County, Illinois. This seemed a little strange to me as Daniel, a native of Pennsylvania, had appeared to be following his mother's relatives into Coshocton County, Ohio, and into Hancock County, Illinois. The family never lived in Montebello Township, and I wondered while Daniel was there.

 It turns out he was not.

For whatever reason, 
Ancestry.com indicated Daniel Crow was enumerated in Montebello Township. A look at the actual 1855 Illinois State Census indicated he was actually enumerated in Walker Township, not Montebello.

Based upon the relatives he was following, this made much more sense. 


Never import from Ancestry.com without first checking to make certain the transcription is accurate. Sometimes the errors are inconsequential and other times they are not.

Citation reminder: We are a strong believer in citing genealogical source material in the spirit of Evidence ExplainedHowever, we choose not to include properly formatted citations in these blog posts. There's always enough information in the post to create a citation and full citations are included in my how-to newsletter Casefile Clues. 

Where Is the Land the Estate Record Mentions?

This is part of the receipts from the estate of Thomas J. Rampley in Coshocton County, Ohio, in the 1820s. The $45  for "...Amount recd from Sale of real estate" had never made sense to me as I could not find any mention of Thomas in the local land or property tax records.

It could have been that the real estate mentioned in the estate record was in another location and that I simply needed to look outside Coshocton County.  That was on my long-term "to do list."

It turns out Thomas did not have real estate outside Coshocton County. Thomas had started the purchase of federal property in Coshocton County on credit and had not finished the purchase by his death. His estate had an interest in the property at the time of his death, but because the purchase had not been completed, he did not have title. The $45 is the same amount that is paid for his claim as indicated by records of the former General Land Office.

The lesson?

When I see amounts in an estate settlement that are received from real estate and cannot find local records documenting that real estate, and the time period and location is right, I should determine if the person involved had purchased federal land on credit. They could be living on the land and would be a resident of the county in which the land is located, but would not appear in the local land records or property tax records until they had completed the purchase.

I also need to consider that the person had land in another county.

17 April 2013

Don't Be Indifferent About Transcriptions

Several years ago, I wrote about a 1922  baptismal entry from a Roman Catholic church in Chicago, Illinois. There were several conclusions based upon the transcription of that entry that I received from the church, along with other information I had from the family. Those conclusions were partially based upon the belief that the transcript (shown below) was complete:

The conclusions will not be stated here in their entirety, but essentially I concluded that Theodore Hoontes (an uncle of Anna Apgar by marriage) had traveled from Clinton County, New York, to be at the baptism and that the baptism had been performed in 1922 in preparation for the mother's marriage later that year in the Roman Catholic church.

Not exactly.

The transcript that I received was not complete.The records of this church were some that were recently released by FamilySearch on their website in their collection of Roman Catholic records from the City of Chicago.

Anna was baptized on the same day as her older siblings, Elizabeth, Lillian, and Louis Apgar. That detail was not on the transcription. And, the notation in the baptismal entry(made by the priest) indicated that the children had been attending school when it was discovered they were not baptized and that "the Sisters" had encouraged them to be baptized. The notation continues to say that the godfather Theodore Hoontes was not present at the baptism and that "Mrs. Esther McCasland," sister of the mother of the children, acted as sponsor. Mrs. Apgar is referred to by the priest as an "indifferent Catholic." She and Mr. Apgar were married by a Justice of the Peace in 1909 and he left the family in 1916.

Based upon this statement, my theory about the timing of the baptism will need to be revised. My theory that Hoontes was visiting Chicago at the time of the baptism is incorrect as well.


Transcriptions can be incomplete and any conclusions that are based on transcriptions are always subject to revisions.

The Genealogy Proof Standard indicates that any "fact" is always subject to revision--particularly if additional information comes to light.