Monthly Archives: September 2015

Knowing the Procedures

While it’s always advised to research extended family, the reality is that there simply is only so much time one can devote to certain problems. That said, why would one look at the US passport of an ancestral sister-in-law in the 1920s?

Because during that time period some women still derived their citizenship through their husband and knowing something about the passports issued during that time as well, I know that there’s a good chance the ancestral sister-in-law’s passport mentioned her husband.

And he’s the brother of the ancestor.

And that may help me on my actual problem.

Sometimes records on the in-laws are more likely to be of immediate assistance than others. And while an exhaustive search is always good…we all have limitations.


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Only the Name Changes

I had a relative who was married several times in the middle part of the 20th century. The way I tracked her was through city directories. Her last name changed, but she lived in the same home despite having several husbands. If your ancestor is changing some things about themselves, think about what remains the same. That may be how you’ll find them.


Reverted to a Prior Name?

I have a relative who was married three times, having survived all three husbands. She was married to her third husband some twenty years before she died and she survived him by several years. For reasons unknown to me when she died in 2012 she is listed in the statewide death index under her second husband’s name. She was married to him for five years and they had no children. She continued to use her third husband’s last name after his death.

Took me forever to find her.


Corrected Census and Handwriting Analysis

Census enumerations were sometimes reviewed and corrected after the enumerator had submitted their clean copy. This 1900 census enumeration contains a corrected age–the “2” in “29” does not look like other “2”s on the same page.  Apparently in this case the census taker didn’t take the census date and the month of birth into account as there are numerous corrections on his enumerations. corrections


The Do Do Do Minister

Some abbreviations still make sense 200 years later. Others do not. If there’s an abbreviation that makes no sense to you, Google it, ask someone what it could mean, look for it in genealogical references, etc. But make certain you find out what it meant at the time the document was written. And avoid using abbreviations yourself. tip-17-sept-do-do-do