Monthly Archives: December 2015

Will New Names Jog Memories?

Sometimes all it takes is a “new” name to open the door to an entire set of memories. My grandmother-in-law remembered a fair amount about her family originally. After a little research, I located the maiden name of her grandmother, which she had not originally remembered.

As soon as I mentioned that last name, more memories came to her mind. Sometimes all it takes it a word or a name to unlock an entire set of memories.

Always go back and re-interview that person when you have located new information.


Is One Number Off?

If materials are filed in boxes, is it possible that one number is off? I remember one packet of court papers that  according to the index were in box 394. I was positive it said “394.” It turns out the “4” was actually just a funny written “1.”

Or maybe just a mistake.

Either way it took me a while to find the correct packet. If something is not where it is “supposed” to be, consider that one little being off is all that it takes.


Genealogy Tip of the Day is sponsored by GenealogyBank. In December, they are offering an annual subscription for a monthly rate equivalent to less than $5 a month!


What Was the Last Book You Read?

Building your genealogical research skills is more than learning about records and indexes. Expanding your knowledge of history is importan, especially as it relates to your own family. Over half of my ancestors immigrated to the United States in the 19th century, knowing something about the naturalization process is important. But….it’s not just about the men, so I’m reading A Nationality of Her Own: Women, Marriage, and the Law of Citizenship by Candice Lewis Bredbenner.

Lots of food for thought.

What was the last book you read to increase your historical knowledge?


The Question They Only Asked Males Over 21 in 1900


This 1900 census enumeration leaves the question of year of citizenship blank for these two ladies.1900-no-females
It wasn’t an oversight. It was because the census enumerator’s instructions were to only ask the question regarding year of citizenship of males over the age of twenty-one. The likely reason is because women in 1900 didn’t have a separate citizenship status from that of their husband–the two literally were one.


Mark Dates of Auto-Renewals

If your subscription to a genealogy website timesupor database is set to “auto-renew,” put the date on your calendar.

And mark a week before the date of the expiration. That’s the date on which you should make a decision to keep your subscription or cancel it. That gives you plenty of time to contact the service and cancel if necessary.

And…if you are considering a short-term subscription to one of the database services, here are some suggestions.

But always know when the subscription is set to automatically renew.


Assumptions List

We’ve made a list of some assumptions that genealogists make. Here are a few. We will add your suggestions to a longer list which we’ll post later.

  • The county history was right.
  • That my grandparents actually got married.
  • That my grandma was my grandpa’s first wife.
  • That my relative was an immigrant.
  • That my relative was born in the United States.
  • That the entire death certificate was right.
  • That grandma had a tombstone.
  • That my grandparents were buried next to each other.
  • That no one in my family got divorced.
  • That the old genealogy was right–I just haven’t found the proof yet.
  • That my family was never in court.
  • That my family never appeared in the newspaper.

Add your own thoughts in the comments. Thanks!


Cross Off One Assumption

We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.

If you’re “stuck,” write down all the assumptions you have made about your ancestor. Generally speaking, these are things you “know” but for which you have no documentation. Assumptions could include:

  • Married near where the first child was born
  • Wife outlived the husband
  • All the children married and had their own children
  • etc.

Assumptions can very from person to person. But….

cross one of those assumptions off. What if it were not true? Would your research change? How would it change?

Something to think about.