Monthly Archives: July 2018

Casefile Clues Offer-followup

If you subscribed to Casefile Clues after our recent offer, you should have received your back issues and a confirmation email. If you did not, please email me at the email address in your receipt (mjnrootdig@gmail.com).

The offer is still good today for those who might have missed it (12 free issues).

Casefile Clues strives to be readable, clearly written, practical, and down-to-earth. Find out more on our website.

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Assumptions Should Be in Your Notes–Not In Your Facts

We need to make assumptions in our genealogy research. Many times assumptions are necessary in order to get our work off the ground. But after a point, it may be that the assumption is hindering our work or that we have forgotten that an assumption was made.

If you are guessing that the parents were married near where the first child was born, that is a good start. But somewhere in your notes, indicate why you believe where they were married and that you have no proof. If research does not validate your assumption, it may be that your assumption was incorrect. And if you enter your assumption in your genealogical database as fact, it can be very difficult for that information to go back to being an assumption.

Don’t enter assumptions in your genealogical database as a fact. Don’t.

Francis Beiger was born in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1851, the oldest child of her parents. My initial assumption was that her parents were married in Illinois. Turns out that assumption was incorrect. Peter Bieger and Barbara Siefert were married in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1850, a few months before heading west to Illinois.

My assumption was a good place to begin, but in this case it was a little far afield.


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Administrator’s or Executor’s Bondsmen

A bondsman on an executor’s or administrator’s bond is guaranteeing that if the executor or administrator of the estate runs off with the estate’s property without paying the bills of the estate that the court can come after the individuals who signed the executor’s or administrator’s bond. Generally speaking, if someone signed the bond your ancestor posted as an estate administrator, that bondsman trusted your ancestor enough to know that he wouldn’t run off leaving unpaid bills of the estate.

And the judge knew that the bondsmen were “worth enough” to cover the value of the estate if the administrator defrauded the estate.

The value of the bond represented what the bondsmen “were worth” to cover the estate–usually a multiple of the value of the estate. It was not cash they put up at the time. 

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What Page Number Are You Using?

Some records, particularly United States census records in the earlier part of the 18th century, have more than one set of page numbers. When creating citations, clearly indicate which set of page numbers you are using, for example:

  • stamped page number upper right
  • printed page number lower left

Because the page numbers can confuse some researchers, it is always advised to include additional citation information to assist in locating the record. For US census records, this would be the geographic information (state, county, township/village/enumeration district, etc.) and the household/dwelling number. The geographic information is necessary information anyway (since it tells you where the person was living), but it could also help someone else to locate the record again if the page number is “off” or confusing.

Some church records, particularly those kept in ledgers that were originally blank, have no page numbers. In these instances, other details are necessary to create the citation:

  • name of village/church
  • type of entry (baptism, marriage, funeral, etc.) as some records are sorted by the type of act
  • year of entry as some entries are sorted by year
  • anything else that helped you “get to it”

Digital image numbers and the like are helpful–to a point. They work as long as the other person has the same database access and the website hasn’t “reorganized” their materials. Some microfilm has image numbers as well. Always indicate where the number appears to come from–don’t just randomly include it. Random numbers without context are not helpful.

You can learn more about citation in:

You can learn more analysis and methodology in Casefile Clues.

 

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Ends 30 July-12 Free Issues of Casefile Clues

We’re excited that Casefile Clues is back up and running. Writing is a great way to improve your research (speaking just for me) and reading about records, analysis, interpretation, and methodology is great for readers.

Subscribe by 30 July and we’ll send free 11 issues.

Subscriptions normally start with the next issue, but we’ll send the first 12 issues of volume 4 with our compliments for subscriptions that are ordered by 30 July.

Casefile Clues strives to be readable, clearly written, practical, and down-to-earth. Find out more on our website.

 

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Irfanview Webinar–Free Download

Offer for “Tip of the Day” fans-download this presentations free. For those who don’t know how to annotate their digital images.

Irfanview is of the most popular image viewing and manipulation programs around that hasida-laura-trautvetter-neill the best price–free! This presentation focuses on basic skills that are useful for the genealogist, including cropping, adding citations, adding text, adding metadata, batch renaming, and more. Geared towards those who don’t have much familiarity with the software.

Today (29 July only) download the presentation for free–handout included. You will have to “order” and “checkout” but the price will be 0 and no credit prompt will be given.

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Process Reminder: Manually Searching

It can be a pain and it can take time.

But it can result in great discoveries–manually searching records.

Indexes and finding aids fail. They are not perfect. Sometimes a person needs to go page by page in order to make certain that the record they want really is not there. Before you search page by page, there are some things to consider to increase the chance you actually find that person, you should determine:

  • how the records were originally organized
  • how the records  are organized in the format you are using them (probably the same as when they were created, but it may be different)
  • where your person should be in the records–probable residence for materials organized geographically, date of event for items organized chronologically)
  • how complete the records actually are
  • why the person might not be in the records

 

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Digitization and Identification Reminder

This is your periodic reminder to digitize and identify photos.

Be as precise as you can, but don’t “fuss” over every minute detail–include as much as you know and move on.  This 1950-era photo was take in Chicago, Illinois, at a wedding.

If I ever get time, I can go back and include the exact place (which I don’t know) and the date–which I have. But sometimes it’s better to get down what you know for certain and move on to identify as many as you can. This amount of detail is certainly better than the alternative.

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12 Free Issues of Casefile Clues

We’re excited that Casefile Clues is back up and running. Writing is a great way to improve your research (speaking just for me) and reading about records, analysis, interpretation, and methodology is great for readers.

Subscribe by 30 July and we’ll send free 11 issues.

Subscriptions normally start with the next issue, but we’ll send the first 12 issues of volume 4 with our compliments for subscriptions that are ordered by 30 July.

Casefile Clues strives to be readable, clearly written, practical, and down-to-earth. Find out more on our website.

 

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