Recently I requested a translation of a funeral entry for a relative. I really wanted the cause of death part translated and included the “occupation” part only to provide additional handwriting as a sample.
Turns out the “occupation” portion of the entry contained genealogically relevant information about the relative’s daughters and their residence at the time of the father’s death.
All from a part of the entry that I thought would not provide me with any information.
This presentation discusses approaches and techniques for determining an ancestor’s maiden name and locating “missing” females. Geared towards the advanced beginner or intermediate researcher, it focuses on American records and sources before World War I. The content is not specific to any one time period and many of the approaches can be refined for different locations or types of records. Concepts discussed will include:
overview of women’s legal rights;
and strategies for making the most from what you can find.
If you are stymied on your female ancestors–and half your ancestors are female–this presentation may give you the insight you need.
Always look to see what the “consideration” is on a land transaction. It’s what is given up in order for the grantee to obtain the property. If there’s not an amount of money listed, try and determine what the relationship was between the grantor and the grantee. Whenever property is transferred without cash being transferred, that’s something the genealogist needs to look into.
As I work on Rufus, I become aware of the need to remember that I may not have the same person just because the name matches. The other details matter to. My problem is made slightly easier because the Rufus in which I am interested usually uses the middle initial “D.” But he could easily appear in a record without that initial. I have absolutely no idea what the initial “D” stands for.
My first knowledge of Rufus is a 1850 census enumeration in Michigan where he is living near a married woman who is believed to be his daughter. As I find Rufus in other records in other states (he’s believed to have lived in Michigan, Illinois, and New York, as well as the province of Ontario), I have to constantly ask myself: is this the same person?
And if I think it is not the same person, I have to ask myself if the records that I think are all from one Rufus really are from one Rufus. That evaluation needs to be constant.
Because maybe the “new” record is my Rufus and maybe some of the records that I already have in my Rufus profile are not really all for my Rufus. I shouldn’t throw out that new record too quickly.
Because maybe what I think is my Rufus really isn’t my Rufus.
At the time her will was signed, Barbara Haase made “her mark.”
Readers should note that simply making a “mark” does not mean the person was illiterate. They might have been unable to sign or perhaps were told to “make their mark.” That’s one reason why documents such as this have witnesses. Barbara could sign her name–she did so on documents in the 1850s and 1860s in a lovely German script. Not certain why she made three marks–although she did have three husbands (or two or four, depends upon how you count).
If your relative obtained a land warrant (usually veterans or their widows for US pre-Civil War military service) and assigned that warrant to someone else, the reverse of the warrant could contain valuable information: the signature of the warrant’s recipient and residential information at the time the warrant was assigned. The National Archives has these surrendered warrants.
Read through the list of receipts from your relative’s estate carefully. Are there any benefit amounts paid from a society of some sort? That membership could be a clue as sometimes membership was limited to a certain ethnic group or denomination.
Genealogists use digital scans of out of copyright books and records all the time. If the scan you have located online has pages or areas that are difficult to read, consider that another site may have scanned a different copy or the book or used a different scanning process.
It may also be necessary to see if a library can make a photocopy of that “bad page” or if a better scan is available through the original holder of the record.