200B For the Cause of Death Does Not Mean Death by 200 Bees

Modern United States certificates often have code numbers that are specific to the cause of death. In some cases they may provide additional information or be more specific than the listed cause. This 1938 death certificate’s code of 200b pretty much means the person dropped dead.

The International List of Causes of Death has been revised several times and can be seen online. Make certain you are using the correct year as the codes have been modified over time.

Brick Wall Tips and Tricks for 2018 Released

We’ve just released this recording–break your brick walls in 2018

Order download below or email me if you registered/pre-ordered and have not received download.

Walking me for a little while may be the best brick wall breaker there is. And….it will be less time cleaning up messes.

Content:

This presentation is geared at advanced beginning and intermediate level researchers. Our focus will be on getting past those impasses in your research. We will look at some common research pitfalls, terminology that can be confusing, ways to organize your research process, the importance of looking at “everything” and more. This presentation is not geared towards one location or time period, but is more focused on methodologies that can be applied to a variety of research situations. Questions can be submitted by live attendees before the presentation and will be incorporated as much as possible and practical.

Order now for immediate download.

US Military Service Records World War I and After

United States military records from World War I to the present are at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF) can be requested for veterans who saw active military service.The OMPF becomes archival 62 years after the veteran’s discharge and are open to the public. Non-archival files are available to the veteran, and if deceased, certain relatives of the veteran.

Learn more about accessing these records on the National Personnel Records Center website.

And the Source Is…

Broadly speaking, genealogists can put sources in one of three categories:

  • Original-the first time the document was recorded.
  • Derivative-when the document was reproduced, whether by hand or some sort of “image reproduction”
  • Authored Narrative-usually a written compilation of original and derivative records along with analysis, interpretation and summary

This classification scheme is not perfect. No scheme is perfect. This classification scheme does not comment on the accuracy of the record. That’s the job of the researcher as some original sources are virtually worthless and some derivative sources are excellent.

Thinking about what type of source you have in your possession helps you to think about how accurate it could be and the limitations that it might have.

For more about record classification and analysis, consult  Evidence Explained

A Mini Do Over

Applying the problem-solving process to your research is one good way to “do things over.”

Sometimes after we have researched for a while, we realize that there’s something we should have done differently. Often these “do over” things, ranging from citing sources to organization, are things that we probably would not have done when we started anyway because we would not have seen the value in them or did not dream that we would become as obsessed with research as we are.

Instead of doing all your research over–because it’s not going to happen–pick one thing you’d like to do over.

And…when you’ve got a brick wall or stuck point on another family, spend some time on that “do over” activity. Maybe just a few minutes or a half an hour. That way it won’t feel so onerous. You will get something done and may have new insight into your other problem when you come back to it.

And there’s always the chance that when you are in the middle of you “doing over” that you realize something on those people that you overlooked.

Brick Wall Tips and Tricks for 2018

Webinar: Brick Wall Tips and Tricks for 2018

Date/Time 9 January 2018 at 8 PM Central US Time

Content:

This presentation is geared at advanced beginning and intermediate level researchers. Our focus will be on getting past those impasses in your research. We will look at some common research pitfalls, terminology that can be confusing, ways to organize your research process, the importance of looking at “everything” and more. This presentation is not geared towards one location or time period, but is more focused on methodologies that can be applied to a variety of research situations. Questions can be submitted by live attendees before the presentation and will be incorporated as much as possible and practical. There will be discussion afterwards for those in the live session.

Options:

How You Hear It In Your Head

Most genealogists “hear” the names of their ancestors in their head. Not in the sense of “hearing voices,” but by “hearing” that pronunciation in our head of a name that we may never have actually heard spoken aloud. My grandfather’s first name was Cecil and there was only one way it was ever said “See sull.”

It was years later before I learned that the name was often pronounced as “Seh Sill.”

From a research standpoint this can present problems, particularly with last names.

Especially ones like Taliaferro–because it is usually said in such a way that it rhymes with “Oliver.”

Try to discover how that “new name” was probably pronounced. Because how it was pronounced makes a difference in how it gets spelled.

It Isn’t Only Immigrants Who Appear on Manifests

Immigrants looking to settle in the United States were not the only ones to cross the ocean on a ship and appear on a manifest. Depending upon the time period, passengers could also be:

  • merchants and other businessmen
  • soldiers returning to the United States
  • native citizens returning from a trip abroad
  • immigrants returning to the US from a return trip to their homeland

I even found a manifest entry for a cousin who was a Red Cross nurse in Europe during World War I. If a passenger list entry is recent enough (generally late 19th century or later), it may give significant details about the passenger.

Fudging One Piece of Information Is All It Sometimes Takes

Census enumerators are sometimes given a slightly incorrect detail or two to make a family situation appear different than it is. In this 1930 enumeration the husband’s “age at first marriage” is incorrect–probably to make it look like he was the father of all the children. The oldest child was the wife’s by a previous marriage.

There is not really anything in this enumeration to suggest that either–the gap in ages of children could easily be explained by an infant death, miscarriage, etc. This is why looking at more than one record is imperative.

In the Newspaper Well After Death?

Some weekly newspapers would publish a “days beyond recall” or a similarly titled column containing items from issues that had been published decades before. Just because your relative died in 1855 does not mean he might not be mentioned 40 years later. It can happen.

My relative died accidentally in 1855 and several decades later in a retrospective column his death was mentioned.