Dobbin Gray’s Gone But There are Clues in There

This 1906 item regarding a “missing” horse tells quite a bit about its owner, including:

  • confirming the dairyman’s address.
  • giving his occupation.
  • suggesting church affiliation
  • providing last known “alive on” date

Sometimes the biggest clues in newspapers are not found in the “in-your-face” items but instead are in the daily grind of life references that seem mundane on the surface. And whether or not something is a clue depends upon what you know and what you don’t.


Genealogy Tip of the Day is proudly sponsored by GenealogyBank. Try their “GenealogyBank Search” and see what discoveries you make.


The Poor May Write Wills–But Probably Not

Don’t assume that because your ancestor was “poor” that he left no will. There may have been one remaining family heirloom that he wanted to give to someone or a small amount of money he did not want someone to have. An aunt lived from widow’s pension check to pension check and she left a will. Most poorer individuals did not leave wills, but it is possible that they did.

Genealogy Tip of the Day is proudly sponsored by GenealogyBank. Try their “GenealogyBank Search” and see what discoveries you make.

Jumping to the Correct Conclusion

I always assumed that my great-grandparents met because they grew up on farms a few miles apart. It’s an easy conclusion as proximity facilitates relationships. But there was more to it. I learned later that he worked for a few years as a hired man for his future mother-in-law. It’s not unusual for the hired man to marry one of the daughters. It’s not those details that are the point.

The reminder is that we should not quit looking for “reasons” just because we have the reason. We may not know the whole story. While our initial “reason” may be valid, the other reasons may provide additional insight and research suggestions.

Jumping to the correct conclusion can sometimes limit us. But it is better than jumping to the wrong conclusion.

Genealogy Tip of the Day is proudly sponsored by GenealogyBank. Try their “GenealogyBank Search” and see what discoveries you make.

Do You Really Have It All?

As Jade correctly points out in the comments this is not from the pension file. These index cards are online. The pension files are at the National Archives.

Years ago I received copies from the National Archives of selected documents from the Civil War pension file for my relative, Emmar Osenbaugh. The file was rather large and, since I’m somewhat “stuck” on certain parts of her life (and that of her parents), I decided to obtain a copy of the entire pension file.

If you have an abstract of a record or selected documents is it possible that there are clues in those un-abstracted pieces of information or un-selected documents? Sometimes what seems trivial to someone unfamiliar with the family is not trivial at all.

Note: (added after Jade’s comment)

The cards referenced in Jade’s comment are located online at United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933” on FamilySearch.

Avoiding Fake Ancestors Webinar

There is no way to be entirely certain a tree is one hundred percent correct. Ever. Humans will make errors. However there are some ways to reduce the number of errors in your tree, creating a more accurate tree for future generations and reducing the chance you create more brick walls for yourself in the process. This presentation is aimed at those who have been researching their genealogy for a while and would not consider themselves experts but are no longer real beginners either.

Moon People–probably not your ancestors!

This discussion will concentrate on:

  • determining when to enter information into a database and when not to
  • the elements of proof and evidence–with suggested ways to learn more
  • responsible use of online trees for clues
  • avoiding common and not-so-common errors
  • why it is not the number of sources that matter
  • finding it on 1,000 trees does not make it true
  • additional ways to improve your research skills

This hour-long session will be held on 16 April 2017 at 8 pm central daylight time or on 17 April at the same time. Register for one session only. Registration includes PDF handout and ability to download lecture after the recording has been processed.

Registrants who cannot attend will receive PDF and media file after recording has been processed.

Early registration is encouraged to guarantee your spot. Paypal account not necessary–simply hit “checkout–Pay without a PayPal account.”

Thanks…hope to virtually see you there!

Do You Have Undigitized Photographs?

Color photographs from the 1960s and 1970s are notorious for fading. Sometimes they are blurry.  If you have access to photographs from this era that have not been scanned or preserved digitally consider doing so.

Don’t forget to put what documentation you can on the photograph itself. Even something is better than nothing–at least your name, where you got the photograph, and when you digitized it.