The Census we use is not the original

Remember that the census we use today was not the one on which the census taker took his “original” enumeration.

The census copy that was microfilmed, and eventually digitized, was the “clean” copy that was written by the census taker after he finished taking the census. He used his field notes to make the good copy that we use today.

Any chance there was something in his field notes he couldn’t read? And what was the chance that he went down and asked for clarification on an age or place of birth?

Did they move back and forth?

Keep in mind that your ancestor may have moved back and forth. Not everyone followed a general path in just one direction.

I’m working on a person now who was in Iowa in 1856, Missouri in 1860, Iowa in 1870-1895, Missouri in 1900, Wyoming in 1910 and in Missouri in 1912.

Oh, and she was born in either New York state or Canada.

Casefile Clues Column posted–Preemption Claim

My latest “Casefile Clues” column was posted Sunday. It discussed a preemption claim in Missouri in the 1850s. Readers who aren’t subscribers can subscribe and get this issue sent to them upon subscription even though their subscription will start on 23 August. Just mention when you subscribe that you are a Genealogy Tip of the Day reader.

More tips are coming.

Check out USGenWeb Pages

When was the last time you visited the USGenWeb pages for your counties of interest? It has been at least several years since I visited the page for Chariton County, Missouri, where my wife has ancestors. Upon visiting it today, I realized they had quite a bit of new information from the last time I looked.

Point your browser to

and take a look at your states and counties today. There may be something new there.

Undocumented Name Changes

Sometimes the brick wall is created when an ancestor’s mother marries after the death of her husband. The problem is that if you do not know the names of the parents, it can be difficult to locate a marriage record. If you do know the names and a family disappears, consider the possibility that the father died and the mother remarried and the family is “hidden” under this new last name–whether or not the father adopted the children officially. Many didn’t.

I have several families in my own research where the remarriage of the mother complicated the research. Some will be featured in upcoming columns of “Casefile Clues.

Is It Really a Name Change?

A poster to a list indicated that her European ancestor’s first name was changed from Andreas to Andrew when he immigrated to the United States.

Two things come to mind. His name really wasn’t “changed.” It was translated. Andreas is Latin and Andrew is English.

The second is that if his name changed, it likely was when he naturalized, not when he landed. Changings at landings were rare–your paperwork had to match or there could be issues, especially in the mid-19th century and after.

Second Casefile Clues Column Published-Passport Records

My second “Casefile Clues” column went out to subscribers this weekend. It discusses a passport application that was located on (Footnote also has it as does the National Archives).

The images can be seen on our site.

If “Tip of the Day Readers” subscribe in the next 24 hours, I’ll send this past weekend’s article to them. Simply mention that you are a “tip of the day reader” when you subscribe or mention it in an email to me.