When searching an online database, leave out the last name and enter in other search parameters. Is it possible that the last name was so difficult to read on the original record that it was simply omitted when the information was transcribed? If you enter a last name as a search term it will have to be in the database in order for the entry to be returned as a “hit.” Thanks to DH for this tip! ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
Cyber Monday discount on my weekly genealogy how-to newsletter Casefile Clues. Our website has more information. Just a little time left. More tips tomorrow! ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
Indexes have made the searching of many records easier. Search, find, click and there’s the image on our screen. It still though is wise to view all the names on the census page and a page or two before and after. There could be close relatives living nearby, hiding under a name that’s indexed incorrectly or mispelled. Read the whole page your ancestor’s census or other record entry appears on. Read a page or two before and after. You might be surprised at what you find. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
I usually tell researchers if they spend more than 5 minutes searching for a person in an online database, it’s time to get off the computer and organize your search procedure. The first step is to determine if it would be more efficient to search the database manually, especially if certain details about the family are known that would make manual searching easier. If manual searching isn’t going to work, make a chart and organize your searches by how you will be entering the search terms. Think about: first name middle names last name spelling variants place of birth date of birth other search parameters Chart up how you will perform your searches and do them systematically. You might be surprised at the results. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s […]
Put every event in context. If your ancesor sells property, ask yourself: how old was he? was he getting ready to leave the area? was he having financial problems? was he selling to a child or other relative? did he buy other property about the same time? Don’t look at a record all by itself. Put it in the context of other things that were taking place in your ancestor’s life. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
If onsite research at the local courthouse is not an option, consider contacting the local genealogical/historical society or the local library. They may be able to give you names of researchers, suggestions for doing research remotely, or may do some limited research for you via mail. Some courthouses will respond to mail inquiries and some will not. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
We’re not using other term for post-Thanksgiving discounts, partially because I think the Thanksgiving holiday has been playing second fiddle to the pre-Christmas craze for too long. In honor of Michael’s 7 newly discovered Mayflower ancestors, we’re offering Casefile Clues Thursday and Friday for $14 for a year of 52 issues. Here’s a little about Casefile Clues and here’s a little more. Want a sample? Send an email to samples@casefileclues.com to receive two sample copies. The Thanksgiving Discount is good through Friday. This post will be pulled after Friday! The discount rate will be called the “Thanksgiving” discount on both days. Choose the appropriate course of action: New subscriber to process payment securely ($14)–PayPal account not necessary Renewal to process payment securely ($14)–PayPal account not necessary Issues 1-12 from Year 2 ($5.50)–PayPal […]
Is your ancestor’s last name “St. Clair”  or some other phrase starting with the word “Saint?” Is it possible that the “saint” was merged into the rest of the name resulting in Sinclair? Or is it possible your ancestor’s middle and last names “merged” into one? Sometimes when I tell people my name is “Michael Neill,” they think I am saying “Mike O’Neill.” Did something similar happen with your ancestor’s name? ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
I’m searching for a man named Harm Habbus for an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues. One suggestion in searching for him was to search for the last name of Abbus. An initial “H” is one of those letters that can get left off a name, depending upon how it is pronounced. Most sites that support Soundex searches do ignore the letter “h,” but usually only if it is NOT the first letter. Could your “H” people be hiding without their “H?” ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
Marital status as stated in some records needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Back in the day when divorce was scandalous, a person enumerated in a census as “widowed” might actually have been divorced. I never searched for a divorce record for a relative as the husband left the area and the marital status of the wife simply was widowed from that time on. And other times I’ve seen husbnd and wife listed in the same census year in separate households, both with a “w” in the marital status column. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
It is always possible that your ancestor is enumerated more than once in a census year. Employment away from home or travel could have resulted in an ancestor showing up in more than one census household. Husbands who were separated from their wives might be listed with their family and again living in an apartment or boarding house nearby. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
If a legal document indicates your ancestor has a “life estate” in real estate it means they own it for their life only. They can’t sell it and they can’t bequeath it either. They have it as long as they have “life.” ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
Think about the various events in your ancestor’s life. People often look for births, marriages, and deaths in the newspaper. Are there other events in their life that might have warranted attention? One ancestor had a special examiner from the VA come to her rural town to interview her and five relatives in 1902. Any chance that might have been mentioned in the “gossip column” that week? Possibly. Think about other non-vital events that might have been written up in the local newspaper. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
Is Grandma telling you information about events that took place when she was a child? Sometimes children get things correct and sometimes they don’t. This situation can be aggravated if the adults don’t really tell the child anything and the child only hears a few details. Sometimes they, without any ill intent, create details to fit what they hear, or they interpret things through a child’s eyes, which may not entirely be correct. If you have children of your own, think about how they misunderstood something once in a while. Then remember: Grandma was a child once, too! ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
Remember that family members can easily individuals from previous generations confused creating additional confusion for the researcher. An ancestor’s wife’s name was Ellen. His sister was Emma. The more I learn about Emma, the more I realize that some of the stories that were told about Ellen were actually about Emma. It is easy to see how one could get the names mixed up, particularly if one had never met either person. Sometimes the mix up happens when the names are not similar at all. Is it possible what grandma told you about relative A was actually about relative B? ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
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