Ebay isn’t just about photographs that are more than 100 years old. This 1963 photograph of Gloria Fecht was purchased through an auction on Ebay. Are you only looking for things that are really old? You might be surprised at what’s on Ebay.
Our sponsor, GenealogyBank has a special July offer for Genealogy Tip of the Day readers, fans, followers, etc. Give it a look! And a big Thanks! to GenealogyBank for sponsoring Genealogy TIp of the Day.
We are posting manually some of the old tips that didn’t migrate correctly to the new server. For a few days you will get quite a few tips instead just one. Hopefully this will be done within a week. Thanks for your support of Genealogy Tip of the Day and thanks to a reader for letting us know which tips were missing.
Did you know that the 1870 US census asked: father/mother of foreign birth month of birth for census year births month of marriage for census year marriages literacy male citizens over 21 male citizens over 21 who can’t vote Genealogy Tip of the Day book is here. Learn more about it.
An online tree indicates that an aunt of mine was married in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1869. The only source that tree has for this date are two other online trees. There is no additional information to indicate how the information was obtained–no minister or justice of the peace name, no church, address, etc. A search of extant Hamilton County marriage records did not locate the marriage. The only way I know that my aunt married is because her husband’s name is listed when she inherits from her brother’s estate a few years later. That estate record is my evidence for the marriage and I’m using the date they are mentioned in the court record as a “married by” date.  
With any “new” database (such as the recently released “Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007″), the temptation can be to search as quickly as possible for as many individuals as one can. That makes it easy to overlook people, search inefficiently, and search the same way for the same people repeatedly. Make a list of the people for whom you wish to search. Think about the life details on those people that you need to search.  If you try a variety of ways to search for the same person, keep track of the ways you search so that you don’t search the same way repeatedly and so that you can troubleshoot effectively. And make certain you “clear all” when you start searching on a new person.
How long has it been since you last read an actual book? Not a short blog post on a topic, not a “bunch” of Facebook comments to a post, but an actual book? That book could be genealogy how-to book, a historical reference, or something similar. But getting off the temptation of the internet and actually reading something and studying it may cause you to come back refreshed with new ideas for your research. That time spent reading a how-to book or reference isn’t time wasted.
From now through 1:00 a.m. 29 July 2015, a subscription to 52 issues of Casefile Clues is only $17. Your subscription can be processed here. Easy to understand, well-written, and genealogically sound, see records discussed and “next steps” planned out. We have updated our list of back issue topics here. 
If an ancestor marries on 1 December 1901 and it is indicated that he was “of legal age,” on that date, then (if 21 is the legal age to marry) he was alive by 1 December 1880. Marrying, buying property, naturalizing, and other “legal acts” require a person to be of age even if their age is not stated in the document. Of course people will lie about their age, but that’s a separate tip.
Every week, I send out a blog update with a summary of postings to all my blogs, links to those postings, and some extra content not found on the blog, including: photo scan with documentation document citation example “does it really say that?” Handwriting sample Letter of the week The blog update (view the latest one here) is only $5 a year delivered directly to your email and helps us cover various web hosting and other costs. It is separate from Casefile Clues which is much more detailed and in-depth.
A name that sounds unusual to you may not be uncommon at all in the area where your relative is from. Early in my research, I believed that someone with the same last name as my grandmother (Habben) “had” to be related. Turns out they didn’t. In the area where her family was from the last name was more common than I thought and just because two people shared that last name did not mean they had to be related.
There might have been more to your ancestor’s migration on the frontier than heading to new opportunities, cheaper land, and fewer nearby neighbors. Is it possible that your ancestor was migrating along with other members of the same denomination?
When something in a record doesn’t make sense consider that the item that’s confusing you is: weird–some things are truly unusual for the time period and location. This is determined by learning about the time period and location in which your relative lived and in which the record was created. Things that are truly weird are clues. not weird–just because you think something is weird does not mean that it is. Again some contextual knowledge will assist in discovering what’s not really weird. wired–you simply have had too much caffeine, too little sleep, and are jumping to unwarranted conclusions. Researching and making conclusions when you are “wired” does not lead to sound research. Get some rest.
Keep in mind that any age given in a census could easily be off by a year or more. Use these ages as guides that could be slightly off
[reposted from November 2014 as it didn’t migrate over] Before you post a genealogy query online, think about how easy you are making it for someone else to help you. Ideal queries provide a summary of what you know. Potential helpers may be less likely to help if they have to post a series of follow up questions to really know what you know and what you don’t. For a list of query writing suggestions, check out this post on Rootdig.
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