We’re looking forward to 2017! We’re not really going to make any significant changes to our blog or our focus. We’ll try and keep it short, sweet, and instructive. I’m hoping to start working on my New England families and write up things on some of my Southern lines–hopefully that will generate some new twists. I’ll continue working on the families that I’ve always worked on–there are always new discoveries to make. Thanks for your support. It is appreciated! Best of luck with your research in 2017.
We’ve had requests to bring back our webinars, so we’re doing so from now until 2 January 2017.  This presentation on the Family History Library is one of our more popular topics. There’s more to going to the Family History Library in Salt Lake than simply arriving at the Library with a vague set of goals. For the past ten years I have lead a group of researchers to the library every May. In this webinar, we will see ways to plan for your time at the library to make the most of your time there. For many researchers, a trip to the Family History Library is a significant expense. The following items are discussed: Use of the card catalog What you should do the moment you walk […]
American Revolutionary War pension files can contain a variety of submitted materials to support a claim. This sampler comes from the pension file for John and Lucy (Chapel) Demoss. Not all submissions are this decorative, but one never knows what one may find. Revolutionary War pensions are available from the National Archives or online at Fold3.com. Check out the Genealogy Tip of the Day book.
If your male ancestor died before his wife and owned real property at the time of his death, there might have been a quitclaim deed drawn up by the heirs after the widow died.  That quitclaim deed might have transferred ownership to one of the other heirs or someone else. It may not mention the widow or her death at all. “Searching Female Ancestors” is one of my pre-recorded webinars which are available for download.
We’ve picked up quite a few new fans, followers, and readers from somewhere–and we’re thankful for that. With that in mind, here’s a few things about Genealogy Tip of the Day Tips are meant to be short. They are not meant to be complete academic treatment of subjects, terms. Our intent is to make people aware of topics, terms, ideas, etc. or to remind them about them. Tips cover a variety of skill levels. We have readers who are seasoned researchers and those who’ve been researching for a short period of time. We welcome everyone who wants to follow. I only write about things with which I am familiar.  I don’t write about everything under the sun or popular topics just to generate traffic. I usually write tips as […]
In some denominations, the minister would take the church records with him when he moved to another congregation. This is more likely to happen in frontier churches and in denominations that tended to keep less detailed records. Catholic priests tended to not do this, but there are exceptions. As a result, the records may be in the last church the minister ministered at, the hands of a descendant of the actual minister, a local historical society or library that happened to obtain the records, or somewhere else. Any of these places could be quite a distance from where the actual church was located.
Always think about the family that was left behind when someone died? Were there children who would have needed looked after? Was there a spouse who would have needed some assistance? Was there an adult child who would have been unable to look after themselves? Who would have been nearby to help these individuals? Were there court records, guardianships, or other records resulting from issues when the person died?
There is still time to join me on my 2017 research trips. For more details, check out our announcement pages: Salt Lake City, Utah’s Family History Library Ft. Wayne, Indiana’s Allen County Public Library
Have you virtually visited your relative’s memorials at FindAGrave? Even if you have seen the stone yourself, there may be information there that you don’t have–perhaps links to burials of other family members or additional information on the Memorial Page. If you have not seen the stone, FindAGrave can be a great place to get a digital image of that stone. Just remember to double check “non-stone” information with other sources. Some submitters pay more attention to accuracy than others. But it’s always great to get a picture of the stone.
There are several sites where complete digital copies of out-of-copyright books can be downloaded. Some of the main sites are: Archive.org Google Books Hathitrust FamilySearch There are others–feel free to put your favorite in the comments. Not all sites have the same books and some sites have better scans than others.
Do you know what is meant if you encounter the word “venter?” That’s the word used in this 1824 will from Tennessee. In this case the word is referring to a wife or mother as the “source of offspring.” The intent here is to make it clear which children are to receive this specific inheritance. It’s not a mistaken reference to a vintner. That’s something else entirely. This tip originally ran in 2015, but we thought it wouldn’t hurt to run it again.
in a genealogy over 100 years ago, the last name of a relative’s second husband was incorrectly typed as “Crown.” Turns out that the last name was actually Brown. This was discovered when the estate file of the first husband was read completely. In the first reference to the widow with her new last name, it sort of looks like Crown. But there are three later references where it is clearly Brown. Sure enough the widow was found in other records as “Brown.”  
Don’t forget to record your own holiday memories for future generations. If there’s not time during the holiday season to actually write, use a voice recorder of some type and simply record the memories in your own voice–that would be faster. The holidays are an excellent time to remember holidays past, but not always the best time to have time. An audio or video recorder may facilitate that process.
My wife’s grandmother was born Grace Alice Mortier in Rock Island County, Illinois, in 1913 and married Wilbur Johnson. In many records after her marriage, she is referred to as “Grace M. Johnson,” with the “M” standing for her maiden name. Unfortunately some have seen the reference to her as “Grace M.” and assumed that her maiden name was Grace M. Mortier–with the “M” standing for another name. Some women used their maiden name as a middle name after their marriage. If a married woman’s middle initial is the same as the initial letter as her maiden name, that could be what the letter is standing for.
Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings from Genealogy Tip of the Day! Apparently Santa had no middle name and was born in Saline County, Missouri–from his World War II draft card!
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