If your ancestor moved from point A to point B, do you know the contemporary events that might have caused people to leave point A and settle in point B? It is always possible those events did not impact your ancestor directly, but an understanding of contemporary causes of migration “push” and “pull” never hurts.
Years ago, I had a quick translation done of this postcard. Over the years the translation became separated from the card. I should have appended the translation to the image, put them both in one PDF file, or stored them in a separate folder as two separate documents-the image and the translation. Make certain that documents that really need to be filed together are filed together in a way that they won’t get separated. 
Sometimes one needs a chart showing the relationships between several key people—not all the descendants of one person, not all the ancestors of one person, or not all the relatives of one person. Genealogical software usually doesn’t allow for charts to be created showing a select number of individuals. It may be faster (depending upon your purpose) to sketch out a chart on paper to keep the relationships clear while working on those individuals. Later a more polished chart can always be made using the hand drawn one as a starting point. The genealogy world will not end if you use pencil and paper.
If a veteran or his widow received a land warrant for service in the War of 1812, they had one of two choices: haul their happy self to territory that had unclaimed federal land sell the warrant and assign it to someone who did want to haul their happy self to territory that had unclaimed federal land Then whoever had the warrant would claim the appropriate amount of acreage in the federal domain and surrender the warrant in exchange for title to the property. The warrant was what was used for payment or consideration. After the paperwork was completed, the individual who surrendered the warrant would receive a “first deed” (patent) giving them title to the real estate they had claimed. The application to get the warrant (filed by […]
I just finished my “Basics of Citation” webinar–I went over the allotted time and had good questions from attendees. We looked at several examples during the hour-long presentation and discussed the philosophy of citations in a down-to-earth, practical fashion. Our focus was on typical documents and sources researchers use. We did not focus on the arcane or unusual. One of my goals was to make citations less intimidating. I want people to cite their sources. It is not the end of the world if your citations are not in the technically proper format. My goal is to make researchers less concerned about minute details and more concerned about the importance of citations and what information is crucial for later research and analysis. I don’t want to people to forgo […]
When you find it, save it. Save the image or the text in a way you can view it later. Save it to your own computer, flash drive, jump drive, digital media, or other storage medium. Backing up to the cloud is fine, but make certain that your cloud storage is backed up to other media. That should be physical media over which you have actual control, media you know exactly where it is, and media you can actually put your hands on if necessary.  You cannot put your hands on the cloud. If your files are stored one someone else’s server or site, there is the possibility you may lose access. The company may go out of business or you may be unable to afford to maintain […]
Many veterans of the War of 1812 received federal land as a benefit of their service. The patents (first deeds) that were issued based on their military service are online and indexed at the Bureau of Land Management website. We’ll have more details in a future tip post.  
Sometimes we think our ancestors arrived from overseas knowing exactly where they were going to settle. That’s not always true–either for ancestors who were urban dwellers or farmers. They may have easily temporarily stayed with former neighbors, friends, or relatives who lived in a different city. And then, when they got their bearings, maybe saved a little more money, and found their bearings, they moved on to that place where they ended up staying for the rest of their life.  
People disappear without a trace for a variety of reasons. That’s a different kind of “missing” that is more than simply being unable to find them in records. If your relative disappeared–either intentionally or as the victim of some type of crime–newspaper accounts or court records may provide additional detail. If the relative just up and left, there may be divorce records as well. It’s also possible that some reference to the disappearance may be mentioned in probate records for an estate in which the missing person was an heir.
When Michael Trautvetter came to Campbell County, Kentucky, he was in his mid-forties and married to a woman named Margaret. A woman with that name and consistent ages is the oldest female in his 1850 and 1860 census enumerations and appears with him on several land records. It turned out something happened to Michael’s first Margaret and he married another woman with that name between the 1850 and 1860 census enumerations.  
The 1860 US census asks if the person was married within the census year. It can be easy to overlook this column, particularly if the person is someone you don’t think would have gotten married during the census year. This can be a significant clue, particularly in locations that do not have marriage records.
This 1932 death certificate from Pennsylvania clearly has been filled out by more than one person. The handwriting and ink are not consistent across the document. Do you always consider that more than one person may have provided information for a record? The handwriting doesn’t even have to be different for more than one person to have provided the information-it just means that one person wrote down all the answers. 
Registration ends at 6:00 pm central on 26 January 2016. See below to register. Date: 28 January 2017–2:00 pm central. Session hosted via GotoWebinar. Citation does not have to be intimidating or something to avoid. Our focus will be on citation for the non-professional who realizes that they need to cite but does not want to become obsessed with it. In this hour-long presentation we will see how to cite: census records wills obituaries–both in the newspaper and one you found in Grandma’s old bible photographs tombstones family items and heirlooms vital records more as time allows Register here. Citation does not have to be a dreaded part of research. See how it can actually help and strengthen your research. Registration limited. Handout included.
Our post on the essential essence of citation was necessarily short. There’s one short way that it can be improved: when using your own memory as a source–include your name. Someone else later reading your material of your file may not know who is meant when you say “personal memory.” Include your name, “personal memory of compiler Susan (Longunusualgermanname) Smith.” And never refer to people as just Aunt Brenda or Uncle Horace. Use complete names.
Administrators do not have to be relatives of the deceased. Do not assume there were no relatives living nearby if a “non-relative” is appointed to administrate the estate. Administrators can be neighbors or others appointed by the court. In some locations relatives (including the spouse) may have to sign a waiver giving up their preferential right to act as administrator. The estate of Michael Trautfetter from Illinois in 1869 (shown in the illustration) was administrated by Julius Bierman. Bierman had no relationship connection to the family.
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