It has been about twenty years, but there used to be a local band named “DOS GUYS.” There were three ways one could take this: DOS Guys meaning 2 guys from “dos,” Spanish for two. DOS Guys as a way of saying “those” guys, “dos” as a slang way of saying “those.” DOS Guys, meaning guys who were still using the DOS operating system on their computer. Is there something that could be interpreted more than one way? Have you “jumped” on one interpretation that may be the wrong one? It may be that you are creating your own brick wall by doing so.
Some families are a little bit complicated. And if one is not careful it can be easy to enter the incorrect relationships in our genealogical database. What I do in these situations is to map out the relationships on paper first in an attempt to get a broader view of the family and in an attempt to understand the relationships correctly. Once I think I have the relationships down, I begin my data entry. Wasting time “fixing” relationship mistakes is time I could spend doing actual research.
Keep in mind it is not the number of generations in your family tree that is important. What is important is that each generation be documented accurately. Bigger is not always better.
Are you using an 1820 census enumeration where the names appear to be listed in roughly alphabetical order? Census takers and some tax collectors, in an attempt to be helpful, roughly sorted names by the first letter of the last name. The problem for genealogists is that this strips the record of all sense of neighborhood. Keep this in mind when you think all the “B”s in an area lived together. No group of people are that organized.
Whenever you are writing or talking about a person be specific. First names are rarely specific enough, particularly in some families. First and last names are best, perhaps combined with a date of birth or date of death. My mother has three Aunt Ruths. It usually took more than just “Aunt Ruth” to know to whom someone was referring. Sometimes it was clear from context, but not always. Don’t create additional confusion in the records you leave behind. Be specific.
Don’t forget if you have found that will in the packet of probate papers for your ancestor that there might be a “will record” contained with the probate records as well. Not all jurisdictions kept these records, but many did. If the handwritten original will has a difficult to read portion, is partially missing, or is open to interpretation, the transcription in the “will record,” done at the time the will was proved, may answer your questions. These record copies were the legal equivalent of the original document and were made, theoretically, in an attempt to render the original as closely as possible.
Remember that that are two pages for the US 1840 census enumeration–the left and right hand side. There’s not as much information about the immediate family on the right hand side, but there can be clues there–including if a Revolutionary War pension is living in the household
Sometimes I talk to the dog and occasionally I’ll ask Riley for a “genealogy tip.” Of course his answers come from my head and not his no matter how I change my voice. Sometimes it’s really good to get the opinion of someone “outside your own head,” from someone who doesn’t have all the assumptions about the family that you do and may have a fresh perspective. There are times where that’s helpful. Just be careful from whom you take genealogical advice–especially when money or significant amounts of time are involved. Riley’s a sweet little dog, but if he could talk I’m not certain how helpful he’d be on 17th century Virginia court records. But…taking him for a walk and distracting myself from what I’m working on is […]
Casefile Clues is my how-to newsletter that focuses on records analysis, research methods, and process. Casefile Clues  brings you one or more of the following: Sources–Some weeks Casefile Clues focuses on a specific source or type of record, discussing how that source can be accessed, researched, and interpreted. Methodology–Some weeks Casefile Clues works on one of Michael’s problems. Many times these problems are “in progress,” and Casefile Clues reflects that by explaining what was researched, why it was researched, and where to go next (and why). Case Studies–Some weeks Casefile Clues focuses on a specific record on a specific person and analyzes that record, discusses what it says (and what it does not) and where to go next based upon that person and the specific record. Citations–Casefile Clues includes citations of sources and records. Articles can easily be […]
This is your monthly reminder pulled from the well of current experience. Last spring I finally located the marriage record for an aunt in 1852. It’s a long story, but locating the marriage probably took longer than the couple’s courtship. Apparently life intervened shortly after I located the item and I did not save it anywhere. Today I remembered locating the item and wasted another hour locating it again. Fortunately I remembered the county (unindexed) where the marriage took place. Find some way for to save things as you find them–even if in some temporary way. The time spent will be time saved later. Now I’m going to file the Campbell County, Kentucky, marriage record of George P. Craft and Wilhelmina Zenf before Iose it again.
It took me forever to locate this 1852 marriage bond from Kentucky. Recorded in book form, I almost missed the fact that there were notations on the reverse side of nearly every entry–many with significant details. The notation on the reverse was the only place where the bride was listed as a widow. This was also the bond–made out before the marriage–and not the actual marriage record. That still needs to be located. The bond indicated that a marriage was impending, but….things happen. The marriage record will give the date of the marriage, the name of the officiant, and maybe more. Look at the reverse side. Know how the materials are organized. Know how the record you’ve found fits in the “process.” And make certain you have everything […]
In addition to searching for a webpage or email address for a local genealogical or historical society, search for their Facebook page as well. While not all organizations have a Facebook page, many do. Depending upon the set of up their page, you may able to “instant message” the organization or email them via Facebook. I usually keep my first message relatively short–until I’m certain that someone is actually monitoring it and I get a response. Don’t expect instant responses as these organizations are typically staffed by volunteers or staffers with limited hours. Interacting with a group’s Facebook page can be just another way to reach out. Keep in mind that many organizations do not have the time or the staff to perform research at no charge–especially for […]
Augusta Newman received a warrant for military service in the War of 1812. Yet another man “gets his land.” Why? The reason is that Augusta Newman assigned his warrant over to that man–Thomas J. Stone. Stone likely paid Newman for the warrant. It was sometimes easier for veterans to simply sell their warrant than to move into new federal lands and “start over.” The image with this post is from the Bureau of Land management. The surrendered warrant (which has Augusta’s signature on the back where he assigns it to Stone) is at the National Archives. We’ve discussed Augusta’s warrant and application in issues of Casefile Clues.
I’ve seen this picture numerous times and it wasn’t until today that I really noticed the pin that Foche Goldenstein is wearing in this picture. I’m not certain of its significance still, but it might be worth some time trying to determine. I also realized that the scan of this picture, made years ago, does not include the names of the children in the picture. I have that information, but never put it on the actual image–so there’s something else to do as well. The oldest child (the daughter standing in the back) is my great-grandmother, Tjode (Goldenstein) Habben (1881-1954). The identification of the other children in the picture was done by her daughter. When I annotate the image, I should indicate who made the identification of the […]
Until 11:59 pm Pacific time on 2 October 2018, we’re offering 50% off any webinar purchase. Use coupon code 50PERCENT when checking out. This includes all webinars: DNA webinars Other genealogy webinars Grow your genealogy research skills today. Download is immediate. Product can be viewed multiple times.
Get the Genealogy Tip of the Day Book
Get the More Genealogy Tip of the Day Book
Recent Comments