That person your relative referred to as Grandma when you were discussing past family members might not have been Grandma in the biological sense. “Grandma” could have been grandfather’s second wife, the mother of someone’s step-mother, an aunt who raised one of the person’s parents, a neighbor who everyone was very fond of, an older cousin who moved into the house for one reason or another, etc. She may have been a very dear, loved and respected family member–who just didn’t share the biological connection in the way that Grandmas often do. It does not make her any less important in your relative’s life. What it can do is create some confusion when you go to analyzing DNA matches and trying to ascertain the connections she had to […]
She may be Grandma, but if I’m writing about her or identifying her on a picture, I need to be more specific. Referring to her as “Grandma” tells me who she is, but not someone who may encounter the reference after I’m no longer around. She should be referenced as Ida (Trautvetter) Neill or Dorothy (Habben) Ufkes, depending upon which of my grandmothers she is. Grandma Neill or Grandma Ufkes is not much better than Grandma. Both of those titles are fluid in my family. In my lifetime, Grandma Neill started out as my father’s mother and then became my own mother. Grandma Ufkes was the same way–it was either my Granddad Ufkes’ mother or my Granddad Ufkes’ wife. Names make it more clear. Also when writing, avoid […]
Stopping because you have located one record is never a good idea. By continuing to search through records, I discovered an ancestor was divorced from the same man not once, but twice. By keeping on going, I also discovered that another relative’s first marriage “didn’t happen” when I thought and they were actually married two years later. Combine these unusual circumstances with the occasional record that gets entered or indexed late and you have even more reason to look for entries or documents “after you think you should.”
Keyword searches of digital images of newspapers are a great way for the genealogist to discover things that before would have been virtually impossible to find. Proximity searches (when allowed) for other specific words close to the actual word of interest can be a great way to narrow search results. But it’s always best when the human reads the material for themselves and determines what is said. Don’t just take the automatically created entry items from the newspaper reference. Read them for yourself. Otherwise you get Ugustus T. Haase born in Hanover, Qt-many in 1835 and dying in Dakota County, 62 years. Automated created “family entries” can help the researcher make discoveries. Just make certain to look at the discovery for yourself to discover what it actually says. […]
Deaths and births (civil records of those events) have to be recorded where the event took place. Land records have to be recorded in the jurisdiction where the real property is located. Marriages do not have to take place where the couple is living at the time but there may be some sort of waiting period before the marriage can take place. Draft registrations are usually done where the person is living at the time, but enlistments can be in a variety of places. Voting needs to take place where the person is living. Estate settlements are usually conducted in the jurisdiction that includes the bulk of the real property or the residence of the deceased. Divorces usually take place in the county where the party bringing the […]
Do you know the names of the locations that surround your ancestral residence? It’s not necessary for you to be able to draw a regional map from memory, but a working knowledge of the nearby place names will come in handy when locating, using, and interpreting records. Do you know what towns, townships, counties, etc. border your ancestral residence on the north, south, west, and east? If you do not, it would really be a good idea to find that map. Even if you think you know the geography, a second look might not hurt.
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