A relative purchased property in Dawson County, Nebraska, in the 1880s. He died in the 1890s in Pike County, Illinois, still owning the property. He wrote a will that was probated in Illinois. In the mid-1940s, there was some legal action over the Nebraska property to clean up some title issues that were not apparently settled adequately when the relative died. Fifty years after he lived in Nebraska and fifty years after he died in Illinois, there was a land record in Nebraska that mentioned him, his estate, and his will in Illinois. Title issues to real estate are not always cleaned up immediately after a person dies. Usually they are, but occasionally a title searcher finds something that needs to be dealt with. And if that detail […]
Whenever you write any genealogical statement or conclusion, always read it again to make certain your intention is clear. You may know what you mean, but make certain that your written words reflect that same meaning. Otherwise you may do what I did and accidentally suggest that your mother was born the year she gave birth to you. A second read after the text has had a chance to “cool off” is a great way to catch these errors. And in some cases waiting until you have cooled off is good as well! You can still pre-order recordings of our webinars.
Clerks making record copies of documents often encounter errors or inconsistencies in the original record they are recording. In the days when transcriptions were made by hand (or by using a typewriter), clerks would often annotate such things. In the illustration, the typist has underlined known errors or inconsistencies in the original document. These notations used by clerks can vary–lines may have been written above questionable text as well. The clerk’s job was to transcribe the document exactly as it was written–errors and all. Don’t forget our webinars, on 29 September 2022. Join live or pre-order.
Records are recorded in the order in which they are brought to the courthouse to be recorded, not in order of the date in which they were signed and executed. This index to land records indicated that a deed from 1875 was recorded in 1884. The nine-year delay is not unheard of and it’s not unusual for recordings to take even longer. It is very possible that a deed your ancestor signed selling property to someone was recorded decades after he signed it.
When making requests of copies of local records, make certain to ask for the entire record. Some indexes will provide the first page number of the location where the item is recorded, but may make no mention of how many pages the record actually entails. Some records are only one page, but best to ask for the entire record–just in case. Otherwise a clerk may take you literally and give you the page you ask for which may not always be the complete record.
In some jurisdictions during some time periods a couple gets a marriage license, takes it to an officiant, the ceremony is performed, and the officiant returns the license with the details of the actual marriage ceremony to the office that issued the license. It’s all filed and recorded and all is good. The vast majority of the time, the license is returned and filed. But there may be that rare situation when a couple gets married and the license is not returned. Keep in mind that this is unusual. Typically when the license is not returned it is because the couple did not get married. In those cases, destruction of the license at some point in the process is a distinct possibility. Remember that the details of what […]
Always read estate inventories carefully for potential references to real estate or other property that could suggest the deceased had lived in areas other than where they died. This 1904 estate inventory in Illinois indicated that Conrad Haase owned real property in Nebraska. There may have been separate court action in Nebraska to handle the title to the property after Conrad’s death as his estate was probated in Illinois where he died. It is possible that the court action did not happen until years later, so records should not just be checked for the immediate time period around his death. Land records should also be referenced in Nebraska as well. But do not just skip over those inventories of real estate. There could be clues buried in the […]
Genealogy “tricks” are a dime a dozen on the internet and there’s really no “trick” at all. It’s just being diligent and searching for every piece of paper or record that you can find. If we could get every shred of paper, digital image, stone, book, etc. with our ancestor’s name on it, research would be much easier. But that’s not the way it works. One approach is to think about what piece of information you would like to know and make a list of individuals who may have known that information (or may know it today) or records on which that information may have been written down. Given the time period and location, a marriage date could be in the family Bible, a civil record of the […]
Registration for all live attendance closed on 27 September 2022. Presentations (handout included) can be pre-ordered before 29 September for less than the normal download price. Determining Your Ancestor’s Personal Migration Trail Discovering your ancestors “migration trail” is more than determining the physical route they took to get from one point from another. It is about determining others who might have had the same point of origin and destination as your ancestor and what those individuals had in common with your ancestor (biology, relationships by marriage, shared denominational membership, same point of origin, etc.). Determining others who might have had the same point of origin as your ancestor may help you to locate more information on your ancestor. Our focus will be on ways to determine who else […]
An address given for your ancestor could be the name of the town where he lived, the town where he received his mail, or perhaps the name of the township or county in which he or she lived with the word “township” or “county” omitted. It’s also possible that the location listed does not even exist any more. Searching on contemporary maps, in local gazetteers, in county histories (see if they have maps included as well), in local newspapers, or in other sources may help you to determine exactly what the reference meant. The man in the illustration lived in Appanoose Township at the time the document in the illustration was completed. Other contemporary addresses given for him–presumably also where mail could be addressed–were consistently listed as Niota, […]
A recent book of poems written by a cousin that I purchased on Ebay recently reminded me of a tip that we’ve mentioned before. Go through old books completely page by page to see what might be stuck in between pages. Clippings can be smaller than this one and might not be noticed with a casual, quick, flip through–especially if they are tucked in the spine. Also don’t forget to turn them over! This one was photographed this way intentionally, but looking at both sides can be helpful and may help you date or locate the clipping as well.
When you are looking at old pictures that were likely not taken by a professional photographer, do you think of who the likely photographer was?
When was the last time you took a second look at a FindAGrave memorial to see if a better picture of the tombstone has been posted? This memorial for Marion Blanton originally included a picture of the stone that was covered in growth that made it difficult to read part of the inscription. A later visit to the page indicated someone had posted a cleaned up image of the stone. Thanks to CABS for posting this memorial to her Facebook page which brought it to my attention.
Years ago, while in the greater Chicago area for a wedding, my Grandma and my immediate family visited a niece of my Grandma’s in her home in the suburbs. She had lived there for decades and Grandma had never visited her. I was in my mid-teens at the time and had been doing my genealogy research for a few years. Several times on our trip there we heard how good of a cook the niece was. While at her home, the niece asked me what I knew about my Grandma’s grandfather. Before I could open my mouth, Grandma said “he doesn’t know anything about him.” I didn’t interrupt Grandma or correct her. A few minutes later, the excellent cook asked my Grandma to come into the kitchen to […]
Don’t neglect researching ex-spouses of your ancestor. While very short term marriages may not yield much relevant information during the time period after the marriage, individuals who were married to your ancestor for some time may shed new clues on your ancestor after the marriage ended. And do not neglect to research the divorce as it may mention date and place of marriage as well as other details.
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