When viewing digital scans of ledgers or books that contain left and right hand pages on the same image, make certain the pages are lined up. The register shown in the illustration has a right page that is a “line up” from the left page. It’s noticeable on the top of of the page. But this ledger contains the names of individuals on the far left hand side. The person of interest was in the middle of the image. Initially when I found the entry, I slide over to the right hand page to read the rest of the entry–without realizing that the images of the right and left hand side were not aligned. Always look at the whole image. It will make it easier to determine if […]
If your relative was in a state prison–as opposed to a local or county jail–see if there are records of his or her incarceration. Chances are, the prison’s earlier records have been transferred to a state archives or other statewide facility charged with maintaining the records. If they do not have the records, they may be able to point you in the direction of other agencies or facilities that may be able to help you. Prison registers may provide physical information or biographical information on your ancestor not located in court records. This page on the National Archives website contains a list of state archives throughout the United States. Genealogy Tip of the Day book is here. Learn more about it and get your own copy. If you’d like to get […]
From a while back… Every event in your ancestor’s life takes place in context. If your ancestor does something on a specific date, there may be other people doing that same thing on that same date: other couples marrying on the same date as your ancestor may be relatives or close friends other individuals naturalizing on the same day as your ancestor may be relatives, friends, or associates men who deserted the army on the same date as your ancestor may have had a connection to him people who died on the same date as your ancestor may have had the same contagious illness and so on. The commonality of the date may mean nothing. It may also be significant. Just don’t ignore it. Looking for “same day people” […]
It’s not a stray mark. It is an intentional dot and it is not the only one on the page. As of this writing, in Ancestry.com‘s interpretation of 6th name on this image is “Fred” sans dot. Before I looked at the actual record, I thought it odd that the pastor used the Anglicized diminutive Fred for my great-grandfather while using the low-German name of Trientje for my great-grandmother. The pastor didn’t use Fred as the name for my great-grandfather. It was an abbreviation. Looking at other names on the same page made it clear that abbreviating names was a common practice in the baptismal register. I have transcribed it as “Fred.”–with the period–in my records. Numerous other sources indicate that his actual name was Frederick/Frederich. The reminders: […]
My maternal grandfather was born 106 years ago today. I never called him anything other than Granddad, but that name is obviously not listed for him on any actual record. His baptismal record indicated his name was Johann Heinrich Frederick Ufkes and that he was born on 27 January 1917 to Fred.[sic] and Trientje (Janssen) Ufkes. His birth certificate gives his name as John Henry Ufkes and indicates the same date of birth. The only other item showing two middle names is his tombstone which only includes them as initials. Seemingly ironic that the two records providing both names (or references to them) are ones created at the beginning and ending of his life. Which name should I call Granddad by in my software and other records? I […]
It is not possible to preserve every piece of paper we have. Sometimes it not even possible to preserve or pass on every piece of paper we have from our parents or grandparents. The piles and files may be overwhelming and those that come after us may have no interest in documenting every receipt that Grandpa kept during his life time. Consider scanning the paper items and letting the originals go in some cases. Do you need to keep every physical check your Grandfather wrote? Do you need ever receipt Grandma kept for craft supplies or having the television repaired? It might not even be worth your time to scan or digitize these items. Or it might be. That’s really your decision. But consider whether those who come […]
I’ve seen the picture numerous times. The print is blurry and faded and the image I made from the negative using my scanner is blurry as well, but the colors are better than in the print. I never really looked closely at what I was holding. I was more concerned about trying to figure out who the woman on the right is (spoiler alert: I still am not certain). But upon closer inspection, I realized that I am holding my Dad’s brownie camera with the big flash. Don’t forget to take one more look at a record, an image, or a file to see if there is something you have failed to notice. Sometimes we get so focused on one aspect of something that we miss other clues. […]
The genealogist should always think about what other records could be generated by a process or set of records they have located. A probate case generates its own set of items, but there also may be: Newspaper legal notices of the impending probate. Newspaper mentions of various court actions to settle the estate. Newspaper advertisements for an estate auction. Land deeds to settle title to real estate. Guardianship records for minor heirs (which may be filed separately from the probate records). Always ask yourself: what additional records or references could this set of records generate? Genealogy Tip of the Day book is here. Learn more about it and get your own copy. If you’d like to get our genealogy tip daily in your email for free, add your address here.
Remember–no site has every record, every file, and every index. Don’t do all your research via one website, one repository, or one library. You wouldn’t just use the census only for your research would you?Expand your research horizons and your family tree–use a resource or a facility today that you’ve not used in a while. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you find. Fee-based websites may tell you they have everything–they don’t. Even some non-profit websites may suggest they have everything–they don’t. And remember when you are done with the websites…look offline. Everything is not on the internet. Genealogy Tip of the Day book is here. Learn more about it and get your own copy. If you’d like to get our genealogy tip daily in your email for free, add […]
If accessing a court case is a part of your genealogical research, make certain you have accessed any records of summons or “appearance in court” requests that were issued. These items, typically addressed to a local sheriff, may help indicate when and where someone was living in a specific location. In the case of the illustration, the summons indicated that several of the defendants were not living in the state of Virginia in early 1830 when the summons was issued. Genealogy Tip of the Day book is here. Learn more about it and get your own copy. If you’d like to get our genealogy tip daily in your email for free, add your address here.
I’ve been searching a database of deaths in Illinois in the mid-20th century. While searching this database, I have to constantly remind myself of where people in “my county” were likely to die if they did not die in “my county.” The two most likely places were nearby hospitals and state institutions. In my case, most out of county hospital deaths took place in one of three nearby cities. Those cities were located in different counties. A significant number of deaths took place in a state institution eighty miles a way which was located in a county that was not adjacent to the county of interest. In addition to institutions it is always possible that your relative died in the hospital, nursing home, or institution that was near […]
Places change over time. While I am not necessarily an advocate of saving every landscape picture a genealogist has, there are times where saving the picture preserves an image of buildings and other improvements that may not be around in fifty or one hundred years. But when images of places are preserved, record information about precisely where the item was taken–at least with as much detail as you have. Include at least: date of photo–or approximation address of location at time photograph was taken if known and if there was even an address GPS coordinates if known direction facing when photograph was taken Also include how that information was obtained, who provided it, and when. This image is one I discovered while using my new slide and negative […]
Local tax lists, both of personal and real property, could provide some information to assist in your genealogical search. Local tax records in the United States are most often county or town records, although there are exceptions. Many tax records, particularly those in the United States before the Civil War have been microfilmed and eventually digitized. Tax records are generally organized geographically, but there can be variation from one location to another and from one time period to another. It is important to understand who was subject to taxes during the time period and what property was taxed during that time period. One advantage to tax records is that they are available in non-census years and fewer people tend to be overlooked. The disadvantage is that they only […]
There is a picture of my Dad in his early 70s with a hog in the back of his livestock trailer. My Dad farmed his entire life so pictures with livestock are not uncommon. One might be tempted to think, based upon the picture, that my Dad raised hogs on his farm at that point in his life. The picture would seem to potentially suggest that. That was not the case. My Dad had not raised hogs in over twenty-five years when the photo was taken of him with a hog in his livestock trailer. He had won the hog by guessing its weight in a contest sponsored by a local business and was picking the pig up after the contest was over. When analyzing a piece of […]
Did the census taker reverse the first and last names? It can happen with anyone, but the possibility increases if the individual’s name is in a foreign language and they are a recently arrived immigrant. This man’s name was Focke Meyer, but he was listed as last name Focke and first name Myer.
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