Years ago, I was working on a family of Swiss immigrants to Davenport, Iowa. Most of the family were farmers and the vast majority stayed in the immediate area. Except for one daughter who in the 1890s moved to New York City to become an actress when in her early twenties. When she could not be located in Iowa records with her siblings, I assumed she’d either died young and, for one reason or another, left no local records. She was not mentioned in her mother’s estate settlement in 1893 which lead me to conclude she was dead by that time and left no descendants of her own. That conclusion was correct as I discovered later she did pre-decease her mother and did leave no surviving descendants upon […]
A bequest is a gift of personal property in a will. A devise is a gift of real property in a will. Bequests and devises in wills can be made to heirs or to someone who is not an heir. An heir is someone who has statutory rights to inherit from the estate of a deceased person.
Migrations can work in a variety of ways. There was a family where the parents and the children moved from Illinois to California in the 1930s during the Great Depression. I had difficulty finding one of the daughters after I had located the death information on the parents and most of their children in California. The west coast of the United States is where I kept looking for them. When I broadened my searches, I discovered that one daughter had moved back to the exact location in Illinois where the parents were from and where they were living before they moved to California in the 1930s. At this point, I’m not certain exactly why she moved back, but it’s always something to consider. Sometimes children who are “pretty […]
I did it before they gave it names. Found my ancestor in 1820 census in Kentucky. Couldn’t find him after that…where did he go? So I looked for his 1820 neighbors in the 1830 census…names that were slightly less common (I ignored the John Smiths). Found several of them in a county in Indiana. Looked through those census pages and there was my ancestor, under a totally sloppily-written misspelling of his name. Now they have fancy names for it. In the late 1980s, I just called it research <grin>. Check out More Genealogy Tip of the Day.
Administrators are usually appointed when the person whose estate is being settled left no valid will.Sometimes the executor appointed will choose not to act or be unable to act. Sometimes the will will not name an executor. In those cases, the court may appoint an administrator “with the will annexed” indicating the person technically is an administrator, but that they will settle the estate according to the terms of the will. Normal administrators (without a will annexed) will settle the estate and make disbursements according to contemporary state statute.
I’ve started processing orders for More Genealogy Tip of the Day. So for those who missed it, here’s our new book announcement. It complements our original Genealogy Tip of the Day book. I’ve appreciated the positive comments I’ve heard about the first book. Our posting: At long last, More Genealogy Tip of the Day, packed with genealogy tips and ideas from ten years, has been published. We are excited to offer this companion volume to our original Genealogy Tip of the Day book. More Genealogy Tip of the Day can be read front-to-back or browsed through at the reader’s whim. Tips are about genealogical sources, pitfalls, and procedures based on Michael’s extensive experience researching ancestors in the United States and abroad. Tips are practical, easy-to-understand, and applicable to […]
In one document letters can be made differently, depending upon what letter is next. Handwriting is not always consistent–not even within one document. Don’t expect better writing from clerks than you do of yourself <grin>.
Some researchers ask “Why search for someone I already know ‘everything’ on?” or someone “I’m not really researching?” This is why. Because they can lead you to someone else. A search for my great-uncle, Alvin Ufkes, located a reference to him as a pallbearer at the 1962 funeral in Quincy, Illinois, for sister of his grandmother . I may never have located the death notice and the obituary for Anna Buhrmeister (a few days earlier) if I had not searched for my great-uncle in the collection from which this image was taken.
More and more college newspapers are being digitized. It’s possible that you will be able to find online versions of weekly or daily periodicals published while your relative was in attendance at an institution of higher learning. This 1963 reference to my mother indicated where and when she started her teaching career. Start your searches for these periodicals by looking at the school’s website–particularly their library or archives page. Google searches may be helpful as well and if that fails, an email to their library or archives should provide the answer to whether these items are available online or not. More Genealogy Tip of the Day has arrived!
Before you perform an online search for an address to see it on a current map, find pictures of the home, and possibly see pictures of the inside: Consider reaching out to the local library or the historical or genealogical society to see if the address you have for someone at a certain point in history would be the same as the address today.
They didn’t always move in with the nearest relative or their geographically closest relative. An aunt of mine, widowed with no children, could not be found in the 1940 census in the town where she had lived since 1900 and where she died in 1962. Having heard from a living relative that this aunt and her husband apparently lived a hand-to-mouth existence, I figured that she was simply missed in the 1940 enumeration. She wasn’t. She was living 100 miles away with one of her nieces. She had sisters and brothers who lived much closer and numerous nieces and nephews who lived closer. Individuals who move in with family do not necessarily move in with individuals who are most closely related or who are geographically closest. Always check […]
Have you reached out to see what the state archives in your ancestor’s state may have that could help you? It might be worth a try. This page on the US National Archives page has links to state archives websites throughout the US. State libraries may also have material that could be helpful–a Google search for “yourstate state library” should locate the one you need. Those with ancestors in countries outside the US should also determine if there are provincial or regional archives or libraries that could assist with their search. Our new book is out. Read about More Genealogy Tip of the Day on the Genealogy Bargains website.
What you think is an ancestral “maiden name” for a female ancestor may not be what you think it is. It could be the last name of an adopted father, a step-father, or a previous husband of which you are unaware. And if the parents were not married, that last name at birth for an individual may be the last name of their father or their mother.
From our Genealogy Tip of the Day page on Facebook: One problem with getting research advice from random people on the internet is that you never know if they have any idea what they are talking about or not. Another is that people don’t always realize how important time period and location are in answering certain questions–especially ones about records or the law. And sometimes people do not realize that if they’ve only researched their own families that their experience may not be as broad as they think. If your family was concentrated in New England…that’s a whole ‘nuther kettle of fish from Virginia or Georgia. Our new book is out. Read about More Genealogy Tip of the Day on the Genealogy Bargains website.
A codicil is a document that adds to a will or changes a specific part of it. It is a supplement or an addendum to a will that leaves the majority of the original document and intent intact. One of my ancestors had several codicils to his will that impacted the property given to his daughter as her husband’s financial status deteriorated. That codicil did not impact what was given to the other children and only impacted the section of the will where the daughter was mentioned. Our new book is out. Read about More Genealogy Tip of the Day on the Genealogy Bargains website.
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