31 October 2009
30 October 2009
- $50 deposit--with balance due by 15 December--refundable if your plans change.
- $150 complete total balance--refundable up to 1 March 2010 if your plans change.
Registrants are responsible for travel to Salt Lake and accomodations while in Salt Lake. We have a discounted rate with the Salt Lake Plaza hotel--RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the Family History Libary. Very convenient for when you've forgotten something or you need a little rest.
29 October 2009
28 October 2009
27 October 2009
Sometimes just organizing things in a different way makes things stand out that you didn't notice before.
26 October 2009
Of course, the occasional typo is one thing (which can easily be avoided in most programs by the way), but if the database I find has some of these spellings:
- Hartford County, Maryland
- Amhurst County, Virginia
- Schuler County, Illinois
then I am a little worried about the rest of the data. Call me persnickity, but genealogy is about details. If place names that are established and standard (as these are) are not spelled correctly, how certain can I be that names, dates, and relationships are entered in the way they should be?
I'm not talking about someone trying to read the name of a German town on a nearly illegible death certificate--that's something different altogether.
25 October 2009
24 October 2009
Think about what really HAS to be when you research your ancestor. He didn't have to get married to reproduce. He didn't have to name his oldest son after his father. He didn't have to get married near where his first child was born. He didn't have to have a relative witness every document wrote. There are few "have tos" in genealogy. Make certain you aren't using "have tos" to make brick walls for yourself.
23 October 2009
22 October 2009
21 October 2009
- the site is incomplete for several western states
- patents represent federal land records only--the local courthouse has subsequent transactions which likely contain more information
- cash file entries contain minimal information unless there is something unusual about the transaction--the claimant died during the process, was actually filing a pre-emption claim etc.
And if you don't know your township from your section, read their FAQ first. The website is at http://www.glorecords.blm.gov
20 October 2009
Some days I even wonder if it's worth my time to contact someone whose database contains more than several thousand names.
I've gotten some clues from the online trees, but do not use what you see there as anything other than a hint of a suggestion.
19 October 2009
Had I read a basic Virginia guidebook or research outline, I would have been aware of them. Now familiarizing myself with the basic sources in a new area is one of the first things that I do.
18 October 2009
17 October 2009
16 October 2009
15 October 2009
Tomorrow we'll be back offering one tip a day--so stay tuned or become a fan on Facebook.
Really neat stuff here.
14 October 2009
At the time relative filed his homestead/preemption claim in 1887 his land was in Elbert County, Colorado. Today it is in Kit Carson County, which is what it was when his claim was finally approved.
Just remember that those county lines might have changed.
13 October 2009
Consider organizing census information in a chart or a table, using a spreadsheet or a table in a word processing document.
Take the twenty names before and after your ancestor in the 1800-1830 census and put all of them in a table? How many names (besides your ancestor) do you see repeated? Are these names possible clues?
12 October 2009
Her husband's obituary was a different story. It was full of information on his children (some of whom were by a different wife) and other details about him that might help me locate more information about the wife.
Don't neglect those spouses of ancestral siblings. Their records may contain just the clue you need.
11 October 2009
And there he was in the estate records two times. How can you die twice and have two estates?
Turns out for the time period in question, insanity cases were filed with the probate and estate records. It was two insanity cases I had located for him, not probate cases. If I had never looked in estate files, I never would have found out information about his insanity hearings.
10 October 2009
A search for John Rucker Orange Virginia located several like references to my ancestor, including one in The Colonial Churches of St. Thomas' Parish, Orange County, Virginia. I might have eventually found the reference, but Google Books made it faster.
09 October 2009
The relative of the cousin received the file from the National Archives years ago. I wondered if the National Archives had sent her the entire file as it looked like the original copies were made in the days when mail in requests were for "selected documents."
Turns out there was at least one page the relative was not sent. In this case, the missing document was not a "huge" discovery, but sometimes it can be.
Those who subscribe by Saturday midnight (10 October 2009) will get back issues 1-10 and have their subscription to the weekly how-to newsletter start with issue 11. More information on Casefile Clues is on the website and subscription information is as well. A Paypal account is not necessary (you just need a credit card). Those who wish to use other payment options can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for that information.
08 October 2009
One of the records mentioned was his 1900 census enumeration. I had originally looked at it years ago, probably when I was 14 or 15 years of age. I had seen it several times in the interim and really hadn't given it a lot of thought.
A reader pointed out that part of his census entry looked like it was in a different hand and perhaps had an item written in it after the census taker had made his enumeration. I'm not certain what was going on with the entry, but it makes a good point that perhaps something you've seen several times over several years may contain an anomaly that you may never have noticed.
Is there something you first looked at years ago that perhaps warrants a second look?
07 October 2009
Of course, if you have a blog, you can always post images there as well. Then let members of an appropriate mailing list or message board know where your post is located.
Someone reading the actual image can do a better job of interpreting that than trying guess what really was on that paper you have.
06 October 2009
Our laptop is on the fritz and my daughter wanted to use the desktop. I was forced to read some homestead case files without the internet and email as a distraction.
And guess what?
I noticed three things I had not noticed the first time I read through the papers. The first time I had read them while I was "waiting" on webpages or search results to load.
Is multitasking your problem? Would you notice more details in a record or a file if it had your complete attention?
05 October 2009
While citing my sources for an issue of "Casefile Clues," I reviewed an illustration for an article I wrote years ago and which I have used in countless lectures. When footnoting one of the items used to compile the chart, I realized that I had a marriage year listed two years off. It was clearly just a typo and did not impact my conclusion, but it was still wrong.
Could you have made a mistake or typed something incorrectly? Is it possible that the mistake has an impact on a conclusion?
Just a thought. It could happen to anyone. After all, we are human (grin!).
04 October 2009
Do you really know who provided that information? Did the bride give some of the groom's information? Did the groom provide some of the groom's information? Did the wife in a 1900 census enumeration simply guess at where her in-laws were born? Very possible.
And since most of us were not there when our great-grandparents' wedding or when the 1900 census was taken, the only thing we can do is conjecture about who answered those questions.
Is the informant the problem?
03 October 2009
If my daughter tells someone her date of birth, she is a secondary source of that date. She has no first hand knowledge of her date of birth.
If I tell someone that today is my daughter's 21st birthday (which it isn't, but pretend that it is), is that secondary? I was present at the birth, but if I say it or write it down 21 years later is that record primary or secondary? If I write it down with a month of her birth, that probably would be considered primary. But what about 21 years after the fact, even if I had first hand knowledge of the event?
02 October 2009
It takes less time to create the citation and documentation as the research is done instead of months or years later. And saving time allows for more research time.
01 October 2009
But they do not have everything.
There are millions of documents and records that have never been microfilmed or digitized. These documents are in many locations, but most of these are in local county courthouses. You might be surpised what court records are there in addition to other local records that have not been microfilmed.
This is true even for counties that have been heavily "filmed."