31 July 2012

Time Warp

Comments after the jump.

 married to Joachim (Heli) Ben Levi
 - - PARENTS OF - - 
 married to Joseph Ben (Joseph of Arimathea) Jacob
 - - PARENTS OF - -  
 married to Joachim (Heli) Ben Levi
 - - PARENTS OF - - 
 married to Joseph Ben (Joseph of Arimathea) Jacob
 - - PARENTS OF - -  
 married to Joachim (Heli) Ben Levi

27 July 2012

Visiting a FamilySearch Center

      It is pretty amazing how often new indexes and images are added to FamilySearch.org and how many indexes and images are already online. Even so, at some point in your research you will need to order microfilm if you want to see a particular record that hasn't been digitized or search through records that have yet to be indexed. All microfilm is kept at the Family History Library (FHL) and at the "Vault" in Salt Lake City, Utah. Fortunately film can be ordered and delivered to a FamilySearch Center (FSC) near you. Most FSCs are located next to a Mormon church, others are public libraries that have made agreements with the FHL. The former are considered church property. You do not, however, need to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to use an FSC. They are free and open to the public.

      I have not been lucky enough to visit the FHL yet. If you are planning a visit you've probably been reading every blog post about the library and making a list of items from the catalog. You may also want to listen to the Genealogy Made Easy podcast episode about the main library. If you've visited the library please leave your suggestions or a link to a good blog post about the FHL in the comments. My top two suggestions are:
1. Microfilms can be ordered but books never leave the premises. Put any books that haven't been microfilmed at the top of your list.
2. "Films listed in the catalog as "Vault" films need to be requested and may take up to three days to retrieve. For larger vault film requests of 15 or more films, please give at least one week notice." (from FamilySearch.org; Click HERE to order films before your trip.)
After the jump: Visiting a local center

24 July 2012

Logic is Overrated

Comments after the jump.

  B. 1772
  D. 1862
  William Shannon  (1845 - ????)
  Sarah Layne        (1720 - ????)
  Nancy/Elizabeth Perry  (1775 - 1840)
  Nancy/Elizabeth Peery  (1792 - 1810)

  Marriage to Nancy/Elizabeth Perry in 1791.
  10 children born to them between 1792 and 1819.

20 July 2012


The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah has the most extensive genealogy record collection in the world.
"The Collection includes over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 727,000 microfiche; 356,000 books, serials, and other formats; over 4,500 periodicals and 3,725 electronic resources."
The library's catalog is available online at FamilySearch.org and is free*. Of course not all of us will be able to make it to Salt Lake City to visit this mecca. Luckily there are library branches in 80 countries and the LDS Church is constantly adding indexes and digitized images to its website. Next week's post will be about visiting FamilySearch Centers. This week will be about using the website. 
*You may need to sign in to view some images which just means you need to create a username and password. FamilySearch will not ask for a credit card number unless you are ordering microfilm. 

The first thing you'll notice on the home page is the search box which is set to automatically search records that have been indexed. You can mark individual facts to be searched exactly by checking the small box next to each fact. Years can be made exact by entering the same year in the 'From' and 'To' boxes. You do not need to enter a name to do a search. A search that has been incredibly fruitful for me has been searching on just the names of parents. No name. No place. No years. Only parents names.
Example 1: 
In the 1910 US Federal Census you see that your ancestor gave birth to 5 children but only 3 are living in 1910. Both of those children were born and died after the 1900 census and before 1910. Searching with just the parents' names may bring up a birth/baptism record and/or a death record. 
Example 2:
You're looking for descendants but cannot find the daughters because you don't know their married names. Entering just the parents' names may bring up a death certificate or a marriage record. 
One drawback on FamilySearch is the inability to make corrections. Records are transcribed exactly as they are on the page and those that are difficult to read may be transcribed incorrectly. 

The second search tab is 'Trees'. Trees on FamilySearch can only be submitted by members of the LDS Church. That doesn't make them any more reliable than the trees on Ancestry.com and you know how I feel about those so we'll just skip this ;-)

There are still millions of records that have not been indexed so searching the catalog is a necessity when you can't find what you're looking for. There are two ways to search the catalog and it is worth searching both ways. The first way is to use the 'catalog' tab. The second is by scrolling down the home page and browsing by location. You can narrow down your browsing (area, time period, record collection) on the next page. All collections that have digitized images have a camera icon next to them. If the items aren't digitized and have a film number you can order that microfilm (more on that next week). 
Here are examples of search results using both searches.

Example 1: Catalog tab - Place-names search - India, Bengal
 - History of the Cossimbazar Raj in the nineteenth century, period covered, 1804-1897
Church history 
 - History of the Catholic missions in central Bengal 1855-1886
Church records
 - Parish register transcripts from the Presidency of Bengal, 1713-1948
 - Roman Catholic returns of baptisms, marriages and burials, 1835-1856
Court records
 - Court proceedings, 1727-1774
 - A general register of the Honourable East India Company's civil servants of the Bengal establishment from 1790 to 1842
 - Scott and Co.'s Bengal directory, and register, with almanac and appendix
 - History of the Cossimbazar Raj in the nineteenth century, period covered, 1804-1897
 - George Nesbitt Thompson and some of his descendants
Merchant marine
 - Indian Navy, Bengal pilots, 1858-1861
 - Bengal marine, miscellaneous correspondence and financial papers, 1831
 - List of Europeans in the service of the Bengal marine, 1848-1860
 - Bengal marine annual report, 1844-1857
 - Bengal marine financial reports, 1873-1874
 - Bengal marine civil and marine casualties, 1824-1864
 - European officers and seamen serving in the Bengal naval brigades, 1858-1860
 - Bengal pilot service papers, 1796-1880
 - List of seamen in the Bengal marine who have claims on the company for wages, 1821
Probate records - Indexes
 - List of wills to be found in the Bengal Public Consultations, volumes I to VI
Probate records
 - Court proceedings, 1727-1774
 - Bengal wills 1728-1774; Bombay wills 1728-1783; Madras wills 1753-1779; index 1704-1783
 - Bengal wills and administrations, 1774-1937; indexes 1774-1909
Social life and customs
 - Marriage and rank in Bengali culture : a history of caste and clan in middle period Bengal

Example 2: Browse by location - Asia & Middle East - India (no option to narrow location further)
 - India Deaths and Burials, 1719-1948
 - India, Births and Baptisms, 1786-1947
 - India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records
 - India, Marriages, 1792-1948
 - India, Punjab, Moga Land Ownership Pedigrees, 1887-1958

The catalog also includes books. Some books have been microfilmed but those that are only available in hard copy do not leave the main library. If you find a book that looks promising try searching Google Books. If it is cataloged in Google Books click the "find in a library" link, enter your zip code and you may find a copy closer than Salt Lake City.

On the header of the FamilySearch home page you'll see the 'Learn' button. The section of this I'd like to point out is the Learning Center. It has video research courses to help with everything from What is a Census? to the Australian Civil Registration Index to Reading Russian Handwritten Records. FamilySearch also has a YouTube channel. The videos on their YouTube channel are conveniently grouped into playlists so you can easily find and view videos on a specific topic.

UPDATE: Click here for a playlist of YouTube videos related to FamilySearch.

NEXT POST: Logic is Overrated
RELATED POST: Visiting a FamilySearch Center 

17 July 2012

Four By Five

Comments after the jump.

B: 25 Oct 1845 <Saddler's Church, York Co., Pa>
D: 5 Mar 1928

Marriage to George H. Gerberich, AFT 1862
Marriage to Samuel Cornbower, AFT 1906

Children with George H. Gerberich

Susanna, B: ABT 1844 <Crestline, Crawford Co., Oh>
Lovina, B: ABT 1846 <Crestline, Crawford Co., Oh>
Christina, B: ABT 1848 York Co, Pennsylvania
Elizabeth, B: ABT 1850 <Crestline, Crawford Co., Oh>
Susanna, B: ABT 1863 ,,York Co, Pennsylvania
Lovina, B. ABT 1865 York Co, Pennsylvania

13 July 2012

Gen Glossary for Beginners


Abstract: A summary of a record. Example: You have 50 pages of a military pension record. There is important information spread throughout those 50 pages. Rather than type out every word of the record to make it easily legible and accessible you create an abstract. You can then add it to your tree as a note or a story.
Birth Certificate, delayed: Before Social Security started in 1935 it was a rare occasion that required a birth certificate. After 1935, however, it became a necessity. Applying for a certified copy of your own birth certificate required affidavits from two people who would swear you were who you claimed you were. You did not have to apply in the same state you were born in so if copies were not passed down in your family these can be difficult to find. You need to think about when and where they were when they needed one. Example: My great-grandmother (b. 1905, MO) did not have a copy of her birth certificate. She may never have bothered to get her own but she wanted her son (b. 1926, TX), who was mentally challenged, to receive Social Security benefits. She didn't have a copy of his certificate either. She submitted paperwork for both of their certificates at the same time. In Texas. In 1957. Luckily a cousin has copies of both certificates.
Collection: Short for "collection of records". Examples of collection titles: American Civil War Soldiers; Texas Death Index 1903-2000; New Orleans Passenger Lists, 1820-1945. Various collections may be gathered in one place to create a database. 
Database: "A comprehensive collection of related data organized for convenient access, generally on a computer." [Random House Dictionary] For genealogy the largest databases are at Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org but there are many other databases and many websites that have a collection, or a few collections, that pertain to genealogy in their database.
Extract: A portion of a record transcribed word-for-word.
Index: A list of individual records in a collection. The amount of information can vary from index to index. Example:

                                 Texas Death Index            California Death Index     
 Name                               ✔                                            
 Birth Date/Place             ✘                                            
 Death Date/Place           ✔                                            
 Mother's Maiden             ✘                                             

The amount of information in a record may even vary from record to record in a collection. Both of the indexes above are for the state's death certificates. IF an image is attached it will just be a list of the records not the individual record. An index is created for filing purposes and may not include all information from a record.
Primary Source: Information on a record, or part of a record, that was given by someone with first hand knowledge.
Query - n. a question; an inquiry  [Dictionary.com]
            v. to put a question to; ask  [World English Dictionary]
Question - n. a form of words addressed to a person
                    in order to elicit information or evoke a response  [World English Dictionary]
This may seem obvious to many of you but I can't count the number of times I've seen just a name, just a surname or a request to help "find my family" on a discussion board with no further information. Makes me wonder if that person would request courthouse records by sending a note with just, "I need information on my grandfather" or "John D. Smith." It makes me, and others who would love to help, want to yell:

At the end of the video below Crista Cowen gives tips on writing a message board post. If you're only interested in the part about writing a post go to the 22 minute mark.

Secondary Source: Information on a record, or part of a record, that is given by someone who does not have first hand knowledge. A death certificate is a primary source for information about a person's death but all other information including name, date of birth, parents' names, etc. is secondary information. Yes, you read that correctly. A death certificate is not a primary source for someone's name. The informant on a death certificate could've been a grandchild or a neighbor. They may have called the deceased Papa or C.W.. Did they know his given and middle names were Charles Wheeler? Even someone who knew that fact could've been overcome with grief and may not have remembered a middle name or maiden name at the moment they were filling out the death certificate.
Transcription: A word-for-word copy, typed or handwritten, of a record. Transcriptions and extractions are not as common due to the ability to Xerox or photograph records. There are, however, times when you will not be able to Xerox or photograph an item you need. It's always best to copy it word-for-word so you're not asking yourself later, "Why did I write it that way?" Write it first, interpret it later. Also, be sure to write down the source of the information (i.e. microfilm - number and title; book - title, author, publisher information)
Source: Where the facts on your tree come from. If you search for other trees on Ancestry.com part of the summary shows how many records and how many sources the tree has. On Ancestry.com 'sources' are other trees. Everywhere else sources are records and Ancestry trees are, well, if you've read any of the Tuesday posts on this blog you know what I think of them ;-) Ancestry.com automatically sources all records that you attached from their site which is convenient. You can see the source information in the fine print at the bottom of the indexed record. Here's an example:

Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Lebanon, Warren, Ohio; Roll: M432_737; Page: 28A; Image: 325.
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

That same source is included if the tree is downloaded. Here's what it looks like in my software:

128. @R-2146978506@, “1850 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432,, 1,8054::0, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com. 
Year: 1850; Census 
Place: Lebanon, Warren, Ohio; Roll: M432_737; Page: 28; Image: 321., http://trees.ancestry.com/rd?f=sse&db=1850usfedcenancestry&h=19623955&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt, 
Birth date:  abt 1784
Birth place:  Pennsylvania
Residence date:  1850
Residence place:  Lebanon, Warren, Ohio

The goal of sourcing is to make sure anyone, including you, can find the record again if needed. To learn how to source items found on other websites, microfilm, books, etc. check out Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
Vital Records: Vital is defined as "of or pertaining to life" [Dictionary.com] so vital records are birth, marriage and death records, the basic records for someone's life.


BC: Birth Certificate
BMD: Birth, Marriage and Death
DC: Death Certificate
FHC or FSC: Family History Center or FamilySearch Center. FHCs are branches of the FHL and are located all over the world, usually on the campus of an LDS church.
FHL: Family History Library. This library is Mecca for genealogists. It is a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
FNU, NMI, LNU: All of these refer to names. They are abbreviations for the following: First Name Unknown, No Middle Initial, Last Name Unknown
GEDCOM: GEnealogical Data COMmunication. This is a computer file for genealogical data. A GEDCOM file can only be read by genealogical software and is data only meaning no media (photos, stories, etc.) will be included in the file.
LDS: Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons.
NEHGS: New England Historic Genealogical Society, the first genealogy society in the United States.
NGS: National Genealogical Society
UNK: Unknown

PREVIOUS POST: You Can't Have It Both Ways
NEXT POST: Four by Five

10 July 2012

You Can't Have It Both Ways

Comments after the jump.


Born to Carlisle Smith & Zilpha B. Harvey
    Date: abt 1848 
    Place: New York
    Date: 12 Jul 1850 
    Place: Bangor, Franklin, New York 2 born New York
    Date: 7 Dec 1850
    Date: 2 Aug 1860 
    Place: Franklin, Bangor New York 10 born New York living with Charles and Polly Smith
    Date: 2 Aug 1860 
    Place: In School
Marriage to Revillo M. Amidon
    Date: 20 Feb 1884

06 July 2012

So Crazy It Just Might Be True

Just as you shouldn't accept a profile without looking at the records,
you shouldn't dismiss a profile without looking at the records.
At first glance a timeline may seem unlikely
but if there are records to back it up...
(Comments after the jump.)

 14 May 1894 in Franklin, Warren, Ohio
 Marriage #1
 29 Nov 1909 in Butler, Ohio to Edward Chamberlain
 1910 Middletown, Butler, Ohio
 Marriage #2
 12 Feb 1914 in Butler, Ohio to Edward Chamberlain
 Marriage #3
 24 Sep 1917 in Butler, Ohio to Alfred Charles Walker
 1920 Middletown, Butler, Ohio
 Marriage #4
 23 Jan 1922 in Butler, Ohio to Bradley Robinson
 1930 Middletown, Butler, Ohio

03 July 2012


My first post was on Adam & Eve trees. 
For the 6-month anniversary of this blog 
I thought I'd feature another "Biblical" tree.
Comments after the jump.

Jesus (Yeshua) "the Nazarene," Yehoshua ha Mashaiach/Notzri ben Joseph
B. 1 Mar 7 BC, Bethelem, Nazareth, Judea, Israel
Note on birth: Officially 15 September 7 BC AD to comply with dynastic regulation. Emperor Constantine subsequently designated December 25 to co-inside with the Pagan Sun Festival.
D. Friday, 3 Apr 33, Golgatha, Calvary, Judea, Israel
Note on death: Also the year 74 in Masada, Israel or Rone, Italy
Mary Miriam Magdala, "Beloved Disciple" ha-Benjamin (ha David?) Magdalene Saint
B. 3, Magdala, Judea, Israel
D. 63, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France

* Marriage 30 Sep ?? *
Note on marriage: This was the First Marriage ceremony. Consummation of the marriage would wait until December, as per custom and tradition, assuring any child would be born in September, the holiest month of the year.

Tamar "the Sarah," of Jerusalem
B. Sep 33, Alexandria, Egypt
D. ?
Jesus II (Yeshua II) "the Righteous One" of the House of David Justus
B. 1 Jun 37, Jerusalem, Judea
D. 58, Jerusalem, Judea
Josephes (Jesus Justus) "Grail Child," Bishop of Saraz (Sarras) Desposyni
B. Sep 44 Provence, France
D. 82, England