Amy Johnson Crow

Amy Johnson Crow is a Certified Genealogist and an active lecturer and author. Her roots run deep in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. She earned her Masters degree in Library and Information Science at Kent State University. Amy loves to help people discover the joys of learning about their ancestors and she thinks that there are few things better than a day in a cemetery. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Amy Johnson Crow.

Musical Leap Year Babies

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on February 29, 2016 in Website

“Musical leaplings” isn’t the name of a new television show for kids (though it sounds like it should be!) Leapling is a term given to people born on that rarest of dates, February 29. Coincidentally, not one but two of the biggest names in American music in the mid-20th century were both leaplings: Dinah Shore Read More

Exploring Michigan Death Records

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on February 16, 2016 in Collections

If you’re researching Michigan ancestors, you should take a look at the new collection on Ancestry: Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950. This collection contains more than 8 million records from the Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Statistics and Health Statistics. There are two types of death records in the collection. The 1867-1897 records Read More

Getting the Most from Your Offline Research Dollars

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on January 28, 2016 in Research

Unless you were the winner of the recent $1.5 billion lottery, you probably don’t have unlimited money to spend on your genealogy. Although Ancestry provides access to billions of records, there are times when you have to obtain a copy directly from a record office. Here are some tips for making the most of your offline genealogy Read More

Tracing American Deaths Abroad

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on January 25, 2016 in Collections

Arthur Amson of St. Louis, Missouri was a student of philology at the University of Leipsic in Germany. He died there on July 7, 1875. While we commonly think about “traditional” death records, there is a special group of records created for Americans who died abroad. United States consulates are to report the deaths of Read More

Guardianship: A Misunderstood Probate Term

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on January 14, 2016 in Collections, Research

If you’ve searched in the probate collections and skipped over a result for a guardianship because you know one of the parents was still alive, you should go back and look at that record. Guardianship is an often-misunderstood concept in probate. What Guardianship Is and Is Not Guardianship is when the court appoints someone to represent the Read More

Using the Lancaster, Pennsylvania Mennonite Vital Records

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on January 12, 2016 in Collections

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, area is known for its Amish and Mennonite heritage. Over the course of many years, the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society has compiled more than 210,000 index cards with records of the Mennonite families in the region. Until recently, these cards were only available to researchers at the society’s library. Now, LMHS has partnered Read More

Preserving the War of 1812 Pensions: An Update

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on December 23, 2015 in Collections

The Preserve the Pensions project is raising funds to digitize and preserve the 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 pension files. These files had never even been microfilmed. Each time someone requested a file from the National Archives, it required handling the paper file. All of that processing over the years has been hard Read More

How to Estimate a Date of Death With a Will

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on December 1, 2015 in Research

Death records are one of the things that we want to find for each ancestor. However, there are times when that record doesn’t exist.  (Don’t you hate it when an ancestor dies before that state started keeping death records?!) If you can’t find a death record and his or her tombstone hasn’t been found or Read More

Researching U.S. Merchant Marines

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on November 16, 2015 in Collections

People researching members of the U.S. Merchant Marine have to be creative with their searching, as the records aren’t as plentiful as they are for the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard. Recently, that search became a little easier for those who are researching in the early 20th century. U.S., Merchant Marine Read More