Your Quick Tips, 11 February 2008

House Photos
Some County Auditors have pictures of homes posted. The “real” purpose of the information is tax evaluation but the pictures are invaluable. Just type in the search engine something like Franklin Co. Ohio Auditor and look to see if they have a choice such as Property Search listed. You do get the most current picture of the house so you may even have a then and now view if you are fortunate enough to have an old picture. Also, if the house has been torn down, you now know what replaced it.
Helen E. Read Continue reading

The Year Was 1790

The year was 1790 and the young American nation was already feeling the pull of North versus South. Northern states were still facing debt from the Revolutionary War, while southern states had paid off most of their debt. So when Alexander Hamilton proposed that the federal government assume Revolutionary War debts, the South was definitely not on-board. In order to gain support for the legislation, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison worked out a compromise. The agreement would put the capital of the young nation on the banks of the Potomac, surrounded by slave states, in exchange for support of the funding of Revolutionary debt. In the meantime, Philadelphia would be the capital.

The first U.S. census taken that same year counted a total population of 3,939,625, with African Americans making up 19 percent of that number (9 percent free and 10 percent slaves). 90 percent of the African American population lived in the South.

Large families were the norm, with an average of eight children. The white American population would double every twenty-two years.

New York was the largest city in the country with a population of 33,131, while Philadelphia followed in second place with 28,522 citizens. More than two-thirds of that city turned out in April for the funeral of the beloved statesman, Benjamin Franklin.

In London, women breathed a collective sigh of relief as the alleged “London Monster” was arrested. For several years someone had been terrorizing attractive women in that city, accosting them and usually stabbing them in the thigh or posterior, although occasionally he was said to have hidden a knife in a nosegay and stabbed them in the nose. A Welshman named Rynwick Williams was arrested after a victim pointed him out. However, he had a strong alibi for at least one of the crimes, and it was speculated that he was set up to gain a handsome reward that had been offered for the capture of the perpetrator. Regardless, young Rynwick was sentenced to six years in prison.

In northern England the first lifeboat was tested and proved successful. Inspiration for its creation came following a shipwreck tragedy the previous year in which eight men drowned in sight of the shore. The rescue in the stormy sea was thought to be suicidal, so a shore-based rescue boat, the “Original,” was created to avert future tragedies. The “Original” went on to save hundreds of lives and spawned the creation of many more such boats.

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Photo Corner

Malinda Hively Ramsey, born 11 May 1864 in Whitley County, IndianaContributed by Patricia Ramsey Bogel
This is a picture of Malinda Hively Ramsey. She was born 11 May 1864 in Whitley County, Indiana, to Benjamin and Lucinda Miller Hively. She married Charles Ramsey on 19 December 1949 in Whitley County, Indiana, and died 17 January 1904.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Earnese PierceContributed by Delilah
This is a picture of my mother, Earnese Pierce.

Missouri State Censuses Online at Ancestry

Ancestry____logo1.bmpAncestry has added Missouri State Censuses to its collection. Missouri conducted several state and territorial censuses. Unfortunately, very few of the schedules have survived. This database contains an index to, with corresponding images of, several of the remaining schedules. Including about a fifth of Missouri’s counties, the 1876 census is the largest set of the records. The following is a list of the counties and years covered in this database.

  • 1844: Callaway
  • 1856: Audrain
  • 1857-1858: St. Louis
  • 1868-1869: Cape Girardeau, Franklin
  • 1873: Cole (Jefferson City)
  • 1876: Atchison, Benton, Butler, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cass, Christian, Daviess, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Holt, Howard, Madison, McDonald, Moniteau, Montgomery, Osage, Perry, Phelps, Reynolds, Ripley, St Francois, Stone, Texas, Webster, Worth
  • 1880: Cass (Big Creek, Pleasant Hill, City of Pleasant Hill)
  • 1881: Reynolds (these records are actually land list assessment records)

Information contained in this index includes:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • County of enumeration
  • Marital status
  • Race
  • Age
  • Birth location (1857 only)

Be sure to check the image for additional information. The 1876 census recorded ages in categories according to race, gender, and age-span. Sections were also available to indicate whether a person was deaf and dumb, blind, or insane. In addition, information regarding people’s live stock and agricultural products was recorded. Click here to search the Missouri State Censuses. Offers Unprecedented Look into Lives of Once-Enslaved Ancestors With Largest Online Collection of African-American Historical Records

Ancestry____logo1.bmpIn Honor of Black History Month, Just-Released Civil War-Era Marriage and Southern Claims Commission Documents Allow African-Americans Additional Chance to Uncover Heritage

PROVO, UTAH – February 7, 2008 – African-Americans seeking to discover family roots obscured by slavery may be one step closer to their heritage., the world’s largest online family history resource, today expanded the largest online repository of African-American family history records with two new collections that provide unique insights into African-American family history: Freedman’s Marriage Records and Southern Claims Commission Records. 

“While these documents depict the horrors of slavery, they also provide invaluable information that help uncover ancestors’ life stories,” said Megan Smolenyak, Chief Family Historian for “These documents further cement the fact that African-Americans can discover their family’s heritage, even those ancestors enslaved prior to the Civil War. We’re seeing an increasing interest among African-Americans in tracing their roots, especially as collections such as these are made available and accessible online, rather than stored away in archives.”

Freedman’s Marriage Records
From 1865 to 1868, plantation marriages of thousands of former slaves from 17 Southern states were legalized. has digitized and made available online a collection of marriage certificates, marriage licenses, and other proofs of the marriage “legalizations.”  

Southern Claims Commission Records
Following the end of the Civil War, Southerners filed more than 23,000 claims against the U.S. government for property seized by the Union Army. Claimants furnished answers to some 80 questions about seized property and supplied witnesses, often former slaves, to testify on their behalf. In addition to their name, age and current residence, African-American claimants stated:
- Whether they were free or enslaved at the beginning of the war
- When they became free
- Occupation and residence
- Name of their former masters
- Whether they purchased land from their former masters

African-American witnesses were asked:
- If the claimant was their former master
- Whether they currently worked for him
- Whether they currently lived on his land
- To give testimony of any property seizure they witnessed Continue reading

International Association of Jewish Genealogy (IAJGS) Conference to Be Held in Chicago, Illinois, 17-22 August 2008

Registration is open for the 28th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy: Chicago August 17-22, 2008

Honolulu, HI – January 30, 2008.  The International Association of Jewish Genealogy (IAJGS) announces that registration is open for the 28th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy to be held in Chicago, August
17 – 22, 2008 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. The conference is co-hosted with the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois and the Illiana Jewish Genealogical Society.

“Early-bird” conference registration, through April 30, 2008, is $250 and $150 for a companion. Daily conference registration is also available. The special hotel rate for conference registrants is $199 per night plus tax (single or double), plus $30 per additional person. Conference registration and hotel registration can be completed at the conference website: Continue reading

New at Ancestry

Ancestry____logo1.bmpPosted This Week

Weekly Planner: Map Ancestral Migrations

Create a map of your ancestors’ travels, noting the dates for each location. As you follow the route they took, you may find places where families intersect, or places along the route where they may have left a trail of records. Investigate the transportation options that were available to them. Tracking their route may not give you a clearer picture of their experience, but you may find a new pathway in your research.

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Visiting Ancestral Homes and Businesses in Your Jammies, by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG

Many people visited one or more of their “home” places during the November and December holidays. These homes of ours, and of relatives, have special places in our hearts. Recently, I was sharing Christmas stories with a friend, and I was reminiscing about the large windows in living room of my childhood home where we would sit and watch for Santa. Of course, one of my sisters or I always saw that sleigh in the sky! In this same vein, I received a neat Christmas gift from a genealogy friend. She had an artist draw the tree that was in the yard of her childhood home and had it incorporated into Christmas cards. We can create these kinds of memories, too.

Several weeks ago I drove past several of the St. Paul homes from my past. Just a few days ago I visited them again, including the places where we lived in Mountain View, California, many moons ago. I did the last visits without even leaving my home office. Have you ever heard that phrase, “You can’t go home again?” As long as you have Internet access, you can visit some of your old homes and those of some ancestors.

Maps and Pictures of Homes
A few clicks online and you might be looking at a map of your old neighborhood, small town, or the town square. Other pictures of old homes abound in libraries and historical societies. You local library may have access to the Sanborn Maps online which show the location of buildings and homes, street names and building numbers, sidewalks, fire hydrants, roofing materials, and what the structure is constructed from (i.e. brick, wood, etc.). These were used for fire insurance purposes. Today they are a favorite of genealogists and the microfilms are found in many libraries and historical societies. The more than 660,000 maps were drawn from 1867-1970 and covered 12,000 towns and cities.

Old real estate firms may have pictures of area homes. In one instance, the Confer Realty Company saved 2,500 photos of houses sold from 1900-45. These Minneapolis photos are now housed at the Hennepin History Museum. If you or an ancestor resided in a historic home no matter where, you may get a house history in addition to a picture. A book might have been published with pictures of selected homes in one town. Many images of older pictures are appearing on historical society websites. Continue reading