Your Quick Tips, 19 March 2007

Ruins of the burnt district, from the Canal basin, Richmond, Va., looking east [Civil War], 1865 (from LOC Photo Collection at Searching Sideways
Does your ancestor have a common name like George Washington? Searching for a common or famous name will result in thousands of “hits” that can take weeks or months to sift through. Instead try searching sideways. Searching for an in-law or spouse can significantly cut down the time in your research for a common or famous name. In addition, it can provide leads where a brick wall lies. So the next time you’re stuck, try searching sideways.

Terrie Washington-Routh

J.B. or Jabe
Thank you for the timely article, “Why can’t I find them in the census.” I had given up on one of my New York ancestors, my great-great-great-grandfather, who disappeared between 1850 and 1860 (despite trying all the tips you suggested). My ancestors were New York farmers with roots in Massachusetts, and were of the opinion those darn census takers didn’t need to know anything about them. Add to that the fact that they didn’t go to church much, or participate in town activities.

My bizarre find, while searching for my ancestor J.B. (or James), was that the census taker in 1850 wrote down his name as Jabe. Yep, I guess Gramps said “J.B.” and the census taker wrote it like he heard it. Anyway, funnily enough, both his grandson, and my father, named James B., also preferred J.B. to James. Unfortunately my dad passed away before I could give him a chuckle with the “Jabe.” It’s good to know I’m not the only one out there with disappearing ancestors.

Christine Chapin Reusser
Englewood, Colorado

Missing Ancestors After the Civil War
There is one other problem that prevents one from finding many families in the census. Following the Civil War, I’ve found many families were not listed in the 1870 census, but some are found in the same place in the 1880 census. Yet others moved to other states and a few left the U.S.

Thanks for your most informative articles.

Bobbi Chase

If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors! Quick Tips may be reprinted, with credit to the submitter, in other Ancestry publications, so if you do not want your tip included in a publication other than the “Ancestry Weekly Journal,” please state so clearly in your message.

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One thought on “Your Quick Tips, 19 March 2007

  1. Lost males, heads of house holds1850? Look in California golding regions and largetowns near. Often Identied by an unusal number of women head of households in area where they lived.state census sometimes confirm. Thses lady are often called gold widows.

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