Your Quick Tips, 16 April 2007

1925 Iowa State Census Has Three Pages
The recent addition of several years of Iowa state census images is an incredible resource for anyone with Iowa connections. In particular, the 1925 census includes each person’s parents’ names, age if living, birthplace, maiden name of mother, and parents’ place of marriage. Much of the information is indexed but because of poor handwriting, some information is misinterpreted. As I talk with others I have discovered that many do not realize that there are three images for each person’s entry. The person’s basic information is on the first image, parentage on the second, and religious preference on the third. My point is to check that second image for yourself and not rely solely on the indexing. I have discovered many times that this may be the only record available to pinpoint a mother’s maiden name. To find this information for someone who is elderly in 1925 can be a fantastic discovery and open some new doors to mid-1800s research.

Karen in Iowa

Address It “To the Heirs Of…”
A correspondent and retired post mistress from Blue Ridge, Texas, once gave me invaluable advice when I was searching for an ancestor’s descendants in Walker County, Alabama. She suggested I address an envelope like this: “To Any Heir of Willie Ferguson, or Frank Ferguson, or Johnny Ferguson (three brothers), c/o Postmaster, Jasper, Alabama (the county seat).” She said postmasters always try to help in this type of matter.

Of course it probably would not work in large cities, but it does in smaller, more rural counties. I tried this and had a telephone call two days later when my letter was put in a granddaughter’s mailbox. She was a retired school teacher and telephoned me that same day. As it turned out, she was eager to help me with family history. She did all the ground work in the cemeteries and at the courthouse, furnished old letters, and found biographies at the library. In return, I did all the typing and chart work. We shared data and photos and worked together for several years! It proved to be one of the most valuable “tips” I ever received.
Janice C. Brown

Occupation as a Clue
I was searching for the identity of H. St. L. Coppee who had an Army Corps of Engineers towboat named for him in 1904. Someone writing an article on the boat had no idea who he was. In FamilySearch I found he was married in 1884 to Mary Bell Marshell in Warren County, Mississippi.

I Googled him and found his name on maps of the Mississippi River, Vicksburg District Army Corps of Engineers. I also found a Henry Coppee who was a civil engineer graduate from West Point Military Academy back in 1845. Thinking that the son may have followed in his father’s footsteps, I went back to FamilySearch and had two hits–Henry Coppee’s marriage at West Point, ca. 1853, and the birth of Henry St. Leger Coppee, 30 March 1853 at West Point. I already know that Henry was teaching at West Point at the time, so do give occupation credit as a clue.

Carl Hugh Jones
River Historian/Genealogist

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One thought on “Your Quick Tips, 16 April 2007

  1. The tip from Karen re the 1925 Iowa state census is terrific! It gave me information I have long been seeking.

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