Your Quick Tips, 20 October 2008

Check the Neighbors
When you find a record in the U.S. census, don’t forget to click on the link for viewing others on the page. Some of these neighbors might just be family that you were searching for but could not find, especially if names were misspelled or transcribed erroneously. I have found many clues that helped me break through many brick walls by using this feature.
Patrick Fehring
Grove City, Ohio

An I for a 1
Remember when typewriters (?!) did not have a “1” (one) key? We didn’t need a “1” key; we just used the “I” (capital i) key instead. Instead of dates like 1836, we typed I836. Today’s genealogists and historians should be aware of this, because while people see 1836 and I836 as the same, computers do not.

Search in Google for this string of characters:
1836 “fall of the alamo”
The results are about 10,900 hits.

Now change the “one” to a “capital eye:”
i836 “fall of the alamo”
The results are exactly 3 hits.

One of those hits is this page:
The Portal to Texas History — Hits in Document

Over and over again, the “dates” are i821 and i833.

Rebecca Ann Jordan

Micro Recorders
I always travel with a micro recorder.  One can never take enough notes or remember exactly how the story went that Aunt Annie was telling.  Each time I listen to the tapes I hear something I missed, an important date, name, place, etc.  It’s also a great tool when interviewing a relative.
Once I was on a German tour to the homeland with my father and twelve other relatives.  On our last night at the castle we were attended a medieval banquet.  I turned on my recorder and taped the “ompa” music and the old German songs that were being sung.  I wouldn’t want to be without my recorder.  
Gail B. Ehlenberger
Redmond, Washington

Click here for a printer-friendly version of this article.

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 early in your message.

6 thoughts on “Your Quick Tips, 20 October 2008

  1. Using an upper case letter i(I)for the number 1 on typewriters was interesting. But when I took typing class in high school 50 years ago, we were taught to use the lower case l (L) for the number 1, and that is how I have always seen the number one typed. The lower case letter l looks more like the number 1 than the upper case I. Maybe search in Google for l836 (with a lower case l/L)would provide additional hits.

  2. Rebecca, most people, when using a typewriter without a numeral “1” key used (and I was so taught in typing class in eighth grade) a lowercase letter “l” instead. On most typewriters of the time, these characters were in fact identical.


  3. The comment I just posted seems to make no sense because the website changed the font of my comment. The character I was referring to was a lowercase “L.”


  4. If you don’t have a voice recorder, you could leave a voicemail message on your home phone or answering machine containing data you want to input into your files or data base. You could also use your cell phone camera to take pictures of family homes or places of interest.

  5. I agree. Students were taught to type a lowercase letter “L” for the numeral 1 on manual typewriters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *