Your Quick Tips, 17 November 2008

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Site ( has details of all British and Commonwealth servicemen killed in action during World War I and World War II and often has details of next of kin. I found my great uncle on the site—someone I never knew fought in World War I. I also found one of my wife’s relatives who was killed during World War II.
Hythe, Southampton UK

Try Parents’ Names in Birth Searches
Having difficulty locating those elusive relatives in death certificate indexes? Try entering the father’s surname or mother’s maiden name in the search box. I have found many missing female relatives this way even when their married name is unknown. I have been searching the North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-75. Most of these certificates give both parents’ names. And don’t forget to look at the actual image. There is a wealth of information not listed in the index.
Michelle Woodham
Shreveport, Louisiana

Mapping Advice
Virginia suggested Googling an address in a recent newsletter. Doing so, she found a current real estate listing for the same address. Using Google Maps, she could have also seen the actual street view, as Google is in the process of photographing every street in every city in the U.S.

Terrain view in Google maps has helped me find “old” place names and creek names. I have several pioneer ancestors in Oregon and converted record range and township land descriptions to latitude and longitude to find the present day locations. Then, comparing old and new maps, aerial views and new maps, I made many positive confirmations and discoveries.

One point to keep in mind–in the case of a house, the street numbering may have changed and road or street names may have changed over the years. Also, a house may have had a major addition, so it may not look like it did when your ancestor lived there.

Duplications in location names can cause confusion so be sure to clarify for your records. For example, in the old days a miner may have sought gold in Colfax, California, or in Colfax, Washington.

Dave Simmons

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One thought on “Your Quick Tips, 17 November 2008

  1. This is good advice, Michelle.

    I found that SEVERAL of the folks I was looking for were filed, not under their own names in the online index, but as if their father’s name WAS their name. It was only because I knew their birthdates very well that I decided to check them just in case, and my hunch proved correct.

    So if anyone is checking the Wisconsin State Historical Society records here:
    try this technique. It sometimes works.

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