Your Quick Tips

Moving Between Censuses
Never assume that a family resided in the same place between censuses. When available, another good resource is the state census. Some states such as Illinois and Kansas had state censuses which were done every ten years, between federal censuses (1825, 1835, etc).

For many years I tried to figure out why a few branches of my husband’s line left Dunklin County, Missouri, and ended up in Alexander County, Illinois. I looked at the 1865 census to see if they had moved there by that time. I didn’t find them in Alexander County but did find them in Massac County, Illinois.

To my surprise I also found my husband’s direct-line great-great-grandparents as well as a long lost half-brother of that great-great-grandfather. His great-great-grandparents had moved back to Dunklin County by 1870 to the same area they were living in 1860, so checking the 1865 state census alerted me to the fact that they had moved around between censuses.

Why did they leave? The family was originally from Indiana. The area in which they lived in Dunklin County, Missouri, was populated with more Confederate sympathizers than Union. The family most likely left to not only support but allow some family members to join the Union forces.

Debbi Geer
St Ann, Missouri

Google Tours
Google has an additional tool that is pretty cool. Using Google Maps you can type in an address (or even just a town or street and town) and if you see a small orange “person” on the left navigation bar – click it – and then you can use Street View. This allows you to “drive” down the streets as if you were driving in a car sightseeing. You can even turn 360 degrees to see all the buildings on either side and turn corners to keep exploring.
I found my great-grandparents house in Newton, Kansas and my grandparents’ house there, as well. I took a screen shot and cropped it and now have pictures to include that I probably couldn’t have gotten otherwise.

Adoptees Bearing Birth Name
In some cases adopted children revert to, or even retain, their original last name–especially if they were adopted by relatives. This was the case for a relative of mine who was sought for many years by his deceased mother’s family. Knowing that he had been adopted they did not search under his original surname. They located him after seventy years when I put his mother’s maiden name into the search banks. Maybe this clue will help others.


If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!

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