Looking for a Job? Try the 1880 U.S. Census for Ideas

Below is a press release from the home offices that contains some interesting stats from the 1880 Census:

PROVO, Utah, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ — To mark the nation’s 124th Labor Day, Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online resource for family history records, is releasing an interesting glimpse of the most popular and most unusual occupations in 1880.

With Labor Day’s roots dating back to 1882, Ancestry.com, the only online source for the complete digitized U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1930, is sharing the labor landscape from the 1880 U.S. Census, including the following fascinating discoveries:

  • More than 20 percent of the population listed their occupations as some form of laborer with the top three occupations listed as employed on a farm, laborer or servant. 
  • Additional occupations among the top 10 include carpenter, dressmaker/tailor, clerk, school teacher, blacksmith, miner and cotton mill worker.  Continue reading

Beta Version of New Advanced Search Now Available

Ancestry.com has launched the beta version of its advanced search template. With the new template, you can now specify whether you want all criteria to match exactly by checking the Exact matches only box at the top of the page, or only certain fields. To specify only certain fields, uncheck Exact matches only and select the Exact box next to each field you wish to match exactly.

The new search form also includes the keyword search, as well as several fields for specifying dates and locations. 

You can navigate to the advanced search box by selecting the Search tab from the navigation bar at the top of Ancestry.com pages, and then selecting Advanced Search from the Search Resources box in the upper right hand portion of the page, or directly through this link:

Click on the Feedback link at the top of the Advanced Search page to submit your comments. If you experience problems using the search and would like to report them, please include details so that our technicians can recreate the problem and correct it. Thanks for your help in testing this beta version of the new search!

Weekly Planner: Summer Memories

Birch Lake 2005As the end of summer nears (or winter for those of you reading this from “down under”), now is a good time to reflect on and record the events and memories of the season. What happened with your family? Were there vital events, health issues, gatherings, or other milestones? What was the season like for you? Were there wild weather conditions or other natural disasters? What local or world events impacted you? What is your view on the current state of things–at home, in your community, and throughout the world? Make a record of this season to live on in your family history. Don’t you wish your ancestors had done the same?

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Using Ancestry.com: Simple, But Effective

by Juliana Smith

Last year when my mother-in-law visited, she pointed out a pest in my spruce tree in the front yard. The little sacks made of pine needles hanging from half-bare branches apparently contained bag worms. This year, the worms are back. Since I don’t like to use pesticides, I was relieved when she told me the most effective means of control is the “pick and stomp” method. Simply pick them off and stomp on them.

One day when I was out “picking and stomping,” I saw my neighbor sitting down on his lawn with a bucket pulling up crabgrass. Since I’ve had a recent infestation too, I will probably be doing the same over the next few weekends. (I actually tried to use some weed and feed mix on it once and it killed everything but the crabgrass. I had these huge brown spots dotted with bright green crab grass. I swear I could hear it taunting me!)

With landscape chores, sometimes the simplest methods, although possibly a bit more time-consuming, are most effective. I had a similar experience last week with family history research. I got a note from a reader who was looking for an ancestor in New York City. She had an address and knew he had been in the same location before and after the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. However, Soundex and other search techniques failed to locate his enumeration. On that particular day, I needed a boost in morale, so using the information she had provided, I set out in search of him. (Yes, even chasing other people’s ancestors can pick up my spirits!) Continue reading

More Than a Diploma from a University

by Paula Stuart Warren 

I just spent about $3,000.00 a couple of hours ago . . . but only in my mind. I was tallying up books I want to purchase from several university presses. The publications of University Presses are too often ignored by family historians.

Some people think of these as presses only for publishing dissertations. Some do that heavily–and happily, some require a dissertation to be rewritten for a published book format that someone might purchase. But there is a world of literature that encompasses so much more in these presses. These presses play a dynamic role in the world of books. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: School Records

from George G. Morgan

Remember how your parents had to provide information about you, such as date and place of birth, as part of registering you for school? Many schools maintain their records indefinitely, usually in some records retention facility. Registration, grades, yearbooks, and all sorts of other information may still exist. If you can determine the location of the school that your ancestor or relative attended, and the county it is/was in, chances are that you may be able to obtain copies of school records. Also, don’t overlook colleges and universities that your ancestor attended. Registrars’ offices can be contacted for academic records, and alumni associations may have subsequent addresses. Yearbooks are usually a permanent part of the institution’s library so be sure to check them for details about your ancestors’ extracurricular school activities. Be prepared, however, to provide proof of your relationship in order to gain access to or copies of some of the academic records.

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