Weekly Planner: Plan for Research in 2007

As you look ahead to 2007, take a look at your research and what you’d like to accomplish this year. Do you have travel plans that may be a good fit with research or a genealogical conference? What records do you need to access to move on with your research and how can you gain access to them? Start a to-do list that includes the locations of places from which you can access these records and you may find that you have enough to warrant a special trip.

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Juliana’s Family History Resolutions, by Juliana Smith

journal.jpgWell, it seems like once again I blinked and Christmas came and went. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly that long awaited day comes and goes each year. We did have a very nice holiday though and after the “interesting” preceding weeks which included a dog with pneumonia, a week-long stint at my daughter’s school’s Santa Shop, and a lot of last minute shopping, I am looking forward to a little down time.

As I walked back into my office, it struck me that I would be preparing the first newsletter of the year, with the delivery date conveniently falling on New Year’s Day. Looking around the office, it was clear that several of my New Year’s resolutions this year would involve a much needed clean up and organization stint. (Yes, the filing got away from me again.)

With plenty of tasks calling for my attention, I decided that this would be the perfect time to put my family history resolutions down on paper. With a couple hundred thousand of you out there to witness them, maybe I’ll be able to follow through this year! And perhaps, there are one or two that you’d like to add to your list of resolutions. Continue reading

Have You Checked for These Records? Part 3: Century Farms, by Paula Stuart Warren, CG

farm and buggy.jpgThis series is designed to acquaint readers with records often overlooked in the research process. (Also, see Part 1: Overview  and Part 2: Orphanage Records)

Have census records at Ancestry.com shown that many of your ancestors were farmers? Has that farm remained in the family? These long-term family farms may have been honored as a Century or Bicentennial Farm or Ranch. A farm that is no longer in the family could have been honored before it was sold. Such programs are meant to honor the heritage of farming and ranching, remember the men and women who settled an area, and have resulted in many applications and publications related to the awards. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Sources Off the Beaten Track, from Loretto D. Szucs

What more can you learn about your ancestors after you’ve milked all the usual sources? Census records and information sources that provide us with landmark life events such as births, marriages and deaths will always be critical to learning more about family members and others who have in influenced our past. However, because of habit or because we don’t think beyond these commonly-used sources, we often overlook a wonderful array of “hidden sources.”

Sometimes it helps to tickle the imagination by going through the genealogy pages of the National Archives, or to look through lists posted on the websites of your favorite state archives, the RootsWeb free pages, FamilySearch.org, or under the database descriptions at Ancestry.com.

There are lesser-known record sources for almost every letter of the alphabet. Did you know that there are incredible stories about the people who lived along the shoreline of any navigable waterway of the United States, including lakes, rivers and canals in the Admiralty Court records that can be found in the regional offices of the National Archives?

“Bodies in Transit” is another unusual set of records. In an effort to stem the spread of communicable diseases, local governments in many states required that bodies arriving in their jurisdiction be registered. Some have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and can be found for a number of places in the U.S.

Think about where your ancestors or people of interest lived. What kinds of records would include them? Were they members of fraternal orders, were they included on tax lists, slave schedules, religious records, or alien registrations? Were they included in a necrology, a midwife’s record, or a medical record? Were they involved in an accident that led to a court case? Did they leave any kind of a paper trail in court records?

The possibilities are almost endless. Start a list and let the search begin. The New Year is a perfect time to jumpstart your research with sources that are a little “off the beaten track!”

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Your Quick Tips, 01 January 2007

celtic tombstone.jpg

NOTE: To those of you who are getting this page in response to the reduced subscription rate offer, click here by February 23 to get the reduced rate. Or you can contact one of our customer service reps at 1-800-262-3787 (1-800-ANCESTRY).  There was a problem with the URL in that mailing.  Our apologies for the trouble. Enjoy!

Photograph Headstone Location
Sometimes it is not easy to find a specific headstone in a large cemetery, so when I take a photo of the stone itself, I take a picture of the stone with some feature that will be likely to remain in place in relationship to the stone (e.g., a structure such as a gazebo, a large, distinctive stone or monument, or other permanent outstanding feature in the area). Trees die and are removed, so they do not make good points of reference. These photos help other family members find the headstones when they are visiting for the first time.

Betty Voss
Cape Girardeau, MO

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The Year Was 1913

The year was 1913 and there was turbulence in the Balkans. Following a coup in the Ottoman Empire, the first Balkan War continued with allied Balkan states defeating the Ottoman Empire. The peace treaty, signed in London on May 30, redrew the map lines of southeastern Europe. In June, Bulgaria, unhappy with the new boundaries, attacked Greece and Serbia in a short-lived effort to gain control over Macedonia. The Treaty of Bucharest ended the second Balkan War giving control of Macedonia to the Greek and Serbian allies. 

Tragedy struck on October 14 in Senghenydd, Wales, when an explosion ripped through a coal mine killing 439 men and boys in the worst coal mining disaster in Welsh history. The explosion left 205 widows and 542 children without a father.  Postcards commemorating the disaster can be found online through the National Library of Wales. Wikipedia also lists the names of those killed in the disaster. The Coal Mining History Resource Center maintains a national database of mining deaths and injuries in the UK.

The following month, across the Atlantic a powerful storm dubbed the “Great Lakes White Hurricane” took 235 lives and caused up to forty shipwrecks. Most of the casualties came from large freighters wrecked on Lake Huron. The NOAA website includes accounts describing thirty-five foot waves in succession, of the grisly sight of sailors washing up on Canadian shores following the storm, and in one interesting story where one of the “victims” walked in on his own funeral. Continue reading

Photo Corner

Arthur Schucker and family, ca 1916
Contributed by Ginny Killeen
My husband’s grandmother, Jennie Williams Schucker, his grandfather, Arthur Schucker, and their three daughters, Alice, Jennie (my husband’s mother) and Gert, taken approximately 1916.  

Click on the photograph to enlarge it.  

Martha Ellen (Carpenter) Graham McDermott, b. 1897, d. 1982Contributed by Trina Juneman
My grandmother, Martha Ellen (Carpenter) Graham McDermott. She was born April 22, 1897 and died June 19, 1982. This picture was taken in Kentucky, when she was 15 years old.