Monday Milestones: As November Comes to a Close

Hard to believe that November has come to an end.  Now we find December upon us and with it the end of 2009.  I’m not quite sure where the year has gone, but what a year it has been.


Before we close the door on November I want to take a moment and reflect on what has been accomplished.  You may – or may not – have noticed that I like to pick a theme each month and write around that idea.  I also choose to key and arbitrate records of that focus.  This month’s theme has been military records.  To that end please accept my congratulations for a job well done this month.  In November you collectively keyed over 32,000 records and arbitrated over 7,000 records from military collections alone (various Returns from US Military Posts and Buffalo Soldiers).  And these are not easy records.  Way to go!


I hope as you continue to work on these projects you will find, like I have, great satisfaction in bringing these records out of obscurity.


As we move into December it was difficult to select a particular record type to focus on.  So, in the spirit of the season, I’ll be writing about the stories of families told by the records themselves.  And, I’d like to invite you to do the same.  If, in your keying and arbitrating, you come across a record that you think tells a compelling story, please post a comment or send me an email (ccowan at  Be sure to include the image set number (found at the top of your keying screen in parenthesis right before the project name) so I can look it up.  And once a week or so, I’ll post my favorite stories from the records you are keying.


Here’s to a terrific finish to an amazing year!


Until next time – Happy Keying!

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I’m still focusing on the NYC Naturalization cards. I’ve been working on them a long time, but there is still much to do. I have keyed more than 40,000, and there are almost that many left to be keyed. It is very rewarding to key these records and to see that they arbitrated almost as quickly as they are keyed. It makes me feel I am accomplishing something few are keying on. Thanks for letting me be a part of something so important.

Hi: I have never seen such an accumulation of names and wonder where they came from. Some usual feminine names have a male name also and vice versa. There are a number of oddities and the English spelling, I’m sure would give a completely different meaning as would the name source. Fortunately, there are 26 letters in the used alphabet and in some cases the names, just about take all of them into consideration. Also, I noticed that certain areas in Southern California took a large part of those listed and likewise, a number are scattered. A number were in the general area of where I used to live, but unknown to me. The other thing that kept haunting me, is how did they decide to settle in the areas noted? The index is considered to be easy, but the faintness, overwriting on the stamped dates, etc. becomes a bit frustrating. Anyway, it has been a time consumer and this 93yr. old enjoys doing the work. John

This is not a comment on your note; I just haven’t found a way to contact you (or anyone at Ancestry) with my info. Anyway, I have trained in the Russian language while in the service and wonder if you have a need for anyone to transliterate Cyrillic characters?

I just wanted you to know that you have given so much to me in developing my family tree which is far from being completed, if ever, that I wanted to give back by keying in for all of you. Karen, they assigned me NYC Naturalization Cards as a project automatically. I’ll be helping you a bit everyday

Hi:I been wondering if it would in the near future that we could find other records Of Puerto Rico vote list,marrige,death,birth,milatary fron the 30’s,40’s I cannot get enought information to find family except from the census. I would gladly key in records if you tell me how to go about it.

I just keyed an interesting record.
The man was named Charles Kenehan.His witness was a Michael Halpin,Tammany Hall.
If you remember NY history;Tammany Hall was a Corrupt polical orginization.(Yes,more than the usual)One of their leaders was the infamous Boss Tweed.
It was known they would help new immigrants get jobs etc. in exchange for loyalty.

The image was

960426_367 – NYC Naturalization Indexes