Today's topic is Family History Research!
Sharpening Your Genealogy Research Skills: Techniques and Tools for Streamlining your Research (by Laurie Castillo)
Uvtagg.org has class outlines for family history classes.
When you pray about something and do it, life doesn’t get any better.
Streamline your research time, get the results, do the right things in the right places.
General strategies :
--Survey source availability
Problem: Tons of paperwork
Solution: Organize Thoroughly to find and store
Chart all information with pedigree charts, family group sheets,
Bring paper with you to research places so you don’t have to toggle back and forth between screens.
Use summaries and timelines,
Create research logs including things you’ve already done and whether they worked or not.
Put dates on a search you do, so you know when it was done, so you know if you can check again.
Write down things to do so you know the next step.
Organize folders and notebooks. With forms and charts, language aids, maps and printouts from catalogs, and logs
Start at the family search wiki
Family search learning center
How-to books and tutorials
State archive and state library websites.
Learning center in the Family Search system with lots of videos. This is stuff we can do at home.
Beginner, intermediate, advanced classes, locations, record types, language and handwriting,
“how-to” books, websites, tutorials history, state archives websites, state and local historical genealogy societies, libraries, state and local. (has one-of-a-kind stuff in their area)
Survey source availability.
Familysearch.org Databases, records, books, genealogists,
Catalog, search all levels of place, town, county, state, national levels.
Also search place under keyword and subject (librarians haven’t agreed how to catalog things)
Be sure to search by name, state, collection.
Wiki—search by location. Watch for links to online records
Books – many of these are not on FHL catalog, a growing list of partners = a consortium. DPLA (Digital Public Library of America)
Genealogies—AF, IGI, PRF and more
USGenWeb – site for every state and county (free site)
Linkpendium search by name, state or county
Linkpendium Can search by locality level, has surname searches and sites related to a name you’re after.
Deathindexes.com online records and resources.
Free LDS partner accounts. Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage, AmericanAncestors
Supposedly you can link these things together to family search
MyHeritage has a Q&A hub for collaboration.
Has super-search alerts. It will email you something that they found a while ago from a long-time search.
Premium family history websites
FHC portal Free “pay” websites.-- Newspaper archives, 19th century British library , Alexander street press for civil war search, Arkiv digital in Swedish church records online, ancestry.com, Findmypast (a better form), fold3, Kinpoint premium, Myheritage library edition, paper trail with westward migration documents, Proquest obituary listings, Puzzilla premium, world vital records,
Free at the FHL SLK:
Lots of stuff there.
Ways to use pay sites for free:
-local public library,
-local historical genealogical society facilities have research centers,
-local college/university libraries,
-most pay sites have a 2-14 day free trials,
-most pay sites have times when a portion of their data can be viewed free of charge (military records during July 4th),
Lisa Luis Cook has a blog Genealogy Gems in which she keeps track of what’s free at the time.
Streamlining internet research
Always have a word processor running to save things that are found. Cut and paste the info. Get the URL and explanatory material., date the info was found.
Upon locating information, copy specific data to your notes or sources section.
Browser can help you speed up searching.
Do a search. Click on a hit, Use a Find Function to find in a page what you were looking for.
Try a different browser, try a different search engine,
If researching a foreign country, use their browser and you’ll get more hits.
Organizing files and folders:
include the date in your file name ____28May2016, note date of search , location, names and variations searched.
Have a folder for each research project, surname or unit, location.
--have a plan
--know what you can do
--know where you can do it
Preparation helps us find stuff.
Before using online catalogs at libraries
1) Use family search catalog
2) book hits-- try to find them closer to home, try to find them online, worldCat, inter-library loan,
3) Free digital collections online – books published before 1923 no longer under copyright. 200,000 digitized books from FS and partners Internet Archive at archive.org, Gutenburg Project, Google Books,
4) Do everything you can from home
Gather and organize what you have. Have a goal for what to find.
Computer – background research, overview,
Contact relatives and genealogical societies
To do list with questions to answer
Make print-outs from the FS catalog of records you’re going to see.
When going somewhere: Determine hours, determine fees, parking, ask about procedures and interviews, ask about how to make and pay for copies.
Using Online Naturalization Records to Find your Ancestor's International Birthplace. (by Kelly Summers)
apgen.org Association of Professional Genealogists
Naturalization is the process by which a person of foreign birth becomes a citizen of the country.
1) Declaration of intent – first papers
2) Petition for naturalization – second papers
These are filed three to seven years apart.
Immigrants’ origins -- Learn as much as you can about the person.
1) Full name,
2) approximate birth date,
3) native country,
4) approximate date came to the US ,
5) where he lived after arrival in the US.
censuses can give approx birthdates,
Find-a-grave may give a specific date.
Birth records of the children may show age of the person.
Family records like family bible
Draft registration have birth dates.
Passenger lists can give an age or where they were headed. May tell who they left behind.
Beginning 1880, census records have a citizenship column.
Find every census they were alive. Compare citizenship column each time.
Citizenship codes on censuses:
PA=filed their first papers (in the process)
AL = alien (don’t intend to become a citizen, but still have paperwork)
No birth certificates until late 1800s.
Finding immigration info in records.
Types of records-- Census, federal, and state records, vital records, cemetery records, city directories, church records, local histories, ethnic histories, newspapers, obituaries,
Colonial period – few records (oath of allegiances, lists of names)
Pre-1906 some information (pre 1880, naturalization is on a county level. Hand-written info, must be over 21, male, oath of allegiance. Will tell country.)
Post-1906 uniform forms, abundant information
Naturalization act 1790
Free white person over age of 21 years and 2 years residence in US granted citizenship on application to common law court in any state where resided for 1 year.
In-person visit to the court, must have moral character. Give oath of allegiance.
Women are not found in these records until 1922.
Married women and children under the age of 21 years derived citizenship from husbands and fathers.
Children of unsuccessful applicants could apply for citizenship on their own once they reached 21 years.
Minor children would become citizens once their father became citizenship.
1894 naturalization act
If immigrants served 5 consecutive years in the US navy or marines and received honorable discharge. This made application process shorter. (Important around WW1.)
Large numbers of immigrants. Responsibility shifted away from county clerks.
Declaration of intent, petition for naturalization, certificate of naturalization (taken home)
New forms had age, occupation, personal description, birthdate, birthplace, citizenship, present and last foreign addresses, ports of embarkation and entry, vessel name, arrival date, spouse’s name, full names of children, birthdates children, birthplaces of each, residences of each.
Declarations of intention
Form 2202. Only valid for seven years. They have to complete it in 7 years or file again.
Note: Names may or may not be the same as the person’s real name in the other country.
Austria-Hungary has a lot of boundary changes. Have to check boundaries at the time.
Papers can be filed one place and moved elsewhere to finish.
Use a gazetteer to find the town when you find it on a record.
Petition for naturalization. (second and final legal document filed) two to five years after the first papers.
Educated workers may come and have to find menial labor until they could get the language.
Oath of allegiance
A very small document. gives country and the ruler. Immigrants often had to sign something in their own country as they left. Sometimes had interviews with police, had to relinquish claim on property left behind.
Certificate of arrival. Given to immigrants for proof of how long they have been. Has ports of entry,
Certificates of Naturalization will be in their family records, not in the government’s records.
Go to Family search wiki. Has stuff searchable by location or by topic.
Can get stuff specific to our state.
Can search what records would be online for the state. May also be gathered to state archives.
Gives a date range of when records are available.
Accessing through family search
Records, choose state. Has images only. Must be browsed by hand.
Look through the whole list because it might not be under the right heading. Can browse.
See petitions and declarations.
(Kentucky doesn’t have nationalization stuff.)
Questionnaires require American citizens as witnesses to give testimony in a questionnaire. To vouch for them.
Ancestry also has naturalization
Citizenship and naturalization immigration and travel.
Search indexed collections.
Can search by state
Castlegarden.org is a free website was used before Ellis island, has passenger lists.
Stephen P. Morse has immigration and passenger lists. Stevemorse.org
Has pulled together multiple ports to search for.
New York was not the only port of entry.
Manifests show where they were going.
If records are not online, use the family search catalog and microfilm
Search>catalog gives a list of category of records that they have.
Wikis can tell courthouse and the record
Sharpening Your Genealogy Research Skills: Strategies and Tools for Breaking through Genealogy Brick Walls (by Laurie Castillo)
4 Ancestral Identifiers are : name, places, dates, relationships
If a search has come to a standstill, it is because something is wrong with one of the above.
Things we do wrong: 1) Make assumptions 2) taking previous provided info as gospel truth.
So look at each one of those.
Sources of surnames:
--patronymic (fathers name)
--place of abode
O’-, Mc-, Fitz-, -son, -sson, -ette, -s, -sen -ssen, -ez, == all “son of____” suffixes or prefixes
-Dotter or -dtr = “daughter of ___”
1898 = Scandinavian countries stopped using weird patronymics.
--geographic features they lived near (moore, hill, bush, ford, bytheway, atwoood, kirk, stone)
--town or city name (london, Aston, Eaton, -on is short for town. Oxford, Carlistle)
--Ethnicity—German, French, Despain
Occupation surnames: smith, baker, tailor, taylor, miller, sawyer, chandler, fletcher, cooper, wagner)
--Descriptive surnames: Bains, Cruikshanks, Baard, Peele, Reid, Power, Poore, Englehardt, Weisskopf, Petit/petty, long, Klein, Gross, Best, Legrand, Leblanc, Stout, careless
--Uniquely created surnames:
Hispanic countries—dual surnames (Jerry Castio Y Almaraz. Puts together father and mother last names. Father comes first, mother comes last.)
Check out how surnames were arranged in your country.
Phonetic Variations. Can have really strange variations.
--eaux, -eau, -ault, -o in French
Germans don’t use Cs.
Example: 5 children born to the same English couple in the birth registry might be listed all differently. (Handcok, Andcock, Hancox, Handcock, Andcox) (One person has a cockney accent)
Translated given names: John == jean, juan, joao, Giovanni, gian, hohannes, hans, jens, ian, jan, ivan, jovan, ivo, eoin, sean, shane
Ancestors might anglicize their name.
Translated surnames, May have just translated their names to what it meant.
Find a Grave
Misunderstanding foreign names
Can be run together or separated or split up names.
-ij became a y in Dutch.
Spaces in names. Try looking with spaces in Mc Knight
O’ Donnell O’Donnel ODonnell Lots of variations possible.
Mc- Mac- Mag-
Moral: Ask for variant spellings when searching.
Mary > Molly, Polly
Margaret > Peggy, Meg, Margie
Sarah > Sally, Sal, Sadie, Sada
Dorothy > Dolie, Dottie, Dot, Dora
Ann/Anne > Hannah, Nan, Nancy
Abigail > Abbie, Nabbie, Gail, Gayle
Jane > Janet, Jen, Jennie, Jan, Janie
John > Jack, Johnny
William > Willie, Will, Billie, Bill, Liam
Richard > Rich, Richie, Rick, Dick, Dicken
Edmund/Edward > Ed, Ned, Tad, Ted, Teddy
Alexander > Al, Alex, Alex, Sandy, Zandery
Albert > Albert, Elbert, Bertram, Delbert, Gilbert, Hubert
Latin (the language of the educated)
Going back far enough, records will be Latin.
Johann: Joannes, Joanni, Joi (endings denote possession and tell something about the name)
Peter: Petri, Petrus
Alphabetical order in German: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ä, ö, ü (became ae, oe, ue), B (with a tail) = ss
Check both places in the proper place in the alphabet and then at the end.
Diacritical marks can be found out. (crazy accents) Danish work lists.
Locate a basic language guide and word list,
find out how letters are pronounced,
find out what the accent sounds like,
Name variations, typos, indexing errors. (EX: Tripel LLLs)
Searching on Tall*y gets Tallly
Use wondrous wildcards (symbols the search engine will try to put in each letter to see what it can bring up)
To search variations of Newcomb…. Use Newc*m* or N*c*m or n*c*m*
Perhaps your ancestor planned a name change and started over?
Fear of being located?
Hiding illegitimacy, escaping past crimes
Ethnic name patterns
Example in Germany : Naming after grandparents in a particular order, then parents, then grandfathers.
(This can help you notice when someone is missing in the family list)
European ancestors have more names and use them differently. John first names go by middle names.
Religion played a role in naming. Saints names, Included Anna and Mary
Some names are Catholic and others are Lutheran
Place names (Things happening to surnames can happen to place names too)
Spelling vs. Pronunciation
IF someone is trying to spell something someone says, the spelling can come out much different.
La Jolla>La Hoya
Common Name Confusion
Most Common = Washington 88+ towns cities, villages
250 places named Washington Township
31/50 states have a Washington County
Places have Nicknames. English county names have nicknames
Accurate Birth place?
Sometimes they say the nearest big town (near Berlin)
How near is “near”?
Where was that again?
Mapoftheus.org has county maps back in the day. See when counties were created.
Can help you see how counties changed
Do ancestors give birthplace or residence when people ask they were from?
Obscure or obsolete place name?
Internet Archive: free books, movies, software, music, website & more. Download US gazetteers from a bunch of different time periods
--confused ancestor, official record keeper wrote down phonetic version.
[End of Notes]
Family History research is a skill that we can build, and the more systematic we are about doing it, the more likely we are to be successful.