Thursday, July 29, 2010

Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records

Those of you who have been to any of my classes called "Internet Explorations" know I am a big fan of Joe Beine. Joe has several sites that he keeps updated that are great aids to genealogists. One of them is titled "Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records."

The home page of the site is merely a listing of hot links to each of the fifty states as well as to selected big cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Click on any link and you will be taken to another page the lists scads (yes, scads) of links leading to death indexes and records for that state or city. Some of the links are for pay sites, of course, but Joe warns you about them before to commit to a mouse click. Many of the sites listed have a little written about them so you can make an "informed click."

The best part about the site is that Joe is conscientious about keeping it updated. In fact, I belong to a service Joe provides where he sends me an email listing the updates to the list when he makes them.

You can check out Joe's work at:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Common Sense and Genealogy

Sharon Tate Moody, in a recent edition of, published a good article on the application of common sense to genealogy research.

It's an informative article on its face, but even more so when you realize that she is also urging us to take a step back from our research and take a total life view of the ancestor under investigation. Look at birth date, death date, date of children's births, date of marriage, major events in the world and the age of the ancestor when they occurred, etc. This "macro-view" can help set the stage for applying the common sense she talks about. For example did the ancestor die three years before the birth of his child? Was he only three years old when we got married? A little common sense will identify inconsistencies like these.

You can read Sharon's article at?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Answer to Quiz 7/22/10

Here is the answer to the question I posted a few day earlier. Go back to the post on 7/22/10 to refresh your memory on the question.

1. By documenting death dates, you can follow up with focused searching in obituaries, mortuary records, cemeteries, and probate records.
2. It is useful for tracing and documenting genetic symptoms and diseases.
3. It may be the only record of death for some individuals.
4. It may be the only record of the existence for children who have no tombstone.

There are more values, of course, and you can hear about them at a new class the PGS is developing on the non-population schedules (mortality, agricultural, manufacturing, etc). Keep checking the class list at our website to see when it is scheduled in the fall and/or spring.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stretch Your Mind (7/22/10)

This question deals with a non-population schedule of our census: the mortality schedule. Dick Eastman had a good article on this topic which I mentioned in a post on 7/11/10. Go back and check it out if you missed it.

Here’s the question: Can you list at least four reasons the information on US Census Mortality Schedules is of value to genealogists?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Writer's Workshop Meets 27 July

The next meeting of the Family History Writer's Workshop is on Tuesday, 27 July at 6 pm at the Largo Public Library).

Any of you who have thought about formalizing your thoughts, memories, and research findings into a memoir, journal, book, or just the back of an envelope should consider attending this event. The workshop gives you a supportive environment in which to nurture your writing.

There is no attempt to make anyone a professional writer. This is simply a group of people with the common objective of wanting to capture parts of their family history in writing. Whether you are writing for publication, your family, or just yourself, participating will be of benefit.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lee County Genealogy Society DAR Workshop

It's a far piece for most of us Largo residents to go, but perhaps some of our readers closer to Lee County will find the attractive. This notice comes from Carol Rooksby Weidlich, president of the Lee County Genealogy Society:

I’m happy to announce the Lee County Genealogical Society is partnering with the Estero Island Chapter NSDAR in presenting Debbie Duay, Ph.D., Lineage Research Chairman for the Florida State Society DAR in a FREE genealogy workshop titled “Researching Your Revolutionary War Patriot Ancestor”. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, October 23, 2010 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lakes Regional Public Library in Fort Myers, FL.

Pre-registration is required. To register contact Marlene Long at

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Attention Genealogists from Illinois

The journals of the Illinois State Historical Society are digitized and available on line. That presently includes all issues from 1950 through 2006.

The collection is not really are just able to browse each issue. When you finally get down to an article of interest to you, it downloads as a pdf file.

As one reviewer said: there is genealogical gold here!

You can browse the collection at:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why we Should Guard Against "The Obvious"

This reminder comes from Genealogy Tip of the Day at by Michael John Neill.

"Just remember that what is obvious to you might not be obvious to everyone else. And that what is "obvious" to you might not even be true!"

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tip on the (non-use) of Abbreviations

This tip comes from Genealogy Tip of the Day at by Michael John Neill.

"Abbreviations should be used in your records and transcriptions very very rarely. Will anyone else know what they mean? Will you remember them in five or ten years?"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mortality Schedules in the Census

In addition to the population schedule (the one we usually look at when we research census records on or there were several years where other schedules were produced. These include schedules for manufacturing, agriculture, and mortality.

Dick Eastman revently wrote an extensive article on the mortality schedule and published it in his online newsletter. In addition to the good information he gives us, there were an extensive number of comments that readers added to the article that were also informative.

The PGS is developing a class on the non-population census schedules....mortality schedules included. Keep your eye our for it on our class list in the fall or spring. You can find the class list at our website ( The class, as all our classes, is free, open to the public, and taught at the Largo Public Library.

You can read Dick's great article at:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

LONDON Family Reunion

We recently received this notice from a London descendant and thought we would pass it along:

LONDON Family Reunion , Sat. August 14 in O'Brien, FL. If you are a descendant of John London of Burlington County , NJ , who died in 1778, or, especially if you are a descendant of his great grandson, Edward C. London, of Jefferson County , PA , 1818-1870 you are invited.

Please contact J. London at or 850-763-8258 for more information, or to simply make contact with some of your cousins.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Answer to Quiz 7/6/10

Check the Blog post of a few days ago to see the question that merits this answer.

This can be a tricky question. The key, of course, is the modifier "major." Any document produced that hinders naturalization will be considered "major" in the eyes of the person involved...that includes denials, continuances, etc.

But for the most part we hear about two major steps that have associated documents: the declaration (also called first papers) and the petition (also called second papers). So there you have it: the answer is "two."

But wait, what about the oath that the person signs after the petition is accepted? And what about the certificate...the one that some many people proudly display on walls and in scrapbooks? OK, so the answer might be "three"....or "four."

But there's more! At one point the government required arrival certificates. These were generated by the government, but the consequences of not having one to support the petition could be great. So the answer might be "five."

All right I admit, the question was probably too poorly worded to come up with a specific answer. But it does show the naturalization process to be a bit more complex than we may have originally thought.

Keep you eyes open. In the near future the PGS will be offering a class on the naturalization process and the very documents that I mentioned here (where were they used, what's in them, where do you find them, etc). The classes, as are all of the ones we offer, are free, open to the public, and taught at the Largo Public Library.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stretch Your Mind (7/6/10)

Here's another question for you. The answer will be posted in a few days, so keep checking the Blog.

How many major documents were normally generated during the U. S. naturalization process?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Anwser to Quiz on 7/1/10

Here is the answer to the quiz posted on 7/1/10. Go back and review it before reading the answer.

I was researching the 1890 Veteran’s Schedule (also called the Veteran’s and Widow’s Schedule).

Since the 1890 census was all but completely destroyed in a fire in January 1921 at the Commerce Building in Washington D.C., this 1890 Veteran's schedule is an alternative means of documenting veterans or widows of veterans from the Civil War and War of 1812 who were still living in 1890. The special census schedule still exists only for the states of Kentucky - Wyoming (the states alphabetically before "Kentucky" appear to have been destroyed). Officially this census documents only Union veterans. Some census takers apparently did not distinguish between Union and Confederate, however, so some surprising finds are possible.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Free Revolutionary War records on

Footnote announces that their Revolutionary War records will be free to all from July 1-7.

You’ll need to register for a free basic Footnote membership to search these records. Get started at

Canada 1911 Census free on

The following announcement was written by

Toronto, June 30, 2009 – Canada Day is not only a great day to spend with family – it’s the perfect time to get together and learn more about the lives of your ancestors from nearly 100 years ago. To celebrate our 143rd birthday, is making available the 1911 Canadian Census records free of charge through July 4, 2010.

This database is an index of individuals enumerated in the 1911 Canada Census, the fifth census of Canada since confederation in 1867. The 1911 census includes nine provinces - Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan, and two territories - the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories.

Go to to check it out.

Stretch Your Mind (7/1/10)

The answer to this question will be posted in the next few days.

I saw in a census document I was examining, that my ancestor was wounded in the arm during the Civil War. I also learned the name of his regiment, and the dates of his enlistment and discharge. What census was I researching?