03 April 2009

Corrections at Ancestry.com

When I see an error at Ancestry.com, I usually take the time to report it. Sometimes I do this just because I might want to find the item again and I would like for others to be able to find it as well. I never keep track of how long it takes for these corrections to be "updated," although Ancestry.com sends a notice when that has happened.

I noticed that my uncle Eielt Janssen Ufkes was indexed in the World War I Draft cards at Ancestry.com as Eielt James. I made the correction. I have no idea how long ago it was submitted, but today I got an email that it had been added. I'm glad that Ancestry.com is adding corrections, but I'm not certain why it takes so long.


02 April 2009

Wildcards at Ancestry and Footnote

Footnote.com lets searchers perform wildcard searches with just two initial letters. This is different from Ancestry.com which requires searchers to enter three initial letters before usign a wildcard character.

Footnote.com will allow searches of Ne*, Ni*, etc.
Ancestry.com allows searches of Nel*, Nei*, etc.

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17 February 2009

U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938 at Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com has recently added U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938 to their library of databases.
A quick search found my uncle Claude Sartorius, shown here in the roster for the hospital in Danville, Illinois. He was also listed in a hospital in Dayton, Ohio, for a while as well. This reference provided information on his enlistment in the army. I actually had not done too much research on Claude, but now that I'm armed with a little more information I might.

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18 December 2008

More in the Florida State Census at Ancestry.com

As mentioned in an earlier post, Ancestry.com just released the set of Florida state censuses 1867-1945 on its website. I found cousin Martin Fecht in 1945, apparently with a different wife and two new children. He still is operating a gas station in Dade County, though. The nice thing is that the 1945 census provided his address.

Ancestry has Florida state censuses for

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Florida State Censuses at Ancestry.com 1867-1945

Ancestry.com just released the set of Florida state censuses 1867-1945 on its website.

This includes the years of:
  • 1867
  • 1875
  • 1885
  • 1935
  • 1945

I actually found a cousin of my great-grandfather in the 1935 census for Dade County, Florida--Martin Fecht. I split his entry over two images, but he is shown with his wife Gladys and children, Billie and Harlan.

On the second image, his family's four entries start with the one where the husband is born in Illinois. I was not aware that he ran a service station and I did learn that he must have gone to school through the eighth grade and that his wife graduated from high school.

Readers with Florida ancestors can search the Florida state censuses 1867-1945 on Ancestry's website.

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08 December 2008

Getting Automatic Responses from "your tree" on Ancestry.com

My recent Tips from the Pros on the Ancestry.com blog mentioned getting responses from your trees that are posted to their site. Apparently some are having difficulty with the address I gave. I think I know what the problem is, but will get confirmation and post that. We don't want people missing out on connections.


05 December 2008

Soundex Searches on Ancestry.com's NYC Passenger Lists

Call me confused. I think.

I have been working with the New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 at Ancestry.com.

I searched for Mueller, using the "exact" option and choosing "United States" Soundex. I got 27, 456 hits.

I searched for Miller, using the "exact" option and choosing "United States" Soundex. I got 131, 856 hits.

Why the difference? Mueller and Miller are Soundex equivalents. Or am I missing something? I guess what I was missing was that to get the same number of results is to leave the "exact" box unchecked with the last name when doing a search for Mueller and Miller.

In both of these cases, I get 314,500 matches (Mueller last name unexact), US Soundex Search. I also get 314,500 matches for Miller, last name unexact, US Soundex Search. I am guessing that 314,500 is an estimate rather than an exact number.

Ok, but.

I search for Bernard (first name, exact), Mueller (not exact), US Soundex--I get 318 results.

I search for Bernard (first name, exact), Miller (not exact), US Soundex--I get 316 results.

It seems to me that these two searches should return the same individuals. After all the names are Soundex equivalents of each other. I really like all the databases at Ancestry.com . But sometimes the searches...


04 December 2008

List of Mortality Schedules Available at Ancestry.com

We have posted a list of mortality schedules that are currently available at Ancestry.com.

The page is here:


Corrections/additions are welcomed.


Habben Family Found in 1880 Mortality Schedule at Ancestry.com

I already knew they were there, but it was nice to find them in just a few clicks.

The image contained in this blog post contains part of the 1880 mortality census schedule for my aunt Christina Habben and her son Harm. They died in Harmony Township, Hancock County, Illinois. Interestingly the entry indicates that she had been in the county for 12 years and son Harm for 10 years.

I've also included the search results page for Christina from Ancestry.com as well. I really wish they would not use the word "city" on the results, but I realize that database administrators have to pick some word to use. The problem is that the political jurisdictions smaller than county are not always cities, sometimes they are townships. There is no town of Harmony in Hancock County.

The 1880 mortality schedules provide information on:

  • gender
  • marital status
  • place of birth
  • age
  • month of death
  • cause of death
  • census year
  • and location
  • how long in the county

Remember that mortality schedules are a "census of the dead," and only are for those deaths that took place in the 12 calendar months before the census date. So the 1880 mortality schedule not deaths for all of 1880. It is deaths in the 12 months preceding the date of the 1880 census--1 June 1880.

The 1850-1880 United States Mortality Schedules can be searched here.

These records were microfilmed by the National Archives years ago and have been available there at at the Family History Library for some time as well.

Christina was a sister to Johann Ufkes (1838-1924), my great-great-grandfather.

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Ancestry Releases Mortality Schedules and Index 1850-1880

Ancestry.com posted a new database on their site, apparently today: United States Mortality Schedules (and Index) 1850-1880). This database is incomplete and is still in progerss, users should read the description to be certain what locations are covered. Not all of these schedules are extant, either. This is a welcome addition to Ancestry.com's set of databases. We'll be posting more about this as time allows.

The 1850-1880 United States Mortality Schedules can be searched here.

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03 December 2008

Searching Ancestry's Directories

Sometimes you still have to do it the old-fashioned way.

On the city directories at Ancestry.com, I performed the search as shown on the screen--Cawiezell as the last name, unexact, living in Davenport, Iowa. There were seven matches, some of which are shown in the image. None were for the last name of Cawiezell.

When browsing manually Stone's 1888-1889 Davenport, Iowa, directory, I located the following entry for several Cawiezells, all living with Maria at 1019 W. 8th Street. I am assuming that Josephine is not the kind of stripper that might first enter someone's mind.

It is always a good idea to search the directories manually if you think the family lived there and they are not in the search results. In fact, there should be Cawiezell entries in every directory from ca. 1855 for Davenport. So I'll have to keep looking.

My wife descends from the Cawiezells.

This directory is one of thousands recently posted and indexed on Ancestry.com.The city directories at Ancestry.com can be searched there. I will be posting more about my work in these directories as time allows.

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02 December 2008

What is "W & D" in Rock Island in 1888?

The 1888-1891 directory for the City of Rock Island contains entries for August and Charles Mortier, both of whom are working for "W & D." Anyone have any idea what company this is?
This directory is one of thousands recently posted and indexed on Ancestry.com.

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29 November 2008

Santa Claus in 1930

Santa Claus in 1930?

Santa Claus is living in Saline County, Missouri in 1930 and appears in the census image at Ancestry.com living with Mrs. Claus--in this case Mabel.

This Santa was born in Missouri and worked in river construction. Just slightly different from working in the manufacture and delivery of toys.

Readers can search the 1930 census for their own ancestors at Ancestry.com.

Search for Santa Claus at all of Ancestry.com

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26 November 2008

Ontario, Canada Voter Lists, 1867-1900 on Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com just released Ontario, Canada Voter Lists, 1867-1900 on their website. I was really excited as I was hoping to find my elusive Clark Sargent in this database.

So far no luck. I searched for just the last name Sargent, just the first name Clark and later on I will experiment with additional spellings for the last name. Maybe he is just hiding somewhere. Ancestry.com indicates the areas that are included the Ontario, Canada Voter Lists, 1867-1900 and I should also look to make certain all areas are covered. It is always possible that the entire set of records is not extant. One should not assume.

One of these days, I will hopefully find Clark. In the interim, perhaps readers will have success with this database.

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23 November 2008

Pilgrim Ancestors on Ancestry's Blog

Juliana Smith has posted my article "Pilgrim Ancestors" on the Ancestry.com blog. There are links there to a variety of sites and a discussion of making a proof and establishing a case and working on a Pilgrim connection.

There is also some commentary on my own potential Pilgrim connection.

And if anyone knows anything about Clark Sargent who died in Winnebago County, Illinois, in 1847, let me know. If I can connect to him, then I have a likely Mayflower connection.

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22 November 2008

Getting more than just the Name

It is more than about reading just the one page or the one item.
The screen shot provides a little bit of information on my family Thomas Ramphey[sic]. The book has been digitized and is on Ancestry.com. Because of the typographical error, I did not find this one by searching on "Rampley." I already located the print book years ago and knew how the name was spelled. Turns out that John Demoss was a brother to Thomas Rampley's wife, Christianna.
This paragraph needs to be put in context. You can't read just the page where the entry appears. If I do that, I lose the fact that this page is talking about early settlers of Jackson Township, Coshocton County, Ohio. I also need to keep track of the author, title and publication date of the book.
History of Coshocton County, Ohio : its past and present, 1740-1881, by N. N. Hill, Jr., A. A. Graham and Company, Newark, Ohio, 1881, page 502. Available digitally at Ancestry.com.

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21 November 2008

Ancestry.com's Card Catalog

One frustration with some sites is the ability to search for databases that are in a specific locatilty. Libraries at least have a card catalog where one can search for locations, in particular counties, towns, etc. This makes finding specific materials easier. While global searches of websites are nice, there are times when I like to search a specific book instead of looking instantly at every book in the library.

The Ancestry.com Card Catalog will let you search by location, you just have to filter your way down to the level you want instead of typing in keywords to search subject headings the way you would in a library card catalog. The screen shot in this entry is reduced to show more of the page, but in the red circle is where you can filter by location.

Users can simply then scroll down to the desired state and click.

Once you choose a state, the list of counties will appear. That is what happened after I clicked on Illinois.

Every time you choose a new location, the right hand side of the page "updates" to reflect items cataloged based upon your new choice.

The county is as far down as you can go. When I choose the county, the list of locations from which to choose disappears. If you do not see anything, scroll up to the top of the webpage, that is what I had to do.

Then on the right hand side I saw my four references. On the left hand side (under the orangish search button) are clickable areas that tell me where my search is currently focused. I can click any of those to pull up the appropriate list again to change my filtering.

Or I can click on one of the "hits" and search it or (heaven forbid) actually read it.

Before you search the book, read the description so you know what you are searching. Remember that OCR searches do not always find people. I KNEW my ancestor's biography was in this book (I have a copy at home). Finding it searching for Ramply and Bamply did not located the desired entry. I performed a keyword search instead for the word "laurels" only because I remembered that word was in his biography (this has to be on the top of the list of minutia that I have remembered). Any way I did find his biography split over two pages, which is how it was in the original.

I even left the word "laurels" green from when I searched for it.
Of course if I save this material, I should track the book, author, publication information, online source, etc.
I like the Ancestry.com Card Catalog and am glad they either added it or I just noticed it. At any rate, it is helpful.
Now--if they would let me search just for materials in one county at a time instead of either books or just one book. I'm never satisfied.

And if any descendants of James Rampley (1803-1884) read this post, let me know. I'm his 3rd great-grandson.

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20 November 2008

Varmland, Sweden Parish Records Added to Ancestry.

Ancestry has parish records from Varmland Sweden from 1661-1895.

This is excellent news for the Swedish genealogists with roots in this county. Those with Swedish ancestors know that records from this country are detailed and cross-referenced (some would say they were just a little compulsive).

The records from Varmland cover the 81 parishes of that county. To see the list of parishes, visit the Ancestry.com page for Varmland Sweden. All church records are included, christenings, marriages, funerals, household clerical registers, communion registers,etc.

Now for them to put Ostergotland up. Then I never will get any work completed.

This database is part of the World Collection at Ancestry.com. Those without an account can sign up for a Free Trial

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19 November 2008

OCR Searches of Ancestry.com's City Directories

The city directories on Ancestry.com.are not like the older ones were. This is easier to notice when you search for names instead of browsing through the towns individually as I originally did.

The first screen shot shown in this post comes from the results when I searched on the last name Mortier.

I found several references I already had and some new ones.

One struck my interest. It was for Mrs. Louisa Mortier. In viewing the entry, I had to be careful and look beyond her name.

The temptation might be to just copy that one name and leave it at that. At least in this image, I do have enough of the source to see where the information was obtained (look at the "crumbline" in the upper part of the screen.

What is missing in this entry is who these people are---what their occupation or business is. Any entry must be viewed in context.

Resizing things just a little, we can see that Mrs. Mortier appears in the lists of Boarding Houses. The one thing I did not originally make a note of was whether her boarding house was in Rock Island or in Moline. In directories that combine more than one location in a book, but separate the entries by city, this is important. I should somehow notate that this list is for Rock Island. The directory contains all the Rock Island entries then contains all the Moline entries.

My search results did not find August in the same year. I wondered why this was. To the best of my knowledge he did not return to Belgium, but anything is possible.

I decided to perform a manual search of the directory for August and was not disappointed.

When I looked at the page for the Mortiers, I realized why their names probably were not returned when I searched. There is a black line running down the page. There is a reasonable chance this interfered with the OCR scan of the text.

August is Louisa's husband and Kamiel is his brother. Other records had not indicated she had operated a boarding house, not even the census. I learned a little more than I expected, after all I was just looking for examples to illustrate a blog entry.

The city directories at Ancestry.com can be searched here.

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18 November 2008

U S City Directories at Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com says it is new, but I'm not certain how new the U. S. City Directory collection actually is. The search may have been changed or a few cities/locations might have been added. An admittedly quick scan of the locations and places included seemed to indicate that this database is the directories that were uploaded several years ago in an attempt to make up for the lack of the 1890 census.

The city directories can be searched here.

I would be interested to see if others think this is the same set of data that was already on Ancestry.com.


10 November 2008

United States Marine Corps Muster Rolls 1798-1940

Ancestry.com has added U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1940 to their list of searchable databases. I actually think they have updated this offering as I remember searching it before.

The first image shown is for Chris Goldenstein, shown as a Corporal in November of 1927. This listing gives his hometown of Golden, Illinois. This would have been helpful if there had been several Chris Goldensteins who were in the Marines. Fortunately there were not. And the town of Golden, Illinois, was not named for his family in case anyone was wondering.

Not all the listings provide the name of the "home." Searchers will have to search every muster listing to ferret out all possible clues. Mr. Goldenstein's listing from December of 1931 does not provide as much information. Uncle Chris was not a career marine. His brother, Jurgen was.

Two of the muster listings for Jurgen are included here in this blog post. There are numerous muster listings for Jurgen given the amoutn of time he was enlisted in the marines.

The first shows Jurgen at Quantico and the second shows him stationed in China.

The U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1940 can be searched at Ancestry.com.

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05 November 2008

Droin Collection At Ancestry.com

I've been doing a little bit of work on my wife's French-Canadian lines using the Droin Collection atAncestry.com .
This image is this posting is from 1815 marriages in St. Constant.
Alexis Robidoux married Rose Rheaume. Even those who can't read the original can see their names on the left hand side of the entry.
Ancestry.com has indexed these records, but just the names of the couple getting married, the person who was born or died only. Many other names are mentioned, but these are not included in the index.
However having these records online with even this index is a wonderful help for those with ancestors from Quebec. Especially since you do not have to leave home to conduct your searches.


29 October 2008

Pictures from the Newspaper

Ancestry.com has newspapers on its site in addition to those newspapers on Genealogy Bank. One site complements the other. Searching on only one site may cause the researcher to overlook references.

The image with this post comes from the Ogden Standard Examiner from 15 February 1931. The pictures shown are William Henry Price (top), killed in late 1930 in Kansas City, Missouri, and Ben Siebels, killed in Tyro, Kansas.

The article from the Examiner focuses on the kids involved in this crime spree with additional details not given in many of the other accounts. In this case, many of the newspaper articles were pretty much repetitive, but a few follow up pieces done a few months later contained information not originally published.
The article's headline is included here as well. I'm not including pictures of the "cradle mob," but they appear in the paper as well.

It always to visit more than one source. The Ogden Standard Examiner is online at Ancestry.com (at least partially).

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26 October 2008

Using Meyers Orts

The last two articles I've written for the Ancestry.com blog have focused on using their German geographic finding aids.

The first one was an overview of using Meyers Orts and the 19th and 20th century topographical maps at Ancestry.com. Those who have never used Meyers Orts might want to give the article a look as it provides a few examples and suggests additional finding references to help the user when working with these materials.

The second one was a follow up focusing on a family who just could not seem to stay in one place and whose records in the United States gave a variety of places of birth. It also provides suggestions as well about navigating the German topographical maps at Ancestry.com

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20 October 2008

Uncle Virgil in UK Incoming Passenger Lists 1878-1960

Ancestry.com recently released UK Incoming Passenger Lists from 1878-1960 on their website. A little searching located my great-grandmother Neill's brother, Virgil A. Rampley, who was in World War I.

The images are pretty nice. The screen shots shown here are from the heading (which indicates the "Lancashire" landed on 21 August 1918) and the bottom of the page where Virgil Rampley's entry appears. Several of the men on the boat with him were also men from Hancock County, Illinois.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008. Original data: Board of Trade: Commercial and Statistical Department and successors: Inwards Passenger Lists. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA). Series BT26, 1,472 pieces.

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25 September 2008

Soundex to eventually return too

I forgot to mention in my previous post that Soundex capabilities will also eventually be coming to the new search interface at Ancestry.com. Yeah (again).


Map of Databases at Ancestry.com

One of the things I miss in the new search experience at Ancestry.com is the map that allowed one to browse the databases geographically. Sources tell me this will return. No time frame, but it is in the works. Yeah.


Soundex on New Search at Ancestry.com?

Is it just me? Or have they taken away the Soundex search at Ancestry.com?
I cannot see it on the newly released Washington Deaths 1891-1907.


Exact matches on what is not there

Mark me down as confused, at least partially. And mark me fully down as irritated.
I searched on Ancestry.com in their new search for John Ufkes. I used a year of birth as 1838, plus or minus two years. The screen shot is as shown.

I did have the death year of 1924 listed as exact. Apparently that is why no census results were returned for John. When I searched for John Ufkes with only a year of birth as 1838, plus or minus two years, I obtained several results (mostly from census records)--as shown below.

I understand that my original search required the death year of 1924 to match. However, census records (sans mortality schedules) typically do not have a year of death with which to match. It seems to me that census results that match the year of birth should be included, regardless of whether an "exact" match on the death date is indicated.

It must be necessary to leave the death date blank to bring up census records. Urgh...now I have to search several different ways for one person. I thought new searches were supposed to be improved. (sometimes I think they should take a lesson from the "new Coke").

It seems logical to me that a search of records that do not include any death dates should not require the death date to match, even if I indicate a matched date in my searches. But then it has been nearly two decades since I had "sets and logic." Maybe the rules for logical have changed.

I still like the old search better.


29 August 2008

German Topographic Maps At Ancestry.com

Ancestry has added German topographical maps from the 1860s to the early twentieth century
to their site.

These are really nice maps. A sample image has been placed here. It is from the 1901 map for the Aurich area, but only Holtrop and the surrounding area is shown. This is where several of my families lived in the 1860s and before.

The "overview map" has also been scanned and is where users should start and indicates what pages of the map contains what areas (click on Ɯbersichtsblatt to get the image--it is large).

We will be posting additional suggestions for using the maps, but I wanted to make blog readers aware of their availability on Ancestry.com. I'm hoping to have more time to really get into these maps over the next few days.
Blog readers who do not have a subscription can get a free trial at Ancestry.com and do some experimentation.

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07 August 2008

1825-1865 Illinois Census

The 1825-1865 Illinois State Census have been released on Ancestry.com.

The images here are a quick shot of the entry for James Rampley in Hancock County, Illinois, in Walker Township in 1855.

The enumeration indicates there is one 40-50 year old male, 1 20-30 year old male, 2 males between 10 and 20 and 1 male under 10. There is 1 40-50 year old female, and two females between 10 and 20. This is consistent with what is known about the

The right hand side of the entry indicates James had a cooper's shop and that 4 in the household were eligible for the militia. The other numbers have to do with the amount of production from the family's farm.

Those with family in Illinois during the time period can search The 1825-1865 Illinois State Census for their own family. All of these census records are head of household enumerations only. They are also on microfilm at the Illinois State Archives and the Family History Library. ISA does have some indexes, but they are not available online.

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21 July 2008

Navigating Ancestry.com

We've made some minor changes to our set of "quicklinks" to Ancestry.com. Anyone with suggestions for additions, etc. can contact me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com. As with many of our pages, we are focusing on content and "getting there," not wasting time on making it "pretty."

Suggestions are welcome and can be sent to me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com


1861 UK Census at Ancestry.com and Family Search

It always pays to know about about all possible ways to access a certain set of data. Not all search interfaces are created equally. The 1861 UK Census is a case in point.

The screen shown first in this post is the search box from the 1861 English Census at Ancestry.com. Of course, to use this you either have to have a subscription to Ancestry's UK Census images of your own or use a subscription at a library.

The nice thing about Ancestry's 1861 English Census search is that it does allow you to search on a variety of search terms besides just the name. Personally, when I was looking for my wife's Spanish born English ancestor, the place of birth was helpful.

The search interface at FamilySearch.org does not allow for quite as many search parameters. However, it is free--a huge plus for many.
A screen shot of the search interface for 1861 at FamilySearch labs is shown second in this post.

There are some advantages to using Family Search as well. Personally I like to use both sites because of the differences in the search interfaces.

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14 July 2008

Formerly Pea Soup 1870 Census

The microfilmed copy of part of the 1870 Census for Northeast Township, Adams County, Illinois, is like looking at pea soup fog. One cannot make out anything.

FamilySearch now has added their own 1870 census images to compliment those at Ancestry.com. This image (the one with the grayer background) comes from FamilySearch.

The image from Ancestry in the 1870 census is also shows on this post.
Both are significantly better over the microfilm, which I gave up reading many years ago.
Family Search's image and indexes will be free when they are posted in their entirely. Ancestry's require a subscription. However, one may read names differently or "catch" someone the other does not.

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07 July 2008

More "Ancestry Family Tree" attaching

The "hints" in your tree at Ancestry.com can be helpful. The screen shot to the right shows the three hints that appeared for my grandpa Neill's brother, Ralph, born in 1905. The SSDI reference was dead on and the 1910 census record was the right one too, even though it is indexed as "Mill" instead of "Neill"
Bear in mind when attaching these to your tree make certain you choose "alternate" fact where appropriate and always view the advanced options as mentioned in our preceding post.
I normally don't attach from the trees, but that is just my personal preference.


Ancestry "My Family Tree" sources

I've been experimenting with the "Your Family Tree" section of the Ancestry.com site. Ancestry will give you hints in the hopes that you have overlooked records and will allow you to attach images (and source information) directly to your database. This is nice.

But be careful.

I was attaching a 1900 census citation to Samuel Neill--the basic screen that came up is shown here. Note the "show advanced options" link in the upper right hand corner.

When I clicked on it, the next screen appeared. The way it originally appeared, the 1900 census entry was "checked" as "add source" to the date and place of birth. However, the census enumeration was not as precise as the birthdate and place it was sourcing. The "add source" box comes up checked by default, meaning if you don't think to view it you may accidentally indicate the census says something it does not.

My best option here would have been to check the "add as alternate" fact. While technically not inconsistent with the information I originally had, I do NOT want to indicate the census said something it did not. Adding an alternate fact would allow me to use the census as a source for Samuel's birth and track EXACTLY what it said.
I wish this screen came up by default.

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03 July 2008

Ancestry's Redesigned Pages

Ancestry.com redesigned some of their pages. I'm not certain what my opinion is, but if it keeps them getting subscribers and digitizing more things, then that's a good thing. Finding things on Ancestry.com occasionally frustrates me, I did like the census links on the main page.

So I did what I did before...made a really cheesy page with links to Ancestry.com databases that I use the most often. It is NOT fancy, it is not eye appealing, but it gets me where I want to go without going through the navigational structure. Saving time is my goal...not getting an award for web design or being "pretty." I'll add more links to it, but only to things I actually use. You can partially customize links on the Ancestry.com page, but I have too many things I use on a regular basis to make that practical. And besides, I like CONTROL. And making my own pages gives me that. Consider doing it for yourself.

No more real opinion on the pages---there's work to be done.


23 June 2008

Another item for my wish list at Ancestry.com

One of the neat databases at Ancestry.com is the 1925 Iowa state census, which includes names of parents, including maiden name of mother.

The database allows for searches on parents' names. The only drawback is that soundex searches are not possible on the names of the parents, only on the name of the enumerant.

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Suggestions for Ancestry.com's Newspaper Collection

I love the newspapers on the Ancestry.com site. There are some improvements I would like to see in the site that I think would make it more userfriendly for genealogists and other searchers:
  • the ability to "mark" hits that have already been viewed. I don't always have time to get through all the hits on a search before I have to do something else. It would be nice to "mark" those that have already been looked at.
  • the ability to make "notes" about a hit. I would settle for marking a hit as something I had already looked at, but adding a quick little note--even just 100 characters--that I could view later would be really nice.
  • the ability to search all papers in one town (or one state) at once, without having to search the entire set of newspapers. Ancestry.com has several Davenport, Iowa, newspapers on their site. UPDATE: This can be done--you just have to be in the right place.

Just my 2 cents.

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19 June 2008

Pictures in the Paper?

A continued search of the newspaper on the Ancestry.com site located a picture of a relative of my wife. George K. Freund appears in the 20 July 1924 issue of the Davenport Democrat and Leader extolling his belief in the paper and the fact that he has been a long time subscriber and a long time democrat.

Of course newspaper pictures are not as good as having actual photographs--the quality is not as high. However, if family does not have pictures, something is better than nothing.

George K. Freund is a first cousin of George A. Freund, my wife's 2nd great-grandfather. Both men were Scott County, Iowa, natives born in the 1850s.

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16 June 2008

Finding a Cousin on Ancestry.com

I had just a little time to kill this evening and in a search at Ancestry.com (in their free section), I found a picture of Trientje Habben Nelk, first cousin to my great-grandfather Fred Ufkes (1893-1960). I am going to have to do a little more searching of the trees on Ancestry.com. I have a suspiscion there are more relatives lurking there then I expected.

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17 April 2008

Droin Collection At Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com recently released the Droin Collection on their website. The indexing is not yet complete, but the project is quite impressive and a nice addition for those with French-Canadian ties.

The image that is a part of this post comes from the Droin Collection and is the baptismal entry for Cesarie Robidoux. The entry is from St-Constant and is from the year 1827. Her parents are Alexis Robixoux and his wife Rosalie Rheume. Those wishing to use these records will need to brush up on their Latin. When time allows we will post a translation here on our site.

Cesarie is my wife's 3rd great-grandmother. Cesarie's family settled in Clinton County, New York where she died.

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14 February 2008

Google Pulls Up Ancestry.com Search

This was discovered totally by accident--which is how most things are discovered.

A search on google just now for "bernard geissler" brought up numerous hits, including search results on Ancestry.com-the 6th result on the image shown in this post.

This is the first time I have noticed Ancestry.com search results coming up on a Google search. Has anyone else noticed this?

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01 February 2008

California Voter's Registrations at Ancestry.com

Ancestry recently released a database of California Voter's Registration lists 1900-1968. This is a good thing.
But, I'm not thrilled with the search box. There is no soundex option, nor can I search for a specific year. Using a keyword will bring up that year and any person who has that "year" as a part of their address. Still too much to wade through for some names. I had several descendants of my third-great-grandmother I was hoping to locate, but the current search interface is weaker than most on the Ancestry.com site.
Complaining here probably won't make a difference, but I feel better.


14 January 2008

BLM Database at Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com released a version of a database of land patent data from the land patent database at the Bureau of Land Management. The Ancestry.com Land Patent Database currently does not contain information on as many states as the database at the Bureau of Land Management does.

I was excited however as the Ancestry.com version allows users to search based upon keywords. That search apparently does not function in the way I think or it does not function. Searches of keywords for "smith" and "johnson" resulted in no hits, yet there are obviously names such as those in the actual database.

The Bureau of Land Management contains more states, is free to use and contains a Visitor's Center that provides a background on the patents and the land description process followed in federal land states. Understanding how land is described is crucial to searching effectively.

Some time ago I made an extended post about using the Bureau of Land Management site.

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16 December 2007

My wish list for Footnote's new search

I am glad that Footnote.com is making improvements to their search. However, here are two things I would like:
  • the ability to perform soundex and wildcard searches
  • the ability to "flag" records I have already viewed and located and for those "flags" to show on my search results. I wish Ancestry.com would do this as well.

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19 March 2007

Searching the Iowa State Censuses at Ancestry.com

The Iowa State Census search interface at Ancestry.com gives the user many options. It is important to note that not all of these search options are applicable to all the census years in the database. Many of the advanced search options (particularly those related to parents ) are only available for the 1925 census. Earlier census (such as the 1856) may not even give the relationship to the head of household--in fact the households may not even be clearly distinguished on the census. Searchers are encouraged to browse censuses for years they are searching to become familiar with the schedules and the information they contain.

Of course, for 1925, take full advantage of all those questions that were asked. The images of the search interface follow. Those with an Ancestry.com account (either US or World) can access the Iowa State Censuses (and the images) at Ancestry.com as a part of their account. Those without an account can search the database as part of a free 14-day trial (read our free trial "suggestions" before signing up.)

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Michael's suggestions if you get a free trial at Ancestry.com

Michael's suggestions to getting a free trial at Ancestry.com .

I have Ancestry.com at home and like it and get a lot of use out of it. I've been known to use it on my lunch hour at work. These suggestions are based upon our experiences and the experiences of other users. Following the directions at the link below will allow you to get a free 14-day trial at Ancestry.com. Before getting the trial, remember to:

1) Get the free trial when you will have time to actually use it.
2) Write or print out any toll-free numbers Ancestry.com gives you.
3) Write the day your 14 days expires.
4) Make a decision about cancelling your free trial BEFORE the 14th day. If you are going to cancel, do so on or before day 13.
5) Consider joining the Gen-Newbie list at Rootsweb if you are new to computers or genealogy--there are many on the list who can help if you have difficulty using Ancestry, the image viewer, or the indexes.
6) If day thirteen is on a weekend, call the Friday before.

Free Trial - Ancestry.com US Deluxe Membership can be had by clicking here.