05 January 2010

Wish for Footnote.com

I like Footnote.com.

The search allows me to "eliminate OCR results." I like that. An option I would also like to see if the ability to eliminate results from the SSDI and the user created pages. Sorry sometimes I don't need the recent stuff and I want to focus on original records. Just my personal preference. I get tired of wading through all that other stuff.


05 August 2009

1930 Census Mary Trautvetter and her neice

I've been doing a little playing with Footnote.com this month while they are offering free access to their 1930 census. This entry is for a family that will appear in an upcoming "Casefile Clues" column.

Maxine's guardianship over ten years before this census was contested all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. There were so many documents in the file that I had to stop scanning them when I was in Salt Lake at the Family History Library due to time constraints. Mary Trautvetter is a first cousin to my great-grandfather, George Trautvetter (1869-1934).

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28 May 2009

Downloading Revolutionary War Pensions at Footnote

While I was at the Family History Library in Salt Lake, I decided to spend some time downloading items from Footnote.com. The image shown here is part of the Revolutionary War Pension of Elam Blain. The likely New Jersey native served from that state and lived there and in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The images at Footnote.com come from the National Archives microfilm and are fairly nice images. The only drawback is that each image has to be downloaded separately. This pension file had approximately sixty images. Actually it only took me about ten minutes, which was not all that bad. We've discussed this pension file before and I had downloaded some of the images, but somehow deleted a few of them. This time I'll be more careful.


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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1930 Census at Footnote

Footnote.com's 1930 census index is now 84% complete. There are some neat features on this site, particularly the "I'm Related" part.

I searched for my wife's grandmother and located her relatively easily (I already knew where and when she was, so that part was not difficult).

There was a link for "I'm related" which I clicked on and which brought up the first screen shot seen in this post.

The next time someone else searches for Anna Apgar in the 1930 census at Footnote.com, they will see this screen when they click on the link for the one living in Chicago.

Pretty slick.

The images at Footnote.com (one is shown below) aren't too bad either.

And Footnote.com has a monthly and annual subscription rates that are pretty reasonable.


26 March 2009

Footnote's 1930 Census and "omit" OCR searches

Footnote.com released it's 1930 census index and images today. Interactivity is higher here than with images at other sites. Some will love the interactivity. I'm pretty much a get in there and get the record kind of person--looking at adjacent pages too. I'm not certain how much time I would spend adding images and other sources to each entry for my ancestor.

My parents are not listed in the 1930 Census. My grandparents are, but I'll have to wait until 1950 until my parents are enumerated.

Those who like interacting with the census will really like the Footnote.com index to 1930 and will be pleased to hear they are adding more. More indexes online is always a good thing, but there are ways you can search at Ancestry.com you can't quite do at Footnote.com .

Footnote.com now as an option to "omit OCR searches" from search results. YEAH! There are a few more improvements I would like to see, but this is a step in the right direction.


17 March 2009

Suggestion for Footnote

I really like Footnote.com and the images it currently has.

One suggestion I would like to see implemented is the ability to search all but ONE database (or all but two, etc.). For some searches one database or another seems to overwhelm the results and I'd like to search everything but one or two databases.

Just an idea.


31 December 2008

Passport Applications on Footnote.com

Passport applications are an excellent source and one that is particularly helpful for searching on those extended family members. Passport Applications 1795-1905
icon are currently available on Footnote.com.

John Goldenstein was born in Wrisse, Gemany, 4 January 1876. He is a first cousin of my great-grandmother. His passport was dated 1905 and it indicated he had naturalized in Albuquerque in 1902. It also provided his date of immigration to the United States.

He had lived in Gothenburg, Nebraska; Sterling, Nebraska; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Douglas, Arizona; since coming to the United States. The first two locations were areas where other family members were known to have lived. He was a 29 year old motorman on the application. The witness was L. U. Albers, a distant relative, who lived "out west" but I was unaware that Albers had spent time in the Southwest.

These images are pretty nice as well.

Too bad his uncle, Frank Goldenstein (my actual ancestor) never got a passport when he visited Germany in 1910.

Check out the applications for more than just your direct line ancestor. If I had not known where the Goldensteins were from, this would have been a very helpful document.

Those wishing to search the Passport Applications 1795-1905 can do so at Footnote.com.

(The first time this entry was published, I hit the publish key a little too fast and all that was published was the image.)

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01 December 2008

Uploading Your Own Content to Footnote

Remember that you can upload your own images to Footnote.com. You can set up an account at no charge.

I have uploaded the marriage license of my probable 3rd great-grandmother Mary Sargent to her second husband Asa Landon.
Uploading is free and users do not have to be subscribers to see the image. The nice thing is that annotations can be added just like fee-based content on Footnote. Those who have never used Footnote's image viewer might want to view the marriage license shown above and see how it works. It is pretty neat.

Remember that until the end of the year, Footnote.com is offering 15 months for the price of 12. Get the most for your family history dollar.

And any descendants of Mary Sargent and Asa Landon are encouraged to email me.


Discount on Footnote.

Footnote.com is offering a discount where users can get 15 months of access for the price of 12. This is a limited time offer. Footnote is a nice complement to other online subscriptions and we've written about it several times in the past. They have city directories, World War I era investigation files (particularly into German natives living in the United States), complete Revolutionary War pension files, and much more.

Banner offering 15 months for price of 12


21 August 2008

Another Suggestion for Footnote.com

I am still working in the city directories at Footnote.com . I have a suggestion.

There needs to be another way to browse the images in a dataset other than scrolling to the very end of moving ahead one or two sets of images. The Chicago city directories are well over a thousand pages each. My searches for "thomas frame" many times bring up no results and searches for "frame" bring up too many. Since the directories are alphabetical, I like to just go to the Frame section.

The problem is that because of the way the "paging through" works, it takes forever to get just to the "F" section. It could always be worse, but I wish there were a way to jump faster through the images when a text search does not work and one wishes to get to a specific page or area of the image set.


24 July 2008

The "blank" Chicago city directory on Footnote.com

The last city directory in the "browse section" of Footnote for the Chicago city directories indicates it is [blank]. It appears to be at least two years of directories combined, perhaps more. I panned through several pages and the print looks different, seeming to indicate at least two directories have been combined in one entry. I did notice the following title pages (or at least what I thought were title pages:

Is anyone familiar enough with the Chicago city directories to know what years are in this "blank" set?

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23 July 2008

A Little More Framework in the Chicago City Directories

I've been doing a little more work on the family of Thomas and Elizabeth Frame in the Chicago City directories on Footnote.com.
Elizabeth is listed as "Mrs. Elizabeth Frame" who boards at 89 Cottage Grove Av. in 1869--see image. Thomas is not listed (and he's not in the 1870 Chicago census either).

Backtracking to 1868, Thomas appears, listed as a painter with a residence of 118 W Randolph.

Thomas nor Elizabeth appears in 1867 and this appears to be consisent with their 1870 census entry in Chicago, which indicates they had a child born in Pennsylvania ca. 1867.
There are no entries for Thomas or Elizabeth in the 1870 or 1871 directories. Thomas does appear as a painter again in 1872 apparently living between Barry and Cushing streets.

I need to follow through this family until their death in the 1910s. Also I need to map out these locations on contemporary maps. Mapquest is out of the question for these addresses that are prior to the renumbering and renaming that took place in the early 1900s.


All the current online city directories at Footnote.com can be searched here. You can browse the Chicago ones by year from 1843-1909. Feel free to post searching suggestions for the city directories here. You can see what other city directories Footnote.com has as well besides Chicago.You can also get a free trial with footnote.com if you do not already have a subscription.

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Suggestions for Footnote.com

It's been a few months since I've actively searched on Footnote.com. They have added new databases, some of which I have been blogging about [note: I only blog about what I actually use--so take a look for yourself to see what they have for your time periods and areas of interest].

I like their search interface, but I do have three suggestions:
  • Let us use wildcards--it is a pain in the rear to search for all the variants of Trautvetter--especially those that are "near misses" on the OCR searches.
  • Let us use a soundex search.
  • Let me "flag" those results I have seen before. This would save me time and help me find new things instead of things I have already found earlier.

Don't get me wrong, I like the site. But these options would give me more flexibility.


Chicago City Directories on Footnote.com

I've been working with the Chicago city directories online at Footnote.com. Footnote currently has Chicago directories online from 1843-1909.

All the current online city directories at Footnote.com can be searched here.

Or you can browse by year from 1843-1909. Personally this is the approach I am using as the last name I am looking for is "Frame." I get too much "stuff" that I do not want searching for just this word alone.

This is the screen that is shown in the image. If you choose the desired year, a search box should show up on the bottom of the page where you can search that specific directory. The nice thing about browsing by year is that it allows you to either search just the specific year you have browsed to, or you can view image by image. The screen shown in this posting would allow the user to search all Chicago city directories at once.

The second screen image shows I have clicked on the 1866 directory and after some navigating on the page section (notice I am at set 289 - 300 of 1612). I want page 415, which starts at T. M. Fox [the names might not be overly clear as I shrunk the image just a little bit to fit on this post--it is BIGGER when you actually search them yourself].

Turns out, good old Thomas Frame was not in Chicago in 1866.

However, skipping to 1880 (only to find him for an illustration)---I know I need to go year by year. I did find two Thomas Frames. The image from the directory is shown in this post.

This is really fun. And for those who want to go "page by page," like I do, don't complain about how long it takes. It takes a while to roll through the microfilm too. The only thing is that this works best on a high speed connection.

Feel free to post searching suggestions for the city directories here. You can see what other city directories Footnote.com has as well besides Chicago.

You can get a free trial with footnote.com if you do not already have a subscription.

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Working With Chicago City Directories on Footnote

The image here is from the 1879 Chicago City Directory which is available on Footnote.com.
The desired person here is Thomas Frame. I'm having a little difficulty finding him by searches. Looking for "Frame" brings up numerous hits that I do not want. I am having more luck browsing the images and finding Thomas manually.
Thomas and his wife Elizabeth were English immigrants to Chicago and I am hoping to use the city directories on Footnote.com to track their residence in the city in off-census years and to perhaps pinpoint their arrival in Chicago. I know they arrived before the fire, but do not have a specific year.

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01 April 2008

Colonel Febucker in Virginia--Who is he?

This screenshot is the entire page from a Footnote.com image I have been working on for Samuel Rhodes. The reduced size shows the whole page and is discussed in more detail below.

The image showsn is part of the Revolutionary War Pension file for Samuel Rhodes from Virginia located on the Footnote.com site. I am having difficulty reading the name of the Colonel in whose regiment Rhodes served. It looks like Febucker, but I'm not certain that is correct.

I posted a comment there as well on the image. This will appear on the comments section of the page if anyone else pulls up the same image. They can see the comment I posted and if they have a different rendering of the name, they can post a comment to my comment. I really like the way the Footnote.com allows users to interact with the documents on their site.
Hopefully someone else can read the name in a different way or knows something about this Virginia unit.
Researchers can search Footnote.com for their own ancestors.
You can search the Revolutionary War Rolls on Footnote.com. I searched the Virginia set of Revolutionary War Pensions at Footnote.com , users interested in other stats can browse to those as well.
The Beta Test of Advanced Search at Footnote.com also allows for some narrowing of searching. Personally if I know what database I want to search, I start at the main Footnote.com site and navigate my way to the specific database I want.
And if anyone is a descendant of this Samuel Rhodes, I'd be interested in communicating.

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OCR searches in Footnote

The newspapers at Footnote.com are searchable using OCR technology. The nice thing about the Footnote.com search results is that the highlighted text is shown (at least for some) in the results screen without requiring the entire image to be loaded.
I always search for Ufkes just to see what I find, it is one of the nice things about having an usual last name. In this case, the word "offices" came up, but one can see how an automatic search might recognize this as "ufkes." The nice thing is I can "preview" the page before waiting for the entire thing to load.
The London Times is one set of newpapers on Footnote.com that came from the Allen County Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.


14 March 2008

Uploading Your Own Content to Footnote

I've been playing around with uploading my own content to Footnote.com. The marriage license for Asa Landon and Mrs. Mary Sargent from 1849 in Winnebago County, Illinois, was something I added to Footnote.com a few days ago.

Of course, I can make annotations for names and places, which I did. Comments can also be added. Site users can interact with uploaded images just like other Footnote.com content. Uploaded images can be viewed for free, even without an account. If you want to "interact" with user uploaded content, or upload your own, you'll need an account.

Those who want to see the Sargent-Landon marriage license on Footnote can do so here. It provides a nice overview of how one actually views and interacts with the site's content. And the nice thing is that if someone does a search for Asa Landon on the site, the image I loaded will be pulled up. If they are related to Asa, hopefully they will contact me.

Mary Sargent was the mother of an Ira Sargent (born. ca. 1845 in Canada). I am thinking this Ira Sargent may be the same as my Ira Sargent who first appears in Hancock County, Illinois, in 1880.

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13 March 2008

Making Connections at Footnote

I've been playing around with Footnote.com and am especially impressed with the connecting and networking capabilities this site offers.

One of the neat things you can do at Footnote.com is to connect documents with other documents on Footnote.com, either documents you have uploaded or records already on the site.

I found Elam Blain's pension records from the American Revolution when he was living in Ohio. After some searching, I found him on a muster roll in New Jersey, the state from which he served. I can link one document from the pension file to the muster roll. There does not appear to be one way to link his whole pension to the muster, but if another genealogist comes across page 56 from Elam's pension, they will see that document has been connected to another document. And if someone locates that page in the muster roll, they will see it has been linked to the pension file. Really neat. Imagine when more connections have been made.

I've posted a screen dump in this blog entry of the connection as shown (above) on my profile page at Footnote.com. Footnote.com members with a paid subscription can see the images using their account. Others will get a sign-in screen.

Footnote.com members who come across the muster roll for Elam will note that someone has made a connection with that page. This can be seen in the image of the roll, where to the right of the word "connect" you will notice the number 1, indicating one connection has been made. Neat.

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09 January 2008

Using Footnote.com--St. Charles, Missouri, April 12, 2008

I will be presenting an all-day hands-on workshop on "Using Footnote.Com" for the St. Charles County Genealogical Society (Missouri) and the St. Charles Community College. More details on this workshop are available on our website. Attendees will have access to Footnote.com for the duration of the workshop.

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17 December 2007

Abraham Lincoln's "pension" card

A pension card for Abraham Lincoln (actually for his widow, Mary) appears in the "Organization Index to Pension files of Veterans who served between 1861 and 1900" on Footnote.com . As discussed in an earlier blog post, not all these pension cards are for pensions from Civil War service, but most are. The complete image of the card includes Mary's annual allotment and refers to Lincoln's own military service, which was in Illinois well before the Civil War.
Search Footnote.com for your own ancestors...whether they were famous or not.


Revolutionary War Roll information for Elam Blain

I've blogged before about the Revolutionary War Pension of Elam Blain who eventually settled in Delaware County, Ohio. His pension makes mention of his service and time finally allowed me today to search Footnote.com for his records in their Revolutionary War Rolls. The image above is from the heading of the page where he is listed and the image below contains his name in the actual records.

You can search the Revolutionary War Rolls on Footnote.com.

Of course his name was spelled Alaim Blain--and here again it is easy to see how Blain could have been read as Blair.

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Filtering at Footnote.com

I'm still experimenting with the Beta Test of Advanced Search at Footnote.com. One neat feature is the ability to see what names (first and last) appear in records in which the desired name appears. I was searching for Benjamin Hawkins in Revolutionary Pensions--obtaining more hits than I could navigate. I focused my search to just those in Virginia where my Benjamin lived. I scanned the list of last names (shown above) on pensions where Benjamin Hawkins' name appeared, looking for any that appeared to have a connection. This is a nice improvement.


16 December 2007

Refining searches at Footnote

Lest anyone think all I can do is complain, I do like the refinement ability on Footnote.com. I am sure there are improvements that can be made, but the ability in the Beta Test of Advanced Search at Footnote.com currently allows for one to narrow the search from the results page as shown above on the image (left hand column).

The image below shows what happened when I clicked on a specific search parameter in the above search results page at Footnote.com.

We'll be posting more of our experiences with advanced search as time allows. I am glad to see improvements and changes being made!


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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Beta Test of New Search at Footnote.com

We'll have to post our experiences with it, but we noted recently that Footnote.com is allowing a test of it's advanced searches. They can be tried here:
Beta Test of Advanced Search at Footnote.com

It also appears that some of the searching issues that I had earlier on have been corrected, but I might have just gotten lucky. When I searched at Footnote.com on specific Virginia regiments from the American Revolution for specific words, I obtained results. I had not obtained them before. We'll be posting updates to this as time allows.


10 December 2007

Footnote Search Issues

I recently blogged that the Revolutionary War Pensions at Footnote.com appeared to be allowing searches correctly. Now, I have another problem.

Now when searching the Revolutionary Rolls for Virginia at Footnote.com
things do not appear to be searching correctly. A manual search indicates a Samuel Cary appears in one of the documents. Yet when I search for "Cary" in the Revolutionary War Rolls » Virginia » 2d State Regiment (1778-79) [which is where he appears], I get no results. I would like to narrow my search by only searching in a specific regiment, but those searches do not appear to be working. I think I get the desired results when searching all the Revolutionary War Rolls, but there are some names that I would like to search for without having to search all the rolls at one time.

Hopefully I'm doing something wrong, but I don't think so.


05 December 2007

Searching Problem at Footnote.com

Maybe it is just that I'm a little tired...

I finally found the Revolutionary War Pension for Samuel Rhodes of Hawkins County, Tennessee using Footnote.com. However, I am having another searching problem for this Samuel. I cannot get his entry to come up in my search results.

When I search the Virginia set of Revolutionary War Pensions at Footnote.com for "Samuel Rhodes" I get no results, yet when I browse these pensions by name, his record comes up--spelled the exact same way as I entered it.

If anyone is aware of what I am doing incorrectly, I would appreciate knowing.


04 December 2007

Footnote Completes Digitizing Revolutionary War Pensions

The Revolutionary War pension files at Footnote.com are complete .

Those who have been waiting for the complete set of pension microfilm of American Revolutionary War pensions can now view them (and search them) at Footnote.com. Those unfamiliar with these records should read more about them on the Footnote.com site before searching. Footnote has indexed the names contained in the pensions, more completely than White's abstracts do. There are some limitations to how Footnote searches, but there's no denying that having 24/7 access is an improvement.

Footnote does offer a free trial . Give them a try before you buy! Personally, I've gotten a great deal out of Footnote. I'm hoping the search improves.

We'll be posting more updates and information on my searches in the Revolutionary War pension files at Footnote.com as I have time. There's a neat file that documents one soldier's migration from Virginia into Tennessee and finally into Missouri.


29 November 2007

A Presidential Pension

One of my recent discoveries on the Civil War Pension Index at Footnote.com was the index card for Ulyssse S. Grant, who would later be United States President.

Our earlier post about this index made mention of the fact that there are pensionsers from other periods of service included besides the Civil War.

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28 November 2007

Footnote's searches...

Footnote.com has improved its search. Unfortunately, there's a slight problem--at least for me.

I try and search for Samuel Rhodes. Footnote also includes Rhode in my search results, giving me numerous results for the state of Rhode Island, which I do not need.

I try and search for "Samuel Rhodes NOT Rhode" thinking that I will eliminate all the hits on Rhode Island. Unfortunately when I search using that approach, I get no results.

The database I was using was the Revolutionary War pension files at Footnote.com . I know there are results in there for Samuel Rhodes as I located them before the search changed. And now I can't find them without paging through every Rhode Island reference....

If I'm missing something, hopefully someone can enlighten me.


20 November 2007

Footnote's searching....

Ok, this is just about like a disease, I can't stop.

I searched Footnote.com's "Civil War Pension Index" for "ufkes," expecting nothing. It did bring up "Fikes" as a result. Not the person I was interested in, but a reasonable "sounds like" variant.

A search for "cawiezell" brought no results. No real surprise there--although Cawiezell is a real last name.

A search for "ulfert" brought two results--the last name "Elfert." I was really looking for "Ulfert" as a first name.

I searched the Revolutionary War pension files at Footnote.com as well for

wicksier (an accidental typo) and got wickiser

Hopefully we'll get word of how the search now works, because I don't remember it working this way the last time. This new search (or at least new search to me) is good news, but now I'll have to go back and search for some names again. Making the very important point of tracking your research and when you search a site and what names you search for when searching.

Back to some other work, I'm going to get wayyyyy to distracted with this if I'm not careful.


Footnote's Improving their Search?

It might be just a fluke, but I noticed when I searched Footnote.com's "Civil War Pension Index" for the last name of Troutfetter, it brought up the result Trautvetter. Nowhere did I see any options for "Soundex" or similarly spelled names, but I was pleased to see these broader results.

Footnote must not be doing a "Soundex" search because my search for Neill only brought up Neill and NOT Neal, Niel, etc.

But my search for Habben did bring up Haben.

This is nice, and hopefully someone will post a response on how this is working---but I like the change.

We've included a screen shot of Footnote.com's search tips and saw no mention of any kind of "sounds like" feature when reading through it.


Footnote's Civil War Pension Index

Footnote.com calls is the Civil War Pension index, but it is worth remembering that there are references in this finding aid to other individuals besides Civil War veterans and their widows. Those who take the time to READ on Footnote.com will find the following statement:

"This publication contains index cards for pension applications of veterans who served in the U.S. Army between 1861 and 1917, including wars other than the Civil War." The majority of these pensioners are Civil War veterans, but there are others.

The card that is a part of this blog post comes from Footnote.com's "Civil War Pension Index." The index is nearing completion and those who have put off searching it, may wish to give it another try.


31 October 2007

Compiled Virginia Civil War Confederate Records

Footnote has completed digitizing the Compiled Service Records for Virginia during the American Civil War.

The image shown here is one of the cards for John W. Sledd which indicates he spent some time at the hospital in Richmond.

This image has been reduced for faster loading, but the actual images on footnote are high quality and print nicely.

These records are currently searchable by name of soldier on Footnote.com.


08 October 2007

More Revolutionary Pensions At Footnote.com

Footnote.com is now indicating that they have digitized 86% of the Revolutionary War Pensions from the National Archives. I've already found a few relatives in this wonderful database, but I'm still waiting for Tennessee...but most states have already been added.

Those wanting to see samples can view pages from the file of Elam Blain here.

You can find your own ancestors in the Revolutionary War pension files at Footnote.com


14 September 2007

American Revolutionary at Footnote and HistoryKat

One of the additions to the HistoryKat site is the Historical register of officers of the Continental Army during the war of the revolution, April 1775, to December, 1783 by Francis Heitman.
Part of the screen image from HistoryKat is shown in this post, along with the entry for Angus Rucker, a distant relative. This book is available as part of the HistoryKat collection and is searchable by name.

Of course, research never ends and I remembered that Footnote.com is also working on digitizing and indexing Revolutionary War Pensions as a part of their American Revolutionary War Collection

The Rucker pension is quite lengthy and can be downloaded completely from the Footnote.com website. The image shown in this post is but a small portion of Angus Rucker's pension file. Also note that the image from the pension shown here has been significantly reduced in size for webposting. The original image printed nicely on my printer--better than a microfilm copy usually does.

Using several websites in tandem with each other results in more raw data and more information about the desired family.

Subscriptions to HistoryKat or to Footnote.com are reasonably priced.

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12 September 2007

Viewing difficulties with Footnote?

As a really quick suggestion:

If you are having difficulties viewing images in Visit Footnote.com, try clearing your cache, making certain you have the most recent version of Flash, your browser, etc.

If that does not work, try downloading another webbrowser and using that, such as Netscape or Firefox. That way you don't waste your Footnote free trial time configuring your browser, etc.
Personally I like having multiple browsers on my computer. There are times I want to get something DONE without dealing with technical issues.


Footnote featured in Salt Lake Tribune

There is a neat article on Footnote.com in the Salt Lake Tribune on 10 September. It provides some nice background history on Footnote and information on its digitization process.


11 September 2007

Subscription Plans on Footnote.com

When I first subscribed to Footnote, I started out with the monthly plan. There is also an annual plan, which of course is a cheaper price per month, but I wasn't ready at that time to commit--life sometimes intervenes.

Footnote has a Footnote subscription options page which outlines the prices for both the monthly and annual subscription. Keep track of when your subscription is due to expire and decide a few days before if you want to continue or not. Footnote's a neat little site, but don't wait until the last day to make a renewal decision--life intervenes.

Footnote offers a variety of National Archives microfilm with an ongoing indexing program-many of these films have never been indexed before--a great source for the genealogist.


10 September 2007

saving images from footnote

Saving Images from Footnote.com is a little different than from some other websites.

First of all to view the images you must have a recent version of Flash installed.

Then click on the "download" icon as shown in the image (it is on the right hand part of the screen). Name the image when the "save as" box comes up and make certain your file name ends with .jpg

Personally I only use letters, numbers and underscores in my file names--no spaces or any "non-standard" characters.

Others with suggestions on image saving in Footnote.com are welcome to post suggestions. Currently each image from a file has to be downloaded one image at a time.


22 August 2007

Google Search Snags Footnote Reference

I don't know if it works in all cases, but it did for me at least once.

A search on google for Alaim Blain brought up several results, one of which was a Revolutionary Service card on Footnote.com. Now, I'm not certain if every annotation or name on Footnote.com will come up under a Google search, but it appears as if some aspects of their database will be returned as search results from Google. Neat.

The "Information about this document" comes from the Footnote.com website which came up after clicking on my results page.

A screen picture of part of the compiled service record completes this post.

Of course, I should have searched for Alaim on Footnote.com anyway, but just had not gotten around to it and was searching in an attempt to find other web pages with information on him.

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18 August 2007

Virgil White's Revolutionary Abstracts versus Footnote.com

Virgil White published a wonderful collection Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files in 1990 (the National Historical Publishing Company, Waynesboro, Tennessee). However, even if you have used these abstracts, you still need to search the Revolutionary War pension images that are being added to the database at Footnote.com.
I reviewed White's abstract for the pension of Elam/Alam Blain. The abstract mentions widow Catharine and daughter Polly, but does not mention the individuals who provided affidavits or the fact that one of the affidavits was given by a son-in-law. I originally thought I had never looked in White for the "correct" spelling of Wickiser, but now realize that I had not overlooked it. White's compilation is wonderful, but users should be aware that due to limitations of time, he was unable to include every reference in his work. Had I only used White's Abstracts, I would have not located the Wickiser reference and not learned the maiden name of Catherine Wickiser.

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05 August 2007

Footnote's Use of ACPL material

Like many others, I was excited to see the announcement that Footnote.com will be adding material from the Allen County Public Library's collection to their online set of data and images. I'm a big fan of footnote.com, it's collection, and it's interface.

However, I was disappointed that the press release was non-specific in terms of the materials that were being digitized. Most of the articles I could find regarding the agreement were pretty much cut and paste jobs of the same press release, even several of those on genealogy blogs or news sites. The older I get, the more frustrated I get with sites (and newspapers) that simply cut and paste a press release and call it news.

Of course, most of the library's holdings are still under copyright and my guess is that the majority of what will be digitized will be material from the early twentieth century and before. But that's only a guess. Which is all we have until specifics are released.

Regardless, Footnote.com has some really neat stuff and I have made good use of the site in my own research.


03 August 2007

Reminder about Revolutionary Pensions at Footnote

Just a reminder that the Revolutionary War Pensions being posted at
Footnote.com are being posted as they are completed. As this is written, that is about 53%. Their search capabilities are really neat and I'm anxiously awaiting for the completion of Tennessee and a few other states.


05 July 2007

I really cannot read this one...

This is one where I really do not know what the first name is. The last name is clearly Adams. The first one I am not so certain of.

The first image is the signature of Mr. Adams. I am assuming it is a Mr. because the person signing this document mentions attending school with the children of Elam Blain in Hanover Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania in the early 1800s and only mentions the male children of Blain. My assumption about the gender could be incorrect.

The second rendering of Adams' name comes from the document itself where the scribe has written the name.
I'm taking guesses on this one. The document is from testimony provided by Adams in the Revolutionary Pension application of Katharine Blaim/Blain, widow of Elam. The testimony was given on 6 January 1848 in Delaware County, Ohio.
These images were taken from the digitized Revolutionary Pension files at Footnote.com.

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Pension files contain more than just information on the claimant

I've been working on the information contained in the Revolutionary Pension of Elam Blain/Blaim/Blair, newfound ancestor of my wife.

This pension file contains information on unrelated familes who apparently followed a similar migration path to Elam and his family.

The image on this blog entry is just part of one page of testimony from Elam's pension file. Several individuals testified about Elam's residences, his marriage, and the ages of his children. Two of these individuals are known to be relatives. It is not yet known if the others providing testimony are related or not.
This testimony, from a (?Prulip?) Adams indicates that Adams attended school with Elam's sons and lived near them during various times during his life. Is it possible that your ancestor testified in the pension claim of someone else? Even if your ancestor never served?
This image was taken from the images of these pension files at Footnote.com.
This pension file was what provided me with the maiden name of Katharine Wickiser, who is clearly identified as Elam's daughter in the pension testimony.

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03 July 2007

Katharine Wickiser was a Blaim

A little searching on Footnote.com located a Revolutionary War Pension affidavit signed by Katharine Wickiser, probably the same Katharine Wickiser as my wife's ancestor. Her testimony indicated how long she had known Katharine Blaim, widow of Elam Blaim. Apparently she had known Blaim for most of her life, but the testimony does not indicate that point blank.

A continued search of the file indicated testimony from Abraham Wickiser where he indicates he married a daughter of Katharine Blaim (my wife's Katharine Wickiser was married to an Abraham Wickiser). The pension file (which can be viewed in its entirety on Footnote.com) is over fifty images and I have not yet had time to go through the entire set of documents. We'll be posting additional information here as I am able to analyze it.
Suffice it to say that if not for the ability to search annotations on Footnote.com I would never have found this information. Katharine's maiden name is something we have been working towards for a long time with nary a clue. The documents indicate that there were several families from Huntingdon County, New Jersey who made their way to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, and eventually into Delaware County, Ohio. A migration chain of which I was unaware.
Additional posts will include our analysis of why the Katharine in the pension is the same one as my wife's ancestor. One never wants to immediately conclude that individuals with the same name are the same person.
Footnote.com is adding more pensions as time goes on. Maybe I'll break down a few other of my brick walls when those are added. And as we'll see in future posts, some of the testimony is from non-family members who give clues about their own families in their testimony in the Blain file.

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20 June 2007

Revolutionary Pensions on Footnote

Footnote.com is increasing their amount of Revolutionary Pensions on their site.

The image on the right comes from the pension of Samuel Rhodes. This 1810s era document indicates the amount of property Samuel had in an attempt to document financial need. Samuel's complete pension file (not shown here) documents his service in Virginia as well as his migration into Tennessee and Missouri.

Footnote has not completed adding the pensions for the Revolution, but they are in progress and this pension was not on the site when I looked several weeks ago.

Consider adding Footnote.com to your genealogical arsenal.

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01 June 2007

Searching Annotations on Footnote

One of the neat things about the images on Footnote.com is the ability to search the annotations that others have made to documents. This was particularly helpful as shown in the image on the right. When annotations are created, they are linked to a portion of the graphic. The lines were left in the picture here.

My search for John Demoss resulted in this hit, which was not even for his pension, but rather was in a pension in which he provided testimony. Hopefully as images are added along with eventual annotations, I'll locate even more references in these and other documents.

Visit Footnote.com to learn more about what records it has to offer the genealogist and family historian.

If you are using the Revolutionary Pension records, please note that Footnote.com indicates they are currently in the process of completing this upload to their site.


26 May 2007

Footnote adding Revolutionary Pensions

I was pleased to see Footnote adding Revolutionary Pensions to their site, particularly since I've been working on some Revolutionary ancestors of my wife. One of the neat things about footnote is that users can add annotations (such as when they see another name in a pension file) and those annotations are searchable. This is particularly helpful with those records that are handwritten and cannot be searched through OCR.

Start Your Free Trial With Footnote.com and experiment and see what Footnote has to offer.


10 May 2007

Murder over a Monkey-Wrench

A little search for Saathoff on Footnote.com turned up the image seen here--a reference to a shooting in Texas. This was in the Investigative Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation 1908-1922, Old Mexican Case Files (click on Bureau of Investigation), 1909-21, NARA film M1085, case 2187.
The "hand" is not on the original document or image--it's just my little helper. Actually I got a little carried away when making the screen dump.
I'm not related to the Saathoff family of Texas. However, they were of Ostfriesen extraction as were my Saathoffs. All Saathoffs are not related--but that's a story for another posting.
The Old Mexican Case Files (click on Bureau of Investigation) can be searched on Footnote.com.

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Hindering the World War I Draft-One man at a Time

A neat little find on Footnote.com today.

Running a house of "ill fame" was enough in Florida to get you arrested for Violating the Selective Service act in Florida in 1918 as this image shows. Josephine Tinsley alias Josephine Evans was arrested on Key West for running her enterprise within five miles of the Naval Station (probably close enough to walk....how convenient). A neat little commentary on history. I didn't locate this intentionally, it came up when I performed a search on the name Tinsley. Fortunately none of my Tinsley family were ever in Florida (grin).

Note: This image has been reduced to fit on the page---actual images from footnote are much nicer. In a future post, we'll put one up in that fashion.

The online image comes from Footnote.com and only part of it is reproduced here.

Source information is located below.
Publication Number: M1085
Publication Title: Investigative Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation 1908-1922
Publisher: NARASeries: Old German Files, 1909-21
Case Number: 153114
Case Title: Violation Section 13 of Selective-draft Act

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09 May 2007

Free Trials on Footnote.com

This site is digitizing microfilm from the National Archives that until now has been overlooked.

Footnote.com has added many records to their set of databases, including

In the next few weeks, we'll be posting some image samples along with a discussion of how these records were obtained and how these records were located. Footnote also allows users to annotate images and these annotations are searchable. You can even add images to a "file" to keep track of images you have already used. And you can download images to your own hard drive for editing, manipulation and use in your own genealogcal database, word processing documents, etc. A really neat site with some really neat opportunities to easily access records that until now had to be accessed via microfilm.

You can get a free 7 day trial at Footnote.com


OCR at Footnote

One of the neat things about the records at footnote.com is that those that are typewritten are increasingly able to be searched using OCR technology. While OCR has limitations, it is decidedly easier than manually scanning or reading thousands of pages in an attempt to locate specific names.

The view results pages at Footnote.com now provide just a snippet of the actual page where the hit appears, showing what it actually looks like. This allows the user to manually determine whether or not the hit it what was actually being searched for. This is a nice feature of the viewer--so many times one has to load the entire image just to see what the hit was. And some names get OCR hits that are not quite what one was looking for. This makes it easier for me to scan the hits as I don't have to view each one separately. A neat idea.

You can start your free trial with footnote.com, just remember when it expires so you can make the decision about renewing before the end of the free trial period.


27 April 2007

Need a death date for a Civil War Veteran?

Need a date of death for a Civil War veteran, but have no idea where to look?

The Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900, on microfilm at the National Archives, the Family History Library (card catalog reference), and Footnote.comhas a line on each index card for when and where the soldier died.

Many cards do not have a death date and place (at least I saw quite a few that did not), but it might be worth a try if you know the guy was in the service and just can't find out where he died and do not want to order the entire pension file to find out.

The card in this post is a sample of one from the 78th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, the same unit as my ancestor and his brother. Of course their cards did not have a date and place of death, but I already knew it.

The main thing is that this might be a help. Using the cards on film (NARA or FHL) requires that one know the unit (because that is how the cards are organized). Using the cards at Footnote.com
only requires a name as they are indexed.

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Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation

I located a first cousin of my ancestor in the Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation from 1908-1922 at Footnote.com.

John Fecht of Varna, Illinois, and two of his children were suspected of pro-German activity. There are three interesting pages of testimony from the agent assigned to the case. The file contains just of three pages; only the first one is reproduced here.

The unnamed daughter was a teacher and "radically pro-German." She also had "some bank account."

According to the testimony, John still had siblings in Germany, including one brother in the Army. The family at first did not appear conducive to the agent's requests, and wanted nothing to do with war bonds and had no interest in the government's involvement in the war. The agent asked several other questions and gave the father and the two adult children the night to apparently "think things over."

The next morning, the agent accompanied "them" to the bank and watched the son Anton buy war bonds. Whether "them" is all three or not is not clear.

The Case Files can be browsed at Footnote, but viewing images requires access.


Source information:

Suspect Name: John Fecht

Collection Title: Investigative Reports of the Bureau of Investigation 1908-1922
Publication Number: M1085
Series: Old German Files, 1909-21


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Footnote Users Meeting at NGS-Richmond

Footnote.com will be hosting a meeting of Footnote.com users at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond, Virginia on Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 10:00 AM. Footnote users who live near Richmond or who will be attending the 2007 NGS Conference, are welcome to attend.

Unfortunately I won't be at NGS in Richmond...

Those unfamiliar with Footnote may wish to do some exploring of the site which offers digital images of NARA microfilms not found elsewhere.