20 November 2008

Near Searches on GenealogyBank

It is a little difficult to see in the first screen, but I thought of a neat way (at least to me) of searching for obituaries on GenealogyBank.

One of my Ufkes uncles married a woman whose last name was Schuster. Now I knew then their children died. But if I had not this is a neat way to look for obituaries of their children--even if the names are unknown.

I simply did a keyword search for Ufkes near5 Schuster. I was hoping to find obituaries of their children that had the last name of the father and the mother's maiden name.

Had I not already had the dates of death and copies of the obituaries, this would have been a really nice way of locating them. Obituaries for three of their children turned up as results on my search.
Think of the words that might appear in close proximity in the record you are searching for on GenealogyBank.
I know I have some more searches to do. This will be helpful if I don't have married names for women or other search parameters.


18 November 2008

Search Tips on GenealogyBank

If you have missed the search tips page on Genealogy Bank, give it a read. There are some excellent suggestions there for using the OCR searches on their site. And keep in mind that you do not even have to fill in the name boxes. It pays to experiment and remember that you do not get more points for having every box filled in.

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13 November 2008

Boolean Searches of OCR Text at Genealogybank.com

I don't know why I never tried it before. Now I have numerous searches to perform all over again at Genealogy Bank.

The screen shot in this blog entry shows part of the screen from a search I just conducted today for good old Philip Troutfetter.

It is much easier when one enters Boolean search terms in the keywords box. I do not know why it never dawned on me to use those before.

With all the variants of trautvetter, this was a much easier search to perform. The word "taylor" was added as it was the last name of an alias Philip used. The ? as a wildcard operator was used in Troutfetter to catch some variant spellings. I need to modify it though as sometimes the two "t"s at the end get read as "l"s. However, this makes my searching much easier.

I wanted to find references to the last name of Troutfetter, etc. withinn 4 words of the word Taylor. This is why the "near4" command was used.

We will be playing (err.... experimenting more) with the searches at Genealogy Bank and letting you know what we find.

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05 November 2008

Troutfetter is Bagged in Boston

You have to love headlines.

This one comes from a 1902 Colorado's Gazette-Telegraph, which was located on Genealogy Bank. Philip Troutfetter was said to have been involved in the Cuban postal frauds, but it appears that he only associated with one of the men involved and was not actually involved himself. As Genealogy Bank keeps adding papers, I keep running across additional references to Philip and his escapades in Colorado and parts south. This is only a part of the newspaper clipping. The original appears on Genealogy Bank.

Source: Date: 1902-04-11;
Paper: Gazette-Telegraph

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28 October 2008

Spanish Language Paper mentions Siebels Murder

One never knows when a foreign language newspaper might contain something related to your family, even if they did not speak the language in which the paper was written. This is another reference to the 1930 murder of Ben Siebels in Tyro, Kansas.

The newspaper that printed this reference was located on Genealogy Bank and listed as the Prensa in Texas. I'm not exactly certain where in Texas it was published, but this reference comes from 6 January 1930.

This was located by searching on Genealogy Bank's newspapers for Haldiman, and limiting my search years to 1929-1931. It doesn't contain any real new information, but does make the point that one never knows what language one might find information in.

Siebel[sic] was actually Siebels. The German speaking family most likely could not have read this newspaper reference. It's not too hard for me to read it, but it has been nearly two decades since my high school Spanish days.

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More on Ben Siebels Murder--1930 Tyro, Kansas

Ben Siebels (actually John B. in this enumeration) was listed individually in Caney Township, Montgomery County, Kansas, in the 1930 census. He is listed as a gas station attendant in this reference which was located on Ancestry.com . His parents (Ben and Mary) are also enumerated on the same census page.
Genealogy Bank had two references to the murder of Siebels which were located searching for Everett Haldiman, one of the gunman mentioned in the newspaper article my cousin located in a relative's clippings. Willis Harley was also involved in the murder and two girls, Fern McNabb and Aletha Rush were also involved.

The one clipping shown in this blog post was located on Genealogy Bank and comes from the Dallas Morning News of 30 December 1930. It was located (as can be seen in the image) by searching for Everett Haldiman. There are several name variants that I could also search for as I attempt to learn more about this case. It is certainly tragic.

Ben Siebels maternal grandmother was Annepken Hinrichs Ufkes Habben (1831-1905).

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18 October 2008

Genealogy Bank Adding Content

I don't keep too close tabs on what Genealogy Bank adds, I just search periodically. After all, there is only so much time.

I discovered this little item on Genealogy Bank today. The son of a cousin was accidentally killed in August of 1834. This item appeared in the Baltimore Gazette and Daily Advertiser. William Rampley (the father) was a brother to my ancestor, Thomas J. Rampley.

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29 September 2008

Genealogy Bank's Updates of the SSDI

For those concerned about having the latest information, try Genealogy Bank. Their version of the SSDI (as of today) contained a reference for my grandmother who died in Bradenton, Manatee County, Florida on 9 September of 2008. It might have been in their earlier, but I haven't been checking it on a regular basis for updates. But that's still pretty fast.


11 May 2008

Genealogybank suggestions and comments

I really like Genealogy Bank and encourage those who do not have it to at least give it a try for a month. However, after having used it extensively tonight, I have the following suggestions:

  • Soundex searches
  • have the option to filter out "just one state"
  • allow us to track what results we have already seen
  • the ability to view more than five results at a time

Don't get me wrong, I've made some really neat discoveries on Genealogy Bank some of which I have already blogged about. Items have been located that I would never have found any other way, several of which suggest additional records. Consider trying Genealogy Bank for a month and see what you think. One month costs certainly costs less than a tank of gas!


Suing the Railroad in 1897 for Wrongful Death

I knew cousin Frank Troutfetter was killed in a railroad accident in the 1890s, what I did not know was that his parents had sued the railroad for wrongful death. Now I have something else to look for. This was located on Genealogy Bank. They have apparently been adding newspapers recently as this reference was one I had not located when I had searched previously on the site a few months ago.
Paper: Colorado Springs Gazette, 18 November 1897.

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Newspaper Ads May Reveal Clues

It seems like there's always something else about Philip Troutfetter I'm finding in a newspaper. This time it's not quite as scandalous as our previous findings, but it does provide a slight clue into his money lending activities before he left Colorado.

This reference was found on Genealogy Bank. I've found several other references to Philip Troutfetter there, but this one was a new one for me. Goes to show you that even the classified ads in a newspaper may yield clues. And it goes to show that OCR searches (such as the ones are at Genealogy Bank) can help a genealogist find things they never thought they would. Now I even have an address for him in 1897.

Date: 1897-05-23; Paper: The Colorado Springs Gazette

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02 April 2008

Suggestion for GenealogyBank

I like using Genealogy Bank, but I do have a few suggestions:

1) I would like to be able to view more than five hits on one page.

2) I would like a way to "omit" one state from my list of results, particularly in the newspapers. This would greatly facilitate my use of the site, particularly when I have already been through all the Minnesota hits for a certain surname and have eliminated them from consideration.

Going through hits that I know I don't need takes up way to much time in some cases. I can search for a specific state, but sometimes out of state newspapers picked up items and by searching for only one state, I may miss what I am looking for.
Update: A response to this message (privately) indicated that number 1 is in the works and number 2 is not on the agenda right now, but improvements to the search are being made in that direction. (THANKS!)


13 December 2007

Variants for OCR searching

I've been using the Historical Newspapers at GenealogyBank in an attempt to learn more about Philip Troutfetter, who was involved in some interesting financial activity in Colorado around the turn of the twentieth century. I love to do soundex and wildcard searches when possible, but GenealogyBank does not allow Soundex searches (however wildcard searches are possible at GenealogyBank).

I find it best to make a list of variant spellings of the name before beginning any search.

Here's a few:


There are MORE.

It is important to remember that when printed materials are digitized, letters can easily be misread. For that reason, Trautvelter is a reasonable variant as is Trantvetter. Small "e" can also be misread as a "c." Searching records that have been digitized and indexed with OCR requires thinking about how letters can be misinterpreted if part of the image is difficult to read.

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04 July 2007

Stuff on Genealogy Bank

Genealogy Bank has a great deal of information for the genealogist and the price is fairly reasonable when one considers the quantity of data.

Social Security Death Index (available also on Rootsweb for free)
Modern Obituaries
Historical Newspapers
Historical Books
Historical Documents

You can go to their home page and do a basic search and get a sneak peek at the results, which is how I got hooked and how I initially learned about the world travels of my law-enforcement evading relative.

They just added a number of newspapers, including various issues from:

San Francisco Bulletin
Miami Herald Record
Columbus Daily Enquirer
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Macon Telegraph
Idaho Statesman
Belleville News Democrat
Inter Ocean
Lexington Herald
Baltimore Sun
Duluth News-Tribune
Kansas City Star
Daily Herald
Grand Forks Herald
Omaha World Herald
Wilkes-Barre Times
Aberdeen American
Aberdeen Daily News
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Bellingham Herald
Morning Olympian
Olympia Record

Maybe they'll continue the Kansas City Star and I can look for the July 1921 murder of my great-grandmother's brother.


06 June 2007

Using Genealogy Bank at the Allen County Public Library

Sometimes genealogists forget that libraries may subscribe to online services that could be helpful to them in their own research.

While leading a recent trip to the Allen County Public Library, I had some time to experiment with Genealogybank.com--which the library provides to onsite patrons in their facility. The historical books, newspapers, and documents indexed here are a treasure trove of information. Genealogybank.com is also a subscription that individuals can obtain privately for use in their own home, with a variety of subscription plans. Its concentration is on materials that were originally created in print format and nicely augments other subscription databases that focus on federal records.

I located a early twentieth century article on a cousin detailing his 20,000 mile trek around North America, eluding police officials until his capture in Boston in the early 1900s. Locating this article would have been impossible with out the OCR search capabilities offered on Genealogybank.com. This relative will be mentioned in future blog posts and articles as I learn more about his escape from police officers and his involvement in Cuban stamp fraud (among other things).