24 January 2009

Images from Archiveorg

I've been playing with the scans of books on Archive.org.

There are a great number of books scanned on this site. There are

five scanned books from Hancock County, Illinois alone and thousands of others. The images on this post are from Thomas Gregg's 1881 History of Hancock County, Illinois, parts of pages 569 and 570 (a biography of James Rampley). I downloaded the entire book as a PDF file and can even do full text searches. This is really neat.

I located quite a few histories of Adams County, Illinois, and will be searching those as well. One can easily spend hours and hours at this site.

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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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04 November 2008

Deed Purchased on Ebay

This is the scan of the signatures from an 1863 deed I purchased from a seller on Ebay a month ago. It only cost me $5, plus shipping. James R. Holden was actually James Rampley Holden--he was a first cousin to James Rampley (1803-1884), my 3rd great-grandfather. The property was in Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois. We will be posting more information about the deed as I have time to get it organized. The property was in section 24, near where James Rampley lived. Both men were grandsons of James Rampley who died in Harford County, Maryland in 1817 and spent time in Ohio before coming to Illinois.

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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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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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19 February 2008

More on Searching the Family Histories at BYU

Full text searches of all the family histories at the Family History Archive at Brigham Young University can also be conducted (in addition to the searches on names included in the subject headings). A nice feature and one that can be easily missed if one does not scroll down the page far enough (grin).

A search for "Rampley" resulted in a few hits, one of which was this biography from a Bedford County History. While I already had located the biography, this full text search would have made it easy to find in seconds--much easier than the first time I located it.

Of course, tracking your research is important. Part of the post here also includes part of the title page from the 1884 publication. And don't forget the page number.

Thomas Chaney is my ancestor--I descend through his daughter Elizabeth Chaney Rampley.

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31 October 2007

Taking Notes When Photographing Stones

I wish I had taken better notes when I was taking photographs of tombstones a few years ago at the Buckeye Cemetery in southern Hancock County, Illinois.
I can read most of the inscription just fine:
daughter of
J. & E.
Aug 24 1855
16 Yrs ?? ds.
Can't read the number of days and think it might be a "9." I probably could have read it at the cemetery when I was there.

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30 October 2007

Picture of Nancy Newman Rampley (1846-1923)

I don't really have a favorite ancestor, but one has to admire Nancy. Her Civil War widow's pension application was rejected at least four times after her husband's death and she kept reapplying--until they sent a special examiner to take special testimony in her case. She eventually got her pension in the early 1900s.
She even wrote her congressman when her raise in her pension was slow in coming after it had been voted in by Congress.
Nancy was born near Milroy, Rush County, Indiana 8 July 1846, the daughter of William and Rebecca (Tinsley) Newman. She married Riley Rampley in 1867 at her parent's home near Breckenridge, Hancock County, Illinois. She died in West Point, Illinois in 1923 and is buried with Riley in the Buckeye Cemetery in Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois.
Nancy is my great-great-grandmother.

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05 February 2007

Write Your Congressman

I never thought my family was the kind to write letters to their Congressman.
Apparently my great-great-grandmother was just that kind of person--especially when it involved her pension. One has to admire her gumption, she didn't even wait to get home to Illinois to write her complaint (she likely was visiting her daughter in Minnesota).
Nancy was denied a pension several times, but was finally approved.
We're a stubborn bunch (and apparently a little outspoken too).

Civil War Pensions are WONDERFUL documents. Treat yourself to your ancestor's Civil War pension file---it'll be a great history lesson. Mine certainly have been.

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