[note: as of 20 December 2011 this search IS working and the errors reported below are no longer occuring.]
Maybe I'm confused or maybe the searches at Ancestry.com are not working the way they are supposed to. I hope someone can point me to the error of my ways.
I'm trying to search for all individuals with the surname of Green in Linn County, Missouri, in the 1870 census as part of the analysis for an upcoming Casefile Clues article. The problem is that I'm getting more results than just those in Linn County.
I think I have everything set to exact so that I would only get matches in Linn County.
There are four screens that follow. The first three are screen shots of my search parameters. The last one is the results page that I got. If something is set incorrectly, I really hope someone can help me out--maybe I can't see it because it is late.
The search results screen includes results from Pennsylvania and states besides Missouri.
However, if I'm not wrong---I wish Ancestry.com would get the search fixed. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan, but not being able to interact with the data in the way I think I am is confusing.
When experimenting with new search techniques,or just to make certain the site works "the way you think it does" search for a record you know is in the database--but use different search techniques or parameters. Experimenting for other ways to find the already located entry is an excellent way to learn new search techniques.
And remember, when performing a Soundex search on any English language database, there should always be a Soundex match for "smut."
I'll be honest---internet searching has made me lazy with capital letters, often times the case of the letter is ignored.
I'm searching the 1860 census at Ancestry.com nationwide for a William and Matilda Rhodus for an upcoming Casefile Clues article. For reasons that aren't really germane to this post, I searched for William Rhodes as shown below with a keyword of "matilda." This would catch households that had a William Rhodes and a Matilda. I had the exact box checked as shown in this post.
The search came up empty, although I knew there was at least one household in Breckinridge County, Kentucky with a William Rhodus and a Matilda in it as I had already found it.
Yet there were "no results."
When I changed the keyword to "Matilda"I still got no result.
Putting Matilda Rhodus in the keyword box worked with exact checked.
Moral of the story--on the keyword uncheck exact.
One good way to potentially if your ancestor had War of 1812 military service in the US is to search and see if a warrant was issued in his name at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website.
Many of the men who were veterans of that war and were living in the 1850s qualified for land that was made available to them at that time. These veterans were given a warrant for a stated number of acres, which could be exchanged for a patent that would give title to a specific piece of federal land. Many veterans never actually claimed any land, instead they sold their warrant to someone who actually wanted to settle.
So your ancestor who never left Kentucky may have a warrant for land based on his War of 1812 service for property that was patented (actually located) in Iowa. The same holds for a veteran from New York State.
When searching the warrants at the BLM site, don't restrict the state. Are you CERTAIN your ancestor's warrant wasn't used to obtain property elsewhere?
Webinars on the Bureau of Land Management Site and DeedMapper were released today on our website. Thanks to our low overhead, copies of webinars are moderately priced at around $8.50 per download, a third of what others charge.
We also released recently webinars on Using Ancestry.com's Census, Seeing Patterns, and other topics.
There is more information and ordering details at:
Preemption claims will not always be noted as such on the results page at the BLM site.
The search results for John Lake in Chariton County, Missouri, simply indicates the patent was issued as a cash sale as is seen in the screen shot below. There is no mention that it is a preemption claim.
But looking at the actual patent indicates it is a preemption claim by the notation in the upper left hand corner of the patent.
Preemption claims tend to contain more detail in their patent files at the National Archives than do cash sales. John's mentions a few things about his settlement and family, in addition to including testimony from a neighbor. His claim was discussed in more detail in an issue of Casefile Clues.
So far, in my own research I have found several locations that are in the census transcription at Ancestry.com, but are not in the "dropdown" list:
Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois
St. Albans Township, Hancock County, Illinois
Bear Creek Township, Hancock County, Illinois
There have to be others. Of course these locations are small enough that manual searches of them can be easily conducted--I did it long before we had everyname indexes. However, there are times when I might want to search just for people in these specific locations. That can't be done now with the drop down menu not listing them as a geographic location.
It is really easy to do. I choose "Hancock County, Illinois" as my location and enter the name of the township in my search box as shown below:
The key is making certain I have the name of the township spelled correctly. In this case, I searched for a last name I KNEW should be there in 1900: Goldenstein.
This indicated that the township was entered in the 1900 census index of "homes" in Ancestry.com as "Bear Creek." Matching it exactly is crucial.
It always pays to check the spelling of the location as well, particularly if a word in the place name could have been abbreviated. In 1900 Saint Albans Township in Hancock is in the Ancestry.com index as "Saint Albans."
In 1910 Saint Albans Township in Hancock County is in the Ancestry.com index as "St. Albans."
Since Saint Albans in Hancock County, Illinois, does not appear in the drop down list of locations at Ancestry.com, I'll have to enter it in the keyword box as "saint albans" for 1900 and "st albans" for 1910. Something to add to my personal list of locations for later searching.
I am not certain why it is one way in 1900 and another in 1910. The census forms themselves from 1900 and 1900 are shown below, both indicating "St. Albans."
At this point, why Ancestry.com has them entered this way is not my concern. I have a workaround--that's what matters.
I've been playing around with the obituaries at GenealogyBank, partially because my mother sent me something a while back and I neglected to save it.
My grandmother's brother was married in the 1940s to a woman with whom he had three children. They divorced and the mother moved fifteen miles away and never really interacted with the family again. Mom told me that one of these children (her first cousin) died and the obituary was in an online paper in the town where the cousin lived.
Now, several years later, I am getting around to working on it a little more. Problem is that I didn't keep any of the information mother gave me.
So I searched at GenealogyBank, using the name of the uncle in the keyword box:
The article came up in my results. If the name had been more common, I could have searched by state, or put in another keyword. I didn't know the name of the person who died, but I did know the name of the uncle and remembered that he was listed as the biological father in the obituary.
Use those keyword searches and take notes when your mother gives you genealogical information.