Saturday, July 30, 2011

Are You Saving Your Searches?

Create some type of document where you can track your websearches, particularly any "creative" ones you use at search engines such as Google, etc. You'll never remember later ones you searched for and reviewing the ones you have done will help you to see where they could possibly be tweaked to get better results.

You might even want to consider posting them to a blog so any really bored genealogists could offer suggestions.

That's not likely to happen--but keeping track of them is an excellent idea. You might even want to connect with another genealogist and compare search strategies.

Friday, July 29, 2011

School's Out Blowout-Get Year 1 of Casefile Clues Back Issues for $10!

To celebrate the end of summer school for me, we're offering a discounted rate on year 1 issues of my newsletter Casefile Clues.

Grow your genealogy, see how problems are solved, sources analyzed, and information organized. We focus on showing the method, not just the one way that worked to solve the problem. Our concentration is on clear writing that explains process.

Topics from Year 1 can be viewed here--click back to view this offer page.

Consider Making A Blog

One of the best ways to create "cousin bait" is to create your own blog. You can post content as often as you want, only post what you are comfortable with, include images, etc.

The blog will appear in search engine results and you may locate family members who simply googled a relative's name.

And some will find your site, copy the information, and never ever contact you. If that's a concern, think twice before you post.

Just remember that there are people with a passing interest in their genealogy who are not active in online genealogy groups, societies, message boards,, FamilySearch, etc.

Saturday, July 23, 2011 Submitters Who Don't Respond

I often contact submitters of the online trees at, hoping to make a connection with someone researching the same family.

But don't be surprised if many do not respond. Some apparently have lost interest. Others may take a while to respond and there may be others who are not quite as interested in family history as you are even though they respond.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Indiana Marriage Index to 1850

Housed at the Indiana State Library, this index covers up through 1850. Wildcards are not used, but partial names can be entered, which serves the same purpose. Searching for Wil New is advised when searching for a name such as William Newman.

Soundex is not supported, so be clever with those names and keep in mind alternate spellings.

The searches can be conducted with only one letter in each box--at least when this tip was written. That's really neat as most sites do not allow that.

The database is located here

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chronicling America-Free Digital Newspapers at Library of Congress

3.6 million newspaper pages from newspapers across the United States can be searched on the Library of Congress site

Give it a try if it has been a while.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wild Cards At Family Search

Don't forget that you can use wildcards at FamilySearch too. I was having an awful time finding Mary Demar/Desmarais in the 1892 NY State Census until I remembered that an * works on this site as well.
Screen shot below--but wildcards usually aren't too hard to figure out!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Searching Arizona Deaths for Parents

Death certificates for Arizona are online until 1960. Searches will also search for names of parents--I almost missed this when I saw the search site the first time.

A great way to locate relatives who might have moved out of state and the database and certificate images are free at

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Second Look And Some Time

Are you taking a second look at things? Maybe even waiting a while in between looks? Sometimes reading or analyzing something a day or even a few hours later may make the obvious stand out. Give yourself some time.

This census entry from Davis County, Iowa, originally had me wondering what the entry on line 9 was. Coming back 5 minutes later, it was obvious to me that it was Mary. Sometimes a little time is what you need.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Back to the Original

Have you tracked that online source back to the original record from which is was compiled or digitized? It is often advised to track digital images to determine the original record from which they were created. Some history of the document is always a good thing to know. and FamilySearch have a wonderful set of indexes to actual materials, but sometimes their descriptions of those materials are lacking.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

17.76 Discount on Casefile Clues

In honor of the holiday, we're offering a July4th Special on Casefile Clues--$17.76 for a year and twenty issues from Year 2 (issues 20-40).That's essentially 20 free issues. Jump start your research for less than one tank of gas. 

Offer good through midnight 5 July for those who were actually celebrating the holiday and not on the internet.

Topics here:

  • Volume 2-Number 20--Just One Wife Who Shaves Her Age. Records hinted that a man might have had more than one wife. Despite age discrepancies and first name variations, we've likely proven that there was just one wife.
  • Volume 2-Number 21--1930 Census: Primary, Secondary, Original, Derivative, Direct and Indirect. You'll never look at a census entry the same way again-also shows how in this case, New York became Kentucky
  • Volume 2-Number 22--Finding the Biegers in 1850. Organizing our search and our negative search results in an attempt to find a German immigrant living in Cincinnati in 1850.
  • Volume 2-Number 23--Separating Two George Butlers--working on two men born in Michigan in the same year with a father of the same name.
  • Volume 2-Number 24-A Minor Naturalization
  • Volume 2-Number 25-Genealogical Potpourri
  • Volume 2-Number 26-Looking for Benjamin-Formulating a Census Search
  • Volume 2-Number 27-An 1849 Cash Land Sale
  • Volume 2-Number 28-From 1820-1870 Analyzing Enoch Tinsley's Census Entries
  • Volume 2-Number 29-Middle Name Issues: Finding Henry J. Fecht in 1870 and Passenger Lists
  • Volume 2-Number 30-The Master Reports--An Assignment of Homestead and Dower in the 1890s
  • Volume 2-Number 31-The Parents Sell 10 Acres-an 1880 era land transaction
  • Volume 2-Number 32-Clues from a Pig Murder--an 1820 era Kentucky Court Case
  • Volume 2-Number 33-Civil War Pension Application-Why My Name's Different
  • Volume 2-Number 34-Staying Focused on Divorces and a German Immigrant
  • Volume 2-Number 35-Strategies for a 1820 New York Birth
  • Volume 2-Number 36-First Appearing in an 1847 Marriage
  • Volume 2-Number 37-The Chattel Property Will from Maryland
  • Volume 2-Number 38-6 Marriages, Four Divorces, and Naming All My Siblings-a Civil War Pension File
  • Volume 2-Number 39-A Guardianship from 1870s Documents "of age" children.
  • Volume 2-Number 40-Moving Mother's Inheritance-18th century women's property rights discussion

Take advantage of our $17.76 offer today.