Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Are They Switching Names At Or Am I Confused?

Those who are users or members might want to take a look at a post I made on today--I'm hoping that there is just something I am overlooking on this passenger list search

Monday, January 16, 2012

February 2012 Genealogy Webinar Schedule Announced

We are excited about our webinar offerings for February of 2012.

Our topics are:

  • Creating Your Own Genealogy Blog
  • Yet More Brick Walls from A to Z
  • Writing and Making Your Case
  • The Genealogical Proof Standard "for the rest of us"
Registration is $5 per session until 20 January 2012--$8 after that. Those who cannot attend will be able to download the webinar at no additional charge. To view system requirements and offering dates and times, visit

When Was the Last Time You Searched Findagrave?

When was the last time you searched at Findagrave-- for your missing relatives? Updates are made on an ongoing basis. There may be something new there today that was not there yesterday.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Using 1920 Census on

It is unindexed, but it is free and you can download entire microfilm rolls as PDF files--something you cannot do at paid websites.

I find difficult to navigate so we will be posting some instructions to get to specific materials on teh site.

To get to a specific roll of 1920 US census microfilm, visit this page to get the roll number:

(you'll need to pick the state you need).

You need the roll number and a word or two from the title--county is a good idea--to perform the search.

Tallapoosa County, Alabama, is roll 43 and 44.

My search for this county is:
14th census population tallapoosa 043

Roll numbers for film on are usually 3 or 4 digits. "14th census population" pulls up the 1920 census.

My search for:
14th census population tallapoosa 044 did NOT pull up the roll 44 for Tallapoosa County because Tallapoosa is spelled incorrectly.

It might take a little experimentation--but all the 1920 films are there.

14th census of population

Browse Genealogy Items on

You can browse genealogy materials on by using this link

This can be a great way to see more of what has to offer for genealogists--all of the content on is free. You can even download entire rolls of census microfilm as PDF files.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Illinois Research Webinar Released

We've just released the recorded version of my Illinois Research webinar which discusses research in local records in the state of Illinois. Geared towards advanced beginners and intermediate researchers, it focuses on local records, what makes Illinois different, and larger statewide facilities. The media file and handout can be ordered for $8.50 here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012 has Allen County Public Library's Microfilm

The Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, has added digital copies of National Archives microfilm to the website.This is really neat and gives users anywhere who are online access to these materials at no charge. This way those who have used the indexes to census without images for free at FamilySearch can get the census image at no charge.

The site has a main intro page which leads into the film. Users familiar with using the microfilm shouldn't have too much difficulty navigating the "rolls" of film. All the images on are free--so users can view all this "microfilm" at home at no charge. The images are organized geographically but are unindexed.

These images are some of the things we'll discuss in my webinar on using We'll see how to navigate through the images for those who have not used them. Those who are interested can join me in a real time trip to the Allen County Public Library in August.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What Does the Database Really Include?

One of the complaints I have about the databases at FamilySearch is that one really does not always know what one is searching even after one sees the actual images of the record. A search on Ohio County Marriages 1790-1950 pulled up two references to this Chaney-Arnold marriage in 1842. The double entry is not, as some believe, because there are two spellings for the last name of the bride.

There are two references because one entry was created from the actual marriage record and the other was pulled from the marriage register. The name of the bride was spelled differently, but the entries were created from separate materials--although the register entry was likely created from the marriage record.

Even looking at the images it's not clear where the images are from--the record book, series, etc. I only knew because I've used the films of the records and have done quite a bit of work with actual marriage records in their original form. Always try and determine where the original came from. In this case, it is not really clear immediately.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Search More Than One Catalog

I like to use WorldCat to search for books--remember that the book you need may be in unexpected places. Also remember that the Family History Library doesn't have everything and that no library can have every published reference.

A search on WorldCat for the Roots of the Family Fecht, indicated that only four libraries had it. I was not surprised the Library of Congress had it and the one Florida library was near where the compiler lived. The family had no New England connections, so I was surprised that the New England Historic Genealogical Society had it. The Alabama State University was also a surprise for a similar reason. WorldCat doesn't know that I have a copy in my office.

One never knows where a book will be--use WorldCat to search as many library card catalogs as you can.