Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kentucky Cemeteries Database

If you've got Kentucky ancestors, you might want to take a look at this database of Kentucky Cemeteries from the Kentucky Historical Society. There is information on locations as well as "notes" on some of the cemeteries. No transcriptions of stones in this document.

Last Set of $5 Webinars

Now through 9 AM Central Standard Time (US) 27 April 2012, we're offering our $5 rate on our last set of discount genealogy webinars. Mac users should wait to order unless you have had NO difficulty viewing webinars in the past.

Presentations are based upon nearly 30 years of research experience and are informal, practical and geared towards helping your research. 

 Research in Illinois-- -Geared towards advanced beginners and intermediate researchers, it focuses on local records, what makes Illinois different, and larger statewide facilities. Download the recording and handout for the sale price of $5 (save $3.50).
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 The Probate Process—An OverviewGeared towards the advanced beginner or intermediate researcher, it covered an overview of the process and looked at selected documents from two probate settlements with a discussion of the pitfalls to watch out for along the way. Probate records are an excellent genealogical source--regardless of the time period in which you are researching and may contain clues about your ancestor, where he lived, his occupation, etc. Download the recording and handout for the sale price of $5 (save $3.50).
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 United States Naturalization Records pre-1920 - This presentation is an overview of naturalization records in the United States prior to 1920, focusing on locating and understanding the records. Women's citizenship and derivative citizenship are also included. Download the recording and handout for the sale price of $5 (save $3.50).
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 Local Land Records in Public Domain States--This lecture discusses obtaining, using, and interpreting local land records in areas of the United States from Ohio westward where land was originally in the public domain. This lecture is geared towards those who have some experience with land records--advanced beginning and intermediate researchers. Download the recording and handout for the sale price of $5 (save $3.50).
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 Newspaper Research -Aimed at advanced beginners and intermediate level researchers, this webinar discusses research techniques for searching newspapers in digital, microfilm, and original formats. Pitfalls of using digital newspapers are discussed, along with manual search techniques and what types of materials to look for besides obituaries and death notices.  This presentation is not merely a list of online sites or an attempt to get subscribers to any specific database. Download the recording and handout for the sale price of $5 (save $3.50).
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Passport Applications, 1795-1905 on Archive.Org Unindexed--Well not Quite

US passport applications are on at no charge. The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has allowed their microfilm copy to be digitized. The problem for most users it that the film on is not indexed.

The US Passport Applications, 1795-1905 are indexed on Non-subscribers to the site can  search the passport application from 1795-1905 on and view "mini" versions of the documents and source information without a membership. This is done after searching and clicking on "quick look" after the search results come up.

Here is my search for the last name of Goldenstein.

I clicked on "Quick Look"

This pulls up the screen with more information:

This tells me that Goldenstein's application is on roll 0685 of these passport applications. The passport applications are actually NARA microfilm publication M1372. The passports between 1795 and 1905 are on

On, I searched for "passport applications 685" (without the quotes) as shown below:

The only hit was for the "roll" that contains Goldenstein's application. The applications are not alphabetical on the roll so I had to scroll through the entire microfilm roll, but I did find Goldenstein's application.

The passport application from 1795-1905 are on They are also on from 1795-1925 as well. But you can't do this trick with

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tennessee Place Names and Post Offices

Those with Tennessee connections may wish to check out this database on the Tennessee State Library and Archives website

The list is based on records at National Archives listing postmaster appointments from 1832 to 1971 (and was taken from National Archives microfilm publications M1131 and M841).

Genealogy Methods Webinars $5 Each Til Saturday

Due to popular demand (and because our Google followers never got the notice), we're offering again our discount price ($5 each--save 40%--regularly $8.50) on our most popular genealogy methods lectures through noon Saturday 21 April 2012

If this email and links don't display property, try this link

Creating Research Plans. This presentation discusses how to create your research plans, how to set goals, how to not set goals, when you are proving and when you are not, and other key concepts. Of course, we have a few charts as well. Our attempt is to be down-to-earth and practical. I realize that most genealogists are not going to write journal articles, however our research needs to be as thorough as possible and our analysis and method well-thought out or we're not going to get the best possible story on great-great-grandma that there is. This presentation is geared towards intermediate researchers, but advanced beginners might get some benefit from it as well.

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The Genealogical Proof Standard for the Non-Professional. One of our most popular webinars, this presentation provides an overview of the “Genealogical Proof Standard,” including a discussion on the “exhaustive search.” The Proof Standard is not just for professionals, any genealogist who wants to improve their research and get past those stumbling blocks would be well served by implementing it in their research. Our discussion is practical, down-to-earth, and hands-on.

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Female Ancestors. This presentation discusses approaches and techniques for determining an ancestor's maiden name and locating "missing" females. Geared towards the advanced beginner or intermediate researcher, it focuses on American records and sources. The content is not specific to any one time period and many of the approaches can be refined for different locations or types of records. If you are stymied on your female ancestors--and half your ancestors are female.
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Making and Proving Your Case. Geared towards advanced beginners and intermediate researchers, this presentation discusses things to think about before writing up "your case." Talks about statements, primary, secondary, ways to prove yourself, considering all the options, disproving, citation, etc. Provides the viewer with ideas on how to "make their case" and see gaps or omissions in their research.
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Creating Families from Pre-1850 Census Records --This presentation discusses how to analyze pre-1850 census records in order to determine the family structure that is suggested by those records. Enumerations for one household between 1810 and 1840 are analyzed in order to determine the number of children, ranges on their years of birth, and ranges on years of birth for the oldest male and oldest female in the household.
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Court Records-Pig Blood in the Snow. This lecture discusses American court records at the county level where cases were typically originally heard. Discusses cases of main genealogical relevance along with searching techniques.

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Seeing the Patterns-Organizing Your Information. This lecture discusses the problem-solving process and a variety of ways to organize your information with the intent of getting the research to notice overlooked clues, patterns, trends, and information. $8.50 includes handout and hour-long lecture
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Thursday, April 19, 2012's Not Always Wrong

It's important to note that even when something looks strange in an index at (or some other online site) that the original record may be the problem--not the company who made the index.

In this blog post on my other blog, household numbers were repeated in a census and because apparently pulls up the entries by household number---at least one family was merged. And of course it was one of mine.

You can view the entire blog post here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Different Take on the Social Security Master Death File

This website has the Social Security Master Death File in a slightly different format. You can click on the year, then click on the day of the month and it will pull up a list (give it some time) of everyone in the Social Security Master Death File who was born on that date.

Of course the Master Death File is not perfect but this is an interesting way to search it.

Go here:

scroll down to the years and choose your year. Then choose the date within that year. I easily got a list of everyone in the Social Security Master Death File born on 27 January 1917.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Washington State Digital Archives

If you discover a long lost relative in Washington State--don't forget to check out their digital archives--the site is

The Final Brick Wall From A to Z webinar

Of all the webinars, the "Brick Walls from A to Z" series has been the most popular. Recorded copies are available in my webinar archives but we're going to put on one last A2Z webinar. 

Tomorrow, 15 April 2012 we will offer our FINAL "Brick Walls from A to Z" webinar. This will be the last new one. Previous attendees have been requesting one more installment in this series, but tomorrow's session at 1:30 PM Central Standard Time will be the final live run. 

Geared for beginning and intermediate researchers, this session will include a PDF copy of the handout and registration for the live version is limited.  There will be time for questions and answers afterwards. 

Sign up for this last session in the series is only $5--less than our normal rate. Registrants who miss the live session can get a free copy of the webinar recording--as long as they were registered before 1:00 PM CST 15 April 2012. Copies after the webinar is over will be sold at $8.50. 

You can process your registration here:

Hope to "see" some of you tomorrow!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Creating Research Plans and Preparing for Mother's Death

Creating Research Plans Webinar

My webinar on "Creating Research Plans" has just been processed and is ready for download. I discuss how to create your research plans, how to set goals, how to not set goals, when you are proving and when you are not, and other key concepts. Of course, we have a few charts as well. Our attempt is to be down-to-earth and practical. I realize that most genealogists are not going to write journal articles, however our research needs to be as thorough as possible and our analysis and method well-thought out or we're not going to get the best possible story on great-great-grandma that there is. This presentation is geared towards intermediate researchers, but advanced beginners might get some benefit from it as well.

The presentation and handout can be downloaded from our vendor for $8.50. The download link is live for 24 hours after your purchase, but the presentation can be viewed as many times as you want after the download.

All our older webinars can be ordered here.

Preparing for Mother's Death Webinar

We've just released the recorded webinar and handout for my latest presentation, "Preparing For Mother's Death."

It's not quite what you might think.

This presentation discusses an 1889 will that was denied in 1900 with no stated reasons. An exhaustive search of records resulted in the likely reason and made the machinations of one son a little easier to see and made the reasons behind some documents a little more clear.

Along the way we discuss a few key terms and also see why chronology and context are always important--especially so when things are confusing.

You can purchase the handout and presentation for $8.50. You'll be sent a download link that has to be used in 24 hours. The file can be viewed as many times as you want---it's just that you have to download it within 24 hours.

Iowa Counties Historical Atlases

The Iowa Digital Library has digital images online free of county plat maps for several Iowa Counties. The browse page can be viewed by clicking on this link.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Chicago City Directories Online

The Newberry Library's website, ChicagoAncestors has a wealth of material, including free online city directories for Chicago.

Check out library websites where your ancestor lived to see if they have free online materials.

New Genealogy Webinars-April 2012

We have added two new webinars in our April 2012 series:

  • Creating Research Plans--12 April 2012
  • Google Docs for Genealogists-13 April 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Do You Read Those Online Obituary Guestbooks?

When you notice a current online obituary for a relative do you read the guestbook entries?

In reading one for a non-relative, I noticed that someone claiming to be the wife had posted two entries and two pictures of herself with the deceased. The actual death notice (probably put in by the deceased individual's mother), did not mention any wife, etc. The guestbook entries are not proof of a marriage, but are a clue that something was going on.

Friday, April 6, 2012 Loads All 1940 Census Images-Free Until 10 April has released all the 1940 census images on their website. Registered users can view them (and the indexes) through 2013. Ancestry is having a free period on their 1940-era databases on their site through 10 April . The images are fairly nice images.

Here's a sample from Rock Island County, Illinois, in it's original size.

Chicago Ancestors? Need Enumeration Districts?

The website A Look At Cook has enumeration district maps and other census information for Chicago through 1940. Don't forget about it in your 1940 census searches.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My 1940 Census Spreadsheet

I've spent a little too much time on the 1940 census to be honest.

Another problem I have is that I have LOTS of families in a fairly concentrated area. When I'm looking for one person, I'm always finding half a dozen others who are somehow related. What I decided to do was make a spreadsheet in Google docs that I could edit as I found these people. My spreadsheet is fairly simple and was created for me to use regardless of what computer I was on or where I was located.

I can also share this Google document with others or publish the spreadsheet live as is done here. I chose to use's image links, but those on other sites could be used as well. I could share the link with others who might be interested in the same families. If I was sharing with others who didn't have, I could link to websites on NARA or other sites.

Hopefully this will save me some time from repeatedly viewing the same places over and over.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1940 Census Webinar--the Images

Everyone's crazy about the 1940 census...including me--I've found 11 of my ancestors and a few others in the first few days since it's release. We're going to help those who need it see how to navigate the free 1940 census sites.

On 5 April 2012 at 7:30 PM Central time (Thursday-rescheduled), I'll be presenting a webinar on using the free 1940 census sites. Not all have everything uploaded (NARA does), but we'll see how to navigate, download, and work with the free 1940 census images that are available.

You can register for this webinar for $8.

Or you can get the webinar free if your order  at least $20 of recorded webinars from my recorded webinar page--and to top if off, you can use the coupon code of 1940 to reduce your order price in HALF and still get a complimentary registration for the 4 April 2012 1940 census webinar (for as little as $10--the $20 order minimum applies BEFORE you use the coupon). So that means your recorded webinars will cost you half the normal price and you'll get the 1940 Census webinar on the free sites at no charge--as long as your order totals $20 before you use the coupon.

All webinar registrants can request a complimentary webinar download after it's been uploaded.

There's More Than Just

Don't forget there are sites besides that have the 1940 census--among other things. The 1940 census is currently available at no charge on:

And maybe one I missed. Don't limit yourself to just I see people moaning that's not done loading images when there are other sites that are.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Searching For 1940 Enumeration District Maps at NARA

If the 1940 census image delay has you wanting to do something, the 1940 census enumeration maps can be searched on the NARA site separately from the actual census images.

This link will take you to a search I conducted for myself. Change the search terms for the locations you need.

Comment if you have questions or suggestions.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

1940 Census Webinar Released

The 1940 census images will be released on 2 April 2012 and those used to indexed census records are in for a challenge.

My 1940 census webinar discusses ways to find addresses to help with 1940 census work, finding the correct enumeration district, using the enumeration district maps, and more.

The webinar (including handout) can be downloaded for $4.00. Get ready for your 1940 census search.