Sunday, December 30, 2012

Are You Performing Reverse Searches?

Sometimes it does not hurt to search for people you have already found in an index using different search parameters.

I also search for images I've found on FamilySearch databases as some are incomplete without making it clear to the user that they are still "in progress." This recent blog post on Rootdig discusses an incomplete database with such an issue.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Does that First Image at Give Clues?

When using databases at sometimes the source citation leaves something to be desired. With digital images at sometimes looking at the first image will give you an idea of where the actual records came from. Not always, but sometimes.

This image is from a database of Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971.  The source at is not too specific, but the first image provides sufficient detail for me to craft a better citation than the one provided on

The problem is that not all image databases at are set up this way.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Some States Don't Report to the Social Security Administration

The Social Security Death Index does not include data from states that elect not to share their vital records with the Social Security Administration. The easiest way to tell if "your state" of interest is not reporting them is to search for how many entries that state has in the SSDI in 2012 and compare that number to an earlier year of 2009 or 2008. If the number in 2012 is significantly lower, then chances are the state is not reporting them.

I knew this, but it took me a while to remember it when I kept failing to locate a death in the spring of 2012 in Rhode Island.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Manual May Be Necessary

If database queries are not giving you the desired results, consider that you may have to resort to a manual search of the records.Sometimes it still is what is required.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tip for Bloggers

I almost always edit my blog posts in Microsoft Word instead of Blogger or any "cloud" based system. There are several reasons, but if my connection dies, I've still got my content. I also find it easier to manipulate tables in Word than I do in Blogger.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Little Trick For Fold 3 Images

Maybe I'm the only one that needs to do this, but it works for me. users to download images from record sets, such as Civil War pensions, one document at a time. It takes a while. I usually save all these documents in one large folder and use the "page x" file name that to each image--just to help me keep track. The name of the folder contains my "source" information.

Then I open up Microsoft Word and import all the images in at once to a Word document. Then I set a footer with the type of file and page number. The page number corresponds to the image number. I can take notes on the pages, print them out, etc.

Note on Using the CW Pension Unit Index at Fold3

If you use the unit index to Civil War pensions at be aware that not all the cards appear in the browseable form in the appropriate unit. Apparently some are classified under "blank" which makes it difficult to browse these by unit.

This post on my other site provides more detail for those interested:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Google Searches Don't Catch Image Text

As a quick reminder, searches of Google are conducted on text as text--not text that may be contained in an image on a blog post, website, etc.

There is a longer blog post I wrote about this idea for those who have more of an interest in the subject:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

1880 Census Details

More than you ever wanted to know about the 1880 Census from the United States Census Bureau can be found at