Using the Internet to Find, Document and Share Ancestor Dataa
November 20, 2011
They moved into the county after the census was taken for that decade and left the county before the next census. How many times has this happened to all of us at one time or another? When the vital records and courthouse records do not reveal their names, newspapers may help with your dilemma.
Some of the past columns discussed the possibility of using funeral home records and burial information. There is still another option to use.
Newspapers are a source of information. Find out when the local and county newspapers began and where they are stored. It is common to find missing issues or years within the collections. Determine if there are digitized newspapers.
If the town does not have a newspaper remember to look in the newspaper published in the county seat and surrounding counties.
Searching records requires that you use different search techniques. Do not rely on the soundex entirely. Extend your possibilities by using various spellings, alternating the last and first name, exploring initials, nicknames and Anglicized spellings, searching each variation first with place of birth and then with that option blank. Also, explore using the middle name as the given name.
Know the exceptions in your records. The World War I draft cards are a perfect example. There were three different registrations. The place of birth is a question in the first two registrations but not in the third.
Often hunting relatives in the area helps in cases where the subject lives in the extended household. Hunt for neighbors or friends who moved with the subject. Examining explicit databases by year is also a possibility.
Successful genealogy research requires creativity. Sometimes that is the only way to insure victory.
LOCAL NEWSPAPERS DIGITIZED: The Portal to Texas History hosted by The University of North Texas Libraries. In addition to the digitized collection of the McKinney Democrat, McKinney Gazette, McKinney Examiner, McKinney Daily Courier, McKinney Daily Gazette, Collin County Mercury, Lion Roar, Semi Weekly Courier, McKinney Weekly Democrat Gazette, McKinney Advocate, Southern Jerseyite and Weekly Democrat-Gazette, the collection also houses digitized books, maps and photographs of Texas. The site is http://texashistory.unt.edu/. It allows choices for dates and titles, name and by subject.
SCAN, ORGANIZE AND SHARE PHOTOS: The Shoebox feature of 1000Memories allows your iPhone or iPod Touch camera to scan, organize and share your photographs with friends and family or keep them private. You can download the Shoebox by 1000 Memories free. For more information on Shoebox, go to http://1000memories.com/shoebox.
BILLION GRAVES: Billion Graves is a repository for tombstone records and images using the GPS on your iPhone and the Billion Graves camera application. I stood in the cemetery by an ancestor’s stone, snapped a picture, transcribed the wording, named the cemetery and uploaded this to www.billiongraves.com. To find out more investigate http://billiongraves.com/pages/dashboard/dash.php.
1940 CENSUS VIDEO: The video was made in 1939-1940 regarding who was counted and other details of the 1940 census. Produced by the National Archives it is available on You Tube. Watch the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwZk6rASC8k&feature=youtu.be, and click on the video.
Brenda Kellow has a bachelor's degree in history, teaches, and lectures on genealogy. Before retiring to publish her family’s histories in 2007, Brenda held certification as a Certified Genealogist and as a Certified Genealogical Instructor. Send reunion announcements, books to review, and genealogy queries to: TracingOurRoots@gmail.com.