Monday, January 18, 2016

Our Blog Has Moved

Our Casefile Clues blog is now hosted at:


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Complete List of Back Issues and Discount Subscription Offer

From now through 1:00 a.m. 28 July 2015, a subscription to 52 issues of Casefile Clues is only $17. Your subscription can be processed here.

We have updated our list of back issue topics here

Blog Sort of Under Construction

We are working on migrating this blog to a Wordpress format. We'll let you know when the transition has taken place. Right now our focus is on getting out issues of the newsletter-moving the blog will have to wait just a little bit. Thanks!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Issues 3-44 and 3-45 have gone out

Issues 3-44 and 3-45 have gone out. Please email me at if you are a subscriber and have not received your copy.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Issue 3-45--A War of 1812 Affidavit

Issue 3-45 discusses an affidavit made out for a War of 1812 pension. The affiant provides some background information on the veteran. His testimony revolves around the veteran's home burning while he lived in Canada and how his documents (including his discharge papers) were destroyed. The affiant is a probable brother of an actual person of interest and our discussion of this document for research purposes (after the analysis) concentrates on the actual research goals.

The important thing to remember is to stay focused on the research goals and not get too far afield researching a relative who is the father-in-law of a probable uncle.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Issue 3-44-An Iowa Probate Document

Issue 3-44 discusses an 1860 era Iowa probate document. In this record, the administrator of the estate names all the heirs and their ages. All children of the deceased are adults at the time of her death. This issue discusses the age order of the children, informant's likely knowledge of ages, accuracy of that knowledge, research goals, and next research steps.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ordering Back Issues

I've streamlined the order and download process for back issues of Casefile Clues. If you'd like to order back issues, please visit this page. Download is immediate.

If you have questions or are missing back issues, please let me know.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Issue 3-43 out!

Issue 3-43 of Casefile Clues has been sent to subscribers. Let me know if you have not received it.

If you'd like to subscribe, you can do so here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seasons Greetings and My Blogs

Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, etc. to all my blog readers and followers-your support is greatly appreciated.
Hopefully your
genealogy bucket
is full this year!

For those who were not aware, I write several genealogy blogs--all of which can be viewed for free. Those blogs are:

Genealogy Tip of the Day--one genealogy tip every day

Daily Genealogy Transcriber--one piece of handwriting to interpret every day

Casefile Clues--the free blog that corresponds to my newsletter, Casefile Clues

Search Tip of the Day--actually whenever the "spirit" moves

Rootdig--whatever crosses my genealogy desk--only things I actually use or buy myself--I don't mention or "plug" it if I don't use it myself.

Enjoy--the blogs and research tips!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Naming a Church in a Citation

When using church records, the church should not just be identified by the name. A good practice is to include the location of the church in parenthesis after the name.

  • Trinity Lutheran Church (Macomb, McDonough County, Illinois)
  • Immanuel Lutheran Church (Harmony Township, Hancock County, Illinois)
After all, there's more than one church with each of these names and one of the goals of citation is to reduce ambiguity, not create it.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Citing a Page from A Book Sold On Ebay

I used this image as an illustration for a post on my blog. The image was made from a photograph I took of a map I purchased on Ebay several months ago.

I know the map is out copyright which allowed me to use it without any restrictions or issues. The blog post benefited from a map, but I didn't want to spend time obtaining permission to use a more modern one and this one served my purpose very well.

And now I'm thinking about how to cite it.

The map was a page in a published book that was sold as one page on Ebay. I think with a little research, I can determine what book it was taken from.

But if I couldn't determine that, how would I cite the map? Page from undated atlas sold on Ebay?

And technically, the image in this post should reference the fact that it was published on my blog (because it was modified by me before publication). The image in this post should not only reference the original map as this image includes details not on the original map..

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

About Casefile Clues

It's been a while since we had a post of this type, so for our new readers and fans here's a few things about Casefile Clues:

  • Casefile Clues takes no advertising. There is no advertising on this blog or in the newsletter. We do this for several reasons, but it means that we rely on subscriptions for revenue. That way we're not responsible to advertisers.
  • Casefile Clues focuses on research methods and sources. I try and emphasize the research process and why certain things are done and not done. It's my firm belief that researchers benefit from seeing the research process instead of just the "answer" written up all nice and neat.
  • Casefile Clues only contains articles on families and individuals on which I am working. My children's ancestry covers a fairly wide ethnic and geographic variety. Much of the methodology applies to families and areas outside the ones on which I am working.
  • Casefile Clues contains citations in the spirit of Evidence Explained
If you'd like to subscribe to Casefile Clues, you can do so here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Issue 3-42 Is Out

Issue 3-42 should be in the email box of subscribers. If you are a subscriber and do not have it, please email me at or

If you are not a subscriber, subscribe today and we'll start your subscription off with 3-42--where we look at an 1848 Revolutionary War pension deposition.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Some Renewal Notices Sent In Error

A handful of renewal notices went to people who should not have received them. Please accept our apologies for the error. I thought I caught them before they went out, but apparently I did not.


An 1848 Deposition for Casefile Clues' Next Issue

We're working on an analysis of this 1848 deposition from Ohio for a Revolutionary War widow for the next issue of Casefile Clues.

Stay tuned--join the discovery by subscribing here.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Subscribing to Casefile Clues by US Mail

Those who would like to subscribe to Casefile Clues by US mail can print out this form and include their check or money order as payment.


Casefile Clues for the Holidays

Need an inexpensive gift for that genealogy friend that will keep on giving? Consider giving your genealogy friend 52 issues of Casefile Clues.

Be certain to email Michael at after you've processed your order to make certain that the gift subscription gets to the right person and starts when you want it to.

Duplicates or Originals

Some of the church records I've used on microfilm from Germany aren't the original church record. They are a duplicate copy of the register that was submitted to an archives sometime after the original record was created. The holder of the original would not let the Genealogical Society of Utah (the Family History Library) microfilm the originals, but the holder of the duplicate copy let their copy of the records be filmed. 

These records usually are clear in stating that they are a duplicate copy---if one bothers to read the cover and first page or two of the book instead of just jumping to the year of interest. 

Any citation to these records should indicate that a microfilm copy of the duplicate has been used. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

When Should A Item's Location Be In the Citation?

Generally speaking, the specific facility where a book was found should only be included as a part of the citation if the item is rare enough that it's only in a small handful of collections and knowing where one of the rare copies of the book is located would be helpful to later researchers. For items that are cataloged in online library card catalogs, the location probably isn't crucial. However, if the book is an unpublished manuscript (eg. a diary) that you stumbled upon in an archives that had not really inventoried and cataloged the material, then the location of the copy is crucial to your citation.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ending of 93 issues of Casefile Clues for $25

Today's the last day for this offer:

I'm offering 93 issues of Casefile Clues for $25.

Casefile Clues contains analysis, interpretation and how-to advice based on original documents and families I've encountered in my own research. Clearly written, organized, down-to-earth, and practical, it contains deeper analysis of items that run through this blog.

To view the list of issue titles and topics from Volume 3, visit this page.

Give yourself a genealogy gift this holiday season: 93 issues of Casefile Clues for $25. The first 41 issues will be in your inbox within a day or so of your order.

Casefile Clues is sent as a PDF file.

You can learn more about Casefile Clues  here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

County and Town Histories for James Kile War of 1812 Veteran

Based on my post about learning more about the War of 1812 comrades of James Kile, Amy B. made the following suggestion to me in an email, which I'm paraphrasing here:

"Once you know where they lived, why don't you look for James Kile (and his comrades) in county and town histories for the area in which they enlisted?"

That's an excellent idea. In fact there may be mention of the unit in early appropriate county and town histories. Some of those materials may be available in digital form at Googlebooks ( or Others may be only available in paper format.

Thanks Amy for the suggestion.

About Casefile Clues

For our newer readers...

A few links about Casefile Clues:
·         Our Philosophy
·         About Casefile Clues
·         Download a sample issue
·         Download another sample issue
·         Subscribe

Color Notations in a Transcription?

This image (and some commentary) was posted to my blog yesterday.

I'm transcribing it for an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues and am wondering outloud about how to include the color in the transcription. The varying ink colors help differentiate the handwriting and, I think, is crucial to the analysis. I'm thinking about how to include annotations regarding the color in my text transcription of the item.

I'm including the image here, but won't repeat my color image comments--which can be viewed here.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Getting At More of the Soldiers in James Kile's 1812 Unit

In "James Kile in Ohio Adjutant General War of 1812 Soldier List" I posted a list of soldiers in the same War of 1812 unit as James Kile. I've decided to create a spreadsheet in an attempt to track some of these soldiers as shown below:

I'm thinking about what other columns to add to this spreadsheet, including:

  • 1810 census location
  • 1820 census location
  • Appearance in War of 1812 service record 
  • Land patent--based on military service-located on the Bureau of Land Management Website
  • Pension--based on the incomplete list at
  • Entry in FindAGrave.
Part of the difficulty with the census is that, on the surface, for common names it will be difficult to know that I've got the "right man." That's also a problem for FindAGrave as well.

The War of 1812 pension records at are in progress and FindAGrave is not necessarily complete. 


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mail-in Subscriptions

For those who would like to subscribe to Casefile Clues by check or money order, a mail-in form is on our site here.

Casefile Clues Update, Facebook Page, Blog, Back Issues and Expirations

The following email was sent to subscribers on our subscriber list:

Now that we're back on track, I'm cleaning out the mailing list of emails that have not renewed, are constantly bouncing, etc. If you need/want to renew, you can do so here If you need to know when your subscription ends, send me an email.

The Casefile Clues blog is a separate (free) subscription. On the blog I post updates about upcoming newsletter content and announcements when newsletters are sent. Occasionally the actual newsletter (as the PDF attachment) is bounced back to me, gets stuck in filters, or otherwise does not make it to the subscriber's email address, etc. I always post a note to the Casefile Clues blog when the newsletter has been sent and if you get a blog update that the newsletter has gone out and you've not received it, please let me know.


A complete list of back issues is here:

Subscribers who are on Facebook may want to "like" our Facebook page
Updates from the blog are run through this page for those who wish to receive notices in this fashion.

If you are missing issues of the newsletter, let me know which issues are missing and I'll send them.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Comments, Details and Updates

A few reminders:

  • A subscription to Casefile Clues went up to $17 for 52 issues on 2 December 2014. If you were a subscriber on that date and want to renew at the old rate--I can do that. Email me for a link that will process at that price.
  • Issues of Casefile Clues are named casefile_clues_x_yy.pdf where x is the volume number and yy is the issue number. This makes it easier for subscribers who save their issues in one folder to see if one is missing/not received. 
  • Issues of Casefile Clues  are sent from either, or Please make certain your spam/junk filters are set to allow receipt from these addresses.

James Kile in Ohio Adjutant General War of 1812 Soldier List

We're continuing work on James Kile for another issue of Casefile Clues. One of the research suggestions mentioned in issue 3-41 was the need to learn more about the other men in his unit.

This image is from the 1916 Roster of Ohio Soldiers in the War of 1812, obtained digitally on
Stay tuned!

Issue 3-41 Sent

Issue 3-41 of Casefile Clues was just emailed to subscribers on the list. If you are a subscriber and did not receive your issue, please email me at so I can take care of the problem.

And, if you're not a subscriber, consider joining us on our journey today!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

James Kile 1812 Bounty Land Warrant Application

In February of 1851, James Kile made out an affidavit in his application to obtain a federal land warrant based upon his War of 1812 military service in an Ohio unit. 

This image was obtained in the bounty land warrant application file for James at the National Archives and will be discussed in issue 3-41 of Casefile Clues. Subscribe now to join the discovery!

We'll have a complete citation in the newsletter--although there's actually enough detail in this post to obtain the actual record.