Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

Extra Early Discount on My 2010 Salt Lake Research Trip

We are offering a $25 discount on the complete price on our 2010 Salt Lake Research Trip for those who make their deposit by 29 June 2009. The complete registration price for those registering by this date will be $175. The balance of the fee is due in December, just the deposit is necessary by 29 June.

There is more information about the trip on our site at

This discount won't be posted on those pages, email Michael at for a registration brochure with the discounted price or questions.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

One Little Clue Breaks Through

One Little Clue Breaks Through

This article focuses on an Illinois probate file for Michael Trautvetter from the 1860s and how a reference to a Kentucky mortgage lead to additional information on the family.

It originally ran in Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter on 9 June 2009.

Judge, I'm Leaving the Wife and Kids Behind

Judge, I'm Leaving the Wife and Kids Behind

Husbands don't often write letters to judges telling them they are leaving their new wife and her children behind and taking off for greener pastures. However, that is exactly what George Fennan did in the late spring of 1856 in Warsaw, Illinois. Why George wrote the letter begins approximately six months earlier in the late fall of 1855—all of which is documented in records of the local county court.

German emigrant Peter Bieger died in Warsaw, Illinois, in November of 1855, leaving behind a wife and two infant children. The tavern owner was not wealthy and did not leave a large estate, but it was fortunate for me that he did own the village lot on which his tavern and home were located. Because of this, his estate warranted a probate settlement and a guardianship case for his two daughters. Even though his wife survived, a guardianship for his children was necessary. Given the laws of the time, his widow, Barbara, could not “automatically” manage her children's inheritance. Someone would have to be appointed as the children's guardian to handle their inheritance. A mother could be appointed her children's guardian, but usually the guardian would be a male family member or relative.

This "Casefile Clues" column Judge, I'm Leaving the Wife and Kids Behind originally ran in Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter on 4 June 2009. The rest of it can be read here.

BLM Locality Searches

BLM Locality Searches

Land records are a wonderful resource for those whose ancestors owned property. Land transfers between private citizens should have been recorded and filed at the local level (usually the county), and records of these transfers are public records. In addition to these local land records there are some land records that are federal records. Generally speaking, federal land records are those where property being transferred from the federal government into private ownership. This week we look at ways to search some of these federal land patents, which are housed on the Bureau of Land Management's website.

This Casefile Clues column, BLM Locality Searches, originally ran in Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter on 29 May 2009 and can be viewed here.