Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Naturalization of Three Brothers

Questions of citizenship and naturalization frequently perplex family historians. This week we look at three naturalized brothers for whom no actual naturalization record can be found and the reason serves to remind us that an understanding of the appropriate laws and procedures is necessary for effective family history research.

Brothers George, Theodore, and John Trautvetter all claim to be naturalized citizens in their 1900 through 1930 census enumerations. While census records can be incorrect, consistencies from year to year should be noted. Abstracts of the brothers' entries follow:

The rest of my article on the naturalization of three brothers was posted on my site.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Links to Old Columns I Have Written

At the suggestion of a reader, I am posting a link to copies of old columns I wrote for Ancestry several years ago. I'm doing that now.

These articles linked to below are meant to be samples and some of the ads are out of date and the links may not be entirely functional. The analysis and interpretations are still ok. I wanted to get this link out as soon as I could. Right now I'm preparing for a conference at BYU in Provo, I just don't have time to clean up the links, but this gives an idea for those who have not been regular readers of my column.

My "Casefile Clues" column will contain roughly 1500 words every time it runs. It will only be available through subscription on my site here It will focus on methodology and interpretation. Subscriptions can be made via this page


Monday, July 27, 2009

Casefile Clues Moving...

For over ten years, I have written regular columns about my research experience, first for Ancestry and most recently for Dick Eastman. Starting this week, my weekly "how-to" column "Casefile Clues" will be available exclusively through subscription through my website I am very excited about the move.

Subscribers can expect the same quality and content they have come to expect over the 400 how-to columns I have written. Content focuses on families from many areas and time periods in the United States and several foreign countries. The emphasis is not on the latest "whizbang" technology, but rather on locating, analyzing and interpreting records. Technology is used but it does not overpower the genealogy.

We will continue researching the exploits of the various members of the Trautvetter clan, including Philip's world travels, arrest in Boston and his trial in Colorado. Our work on English families will continue, as will our work in land records in metes and bounds in Kentucky and Tennessee, Bureau of Land Management records, and my search for the mental health records of my nineteenth century ancestor. We will also continue our discussion of research strategies both in actual records repositories and via the Family History Library. My children have ancestors in fifteen states and seven European countries and I will continue to explore that ancestry weekly via my column. Readers are welcome to submit suggestions for research ideas to me at

"Casefile Clues" will be published at least weekly, with distribution taking place over the weekend. There may occasionally be additional columns published midweek as well, particularly if some followup is just begging to be written about. "Casefile Clues" readers can expect analysis of documents and research suggestions based upon that document. "Casefile Clues" is not a genealogy "news" ezine. You can find that elsewhere on the internet and I would rather devote my time to research and sharing that research experience with readers. Readers can continue to find Michael's analysis and insight that they have come to expect from his columns. Movement to our own website gives Michael the complete freedom to write about whatever topic he wants when he wants.

"Casefile Clues" is not just about the one record I've found. It is about what the record means and how it was used in order to help researchers get motivated to continue their own research.

Annual subscriptions are $15. Subscriptions can also be obtained on a three month basis for $6. Payment can be made through PayPal with major credit cards or check (PayPal account not needed). These methods of payment are preferred, but other arrangements can be made by contacting Michael at

Changes are Coming...

Changes are coming to Casefile Clues. Stay tuned.