Monday, August 31, 2009

SS5 for Anna Lake

This is the SS5 form that was discussed in last week's Casefile Clues.
My next issue will have a followup on locating Anna's birth certificate.

Death Certificate for Anna Lake

This is part of the death certificate for Anna Lake, discussed in last week's Casefile Clues (Volume 1 Number 4). This week's column will contain a follow up. Readers already know that there are some errors on this record.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Casefile Clues Volume 1 Number 5

Today's issue is slightly delayed due to a technical glitch. Our followup to the 1913 birth in Chicago will be distributed early tomorrow afternoon. If your issue hasn't made its way to your inbox by tomorrow evening, please send me an email. Subscriptions received by noon Monday will receive the issue. Thanks.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Casefile Clues on Facebook

Casefile Clues has a "fan page" on Facebook. The link hopefully is workable here.

Feel free to join if you are on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Casefile Clues published issues

Casefile Clues have been sent on the following dates:

2 August 2009--Volume 1 Number 1--Lessons from an Estate Record
9 August 2009--Volume 1, Number 2--Passport Records
16 August 2009--Volume 1, Number 3--Preemption Claim
23 August 2009--Volume 1, Number 4--Multiple Parents

If you have not received issues, please let me know. Subscriptions usually start the Sunday after you subscribe. In some cases you might have been sent the article that ran the Sunday before you subscription to Casefile Clues started. If there are questions or concerns, please let me know. Casefile Clues runs every week, usually on Sundays.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sample of Old Articles

This list is a partial listing of several old articles from back when I was writing at The ads are out of date, but the information is still good. New articles are being distributed by subscription to my weekly how-to newsletter--"Casefile Clues" for only $15 a year.

Do I have the Right Family?
Ancestral Biographies
1851 Canadian Census
Not a Primary or a Secondary Source
Ethnic Newspapers
Getting Ready for the Everyname 1910 Census Index
Using the World War I database at
1880 Agricultural Census
I Can't Find It
Relating Relationships--figuring out a very non-nuclear family
Birth and Death at the Poor Farm
Proof of Marriage
Lessons from the Church Register
The American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress
Fishing For Clues in John Lake's Estate
Ethnic Eccentricities
Brickwalls from A to Z -- Ideas for breaking down that brick wall.
My Brickwall Followup to the Ellen article below
My 2005 Christmas Present--Working on my brick wall Ellen!
What I Wish I Knew
Ancestral Signatures: Part II
Plat Books
Ancestral Signatures
From Elineny to Frederick and Back
The Check's in the Mail and other Home Sources
When the Index Does Not Help
Letters from Near and Far
Grandma's Clippings
The naturalization of three brothers
Another Search for Jann--using the immigration databases at
Searching with Dots and Umlauts- searching with non-English language characters
A Minor Naturalization--minor naturalizations
A Rural Cemetery Excursion--complete with pictures
Ready for the Family History Library--suggestions before you go to Salt Lake
Clipping Clues--analyzing a newspaper clipping
Searching for a Birth Record--when 1 out of 4 does not have a birth record.
Working for a Living
Clues from British Census Enumerations
Evaporating Ancestors
Organizing By Place--ways to use maps
Finding my 1920 People, Part I
Finding my 1920 People, Part II
Every Little Detail
From Their Mouth to Your Computer Screen
The Importance of Tracking
Problem-Solving: An Example
Cold Calling
Named for Whom?
Wacky Well-known Census Enumerations
1930 Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
A $31.44 Inheritance
Lessons Learned at the Family History Library
Where Do I Find It? Ideas for locating vital records.
I'm a Genealogist--I don't Need to Watch Soap Operas
The Search for the Parents of Franciska Trautvetter--Part I
The Search for the Parents of Franciska Trautvetter--Part II
The Search for the Parents of Franciska Trautvetter Continues
Separating Delayed Twins: Three birth certificates, four children, and a dose of confusion.
More 1880 Census Searching - Using the improved free census search interface at for 1880.
Where is That? Some ways to find those out of the way places
Mid-19th Century Immigrants--Some records to think about before looking at passenger lists...or when passenger lists fail.
Why? Think about the reasons BEHIND the document--are there additional clues?
To Pass it On: Bringing Genealogy to the Younger Set
Writing the Relatives
Finding Aunt Gertrude--A 20th century problem
How are You Handling the Skeleton? Thoughts on the darker sides of your family tree
Things to do in 2005 - a few ideas to get you started and some things you should not put off
Paging Through the Census - 4 spelling variants on one census page
Cousin Removal!
Researching Out to Extended Family
One Piece at a Time--Analyzing a 1910 Chicago Death Certificate
Have You Looked at the Links in Your Chain?
Time is Up!
The Quick Quit Claim Part II -More about quitclaim deeds
The Quick Quit Claim-- Quit Claim Deeds
Where did they get THAT? Getting clues from misinformation
Female Ancestors: After the Marriage
1930 Census for Kids
Searching the World War I Draft Card Online Index
World War I Draft Cards of the Rich and Famous--Draft Cards for several well-known people may provide clues for researching less well-known relatives
Knowing the Links in the Chain--establishing a migration trail
Since We Were Girls -- Examining two witness statements from a Pension File
The Special Examiner's Report -- the report of a special examiner who came to hear testimony in pension case.
Analyzing Riley--looking at dates and additional clues in Civil War Pension File
The Complete Civil War Pension what is in a complete Union Civil War Pension File
Before Pension--Suggestions for determining if your ancestor had military service and a pension (Civil War)
The Census Man Cometh
Is Your Brick Wall in Your Head?
1856 Illinois Probate Manual--the Dower--- a discussion of dower rights in the early to mid 18th century
1856 Illinois Probate Manual--Summary of probate practices mid 19th century Midwest.
No Stone to Leave Unturned--Ideas for when there is NO tombstone for your relative.
Land Record Review
From a Distance--researching when you do not live near the locality
Pick A Spouse-Any SpouseWorking with ancestors who had more than one spouse
A Bigger Bieger and a Fallen SparrowTwo problems centering on a parent's remarriage
Your Ancestor WasCharacteristics of your ancestor
Getting Wild--Using Wildcard Searches
The Kings Daughters--an intruduction to the King's Daughters

Census Retrospective--a review of several census articles from the past several years
The First Name Game--concerns over given names
The Last Name Game--concerns over last names
Arming Myself to Find a Swedish Name--A Swedish last name problem.
It Never Looks the Same When it is Not Fresh--Leaving yourself an audit trail
Catching Christening Clues: Belgian Baptismal Beginnings--analyzing a set of late eighteenth century Belgian Catholic church records
Dating the Belgians Via France---Using the French Republican Calendar

Casefile Clues 23 August 2009 just sent

The 23 August 2009 issue of Casefile Clues was just sent to subscribers. If you have not received yours, please email me at and I will take care of it.

It discusses a 20th century case in Chicago, Illinois, but the analysis has applications to other time periods and locations. Those who subscribe in the next 24 hours will get this issue sent to them upon receipt of their subscription. Remember if you want an email other than the one you use for PayPal, include that in the notes part of your payment.

You do not need a PayPal account to use PayPal, just a major credit card.

And checks are fine too, just ask for information on this option.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Slight Delay this Week

My apologies for the slight delay with this week's column. Due to a technical problem, we will have to delay distribution of this week's column until 6:00 p.m. central time on Monday.

Those who haven't subscribed and would like to join us before this week's piece is distributed can do so via our subscription page. We do take checks if you don't want to use a credit card--just email me at for information on that payment option.

This week's Casefile Clues Article--Anna Verikios

This week's Casefile Clues column concentrates on Anna Lake, my wife's grandmother born in 1913 in Chicago. This 1930 census enumeration for her was the beginning of me realizing that I had to reanalyze the information I had found.

I'm wrapping up this week's column. Those who subscribe to Casefile Clues by Tuesday morning will be sent this issue even though their subscription actually starts with the next issue. That's because my work on Anna, which discusses a variety of genealogy methods and concerns, will likely cover two week's of material. This one is not straight forward.

More information on subscription options for Casefile Clues are here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


It is difficult to believe that I'm putting the wraps on the 4th edition of "Casefile Clues" since it was moved to my own site. I wanted to thank all my subscribers for their support and encouragement.

We are keeping the newsletter and the domain free of advertising. I appreciate those who have helped us to spread the word about the newsletter. I am working on new fresh topics and ideas.

If you haven't joined us, consider doing so. Subscription information (there are annual and quarterly options) is available on our site.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Difficulties with Emails

Several subscribers copies of Casefile Clues were bounced back. I have emailed the individuals whose newsletters were returned. If you did not receive the 16 August issue or an email about a "bounce," email me at and let me know.

Late subscribers can still subscribe in the next 24 hours and get the 16th issue, too!

Casefile Clues Column Emailed--A Preemption Claim

This week's "Casefile Clues" (number 3-16 August 2009) is being emailed to subscribers tonight. It discusses a federal land purchase that was a preemption claim. A variety of issues with the file are covered, as well as how to use it for further research. If it is not in your inbox by Monday morning, check your spam filter and if it's not there, please email me at and we'll take care of it.

Those who do not subscribe to "Casefile Clues" and do so within the next 24 hours will get this issue sent to them as soon as their subscription has been processed.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Casefile Clues this weekend--Preemption Land Claim

I am working on this weekend's "Casefile Clues" column on a pre-emption land claim from Missouri in the 1850s. Images will be posted this weekend. Those who are not subscribers can subscribe in time to get this weekend's edition which will go out on Sunday.

The first two images with this post are from John's preemption claim testimony.

The last image is the receipt for John's payment.

We'll be posting the column tomorrow for subscribers.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Framing a Passport--Images

Here are the images that correspond to today's article. Visitors who do not subscribe to Michael's weekly "Casefile Clues" newsletter can do so here.

This passport application is for Robert Frame from Chicago, Illinois.

Casefile Clues: Framing a Passport Application

Casefile Clues for today just went to subscribers. If you have not recieved your copy, please check your spam filter first, then send me an email if it is not there.

Subscribers who subscribe within the next 24 hours will receive today's copy as soon as their subscription is processed. We would love to have you join us.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

I Can't Find It

"I Can't Find It" appeared in 2006 when I was writing for This article discusses some things that run through my mind when someone says that they are unable to find something.

We will keep adding links to old material as time allows. In the meantime my column appears in my weekly ezine "Casefile Clues, available by subscription. New online articles will appear weekly there on a variety of subjects.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Proof of Marriage

From "Proof of Marriage"

I know they were married, but I cannot find it. They had to get married; after all they had children. Well . . . not necessarily. Usually a marriage precedes the children. It is finding the record of that marriage that sometimes creates headaches for the genealogist.

Genealogists should begin their search for a marriage record with the local civil records office (usually at the county or the town level) near where the couple lived early in their marriage and near where their first child was born. The records of the church of which the couple was a member should also be searched (if applicable).

The rest of this 2005 article can be viewed on my website.

Proof of Marriage ran on in 2005, back when my column was called "Beyond the Index." I like Casefile Clues better.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ancestral Biogaphies

Of all my children's ancestors, only two have biographies in old county histories. There are no letters or diaries left behind that provide insight into how our family lived one hundred years ago. Those who have such materials are extremely fortunate. This week we look at some other places to get biographical information and consider one of the great ironies of genealogical research.
This article "Ancestral Biographies" was one I wrote for in 2007 and can be read in its entirety here.

My weekly genealogy how-to column, "Casefile Clues" is available via subscription through my website

Do I have the Right Family?

When families migrate from one area to another, it can be hard to determine if you have really located the same group of individuals. The difficulty is compounded if the last name and first names are relatively common. It's important to be certain that the "true" family has been located and that one has not mixed up families with similar names. Male cousins bearing the same first and last name are particularly easy to confuse.

The rest of this article can be viewed here and was one I wrote for in 2007.

My new weekly column "Casefile Clues" is available by subscription only through this website.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Casefile Clues Lessons from the Estate of Mimke Habben

This week's Casefile Clues discusses an 1877 estate settlement and some lessons and research suggestions it makes. Also covered are some thoughts, ideas and research suggestions when using microfilm and digital images to prevent your copies from confusing you more than absolutely necessary.

Subscribers should have their copy of "Casefile Clues" in their inbox by the time this posts to the site. Those who would like to subscribe can do so at Subscribers in the next 24 hours will be sent today's issue.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Links to Old Articles

I will be adding links to old articles that I have written as time allows. New "Casefile Clues" columns will be posted weekly in my subscription ezine.