Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wrapping Up Andrew Trask

Research on Andrew Trask is not complete yet--as will be clear from the article. However the research on him stopped a while back so the article could be complete.

Andrew sold some of his land and allowed the buyer to only pay half the amount and mortgage the rest. The mortgage was recorded directly after the deed. Some research will continue on the mortgagee to see if he is a potential relative.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Topeka, KS, 24 April 2010

I'll be the featured speaker at the 38th annual Topeka Genealogical Society Annual Conference, which will focus on searching for female ancestors. The conference will be held in Topeka on 24 April 2010. Casefile Clues readers are welcome to attend! More information is available at

Upcoming Topics

The first of the year has been busy for a variety of reasons and the schedule I had planned for Casefile Clues got slightly altered.

Here are somethings we are working on for future issues:
  • An update on my "hiring a professional researcher" article. We'll take a look at parts of the contract, my expectations, her expectations, etc. I'll discuss why certain records were or were not included. And we'll discuss times (briefly as we've done some of it before) when to hire a professional, when to have a consultation, and when a "lookup" may be all you need.
  • An update on Ira Sargent---one reader re-subbed her quarterly subscription because she wanted to know what happened to Ira. Well, I don't know all that much more about him than what has been written about him and his family in earlier editions of Casefile Clues. My road trip to Rockford, Illinois, where his likely father died, hopefully will come off in the next month or so and I'll have a report to make.
  • An update on Andrew Trask--our focus in issue 27. I've followed up on some of the suggestions in that issue and have made some headway on this native of Massachusetts born in the 1810s.
  • A transcription of one War of 1812 pension. Two sets of records I received have "issues" and I need to get them again so I can compare the two sets of copies---then they will be discussed in an upcoming column.
  • Ira Sargent was put in an Illinois state mental hospital. I have information on the process, just need to get it started. Maybe some Casefile Clues readers will nag me until it gets done (grin!).
  • Occupational records on members of the Frame and Demar families from the Pullman Car Company in Chicago. Those may answer some of the questions discussed in previous issues on those families.
  • A discussion of a will from the 1760 era in Virginia.

Subscribe now and get in on the fun. Suggestions are always welcomed.

Andrew Trask and His First Wife

Andrew Trask, our focus in issue 27, is an excellent example of a person where all the spouses should be researched.

In Andrew's case, his first marriage took place relatively shortly after his migration across the country. Because of that, it has the potential to contain clues to his origins "back east." His second marriage, a few years later in a different location, doesn't have quite that potential. The reasons why and how I know both guys are the "same one" are discussed in issue 27.

Subscribe now and get in on the fun. Issue 27 has not been sent yet and subscribers who join before it goes out will have their subscriptions begin with that issue. I have some ideas on Andrew Trask that are being followed up for future issues.

Success with Google Books

I've just copied an email from a reader in Florida who shared with me her research experience with Google Books.


Must tell you, Michael, after receiving the current newsletter. I read it bright and early Fri. morning and started trying to make some "hits" but no luck until I put the names of my great grandparents in the search.

Well, I had no idea where they came from in Ireland. I only have info on the US side of the family. Up came the partial message that was placed in the Irish immigrants advertisements in the Boston Pilot. I got the Vol. # and name of the book. Our library had only 4 volumes and I needed # 7. That afternoon we went to the library in Bradenton, looked up vol. 7 and there was the ad, giving the parish name and city in Ireland. I wondered how I was ever going to find out where they came from. Well, now I have a starting place to continue searching. In one short day from getting your newletter I was able to find out something about the Irish relatives. Now to look at the FHC film.

Hopefully others have had good luck as well.

Success with Google Books

A reader reported a great success with Google Books after issue 26 which discussed some search strategies and results I had with Google Books. I'll post her email here after I get the ok from her. If anyone else wants to share their Google Books experiences, let me know, or just post it as a comment.

Down the road, I'll be analyzing some of the items I found in Google Books and hope to have even more information and ideas to discuss.

Friday, January 29, 2010

To Our New Facebook Fans

Don't forget that Casefile Clues is actually a weekly genealogy newsletter you can receive via email as a PDF file.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Putting Casefile Clues Blog on the Fan Page

This is just a test to see if things sent to the Casefile Clues Blog are being automatically sent to the Casefile Clues Fan Page. That will save me a little time.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Issue 27 is in the works

Putting together several documents on man (born 1810s in MA), in MO 1840s, then IL, to see where the holes are and what the opportunities are. One shouldn't jump into the New England research too early. Interestingly enough, the man who officiated at his first wedding was the grandfather of poet T S Eliot.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Issue 26 has been sent

Issue 26 on using Google Books has been sent to subscribers. Please check your email.

Feel free to let others who may be interested in Casefile Clues know about it. If you share ideas from the newsletter with others, either on email lists, Facebook, or your blog, please let them know where you got the ideas--that helps in more ways than you know and helps us get regular newsletters to you.

Google Books is a wonderful source and we'll be discussing some of the finds in later issues of Casefile Clues.

Subscribe now at and I'll start you off with issue 26.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Issue 26 in Process--Sample Illustration

Issue 26 is being wrapped up. The image in this blog post is one discussed this week's issue when I focus on Google Books. This illustration comes from a DAR lineage book digitized by Google and which came up as a result from a search. It provided me with some leads that warrant followup.
Subscribe to Casefile Clues today and receive 26 when it gets sent out as a PDF file in a few days.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Valentine Hess Contest Update

Just an update: I am going through these submissions--thanks!

I am just a little behind this week and will have an update by the first of next week.

26 May be a Bit Late

As an FYI to readers, issue 26 may be a bit late. I'm in my second day without power. I'll keep you posted. At worst, a day or two late.

Suggestions for future topics, as always, are welcomed.

Getting Ready a Little Early?

Never too early to get started planning for a research trip and I'm thinking about things I want to do in Salt Lake City for future Casefile Clues articles.

It's not too late to my group in May/June for a week in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library. I'd love to have Casefile Clues readers join me in Salt Lake for the 5th annual group research trip.

The Hands that Help on Google Books

I'm working on an article on Google Books for an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues. While scanning some of my hits, I came across this image.

Not everything is completely high tech!

Subscribe now to Casefile Clues and get the Google Books article when it comes out.

$15 rate for New Fans on Facebook

We've picked up quite a few fans on Facebook in the last few days. Here is a link to get the former annual price of $15 for a year of Casefile Clues. This won't last long and this blog entry will be taken down when the offer is over.



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dream of Genea(logy) mentions Casefile Clues

Dream of Genea(logy) did a nice mention of Casefile Clues in its blog entry today. Visit here to see what Amir had to say

I appreciate the help readers give in getting out the word about Casefile Clues. If I've missed someone's blog entry, please let me know via email at

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Casefile Clues is Weekly

Reminder for those who missed it--Casefile Clues is delivered weekly. If you are not getting weekly issues, make certain I'm on your "allowed sender" list and not in your spam box. Then let me know so we can get it fixed.

Announcements regarding mailings of Casefile Clues are made to this website and to our fan page on Facebook.

Cover Page

This is the cover page from issue 22 of Casefile Clues. We'll be posting a few of these here from time to time to give non-subscribers a little idea. Of course sample copy requests can be made to Your email is not shared and you are not put on any spam lists.

Our current special is a set back issues (1-25) and a year's subscription for only $27.50 here

Update on Casefile Clues

It is hard to believe 25 issues have been created since I began self-distributing Casefile Clues in July 2009.

Since then, we've greatly improved the formatting (thanks to readers suggestions) and have included citations (thanks particularly to Sue H. and Rondina M. for assistance with this). Our goal is to present sources and methods in an environment that supports document, citation, and good research practice. Casefile Clues does not do "news" or generic "how-to" pieces. Eastman already does a fine job of the news and the internet is replete with general how-to pieces.

Our goal is to get you thinking about trying a source you have never used, a method you have never utilized, or a point of view you have not considered. That's the goal. Sometimes I get closer to that than others.

Get a sample and see for yourself--or join our Fans page on Facebook and interact with other readers. Casefile Clues is trying to be something a little different from your typical "how-to" magazines. Give us a try.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Update on the Search for Valentine Hess

I am starting to go through the submissions on Valentine Hess--the game is still on for anyone who wants to play. I don't know where he ended up, so there's not already an "answer."

For those who missed it, in issue 25 an estate settlement was analyzed, particularly the heirs. One could not be found by the administrator so I offered a year-long subscription as a prize to who found him. If you subscribe tonight or tomorrow, I'll send you issue 25 so you can get in on the fun (if you are so inclined).

We'll post brief updates here as time allows and have a more detailed followup in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues.

New Subscriber Offer

Special offer on Casefile Clues:

Get back issues 1-25 and a year's subscription for only $27.50 here

Casefile Clues is my weekly genealogy how-to newsletter focusing on research sources and methods---not just what's "new."

Email me at if the link doesn't work. A sample can be requested by sending me an email at


Charting Relationships in Issue 25

To help readers keep things straight, we're starting to include more illustrations of the relationships mentioned in Casefile Clues articles.

This image appeared in issue 25, released yesterday, where an inheritance was discussed. Not all issues really need charts of this type, but Casefile Clues, like your own research, sometimes benefits from illustrations of this type.

Subscribe to Casefile Clues now and get in on the fun.

Style Guide and Citations

On my "to-do" list is working on a style guide for Casefile Clues. This will make the "output" more consistent from one issue to the next. We are also working on fine-tuning the footnotes and citations. Hopefully readers are benefitting from the source citations that are being used in Casefile Clues.

Reader feedback is always welcome at

Issue 25 has gone out

Issue 25 has been emailed and should be in your inbox. This week Casefile Clues looks at the distributees from an estate settlement and analyzes their residences (or lack thereof) in an attempt to locate an heir the administrator could not locate and an heir the administrator located, but whom I cannot locate.

Subscribe today and I'll start your subscription off with 25.

And we continue to work on our citations in Casefile Clues as well.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Subscriber Contest--Win Another Year of Casefile Clues

We'll be announcing our "Find Valentine" contest in the cover email with issue 25 of Casefile Clues. It will be sent out tomorrow (Sunday). Only subscribers who are subscribing before issue 25 goes out tomorrow will be allowed to play. Join now to get in on the fun.

Current subscribers are eligible and if you want to subscribe now and get in on the fun, you can do so securely here.

There's no real deadline to find him, but by 14 February would be nice!

Good luck....

Comments on Casefile Clues

I've been going through my email and have noticed a few comments from subscribers. I really appreciate hearing from readers--it's good motivation for those times when deadlines are looming and ideas are not coming as quickly as they sometimes do.
  • "I am completely enjoying them and learning new things to try in my own research." Debbie S.
  • "I was thrilled to find Casefile Clues." Janet S.

Suggestions are always appreciated--good or bad. I do read all emails, even if I don't always have time to reply. I do always reply to emails about missed newsletters or issues with newsletter distribution--contact me at

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 Family History Library Research Trip Registration Page Updated

Finally fixed the regular registration fee page for my 2010 trip to the FHL in SLC

Trip details are at

We always have a great time at the Family History Library in Salt Lake.

Join us!

Bureau County, Illinois Genealogical Society Newsletter

Casefile Clues received a very nice write up in the January-February 2010 issue of the Bureau County Genealogical Society Newsletter. Janes Jones, editor, had several nice things to say about Casefile Clues and I appreciate the mention.

I've spoken to the group in Princeton several times over the past ten years. It's always a good time and an enjoyable experience. The Bureau County society is very active and very successful in their endeavors--a really good society to model for those in a rural area.

The price of Casefile Clues was $15 when the review was written and when the newsletter went to press (annual rate is now $17). Society members who would like to subscribe at the $15 rate can do so, just email me the last name of the new society member from Springfield as listed in your newsletter and I'll send you a link that will give you the $15 rate. My email is

Thanks Jane for mentioning Casefile Clues. I appreciate it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wrapping Up Issue 25

Issue 25 is pretty well wrapped up and should be ready for normal distribution. It started out as a search for a missing heir from an 1870 era probate. It ended up discussing:

  • age estimation
  • why specific source citation is important, especially why version of a record you are using
  • chain migration
  • and a few more things.

Subscribe now and get in on the fun. The research this week is not complete, but this issue wraps up what has been located, organizes it and suggests where research should continue.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Casefile Clues Subscription Price Change Effective 15 January 2010

It's been nearly six months since I began self-distribution of Casefile Clues and I've had to sit down and do some hard evaluating over the holidays. To be honest, when I started Casefile Clues, I just threw some things at the wall to see what would stick. Some things did and some things did not. I do appreciate all the support (and suggestions) I have received since July of 2009. I do believe that Casefile Clues is a better product now than when it first started.

I had no idea when I started distributing Casefile Clues how well it would go over or how many subscribers I would get. Frankly, I was most excited when I got that first subscriber. There is still room for growth and improvement, but I'm pleased with the number of regular readers I have, especially when I was told by some that there just wasn't much interest in reading case studies and "stories about Michael's ancestors." I think Casefile Clues has settled into a groove, but there is room for improvement and a few things that I want to do--records I'd like to discuss and use as example, materials I would like to have researched that I cannot access myself, etc.

So after some hard thought, the annual subscription price will be increased slightly on 15 January 2010. Price increases will not be a regular event here at Casefile Clues and this decision was not made lightly.

Effective 15 January 2010, the annual price of subscription to Casefile Clues will be $17.00. This increase will allow me to purchase some software upgrades I've been needing, obtain copies of information for new articles, and a few other "neat" things that I have planned for upcoming issues. This is still just 33 cents an issue, a bargain for your genealogical buck. Casefile Clues will still be delivered weekly as a PDF file.

I do realize that money for genealogical research is limited and that every penny counts. It is my hope that Casefile Clues gives you the tools to do your research more efficiently and in a more cost-effective manner.

Current subscribers who wish to can renew their subscription at the current price as well.

Our subscription page is at

Issue 24 of Casefile Clues Sent

Issue 24 of Casefile Clues has been sent. Check your inbox. If it's not there, please let me know.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Door Prize for Your Seminar or Workshop?

If your society has an annual conference, seminar, or workshop and gives out door prizes, please let me know and we'll see if we can work out certificate to a subscription to Casefile Clues.

Email me at for details.

This offer does not usually apply to monthly meetings or small, informal meetings.

Don't Forget We Are On Facebook

Don't forget that Casefile Clues has a Fan Page on Facebook.

If you are on Facebook, search for us and become a fan of Casefile Clues. I encourage subscribers to interact there and I do post updates on article topics, subscriber concerns, etc. as time allows. Fans can also post there as well. Updates about newsletter distribution are posted there as well as to this website.

Once in a while PayPal links do not always work 100% through Facebook (at least for some users). If you have any questions about making any kind of PayPal payment for Casefile Clues, please let me know before you attempt to make a payment. I can always email you a secure link directly to subscribe, renew, or purchase back issues.

Back Issues of Casefile Clues

Unless there is some special going on at the time your subscription is processed, your subscription to Casefile Clues will begin with the next regularly distributed issue of the newsletter. Our cutoff time for the distribution list is midnight (Central time) the Saturday before the newsletter is emailed. Sunday is the day I shoot for, but regular subscribers know that the newsletter doesn't always get delivered on Sundays, but we try.

Back issues can be purchased in sets of 10 or 20 as shown below (Payment processed through PayPal).

If you would like to purchase separate issues, please let me know and I'll get you a quote. It's roughly 75 cents an issue, with a slight surcharge added because of PayPal processing charges.

Thanks again for your support.

If you order back issues and do not receive them within twenty-four hours (during Monday through Friday), please send me an email at I usually answer emails during the weekend as well, but sometimes there might be a slight delay.

If you need to purchase via check or money order, please contact me at and we'll set that up.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Help to Spread the Word

I appreciate Facebook fans (and subscribers) who let others know about Casefile Clues. In 2010, I'm going to focus on research, writing, and editing and less on all help in getting out the word is greatly appreciated.

All of this helps keep the advertising budget low (read: zero) which helps to keep the price of an annual subscription at $15. Let your genealogy friends and acquaintances know about Casefile Clues, particularly if something has been helpful to your research.

Thank---I really appreciate it!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Issue 23 sent (PDF version)

Issue 23 has been sent as a PDF version. In text email going out this afternoon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Casefile Clues Mentioned in Tampa Bay Online

Sharon Tate Moody mentioned Casefile Clues in her 3 January 2010 Genealogy Column in Tampa Bay Online. Thanks Sharon for sharing information about Casefile Clues with your readers.

We will offer Tampa Bay Online readers a chance to get all back issues and subscribe for a year at the price of $23 by clicking here: This option requires a credit card for payment. For other payment options, send me an email at

Our 2010 Family History Library Trip is Approaching

2010 is finally here and that means it won't be all that long before we are in Salt Lake City at our 5th annual Family History Library Research Trip. Our trip is in May-June of 2010 and with millions of records at our disposal it will be a fun and exciting research time.

The early bird registration deadline has passed, but we are still accepting registrations and payment can be made through our secure link here. Those who would like other registration options can email me at

Details on the trip can be viewed on our site-when you register, please download the registration materials and either email or US mail them to me. Thanks!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Combination Offers Processed

All subscription/back issue orders have been processed as of 4:30 central time. If you ordered through this promotion, everything has been sent--email me if you did not receive something or have questions at

The offer ends tonight--thanks for your support and spread the news to anyone who might be interested.

$23 gets a year of issues and back issues 1-22--the link is email me at if you have difficulties with it.