Monday, November 29, 2010

Issue 13 is out

Issue 13 is in your email if you are a subscriber. If you are a subscriber and have not received it, please let me know at and we'll take care of it.

Issue 13 takes a 1860 census enumeration for an immigrant family and uses that as a springboard for searching for them in passenger lists. For reasons that are explained in the article, there is not a whole lot to go on to locate their manifest entry. Our search procedure is discussed and charts are used to organize the search so that all reasonable variants are a part of the search process.

The likely entry is compared and contrasted to the census enumeration. Along the way, we see how non-English names can be a problem. We also explain the reasoning behind every step.

Subscribe before 4 December and I'll start you off with issue 13. Our Cyber Monday discount may still be operational as well.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Does this look like Trientje to You?

Would you have thought that the entry for family 21 was for a Trientje Sartorius and her son Claude Sartorius? For starters, the census taker has Trientje's first and last name inverted. The handwriting is so difficult to read it's a wonder the first names aren't too bad to decipher.

Trientje's one of the individuals for whose manifest entry I'm searching for issue 13 of Casefile Clues. The census was analyzed to determined if the immigrant children living in 1900-1930 gave any good information about their immigration. Turns out they gave a wide range of years for their immigration and in this one, Trientje listed an "unknown" year of immigration.

Subscribe now and get in on the discovery for Trientje's ship manifest entry and see how the search was organized.

Trientje also listed her citizenship status as "unknown," but that's a topic for another column.

Keeping Casefile Clues' Subscription Rate Low

We try really hard to keep Casefile Clues affordable to as many genealogists as possible. If you've taken a look at other genealogical periodicals, classes, etc. our price is under most of them--quite a bit in most cases.

Casefile Clues has no ads for several reasons, but one is that it saves me time. I've discussed other reasons and won't repeat those in this post, but it's less work not to have ads. Of course that means no ad revenue, but that's a trade-off I'm willing to make.

Here are a few things you can do to help keep the subscription cost of Casefile Clues low:
  • Do not forward your subscription to someone else. Please. Sample copies of the newsletter can be requested by sending an email to
  • Let your genealogical friends, associates, etc. know about Casefile Clues. We encourage readers to blog about the newsletter, mention it on Facebook. etc.
  • If you'd like to link to us on your blog or webpage, let me know and I'll send you a copy of the logo that you can use.
If you'd like to use an issue of Casefile Clues for a class discussion, drop me a line at


What Page is This?

This is part of the 1860 census page that's being used in issue 13 of Casefile Clues .The page number really has nothing to do with the article (other than being a part of the citation for the census entry). It's a good example of why putting everything in context (a recent Tip of the Day) is an excellent idea. The previous page is 883 and the subsequent page is 885, so there's little doubt this is 884. Is the "4" tight in the binding and was not microfilmed completely? Was the digital image made in such a way that part of the microfilm image was cut off?

It makes an excellent point of the importance of including a source citation that indicates what type of "media" we used when reading the census (or any other record). If the page number had been some crucial element of the record, it would have been necessary to view an alternate image copy of the record if possible.

We'll be using this 1860 census entry as a springboard to passenger list searches for this family. If you aren't a subscriber to Casefile Clues, join now and get in on the discovery.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Using the Census to Search for a Passenger List--for issue 13

In the next issue of Casefile Clues, we are going to use an 1860 census enumeration as a springboard to searching for a family in the passenger list indexes. Often we simply don't have complete information to allow us to effectively search passenger lists, particulary for individuals who never naturalized or who were naturalized before the naturalization reform of 1906.

Our discussion will focus on organizing an effective search and tracking that search so that all options are searched and none are overlooked. It won't be applicable just to those with nineteenth century immigrants.

Researchers who search databases in a variety of time periods and locations will find some food for thought. And that's the whole goal. Sometimes when I write about my 19th century immigrants, I get research ideas for my ancestors who lived elsewhere 100 years earlier.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Issue 12 Sent

Issue 12 has been sent.

Let me know if you have not received it.

Renewing Your Casefile Clues, Your Account, Etc.

Just to clear up a few issues based upon some emails I have had over the last several days.

1) Your Casefile Clues does not "auto-renew." If you do not renew after the expiration date, you will NOT be charged. Sometimes I neglect to delete people as soon as they should be deleted from the mailing list. You can renew Subscribers who need to renew their subscripton can do so securely here (if you don't have a PayPal account, credit card orders can be processed by clicking on the "pay with a debit or credit card link" in the middle of that page. This link will be a secure https link.

2) I use PayPal to process all transactions and Casefile Clues is not set up on PayPal as a subscription. It is set up as a one-time charge. What this means is that you won't be rebilled and PayPal doesn't keep your card in order to rebill you.

3) There is nothing to log into for Casefile Clues. You will get an email from me when I am about to delete you from the subscriber list. You will have the option of renewing using a secure link to process your credit card or you can send check/money order in the mail. Credit card payments are the preferred method for me as it is less paperwork, but checks/money orders are fine.

If you have any questions about your subscription, email me at or



Twenty Years Ago a Girl Missteps...Issue 12

The headline was "Claim Not Allowed." The subheadline really serves to dramatize the case--"Twenty Years Ago a Girl Missteps..."

The 1892 newspaper write up from Quincy, Illinois, is colorful and full of clues about the family of Ulfert Behrens, particularly his daughter Volke. In issue 12 from Volume 2 of Casefile Clues we will look at the article and see what clues it contains and where research should progress based upon the newspaper article.

The writer apparently enjoys making puns based upon the names of some of the individuals involved. There's a slight air of condescension in some of his prose.

Subscribe to Casefile Clues and get in on the discovery.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Genealogy Group Research Trips in 2011

A genealogy trip makes the perfect Christmas gift. Consider joining me in Salt Lake or Ft. Wayne for a genealogy road trip in 2011!

Give Casefile Clues for the Holidays

Need a gift for that genealogist on your list? Casefile Clues requires no wrapping, has no delivery charge, and may just what your friend needs to jump start their research.

Gift subscriptions can be processed securely here. Please be certain to put your friend's name and email address in the memo box. If you don't, that's ok. PayPal will tell me your order was a gift and I'll email you to confirm the recipient.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Issue 13-Suing Deceased Dad for Former Boyfriend's Payment

This is the very last paragraph in the newspaper article that is the crux of issue 13 of volume 2 of Casefile Clues. Basically, a daughter sues her father's estate in 1892 for the money her boyfriend gave her father twenty years ago to raise her child. We'll transcribe and analyze the newspaper account in issue 13. Subscribe now and get in on the fun. Sometimes it simply is impossible to make these things up.

Last Day for Year 1 Purchases and Fair Usage Reminder

A  few people missed our Year 1 Back Issue Offer, so I'm running it through today, but that's it. It will probably be a few weeks before I get the issues loaded onto Lulu, so now would be an excellent time. Orders placed today will receive an order confirmation, but issues probably won't go out late tonight.

Those who have already ordered and have not received their entire set of issues, should send me an email.

As a reminder:
  • Casefile Clues is for your personal use only. Please respect my copyright. You may download and save copies to your hard drive, etc. for personal viewing, but please do not make additional copies for "sharing," even if is for your library or society. Revenue from subscriptions helps to pay for webhosting, software acquisition, and some occasional "hired" research. I'm also working on obtaining some design software to create better charts and illustrations.
  • Copies should not be forwarded to others.
  • The price of Casefile Clues is very reasonable. This is done to make it affordable to as many people as possible.
  • Don't forget you can tell your friend to request a sample of Casefile Clues by sending an email to
Questions about using Casefile Clues can be addressed to me at


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Year 1, Issue 13, and Subscribing

Just a few quick updates:

  • Subscribe before issue 13 goes out and I'll start your subscription with issue 2 of year 2.
  • Orders submitted tomorrow for Year 1 will be acknowled, but probably not processed until Monday.
  • We are progressing towards a Kindle version of Casefile Clues and will keep readers updated.

Orders for year 1 issues

Orders are being processed today and tomorrow for back issues from year 1 of Casefile Clues. These issues are being sent as separate PDF files attached to several messages. I am spreading out the emails so that inboxes do not fill which has already happened in a few cases.

Your back issues will be sent from one of three email addresses:
Questions about missing issues, etc. should be sent to The others are not checked regularly.

There's still time to purchase Year 1 issues, but today is the last day. $20 for 52 issues is a pretty good deal considering just how many pages there are.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Casefile Clues Topics from Year 2--Issues 1-10

Topics from the first 10 issues of year 2 are:
  • Volume 2-Number 1--Problem-Solving
  • Volume 2-Number 2--A 1907 Committal--An insanity record.
  • Volume 2-Number 3--A 1921 Divorce
  • Volume 2-Number 4--Leaving John's Hands: Documenting Post-Death Land Transfers
  • Volume 2-Number 5--The Acquisition of John Michael Trautvetter's 228 Acres
  • Volume 2-Number 6--The Original Versus the Record Copy
  • Volume 2-Number 7--Multiple Marriage Mayhem:
    Starting the Search for Emma (Sargent) Pollard Ross Oades Pollard Snavly Olenbaugh
  • Volume 2-Number 8--A Handful of Problem-Solving Strategies
  • Volume 2-Number 9--Two-Thirds of an Acre from Uncle John: A Partition Suit Proves a Sibling Relationship
  • Volume 2-Number 10--A Minimal Estate Gives Some Direction: The 1886-1888 Probate of Benjamin Butler
 Issues 1-10 from Year 2 can be ordered for $6.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Still Time for Back Issues from Year 1

There is still time to get back issues from year 1 before they are only sold on at quite a higher price. 20 November is the last day--don't wait. This is a good bargain for all 52 issues. Issues are sent to you as separate PDF files...spread over a couple of days so your inbox isn't filled to capacity.

Topics and ordering information is on our site at

I appreciate the feedback I have been getting from readers, including one who said:

"I really enjoy reading and learning from these.  I am picking up new things along the way..... so I guess you can teach old dogs new tricks..........even after researching for 35 years."

We're looking forward to continuing work on Year 2 of Casefile Clues--but add Year 1 to your collection before you forget.

Email me at if you need ordering information for sets not listed on the blog post.

Back Issues, Sending Back Issues, etc.

Don't forget that after 20 November back issues from year 1 will only be available on for quite a bit more than we've been selling them for here, so consider our discounted rate of $20 for 52 issues before it's over.

I am processing orders, sending missing issues, etc. today and tomorrow. If you've missed an issue, deleted, it, etc. just let me know at

And if you're not subscribing, consider it!

Don't Forget to Renew Your Casefile Clues

Don't miss a single issue of Casefile Clues.
You can renew via the link in your email or via this PayPal link.
New subscriptions can be processed here.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Get Year 1 Issues of Casefile Clues for $20

Issues from year 1 as a complete set can be purchased for only $20.00

Here are Casefile Clues Topics from Year 1:

  • 52--Benjamin Butler in 1880 and 1870--correlating an 1880 and 1870 census enumeration when the head of household has a different first name
  • 51--Clarifying Clara--a widow's War of 1812 Bounty Land application
  • 50--Special Examiner's Report--Discussion of testimony taken by a Special Examiner in a Union Civil War Pension File
  • 49--Levi Rhodes' War of 1812 Pension--A discussion and and an analysis of a War of 1812 pension issued in 1871.
  • 48--Determining Your Own Chain of Migration--Ways to determine the unique migration chain that your ancestor took
  • 47--Finding the Ellen--Finding someone in an 1870 census when she's a child and I don't have the names of the parents. Discusses proximity searches, eliminating false matches, etc.
  • 46--Ira Located--the correct marriage record for Ira Sargent was located. This issue includes the image and a complete transcription, an analysis, additional searches that were conducted, and where to go next.
  • 45--Organizing My Search for Ira--discusses brainstorming to locate the parents of Ira Sargent, how and why records were prioritized, and how records would be searched.
  • 44--Philip Troutfetter in the Special Collections of the Kansas State Historical Society--fraud, postal investigations, and abandoned wives--all from one relative.
  • 43--Unacquiring Property--ways your ancestor might have "disposed" of his real estate.
  • 42--Multiple Johns--two brothers with the exact same name--apparently.
  • 41--Brick Walls from A to Z--the title says it all--ideas for breaking those brick walls
  • 40--Finding John--analysis, including charts and maps, in an attempt to find a missing 1870 census enumeration.
  • 39--Multiple Marias--Analyzing more than one 1893 obituary for a Swiss immigrant in Iowa.
  • 38--From their Mouth to Your Screen. Discusses all the "filters" information passes through.
  • 37--Pullman Car Company Employment Records. Discusses several employment records from the Pullman Car Company in Chicago. Discusses William Apgar, Thomas Frame, Louis DeMar.
  • 36--Where are they in 1840? Analyzes an individual who is "missing" from an 1840 census. Includes a discussion of how he was "found" and how land records actually solved the problem. Discusses Abraham Wickiser.
  • 35--A 1910 Birth. Analyzes primary and secondary sources for a date and place of birth in 1910 and how differences might not be all that different. Discusses Ida Trautvetter.
  • 34--Ready to Go? Discusses some things to contemplate regarding your genealogy material before you die.
  • 33--Where there is a Will there is Confusion. Analyzes an early 19th century will from Maryland and what the different bequests likely mean and what potentially brought them about. Also discusses different ways some things can be interpreted. Discusses John DeMoss.
  • 32--When There is No Probate. Some things to think about when there is no probate file.
  • 31--Analyzing the Mortgage. Discusses an 1870 era mortgage in Illinois. Discusses John Ufkes and Rolf Habben.
  • 30--Behind the Scenes Chaos. Discusses the importance of thinking about what "caused" a record to be recorded.
  • 29--Un-American Activity. Discusses an invesigation by the fore-runner of the FBI into a German-American family in World War I. Discusses the Fecht family.
  • 28--Do You Ear What I Ear? Discusses things to remember about how things are heard.
  • 27--Analyzing Andrew Trask. Discusses work on an Mass. native (born ca. 1814) who lived in St. Louis, southern-Illinois, and western Illinois where he died in the 1880s. Focuses on analyzing and working on later records to discern patterns, etc. Discusses Andrew Trask.
  • 26--Using Google Books.
  • 25--Finding Valentine. Steps in locating a man whose only real mention is in an 1870 era estate settlement. Discusses how I organized my search for him.
  • 24--The Brick Wall is in Your Head. Talks about ways you may have made your own genealogical brick wall.
  • 23--You Ask and I Wonder. Things that pop in my head when a person asks a certain genealogical question.
  • 22--Crossing the Pond.
  • 21--One Clipping Leads to More.
  • 20--Organizing 1870 Census Search--thoughts on organizing online census searches.
  • 19--Public Sale--Analyzing an old sale bill.
  • 18--Analyzing the Biography--Charting and Organizing what You Know Using a Biography
  • 17--Working with the Professional. Getting started with the professional genealogist who is performing Chicago area work for me.
  • 16--A Lot from Barbara's Lot. Clues from a series of records on a small lot in a town in rural Illinois betwen 1856 and 1905.
  • 15--Finding Gesche's Girls. Tracking down an "evaporating" German native who "condensed" somewhere in the United States.
  • 14--Jumpstarting Your Research. Just some ideas to get you started.
  • 13--Brick Walls and the Census Taker
  • 12--The Heirs Complete the Homestead
  • 11--Is the Wrong Name Correct?
  • 10--Connecting the Iras. Working to determine if two men of the same name are the same man.
  • 09--Pre-1850 Census Analysis. Analzing pre-1850 census records for a family to determine the household structure. Discusses Thomas and Sarah Sledd.
  • 08--Platting Out Thomas Sledd's Heirs. Platting out the estate division of the Thomas Sledd estate in Kentucky in the 1830s. Discusses Thomas Sledd family.
  • 07--Looking for Ira's Lucretia. Working on my "brick wall" Ira through his sister Lucretia. mid-to-late nineteenth century work.
  • 06--The Civil War Pension file of Riley Rampley. An overview of a Union Civil War pension record.
  • 05--Finding a Chicago Christening. How a 1913 era Chicago christening record was found. Discusses Anna Apgar.
  • 04--Multiple Parents
  • 03--Preemption Claim. The Missouri pre-emption land claim of John Lake. Discusses John Lake.
  • 02--Passport Records. Discusses an early twentieth century passport application. Discusses Robert Frame.
  • 01--Lessons from an Estate Record. Analyzes an 1870 era Illinois set of estate records.
Other Back Issue Purchase Options:
The whole set can be purchased from me directly for only $20.00.

What Casefile Clues Does Not Share

There are some things we share at Casefile Clues and some things we do not. The things we do not share at Casefile Clues include:
  • your credit card number--actually PayPal (which processes the payments) tells me nothing about your credit card, so there's nothing to share. If the charge is approved, PayPal sends me a receipt--no card number is on it. Your credit card number is never even seen by me.
  • your physical address--that usually comes with the PayPal receipt. PayPal uses it to help process the credit card transaction. I never use the actual physical address for anything and, in fact, don't often really even look at it.
  • your phone number--many of you don't include this, but for some it is a part of their PayPal account. I don't need this either. 
  • your email address--obviously this is used to send you copies of Casefile Clues. I don't share email addresses with anyone. In fact, I am the only one who does any processing of subscriptions, emails, etc.
When your payment/subscription is processed--what I am concerned with is your email, what kind of subscription you purchased, and your email address. That's it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Volume 2 Issue 11 In the Mail

Volume 2 Issue 11 is in the mail. A few of you may have emails with subject lines that say issue 10, but the attachment and email body are the right one for issue 11.


If you're not a subscriber, consider getting on the list now.

Two Death Certificates--and Buried Before I Died

Thomas Frame, who died in Chicago on 8 August 1910 has two death certificates. They were both apparently filed on the same day, but the positioning of the writing makes it clear they are not the same certificate. There are a few minor discrepancies, most notably the fact that one indicates Thomas was buried before he died.

Down the road, we'll discuss these in an issue of Casefile Clues. Of particular interest is how the two should be cited and how discrepancies noted.

There is no comment or remark on either certificate that an additional one exists.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Issue 11--Signed It, But Could Not Read It

I'm finishing the pre-proof copy of Issue 11. Issue 11 focuses on another court case, this one resulted from an incorrectly drawn up contract signed by German immigrants who could not read it. There are a variety of clues contained in the document and we will see what research options are based upon the document. Our focus is on the document and what it says and does not say--I'm trying to be better about bringing "additional things" about the family as this one is one that I've researched quite a bit over several years.

A subscriber told me recently that "most of your articles don't pertain to my research directly, but I get ideas sometimes." That's the whole thing we're trying to accomplish in Casefile Clues. We're adding some new locations and records in the future, but I don't to write about something with which I'm not familiar. I'm trying to concentrate on analysis and organization which I think is missing in most of the genealogical publications that aren't academic type journals.

I've been told that my ancestors left more records than anyone else's family. I'm not convinced of that either, but I'll save comments on that for another time.

Subscribe now and get in on the fun.

Sharing Casefile Clues

I appreciate those who have let others know about Casefile Clues. Spreading the word is easy on our advertising budget and helps to get the word out.

Please do not forward copies of Casefile Clues to others. If you know someone whom you think might like a copy of Casefile Clues, have them send an email to They will then receive instructions (fairly easy ones) on how to download a sample copy. Please don't just forward copies of the newsletter to your friends. We try and keep the annual subscription to Casefile Clues as low as possible. Copies may be printed and used for personal use only.

If you'd like to use a copy of Casefile Clues for a class, please contact me at Thanks!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Get Genealogy Tip of the Day On Your Kindle

For those who have seen my "Genealogy Tip of the Day" blog, it is now available via on your Kindle.

Visit this link to subscribe

Visit Genealogy Tip of the Day at

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sample Copy on Kindle

I have put a sample copy of one issue of Casefile Clues on Kindle at Amazon. Here is the link: Un-American Activity--FBI World War I Era Investigation (Casefile Clues)

Amazon has a minimum charge. In order to get feedback, I'll credit subscribers who download and send me comments, etc. 2 months on their subscription. This issue was picked because it had images, footnotes, etc. Email me when you purchase it. Feedback can be sent to me at Thanks.

I'd like to know how the layout looked, if the images were displayed nicely and how the footnotes appeared.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Sample Free Copies of Casefile Clues

We have two NEW free samples of my weekly how-to newsletter, Casefile Clues. To receive the PDF files as an attachment, simply send an email to

to make your request. Your email address will not be shared, given out, etc.

Get a Free Month when a Friend Subscribes

Current subscribers can get a free month when a friend subscribes to Casefile Clues. It's this simple, your friend needs to use this payment link INSTEAD OF the regular one. This link tells me it was a "friend" susbscription, allowing me to track it.

When your friend subscribes, they should put YOUR name and email in the memo box. That's why it is important they use the link in this blog post. Your friend can request sample copies of Casefile Clues at

Oh, this offer ends on Friday at noon West Coast Time.

Questions? Email me at

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Still Catching Up

I am still catching up on Casefile Clues. Issue 10 from volume 2 was the first issue of October. I don't want to just turn out gunk to catch up and for a variety of reasons, I don't want to just skip a month of issues either and declare myself caught up (messing up subscriptions is one of the several reasons).

Expired subscribers will be purged from the distribution list over the next week, probably in time for issue 11. If you do not know when your subscription expires, email me. If you want to renew or extend your subscription, please let me know.


Casefile Clues Does Not Auto-rebill

Subscribers to Casefile Clues are not automatically rebilled when their subscription expires. We do not retain any of the card numbers that are used. Extending or renewing can be done at any time by the subscriber using the link that is included with each email that accompanies the newsletter.

If I neglect to delete you from the list after you've let your subscription lapse and you later decide to let it go, you will not be charged for extra issues.

Anyone with questions about subscriptions or expiration can send those to me at Thanks!

1880 Census for Benjamin Butler Probate Players

Another good idea for the individuals involved in the Benjamin Butler probate would be to find them in the 1880 census, a few years before the estate was probated. As mentioned in the article, the administrator and two of the lawyers might have had some potential relationship to or with the Butler family. The administrator, for reasons discussed in issue 10, probably is where the research should begin.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Issue 10 is out

Issue 10 is out. A few of you have full email boxes and were rejected.

If you need to renew, there's a link in your email.


Win a Registration to Join Michael in Salt Lake or Fort Wayne!

Blog readers know that I am leading a research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake and a research trip to the Allen County Public Library in 2011. Trip dates are these:

From now until 30 November, we are holding a drawing for a free registration for each trip(drawing is for registration ONLY--hotel, transportation, expenses are the RESPONSIBILITY of the winner). However a free registration will save on your trip expenses. The links above explain more about each trip.
To enter the drawing for the Salt Lake Trip, send an email to
To enter the drawing for the Fort Wayne Trip, send an email to
Be certain to let your friends know!

Missing Issues?

Subscribers who are missing issues can send me email with their requests at or There are a variety of reasons why a person can miss an issue. I'm happy to send these (as long as you were subscribing when it went out), just let me know.

If you'd like to purchase back issues, email me for more more infomation.

Subscriptions can be processed here.

How Many People Wrote on this Document?

This is one of the images I'm using in issue 10 from volume 2 of Casefile Clues. It really appears that two people have written on this relinquishment, which is discussed in issue 10. All the more reason not to put your own handwriting on a document. We've discussed Benjamin before and this is one in an ongoing series of followups to this line of research.We'll also have a complete citation for this document in issue 10 as well.

Issue 10 has NOT gone out as of this posting, subscribe now and get in on the fun.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Issue 9-Benjamin Butler's Probate

Issue 9 is being wrapped up for proofreading.

It discusses the probate file for Benjamn Butler in Vernon County, Missouri, in the 1880s. We've discussed Benjamin before in Casefile Clues--using indirect proof to connect him to his daughter Ellen who married in 1870 and tracing him from Iowa in 1870 to southern Missouri in 1880.

His probate contains few direct genealogical details. However, it allows us to:
  • connect the Iowa Benjamin Butler to the Missouri Benjamin Butler
  • better establish Benjamin's moves
  • determine additional records to research
Even records that don't seem to tell us much may tell more than we think. I still need to determine if I can determine the motivation for Benjamin to move from Michigan where he lived apparently until the early 1850s to Iowa, then Nebraska, then Iowa, then Missouri where he died in the 1880s.

Subscribe now and get in on the discovery.

2011 Research Trips with Michael

If you're looking to get more information on your genealogy with a genealogy research trip, consider joining me in either Salt Lake City or Fort Wayne in 2011.

Trips are:
Atmosphere is relaxed and informal. Trip includes help with pre-trip planning, onsite help and consultations as needed, and morning presentations. There is a pre-trip website for those who choose to participate and participants are encouraged to submit their problems to me early so that we can begin troubleshooting and analysis before our arrival onsite. Trip arrangements and travel accomodations are the responsibility of the participant.

You can reserve your spot now for either trip. Trip size is kept small to ensure that each person is able to ask questions and get help as needed. We have special rates with hotels near both libraries and have been pleased with the hotels we have used both in Salt Lake City and Fort Wayne for our trips.

If you have questions about either trip, just email me at

Back issues 1-9 from Volume 2

The following are summaries of issues 1-9 of Volume 2
  • 1-Problem Solving
  • 2-A 1907 Insanity
  • 3-A 1921 Divorce
  • 4-Disposing of John's Property--several early twentieth century deeds settling up an estate.
  • 5-John Acquires Property--how John from issue 4 obtained his property.
  • 6-Original vs. Transcribed Record-Comparing an original deed with the courthouse transcription.
  • 7-The Oft-married Emma--5 marriages for a woman between 1856 and 1910.
  • 8-Problem-Solving Strategies
  • 9-Inheriting with the In-Laws--a 1907 partition suit.
New subscribers can order issues 1-9 for $6.50.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Making the Case in 1860

Over at the Daily Genealogy Transcriber I posted three entries from an 1860 census where four couples on the same page are related. None of the last names are written correctly. I'm thinking it would make for a good Casefile Clues article discussing why I think these are the right people, how they were found, etc.

The images are here if anyone wants to give a look at interpreting them.
 They were originally located in the days before indexes, but even with those finding them is not easy. Subscribe now and get in on the fun.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sharing With the In-Laws--Continued

Received some really good insight and comments into the Anne Rampley article-issue 9. I won't repeat them all  here, but they did get me to thinking about the case and Anne's situation. In fact, it got me thinking beyond even the comments the reader made. As we've hinted before in other issues, often times the records we search are really only the tip of the iceberg. It is always important to keep in mind how family dynamics, economics, common practice, and the law all play together to "make things happen."

UPDATED PARAGRAPH-In her original Bill of Complaint Anne did not ask for any specific type of relief from the Court--she just asked that either her property be partitioned off, or if that could be done, then sold. She did not request any specific remedy.

It really is important to view each document or series of records in the context in which they were created. It is important to not make conclusions on one record or document when it is the only record or document of that type we've ever seen. How can we know what is atypical and what is not?

We will see what happened to Anne's farm in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues. It wasn't equitable to partition it out amongst the heirs and the judge only really had one choice. Anne didn't express any preference in her petition either.

Subscribe now and get in on the fun. Old records are interesting. It's researchers who make them boring.

1850 Census Analysis Article

For issue 10 or 11 (not certain yet), we will be looking at Thomas Chaney/Cheney, a resident of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, in his 1850 and previous census records to see what it says about his family structure.

While we haven't done a Pennsylvania ancestor before this article really doesn't have too much to do with Pennsylvania and everything to do with analysis of census records that only contain names of heads of household and ages of everyone else in categories.

Along the way we'll discuss the assumptions that were made before the analysis. While you may not agree with them, stating them is always a good idea.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

September 2010 Expirations

If you subscribed to Casefile Clues in July or September of 2009, your subscription has expired. You can renew via the email link in your cover email that comes with every issue or you can subscribe here.

Issue 9

Issue 9 from Volume 2 has gone out. If you do not have it, please let me know. If you aren't a subscriber, get on the list here.

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