Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Most Likely Error

Out of all the pieces of information on a person in, say the 1860 US census, what piece do you think is the most likely to be incorrect--why?
(this was copied from our Facebook wall)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Janes in 1860

I'm looking at some census images from 1860--and think I might have figured out a set of "married females" living in an 1860 household. Links to full images are at the bottom of this post.

The image above is part of the 1860 census entry for Wesley Jones in Macon County, Missouri, that was discussed in issue 51 of Casefile Clues. The 26-year old is in the household and I'm am not certain who she is--is she a daughter with a wrong last name, a daughter-in-law, or what? The census indicates she and the Matilda after her, were married within the census year. There seemed to be something incorrect with a census entry that contained two females, same last name as the head of household, who were married within the census year. The question was what was incorrect about the entry? Or was anything incorrect about it at all?

Part of the problem is that the name of the female above Matilda has a name that is difficult to read.

The census entry below, also from Macon County, Missouri, and taken by the same census taker contains a Jane Green.

The question is--is that 26 year old in the Wesley Jones household also a Jane? The first letter in the "Jane" in Wesley Jones' household doesn't look quite like the other "J"s, but it seems reasonable.

I think I have the answer and we'll lay out the case (complete with citations) in issue 52. Like most situations, it's not overly difficult, but it wasn't solved in five minutes either. 

The full images can be seen below.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Corrected Issue 51

Anyone who wants a corrected digital copy of issue 51 can email me at mjnrootdig@gmail.com to request it. I'm not going to send out a mass email to everyone with the corrected version.

Correction to Issue 51-When was Iam Born?

Issue 51 contained a chart analyzing the households of Wesley Jones in the 1850-1880 census. In preparing an article on the daughter Matilda and her husband, an error on the birth year was noted for "Iam." The year range was not actually needed in the analysis done in issue 51. However, it is more crucial to the analysis of the identity of the mysterious "Iam."

The chart appears below. We're working on the article regarding this confusing "Iam."

1850 Age[1]
1860 Age[2]
1870 Age[3]
1880 Age[4]
Birth year range calculated by using oldest and youngest census ages


should be 1833-1834
“Iam” and Matilda were married within the 1860 census year. Both are enumerated as females. “Iam” may actually have been an in-law of Wesley Jones.

[1] 1850 U. S. census, Macon County Missouri, population schedule, District 52, p. 154B and 155, dwelling 511, family 520, Wesley Jones; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 405.
[2] 1860 U. S. census, Macon County, Missouri, population schedule, West Chariton Township, p. 109 (handwritten, upper right), dwelling 770, family 774, Wesley Jones household; digital image, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 631.
[3] 1870 U. S. census, Macon County, Missouri, population schedule, Callao, p. 38B, dwelling 227, family 227, Wesley Jones; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 790.
[4] 1880 U. S. census, Macon County, Missouri, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 131, Bevier, p. 10B, dwelling 81, household 86, Serilda Jones; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 October 2011); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 701.

William Rhodus Before 1860

One of the difficulties with some individuals is finding them "before" their marriage. That is the case with William Rhodes or Rhodes who is shown here in his 1880 census enumeration in Chariton County, Missouri. Originally I "wrote off" the Rhodus spelling, but now I am beginning to think it was more of a potential clue than I realized. I also don't think his age in 1880 is 49, but rather it is 49--look at the "8" in the "18" for the age of son George.

The 1870 Census for William in Macon County, indicates the same spelling of his last name: Rhodus.

The name of the wife is different, but her actual name was Lucretia Matilda--explaining the difference. Notice that the ages are pretty much ten years different.

The 1900 Census for William (his last) shows him as a widow in Garfield County, Oklahoma. Again the last name is written as Rhodus.

The Rhodus spelling is significant, even if a few documents on his children don't always use that spelling.

We're wrapping up an article on William--where I think I've found him twice in the 1850 census. Stay tuned.


Welcome to our new subscribers who've joined us after our Black Friday (and Saturday! ) specials.

You should have received your first issue within a few hours of subscribing.

Those who would like to purchase back issues can do so here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

NEW samples of Casefile Clues

If it's been a while since you've looked at Casefile Clues, we've changed out our free samples for two new ones just tonight.

We've initiated new download procedures for free samples of Casefile Clues.

Visit this page, click "checkout" and enter your email  You do NOT need Paypal, you do NOT need a credit card, (name is actually optional). Do need an email address.

You will not be asked for a credit card or any other information.

Your email will not be shared.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Chart for Wesley

This is part of a chart that was used in the last issue of Casefile Clues when we were analyzing information on Wesley Jones of Macon County, Missouri. In the issue, the chart took up an entire page--what's here is just a snippet of the entire thing.

Regular readers know that quite a few charts are used in the newsletter--subscribe within three days of this post and I'll start your subscription off with the issue in which this chart appeared.

Spend 30-Get 30% on Recorded Webinars

Until Sunday 20 November at 11:59 PM CST, we are running a Pre-Thanksgiving Sale on my recorded webinars--Spend 30 Get 30%.  Thanksgiving is pretty busy around here and it's easier to deal with issues before the holidays.

Spend $30 on recorded webinars, use the coupon code "three3" and you'll get 30% reduced from your order. You'll total order may be less than $30--depending upon your order. 

The recorded version and the PDF version of the handout can be purchased for viewing at your convenience. Presentations are generally an hour long. PDF of the handout is included.

  • Using US Census on Ancestry.com (NEW!)--This presentation discusses search tips and ideas for using the US Census at Ancestry.com. There is also discussion on organizing your search before you start typing names and information in search boxes. You can purchase the recorded version of the webinar as a Windows media file and the PDF handout for $8.50. Add to cart here
  • Brick Walls from A to Z--This lecture is based upon my article "Brick Walls From A to Z" and is geared towards the somewhat experienced beginner to intermediate researcher. Just a list of ideas to get beyond your brick walls discussed alphabetically. Handout included. Add to cart here
  • Local Land Records in Public Domain States--This lecture discusses obtaining, using, and interpreting local land records in areas of the United States from Ohio westward where land was originally in the public domain. This lecture is geared towards those who have some experience with land records--advanced beginning and intermediate researchers.  $8.50 includes handout and hour-long lecture. Add to cart here
  • DeedMapper (NEW!) Geared for the person who is not familiar with DeedMapper--which maps properties described in metes and bounds, allows users to map multiple parcels on the same map, manipulate plats, insert background images. This works through one example and discusses other features of the program. Add to cart here.
  • Barbara's Beaus and Gesche's Girls--Case study of two German immigrants to the American Midwest in the mid-19th century. For $8.50 you will be able to download the media file and the PDF version of the handout. Add to cart here
  • Court Records-Pig Blood in the Snow. This lecture discusses American court records at the county level where cases were typically originally heard. Discusses cases of main genealogical relevance along with searching techniques. For $8.50 you will be able to download the media file and the PDF version of the handout. Add to cart here
  • Seeing the Patterns-Organizing Your Information. This lecture discusses the problem-solving process and a variety of ways to organize your information with the intent of getting the research to notice overlooked clues, patterns, trends, and information. $8.50 includes handout and hour-long lecture. Add to cart here.
  • Determining Your Own Migration Trail/Chain (NEW!). You can purchase the recorded version of the webinar as a Windows media file and the handout as as PDFvia this link for $7. This lecture discusses ways to find the names of your ancestor's associates and ways to determine how your ancestor fit into a larger chain of migration. Geared towards advanced beginners and intermediate researchers.$8.50 includes handout and hour-long lecture 
  • Using the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Website (NEW!). You can purchase the recorded version of the webinar as a Windows media file and the handout as as PDF for $8.50. This lecture discusses effective search techniques for the site, how to formulate your searches, how to trouble-shoot searches, a search template, and what records patents in the BLM site can lead to. Add to cart.
  • The Missing 1840 Census Enumeration  (NEW!)This webinar discusses a couple "missing" from the 1840 Census in Ohio and how they were eventually found and the indirect evidence used. A good overview of using land records to solve a "non-land record" problem with some points along the way about organization and visualization. Suggestions for additional research are also discussed. Add to cart.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Buying Individual Issues from Year 2-Don't Wait!

Volume 2 of Casefile Clues is wrapping up. If you'd like to purchase individual issues, or less than the whole volume 2, please let me know at mjnrootdig@gmail.com.

After we wrap up year 2, I'm going to stop selling year 2 issues in "chunks" as it takes too much time to process these orders individually. After year 2 is finished, we'll sell the entire set of issues as one zip file.


Year 2 Issues--Topics and Ordering

Topics from the first 51 issues of year 2 are shown below.
  • Volume 2-Number 1--Problem-Solving--a variety of techniques for breaking through those brick walls.
  • Volume 2-Number 2--A 1907 Committal--An insanity record.
  • Volume 2-Number 3--A 1921 Divorce--looking at a 1921 era divorce from Chicago
  • 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
  • Volume 2-Number 11--Signing What We Could Not Read--immigrants unable to read English sign a 1870 era document that is incorrect and a lawsuit results.
  • Volume 2-Number 12--Dad Raised my Daughter--A newspaper account of a court case in the 1880s discusses an early 1870 out-of-wedlock birth.
  • Volume 2-Number 13--Using the 1860 Census to Formulate a Passenger List Search Strategy
  • Volume 2-Number 14--Search Strategy for Benjmamin Butler in pre-1870 Census Records--this looks at ways to find the missing 1850 and 1860 census enumerations for man who "appears" in Iowa in 1870.
  • Volume 2-Number 15--Pre-1850 Census--analyzing 1810-1840 census entries for Thomas Chaney in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.
  • Volume 2-Number 16--Names in the Probate--analyzing various names in a probate settlement from 1903. Nicknames and diminutives were part of the problem.
  • Volume 2-Number 17--Bridging a Twenty-Year Census Gap-1870 to 1860. Showing that an 1870 Iowa, 1880 Missouri, and an 1850 Michigan enumeration are for the same man.
  • Volume 2-Number 18--Four Passports and a Foreign Death: George Washington Drollette. Analyzes four early 20th century passports and a US State Department death report from 1933.
  • Volume 2-Number 19--Diplomatic Employment Applications. Analyzes and summaries letters of support for employment with the US State Department between 1901-1906.
  • Volume 2-Number 20--Just One Wife Who Shaves Her Age. Records hinted that a man might have had more than one wife. Despite age discrepancies and first name variations, we've likely proven that there was just one wife.
  • Volume 2-Number 21--1930 Census: Primary, Secondary, Original, Derivative, Direct and Indirect. You'll never look at a census entry the same way again-also shows how in this case, New York became Kentucky
  • Volume 2-Number 22--Finding the Biegers in 1850. Organizing our search and our negative search results in an attempt to find a German immigrant living in Cincinnati in 1850.
  • Volume 2-Number 23--Separating Two George Butlers--working on two men born in Michigan in the same year with a father of the same name.
  • Volume 2-Number 24-A Minor Naturalization
  • Volume 2-Number 25-Genealogical Potpourri
  • Volume 2-Number 26-Looking for Benjamin-Formulating a Census Search
  • Volume 2-Number 27-An 1849 Cash Land Sale
  • Volume 2-Number 28-From 1820-1870 Analyzing Enoch Tinsley's Census Entries
  • Volume 2-Number 29-Middle Name Issues: Finding Henry J. Fecht in 1870 and Passenger Lists
  • Volume 2-Number 30-The Master Reports--An Assignment of Homestead and Dower in the 1890s
  • Volume 2-Number 31-The Parents Sell 10 Acres-an 1880 era land transaction
  • Volume 2-Number 32-Clues from a Pig Murder--an 1820 era Kentucky Court Case
  • Volume 2-Number 33-Civil War Pension Application-Why My Name's Different
  • Volume 2-Number 34-Staying Focused on Divorces and a German Immigrant
  • Volume 2-Number 35-Strategies for a 1820 New York Birth
  • Volume 2-Number 36-First Appearing in an 1847 Marriage
  • Volume 2-Number 37-The Chattel Property Will from Maryland
  • Volume 2-Number 38-Emmar Osenbaugh Civil War Pension-Proving 6 Husbands (1st Part)
  • Volume 2-Number 39-1870-1880 Era Guardianship Proves All the Children
  • Volume 2-Number 40-Moving Mother-Transferring a Life Estate in 1769
  • Volume 2-Number 41-War of 1812 Bounty Land Application and Surrendered Warrant
  • Volume 2-Number 42--An 1875 Poor Farm Admission for the Smith Family
  • Volume 2-Number 43-An 1811 Tennessee Will
  • Volume 2-Number 44-More Problem-Solving
  • Volume 2-Number 45-Emmar Osenbaugh's Civil War Pension Part II
  • Volume 2-Number 46-Comments on 1856 Missouri Revised Statutes
  • Volume 2-Number 47-A Will Denied--and Why
  • Volume 2-Number 48-Blank Children and Three Completers on a Birth Record
  • Volume 2-Number 49-Petitioning to Administrate an Intestate Probate in 1869
  • Volume 2-Number 50-Fighting the Will of Trientje Sartorius
  • Volume 2-Number 51-With Little to Probate: The Estate of Wesley Jones

Enumerated in Two States in 1860?

1860 Census, Macon County, Missouri, household of Wesley Jones

This entry was briefly discussed in issue 51 of volume 2 of Casefile Clues. I won't repeat that discussion here, but our purpose in issue 51 was establishing a list of children for Wesley Jones, using his probate as a springboard. Census records were used to establish birth year ranges for those children.

The last two individuals in Wesley's household really didn't make sense--they are both listed as females who married within the census year. That is a little bit strange. We put off a discussion of these two individuals, but readers will remember that Wesley had a daughter Matilda. 

The entry that follows is for John Rhodus in Breckenridge County, Kentucky, in 1860. There is a couple here that were married within the census year as well--William and Matilda Rhodus. 

In issue 52 we will see why I think it's reasonable that the "married females" from the Wesley Jones household could be the married couple from the John Rhodus household.

You may not necessarily agree with my conclusion, but we will lay out the rationale in issue 52.

Subscribe now and join the discovery. It's no fun when everything is straight forward. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fighting With Missouri Citations

I fought with myself on the citation for the Missouri Marriages from Ancestry.com in issue 51 of Casefile Clues. I'm not happy with how Ancestry.com handled the images in terms of being able to cite them.

It would have been nice to have been able to view digital images of the books from which these records were taken. I am reasonably certain that the microfilm copy of these records includes images of the book itself, making it easier for the user to know where the originals came from.

It should be easier for the user to know what marriage record volume each entry was from. Page numbers are part of the image, but volume numbers are not included. Ancestry organizes the records by  year and then by image.

In the citation, I included the names as transcribed in the index, the year and the image number within that year. Actually the names as in the database should have been sufficient, but the additional information reduces any potential for confusion.

Thoughts are appreciated.

Using Passenger Lists at Ancestry.com Webinar-18 November

Tomorrow's webinar (Searching US Passenger Lists at Ancestry.com) is at 1PM CST. Late registrants will be allowed to view recording, but won't get in on the live session... http://www.casefileclues.com/webinars_neill.htm

Issue 51 is out...

Just sent issue 51.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What is the Issue with Wesley Jones' 1860 Census Entry?

There is something a little bit unusual about this 1860 census entry for Wesley Jones in Macon County, Missouri. The entry for the Jones household is shown below. It is just one in a series of records discussed in the next issue of Casefile Clues.

The "issue" with this entry (or at least what I see as the main issue with it) isn't germane to issue 51 and so it is briefly acknowledged in the issue. We'll discuss the issue in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues and what I think was "right."
Do you see the "issue" with the entry? The entire image of the census page is shown below, but you really don't need to see the entire image to hopefully see what I see as the issue with this. Although knowing what the column headings mean will be helpful. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Only 1 Out of 300 Stones

Actually this "find" found me thanks to my earlier blog post on Lucinda (Sargent) Fairman

Work on Lucinda, who lived in a Shaker community in Enfield, New Hampshire, has taken a back seat to other things. However, a contributor to Findagrave recently photographed her tombstone in the Shaker Cemetery in Enfield, New Hampshire. According to the information on the cemetery on Findagrave, Lucinda's stone is the only one remaining. It's not often I get that lucky--over 300 burials and the only stone left is the one I actually need. 

This photograph of her stone was taken by Nicole S Vecchi and is used here with her permission.   

The Findagrave entry can be viewed here

Hopefully we'll have periodic updates on Lucinda and her life in the Shaker community. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Other John and Reka Johnson in Bear Creek Township in 1910

There was another John and Reka Johnson in Bear Creek Township, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1910. A transcription of their enumeration is in the image below. This couple's 1920 census enumeration is referenced in the comments to the contest post.

There were two John Johnsons living in Bear Creek Township during this era:

Just so readers are totally confused, I'm descended from the John J. and Reka M. Johnson. The Reka Johnson, wife of John H. Johnson, is a relative of mine as well. She is a cousin of one of my great-grandmothers.