Monday, April 30, 2012

Issue 3-10 is out

Check your email. Email me at if you don't have it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Issue 9-1840 Census Searches--Out!

Issue 9 just went out! Email me if you do not have it. Subscribe here if you'd like to get on the distribution list.

We look at finding an 1840 census enumeration--when there are several possible matches.

A quick screen shot of a part of our chart--readers know how we like charts.

Don't forget our webinar sale today either.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

1860 Census for William Newman a Little Confusing

We're using the 1860 census for William Newman as one of the items in the next issue of Casefile Clues. It turns out that the dwelling and family numbers for Princeton Township, White County, Indiana, have some issues. It makes a good reminder about the importance of complete citation, even if we think certain details might not be necessary. We'll have a complete discussion of it in the next issue of Casefile Clues, but those who are interested can see a summarized posting on

Monday, April 16, 2012

Eliza Burch Death Certificate

We're continuing work on Eliza Burch for an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues--just what focus really depends on what information can be located.  This is part of her death certificate that I obtained last year while at the Family History Library in Salt Lake.

This death certificate was also transcribed at indexed on the Washington State Archives-Digital Archives website as shown in this image:
Of course, since I have the actual image I'm not going to bother citing the transcription in my files or in my database. But it was a very helpful finding aid.

When I make copies from Family History Library microfilm, time is always short. To help me track my sources, I always take a scan of the "cover sheet" for the microfilm--usually shown before any record images.
Of course, the real goal with Eliza is to work on her father's probable connection to Benjamin Butler--born about 1820 in New York State. Benjamin is the actual ancestor of interest. As newsletter readers know, Benjamin moved around quite a bit and didn't always leave the most detailed records.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Casefile Clues Philosophy

For Our New Subscribers--some of our philosophy

It has been a little while since I posted anything to the blog about our philosophy here at Casefile Clues and since we have some new subscribers I thought I would.

Casefile Clues is not geared towards the totally new genealogist. There already is a great deal of basic how-to information on the internet and in print form. Our audience is the experienced genealogist. Our focus is also on the process, why certain things were done, what worked, and most importantly what did not work.

Michael only writes about families he is actually researching. That does limit the scope somewhat, but my children have a fairly diverse background so there is variety. Suggestions for ideas are welcome, but unless you are related to me (as one gentleman in Topeka was), I'm probably not going to write about your family.

Casefile Clues does not accept any advertising, either in the PDF version of the newsletter or on the Casefile Clues website. This is partially because what time I do have for the newsletter is I want to devote to researching and writing. I don't want to have to worry about advertisers, ads, etc. And...since Casefile Clues has no advertisers there is no one to worry about irritating. We really don't get controversial in Casefile Clues, but this way I don't have to worry if an advertiser won't like that I "left out" their site, book, etc. I also don't want readers to think I'm writing about a certain site or service in an attempt to promote it. I write about how I actually research. It is that simple. And suggestions are always welcome if you think I have overlooked something, because sometimes I do. Everyone does.

Some blogs, newsletters, and websites write about vendors or sites in hopes that their blog, newsletter, or website generates traffic to that site and generates them income. I'm certainly not opposed to income and I'm certainly not opposed to advertising (I use it on my site just to be upfront about it), but I really want Casefile Clues to be completely about the research.

If you've found Casefile Clues helpful to your research, consider:
  • mentioning it on your website/blog
  • sharing information about the newsletter with others
It really does help and I do appreciate it.

And your positive comments and support are also appreciated. There are a few taped up in my office for motivation when deadlines are looming.

Get Email Updates to the Casefile Clues Blog

We are now offering followers/fans/subscribers the opportunity to get updates to the Casefile Clues blog in their email by subscribing on the right hand side of our page at Keep in mind that this is a free subscription to the updates on the Casefile Clues blog at It is not a free subscription to the newsletter.

Eliza Burch--Partial Update

Readers will remember that an affidavit from the Civil War Widow's pension file for Eliza Burch was discussed in the last issue of Casefile Clues that was sent to readers. This affidavit was used to create a chronology for her, her husband, and the affiants.

It was thought that in 1910, Eliza and her husband would have been in California. They were located in Watsonville, living with a family of Coxes and Eliza listed as an Aunt in her relationship to the head of household.

We have found her death certificate in Washington State and may have a lead on getting an obituary for her.

All of the while keeping in mind that our real reason for researching Eliza is that she's a probable niece of Benjamin Butler, born about 1820, probably in New York. And Benjamin is the actual person of interest. Readers know that we've discussed gaps in his life and we are hoping that Eliza will help shed some potential light on him.

Stay tuned.

The Final Brick Wall A to Z Webinar

Of all the webinars, the "Brick Walls from A to Z" series has been the most popular. Recorded copies are available in my webinar archives but we're going to put on one last A2Z webinar. 

Tomorrow, 15 April 2012 we will offer our FINAL "Brick Walls from A to Z" webinar. This will be the last new one. Previous attendees have been requesting one more installment in this series, but tomorrow's session at 1:30 PM Central Standard Time will be the final live run. 

Geared for beginning and intermediate researchers, this session will include a PDF copy of the handout and registration for the live version is limited.  There will be time for questions and answers afterwards. 

Sign up for this last session in the series is only $5--less than our normal rate. Registrants who miss the live session can get a free copy of the webinar recording--as long as they were registered before 1:00 PM CST 15 April 2012. Copies after the webinar is over will be sold at $8.50. 

You can process your registration here:

Hope to "see" some of you tomorrow!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Creating Research Plans and Preparing for Mother's Death Webinars

Creating Research Plans Webinar

My webinar on "Creating Research Plans" has just been processed and is ready for download. I discuss how to create your research plans, how to set goals, how to not set goals, when you are proving and when you are not, and other key concepts. Of course, we have a few charts as well. Our attempt is to be down-to-earth and practical. I realize that most genealogists are not going to write journal articles, however our research needs to be as thorough as possible and our analysis and method well-thought out or we're not going to get the best possible story on great-great-grandma that there is. This presentation is geared towards intermediate researchers, but advanced beginners might get some benefit from it as well.

The presentation and handout can be downloaded from our vendor for $8.50. The download link is live for 24 hours after your purchase, but the presentation can be viewed as many times as you want after the download.

All our older webinars can be ordered here.

Preparing for Mother's Death Webinar

We've just released the recorded webinar and handout for my latest presentation, "Preparing For Mother's Death."

It's not quite what you might think.

We've discussed this family in several issues of Casefile Clues. The presentation concentrates on an Illinois family, but the concepts involved are applicable to other areas and time periods as well. It makes a good advanced beginner/intermediate level presentation on several key concepts.

This presentation discusses an 1889 will that was denied in 1900 with no stated reasons. An exhaustive search of records resulted in the likely reason and made the machinations of one son a little easier to see and made the reasons behind some documents a little more clear.

Along the way we discuss a few key terms and also see why chronology and context are always important--especially so when things are confusing.

You can purchase the handout and presentation for $8.50. You'll be sent a download link that has to be used in 24 hours. The file can be viewed as many times as you want---it's just that you have to download it within 24 hours.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Issue 8 out...

Should be in your email box if you are a subscriber.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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--10 April 2012

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.

Confusing Phrase-Two Time The Uncle

Part of the affidavit in the next issue of Casefile Clues states in part:

"That the said Clinton Burch was a brother of the mother of affiant Charles P. Cox, and an uncle by marriage..."

I'm not really certain how to interpret that. The "uncle by marriage" part has me wondering. In this case the relationships are not really germane to the problem at hand or the person who is the actual focus of the research.

I'm wondering if the phrase is an error and was actually an attempt to state that Clinton Burch was the uncle of Charles P. Cox.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

1940 Census Webinar

The 1940 census images will be released on 2 April 2012 and those used to indexed census records are in for a challenge.

My 1940 census webinar discusses ways to find addresses to help with 1940 census work, finding the correct enumeration district, using the enumeration district maps, and more.

The webinar (including handout) can be downloaded for $4.00. Get ready for your 1940 census search.