Thursday, July 26, 2012

Not Get Issue 16 as an Attachment?

We have reports of people not getting issue 16 as the attached PDF file to their email.

I'm hesitant to resend to everyone to avoid duplication for those who did receive their issue.

If you did not receive issue 16, please send a separate email to and let me know.

Let Your Friends Know

If you know of others who might be interested in reading Casefile Clues, please let them know about the newsletter. Feel free to mention the newsletter on your blog or website.

We don't have an advertising budget--which is done to keep our subscription cost down.

Samples can be obtained by following instructions here

And a big thanks to those who already share the news about Casefile Clues with others.

Issue 16 Out

The latest issue of Casefile Clues just went out--issue 16.

Friday, July 20, 2012

John Shores Tombstone Marietta, Georgia

This is a picture of the tombstone of John Shores in the Marietta National Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia. The picture is actually posted on FindAGrave and is used here with the permission of the picture taker.

I'm already obtaining a copy of the pension records that were generated as a result of John's service. We'll be discussing those records in a future issue of Casefile Clues.

There are still a few unanswered questions though about this John Shores. The only way I've connected him to my family is by using the information on the FindAgrave site. Of course that information needs to be validated as it is compiled information and secondary in nature.

My interest in Shores is that I believe him to be the son of a Mary Rampley Shores of Coshocton County, Ohio. Before I research this John too completely, I need to confirm that the Shores in the cemetery in Marietta, Georgia, actually connects to my family.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Getting the Whole Minor's Pension

After having a conversation with the lady who sometimes obtains copies of things for me from the National Archives, I've decided to obtain the entire file as mentioned in an earlier post.

Sometimes obtaining a copy of the entire Union Civil War pension file is cost-prohibitive, particularly if the veteran lived to an advanced age, had health issues, and had a widow apply after his death. Some of these files are full of medical reports, which may not always provide genealogically relevant information. One always has to balance the need for an exhaustive search with the reality of the budget.

However, in this case, the file "should not be too large." Mainly this is because:

  • the veteran died in the war--there won't be medical reports on him.
  • the widow married within a few years of his death--thus ending her pension in his name.
  • the child aged out of the pension system at 16. 
Pensioners who live for decades after the war may re-apply as new laws are enacting which effect their eligibility, pension amount, etc. That won't be the case with this pension, so I'm opting for getting everything. We'll have an update after the images have made their way to my inbox. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Minor's Pension

This is the General Index to Pension Files index card for John Shores who served in Company G of the 85th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the US Civil War.

Shores was killed in Georgia in 1864 and, according to this card, his widow received a pension fairly soon after his death as did his minor child.

We're getting copies of relevant pages from the file and will discuss the records in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues.

And, as usual, we'll have complete citations there. This John Shores is a grandson of Thomas Johnson Rampley and Christianna DeMoss who have been discussed in Casefile Clues before.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Issue 15 is out

The latest issue of Casefile Clues is attached to this email. This issue discusses an 1820 deed from Maryland that provides a variety of genealogical clues--some explicit and some not.

We've updated our list of upcoming webinars--check them out at:

If you are missing issues or have questions, please email me at

Until next time...

Michael John Neill
Casefile Clues-Genealogy How-Tos

What's Missing?

Sometimes what is missing from a document is just as important as what is there.

In the next issue of Casefile Clues, we'll see a document that is missing something that one would expect to be there.

I'm not certain yet why this element is missing and it's something that I'm working on. I have a theory....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A "J" or an "I?"

This is part of a deed that is the subject of the next issue of Casefile Clues. While not germane to the actual problem at you think the middle initial of Thomas Rampley is an "J" or an "I?"

We'll have a complete transcription of this document in the next issue, along with an analysis of it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Non-Typical Cash Purchase

This is an interesting cash land sale from the Bureau of Land Management. The patent was issued in 1830 to James Shores, Assignee of Thomas J. Rampley, decd. I'm curious as to the time frame as Thomas Rampley died in Ohio in 1823. A few years elapsed between Rampley's death and the issuance of the patent.

Cash land purchases are usually pretty non-informational (is that a word?). Usually these files are just receipts and an order to issue the patent and typically do not contain lots of good "genealogical" information. But this record may be a little different. These records are actually at the National Archives. A researcher who typically gets these for me is working on obtaining copies. We'll have an update and probably a detailed article in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues.

The purchase was in Coshocton County, Ohio--as evidenced by this screen shot of the patent detail screen:

These images and the information used to create this post comes from the Bureau of Land Management website

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just The 1850 Census

It may seem a little bit strange, but the most recent issue of Casefile Clues analyzes just one record on a family: the 1850 census.

I've got the family in every extant census federal and state census record. I've got copies of land transactions, biographies, military pension records for the sons, copies of marriage records, etc. And yet the last issue only discussed the 1850 census as if there was nothing else on the family.


Because sometimes when just one document is analyzed, and others are kept waiting until later and clues from other documents are kept out of mind's reach (as best as can be done), clues are noticed that might not be as clear when a large number of documents are being analyzed simultaneously. Assumptions were made about the enumeration and it was determined what that enumeration (and not other records) told us.

Of course that doesn't mean the enumeration is correct.

But sometiemes we need to analyze something separately to determine if there are unnoticed clues.

Issue 14 sent

It is in your email box.