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Digging Deeper



Records can hold clues to aid family historians in ways most beginning genealogists wouldn't suspect. Discover how to "decode" records and find the hidden clues to guide you in your search for ...

Records can hold clues to aid family historians in ways most beginning genealogists wouldn't suspect. Discover how to "decode" records and find the hidden clues to guide you in your search for ancestors.

This Power Point presentation was presented as part of our 6-part Finding Your Roots workshop series.



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    Digging Deeper Digging Deeper Presentation Transcript

    • Bullitt County Public Library presents
      Digging Deeper
      Finding Your Roots Workshop Series, Part 4
      Presented 5/21/11
    • Using Records
      Birth records are a great place to start
      Depending on the time period, records can have a little or a lot of information
      Older records are sometimes held at county level
      Newer records held at state level
    • All U.S. states have required the recording of birth certificates since 1919
      Many families ignored the requirement to obtain a birth certificate until the 1950s
      Alternative sources for individuals' birthdates and names of parents:
      Church records
    • Birth records
    • Birth Records
      Birth records can be helpful in finding more information than just the date and place of death
      Some birth records will give you the names, ages, races, and birth places of the parents of the child
      This is sometimes the only link you will get for tracing a female ancestor
    • Birth Records
      Number of mother's living children
      Total number of children mother has delivered
      Marital status of mother
      Number of children born [single birth, twins, etc.]
      Occupation of parents
    • Marriage Records
    • Marriage Record
      Marriage record from 1853 (Harlan County, Kentucky)
      Date of marriage
      Names of Bride and Groom
      Name of person performing ceremony
      J.P.= Justice of the Peace
    • Marriage Records
      If the name of the officiator was Rev.
      G.W. Ball, where might we find more records of the marriage?
      • Church records
      • Baptismal records
      • Church register
      • Family bible
      • Newspaper
    • Marriage Records
      Record from 1916, which shows:
      Date and place of marriage
      Names of bride and groom
      Age of bride and groom
      Places of birth and residence
      Names of the couple’s parents
      Occupations of couple
      Name of officiator
      Names of witnesses
      This can give you other family relationships
    • Death Records
    • Death Records
      Place and date of death
      Marital status
      Date of birth
      Whether or not there was military service
      Cause of death, and contributing factors
      Date of injury
      Manner of death (e.g., suicide, murder, accidental, employment related)
      Where the death took place
      Name of coroner
      Funeral director
      Attending physician
    • Death Records
      Not always, but a good deal of the time, the informant is a close family member, usually the next of kin
      Can help us trace other family members
      When and where buried:
      Might give us a religious affiliation
      Might also help us find other family members in the same cemetery
    • Death Records
      Mortality Schedule
      Gives us:
      Name of deceased
      Marital status
      Place of birth (sometimes that of the parents as well)
      Month of death
      Cause of death
      Place of death (county, state)
      These were only used for someone who died the same year the census was taken
    • Military Records
    • War Registration Records
      Can give a lot of information:
      Full name
      Date and place of birth
      Name of person to contact
      Usually next of kin
    • Military Records in Research
      Military records can often provide valuable information on the veteran, as well as on all members of the family.
      There are three main types of military records available:
      Compiled Records
      Pension Application and Payment Records
      Bounty Land Records
    • Compiled Records
      Compiled service records consist of an envelope containing card abstracts taken from muster rolls, returns, pay vouchers, and other records. They will provide you with your ancestor's rank, unit, date mustered in and mustered out, basic biographical information, medical information, and military information.
    • Pension Application and Payment Records
      Pension application files usually provide the most genealogical information. These files often contain supporting documents such as: narratives of events during service, marriage certificates, birth records, death certificates, pages from family Bibles, family letters, depositions of witnesses, affidavits, discharge papers and other supporting papers.
      The National Archives also has pension applications and records of pension payments for veterans, their widows, and other heirs. The pension records in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. are based on service in the armed forces of the United States between 1775 and 1916.
    • How do I find military records?
      Gather information answering these questions:
      What branch of service was your ancestor in?
      Which conflict, what dates?
      Whether Regular Army or a volunteer unit?
      Whether your ancestor was an officer or enlisted personnel?
      Whether there was a pension application?
    • Military Records
      When researching volunteers who served in the military for a particular war, start with the compiled military service records.
      Begin by searching the appropriate name indexes on the National Archives microfilm.
      See the original records at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.
    • Regular Army Listings
      Since the War Department did not compile military service records for those who served in the Regular Army, start your research with: Enlisted Men - Regular Army Enlistment Papers, 1798-1894
      Officers - Francis B. Heitman's Historical Register
      Dictionary of the Unites States Army, From Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903 (2 vols.)
    • Bounty Land Records
      Bounty land records often contain documents similar to those in pension files, with lots of genealogical information. Many of the bounty land application files relating to Revolutionary War and War of 1812 service have been combined with the pension files.
      Bounty land warrant application files relate to claims based on wartime service between 1775 and March 3, 1855. If your ancestor served in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, early Indian Wars, or the Mexican War, a search of these records may be worthwhile.
    • Bounty Land Records
      Many of the bounty land application files relating to Revolutionary War and War of 1812 service have been combined with the pension files. There is also a series of unindexed bounty land warrant applications based on service between 1812 and 1855, which includes disapproved applications based on Revolutionary War service. This series is arranged alphabetically by name of veteran.
    • Newspaper Records
    • Newspaper Records
      Miss Nancy Jeffries, teacher at Belmont, with her sister, Miss
      Blanche, spent Sunday with friends at Glendale.
      From this, we know that Nancy Jeffries is unwed, her occupation and place of work, and her sister’s name
      We are also given a new place to look for information: Glendale
    • Newspaper
      Mr. Arthur Burns and Miss Mammie Ice were married in Jeffersonville, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 1917. Mr. Burns is the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Will Burns of this place. Miss Ice is a daughter of the late Mrs. Tom Ice, who was killed in the R.R. wreck here Dec. 20. Mr. Burns is a popular young farmer. Miss Ice is one of Belmont’s most beautiful young ladies. They will go to house keeping near Belmont. The Pioneer News join their many friends in wishing them a long and happy life.
      Name of both spouses
      Place and date of marriage
      Parents of spouses
      Date and place of death for the father of the bride
      Occupation of groom
      Place of residence after marriage
    • Newspaper birth announcement
      Born to the wife of Emerson Welch, Dec. 28th, a fine boy.
      Not much information here
      Date of birth, county of birth
      Gender of child
      Name of father
    • Newspaper Records
      What information is found in this obituary?
      Julia S. Magruder
      Mrs. Julia S. Magruder, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. H. Hawkins died in their home on March 19th of tuberculosis. Born in Hardin County, near Elizabethtown, November 29, 1886 and came to Lebanon Junction with her parents about 18 years ago. Married to Clyde V. Magruder, April 21, 1909, and they had made their home with her parents since the first of the year. Funeral in the Baptist Church by Rev. Hunt. Pallbearers: H. Welker, L. Hobson, L. Redmond, L. Whithead, W. Heizer and W. Swearingen. Buried Lebanon Junction cemetery. Survived by her parents, one sister, Mrs. J. H. Wickersham, three brothers, Harvey, Fred and George Hawkins. She had given her heart to her Master during Rev. Cates' revival. Bullitt Pioneer, 31 Mar 1911.
      • Name of deceased
      • Birth date and place
      • Age of deceased
      • Parents’ names
      • Spouse’s name
      • Time period family moved to the area
      • Marriage date
      • Church where the funeral was held
      • Name of church official
      • Names of pall bearers (probably related)
      • Names of survivors
      • Burial place
    • Where will we look next?
      Kentucky Death Index
      Death Certificate
      1900, 1910 census of Kentucky
      Early Hardin County birth records
      Marriage certificate in county courthouse
      Which Baptist church? (Hint: look closest to the area listed in the 1910 census
      Find newspaper articles with the same preacher’s name in them to locate the church
      Check with local historians, genealogical societies, and same faith churches
    • Where will we look next?
      Make a trip out to the cemetery and check the headstone for more information
      Survivors are named, look for their names on birth, marriage, death, wills, and census records as well
      Sometimes the best clues for your ancestor come from researching the entire family
      If this person were survived by children, looking for them in the same ways might help you connect with them
    • Lesser-used sources
      Heritage Quest
      Find a Grave
      Daughters of the American Revolution Library
      Ellis Island Records
    • Lesser-used Sources
      Searchable by:
      registry of more than 1,235,247 surname entries
      Family Tree
      currently more than 647,667,560 ancestor names
      Also make use of the message boards
      more than 132,000 message boards on RootsWeb.com related to surnames, localities, and other topics