Family Group Sheet: Use to record information about individual families. (Ex: A married couple and their children)
Ancestor Chart : Use to record birth, marriage, and death information for your direct line ancestors. Does not include space to record information about siblings, aunts, uncles (collateral lines), etc.
Gather & Copy Family Records, Photographs & Heirlooms
Decorative Wall Hanging Commemorating a Marriage
Decorative Baptismal Certificate
Funeral Prayer Card
Church History From a Plate
Postcard of Church in Oliva, West Prussia
Postcard sent from Oliva, West Prussia to Chicago, Illinois
Telegram announcing the birth of a child
Gather and Copy Family Records & Heirlooms
Birth and death certificates
Old letters and envelopes
Analyzing Family Papers Critical Thinking with Direct and Indirect Evidence
Direct Evidence - information is explicitly stated without need for analysis.
Indirect Evidence - information requires additional documentation or analysis to draw a conclusion.
Newspaper Clipping Indirect Evidence: Mrs. Kellman’s maiden name was probably Levander. Mr. and Mrs. Kellman were married around mid April of 1910. Mr and Mrs. Kellman and Miss Levander died after April 19, 1935 Direct Evidence: Mrs. Kellman’s sister is Miss Levander of Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Kellman celebrated a 25 th wedding anniversary.
Obituary from Fraternal Organization Newsletter Indirect Evidence: He must have immigrated sometime between May 8, 1884 and Oct. 24, 1906. Direct Evidence: He was born on May 8, 1884 in Jonkopings, Sweden. He became a member of Yngve Lodge in 1906.
Citizenship Papers Indirect Evidence: Immigrated sometime before Feb 24 1894 Direct Evidence: Charley Levander declared his intent to become a citizen on 24 Feb 1896.
Direct Evidence: William Bandel died on 20 Apr 1908 He lived for 72yrs, 11mo, and 10 days Indirect Evidence: William Bandel was born on 10 May 1835
Birth Date Calculator http://www.searchforancestors.com/utility/
Beyond Family Papers Census Records & Vital Records
Federal Census Records
Mandated by the constitution.
First Federal Census in 1790.
Conducted every 10 years.
Personal information open to public after 72 years.
1890 census destroyed in fire.
What Information Might I Find in Census Records?
Names of parents
Names of siblings
Places of residence
Places of Birth
Approx. year of marriage
Month and Year of birth (1900 census)
Year of Immigration
Rent or Own Property
Who was Recorded in the Census?
Only heads of household are named.
Family members, lodgers and slaves are enumerated but not named.
All enumerated household members (except slaves) are named.
Slaves were enumerated on separate schedules, but they are generally not named.
1840 Census Record Age ranges and sex are given for household members, but not names. Only heads of household are listed by name.
1930 Census Record
Where Can I Find the Census Records?
Subscription Databases – Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest, Footnote.com, etc.
Familysearch.org - Free web site sponsored by LDS Church.
Microfilm – Available at large genealogical libraries, National Archives and LDS Family History Centers.
Using Census Records A Case Study
1930 census is a great place to begin your census research.
Choose a relative who was alive in 1930 and try searching for them.
1930 Search Result for Lorraine Black Click on the link to view the Original Image.
1930 Census Record Lorraine D. Black is living with her father, Ralph Black, his wife (presumably her mother) and her grandmother, Sienna E. Black.
Create a Timeline
Create a Pedigree Chart Lorraine Black b. abt. 1925 in Illinois Ralph A. Black b. abt. 1901 in Rhode Island m. abt. 1923 Dorothy C. b. abt. 1903 in Illinois ? d. prob. bef. 1930 m. prob. bef. 1901 Sienna E. b. abt. 1861 in Holland
Search 1920 census for Ralph Black who was born in Rhode Island.
1920 Search Result for Ralph Black
1920 Census Record Ralph A. Black is living with his widowed mother, Mrs. S.E. Black, and his brother, Raymond J. Black. Mrs. S.E. Black was born in Holland. Raymond J. was transcribed Ray Morris J. by the indexer.
What Have We Learned? Lorraine Black b. abt. 1925 in Illinois Ralph A. Black b. abt. 1901 in Rhode Island m. abt. 1923 Dorothy C. b. abt. 1903 in Illinois ? d. prob. bef. 1920 m. prob. bef. 1897 Sienna E. b. abt. 1861 in Holland
1910 Census Record Direct Evidence: Married for 28 Years in 1910. Indirect Evidence: Married about 1882 Ralph A. Black is living with his father, Edward J. Black and his mother Sybretekia(?) E. Family sources confirm this was her “ethnic” name. Two additional siblings are revealed.
Keep adding new information to your family timeline
What Have We Learned? Lorraine Black b. abt. 1925 in Illinois Ralph A. Black b. abt. 1901 in Rhode Island m. abt. 1923 Dorothy C. b. abt. 1903 in Illinois Edward Black b. abt. 1860 in Rhode Island d. aft. 1910 m. abt. 1882 Sienna E. /Sybret??ia b. abt. 1861 in Holland ? b. bef. 1844 in Ireland ? b . bef. 1844 in Ireland
1900 Census Search Transcription errors can make searching difficult!
1900 Census Record Same household – next page Edward Black household
Compare information from previous censuses. Does the information match?
What Have We Learned? Lorraine Black b. abt. 1925 in Illinois Ralph A. Black b. abt. 1901 in Rhode Island m. abt. 1923 Dorothy C. b. abt. 1903 in Illinois Edward Black b. March 1860 d. aft. 1910 m. abt. 1882 Sienna E./Sybret??ia Dekker b. April 1861 ? Black b. prob. bef. 1844 in Ireland ? b . prob. bef. 1844 in Ireland Ary Dekker b. Jan 1852 in Holland ? b. prob. bef. 1846 d. bef. June 1, 1900
1880 Census Record More geographic detail is given for Catharine’s birthplace. Terschelling is an island in Friesland, a province in the Netherlands. Sienna E. is enumerated under her middle name. Or is it really her first name? One of the children was born in Massachusetts. Might this indicate they immigrated through Boston?
What Have We Learned? Lorraine Black b. abt. 1925 in Illinois Ralph A. Black b. abt. 1901 in Rhode Island m. abt. 1923 Dorothy C. b. abt. 1903 in Illinois Edward Black b. March 1860 in Rhode Island d. aft. 1910 m. abt. 1882 Sienna E./Sybret??ia Dekker b. April 1861 in Holland ? Black b. prob. bef. 1844 in Ireland ? b . prob. bef. 1844 in Ireland Ary Dekker b. Jan 1852 in Holland Catherine b. abt. 1833 in Terschelling, Friesland, Netherlands d. bef. June 1, 1900
1880 Census Note the different birthplaces for John Black’s children. Incorporate this evidence into your timeline. Edward J. Black is living with his Irish father, John Black, and his presumed mother Jane. Five siblings are also identified.
What Have We Learned? Lorraine Black b. abt. 1925 in Illinois Ralph A. Black b. abt. 1901 in Rhode Island m. abt. 1923 Dorothy C. b. abt. 1903 in Illinois Edward Black b. March 1860 in Rhode Island d. aft. 1910 m. abt. 1882 Sienna E./Sybret??ia Dekker b. April 1861 in Holland ? John Black b. abt. 1813 in Ireland m. prob. bef. 1847 ? Jane b . abt. 1821 in Ireland Ary Dekker b. Jan 1852 in Holland Catherine b. abt. 1833 in Terschelling d. bef. June 1, 1900
Census Search Challenges
Use of Initials
Middle Names & Nicknames 1930 Census 1920 Census
Indexing/Transcription Errors Correct in census. Wrong in index.
Additional Search Challenges
Census Taker Errors
“ Misspelled” names
Americanization of Given Names
Changing County Boundaries
For Hard to Find Relatives
Try alternate spellings.
Try phonetic spellings.
Try searching for last names without first names, or vice versa.
Try searching by location without any names, but limit by age, location, and birthplace.
Try browsing images by enumeration district.
Try searching for your ancestor’s neighbors.
Citing Your Census Record
Vital Records Birth, Death & Marriage Records
Location, Location, Location
Vital Records are generally kept at the county level, with the exception of New England records which are kept at the town level.
Need to know what county an event occurred in at the time when it occurred.
Need to know when counties were formed and when boundaries changed.
Requesting Vital Records
Usually kept at the county clerk’s office.
Use www.vitalrec.com or Handybook for Genealogists to locate available dates and addresses.
Call ahead or visit web site to determine cost and preferred method of payment.
What Information Might I Find on a Death Certificate?
Date of death
Cause of Death
Place of death
Age at death
Date of birth
Place of residence
Name of surviving spouse
Wife’s maiden name
Date and place of burial
Name of the funeral director
Mother’s maiden name
1972 Death Certificate Indiana
1888 Chicago Death Certificate
How to Find the Death Date
Social Security Death Index (Since 1962)
Death Indexes ( www.deathindexes.com )
Gravestones and Cemetery Records
Obituaries from newspapers
What Might I Learn from Marriage Records?
Names of the bride and groom.
Date of the marriage.
Place of the marriage .
Who performed ceremony.
Groom’s name, age, birth date, birthplace, occupation, and address.
Bride’s maiden name, age, birth date, birthplace, occupation, and address.
Date and place the license was issued.
Father’s name and birthplace.
Mother’s maiden name and birthplace.
1910 New Jersey Marriage Certificate
1910 Chicago Marriage Record
Where to Find Marriage Dates
Published or Online Marriage Indexes
1900, 1910, 1930 Census (Approx. year)
What Information Might I Find on A Birth Certificate?
Name of child
Sex of child
Date of birth
Place of birth
Father’s name, age or date of birth, birthplace, occupation, and residence
Mother’s maiden name, age or date of birth, birthplace, occupation, and residence
Number of children born to the mother, and the number living at the time of the birth being recorded.