Uncovering your black sheep ancestors


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Delaware County Genealogy Society DCGS October 18, 2013 meeting. Another way to find your ancestors.

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  • For the entire Real Estate Trends slide show, go to SlideShare.net/JeffSavage01
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  • Uncovering your black sheep ancestors

    1. 1. Uncovering Your Black Sheep Ancestors Barbara Barnes The New Delaware County Clerk Carol Savage
    2. 2. 2013 Uncovering Your Black Sheep Ancestors www.SlideShare.net/JeffSavage01
    3. 3. Genealogical Profiling • A Family Detectives Guide to Hard-to-Find Ancestors • At one time or another, we all run into certain ancestors who cause us genealogical grief. If you encounter one of these problematic people, use this research aid to re-start your search.
    4. 4. Black Sheep • The proverbial skeleton in the closet • • • • • Convict Outlaw Madam Pirate Other “colorful” character
    5. 5. Black Sheep – Suggested Sources • Census (check occupation field) • Coroner and funeral home records • Court Records • FBI, prison and institutional records • Marriage and divorce records • Message boards • Newspapers and obituaries
    6. 6. Census Evader This individual or family makes an appearance in certain federal enumerations but not in others
    7. 7. Census Evader – Suggested Sources • City directories • Soundex indexes to 1880 and later censuses • Census searches by first name only and/or demographic characteristics • State and territorial censuses • Tax lists
    8. 8. Drifter Moves around more than a band of gypsies. Shows up in adifferent states and localities. Never seems to stay put for an extended period.
    9. 9. Drifter – Suggested Sources • Censuses (check birthplace fields) • City directories • Deeds and land records • Migration and boundary-change maps • Social histories
    10. 10. Fleeting Female She might be the mother whose maiden name eludes you, or the daughter whose marriage you can’t pin down.
    11. 11. Fleeting Female – Suggested Sources • Court records • Convent records • Marriage and divorce records • Military pension files • Naturalization papers • Newspaper society pages • Records of her husband and siblings
    12. 12. Mystery Immigrant Your missing link to the old country. You might know approximately when he came, but can’t retrace his journey or pinpoint his town of origin.
    13. 13. Mystery Immigrant – Suggested Sources • Alien registrations • Censuses (check birthplace and language fields) • Censuses (check check neighbors born in same county) • Church records • Emigration lists • Ethnic newspapers • Naturalization papers • Newspapers’ ship arrival notices • Passenger arrival lists
    14. 14. Orphan or Adoptee Seemingly, the ultimate brick wall, since the parents’ identies may be unknown or purposely concealed.
    15. 15. Orphan or Adoptee – Suggested Sources • Amended or delayed birth certificates • Apprenticeships • Censuses • Family interviews • Guardianships and orphans court records • Message boards and support groups • Newspaper adoption notices • Orphan train records • Orphanage records
    16. 16. From: Irv Rabideau, Genealogy 104, 03/24/11 Adapted from: Lisa A Alzo, “Trouble Makers,” Family Tree Magazine (May 2009)
    18. 18. Marriage/Divorce Records Where to write for vital records • www.cdc.gov/nchs/howto/w2w/w2welcom.htm • outlines availability and ordering procedures in each U.S. state • If you don’t see divorces among your state’s vital records, try the Civil Court dockets. In these cases, juicy details about both spouses may show up in testimony transcripts.
    19. 19. Census Records • Look closely at occupations in a census • Prostitutes might be named as • “sporting” women • a Household of “dressmakers” run by a “landlady” might be a brothel.
    20. 20. Coroner Records • Coroners are involved in all types of unexplained deaths. • www.shoestringgenealogy.com/article/coroner.htm • and www.familysearch.org/catalog-search)
    21. 21. Asylum Records • Institutionalization doesn’t necessarily mean your relative was loony; it might have been family friction. • Most asylum records no longer exist; so search for commitment papers in probate courts.
    22. 22. Court Clerk Records • For details of crimes, disputes and other family intrigues, the County Courthouse is your first stop.
    23. 23. FBI Files • The FBI has kept files on millions of Americans since 1908 www.members.aol.com/rechtman/fbi.html • “Unlocking the Files of the FBI” by Gerald K. Harnes and David A. Langbart • Footnote.com has some digitized FBI files. • You can also check the FBI website for records access.
    24. 24. Prison Records • Prisoners appear in censuses under the incarcerating institution • www.cyndislist.com/prisons.htm • www.ancestorhunt.com/genealogical_prison_records.htm • You can always contact the prison administrators about records access.
    25. 25. 2013 Uncovering Your Black Sheep Ancestors www.SlideShare.net/JeffSavage01