Digging Deeper


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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

  1. 1. Bullitt County Public Library presents<br />Digging Deeper<br />Finding Your Roots Workshop Series, Part 4<br />Presented 5/21/11<br />
  2. 2. Using Records<br />Birth records are a great place to start<br />Depending on the time period, records can have a little or a lot of information<br />Older records are sometimes held at county level<br />Newer records held at state level<br />
  3. 3. All U.S. states have required the recording of birth certificates since 1919<br />Many families ignored the requirement to obtain a birth certificate until the 1950s<br />Alternative sources for individuals' birthdates and names of parents:<br />Church records<br />Censuses<br />Wills<br />Newspapers<br />
  4. 4. Birth records<br />
  5. 5. Birth Records<br />Birth records can be helpful in finding more information than just the date and place of death<br />Some birth records will give you the names, ages, races, and birth places of the parents of the child<br />This is sometimes the only link you will get for tracing a female ancestor<br />
  6. 6. Birth Records<br />Number of mother's living children<br />Total number of children mother has delivered<br />Marital status of mother<br />Number of children born [single birth, twins, etc.]<br />Occupation of parents<br />
  7. 7. Marriage Records<br />
  8. 8. Marriage Record<br />Marriage record from 1853 (Harlan County, Kentucky)<br />Date of marriage<br />Names of Bride and Groom<br />Name of person performing ceremony<br />J.P.= Justice of the Peace<br />
  9. 9. Marriage Records<br />If the name of the officiator was Rev.<br /> G.W. Ball, where might we find more records of the marriage?<br /><ul><li>Church records
  10. 10. Baptismal records
  11. 11. Church register
  12. 12. Family bible
  13. 13. Newspaper</li></li></ul><li>Marriage Records<br />Record from 1916, which shows:<br />Date and place of marriage<br />Names of bride and groom<br />Age of bride and groom<br />Places of birth and residence<br />Names of the couple’s parents<br />Occupations of couple<br />Name of officiator<br />Names of witnesses<br />This can give you other family relationships<br />
  14. 14. Death Records<br />
  15. 15. Death Records<br />Place and date of death<br />Residence<br />Marital status<br />Date of birth<br />Whether or not there was military service<br />Cause of death, and contributing factors<br />Date of injury<br />Manner of death (e.g., suicide, murder, accidental, employment related)<br />Where the death took place<br />Name of coroner<br />Funeral director<br />Attending physician<br />
  16. 16. Death Records<br />**INFORMANT**<br />Not always, but a good deal of the time, the informant is a close family member, usually the next of kin<br />Can help us trace other family members<br />When and where buried:<br />Might give us a religious affiliation<br />Might also help us find other family members in the same cemetery<br />
  17. 17. Death Records<br />Mortality Schedule<br />Gives us: <br />Name of deceased<br />Age<br />Sex<br />Race<br />Marital status<br />Place of birth (sometimes that of the parents as well)<br />Month of death<br />Occupation<br />Cause of death<br />Place of death (county, state)<br />These were only used for someone who died the same year the census was taken<br />
  18. 18. Military Records<br />
  19. 19. War Registration Records<br />Can give a lot of information: <br />Full name<br />Residence<br />Date and place of birth<br />Age<br />Name of person to contact<br />Usually next of kin<br />
  20. 20. Military Records in Research<br />Military records can often provide valuable information on the veteran, as well as on all members of the family.<br />There are three main types of military records available: <br />Compiled Records<br />Pension Application and Payment Records<br />Bounty Land Records<br />
  21. 21. Compiled Records<br />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. <br />
  22. 22. Pension Application and Payment Records<br />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.<br />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. <br />
  23. 23. How do I find military records?<br />Gather information answering these questions:<br />What branch of service was your ancestor in?<br />Which conflict, what dates?<br />Whether Regular Army or a volunteer unit?<br />Whether your ancestor was an officer or enlisted personnel?<br />Whether there was a pension application?<br />
  24. 24. Military Records<br />When researching volunteers who served in the military for a particular war, start with the compiled military service records.<br />Begin by searching the appropriate name indexes on the National Archives microfilm.<br />See the original records at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.<br />
  25. 25. Regular Army Listings<br />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 <br />Officers - Francis B. Heitman's Historical Register <br />Dictionary of the Unites States Army, From Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903 (2 vols.) <br />
  26. 26. Bounty Land Records<br />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.<br />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. <br />
  27. 27. Bounty Land Records<br />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. <br />
  28. 28. Newspaper Records<br />
  29. 29. Newspaper Records<br />Miss Nancy Jeffries, teacher at Belmont, with her sister, Miss<br />Blanche, spent Sunday with friends at Glendale.<br />From this, we know that Nancy Jeffries is unwed, her occupation and place of work, and her sister’s name<br />We are also given a new place to look for information: Glendale<br />
  30. 30. Newspaper<br />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.<br />Name of both spouses<br />Place and date of marriage<br />Parents of spouses<br />Date and place of death for the father of the bride<br />Occupation of groom<br />Place of residence after marriage<br />
  31. 31. Newspaper birth announcement<br />Born to the wife of Emerson Welch, Dec. 28th, a fine boy.<br />Not much information here<br />Date of birth, county of birth<br />Gender of child<br />Name of father<br />
  32. 32. Newspaper Records<br />What information is found in this obituary?<br />Julia S. Magruder<br />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. <br /><ul><li>Name of deceased
  33. 33. Birth date and place
  34. 34. Age of deceased
  35. 35. Parents’ names
  36. 36. Spouse’s name
  37. 37. Time period family moved to the area
  38. 38. Marriage date
  39. 39. Church where the funeral was held
  40. 40. Name of church official
  41. 41. Names of pall bearers (probably related)
  42. 42. Names of survivors
  43. 43. Burial place</li></li></ul><li>Where will we look next?<br />Kentucky Death Index<br />Death Certificate<br />1900, 1910 census of Kentucky<br />Early Hardin County birth records<br />Marriage certificate in county courthouse<br />Which Baptist church? (Hint: look closest to the area listed in the 1910 census<br />Find newspaper articles with the same preacher’s name in them to locate the church<br />Check with local historians, genealogical societies, and same faith churches<br />
  44. 44. Where will we look next?<br />Make a trip out to the cemetery and check the headstone for more information<br />Survivors are named, look for their names on birth, marriage, death, wills, and census records as well<br />Sometimes the best clues for your ancestor come from researching the entire family<br />If this person were survived by children, looking for them in the same ways might help you connect with them<br />
  45. 45. Lesser-used sources<br />Heritage Quest <br />http://www.persi.heritagequestonline.com<br />Find a Grave<br /> http://www.findagrave.com<br />Daughters of the American Revolution Library<br />http://www.dar.org/library/<br />Ellis Island Records<br />http://www.ellisisland.org/<br />Footnote<br />http://www.footnote.com/<br />
  46. 46. Lesser-used Sources<br />http://www.nativeweb.org<br />http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com<br />Searchable by:<br />Surname<br />registry of more than 1,235,247 surname entries<br />Family Tree<br />currently more than 647,667,560 ancestor names<br />Location<br />Also make use of the message boards<br />more than 132,000 message boards on RootsWeb.com related to surnames, localities, and other topics<br />