Episode 264 1890 Census Substitutes

Episode 264 1890 Census Substitutes

Listen to Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 264

Episode Show Notes

In this episode you’ll discover the best places to locate records that can substitute for the lost 1890 census. You’ll learn:
  • what happened to the 1890 census
  • which parts of the 1890 census survived
  • Information that was provided in the 1890 census
  • the best substitute records and where to find them


Downloadable show notes (Premium subscription required)
BONUS: 1890 Census Gap Worksheet (Premium subscription required)

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How to Get Dual Italian Citizenship

How to Get Dual Italian Citizenship

Learn how to get dual Italian citizenship using genealogical information with my guest professional genealogist Sarah Gutmann of Legacy Tree Genealogists. 

Watch Live: Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 11:00 am CT 
(calculate your time zone

Three ways to watch:

  1. Video Player (Live) – Watch video premiere at the appointed time in the video player above.
  2. On YouTube (Live) – Click the Watch on YouTube button to watch the YouTube premiere with Live Chat at the appointed time above at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel. Log into YouTube with your free Google account to participate in the live chat. 
  3. Video Player above (Replay) – Available immediately after the live premiere and chat. 

Show Notes

My special guest is Sarah Gutmann. Sarah began her obsession with family history when she was 13-years-old.  She now has almost three decades of experience helping others climb their family tree. She is a professional genealogist with Legacy Tree Genealogists where she specializes in United States and Italian research. As a veteran classroom teacher, Sarah enjoys teaching  various genealogy programs to libraries, historical societies, and lineage organizations across America.

Obtaining Italian Dual Citizenship Overview:

  • Who can become a citizen?
  • Finding out when your ancestor naturalized and obtaining those documents
  • Identifying your ancestor’s specific commune (village)
  • Using the Italian archives site
  • Requesting vital records from Italy
  • Obtaining long form vital records with an Apostille (American records)

Who can apply for dual Italian citizenship?

The following list refers to examples of some categories of eligible persons:

  1. Direct Descent: from an Italian-citizen parent (if maternal side, after January 1 st, 1948) born in Italy and they were still Italian citizens at the time of the Applicant’s birth. The Applicant and their parents must have never renounced their Italian citizenship. Naturalizations occurred prior to August 15th, 1992 constituted renouncing ones’ Italian citizenship.
  2. Through Descent: from an ancestor born in Italy who was an Italian citizen at the time of the birth of their child. The Italian citizenship would pass through the generations up until the Applicant (the maternal branch could pass on Italian citizenship to children born after January 1, 1948), provided that none of the descendants in the straight line lost/renounced their Italian citizenship, such as through naturalization prior to August 15th, 1992.
  3. From an Italian-citizen mother to a child born before January 1st, 1948: applicants who fall into this category will have to appeal to an Italian civil court to obtain the recognition of citizenship.
Italian dual citizenship process chart

Italian dual citizenship process chart (Source: Dual U.S. Italian Citizenship Facebook Group)

How Do I Know When My Ancestor Naturalized?

Using Census Records:

  • Take note of the year of immigration
    • Look for passenger records
  • Naturalization
    • AL- Alien
    • NA- naturalized
    • PA- have submitted the first papers to become naturalized
  • Find Them at Family Search – FREE!

Use the census record as a guide to what court your ancestor may have naturalized through.

Looking for Naturalization Records

  • Prior to September 27, 1906, any “court of record” (municipal, county, state, or Federal) could grant United States citizenship.
  • Beginning September 27, 1906, naturalization was done through the Federal courts.
example of declaration of intent citizenship

Example: Naturalization Declaration of Intention

Contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They have records from 1906 forward.

Order an “Index Search”

On the Genealogy page at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service website click Order an Index Search or Record Request.

Provide as much information you know about the immigrant

  • Name
  • Addresses in America
  • Birthdate and place
  • Household members
  • Year of immigration

Order Record Request with Request Case ID.

Did Your Immigrant Ancestor Naturalize AFTER Their Child Was Born?

Start Gathering Vital Records!

Vital Records Issued by Italian Authorities 

Here are the Italian vital records for events which took place in Italy:

In Line Relatives:

  • Birth Certificate: Original Extended Certified Copy Issued by the Comune, with names of parents
  • Marriage Certificate: Original Extended Certified Copy Issued by the Comune, with names of parents, and any annotations of divorces
  • Death Certificate: Original Extended Certified Copy Issued by the Comune, with names of parents

Out of Line Relatives if born in Italy:

  • Spouse’s Birth Certificate: Photocopy of Certificate Issued by Comune in Italy
  • Spouse’s Death Certificate:  Photocopy of Certificate Issued by Comune in Italy

Finding the Italian Village of Origin

Here are some of the records that may include your ancestor’s village of origin:

  • Naturalization Record
  • Ship Manifest
  • Draft Record
  • Vital Records (Birth, Marriage, Death)
  • Obituary

If you don’t have success with your ancestor’s records, try searching your Ancestor’s FAN CLUB (Friends, Associates, Neighbors). These are the people who may have come from the same village. Search for their records as listed above.

Contacting the Italian Comune

  • Use to locate your comune’s website
  • Find the comune’s email address and regular mail address
  • Write a request letter in Italian and include your i.d. (Letters are available in the “forms” at the Consulate Generale website)
  • Follow up! Follow up!

The Webiste


This website provides Information and statistics on municipalities, provinces and regions in Italy. You’ll find links to official websites, zip code, number of inhabitants, banks, schools, pharmacies, maps, weather forecast, and other useful links.

comuni Italiani


Here’s an example of the official Italian document you are trying to obtain:

official italian document

The goal

This is your golden ticket to the Italian consulate and getting that coveted citizenship.

Vital Records Issued by Non-Italian Authorities (American Records)


  • Long Form Original Legalized by the Apostille & Translation of Document Only
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Death Certificate

Out of Line Relatives

  • Photocopy of birth and death

What is an Apostille?

An Apostille (pronounced “ah-po-steel”) is a French word meaning certification. An Apostille is a specialized certificate, issued by the Secretary of State. The Apostille is attached to your original document to verify that it is legitimate and authentic.

Research your General Italian Consulate

  • Fill out Citizenship forms
  • Download checklist and instructions


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Get Going with Timelines

Get Going with Timelines

Most genealogists are not using one of the best tools available: timelines!

I know this because I often poll my live audiences at my speaking engagements. Typically 75% of the audience has never created a timeline of any sort for their family history. And it’s not uncommon to find only about 15-20% use timelines regularly. This is surprising seeing as they are one of the most powerful, versatile and inexpensive tools available. And there are so many wonderful options. 

So why don’t most genealogists use timelines?

Well, I just said it: there are so many wonderful options! That can be as much of a hinderance as a help. That’s why this month’s live Elevenses with Lisa show is devoted to helping you:

  • understand what timelines can do for you
  • choose the right timeline for the job
  • take the guess work out of finding the right platform for creating your timeline

Show Notes

Download the show notes handout

Determine the Purpose

There are many reasons to create a timeline, but generally speaking they often fall into two main categories:

Research Focused:

  • Organizes your data chronologically
  • Analyzing data and solving a research problem
  • Getting a different perspective on your data to generate new opportunities
  • Confirming that the information you have makes sense.
  • Identifying conflicts and gaps
  • Putting your ancestor’s life in family and historical context

Sharing Focused:

  • Telling a story
  • Sharing online
  • Printable document
  • Wall Decoration (examples)

What to Include in Your Timeline

The purpose will drive what’s included. Examples of items to include in timeline entries:

  1. Year
  2. Event name
  3. Locality
  4. Citation
  5. Record excerpt
  6. Age at the time of the event

In the case of a story or visually-oriented timeline, it can help to sketch out on paper or in a document what you think you want to include. Like writing a book or a story, editing is important and often necessary.

In the case of research timelines, feel free to add your research question, make notations about record losses and other pertinent information.

Use a standard file naming convention with dates to turn your files into a timeline.

Example: 1910 Census Toledo OH

Including historical information about the area and time period can add valuable context and interest. Some of my favorite resources for quickly finding this kind of information include:

Dividing Your Timeline

One of the next big questions is what is the best way to divide up my timeline? This will be based on the purpose.

Determine the total length of time you expect to cover. Perhaps this will be the length of an ancestor’s life. In that case, you will likely want to include some of the preceding years as well as a few years after. If you’re trying to find a divorce your timeline may only span a few years.

A good rule of thumb is allow for more room rather than starting to compact. This is particularly important with research timelines as the hope is that you will uncover more information to add. It also helps with visual timelines because although you may include fewer items, it might prove difficult to reformat if you run out of space.

Creating a Guide for Your Timeline

Before you begin, creating a guide of how you will format your timeline. Determine whether you will include the following and if so in what length and format:

  • Event Titles
  • Text descriptions and notes
  • Source citations
  • Images
  • Research Data
  • References to other documents and resources

timeline guide

  • Color-coding can be a great help, particularly with more complex timeline. Include a separate color-coding key or add those guidelines to your template.
  • If you don’t plan to print in color, consider using formatting such as underlining, bolding and italicizing instead of color-coding.

color code guide

  • When collaborating, include color-coding to delineate new items.
  • Always record names and places exactly as they are presented in the record.
  • Note how you will abbreviate longer words. Example: dau = daughter

Creating a guiding template like this will save you headache and inconsistency down the road.

Download your blank Timeline Guide Template PDF
Download your blank Timeline Guide Template Word Doc

Timeline Tools

There are so many ways to create timelines that deciding which way to go can be the biggest roadblock. The purpose of your timeline will drive your choice.

Here’s an overview of some of my favorites followed by detailed descriptions:

tool overview


Excel / Word

Best for: research timelines, a need for data sorting and filtering, those with strong skills with these products, use with other Microsoft products, easy to share because they are commonly used. It’s also easy to add columns and rows as needed. You will also find free timeline templates under File > New > and search Timeline. There are more available in Excel than in Word.

Genealogy Software
(ex. RootsMagic)

Best for: software users, research timelines, printable timelines.

Look for both Timeline “View” and Timeline “Reports.”

To get assistance with using your software’s timeline features, Google the name of your software (ex. RootsMagic)  and timeline to find resources both on their website, on YouTube, and from experts on that software.

Example RootsMagic Timeline resources:


Microsoft PowerPoint

Best for: visual learners and researchers, presentations, storytelling, heavy graphics, video production

  1. Select the slide where you want to insert a timeline.
  2. Go to Insert > SmartArt. 
  3. Select Process, and then choose a timeline layout.
  4. In the SmartArt graphic, select [Text], and then type or paste your text.

Get more help within PowerPoint by clicking Help in the menu and searching on the word Timeline. You will also find free timeline PowerPoint templates under File > New > and search Timeline.

BONUS DOWNLOAD: PowerPoint Timeline Template


Timeline Maker Pro


14-day free trial and then paid subscription.

Best for: research timelines. Described as a “a Business Timeline Maker for Investigators, Researchers & Planners.”

Allows you flexibility to manage your data, create 5 different timeline styles with one-click, and attach and view supporting documents & files. Scroll down the home page to watch a short demo video.

Timeline JS

Best for: short graphic storytelling that you want to share online or on your website.

Free. They recommend no more than 20 slides to keep the viewer’s interest. Free, easy-to-make and you can add multi-media content. Scroll down the homepage to watch a short demo video on how to use Timeline JS. Click the green Make a Timeline button to begin creating your timeline. Timeline JS provides you with a simple spreadsheet that you will use to add your content. Copy and paste the embed code for your finished project on your blog or website. You could also Preview your timeline on their site and screen capture it as video with Snagit. Learn more about Snagit in this videoHere’s our link for purchasing your copy of Snagit  Use coupon code GENE15 to get 15% off. 


Best for: quick and easy creation of visual timelines online.

Free. Runs in your web browser. From the site: TimeLineCurator quickly and automatically extracts temporal references in freeform text to generate a visual timeline. You can then interactively curate the events in this timeline until you are satisfied. Works with TimelineJS. instead of tediously assembling your timeline in a spreadsheet, TimeLineCurator allows you to curate your timeline visually. When you are ready, you can export your curated timeline to a TimelineJS widget that you can embed on your website or blog.

About TimelineCurator including answers to common questions:

Not ready for a techie timeline?

  • A legal notepad works for research problems.
  • A 3-ring notebook or fold out notebook is great for sharing.


Includes a timeline on individual Profile pages. They have one video from 9 years ago on their timeline.


They now has a new simple timeline feature called Family Tree Timeline

Timeline BSO

Museum of the World timeline


Comment Below

Share your favorite timeline tips and tricks below and then click the rectangle to submit your comment. 

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