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U.S. Cemetery Records & More New Online

U.S. Cemetery Records & More New Online

Find your ancestors in U.S. cemetery records and more in these week’s roundup of new records available online. All resources below come from free websites and also include vital records, court records, county records, and various historical collections. If you’re researching Jewish ancestors, be sure to check out a wonderful free Jewish collections website for resources and databases.

New U.S. Records Free at FamilySearch

FamilySearch has several new U.S. records collections online now. They may be small, but your ancestor just might be lurking in these indexes!

Arizona, Gila County, Cemetery Records, 1927-1994. Browse 3,500 records in this collection of cemetery records from the Dudleyville, Ft. Grant, Mammoth, Superior, Ray, and Hayden cemeteries in Gila County, Arizona. These records may tell you the name of your ancestor, birthplace and date, death date, parents’ names, children and spouse names, and even sibling names.

 

Idaho, Madison County Records. There are 2,300 indexed records in this new collection, as well as 34,000 browsable images. In this collection you’ll find vital records, homesteads, patents, deeds, mining records, and Wills and probate records.

Tennessee, Jackson County Records, 1801-1974. Marriage records and records of the Chancery and Circuit Courts are available in this new collection of nearly 14,000 indexed records and 18,000 images. This collection is being published as images become available.

Florida, Index to Alien Arrivals by Airplane at Miami, 1930-1942. This unique collection has 51,000 indexed airplane manifests. The collection is set up by index cards, arranged alphabetically by surname. These records correspond with NARA publication A3382 and were filmed at the NARA facility in College Park, Maryland.

Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1943. Browse almost 40,000 indexed marriage records and images in this collection. The records include registers, bonds, licenses, and returns for the following counties: Accomack, Franklin, Giles, Rockingham, and Westmoreland. The content and time period varies by county.

Jewish Records & Collections

FamilySearch also has a new collection of Virginia, Jewish Cemetery Records Index, ca. 1800-1986. Included is an index to maps 1-45 of the Jewish cemetery records compiled by Samuel and Dorothy Werth. The original maps are located at the Virginia Historical Society. These cemetery records may be able to tell you the name of deceased, their year of birth, year of death, the name of the cemetery, and the city where the cemetery is located.

Another great resource for finding Jewish ancestors is the Jewish Digital Collections website. You can explore an annotated list of more than 350 sites containing digitized collections of Jewish history, records, culture, and more. The list is divided into 22 categories, which are alphabetized into drop-down menus. You may also be interested in their Jewish Studies Guides, which have been prepared by university librarians worldwide to help students taking courses in Jewish studies. They may lead you to additional resources and materials. 

More to learn about cemetery records

Cemetery research is a crucial family history skill. Tombstones are monuments to our ancestors’ lives and may have key genealogical clues engraved in the stone. Learn more about how to find them with these four steps to finding your ancestors’ burial places and the records that complement them.

For a comprehensive guide on finding your ancestors in cemeteries, grab a copy of The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide. This book contains detailed step-by-step instructions for using FindAGrave and BillionsGraves, plus guides for understanding tombstone epitaphs and symbol meanings. Discover tools for locating tombstones, tips for traipsing through cemeteries, an at-a-glance guide to frequently used gravestone icons, and practical strategies for on-the-ground research. Click here to order yours today!

Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi. 

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

5 Tips for Finding Families in the 1790 US Census

5 Tips for Finding Families in the 1790 US Census

The 1790 United States census was the first census taken after the establishment of the new country, so documenting ancestors’ presence at this historic time often inspires a sense of patriotism. However, locating those census entries can pose a few challenges. Use these five tips to conduct a more successful search in the 1790 census as well as in other documents.

Thank you to the experts at Legacy Tree Genealogists for this guest post!

1. Meet handwriting challenges head-on.

Handwriting from the 1790s often looks like a foreign language to modern eyes, including to people who helped index the census. The FamilySearch Wiki includes links to several videos and articles under the title “United States Handwriting.” Use these links to become familiar with the different writing styles in early American records. If your ancestor doesn’t seem to appear in the census index, look for creative spellings by the census taker.

Also, try looking for the name by substituting letters that might have been misread by the indexer. For instance, a search for Silas Sawdy initially turned up no results, even looking for Sandy, Lawdy, and Landy. The entry for “Silas Soddy” was finally located by going through the census page by page, but the indexer had read his name as Tilus Toddy.

Image: 1790 Census, courtesy of FamilySearch.org

2. Know what is included in the 1790 U.S. Census.

The 1790 U.S. Census contains very limited information about the household members. Census entries were organized using the names of heads of households, with tick marks in different columns to indicate household members. There were only five questions asked about the individuals in each dwelling:

  • The number of free white males under 16 years of age
  • The number of free white males age 16 and upward
  • The number of free white females
  • The number of other free persons
  • The number of slaves

The count could include visitors, servants, relatives, and of course, the members of the immediate family. Some children might have been working outside the home or were being cared for by others. In those instances, the children would have been enumerated in the household where they lived the day the census was taken. When the father in the family was deceased, a son would usually be listed as the head of household rather than the surviving widow, though some women were given that title. The oldest person was also not always listed as head of household, especially if elderly parents made their home with a younger family member.

3. Gather information about your ancestor’s family structure.

The 1790 census is not a stand-alone document. Learn as much as possible about your ancestor’s family and use this knowledge in conjunction with the census. Collect documentation from later censuses, town records, land dealings, wills, and local histories. When there are several possible matches in the 1790 census, focus first on those whose family structure most closely fits the target households. For example, if your ancestor had young sons in 1790 and there were several households in the area headed by men with the same name, it is easier to rule out the entries with no males under 16. Remember that the household numbers did not always reflect just the members of the family, so especially if there were more individuals in the household than expected, the entry may still be for your ancestor.

4. Locate the proper area for your search.

Use gazetteers and maps of the places your ancestors lived. Names of towns and counties, as well as their boundaries, fluctuated over time. The FamilySearch Wiki contains valuable information about the locations and dates of these changes, as do other online sources. It is vital to know that the 1790 census returns from Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia (including West Virginia), and Georgia, along with the territories of Kentucky and Tennessee were destroyed when the Capitol was burned in the War of 1812. Surviving records are from the present states of Maine (included as part of Massachusetts), New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, North and South Carolina.

5. Research all the families in the area with the target surname and related surnames.

Once the ancestral town for the family has been determined, gather census records for all those in the area with that surname, moving outward to the county level, then the state. Especially if the surname is uncommon, it may be possible to find other documents to link these families together. Pay particular attention to families who live near each other who have known surname connections. For example, if two possible matches exist for Isaac Johnson but one is enumerated on the same page as Eli Garrick and the ancestral Isaac Johnson married a Garrick, that entry is more likely to be for the ancestor.

Though locating ancestors in the 1790 U.S. Census can be a challenge, this document can provide a valuable “puzzle piece” to create a complete picture of the family.

Legacy Tree Genealogists is a full-service genealogical research firm that helps clients worldwide discover their roots and personal history through records, narratives and DNA. Visit the Legacy Tree Genealogists website for a FREE consultation!

Exclusive Offer for Genealogy Gems readers: Receive $100 off a 20-hour research project using code GGP100.  

Genetic Traits at Ancestry DNA

Genetic Traits at Ancestry DNA

Get a new perspective on your DNA results with AncestryDNA’s new Genetic Traits feature. For just $10, you can discover how traits run in your family and might even come from ethnic origins, with no additional DNA test needed. It’s a deeper look into what makes you YOU, and it’s a fantastic way to engage non-genealogists in your family to be interested in where they come from.

Share Traits This Holiday Season

While the new Genetic Traits feature from AncestryDNA may not be directly applicable to genealogical research or uncovering brick wall ancestors, it’s the ideal tool to interest the non-genealogist in your family. Your relatives might not be interested in cousin-matching and identifying shared ancestors, but they will love discovering what makes them unique. The Genetic Traits tool provides another vehicle for people to discover their origins and connect with their past in a meaningful way. If you’re giving a DNA test kit as a gift this year, consider gifting the Traits feature as well. And have fun exploring your own traits! Order now at Ancestry.com or on Amazon.

New AncestryDNA Feature: Genetic Traits

November 9, 2018: “Ancestry’s long history of innovation has driven our leadership in family history and, more recently, the emerging field of consumer genomics. Today, we’re proud to introduce a fun and innovative way for you to further explore who you are and where you come from – AncestryDNA Traits. Using science and data to power ongoing journeys of discovery, Traits is a new interactive experience that allows you to discover traits and attributes influenced by your DNA. With AncestryDNA Traits, you can explore up to 18 traits and attributes that you’ve inherited from your ancestors, share with family, and may pass down to future generations.”

Through AncestryDNA Traits, people can:
  • Identify 18 traits (full list below)
  • Compare your genetic markers to your matches via the AncestryDNA mobile app to see who in your family you share certain traits with.
  • Explore an “Around the World” interactive map, where you can see how your traits align with your heritage.
  • New customers can upgrade their AncestryDNA kit to include Traits for an additional $10.00 on Ancestry.com and Amazon. Existing customers can purchase the Traits feature for $10.00 through their Ancestry account.

Identifiable Traits

With AncestryDNA Traits, customers can explore up to 18 traits and attributes including:
  • Finger length
  • Cleft chin
  • Earlobe type
  • Earwax type
  • Eye color
  • Freckles

 

  • Hair color
  • Hair type
  • Hair strand thickness
  • Iris patterns
  • Male hair loss
  • Skin pigmentation

 

  • Unibrow
  • Bitter taste perception
  • Sweet taste perception
  • Savory taste perception
  • Asparagus metabolite detection
  • Cilantro aversion

More About Traits

From Ancestry: “Powered by AncestryDNA, Traits gives you an even deeper look at your personal story through the “Around the World” interactive map. You can explore how your traits align with your heritage and learn whether your green eyes are common in other people with Irish ancestry.

 
Those of you with the AncestryDNA Mobile app will be the first with access to our new Traits Compare feature which allows you to compare your genetic markers that influence your traits with friends, family, or any other AncestryDNA customer who has Traits.
 
Traits is just the latest example of the many tools we’re working on to enable a journey of personal discovery that we hope will enrich your life. As in everything we do, protecting your privacy is our highest priority, so we will continue to place you in control of your data – that means both you and your counterpart must consent to participate in any Traits Comparison.”
Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

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