Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 232
with Lisa Louise Cooke
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Download the Show Notes PDF in the Genealogy Gems Podcast app.
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In this episode:
- Exploring what you can do to go deeper in your genealogy research for a more accurate family tree with Elissa Scalise Powell
- Irish genealogy podcaster Lorna Moloney, a professional genealogist with Merriman Research, discusses Irish genealogy.
Marcia Finds Treasure on eBay
“I recently remembered your idea of searching for family related things on eBay.
My grandfather and his brother both worked as agents for the Wrought Iron Range Co. of St. Louis. They sold excellent quality wrought iron stoves and my great uncle did very well there as a supervisor.
I did a search for the Wrought Iron Range Co on eBay and immediately pulled up a history of the company, an advertisement for the range and a metal they gave away. I bought them all!
However, the best goodie which I am still bidding on is a “salesman’s sample Wrought Iron Range stove about 12 inches tall and 14 inches long in color and with all working parts.
(Photo: The stove Lisa inherited from her grandmother.)
I may not win the bid, but I am thrilled with what I found.
This will bring my grandfather’s occupation to life for my great nephews!!!!”
More eBay Research Strategies on Genealogy Gems:
- Learn more about eBay alerts in Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 140.
- Genealogy Gems Premium episode 76
- Genealogy Gems Premium episode 16
- Learn more here about Genealogy Gems Premium Membership
Steve Shares a New German Translation Resource
“I came across a new site that you might like to inform your listeners about. It is very new and just getting started, so I know they would appreciate a mention.
The name of this new site is “German Letters in Letters” [germanletters.org]. What they are doing is trying to collect letters written between German immigrants to the US and their relatives back home in Germany.
You can very easily submit scanned copies of any letters you have and the really neat thing is that they will post them at their site. Once they post them, they are asking for translations by any volunteers. So, this is an excellent way to have any letters in your possession to be translated….. for FREE!
I was given about 30 letters written to my GG grandfather, Johann Bernard Husam, who immigrated to Adams Co., Illinois about 1855.
They are from his siblings, nieces, and a nephew back in Germany. They range from 1866 to the early 1900s.
I scanned them and they are now on this site. I was given these letters by great granddaughter-in-law [my aunt] who spoke German as she had grown up in the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia. She had escaped Czechoslovakia at the end of WWII before the Russians invaded. She, thankfully, had translated all of the letters.”
Learn more about German research from these articles at Genealogy Gems.
What Ann Likes About the Podcast
Hi, Lisa, I’d love to say that your podcast has helped me with a genealogy brick wall but at this point I’m only a “drop-in genealogist,” figuring that I’m the only one in the family interested at this time (working on one grandson though, because I think he’d be a real asset) in finding and preserving family stories.
I do research in fits and starts. But, I do love your podcasts. I’m catching up on back episodes now and recently listened to one that started with you describing a granddaughter’s first Christmas coming up.
It reminded me of one of the best things about your podcasts – it’s like you’re sitting in my living room with me, having a cup of tea, discussing your stories and tips and tricks to help with mine.
Thank you so much for all the information, and for your casual, personal, yet professional style!”
Kristine is No Longer a “Cooke-Cutter” Researcher
“I just retired and guess what is first on my list of things I WANT to do? 🙂 I jumped in with both feet listening to your Premium podcasts and realized a few times that I am the ‘cookie-cutter’ researcher. But, no more. You are the Captain of my ship now. Thank you!
After binging on your podcasts the last two weeks, the first bit of advice I took was changing the way I searched on Newspapers.com. My family’s everyday life’s treasures were buried in the pages of the local news! You made me take a second look after I dismissed the possibility of ever reading about them.
Thank you so much for your dedicated work on behalf of all the genealogists. My Premium subscription will NEVER run out. When a family member says “I don’t know what to get you” I’m prepared to solve that dilemma!
A listener for life”
Read Lisa’s article called A Shocking Family Secret and 3 Powerful Newspaper Search Tips
This podcast is sponsored by:
GEM: Overcoming Shallow Research with Elissa Scalise Powell
About today’s guest:
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, is co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP); past-president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and 2017 She won the Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Achievement Award. She is a Certified Genealogist®, and Certified Genealogical LecturerSM. You can reach Elissa at Elissa@PowellGenealogy.com. (Thank you to Elissa for contributing notes for this episode.)
The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS)
The Genealogical Proof Standard was created to help genealogists gain confidence in their research conclusions by providing criteria that can be followed. A genealogical conclusion is considered proved when it meets all five GPS components.
The 5 Components of the GPS
- Reasonably exhaustive research – This type of research emphasizes original records that provide the information for all evidence that might answer a genealogist’s question about an identity, relationship, event, or situation
- Complete, accurate citations to the source or sources of each information item contributing—directly, indirectly, or negatively—to answers about that identity, relationship, event, or situation
- Tests—through processes of analysis and correlation—of all sources, information items, and evidence contributing to an answer to a genealogical question or problem
- Resolution of conflicts among evidence items pertaining to the proposed answer
- A soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion based on the strongest available evidence
The book Genealogy Standards by the Board for Certification of Genealogists provides a standard by which all genealogists can pattern their work.
Some sources are considered “Low-hanging fruit.” They can be described as:
- straightforward research
- easily accessible
- record type is easily understood
- document states the fact desired
Many times, genealogists will need to stretch and reach for harder to find sources. These types of sources are:
- not straightforward
- possibly unknown to you at this time
- not easily accessible
- time-consuming to explore
- take study to understand it
- not self-explanatory
Elise’s Examples of the Pitfalls of Shallow Research
- Believing that family stories have been accurately passed down in all details.
- Believing that official documents are always correct.
- Believing that published records, especially transcriptions or abstracts, are faithful representations of the original.
- Premature conclusions can come back to haunt us.
- Disregarding ill-fitting evidence can create brick walls.
- Careless citation practices do not give us the tools we need for analysis.
- Researching and understanding historical context is crucial to solving problems.
- Barriers requiring expertise beyond our own should not hamper the research process.
- Assuming there is only one record and suspending research when the first one is found.
- Assuming that details are unimportant, or not noticing them at all.
Elissa also points out that when we do shallow research, we can actually do more harm than good. Shallow genealogical research:
- Doesn’t allow our ancestors to reveal themselves or their reasons for actions
- Puts them in the wrong time and place
- Can create wrong kinship ties
- Misleads future researchers
- Causes brick walls
- Wastes our time
- Does a disservice to our current family and descendants
GEM: Irish Genealogy with Lorna Moloney of Merriman Research
While speaking at THE Genealogy Show conference in Birmingham England in June of this year I got a chance to sat down for the first time with Lorna Moloney host of The Genealogy Radio show which is produced at Raidio Corcabaiscinn. It airs live on Thursday at 4p.m. and is podcast (click here for episodes). Lorna runs Merriman Research which is dedicated to bringing educational solutions and resources to a wide audience.
Lorna’s website: www.traceyouririshroots.com
Photo: Lisa and Lorna at THE Genealogy Show in Birmingham, England in 2019.
We learn about so many fantastic new genealogy records online every week. So each Friday we round up several of them for you to glance through. Watch for databases and documents that your ancestors might appear in–but also watch for the kinds of records that may be out there already, that you haven’t yet looked for. This week: British women in World War I, Polish-American marriages, Irish vital records, Canadian travel photography, Scottish artifacts and documents and a Louisiana (US) press archive.
WWI WOMEN. FindMyPast has posted over 9,500 UK records that illustrate the various roles played by woman during the Frist World War. These include:
- Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Service Records 1917-1920. It’s a relatively small collection but rich in material on each woman.
- British Women’s Royal Naval Service officer files 1917-1919 (ADM 318) details the service history of women who served as officers in the Women’s Royal Naval Service during the First World War.
- British Women’s Royal Naval Service Ratings’ Service Registers 1918-1919 contains the details of nearly 7,000 enlisted women who served as Wrens during the First World War.
- British Women’s Royal Air Force Service Records 1918-1920 is an index of 31,090 Women’s Royal Air Force service records held by The National Archives.
POLISH-AMERICAN MARRIAGES. A new database of Polish-American marriages has been posted by the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast.
According to a press release, “This database contains the names of couples of Polish origin who were married in select locations in the Northeast United States. The information was taken from marriage records, newspaper marriage announcements, town reports, parish histories or information submitted by Society members. The time period generally covered by these lists is 1892-1940. It includes the States of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont. Connecticut and Jersey City, NJ will be added at a later date.”
IRISH BMD. Over a million records appear in a new database of Irish records of the city and county of Derry~Londonderry and Inishowen, County Donegal. Entries span 1642-1922 and include:
- Pre-1922 civil birth and marriage registers,
- Early baptismal and marriage registers of 97 churches,
- Headstone inscriptions from 118 graveyards, and
- Census returns and census substitutes from 1663 to 1901.
Click here to access these records (and other County Derry resources) at RootsIreland,ie (subscription required).
CANADIAN TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY. A small but visually rich collection of pictures promoting Canadian tourism is now at Flickr Creative Commons. Use these to explore places your ancestors may have visited (and the images that may have lured them there) if they vacationed by rail in the 1800s or early 1900s. (Click here to learn more about finding great historical photos at Flickr Creative Commons.)
SCOTTISH ARTIFACTS AND DOCUMENTS. A new digital archive at Historic Scotland has launched an online database of 400 artefacts now includes over 400 artifacts important to Scottish history. Everyday household objects, ship models, coins, weaponry, bits ‘n bobs of old homes and buildings, industrial machinery and miscellaneous photos, books and ephemera are all browsable on this site. It’s a great place to look for images that help illustrate your Scottish ancestors’ history.
LOUISIANA PRESS COVERAGE. The Louisiana Digital Media Archive has launched as “the first project in the nation to combine the media collections of a public broadcaster and a state archives,” according to its site description. “This ever-expanding site contains a combined catalog of thousands of hours of media recorded over the past half-century. You can see interviews with Louisiana civil rights pioneers, notable political figures, war heroes, artists and literary icons. You’ll have a front row seat to Louisiana history through video of historic events. You can also visit remote and endangered Louisiana places and cultures.”
Not sure how to find record sets like these for YOUR family history? Here’s a tip! Set up a Google Alert. Say you want to know whenever new material on Polish-Americans in Detroit is found by Google’s ever-searching search engines. Click here to learn how to set up this search (or any other) Google Alert for genealogy.
This tip comes to you courtesy of the book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, Second Edition by Lisa Louise Cooke–the fully-revised 2015 edition that’s packed with strategies that will dramatically improve your ability to find your family history online.
Scottish genealogy records are as popular as plaid this fall. Deeds, paternity records, and censuses are just a sampling. Also this week, records for Ontario, New York State, Philadelphia, and the women’s suffrage movement!
Scotland – Deeds
Findmypast offers Scotland Deeds Index 1769 with over 1,000 transcripts. This collection contains the details found in minute books kept by the Court of Session and includes a variety of different types of deeds including: assignations, discharges, bonds, obligations, protests, and leases. Each deed transcript will record the type of deed, the date it was recorded, and the two parties named in the original court document, their addresses, and occupations.
By understanding what each type of deed is, you may be able to glean additional clues to your research. For example, a discharge is granted once evidence is shown to a granter that a debt or payment has been paid in full. Discharges were also given to release an individual from specific tasks or duties. A heritable bond, however, is in regard to land, property, or houses that pass to an heir or next of kin. In some of these cases, the records could be proof of parentage. For more details about the types of deeds in this collection, read here.
Scotland – Paternity Decrees
Containing over 25,000 records, Scotland, Paternity Decrees 1750-1922 will help you find out if your ancestor was involved in a paternity dispute that appeared before Scotland’s Sheriff Court. These records could identify illegitimate ancestors and break down brick walls in your research. You will find cases from jurisdictions across Scotland including: Kirkcudbrightshire, Lanarkshire, Midlothian, and Roxburghshire.
Each record offers a date of birth and sex of the child whose paternity is in question as well as the name, occupation, and residence of both the pursuer and defender.
Scotland – Census and Population List
Also at Findmypast, Scotland Pre-1841 Censuses and Population Lists now contains over 3,500 early census fragments and parish lists from Jedburgh, Greenlaw, Ladykirk, Melrose, Applegarth, and Sibbaldbie. Until 1845, these courts were for governing the local parish and overseeing parish relief. Many kept up-to-date lists of the parish residents, their occupations, and their birth places.
The details recorded in each transcript will vary, but most will include a birth place, occupation, and address.
Scotland – Registers & Records
Scotland Registers & Records contain images taken from 21 different publications related to Scottish parishes and families. The records vary and include parish records, topographical accounts, and memorial inscriptions.
Some of these records reach back as far as the year 1100! To see a list of each of the publications within this collection, click here, then scroll down to the subheading, “What can these records tell me?”
Canada – Ontario – Birth Index
Findmypast offers a collection titled Ontario Birth Index 1860-1920. It is comprised of 1.7 million civil registration records. Civil registration in Canada is the responsibility of the individual provinces and territories and it was not standard practice until the late 1800s.
Each record contains both a transcript and an image of the original document. Information should include:
- Ancestor’s name and date of birth
- Place of birth
- Parents’ names
In some cases, the record may also provide:
- Parents’ occupations
- Where the parents were married
- Name of the attending physician
- Address of residence
Special Savings for You
If you are interested in subscribing to Findmypast, we want to let you know about a special savings. Findmypast is now offering a year subscription for $34.95, a savings of $79.95. Click here for more details!
United States – New York – City Directories
The first batch—1849/50 through 1923—have already been scanned and the 1786–1849 directories are in the process of being scanned. The whole collection will be going online over the coming months.
See the digitized directories here.
City directories contain more than just names and addresses. You may be surprised to learn that they record the price of travel and postage, the kinds of occupations around the city, the layout of streets, and at what time the sun was predicted to rise and set!
City directories might also contain images, maps, illustrations of buildings, and advertisements.
United States – Massachusetts – Women’s Suffrage
The Massachusetts Historical Society has announced that seven collections relating to women in the public sphere have been digitized. A grant made it possible to create high resolution images that are accessible at the MHS website, as well as preservation microfilm created from the digital files. The seven collection titles and links are listed below.
Juvenile Anti-Slavery Society records, 1837-1838
Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women, 1895-1920
New England Freedmen’s Aid Society records, 1862-1878
Rose Dabney Forbes papers, 1902-1932
Society for the Employment of the Female Poor trustees’ reports, 1827-1834
Twentieth Century Medical Club records, 1897-1911
Woman’s Education Association (Boston, Mass.) records, 1871-1935
United States – Pennsylvania – Newspapers
Check out the Philadelphia Inquirer on Newspapers.com. The Philadelphia Inquirer is one of the oldest surviving papers in the United States. The Philadelphia Inquirer was established in 1829 and originally titled the Pennsylvania Inquirer. It was originally a Democratic paper that supported President Jackson.
This collection covers the years of 1860-2016.
If you’re looking for specific mentions of an ancestor, you might find them in lists of death notices, marriage licenses, local social news, the day’s fire record, or building permits issued. This newspaper is searchable by keyword or date.
United States – Nebraska – Marriages
New this week at FamilySearch are the Nebraska, Box Butte County Marriages, 1887-2015. Information found in these marriage records does vary, but you may find any of the following:
- Estimated birth year
- Birth city/town, county, state, and country
- Marital status
- Marriage date
- Marriage city/town, county, and state
- Parents’ names
- Previous spouse
More Helpful Tips for Scottish Genealogy
Lisa’s Premium Member episode 116 is just what you need. Marie Dougan, a professional genealogist specializing in Scottish research, joins Lisa in this episode to talk about how to research Scottish ancestors. If you haven’t taken that plunge and become a Premium Member, why not do so today! There are over 100 Premium Member podcast episodes and over 30 video classes on a wide variety of genealogy topics waiting to inspire and educate. Join today!
Not everyone was on vacation this summer. Genealogy companies and archives have been busy adding new records to their online collections.
In late July 2019 the Mississippi Department of Archives and History announced that “More than 238,000 pages of out-of-copyright Mississippi newspapers are currently online, with approximately 90,000 more pages expected to go online in the next six months.”
According to their press release: Researchers from around the world now have free online access to hundreds of Mississippi newspapers. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) participated in the National Digital Newspaper Program, a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize newspapers across the country. The publications are accessible through the Library of Congress on its Chronicling America website, along with papers from other participating states.
“Primary sources are key for students because it makes history relatable,” said Al Wheat, MDAH director of education and co-coordinator of Mississippi History Day. “Every year we send students to the National History Day competition, which offers two prizes to students who made use of Chronicling America in their research. Instead of simply reading about a historical event, students can learn from the people who experienced that event through this exceptional website.”
MDAH has the most extensive collection of Mississippi newspapers in the state, housing more than 13,000 microfilm rolls of papers in its archival collections. NEH provided funding for the Mississippi digitization project through three, two-year grants.
Mississippi content includes titles published between 1820 and 1963 in fifty-three of the state’s eighty-two counties. Ninety antebellum titles, including papers published in Canton, Carrollton, Columbus, Holly Springs, Kosciusko, Panola, Port Gibson, Yazoo City, and Woodville, are online.
Twenty-three titles have at least one issue published between 1860 and 1865. Noteworthy Civil War-era titles include the American Citizen published in Canton, the Eastern Clarionpublished in Paulding, the Daily Clarion published in Meridian, the Macon Beacon, and the Oxford Intelligencer.
More than 100 newspapers document the Reconstruction era in the state through 1922. Included are titles from Aberdeen, Bay St. Louis, Corinth, Ellisville, Hernando, Liberty, Okolona, Philadelphia, Ripley, and Starkville.
A number of issues published between 1923 and 1963 will go online within the next six months. Included are several African American newspapers: the Jackson Advocate, the Southern Advocate published in Mound Bayou, and the Weekly Echo published in Meridian. Two newspapers that will go online won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing: the Lexington Advertiser edited by Hazel Brannon Smith and the Chronicle edited by Ira Harkey, Jr.
Access the newspapers for free at chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.
Another exciting free historical newspaper website!
Click the video below to watch:
Georgia Obituaries and Burial Records
The Madison GA Cemetery Stewardship Commission announced that the Madison Cemeteries website now has over 800 obits for our 4,000 burials, and they are adding more every day.
U.S. Genealogical Records at Findmypast
Did your ancestor arrive in Pennsylvania between 1727 and 1775 or between 1786 and 1808? This records hold the names of thousands of male immigrants who were required to take an oath of allegiance to the British Crown and the Province of Pennsylvania as well as immigration lists between 1786 and 1808. Within these pages you will find your ancestor’s name, the ship they arrived on, there and arrival ports, and arrival date. Names are organised by vessel.
All males over sixteen years of age were obliged to take this oath and declaration, as soon as after arrival as possible. The lists of foreigners arriving after 1786 including the names of wives and children. The full oath can actually be found on image number 9. An index to surnames begins on image number 675.
Explore this 1856 publication which, in its own words, is a ‘A Collection of Upwards Of Thirty Thousand Names Of German, Swiss, Dutch, French And Other Immigrants In Pennsylvania From 1727 To 1776: With A Statement Of The Names Of Ships, Whence They Sailed, And The Date Of Their Arrival At Philadelphia, Chronology.’
As well as names, these records may also provide you with historical and biographical notes. The prefece went on to add that ‘present descendants of the early German, Swiss and French immigrants, now numbering millions living in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and in the Western States, will be enabled, if they procure this publication, to ascertain the time of their ancestors’ arrival and other facts of value to most of them.’
United States, Passenger and Crew Lists has been created by merging all of Findmypast’s existing US passenger and crew lists with over 2 million brand new records covering Boston, Texas and South Carolina.
Spanning over 160 years of travel, this vast national collection brings together records of passengers and crew who arrived in America by ship or by plane, from the East Coast to the West Coast, between 1800 and 1964.
Including ship manifests, crew lists, flight manifests, passenger arrival lists and more, the records document the arrival of millions of immigrant from Europe, Asia, and South America into the United States, where most settled to create a new life for themselves and their descendants.
A significant portion of the documents available within United States, Passenger and Crew Lists have been produced through a combination of historical records found at the National Archives & Record Administration (NARA) in Washington D.C. A number of the crew lists have also been made available by the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut.
The collection also includes records provided in partnership with the John F Kennedy Trust Ltd, an organization which has worked with the Balch Institute, the Ellis Island Restoration Commission and the Battery Conservancy to compile a comprehensive database of Irish emigration to the United States.
Passenger lists are just one of many records that detail your family’s journey to the United States. Transcripts will reveal your ancestor’s birth year, birth place, place of arrival, arrival year and ship name.
Images will provide additional information such who your ancestor was traveling with, their occupation, last permanent residence, and the names of those who died during the voyage. On crew lists, you may discover your ancestors position on the chip, whether they were able to read or write, length of service, as well as a physical description.
Over 777,000 new records from the major port city of Baltimore in Maryland have recently been added to these passenger and crew lists.
This national collection brings together records of passengers and crew who arrived in America by ship or by plane from the East Coast to the West Coast and will reveal where your ancestor was born, where they sailed from, where they arrived and when.
Billion Graves at FMP
Pinpoint your ancestor’s final resting place with new additions to our Billion Graves Cemetery Indexes. Our latest update includes:
- Over 2.6 million new additions to the United States Billion Graves Cemetery Index
Cemetery records are of great importance in discovering where and when your ancestor died. They can also provide you with information regarding their birth and marriage dates.
With an abundance of cemeteries, it can be overwhelming trying to pinpoint the precise cemetery in which your ancestor was laid to rest, and visiting each potential location is costly. However, in partnering with BillionGraves, we aim to make available all the cemetery records held on their site for free, saving you time and money as you search for your ancestor.
BillionGraves is the largest resource for GPS-tagged headstone and burial records on the web, with over 12 million headstone records.