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# Monday, April 18, 2011
Using Indexed Records on FamilySearch.org (and a Question for You)
Posted by Diane

Here’s that post I promised on tracking down my grandfather in Texas church records using indexed information in FamilySearch.org

I kept up with my Google blog reader (sometimes at 3 a.m.) while on maternity leave, so I noticed the regular record updates at FamilySearch.org. That’s how I got a surprise hit on my grandfather while casually searching collections from states my ancestors lived in.

The match, from the collection Texas Births and Christenings, 1840-1981,  has indexed information (so, no image of the record itself) from a church baptismal register in Gonzales, Texas:

The information was close to a baptismal certificate I already had from our family papers. In 1960, my grandma wrote the church where my grandfather was baptized to request the baptismal record. Apparently she needed it so my grandfather, who didn’t have a birth certificate, could participate in his company pension program. Here’s what the priest sent her:

I was never 100 percent confident in the birth information on this certificate, since it was created when he was almost 60 and my research gives two birthdates and places for my grandfather. So I was excited when I saw on FamilySearch.org the microfilm number for the original baptismal register (circled in red above).

I ran a Family History Library online catalog search for the film number and found this catalog record: 

It's hard to read here, but the baptismal register is from Sacred Heart Church, formerly called St. Joseph, in Gonzales, Texas, part of Archdiocese of San Antonio. (Note the 1960 baptismal certificate says St. James Church at the top.)

I printed this catalog page and took it to the FamilySearch Center to rent microfilm no. 25152. 

When the film came in, I quickly found my grandfather’s record (thanks to the page number provided in my FamilySearch.org search result). Here’s the first page, with my grandfather at the bottom:

My great-grandfather Mike Haddad appears in a few records as "Fadlo" (probably short for his pre-immigration name)—I believe that's why he's recorded as "Daddlod" here. 

And the second page, with columns for the sponsors, the minister who performed the ceremony, details on the person's Confirmation (another Catholic sacrament, usually received around age 13), and “remarks.”

See the note on the far right in the Remarks column? That reports my grandfather’s marriage t0 my grandma in 1942 in Cincinnati.

The handwriting was uniform throughout the entire book. From the title and publisher pages, 

it looks like this was a blank register book printed in 1944, which someone later filled in with information from diocesan church records going back to 1883.

My guess is that the (?) in the sponsor column next to Saida’s name—a symbol also appearing by several other names on the page—means the person who copied the original records into this book couldn’t quite make out the handwriting.

In 1960, when my grandma sent her request to St. Joseph, she must've provided her marriage information. Then the priest who answered her letter would’ve looked at this book in order to fill out the baptismal certificate, and added the marriage details to the notes column. 

So this still isn't the actual record that was created in 1902 when my grandfather was baptized, but I have more confidence in that 1960 baptismal certificate (and the birth date it provides) now that I've seen where that information came from.

One question: Why does the baptism certificate sent to my grandma in 1960 say "St. James" at the top, when the church register is from St. Joseph (later changed to Sacred Heart)? Perhaps the diocese routed all records requests like my grandma's to St. James? What do you think?


Church records | FamilySearch | Free Databases | Research Tips
Monday, April 18, 2011 11:23:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
# Friday, April 15, 2011
Our Second Life in Civil War America Sweepstakes Winner
Posted by jamie

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, each week we're giving away Family Tree Magazine's Life in Civil War America book! Here's our second winner:



To enter, like Family Tree Magazine on Facebook and share on our page a Civil War ancestor story or a tidbit from our Life in Civil War America webinar or Life in Civil War America book. You can also enter by posting a comment on any Genealogy Insider post about Life in Civil War America (like this one).

Each Friday in April, a winner will be chosen from that week's comments and wall posts, and they will be notified by an announcement on Family Tree Magazine's Facebook page. The four winners will each receive a copy of the Life in Civil War America book. Check our Facebook page and Genealogy Insider blog frequently for upcoming posts where we'll comment on and/or answer the questions we receive about Life in Civil War America.

The sweepstakes starts April 6, and runs through April 29.

Need more details? Read the official rules here.
Civil War | Genealogy fun
Friday, April 15, 2011 11:15:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [10]
Genealogy News Corral, April 11-15
Posted by Diane

From April 10 to 24, digital content provider Gale is celebrating National Library Week by providing free access to several resources. Those include the NewsVault (more than 10 million pages from historical newspapers and periodicals) and Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive (antebellum newspaper articles and books focused on slavery). Usually, you must use Gale databases via libraries that subscribe to them, but you can search the databases directly during this free access period

It’s DNA Day! Today only (Friday, April 15), genetic genealogy company FamilyTreeDNA is offering a promotional code you can use to get a discount on several types of DNA tests. See FamilyTreeDNA’s Facebook page for details.

Family Tree University professor Tim Pinnick sent us a note that he’s moderating the new African-American-American Newspapers forum on the Afrigeneas website. Stop by to ask questions and share your finds from Black newspapers

FamilySearch announced this week that it’s released 500,000 new US county marriage records, as well as records from Costa Rica, England, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Spain, in the Historical Records Search. Click here to see the list of the updated collections. (Look for our guide to the new FamilySearch.org website in the September 2011 Family Tree Magazine.)

Subscription genealogy site Archives just announced the addition of 3.5 million new US vital records to the website, including the obituary index from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Ohio (also searchable here). Other updated collections come from Texas, Kentucky, Maine, South Carolina, Arizona, South Carolina and Colorado.

iArchives, the records digitization arm of subscription site Footnote, announced plans to collaborate with the Federation of Genealogical Societies to digitize 180,000 War of 1812 pension applications. They’ll eventually be available on Footnote. Read more details on the FGS Voice blog.


FamilySearch | Footnote | Free Databases | Genealogy societies | Genetic Genealogy | Military records | Newspapers
Friday, April 15, 2011 9:52:35 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Thursday, April 14, 2011
Get Help Researching Military Ancestors
Posted by Diane


Does tracing your ancestors' military service seem like an uphill battle?

For most wars after the American Revolution and the birth of the federal government, you’ll consult the National Archives and Records Administration, which has compiled service records, pension files and other federal records (some are on microfilm and/or digitized, some are still only in paper form).

To see a list of what military records NARA has on microfilm, go to its Order Online system, click Microfilm at the top of the page (ignore the log in fields unless you actually submit an order), click Advanced Search, select Military Service Records from the Subject Catalog pull-down menu, and click Search.

If you see a microfilm you’d like to search, you can look for copies of the film at the Family History Library (and borrow the film through a local FamilySearch Center) or see if the film is digitized on the free FamilySearch.org, or on a subscription website such as Ancestry.com or Footnote.

If an ancestor fought in a Colonial war—that is, any war taking place before the American Revolution—you’re more likely to locate state militia pay lists, muster rolls and military hospital records in state archives and military historical societies covering the war or the place where your ancestor enlisted. It’ll be easier to find records if you can learn which regiment or company your ancestor was part of.

This is a little taste of the advice is from our new Military Research Guide CD, which has Family Tree Magazine’s best in-depth guidance and tools for researching ancestors who served in the US armed forces. 

Click here for more details about the research topics and worksheets covered in this keyword-searchable, Windows- and Macintosh-compatible CD. It’s available now at ShopFamilyTree.com


Editor's Pick | Military records | Research Tips
Thursday, April 14, 2011 9:25:46 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Civil War Genealogy Resources
Posted by Diane

The American Civil War began 150 years ago this week. But you already knew that. What you maybe didn't know is that the National Park Service has a Civil War Sesquicentennial Home Page with a play-by-play of that first Battle of Fort Sumter, as well as contemporary news reports.

As part of our Life in Civil War America sweepstakes, we’ve heard from many of you who’ve taken advantage of newly available Civil War records such as those from Ancestry.com and the National Archives (free on Ancestry.com through April 14; you also can check out Footnote’s Civil War records free through April 14) to start learning about your Civil War ancestors.

Interested in taking your research further? Here are some resources that may help:

  • The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System: More than 6 million names of soldiers (those who served in more than one regiment have multiple listings) from the Union and Confederacy, as well as African-American sailors. You can learn basic service details, find regimental histories and listings of soldiers by regiment, view battle summaries and see records from Andersonville and Fort McHenry prisons. 
  • Civil War Women: Diaries, letters and other primary sources from Duke University 
  • Civil War Sesquicentennial Tools: Links to online tools and podcasts (such as Longwood University’s weekly review of key Civil War events taking place exactly 150 years ago) that help you research your family’s Civil War history.  
  • Civil War Genealogy Toolkit: Link to state archives’ online Civil War records, Civil War history sites, how-to articles, Civil War history organizations and more. 
  • Military Research Guide: Our free guide will show you how to research your Civil War and other military ancestors. 

Other Family Tree Magazine Civil War research helps include:


Military records
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 3:02:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Hello Again!
Posted by Diane

It’s been awhile. My first couple of days back at Family Tree Magazine HQ after the past few months just taking care of this little guy

(look at those chubby little cheeks!) have been a whirlwind of figuring out where our projects are and what’s going on in the genealogy world.

Here’s what my lovely coworkers had waiting for me on my first day back: 

I’ve eaten, slept and breathed family history for the past seven and a half years on staff at Family Tree Magazine. That’s in my job description.

But while I was on maternity leave, my genealogy life was a lot more like yours: Reading news blogs and searching online databases when I had a few minutes, finding someone to watch the baby while I squeezed in trips to the FamilySearch Center (baby Leo even accompanied me on a short microfilm-requesting stop). I'd watch "Who Do You Think You Are?" on Hulu in the middle of the night while I was up with the baby.

I’ll do another post about what I discovered on that FamilySearch microfilm. But I definitely feel more one with you!

I hope you can offer some advice: How do you fit genealogy into your everyday life? When do you squeeze in your online and library research? Thanks!



Family Tree Magazine articles | Genealogy fun
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 10:04:00 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [13]
# Monday, April 11, 2011
Our First Life in Civil War America Sweepstakes Winner
Posted by jamie

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, each week we're giving away Family Tree Magazine's Life in Civil War America book! Here's our first winner:



To enter, like Family Tree Magazine on Facebook and share on our page a Civil War ancestor story or a tidbit from our Life in Civil War America webinar or Life in Civil War America book. You can also enter by posting a comment on any Genealogy Insider post about Life in Civil War America (like this one).

Each Friday in April, a winner will be chosen from that week's comments and wall posts, and they will be notified by an announcement on Family Tree Magazine's Facebook page. The four winners will each recieve a copy of the Life in Civil War America book. Check our Facebook page and Genealogy Insider blog frequently for upcoming posts where we'll comment on and/or answer the questions we receive about Life in Civil War America.

The sweepstakes starts April 6, and runs through April 29.

Need more details? Read the official rules here.

Civil War | Genealogy fun
Monday, April 11, 2011 1:34:21 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]
"Who Do You Think You Are?" Episode 8 Recap
Posted by jamie

Spoiler Alert: If you don't already know what happened during Ashley Judd's episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” you are about to find out.

Actress Ashley Judd has proud southern roots. Her mother Naomi Judd and sister Wynonna Judd are country music superstars, and Ashley is an eighth-generation Kentuckian on her Judd line. So she got a few surprises when exploring her father's family.

Judd began her search by meeting with her father Michael Ciminella in Louisville, Ky. While looking at a photo album, Ciminella tells Judd about Elijah Hensley, an ancestor who fought in the Civil War. Judd searches for Elijah on Ancestry.com, discovering Hensley served in 39th Kentucky Infantry for the Union.

This leads Judd to the State Archives in Frankfort, Ky., where she finds Hensley's muster cards, indicating he enlisted at age 15 and was captured 32 days later. He was held for about five or six months in a prison in Richmond, Va., and was released in a broad exchange of Kentucky prisoners. He was later wounded in the Battle of Saltville and taken prisoner a second time. He was discharged in 1865 because of disability.

The search continues in Saltville, Va. Muster cards indicate Hensley's right leg was amputated on the battlefield by medics. An historian demonstrates what the amputation would be like, horrifying Judd. He also explains that Hensley's regiment would have retreated at the battle and left those injured to be taken prisoner by the Confederacy. Judd then reads a brief write-up about Hensely, indicating he worked as a farmer in Kentucky after he was honorably discharged. (For more on tracing your Civil War roots, see our Ultimate Collection.)

Judd then heads to New England Historical Society in Boston, Ma., to research her paternal great-grandfather William H. Dalton. Death records indicate Dalton's grandparent were E. & E. Brewster, a long-standing New England surname. NEHGS researches trace the Brewster lineage back 12 generations to William Brewster, who was born in 1566/7 England and was bailiff to the Archbishop of York. He immigrated to America in 1620, coming over on the Mayflower and signing the Mayflower Compact. (For more on Massachusetts research, see our state bundle.)

The travelers on the Mayflower were fleeing religious persecution, so Judd travels to York, England, to find out more about Brewster and the Pilgrims. She discovers William Brewster was a gentleman who attended Cambridge and looked after the archbishop's affairs.

Around 1607, Brewster became a central figure of the Puritans, a group of religious radicals who wanted to separate from the Church of England. He was summoned to court for speaking out against the Church of England and tries to flee the country. He first travels to Boston, England, and is soon jailed. Judd looks in his cell where a plaque dubbing him the "pilgrim father" hangs.

Brewster was imprisoned for months; upon his release, he traveled to Holland, where there was some degree of religious freedom. About 10 years later, Brewster obtained a charter from King James to settle Plymouth.

"WDYTYA" airs Fridays at 8pm EST on NBC. Check the Genealogy Insider blog for a brief recap of each episode.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Civil War
Monday, April 11, 2011 10:56:32 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
# Friday, April 08, 2011
Genealogy News Corral: April 8
Posted by jamie

Kodak has sold assets of its microfilm products and equipment business to Eastman Park Micrographics. Kodak will continue supplying current microfilms, as well as to provide service and support for microfilm equipment and Eastman Park Micrographics will take over Kodak’s data conversion services business, which converts data between analog and digital formats. Read more on Kodak.com.

The Cincinnati Railroad Club is digitizing its 70,000-item collection, a project estimated to take three years to complete. Most non-copyrighted materials will be available online, including geomapping of the library’s thousands of original photographs. Read more on BizJournals.com.

Newport Beach Library is considering a revamp that would maintain the most of the library's current services, but ditch the books. The proposal is a reflection of the economy and patron habits. Read more on the LATimes.com.

The city of Chicago is relocating about 1,200 graves from the 161-year-old Bensenville cemetery to expand O'Hare International Airport, but not without controversy. The city hired a genealogist to track down the closest living relative for those currently occupying the graves, but isn't contacting every descendant, leaving some family members in the dark about their ancestor's final resting place. Read more on the ChicagoTribune.com.
 
Season one of "Who Do You Think You Are?" is now available on DVD. Re-watch all your favorite celebrities discover their roots on NBC's family history hit. Read more on BroadwayWorld.com.

If you missed any of the simulcast RootsTech conference sessions, you can now watch them on-demand at RootsTech.org. Bonus video interviews with conference speakers are now on the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel.
 


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Cemeteries | FamilySearch | Genealogy Industry | Genealogy Web Sites
Friday, April 08, 2011 3:02:08 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [0]
Free Footnote.com Civil War Records
Posted by jamie

Footnote.com is offering free access to it's Civil War collection April 7 - 14, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the war between the states.

The subscription website has worked with the US National Archives to bring millions of original records online for the first time. Researchers can access soldier records, photographs, original war maps, pension files, court investigations, slave records, Lincoln records and more from a one-stop search box.

Click here to search the Footnote.com Civil War database.


Civil War | Genealogy Web Sites | Military records
Friday, April 08, 2011 10:18:41 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [1]