Tuesday, January 25, 2005


As Sherry Irvine states in her article "As the Records Show" in the
January 20, 2005 edition of the ADN, "Keyword Searches Aren't Just
for Catalogs."

I found that I was, using the keyword field only, searching for the
quoted date of the wedding ("01 Feb 1896") and the county, quite
often, and finding all records, irregardless of the spelling of the
names. Since then, Ancestry.com has added the Date and County as
options to the search (at least in the Indiana Marriages Database--
but occasionally, it is still helpful to narrow the search for
couples, using one of the last names (normally the groom's) in the
Last Name field, and the other's (usually the bride's) first name in
the keyword field. While my experience is mostly in the Indiana
Marriages database, I have used the same technique in other states'
marriage records.

I have also found that a "keyword only search" also works in many of
the other databases, sometimes better than the selected field search.

Bill Sanders

Your Daily Dose of Genealogy for 25 January 2005
** You can view this issue of the "Ancestry Daily News" online **

to which I will add in England and Wales 1881 census
you may use addresses and occuaptions as keywords too,
just like on the free text search on the CD set
the so called Neighbours Advanced Search.


Census Records & Images

1881 England
1881 Wales


census and Wales

I spend a lot of time looking into Monmouthshire both helping friends and for my own tree.
just lately I revisited
Name:    William Watkins
Age in 1871:    38 
Estimated birth year:    1833  -- christening William Henry September 8, 1831 St Mary's church Llanfair Cilgedin
Relation:    Head 
Household:    View other family members
Gender:    Male 
Where born:    Llanvair, Monmouth, Wales
Civil parish:    Oldcastle 
Ecclesiastical parish:    Llandaff 
Town:    Bulch Trewyn   -- typo BUTCH
County/Island:    Monmouthshire 
Country:    Wales 
Street address:   Bylch farm 100 acres
Condition as to marriage:    m
Occupation:   farmer
Source information:    RG10/5308
Registration district:    Abergavenny 
Sub-registration district:    Llanvihangel 
ED, institution, or vessel:    7 
Folio:    65 
Page:    2
Household schedule number:    5
You are here: Search - Census - UK Census Collection -  1871 Wales Census -  Monmouthshire --  Oldcastle  -- District 7
Name Age in 1871 Birthplace Relationship Civil Parish County/Island View Image
William Watkins 38  Llanvair, Monmouth, Wales Head  Oldcastle  Monmouthshire
Mary A Watkins 28  Llanthew, Herefordshire, England Wife  Oldcastle  Monmouthshire
David Watkins 1  Cwmyoy, Monmouth, Wales Son  Oldcastle  Monmouthshire  
Mary Watkins 3  Cwmyoy, Monmouth, Wales Daughter  Oldcastle  Monmouthshire     
Thomas Watkins 5  Cwmyoy, Monmouth, Wales Son  Oldcastle  Monmouthshire     
William Watkins 7  Cwmyoy, Monmouth, Wales Son  Oldcastle  Monmouthshire  
Mary George 18  Brynmaner, Breconshire, Wales General Servant  Oldcastle  Monmouthshire 
Sarah Davies 14  Brynmaner, Breconshire, Wales general  Servant  Oldcastle  Monmouthshire
Thomas Griffith 45  Clodock, Herefordshire, England Farm Servant  Oldcastle  Monmouthshire
reviewing my family Tree make file it looks like I have some confusion between two William Henry Watkins and this William Watkins
The OLDCASTLE connection is good because I have seen a parish register reference to a widow who died in Oldcastle
And from the 1851 census index:via the rootsweb Monouthshire list:-
HO107/2446 p.2 Folio 167
Oldcastle (Abergavenny RD)
WATKINS,  Rebecca,  55
Caroline, 20
William, 19
Jane, 15
Rebecca, 24
I look forward to seeing that on line in a couple of years.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Naming Patterns, Practices & Customs for Countries and Cultures Around the World

Naming Patterns, Practices & Customs for Countries and Cultures Around the World: "Naming Practices & Patterns for Countries & Cultures
An understanding of naming patterns can be very helpful in tracing ones ancestry, as families in many cultures followed the custom of naming their children in a specific manner. Learn more about common naming practices, for both surnames and given names, in various countries and cultures around the world. "

Friday, January 14, 2005


Updates adding:
--- England: Norfolk and Westmorland

Ancestry.com has updated its exclusive every-name index to the 1871
U.K. Census, adding the index and images for Norfolk and Westmorland,

The collection now includes an index and images for the
following areas:


Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall,
Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire,
Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire,
Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, Middlesex, Norfolk,
Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, the Royal Navy,
Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey,
Sussex, Warwickshire, Westmorland, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, and


Anglesey, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cardiganshire,
Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Merionethshire,
Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, Pembrokeshire, and Radnorshire.


Alderney, Guernsey, Jersey, and Sark


Look for additions to this index to be posted regularly.



I am fortunate to have many ancestors in Britain where the civil
records of births, marriages and deaths are continuous since 1837 and
are, to a large extent, indexed and available for free at FreeBMD
Yesterday, I was searching for the
birth of a distant relative named Henry Mannington Sayers.

Searching for Henry Sayers at FreeBMD gave many hits, so I tried
"Henry Mannington" in the First Name(s) box and Sayers in the Surname
box and out he popped. Mannnington, my grandmother's surname, is an
unusual name, and I have found that I can connect many, if not most,
Manningtons to my family.

I then tried searching on middle names to perhaps find some of his
siblings. First I tried putting just "Mannington" into the First Name
box but got no hits. So then I tried "* Mannington" and left the
surname blank. To my surprise and delight, out popped about 50 people
with Mannington as their middle name. I knew of about half of these
families as descendants of Mannington women. Others were completely
new to me, and I am eager to explore who these families.

Lesson learned--if you have an unusual surname in your family, try
using it as a middle name in searches for relatives. You may be
surprised who turns up.

Jocelyn Keene
Pasadena, CA

Your Daily Dose of Genealogy for 14 January 2005
** You can view this issue of the "Ancestry Daily News" online **

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

"THE SWEDISH-BORN ORPHAN," by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak

As mysteries go, this was pretty intriguing. When my last article on orphan heirloom rescues (that is, playing sleuth to get stray items back to rightful owners) appeared, I received the following from Marjie Mountainsong:
"I would like your help in returning a photo in my possession. When my mother died, I inherited her wonderful collection of old photos. I've managed to return some special ones to the families who might most enjoy them, but have been puzzled by one. It's a studio portrait of a young woman, possibly in her late teens, and the following lines are penned on the back: Theresa White; Killed Oct. 26, 1922; Funeral Oct. 29, 1922; Given to Mrs. Johnson. Some distance below in pencil rather than pen is the date: January 1899. Mrs. Johnson would be my Swedish great-grandmother, Brita Kaysa Johnson, wife of Nels Johnson, who homesteaded in Mille Lacs County near Lawrence, Minnesota (now Wahkon), from 1892 until 1932, coming there from several years of residence in Duluth, Minnesota.
I do not know whether the name White is a birth name or a married name. If she died in Minnesota, I would guess that some newspaper carried a notice of her unexpected death. The Minnesota Death Index online lists a Theresa Antoinette White as dying 26 October 1922 in St. Louis County. (Note: You can search the Minnesota Death Index at Ancestry.com at http://www.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7316 ) That would be the area that includes Duluth, Minnesota."
A young woman killed? How? What happened to her? And why did Mrs. Johnson wind up with her photo? So many questions. I had to try to find some answers.
SURFING TIMEAs always, my first instinct was to search the Internet. Marjie had given me a head start by locating the listing for Theresa's death. Since the date was identical to the one on the back of the photo, I was quite confident it was the same woman, so I started my search by trying to put her in context through census records.
Since Theresa died in 1922, I decided to start with 1920 census and work backward. I looked for White families living in St. Louis County, Minnesota, and found Gilbert White with his wife, Theresa A. This Theresa had been born around 1879-1880 in Sweden. That would have made her nineteen or twenty at the time of the photo (January 1899), so those dates fit. Also, her photo had been given to a Swedish woman, so her own birth in Sweden seemed to fit as well. I was reasonably sure I had found the Theresa I was seeking.
LEARNING MORE ABOUT THERESATheresa was forty years old and had no children enumerated with her in the 1940 census--but could she have had a child or two already grown and out of the house? If so, their lines could lead to descendants, so I backed up to 1910 to see if there were any children in the house. Fortunately, the family had stayed in place, so it was easy to find Gilbert White in 1910, but sadly, the census confirmed that there were no children. I would have to go back in time to find collateral relatives who might have descendants alive today. The census also revealed that Gilbert and Theresa had married around 1906, so Theresa would have been listed under her maiden name in 1900--but I didn't know what that was.
Ancestry.com is in the midst of creating an every-name index for the 1900 census and is more than half-way through the project, but Minnesota is one the states that has not yet been completed. (http://www.ancestry.com/rd/redir.asp?sourceid=12788&targetid=4594 )
I couldn't just search on Swedish-born Theresas of an appropriate age (although that will be possible in the near future). In any case, a census record wouldn't satisfy my curiosity about her death, so what else could I do?
HOW WAS SHE KILLED?At this point, I consulted a favorite site of mine, Joe Beine's Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records (http://www.deathindexes.com ). I clicked on Minnesota and saw that the Minnesota Historical Society also had an online index of Minnesota deaths. I duplicated my earlier search and found the listing for Theresa's death--and then I noticed the "Add to Order" button. I clicked on it and discovered that I could have a copy of her death certificate mailed to me for $8. That would certainly help solve the riddle of her death, so why not?
Then I spotted a box that said "Obituary Research Services." I clicked on it and learned that I could order a search for her obituary for $15 ($12, if you're a Minnesota resident). Since she was killed, I was virtually certain there would be an article about her death, so I decided to make the investment. One week later, I received the death certificate, and two weeks after that, I received the obituary. I confess that this quick and efficient service made me jealous of those with Minnesota roots.
AN UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENTThe death certificate answered my first question: Her death was given as, "struck by RR engine while crossing track. Accidental. Died from shock." The article about her death-front-page news in the "Pine County Pioneer", a newspaper in the area where she had lived most of her life--explained that she died of injuries sustained when she alighted from one train and failed to notice an approaching freight train on a nearby track.
The article went on to reveal many more details. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Erickson of Pine City, Minnesota, she was born in Sweden in 1879 and came here in infancy with her parents (later research in earlier census records indicated it had been 1882), she had married on June 10, 1906, and moved to Duluth about a year later. She was also an only child, so there were no sibling lines to follow forward in time in the quest for living relatives. The story it told was a sad one, but in genealogical terms, this article was a gold mine. Among other details was a list of friends and relatives who had attended her funeral. First on the list was Mrs. Nels Johnson, the owner of the photo.
WHAT'S THE CONNECTION?At this point, I contacted Marjie with this information, including the fact that her great-grandmother was a friend or relative of the mystery woman. In fact, we were later to learn that the first eight people mentioned in Theresa's obituary were relatives of Marjie's. Marjie, it turns out, is quite a detective, and rather fortuitously, was traveling in Minnesota at the time, even though she lives in Oregon. She decided to join in the hunt.
She started by researching the obituary file for Theresa's parents, as well as the 1905 Agricultural Census for Pine County, at the Pine City, Minnesota, library. Marjie found all these records and some clues about additional possible relatives, but nothing that explained the connection to Mrs. Nels Johnson. As she explains, "Seemingly, I had reached a brick wall, but it finally struck me that I still had another option. I went to the Minnesota Historical Society Library and found the microfilm for the 1922 "Wahkon Enterprise" (the town in which my great-grandmother had resided at the time). I started scrolling and found this in the November 3, 1922, issue: 'Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Swennes and Mrs. N. J. Johnson motored to Pine City Sunday to attend the funeral of Mrs. White. Mrs. White is a cousin of Mrs. Johnson.'"
Marjie went on to say, "You can, of course, believe that the two adjacent microfilm reader occupants were treated to a burst of joy from their neighbor."
TIME TO CROSS THE PONDThe mystery is mostly solved. Theresa White and Mrs. Nels Johnson were cousins, and given that Theresa was an only child and had no offspring of her own, Marjie has decided that the orphan photo was already home, as she may well be one of Theresa's closest living relatives.
That doesn't mean that the search is quite over, though. Marjie wants to find out the exact nature of the cousin relationship, and fortunately, she now has the means. I asked what she knew of her great-grandmother's origins in Sweden, and she replied with these details:
Date of birth: 6 July 1860Birthplace: Gissjo; Torp (parish); Vasternorrland (province)Parents: Anders Kristmansson and Marta Susanna Bjelkstrom
I took this information and treated myself to a twenty-day subscription to Genline (http://www.genline.com ), a new resource of online, digitized Swedish Church records. Sure enough, there she was in the 1860 births, and, better yet, a household examination showed her with her entire family and their exact birth dates, back to the 1820s. Once again, I felt a twinge of jealousy--this time, for those of Swedish ancestry! Because Marjie's such a competent researcher, I'll leave her to connect the rest of the dots via Genline, and I have no doubts that she'll do so soon. And Theresa's photo and rediscovered story will remain safe with the one who cared enough to ask questions in the first place.

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, co-author (with Ann Turner) of the recently released "Trace Your Roots with DNA: Using Genetic Tests to Explore Your Family Tree" (as well as "In Search of Our Ancestors," "Honoring Our Ancestors," and "They Came to America"), can be contacted through http://www.genetealogy.com and http://www.honoringourancestors.com .
REPRINT POLICY:We encourage the circulation of the "Ancestry Daily News" via non-profit newsletters and lists providing that you credit the author, include any copyright information (Copyright 1998-2005, MyFamily.com, Inc. and its subsidiaries.), and cite the "Ancestry Daily News" (http://www.ancestry.com/dailynews ) as the source, so that others can learn about our free newsletter as well.


Your Daily Dose of Genealogy for 11 January 2005** You can view this issue of the "Ancestry Daily News" online ** http://www.ancestry.com/rd/prodredir.asp?sourceid=831&key=A953501

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

We've fixed the image problem you submitted!

from my email:-

Dear Hugh,

We are happy to inform you that we have fixed the problem in the 1871 Wales Census which you reported to us on September 1, 2004.

To view the fixed image, please click on the following link: Ancestry.com - 1871 Wales Census

Your original report said:

Where born: -, -
but the image is good

I will bet there are thousands of these

sloppy work

If you continue to experience a problem, please use the comments and corrections link to let us know.

Thank you for taking the time to help us improve Ancestry.com. Your input helps us make the site better for everyone who uses it.

Ancestry Customer Support

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


The "Ancestry Daily News" staff are on hiatus spending some quality
time with family, playing with new toys, and chasing a few ancestors
in between! Thus the most recently added databases will be available
on Ancestry.com at the following link (rather than in the
"Ancestry Daily News"):
Ancestry.com - Recent Genealogy Databases


One of the most important genealogical collections, the American
Genealogical-Biographical Index, or AGBI, is the equivalent of more
than 200 printed volumes. This database contains millions of records
of people whose names have appeared in printed genealogical records
and family histories. With data from sources largely from the last
century, each entry contains the person's complete name, the year of
the biography's publication, the person's state of birth (if known),
abbreviated biographical data, and the book and page number of the
original reference. In addition to family histories, other
genealogical collections are indexed. These include the Boston
Transcript (a genealogical column widely circulated), the complete
1790 U.S. Federal Census, and published Revolutionary War records.
The most recent update to this database reflects the inclusion of
volumes 196-206. For researchers of American ancestors, this can be
one of the most valuable databases available at Ancestry.com.

Most of the works referenced in the AGBI are housed at the Godfrey
Memorial Library in Connecticut. A photocopy service is available.
Please contact Godfrey Memorial Library at 134 Newfield St,
Middletown, CT 06457 or via e-mail at referenceinfo@godfrey.org to
make use of this service.

To learn more about the AGBI, read the extended description below,
but also read Kory Meyerink's article, "Genealogy's Best-kept Secret:
American Genealogical-Biographical Index."



Ancestors from England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland? British
Ancestors and Ancestor Seekers invite you to this very special
event. Search the vast British Collection at the world's largest
genealogical library--with an accredited genealogist professional
helping you at regular intervals-Daily classes--you would have to
travel the length and breadth of Britain to access all the records
available under one roof at the Library!

For full details visit http://ancestorseekers.com/adn



EUROPE, 1921
Regional map of Europe showing the border changes following World War
One superimposed on the pre-war borders of the empires.

To view this map, go to:

For best results viewing Ancestry.com maps, download the free MrSID
image viewer at:


Step by step I have been entering ancestral pairs into Google. I put
the full name of one spouse in quotes and the last name of the other
spouse. This brings up mostly only relevant information and has been
an extremely valuable exercise. Last night I entered an ancestor
"Samuel Smith," which is such a common name I would be wading through
matches for a week. But with it, I added the last name of his wife
"McCullers." The very first entry I got was a RootsWeb transcription
of their family Bible from the 1700s, with birth and death dates and
marriages of children!

A few nights ago with another couple entry, I ended up talking with a
man in Virginia who has written a book on the family I was seeking
and is sending it to me.

This seems like a no-brainer, but it took me several years until it
occurred to me to do it. I am passing this along because it has
helped me so much and I hope it will help others too.

Jean Rawlings Meaney
Hilton Head Island.


Thanks to Jean for today's Quick Tip!

If you have a tip you would
like to share with researchers, you can send it to: