Friday, February 25, 2005

U.K. AND IRELAND RECORDS COLLECTION UPDATE - Genealogy and Family History Records

ENGLAND AND WALES CIVIL REGISTRATION MARRIAGE INDEX: 1984-2000 (or subscribers with access to the UK and Ireland Records Collection

Thursday, February 24, 2005 - Evening Sentinel (Stoke-on-trent, Staffordshire, England) - Evening Sentinel (Stoke-on-trent, Staffordshire, England): "The Evening Sentinel newspaper located in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. "

no longer on co uk

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Try the "Ask Ancestry" Knowledge Base

If you have a technical question about, the best place
to start is with the "Ask Ancestry" Knowledge Base. The Knowledge
Base contains answers to all of the standard questions that come to
our Customer Solutions department, and it will provide you with an
immediate response. With over three hundred answers available, it is
a very useful resource.

You can get to the Knowledge Base from any page of by
clicking on the "Help?" hyperlink in the upper-right corner of each

Once you get to the Knowledge Base you can select a topic, type your
question, or simply choose from one of the fifteen most frequently
asked questions.

The answer pages include an answer to your question and a list of
other questions that might be helpful. There is also a place for you
to rate the helpfulness of the answer you received.

If you can't find what you need in the online Knowledge Base you can
use the "E-mail Ancestry Support" tab to send an e-mail directly to
Customer Solutions.

The goal of this online Knowledge Base is to provide quick and easy
answers for your technical support and other questions. Instead of
waiting for an e-mail response to your question, you can instantly
get the information you are looking for. Offering such extensive
information in our online Knowledge Base also allows Ancestry Support
to respond much more quickly to any escalated e-mail inquiries

Your Daily Dose of Genealogy for 23 February 2005
You can view this issue of the "Ancestry Daily News" online

Thursday, February 17, 2005

error correction

from my email:-

Hi Hugh

I also am cross (that's the polite word!!) that Ancestry take such a bloody long time to fix corrections. They seem to be hell bent on getting new stuff out without tidying up their many errors in the info there so far. One thing that does annoy me is that you can only tell them easily about the name being wrong, without reporting it on the message board.

And yet......they have made so many errors in other categories too. The Somalia one is a classic, very relative to me as I have Somerset ancestors........and I also have found a father of 6 kids who has been trabscribed as age 5 !!!!! When it is clearly 50.
Surely they know which area they are transcribing?
So how can FULHAM become FALHAM???!!
Why is there no automatic correction when it's typed on wrongly by the transcriber? I could go on......and usually do LOL !!!

However a bit of good news from another website.....

Did you know that the 1861 is now searchable on 1837online. At the m' it's only the counties of London, Middx, Kent and Surrey (but its a start) In my first evening of looking I found one rellie whose surname had been missed off completely (not diff to read on image?) only found him by his, and his son's, unusual christian name of Heyward. I clicked on to tell them and within 20 mins I had received an email to say it had been corrected and the 3 units I had paid to look it up had been recredited to my account-result!!!

And at 11-30 at night too.

I did one the next day where I had to search by christian name, age and job, as my rellie did not appear. I found RAPKIN had been misread as REPKIN - again I notified them and this time it was corrected within 5 mins!!!!

Oh.. that Ancestry could get their arse into gear within even a week would be so good!!!!!

Anyway keep up the good work of telling Mr Brown what's wrong and just may be they'll get it sorted one day (pigs might fly!)

All the best


in all fairness, much more is right than wrong on this enormous site,
and some of the recent mistakes I have found were made in 1871 not by Ancestry.
People living in Provo Utah USA can hardly be expected to know all about the UK any more than I know anything about place names over there !
BYU - Brigham Young University is one of the worlds leading universities for computer studies too.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Finding an address in the 1891 census

Google groups Search
from usenet:-I'm hoping there's a simple answer to this... given an address and an subscription, is there any easy way to find the relevant
page of the 1891 census?

I want to find who's living at the Brewers Arms at 87 Tewkesbury Rd,
Cheltenham, but I'm hoping I can avoid looking through the descriptions
of 49 enumeration districts.


Lateral thinking. Search for the person who lived next door to the Brewere
Arms in 1881 (Henry Fryer, Butcher). You'll find the Tanner family in the
Brewers Arms on the same page as Henry Fryer in the 1891.

Peter Goodey

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

BEYOND THE INDEX: "WHY?" by Michael John Neill

Genealogists need to be skeptical because virtually every document used by a genealogist was created for some non-genealogy reason. As we look through any record, it is important to keep in mind the purpose of the document and keep an out for any strange inclusions that may be clues to our ancestors' lives.

Documents Have Purposes

Sometimes the purpose of a record is fairly obvious. Death certificates are kept to track health statistics and to serve as proof of death for insurance and estate settlement purposes. Birth certificates are kept to track population and to serve as proof of age or citizenship.

Because records are created for specific reasons, we usually look for certain documents after specific events happen in our ancestor's life. Genealogists typically look for infant baptisms and birth records after a birth, marriage records after a marriage, and death and probate records after a death. Other types of records (court and land records, for example) could appear anytime during the time an ancestor is an adult of legal age. But in all these cases, something happened to trigger the creation of a document.

There are other records whose intent and purpose are usually fairly clear. Sometimes the reason for a record's creation may be apparent, but the timing may seem strange. And sometimes the document may contain a word or phrase that is not typically seen. There are situations where records are filed late because our ancestors dragged their feet. There are times when a turn of phrase is not necessarily significant. But there are situations where the timing or the phrasing may have a specific intent.

There are even records whose purpose may not be clear. When a genealogist cannot determine the reason a record was created or (worse yet) fails to search for one, invalid assumptions may be made. Understanding a document's purpose can be especially difficult when records are incomplete or lacking in adequate detail. If we fail to find a reason for a document, we may also fail to notice significant clues. The problem is that when we begin our genealogy research there is a great deal that we do not know both about our ancestors and the records they left behind. We may not be aware that a specific record is unusual or know that a certain phrasing in a document is beyond the norm and warrants further study. For this reason, learning is an integral part of the research process. So is reading articles and studies where other genealogists have reconstructed families who were contemporaries of our ancestors, either time-wise, geographically, or culturally.

Guardian for a Swede?

There is a guardianship record for Samuel Otto Johnson in Knox County, Illinois, in 1888. The existence of the record surprised me because both his parents were alive in Sweden. Why was a guardian needed for Samuel in 1888? He wanted to get married and was not of legal age. It was necessary to appoint a guardian for him so that the guardian could then give his consent to the marriage. Further research on this guardian is warranted. Samuel was the only one of his family to settle in Galesburg [is Galesburg in Knox County, Illinois. Was the guardian a distant relative, a former neighbor, an acquaintance of his parents, or a fellow Swede he knew through work or church? While I may never know the answer, learning more about this guardian may shed more light on Samuel.

Separate Payments?

In 1869, George and Sophia Trautvetter sold all their real estate to their son George A. Trautvetter. George A. paid his parents a cash amount and then agreed to pay George the father $50 a year for the rest of his life and to separately pay his mother Sophia $50 a year for the rest of her life. The separate nature of the payments was slightly unusual. Typically the parents are paid as a group until the last one dies. In this case there was a reason for the distinction.

Family information in the United States indicated the father, George, returned to Germany for a visit in 1871 and died there. His death entry in the church records indicate he had returned to his homeland to live as a retiree due to “domestic problems.” Follow up research seems to indicate that George (father or son?) left in 1869, most likely shortly after the land transaction. The separate payments to the parents was likely because they were separated at (or shortly after) the time of the agreement. Does the land record point all this out? No.

No Lawful Husband

When a widowed forebear married in 1859, the marriage entry indicates she has “no lawful husband living.” I thought the phrase was odd. Her first husband, Mr. Bieger, had died four years earlier in 1855. Her last name is listed as Bieger on the 1859 marriage. I had seen many marriage records for widows and had never remembered seeing the “no lawful husband living” notation before. Additional research indicated that this ancestor had a short lived marriage in 1856 and that this husband, George Fennan, had abandoned her a few months after their marriage.

Why a Guardian?

An aunt and uncle of mine adopted a child in the 1890s, before adoptions were formalized by court action. Typically these adoptions consisted of the couple taking in and raising the child as their own with no formal paperwork. When the child was about ten years old and had been living with the couple for nearly ten years, a guardianship case was filed for him. Guardianships are not always filed in these cases. However, in this instance the child inherited $200 from his biological grandfather. The adopted parents needed official guardianship status for the child in order to receive the money in his name. Hence the court action to formalize their relationship.

Why Wait to Sell?

Your ancestor died in Virginia in 1744. His children all jointly sold the farm in the 1760s. Why the delay? There may be several reasons, but the most likely one is the widow. The wife of your deceased Virginia ancestor most likely had the right to reside on the farm during her widowhood. As a result the farm was not officially sold until after her death. Sometimes families wait for other reasons, but if the will or estate-records of the ancestor indicates he was survived by a widow there is a good chance that the farm was not sold until after her death.

Michael John Neill is the Course I Coordinator at the Genealogical Institute of Mid America (GIMA) held annually in Springfield, Illinois, and is also on the faculty of Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois.

Michael is the Web columnist for the FGS FORUM and is on the editorial board of the Illinois State Genealogical Society Quarterly. He conducts seminars and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical and computer topics and contributes to several genealogical publications, including Ancestry Magazine and Genealogical Computing.
You can e-mail him at or visit his website at, but he regrets that he is unable to assist with personal research.
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