The NorthEast Ohio Computer-Aided Genealogy Society


A Summary of Events and Topics of Interest to Online Genealogists

Vol. 14 No 1--January 1, 2009

compiled by Luther Olson

NorthEast Ohio Computer-Aided Genealogy [NEOCAG] serves Eastern Cuyahoga,

Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula, Portage & Summit Counties.

Regular meetings 2nd Saturday of each month

St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church

435 S.O.M. Road, Mayfield Village, OH.

Jerry Kliot—President


> The Everton Newsline And Spam Filters

> Google Adds 20 Million Digitized Historical Newspaper Pages

> Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission Approves $350,000 for Ohio Genealogical Society 

> Documents Trace Lives Of Jews Worldwide

> Google To Pay $125 Million In Online Books Settlement

> Genetic Genealogy Companies Under Fire

> Research in the States Series Available

> Ohio Genealogical Society Reaches $2.5-Million Funding for New Building

> Pitfalls That Can Create Brick Walls Or Cause You To Claim The Wrong Ancestors

> The Everton Newsline And Spam Filters

If you are signed up for the NewsLine, but are no longer getting it, check your Spam filter. In checking subscriptions from subscribers who are not getting their NewsLine, against our email list, we find that the NewsLine is being sent to these subscribers from our servers. However, the subscribers are not seeing the NewsLine in their email box. The problem all comes down to spam filters.

Most email programs today have filters that catch spam before we see it. Some of us even let the filter delete the spam without ever looking at the subject lines. This can be a good thing. However, email newsletters almost always get labeled as spam. All it takes is one person to hit their DELETE SPAM button to cause email originating from that address to be labeled as spam. The Everton NewsLine is no exception. To the spam filters, the NewsLine is then considered spam and will be filtered out unless the end user does something about it.

If you use a spam filter, please do two things. Add the NewsLine address, <>, to your address book and also add it to your spam filter WHITE LIST. By doing this, the NewsLine will not get filtered out.

> Google Adds 20 Million Digitized Historical Newspaper Pages

         December 04, 2008

Everyone's favorite search engine is now adding 20 million newspaper pages to its collection. The newspapers are mostly Canadian papers, purchased from However, some newspapers from the United States, Mexico and Europe are included in the collection.

PaperofRecord was the first to digitize the entire history of the Toronto Star. The company has also digitized historical documents including the Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada’s longest serving Prime Minister. (See

Here is the official announcement from Google and

" Completes Sale of Digital Newspaper Archives to Google"
Canadian Digitized Newspaper Content to be Featured in Google News Archive

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Dec. 2, 2008) -®, a pioneer in the creation of web-searchable, digitized historical newspaper page images, announces the sale of 20 million newspaper page archive to Google of Mountain View, California. This announcement concludes a two-year service agreement between® and Google for the operation and delivery of historical newspaper digitized content to patrons worldwide. This agreement was passed by a majority vote of all shareholders of the parent company, Cold North Wind Inc. and its predecessor, Cold North Wind Inc, was the first company in the world to digitize the entire history of large metropolitan newspaper with The Toronto Star, circulation 650,000. This achievement followed by digitization projects in the Canada, United States, Mexico and Europe, cemented its place as a force on image digitization of historical documents. The digitization of the Diaries of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Canada's longest serving Prime Minister is a fine example of the technology utilizing digitization techniques combined with handwritten and typewritten pages.

"It is a bittersweet day for We are very pleased to have our legacy and vision of a 500 year, global, multiple language newspaper historical archive being placed in the stewardship of Google. As a Canadian entrepreneur, it is disappointing to not be able to muster the resources in our country to bring such a digital resource to its fruition at home. However, without the help and vision of a company such as Google, this immense, global, educational resource would not be possible on the scale that is being contemplated.", said R.J (Bob) Huggins, Founder and CEO of

"Acquiring the rights to the content enabled us to include a robust set of Canadian newspaper content very quickly in our News Archives initiative -- such as the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, the oldest newspaper in North America -- as well as a number of interesting US newspapers.", according to Punit Soni, Product Manager, Google News Archive.

COLD NORTH WIND (CNW) was established in September of 1999 with the mission of bringing historical newspapers to life on the Internet for both the consumer and library markets. CNW delivers a broad range of media-related, e-content solutions and products. Paper of Record™ is an historical archive of full-page newspaper images dating from the 1700's-a collection that increases the value of individual or institutional offerings. This digital archive gives "old news" new life by facilitating access to the wealth of fact and opinion captured by historical newspapers.

Conceived by electronic publishing and web pioneer, R.J. (Bob) Huggins of Ottawa, Canada. is a Global pioneer of searchable newspaper image documents presented in their original published form. The Toronto Star, (circulation 650,000) became the first newspaper in the world to have its entire history from 1892 to present, digitized for the world to see and search. This revolutionary process changed forever how large metropolitan newspapers conduct their research and became the genesis for®.

Posted by Dick Eastman on December 04, 2008  

Posted by: Kathy Meyer | December 05, 2008


> Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission Approves $350,000 for Ohio Genealogical Society

The Ohio Genealogical Society

20 November 2008.

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission approved $350,000 at its quarterly meeting today for the Ohio Genealogical Society.

The Ohio Genealogical Society is embarking on construction of an 18,000-square-foot facility to better accommodate the Society’s expanding membership and its growing library collection. The new home for the Ohio Genealogical Society, to be located near Mansfield, will serve professional and hobbyist genealogists with climate-controlled space for archives, a reading room, a preservation and digitization lab, meeting space and classrooms, and office space. Established in 1959, the Ohio Genealogical Society is the largest state genealogical society in the country, with over 6,000 members, 95 chapters, nearly 35,000 books and a lending library with more than 2,000 titles and publications. For more information on OGS, visit

The Commission approval, coupled with the signing of legal agreements, allows the Ohio Genealogical Society to be reimbursed on a pro rata basis with funds appropriated in Am. Sub. H.B. 562 of the Ohio 127th General Assembly. Richland County General Assembly members who voted in favor of the bill include Senator Bill Harris, and Representatives Thom Collier and Jay Goyal. The new facility will be located in Belleville in Richland County.

The Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission is a state agency that helps enhance the quality of life for Ohioans by improving the state’s cultural facilities. Since 1988, the Commission has disbursed more than $400 million of capital funds appropriated by the Legislature and Governor for facility improvement projects at nonprofit theaters, museums, historical sites and publicly owned professional sports venues. The Commission partners with nonprofit groups and local governments on more than 300 projects in 72 of Ohio’s 88 counties. For more information on the Commission, visit 

Contact: Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission: Jessica Fagan – 614.995.7552;

Ohio Genealogical Society: Wally Huskonen – 440-526-1238;

> Documents Trace Lives Of Jews Worldwide

Press Release Source: October 29, 2008 Launches the World's Largest Online Collection of Jewish Historical Documents, The genealogy website has brought the famed Schindler's List into the 21st century - putting it online to help potentially thousands of Jewish families to trace their personal history. has obtained 26 million documents relating to Jewish history and placed them on the website, among them Schindler's List.

The list, made famous by an Oscar-winning film, contains the names of almost 2,000 Jews working for Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who employed them in his factories in Poland and the Czech Republic in order to save them from being sent to Nazi concentration camps. Many of the documents are online for the first time - from photographs and immigration data to memorials offering first-hand accounts of the Holocaust and its aftermath. Also on the site are records about displaced Jews provided with food, medical care, clothing and emigration assistance.

One database is a registry of more than one million Jews buried in thousands of cemeteries worldwide.

NEW YORK and PROVO, Utah, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, part of The Generations Network, Inc., announced it has introduced the world's largest online collection of Jewish family history records. has partnered with two leading organizations committed to the preservation of Jewish heritage -- JewishGen, an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage -- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City that maintains the world's premier Jewish genealogy website, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), an overseas humanitarian aid organization committed to providing relief for Jews in more than 70 countries. These partnerships will make millions of important Jewish historical documents available on, many of which are online for the first time ever and searchable for free. These unique records, including photographs, immigration records, Holocaust records and memorials, can now be searched alongside other records already accessible on, creating the largest collection of Jewish family history records on the Web with more than 26 million records documenting Jewish life.

Details about the new Jewish Family History Collection on will be unveiled today at a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage -- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.

", the JDC and JewishGen are committed to the preservation of important Jewish historical records, and we're honored to be working with these well-respected organizations to help in this effort," said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of The Generations Network, Inc. "For the millions of people interested in discovering more about their Jewish heritage, these new partnerships make researching family history easier than ever before."

Many documents digitized as a part of this agreement have never before been available online, including two important JDC collections:

    -- Jewish Transmigration Bureau Deposit Cards, 1939-1954 (JDC), a
       collection of records showing the amount of money paid by American
       Jewish citizens to support the emigration of friends and relatives from
       European countries during and after WWII.

    -- Munich, Vienna and Barcelona Jewish Displaced Persons and Refugee
       Cards, 1943-1959 (JDC), a collection containing records of displaced
       Jews who were provided with food, medical care and clothing and
       emigration assistance by the JDC.

 "Since 1914, JDC has helped revitalize Jewish communities throughout the world and has helped save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jews," said Steve Schwager, Chief Executive Officer for JDC. "We are excited to partner with, providing descendants access to rare new information about their families and themselves. JDC and are opening up a wealth of previously inaccessible information through the digitization and dissemination of 125,000 records of those who were helped and of those who helped provide relief to others during and directly after WWII."

 More than 300 databases from JewishGen will also now be available on These JewishGen databases represent 14 different countries and contain more than 5 million records, such as:

     -- The JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry, an invaluable
        collection with more than 1 million names of Jews represented in nearly
        2,000 Jewish cemeteries around the world.

    -- Yizkor Book Necrologies, a list of the names of those murdered in the
       Holocaust which directs users back to the Yizkor Books themselves -
       memorials which offer vivid, first-hand accounts of the Holocaust and
       its aftermath.

    -- The Given Names Database, which enables one to learn possible European,
       Hebrew and Yiddish translations of an ancestor's given name.

    -- A Holocaust Database of 2 million names such as Schindler's List, which
       includes names of 1,980 inmates in Oscar Schindler's factories in
       Plaszow, Poland and Brunnlitz, Czechoslovakia.

    -- Jewish Records Indexing (JRI-PL) Poland and All Lithuania Database,
       representing more than 2 million indexed names from databases in
       Lithuania and Poland containing vital information on the regions.

 "JewishGen began as a volunteer community devoted to gathering and sharing Jewish records," said David G. Marwell, Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage. "We are excited that, through this new relationship with, we will be able to broaden our reach and extend our invaluable resources to a much larger group of researchers around the world. The entire community benefits when more people get involved in the fascinating and rewarding activity of researching their family history. "

 In July 2008, JewishGen entered into a groundbreaking partnership with that provides with significant resources in the Jewish genealogy world. Under the agreement, not only will eventually receive access to well in excess of 10 million records, some of which date back to the 1700s, but JewishGen's user base of more than 250,000 will be alerted to's rich resources. will also provide technical support to the JewishGen site.

 The JDC and JewishGen databases included in this release will be searchable for free in a new Jewish Family History experience on at These databases can be searched in combination with millions of other invaluable records documenting Jews available on, including census records, passenger lists, military records and more.

 Ceremony at Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, JewishGen and JDC celebrated their collaboration and unveiled the new Jewish Collection today at the Museum of Jewish Heritage -- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in Battery Park, New York City. Members of and JewishGen who have made important discoveries about their Jewish heritage documents were in attendance and on hand to share their stories.

 About the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC)

 Founded in 1914, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC),, gives global expression to the principle that all Jews are responsible for one another. On behalf of North America's Jewish communities, JDC works in over 70 countries to rescue those in danger, provide relief to those in distress, revitalize overseas Jewish communities, and help Israel overcome the social challenges that beset its most vulnerable citizens.

 JDC also provides non-sectarian disaster relief and long-term development assistance to the world's least fortunate populations. JDC's archives consists of approximately 40 to 50 million pages of archival materials dating from 1914 to present, many of which are of genealogical interest to scholars and Jews around the world.

 About JewishGen

 JewishGen,, became an affiliate of the Museum on January 1, 2003. An Internet pioneer, JewishGen was founded in 1987 and has grown from a bulletin board with only 150 users to a major grass roots effort bringing together hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide in a virtual community centered on discovering Jewish ancestral roots and history.

 Researchers use JewishGen to share genealogical information, techniques, and case studies. With a growing database of more than 11 million records, the website is a forum for the exchange of information about Jewish life and family history, and has enabled thousands of families to connect and re-connect in a way never before possible.

> Google To Pay $125 Million In Online Books Settlement

ZDNet, Posted on Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:11PM EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google Inc has reached a legal settlement with authors and major publishers that paves the way for readers to search through millions of copyrighted books online, browse passages and purchase copies. Under Tuesday's settlement, Google will pay $125 million to create a Book Rights Registry, where authors and publishers can register works and receive compensation from institutional subscriptions or book sales.

The settlement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers draws to a close a three-year legal challenge of Google's plan to make many of the world's great books searchable online. The lawsuit filed by publishers McGraw-Hill Cos Inc, Pearson Plc's Pearson Education and Penguin Group (USA) units, CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster and John Wiley & Sons Inc charged that Google's attempts to scan works without permission infringed on copyright protections.

At issue were rights of copyright holders versus the public's "fair use" interest in being free to use limited portions of books for commentary or review, for what resembles a kind of full-text, searchable card catalog. The settlement is subject to federal court approval.

"It's been a long and arduous negotiation," said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, calling the settlement "the biggest book deal in U.S. publishing history." Aiken said the settlement will mean a "vast repository of books -- millions upon millions of out-of-print books and many in-print books -- will find a new home and new readers online."

Initially, Google's Print Library Project called for searches to bring up three- or four-line snippets from books, but plans now call for as much as a full page to appear in response to queries. In addition, libraries across the country will be offered an online portal, allowing their patrons to print pages for a fee. Institutional subscriptions will also be available to college students and faculty.

(Reporting by Paul Thomasch, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)


> Genetic Genealogy Companies Under Fire

Family Tree Magazine, Thursday, November 13, 2008

 Genetic genealogy testing companies aren't doing enough to make sure you understand the limitations and implications of DNA testing, says the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG). The organization, whose 8,000 members include geneticists, scholars, genetic counselors, nurses and others, today issued a statement with recommendations for the genetic genealogy industry.


It was prompted by the rising popularity of genetic genealogy. According to the ASHG, a half-million Americans will spend $100 to $1,000 per test this year.

ASHG faults tests designed to determine ethnic ancestry, rather than the Y-DNA tests that estimate whether you’re related to someone. "Rarely can definitive conclusions about ancestry be made beyond the assessment of whether putative close relatives are or are not related," reports the statement. That's because such tests compare the genetic contribution from a tiny slice of your family tree against a reference database that uses DNA samples from modern-day individuals to represent populations that existed eons ago. A lot of population shifting and combination has happened since then.

 No standards exist for statistical analysis and how results are reported to you, says the statement. "Perhaps the most important aspect of reporting confidence in ancestry determinations is to accurately convey the level of uncertainty in the interpretations and to convey the real meaning of that uncertainty."  As genetic ancestry testing expands to cover inherited medical conditions, ASHG is concerned patients may misconstrue the results of these often-inconclusive tests when making medical decisions.

 The organization joins a growing chorus. States such as California and New York have come down on genome profiling companies including 23andMe and DNA Traits for providing medical testing without involving individuals’ doctors.

 A year ago, the New York Times doubted the accuracy of ethnic DNA tests after its reporter received varied and conflicting test results from five companies. Bert Ely, a geneticist who helped start the African-American DNA Roots Project with high hopes in 2000, shared his findings that most African-Americans have genetic similarities to numerous ethnic groups in Africa—making it impossible to match African-Americans with a single group.

 An article in the Oct. 19, 2007, Science magazine cited these problems:

 Limited information in companies’ reference databases might lead them to draw the wrong conclusions. (Today’s ASHG statement said these databases “reflect a woefully incomplete sampling of human genetic diversity.”)

 Some companies’ databases are proprietary, making it hard to verify customers’ test results. Tests trace a small percentage of a person’s ancestors and can’t pinpoint where they lived, or the specific ethnic group they might’ve belonged to. The ASGH ancestry testing recommendations include the following:

 --The genetic genealogy industry should make a greater effort to clarify the limitations of ancestry testing. Consumers must understand more about ancestry testing.

--Additional research is needed to further understand the extent to which the accuracy of test results is affected by the makeup of existing human DNA databases, geographical patterns of human diversity, chromosomal marker selection and statistical methods. 

--Guidelines should be developed to facilitate explanation and counseling for ancestry testing.

--Scientists analyzing genetic ancestry test results should take into account the historical, sociopolitical and cultural contexts under which human genetics evolved.

--Mechanisms for greater accountability of the ancestry testing industry should be explored. Part of the problem may lie in the complex science involved. The explanations are difficult for laypeople to understand (I'm a layperson, and I'll admit it); but in simplifying them for marketing materials and test reports, DNA companies may downplay the tests' limitations.

 Do you have a handle on what genetic genealogy testing is all about? Click Comments and tell us about your DNA testing experiences. For information on how DNA can (and can't) aid your genealogy research, see our DNA toolkit.

 Posted by Diane Haddad

> Research in the States Series Available

UpFront with NGS, The Online Newsletter of the National Genealogical Society
Volume 8, Number 12-1 December 2008

The following states are available from the National Genealogical Society, Research in the States Series at the NGS website,

  * Genealogical Research in Arkansas by Lynda Childers Suffridge, 2008
  * Genealogical Research in Illinois by Diane Renner Walsh, 2007
  * Genealogical Research in Maryland by Patricia O'Brien, 2007
  * Genealogical Research in Michigan by Shirley M. DeBoer, 2008
  * Genealogical Research in Missouri by Pamela Boyer Porter and Ann Carter Fleming, 2007
  * Genealogical Research in Nebraska by Roberta "Bobbi" King, 2008
  * Genealogical Research in North Carolina by Jeffrey L. Haines, 2008,
  * Genealogical Research in Ohio by Diane Vanskiver Gagel, 2008
  * Genealogical Research in Oregon by Connie Miller Lenzen, 2007
  * Genealogical Research in Pennsylvania by Kay Haviland Freilich, 2007
  * Genealogical Research in Virginia by Eric G. Grundset, 2007
  * Genealogical Research in West Virginia by Barbara Vine Little, 2007

Each publication is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, slightly larger than our previous Research in the States publications. The average length is 42 pages, but it varies by state. These publications are available in print for $14.50 for NGS members and $17.50 for non-members. Alternatively, each book can be purchased as a PDF file, an "e-book" that you can download from the NGS web site and then either read on your computer or print. E-books are $8 for NGS members and $10 for non-members. The direct link to the download and purchase page is

Each publication includes a section on archives, libraries, societies, and other research facilities in the respective state, as well as a discussion of the major family history resources available, such as maps, cemetery records, census, city directories, newspapers, military records, tax records and vital records. In addition, for each state you will find a discussion of which records are available at the local, county, and state level.

NGS plans to add a few new states each year, so check the NGS website periodically for new releases

> Ohio Genealogical Society Reaches $2.5-Million Funding for New Building

The following is an announcement from the Ohio Genealogical Society:

Mansfield, Ohio--“We have achieved ‘full funding’ for our new building project,” reports E. Paul Morehouse, president, Ohio Genealogical Society. “We thank our members and other contributors for their support.” The amount raised to date is $2,564,889.

The Society plans to begin construction early in 2009 of an 18,000-square-foot facility to better accommodate the Society’s expanding membership and its growing library collection. Society officials believe that the new building will be the finest state genealogical library in the country.

The new home for the Ohio Genealogical Society, to be located in Bellville in Richland County near Mansfield, will serve professional and hobbyist genealogists with climate-controlled space for archives, a reading room, a preservation and digitization lab, meeting space and classrooms, and office space.

The final funding element came from the State of Ohio. In mid-November, the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission approved a grant of $350,000 from the State to the Society for the new building.

While the funding goal was achieved, the Society is encouraging its members to continue to contribute to the building fund. Ted Minier, past president and building fund chairperson, points out that the Society needs to pay down a $600,000 loan from the U. S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, the Society aims to build an endowment fund to maintain the new facility.

According to Minier, several naming rights remain available in the new library in return for large donations.

Established in 1959, the Ohio Genealogical Society is the largest state genealogical society in the country, with over 6,000 members, 95 chapters, nearly 35,000 books and a lending library with more than 2,000 titles and publications. It publishes the OGS Quarterly, OGS Genealogy News (both included with OGS membership), Ohio Records & Pioneer Families, and Ohio Civil War Genealogy Journal. For more information on OGS, visit

The Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission is a state agency that helps enhance the quality of life for Ohioans by improving the state’s cultural facilities. Since 1988, the Commission has disbursed more than $400 million of capital funds appropriated by the Legislature and Governor for facility improvement projects at nonprofit theaters, museums, historical sites and publicly owned professional sports venues. The Commission partners with nonprofit groups and local governments on more than 300 projects in 72 of Ohio’s 88 counties. For more information on the Commission, visit

Posted by Dick Eastman on December 01, 2008

> Pitfalls That Can Create Brick Walls Or Cause You To Claim The Wrong Ancestors

January 04, 2009

Following are just a few of the many PITFALLS that you need to be aware of:

l.  JR. and SR:   Don't EVER ASSUME that "Jr" and "Sr" are father and son!!!   Often they are, but sometimes they are NOT.  They may be uncle and nephew, grandfather and grandson, cousins, or even no relation.  These are merely titles to distinguish an older man from a younger one with the same name.   To add to the confusion, these titles shift as "SR" dies and "JR" becomes "SR", and a younger person often becomes "JR".  Without sufficient research in official records, one can not detect these changes and identities.    It only takes ONE misidentification to cause a researcher to spend years researching the WRONG PEOPLE.

2.  PLACE OF DEATH AND PLACE OF PROBATE:  A person's death record will be found in the county in which death occurred (if records were kept then).  Examples would include death while traveling, visiting, hospitalized, in prison, etc. outside his or her county of residence.  PROBATE records, (if there was property to be distributed) would be found in the person's county of residence.   It is possible that additional probate records might be found in other counties / states where the deceased owned property.   Why use death records??? Because they should contain parent information and various other important data.   Why use probate records???   Because they can prove family relationships that may be found nowhere else.

3.  ASSUMING THAT FAMILY STORIES ARE TRUE:  Often there is partial truth in them but details have become distorted through the years.  A common one might be "Great-great Grandma was an Indian".  Someone may have said  "She looked like an Indian",  or, "She MIGHT have been an Indian", or "She lived near Indians".   ALWAYS seek out official records that can prove or disprove components of the story.   I once had a client who refused to pay me the balance owed because the records I found did not support her fantasy of an Indian connection.  She  said I just didn't want to believe her story!!!     Thorough research can reveal the facts.   Another client had me research the WRONG branch of the family for a supposed Indian connection.

4.  ASSUMING THAT CHILDREN IN A PRE 1880 CENSUS HOUSEHOLD (when relationships began to be stated) ARE CHILDREN OF THE HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD:   They may or may NOT be.  They may be nieces, nephews, step-children, grandchildren, or no relation.  Study the ages and birthplaces when shown of ALL household members.  Other year's census records, probate, guardianships, deeds, etc. could help identify relationships and reveal the true children of the head of household.   Understanding these relationships can be crucial to building your pedigree and can unlock mysteries.    Census through 1840 can be very helpful when analysed with other records, but they can also be misleading if you insist on "accounting" for everyone.  Various circumstances affected household members, and therefore one can only GUESS about what they see in census records before 1850.

5.  WILLS DON'T ALWAYS MENTION ALL CHILDREN OF A DECEASED PERSON.  Often a child has already been given property and it simply does not specify that in the Will.  If the gift was real estate or other personal property, then there likely would be a DEED saying something like "For love and affection for my daughter and son-in-law Sarah  and John Clark".     Beautiful!!!!   There is your proof of relationships.  Wills are only a small part of probate records.  Much, much more can be revealed in ESTATE records, INVENTORIES, BILLS OF SALE, ADMINISTRATOR BONDS, ORDER BOOKS, etc.  ALL heirs are likely to be named in ESTATE SETTLEMENTS.    LAW SUITS  among family members often occurred and these can be a goldmine of factual information on which to build.  Knowing the names of siblings and in-laws helps you to recognize key people in the indexes.  Develop your family group sheets so the information will be handy.

6.  MARRIAGE "LICENSE" VERSUS MARRIAGE "RETURNS":  Occasionally couples obtained a license or bond to marry but never carried out their intentions.  It is the Minister's or Justice Of The Peace's  RETURN / CERTIFICATE that PROVES  that a marriage took place.  Also learn about the different types of records that are included in "Marriage Records".  Marriage APPLICATIONS should be very informative.

7.  HAVING THE MINDSET THAT COURT HOUSE RECORDS AND EVIDENCE ARE "JUST FOR PROFESSIONAL RESEARCHERS".   Of course they are not!!!      Court house records are essential for everyone's research project, as is evidence.   All are there for everyone who wants to learn who their ancestors were.  Begin with your parents / grandparents and work on back on your pedigree chart, building on the supporting evidence you find.  Research is usually not difficult, but it does require understanding the basics.  Basics are easily learned, and, with experience, productive research will become easy. 


For helpful information about genealogical research see these websites: (click research tab, and then "Articles"); (click on RootsWeb's Guide To Tracing Family Trees); 

Subscribe to Ancestry's free newsletters.  Read the many helpful articles on Ancestry Weekly Journal and their blog;

And, of course, read the wonderful articles Mr. Eastman is providing  written by George Morgan, Lloyd Bockstruck, and Michael John Niell

Posted by Mary L. B.



When you come across something you think would be of interest to others who are involved in genealogy, whether it be about genealogy, software, or hardware, please send it to our editor, Marcy Milota at <>.

Please include your name and all credits of author and publication.  Information from online genealogy newsletters can be used with these credits.


The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2007 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at


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