Saturday, July 29, 2006

A close call Bible rescue in VA

USA Today has an article about a 188 year-old Bible being found at the dump by a man in Danville VA. So he rescues it, even found and contacted a descendant of the folks in the Bible records, and is holding out for money from someone who might want to buy it.

The guy who found it went back the next day and found that the other items in the box with the Bible had been disposed of already. Close call!

Read the whole thing.

Searching for Annie Moore - #2

I accessed the Ancestry databases and census records yesterday at the FHC in the search for Annie Moore (see Megan Smolenyak's blog for the latest details). I have also posted twice before, Joe Beine has posted some info, and Sharon Elliott has searched and organized a lot of data. All the above are linked on Megan's page linked above.

I've summarized my searches in Ancestry below in the interests of brevity (which I rarely have a lot of):

1) The World War I draft registration cards were searched for Philip Moore (b. ca 1884) and Anthony Moore (b. ca 1880), the younger brothers of Annie Moore. The thought was that perhaps one or both would live near their parents and their sister. There were three Philip's with an 1884 +/- 1 birth year in the NYC boroughs, but none were born in Ireland. There were several others outside of NYC who are possibles, especially Rev. Philip Moore of Pittsburgh PA. The link was wrong on the Philip James Moore of Manhattan. The search for Anthony yielded fwer possibles, and most of them were black, and none claimed to be born in Ireland.

2) The 1900 US Census -- The following searches were made assuming that the Moore family may have included Matt(hew), Mary, Annie, Anthony and/or Philip, or some of them. I also assumed (perhaps wrongly, that Matt and Mary were born in the 1850 to 1860 time period, which is logical considering they had a child supposedly born in 1877).

a) M. Moore (born Ireland) - only 1 hit, he in CA. Doesn't fit.
b) Mat* Moore (born Ireland) - 7 hits, but none with other family names.
c) Mary Moore (born Ireland) - 104 hits, viewed them all, none with other family names.
d) Phi* Moore (born 1884 +/- 2) - 29 hits, viewed all, none fits
e) Ant* Moore (born 1880 +/- 2) - 15 hits, viewed all, none fits
f) Ann* (born Ireland 1877 +/- 1) - 283 hits in US, 82 in NY, 17 in NJ); I did not view them, but should view them all looking for a January birth month and an 1892 immigration date.

3) 1910 US census searches:

a) M. Moore (+/- 10, born Ireland) - no hits
b) Mat* Moore (+/- 10, born Ireland) - no hits
c) Mary Moore (1850 +/- 10, born Ireland) - 142 hits, one possible living with an Annie (see below)
d) Ann* (born Ireland 1877 +/- 2) - didn't bother...
e) Phil* Moore (1884 +/- 2) - 23 hits, only 1 born Ireland, the Pittsburgh priest
f) Ant* Moore (1880 +/- 2) - 19 hits, 0 born Ireland
g) Moore (born Ireland, 1855 +/- 5) - 177 in NY - viewed most of them

One family in the 1910 census in Manhattan has Mary Moore as a mother-in-law and an Annie as a wife. Their data (T624, Roll 1004, p1B, ED 9, Manhattan Ward 1, NY, NY, Water St):

* Patrick Morrissey (head, age 39, married 14 years, born Ireland, parents born Ire/Ire, imm. 1885, janitor)
* Annie Morrissey (wife, age 37, married 14 years, 8 births, 4 living, born Ire, parents born Ire/Ire, imm. 1886)
* Mary F. Morrissey (dau, age 13, NY, Ire/Ire)
* Elizabeth Morrissey (dau, age 7, NY, Ire/Ire)
* Helen Morrissey (dau, age 6, NY, Ire/Ire)
* Catherine Morrissey (dau, age ?/12, NY, Ire/Ire)
* Mary Moore (mother-in-law, age 72?, widow, 2 born, 2 living, born Ire, parents born Ire/Ire, no imm. date)

The age and immigration date of Annie, and the number of kids born to Mary, don't match here to the assumed known data. The marriage date does match that found by Sharon Elliott in the Manhattan marriage list. I looked for this family in the 1900 census but could not find them.

There was a Philip Moore, who was age 14 in 1900 in Pittsburgh PA working in a church, and age 25 in 1910 as a Catholic priest in Pittsburgh. This may or may not be the right one - probably isn't.

I could expand the search for Matt and Mary in the 1900 census to 1840 to 1850, but I think I covered this in an earlier search (which I didn't document well last week). I could expand Ann*'s age range in the 1900 census.

Reality Check: the search is for Annie, not for Matt, Mary, Phil and Tony. If we had found them all together, it would have helped some, but it would not have told us what we really want to know, unless there was an obituary for them that pointed to Annie's married name and family. We have no evidence yet to support an obituary search.

There are many basic questions to be asked here:

1) Did Annie Moore survive until 1900? Death records for Manhattan are incomplete.

2) Did Annie, or her whole family, go back to Ireland?

3) Did Annie, or her whole family, move to another city or state in the US or Canada?

4) Did Annie Moore marry before 1900, and is she hiding in the 1900 census with her husband and children? There are 82 Ann* (born Ireland 1877+/- 1) in NY alone, who should be searched for January as a birth month and 1892 as immigration year. Next week!

5) Were Matt and Mary Moore the correct names of Annie's parents? The newspaper articles are all we have - they are probably correct but nobody can tell for sure.

6) Were Anthony and Philip the correct names of her brothers? I think probably so - it was an original record at Ellis Island - they must have got it pretty right.

7) Is Moore the right surname? Moor, Moores, Mower, Moon, etc. come to mind as alternative surnames in the census records. I think Moore is probably right, and one record might be misspelled, but we have no records to speak of, so who knows?

The fact that all of these people are very invisible in 1900 leads me to believe that some or all of what we think we know is wrong - the names, the ages, the locations, etc.

I have a few post-FHC thoughts that I've given above to follow up on next week. Additional suggestions, anyone?

Exit "GC" Magazine, Enter "Digital Genealogist"

Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens, CG, CGL posted this note on a message board about the demise of Genealogical Computing magazine, and the birth of Digital Genealogist as a PDF online magazine:

Many of you know that I have been the editor of Ancestry's Genealogical Computing for the past nearly seven years. Ancestry has chosen to discontinue the magazine, effective with the July/August/September 2006 issue that is currently in the mail.

I still believe there's a need for a magazine devoted to genealogy and technology. To that end, I am starting my own magazine later this year. It will be called Digital Genealogist and will be delivered to subscribers as a PDF. It will be similar in format and content to Genealogical Computing. In fact, a lot of the authors and columnists will continue to write for me in the new publication, including Drew Smith, popular Cybrarian columnist. The first issue of Digital Genealogist will be send out via PDF attachment to subscribers in November 2006.

If you are interested in subscribing, the annual rate is $20. You can subscribe at Payments are being taken through PayPal by clicking on the PayPal button on the Digital Genealogist website. Subscriptions will begin with the first issue.

One of the advantages to subscribers of a PDF is that the URLs in
both articles and ads will be live links, allowing you to immediately explore ideas suggested by authors and websites of advertisers. I am hoping that the format will be agreeable to subscribers.

Bravo, Liz!

Of course, this new magazine will be a competitor to the new Internet Genealogy magazine recently started up by the Family Chronicle magazine folks. Is the market big enough for two magazines?

My humble opinion is that this is the future of genealogy magazines - online subscription content and email distribution of PDF files with clickable links.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Digging up the black "Paul Bunyan"

There's an interesting article on the AP wire about descendants digging in the grave of Venture Smith, a black man who was big, strong, worked hard, bought his own and his family's freedom and wrote down his story. Here is the description of Venture Smith, buried in East Haddam, Connecticut:

Standing 6-foot-1 by his own account and weighing more than 300 pounds according to local lore, Smith is said to have carried a nine-pound ax and split seven cords of wood each day. His biography describes him carrying a barrel of molasses on his shoulders for two miles and hauling hundreds of pounds of salt.

Smith's story became one of the nation's first slave narratives in 1798 and is regarded by scholars as one of the most important such works. But slave biographies — particularly those told to writers, as Smith's story was — were sometimes embellished.

And later:
Family members and historians believe Smith was born in or around modern-day Ghana. Smith's owner allowed him to work side jobs until, in 1765, he bought his freedom for seventy-one pounds and two shillings, according to his biography, which was based on the story he told to a local teacher. He then saved up to buy freedom for his wife, Meg, and their sons.

He was buried beneath a marked headstone in a small, well-kept cemetery in this riverside Connecticut town.

Archaeologists working beneath a white tent slowly began digging this week. By midweek they had gone about three feet deep, and Bellantoni said it could be next week before they locate the remains.

The remains will not be exhumed. Rather, scientists will take small samples of bone, teeth and genetic material to study. It will take months for genetic results to come back.

"He wanted the world to know his story. It was a story of optimism and hope, of someone who was brought from Africa as a slave but nevertheless freed himself and built a new life," Richardson said. "In a way, we're carrying on what Venture himself wanted to accomplish."

Hopefully, the DNA results will be positive and a man who lived a long time ago can be properly honored by his ancestors.

Book Review - "The Killer Angels"

Michael Shaara wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning historical novel, The Killer Angels, in 1974. Stephen B. Oates said it was "The best Civil War novel ever written, even better than The Red Badge of Courage."

The book tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg in early July, 1863 through the eyes, thoughts, words and actions of Robert E. Lee (the Confederate Commanding General), James Longstreet (a Confederate General), and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (a Union Colonel from Maine), with a few chapters for John Buford and a British author, Fremantle. Each chapter deals with a specific part of each of the three days of battle - from the night before when the Confederates were supremely confident to the day after the scathing defeat of the Confederate Army.

I learned so much history (that I had never learned before or have forgotten) about this area - I wish I had read this book before we visited Gettysburg in 1999. The battle movements, the topography, the key moments are all described in detail. The horror of battle is described, especially Joshua Chamberlain's regiment's ordeal defending Little Round Top on the second day preventing a Union defeat. Longstreet's agony of disagreeing with Lee's war plans, but carrying out his orders, is also discussed at length as are the politics behind the actions on both sides.

Michael Shaara's son, Jeff Shaara, wrote a prequel called "Gods and Generals" to this book, and a sequel to this book, "The Last Full Measure," in the 1990's. I posted about the prequel about a week ago, and will post about the sequel after I have read it (it's on my reading table now - I read during the Padres baseball games on TV).

My overall reaction to this series so far is that Abraham Lincoln and the Union was very lucky - he had terrible military leadership up to Gettysburg, and the Confederates were winning, until Lee made the horrible mistake of sending Pickett to attack Cemetery Hill, and was decimated. If the Confederates had won this war, this country almost certainly would not be the way it is today.

1910 Census Search at Ancestry is fixed, and more...

Several weeks ago, during the hoopla about Ancestry finishing the Every Name search option for the 1910 census, and then announcing that 1790 to 1930 were complete, we found that the "new" 1910 census search engine had some problems.

Initially, you could only search on the name (but you could use a wild card), not using birthplace or age or any other search items to narrow a search. Then folks figured out that you had to delete Temporary Internet files on the computer and it worked. But for people like me using Ancestry Library edition at the Family History Centers or a library, that wasn't possible. So we wrote messages and complained a bit.

Ancestry has fixed it now, and the 1910 census Every Name search, using wild cards and other items to narrow a search, works like a charm.

Ancestry also changed the user interface on the Census Records. Before, you had a choice of a "Ranked Search" or an "Exact Search" using different color input entry forms. Now there is one input entry form, with a small box to check if you want to do an "Exact Search." If you don't check the box, you get a "Ranked Search." I don't use "Ranked Search" much, since I'm usually looking for specific people and find it easier to vary the spelling of the name or search using birthplace, age, along with a given name in a specific place.

There are probably other changes to some of the databases which I wasn't smart enough to see, but I'm sure somebody will tell us of the great and wonderful changes at

Looking for Annie Moore #1

Some of us are trying to find what happened to Annie Moore after she came to the USA in 1892, the first passenger through the doors of Ellis Island on her 15th birthday on 1 January 1892. Megan Smolenyak and Joe Beine have also posted information on their blogs, and I have a post further down my stack.

I had some time last night to search a bit on the Steve Morse web site (, which has a search engine for a number of New York City databases:

1) NYC Birth Records, 1891-1902.

2) NYC Groom Marriage Records (1907-1936)

3) NTC Bride Marriage Records (???? - 1937), but not for Manhattan

4) NYC Death Records (1891-1948)

Using these records, I found:

1) Between 1892 and 1910, 15 females named Ann* Moore married, but the grooms names are not available online, except for four of them (one in Bronx, 3 in Kings). There are no bride records for Manhattan at this site, which probably makes searching this database futile for our purposes.

2) In the Death index, there are no deaths for an Ann* Moore born 1876 to 1878. There is one death of a Philip Moore (21 Dec 1903, age 18 in Kings County), who might be the brother of Annie Moore. There are death records for 9 people named Mary Moore (assumed born 1850 to 1860), all in Manhattan except 1 in the Bronx. There are no death records for a Matt, Mathew or Matthew Moore (assumed born 1850 to 1860) in the death index.

Also at the Steve Morse site is a search for Castle Garden passengers. There was no listing for a Matt/Mathew/Matthew Moore, but there was for a Mary Moore (age 35, arrived 15 October 1889 on the "City of Chicago") accompanied by a Mary A. Moore (spinster, age 20).

Next on my list of things to do was to search the New York Times newspaper archives online for the purported Moore people - Annie, Philip, Anthony, Matt/Mathew and Mary. I was looking for obituaries or estates, mainly. I can access the ProQuest database for the Times from 1851 to 2003 via a local San Diego library at home with my library card. The only article with any apparent relevancy was the 2 January 1892 article about Annie and her brothers arriving at Ellis Island. No obituaries or estates for any of those folks. There was a mention of Mathew Moore as the Commissioner of Bridges for the Bronx in 1901.

I'll deal with the census search in my next post. Suffice it to say - these folks really don't want to be found. At least by me!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Is genealogy a fun pastime?

One of the best articles published in a newspaper in a long time (IMHO) about genealogy is titled "Buried roots: Documents available on Internet make tracing families a fun pastime" by Jackie Burrell in the Contra Costa Times, which is published on the east side of San Francisco Bay in California.

The article quotes several researchers, and provides information about genealogy research at the LDS Family History Library, including local FHCs, and

Perhaps the best part of the article is the Potential Pitfalls section, which includes:

1. It's gotten significantly easier to trace family roots, thanks to the enormous amount of information now available online. That includes digitized images of census reports, immigrating passenger lists and an enormous number of pedigree charts -- family trees -- that other genealogy buffs share on the Internet. But that also means that erroneous information gets passed along more easily, too. Verify your information by cross-checking it against other sources. A birth date, for example, appears on birth and death records, and can be extrapolated from census reports, which include a person's age.

2. It's easy to make mistakes or attach a wrong ancestor to your family tree if you skip generations or start with a famous ancestor. Start with yourself, then your parents, then your grandparents and work backward one generation at a time, verifying each link with supporting documents -- birth records, census data, marriage certificates, etc.

3. Assume dates are estimates unless proven otherwise. After all, census takers are human, too. They occasionally misspell things, write down the wrong number or scrawl illegibly. And there's no telling what they were told. Your lovely ancestor may have decided to be 29 again that day.

4. Names you think are unique may not be. Don't leap to the conclusion that the Sophronia Jones you found on the 1860 census is your great-great-grandmother Sophronia, until you've checked her spouse, parents or children's names and found matches there, too.

5. It's a no-brainer that birth and land records from foreign countries are written in other languages. But some countries use names differently, too. Norwegian last names, for example, were patronymic up until the early part of the 20th century. Hakon Olsen's son would have been Olav Hakonsen (or Hakonson or Hakonsson), and his daughter would have been Sigrid Hakonsdotter. And many names changed when the family came to the United States.

6. Don't assume everyone is family. Census takers recorded members of a household. That includes any lodgers, servants, nannies or widowed in-laws living with your family.

7. Use common sense. If you discover that your great-great-grandparents were in kindergarten when they wed, you've probably made a mistake.

8. And finally, the more organized your research and the more careful you are to document each link, the less likely you'll be to make a mistake.

That is a pretty good summary of pitfalls - certainly food for thought.

Data available on the Internet has surely made searching certain resources, especially census and immigration records, much faster and easier (due to search engines that accept wild cards and a combination of different facts).

However, I have a major problem with the article. If a non-genealogist read this, he might get the impression that all of the records he needs to search his ancestry back to whenever is now available online at or on other web sites. Of course, we all know that that is still far from the truth. The article should have made that point.

Also, it should have noted that the FHL was digitizing all of their microfilm and microfiche records, which would make accessing the probate, land, tax, town, and other records easier and faster. It may also put a lot of FHCs out of business.

All in all, it's a good article, and if newspapers in our communities wrote an article like this once in awhile, we would have more folks using the FHCs and attending genealogy society meetings and conferences.

Hat tip to Leland Meitzler, who blogged about this earlier in the day at his site,

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Our Lady of the Archives

After reading The Genealogue's post about Googling for nude genealogists, and his post was number one), I clicked on the link for a Dick Eastman column from 2002 which mentioned "Our Lady of the Archives." The actual article is here, and it is hilarious.

What did a prim and proper genealogist find in a Smith County, Tennessee deed book at a very quiet library?

What she found there was a striking black-and-white photograph. That in itself would have been startling enough, because photography was rare during the era of those deeds. It was more surprising, though, because it was a photograph of a conspicuously endowed woman standing on a beach, leaning, uncomfortably it seems to me, against a large piece of driftwood. It's the sort of pose you never see anyone make for any practical purpose: she's looking to the side, with her arm stretched behind her head. She has her right leg raised, her knee pointing out to sea.

She wears makeup and a brunette hairdo that you'd tend to associate with the first term of the Truman administration, if not with Bess herself. And she's completely naked.

Below the picture is a note, in less-careful handwriting than that of the Smith County deeds. Dated "3rd Mar. 1828," it reads "Luke. Iffen you don't quit chasing Injun wimmen + Bear huntin, I'm gwine run offen wif DAVY CROCKETT... Jest LOOK At Whut youins will Bee Missing. LUV, Nancy Lou."

Hee hee. The stir that must have caused. Of course, I would have whooped and done a happy dance, laughing all the while - probably woulda got kicked out of the library forever.

Inquiring minds want to know - who was the Lady of the Archives? Who stuck her in there on a roll of boring microfilm, and when? Did she go to the NGS conference that year?

Thanks to Chris Dunham for the link - made my evening (but I was disappointed they didn't show the picture).

A simple and workable filing system

Joanne Truman posted a note on the Advanced Research mailing list about her genealogy filing system. It is simple and logical, and fairly easy to use. She posted it to rootsweb's Weekly newsletter some time ago where it was published. Her description:

I am new to this list and would like to share my method of organizing proof documents. I submitted it to Rootsweb Review several years ago and received about 100 e-mails thanking me for posting it. Its so simple its disgusting.

First, let me say that I live in hurricane country, so would need to evacuate my most important genealogy materials in the event of a hurricane. Until I figured out this system, all of my proofs were scattered among about 40 3 ring binders and I really didn't know exactly what I had.

Next, I purchased a 15 generation pedigree chart that has the spaces numbered with the Ahnentafel numbering system and filled in what information I had. Then I purchased several 3 ring binders, plastic page protectors, and numbered page dividers from the office supply store. Have since found out that you can get these dividers to go to the higher numbers from legal office supply stores. The ones from Office Depot only go to #100. I also had one friend who purchased stick-on tabs that she hand numbered and stuck on the edge of her page protectors.

If you are a file folder person, you can number file folders to match the pedigree chart. #1 thru whatever. In this case, you can add additional folders for extended families, numbering them 1A, 1B, etc.

The project begins. I am #1 on the chart so I put my own proof documents behind divider #1, my father's behind #2, mother's behind #3, and so on. Following the numbering system and names on the chart, I filed my proofs behind the proper numbered page divider for each person. In the sections where I don't have any proof documents, I put a sticky note with the person's name and chart number so that I can easily tell whose documents are missing.

The only things that go into these notebooks are birth, baptism, marriage and death certificates, census records, deeds, or whatever primary source records I can find to connect one person in my main lines to another. I have used photos of headstones if that is all I had. I also printed a Family Group Sheet for each mainline person so that I can see the children and their spouses.

If you are inclined to join a lineage society, you can immediately tell if you have your proofs by looking in sections #1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc. or whatever set of numbers is applicable.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to speak up.

Joanne [Truman] []

Joanne gave me permission to post this in order to help other researchers and to post her email address if someone wants to contact her directly.

This seems to be a very workable system. The key is to have an ahnentafel list handy in order to find the number of your ancestral family, and to have enough file folders and file cabinet space to hold the data. I would also print out a family notes sheet from my genealogy software and put it in the file.

My own view in the age of digital images and computers with unlimited amount of storage, the follow-on to this is to scan all of your papers into files, put the digital files in file folders on your computer organized using this system, and link the folders to your ahnentafel. You could have the computer system open to your ahnentafel, then click on the ancestor and see what files you have for them. Then put it all on a flash drive and carry all of your research around on your key chain. Back it up regularly, of course!

Thank you Joanne for the idea!

Mercer County PA History Book

The Mercer County, Pennsylvania, History book by G.L. Abbott, published in 188, is available online at

I found the biography of Martin Carringer and Cornelius Feather, both of whom are my ancestors. The biography of Martin Carringer reads:

MARTIN CARRINGER was a native of Westmoreland County, Penn., and came to this county in 1796; was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He settled in Perry Township, and died in 1838. He was the father of Jacob, George, Henry and Joseph, all dead. Jacob was in the War of 1812. George was born, in Westmoreland County, and married Isabella Montgomery. He was an early member of the militia. He died in 1876, aged eighty-one years, and was the father of the following children: John, George, Emily, Maude, deceased; Milton, Isabella, married Humphrey Orr; James, deceased, was in the war; Harvey, and Jane, the wife of Stephen Feather; Isabella Montgomery, wife of George Carringer, died September 24, 1888, aged eighty-five years, making a residence on the farm they first settled on of sixty-seven years.

Does anybody else have Martin Carringer as an ancestor? If so, I'd like to hear from you.

There may be other online books at this web site.

Steve's Amazing Records

Do you have ancestry from Eastern Europe? Are you stymied in obtaining naturalization, immigration, emigration or other records of these ancestors?

If so, I urge you to read (and bookmark for regular reading) Steve Danko's blog. Steve is systematically posting results of his extensive research of his eastern European ancestors. You can follow his logic string as he analyzes each document found. He has created a number of biographies of the people he has researched. It is really a beautiful job of very challenging research.

I don't have any ancestors like this (to my knowledge), but if I did I would certainly read and digest all of Steve's work on his blog. Frankly, I read his blog regularly just to understand the genealogy resources available, and the methods of obtaining and interpreting them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

FamilyTreeDNA Newsletter

FamilyTreeDNA is one of the organizations doing DNA testing for genealogy purposes. Their web site has lots of information about the science, their services and products and the like.

They also have a semi-regular newsletter called Facts and Genes here. I read several of them, and they are helpful in explaining the science in semi-layman's terms.

If you are interested in having your DNA tested, a little time spent on the FamilyTreeDNA site would be useful, I think.

This is not an endorsement - I'm not involved in it or had mine done yet, but I'm thinking about it!

The Search for the Real Annie Moore

I didn't blog about this when it first appeared, because I thought I could easily pull down the prize. I'm humbled. Again and again. It makes me want to really try harder!

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak posted a $1,000 prize for the researcher who finds the "real" Annie Moore, who came to the USA on 1 January 1892 and was the first passenger to pass through Ellis Island. Megan's initial post is here. Megan has another post here, and Joe Beine has an Annie Moore web page here.

Megan has done enough research to determine that this Annie Moore did not marry Patrick O'Connell and live in Texas. The news reports at the time vary (see Megan and Joe's posts) - one reports that her parents names were Matt and Mary, who lived at 32 Monroe Street in Manhattan at the time. One article says that the brothers who sailed with her were Anthony and Philip, another says the brothers were Tom and Joe.

This is truly finding a needle in a haystack. Some obvious opportunities for research include:

1) Find the Moore family in the 1900 US census to get a sense of the family structure (including brothers given names) and the location they lived.
2) Find a marriage record for Annie, and thereby get a husband's surname
3) Find a newspaper article about Annie's marriage, and thereby get a husband's surname.
4) Find a death record for an Annie Moore (maybe she never married)
5) Find Annie and her family in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census.
6) Find Matt Moore and his family in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census.
7) Follow the brothers in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census.
7) Find a death record for Annie and/or her husband
8) Find an obituary for Annie and/or her unknown husband in a newspaper
9) Find an obituary for Matt Moore and/or Mary Moore to determine if Annie is still living and where.
10) Find obituaries for the brothers.

There are a number of comments at Megan's first site, including a researcher who has searched the Social Security Death Index using the given name Ann* and the birthdate 1 January 1877 - he found 18, which could be searched in the census and other records; of course, she may have died before SSDI records.

I, probably along with many others, have searched the 1900 census records online on both Ancestry (at the FHC) and HQO (at home) for the Matt/Mathew/Matthew Moore family, concentrating on New York City, and have come up very empty. I also could not find the brothers Anthony or Philip in the 1900 census of the right age. To understand the magnitude of the problem, there were several hundred Ann* born in 1876-1878 in Ireland in the 1900 census just in New York.

Who did she marry? Steve Morse's web site has search pages for Bronx, Queens and Kings County NY brides from 1871 up to 1937 (they don't cover all years), but the records before about 1905 don't list the groom's names. There were 6 marriages of Ann* Moore in this index between 1892 and 1900, and 20 between 1892 and 1920.

Did she die before she married? Steve Morse also has a search engine for New York City deaths 1891-1948, which lists 6 Ann* Moore who were born between 1876 and 1878. There are 11 Matt/Mathew/Matthew Moore who died between 1892 and 1948. It would help to have a birth year for Matthew Moore.

What have you searched for? What would you search for? Put on your thinking caps. Add to my list! Have FUN!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ranslow Smith Inn update

I posted last week about my email from Old World Wisconsin telling me that an inn built in the 1850's by Ranslow Smith, a 3rd-great-grandfather of mine, had been moved from Dodge County to OWW and was open to the public. I've received another email from Martin Perkins at OWW about the inn:

In 1983 I had one of my staff compile a fairly extensive biography on the Smith family. We now use that as the basis for interpreting the Four Mile House, which we believe he built in 1853.

Our research indicates that he was the son of Russell and Esther Smith. His father was a native of Rhode Island and his mother of Connecticut. They left the seaboard colonies and moved to Oneida County, New York, where Ranslow was born c.1805-06. His brother Lyman was born in 1807 and a second brother George in 1812.

By 1830 the family relocated several hundred miles north to Smithville in the Town of Henderson in Jefferson County. Ranslow had married by 1830 and lived alone with wife, Mary. (Probably in the house you referenced with the carved mantel). Interestingly enough, all three brothers made their way to southern Wisconsin in 1843 where each became innkeepers.

All of this material and more is included within the 25 page report which you are most welcome to see. Unfortunately, I cannot send it to you electronically, but could place it in the mail.

The Four Mile House is the centerpiece of the Crossroads Village exhibit area. Although we interpret it in 1870, several years following Smith's sale of the property and during the ownership of Englishman, Peter Worthy, the Ranslow Smith connection is extremely important to us.

I look forward to receiving the 25 page report from Mr. Perkins. The names of Ranslow Smith's purported parents -- Russell and Esther (--?--) Smith -- are new for me and were not on my radar previously. I've done a little research in online databases and don't find them clearly identified in Oneida County NY, CT or RI. There is an 1800 census record of Coventry, Tolland County CT with a Russell Smith enumerated next to a Ransford Smith which looks very tantalizing.

I need to be's hard sometimes. This breakthrough is the result of an email from another Smith researcher several years ago - she noted that her Eldridge Smith had bought the inn from Ranslow Smith in the 1860's, and that it was now at Old World Wisconsin. I finally got around to following up on the tip.

Sometimes I'd rather be lucky than good.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Map Your Ancestors web site

There is an interesting web site that allows you to map out where your ancestors lived. Map Your Ancestors has the George W. Bush ancestry on the front page. It shows five generations of birth and death locations for the President superimposed on a Google map of the eastern USA, with the ancestors names and dates on the left hand side of the page.

The second chart available on the site charts the major events in Bill Clinton's life - from Arkansas to the White House and then ??? However, it doesn't show his many overseas trips or his trysts...probably too much information to get on the map, eh?

I signed up on the site and started to input my 5 generations. I stopped due to other activities, but I'll finish it up soon. I was entry #139. I don't know if other people will be able to see my entries - I'll check that out and blog about it if that is possible.

If a map like this is something you want or need - check out Map Your Ancestors.

"Tracing Your Family's Roots" article

An excellent genealogy article was published in "The Olympian" newspaper (Olympia WA) on 8 July - the link is here. The title is "Tracing Your Family's Roots" by Ingrid Stegemoeller.

The article provides a nice list of basic online resources and types of records to search for. The article is oriented to a beginning researcher.

Encyclopedia of Genealogy

Richard Eastman started a genealogy "wiki" some time ago, which he called the "Encyclopedia of Genealogy." Material is added frequently, making this an extremely handy one-stop place for a definition of genealogy terms. The web site is

There is an alphabetized list of words, acronbyms and abbreviations from all areas of genealogy and social history.

Browsing through the listings, I wondered what the terms childwite, lairwite, chevage and villein meant. Now I know! Those medievals had a name for everything! What is childwite you ask?

In medieval England, a fine paid by men to the lord of the manor for illicitly impregnating his bondswomen. See OED Online. For genealogists, this term, as found in manor court cases, signifies an illegitimate birth.

I also found out that I am Grand climacteric. Oh no! Don't tell my wife.

There are also archaic medical terms in case you run across something like meteorism. Aren't you glad you couldn't resist clicking on it?