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Genealogy Tips and Tricks

Genealogy Tips and Tricks

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Genealogy Tips and Tricks

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  1. Genealogy Tips and Tricks by Jerry Merritt

  2. Tricks to deal with pre-1850 census data. • Tips on Preserving and Restoring photos digitally. • Tricks to generate images of land identified by Township and Range. • Tips on locating other researchers with data you need. • Tips on preserving your work for future generations. objectives

  3. Census tricks

  4. The handout

  5. Military age males The Official Census Date

  6. 1790-1800 1794-1804 1794-1800 Actually born in 1795 Age 35 in 1830 / age 25 in 1820

  7. 1774 – 1784 • 1765 – 1784 • 1775 – 1794 • 1780 – 1790 • circle highest on left • and lowest on right also compares more than 2 censuses

  8. A special case – version 1 1790-1800 1800-1810

  9. A special case – version 2 1770-1780 1760-1770

  10. Okay then, here is a less fussy way. This works even after you lose your Cheat Sheet. Hey, all that is just too fussy

  11. It’s a potential ancestor in the 1830 census in the 30 – 40 column and you need to see if his age matches the age you have on another record. You already have him in an 1820 census in the 26-45 column. And you knows it’s him in 1820.

  12. You just need to convert the age spread from one census to show what that age spread would be in the year of the other census.

  13. So we know in 1830 he was 30 - 40 We subtract ten years -10 - 10 To show what his age was in 1820. In 1820 he would’ve been 20 - 30 And the 1820 ancestor was 26 - 45 So, the suspect could, indeed, be your guy. If he is your ancestor, we have now narrowed his age bracket as well. Just use the pre-1850 trick 1820 ages

  14. Couldn’t that be used to narrow an age bracket too? But what about that 1820 military column thingy?

  15. Those between 16 and 18 will all be repeated in the column of those between 16 and 26. Knowing this is half the battle. 16-18 Instructions to Marshals for 1820 census 16-26

  16. And only one is in the 16-18 range. • And one of them is your ancestor. • Who died before 1850. • How do you figure out which one is your ancestor? • You have to find the other brother in 1850 or later to see when he was born. • But suppose he was the one in the 16-18 column. • How can you still narrow the age of your ancstor? What if you have two brothers 16-26?

  17. Find the birth years of all the surviving brothers and sisters in the 1820 16-26 age bracket. • Suppose they look like this: • Jimbob – 1795 • Lurlene – 1797 • Modell – 1799 • Dorcas – 1803 • When was your ancestor born? A little more research 1801 There’s a 4 year gap right here.

  18. I hope that clears that up

  19. So now you have a township, range, and section of an ancestor’s land. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find an aerial photo of that property. In seconds. For free. Without leaving home. Townships and ranges - again

  20. First Install Google earth

  21. After Google Earth installs go to


  23. Changing county lines

  24. Or, you can see state formation instead

  25. We’ll now, metaphorically at least, set off searching the sea of data available to our computers. That winds up the Land portion

  26. It’s a Big Ocean of Data out there. But, like you, there are others sailing through it. Except they aren’t posting! So, you must make it easy for them to find you. And you must make them want to contact you. Because they have information you need.

  27. You have your little Harbor of Genealogical Gems. But you are still missing key info. You need to attract other researchers who may have that info and guide them in. Or your Ship of Opportunity might sail right by! So Get your navigation aids prepared

  28. Once a researcher has what he needs he may stop researching that line. So what are your options? Don’t let others beat you to the one person who has the data you need

  29. Post your research needs on the Internet. Use a site sampled by GenForum – for instance. It’s available worldwide 24/7. Allows easy contact by e-mail.

  30. Be specific in your Subject statement. Who, When & Where. Genforum ~ bowman page

  31. Try to anticipate what words others would search for if they were looking for your guy. • Enter common variations in spelling of the names you are researching. • List Parents full names if known. • List all known Children. • Mention where they were born and died. • Spell out and abbreviate states, e.g. FL Florida • Capitalize SURNAMES. Now… In the Body of your Post

  32. When the other guy types his search request into Google, no matter how he frames the request, when he gets a hit, you want it to be from you. In short

  33. How long should you have to wait? Okay, now you’ve posted

  34. Often you will get a response the same day. Especially if you reply to another post on the same person. Many forums have an automatic notification if someone else replies to your post. They’ll send you an e-mail letting you know.

  35. A Little Ancestral Math Because we are often asked, “If I go back 6 generations, how many ancestors will I have?”

  36. Here’s a quick way to determine how many ancestors you have in a given number of generations. Say…, oh, How many ancestors?

  37. So you have 32 ancestors in the 5th generation. But how many do you have total? Notice that the previous generations always total 2 less than the final generation. count your parents as the first generation back and begin doubling

  38. So all you have to do to figure the total ancestors is double the number in the final generation and subtract 2. 62

  39. So, how many ancestors in 15 generations?

  40. Total ancestors per generation So what’s the point?

  41. And it’s kind of depressing for infants. If the total of all previous ancestors is always less than the ancestors in the next generation, – discounting cousin marriages of course – every time you finish a generation of research…. The next generation alone will be larger than all the ancestors you have already found. Just this

  42. Restoring and archiving old photographs

  43. There are a lot of irreplaceable photos in the average family collection

  44. So, what’s a good way to preserve those fading family memories before they’re gone for good?

  45. Get them scanned into digital format. first