- Research Early US Census Records for Genealogy Clues to Bust Brick Walls
When researching in early US Census Records, you will face numerous challenges if you don't plan. These records are challenging for most beginning genealogists because the enumerators didn't record every individual's names in the household. However, you can find great clues to open up your brick walls if you work methodically through the records. Watch this research plan development process in action in this video. The US Census records between 1790 - 1840 challenge most beginning genealogists. The documents record a list of household heads (be they male or female) and a tally of how many people are in the home and their age range and gender combination. You might also find out if an ancestor owns slaves or a free person of color. This blog post doesn’t walk you through the process of how to research specifically in Early US Census Records. I'd recommend you watch this training series by Mark Lower for Ancestry Academy. Searching for My Brick Wall Ancestor in Early US Census Records This post is focused on applying research strategies to find and evaluate clues for John Townley in the 1830 and 1840 Census. In the previous post, I found clues for the birthplace of my 4th great-grandfather, John Townley, in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. In an earlier post, I found clues suggesting Effingham Townley as his father's. We must recognize that John Townley is a common name, which can make finding him difficult. I will follow the tips for researching commonly named ancestors, as I explore the census records. Searching the 1840 US Census Records While researching the 1850 - 1880 census records, I found evidence that his third child, Joanna, was born in New Jersey in 1827. His next child, Richard, was born in Ohio in 1837. I should find John in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio in 1840. Before searching the census records, I need to develop a hypothesis for the family I expect to find. On Ancestry.com, I keyed in John Townley, Cincinnati, Ohio, with no other details. The search returned 22 results from around the country, but only one John Townley in Cincinnati. Without knowing the individuals' names in the above entry, I can attempt to align what I predicted to this household. Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39: 1 ~ John Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39: 1 ~ Evaline Free White Persons - Males - 15 thru 19: 1 ~ Asa Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14: 2 ~ Eliza? Unknown female? Free White Persons - Males - Under 5: 1 ~Richard Free White Persons - Females - Under 5: 1 ~ Mary Jane This entry fits my predicted family nicely, but I have a few conflicts. Namely, I have two recorded females and only one name on my predicted chart. Who are the extra people in the early census records? When we look at early US census records, we can not definitely identify the individuals in a home. As such, we may encounter 'extra' people in a household or a household is missing individuals it should have, we have to be cautious. Avoid Assumptions You can not assume that an extra relative is a child of the head of the household. As I pointed out in the video Data Mining Your Genealogy, many children are in homes where their surnames don’t match the household. Thus, the extra young person (a female in this case) could be a niece, a cousin, a sister-in-law, a boarder, or a ward of the state. She could be anyone. The Extra Individual Could Be a ‘Mistake' Enumerators do make mistakes. The enumerator may have added household information to the wrong line or column. Respondents can make mistakes. We do not know who spoke with the enumerator. Perhaps the informant lied or misremembered a detail. Or You Made A Mistake While filming this video, I made a mistake in the predicted family. I neglected to include Joanna! I thought about refilming the video (and fixing the graphic above), but this is a teaching moment. Go slow. Double-check your work. Make sure you're not the cause of your research problems. As I reviewed the other hints, I don't find a family structure that aligns with John's children according to other documents. Search for the Same Surname in One Location Before I can claim the above entry for John Townley pertains to my brick wall ancestor, I need to dig deeper in early census records. I need to search for all Townleys in Cincinnati. Then I might need to expand my search to Hamilton County and all of Ohio. Using a wildcard search of: Tow*y Cincinnati, Ohio (Exact Place) Only THREE Townleys appear in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1840. John Townley Major Townley (corrected indexing error) George Townley I expanded the search to adjacent counties, a feature really like on Ancestry. To add more historical context to my search, I visited the Cincinnati, Ohio page on Wikipedia. I love the quick population statistics you can find on on this reference website. There are over 46,000 persons. If we consider that many of these persons are women or children, the pool of potential adult males with the surname of Townley decreases. I have concluded that the above Ancestry entry does apply to my ancestor. I also have clues to potential relatives for John Townley. The only question that remains is HOW are they related? ↪️ Are you struggling to break through your brick walls? Grab your copy of this FREE Brick Wall Busting Guide: Searching in the 1830 Census Records for John Townley On Ancestry, I used the following search terms in the 1830 census database: John Townley Cincinnati, Ohio No Johns appeared in this collection in Cincinnati. I changed my search terms to: Tow*y Cincinnati, Ohio (Exact Place) I only found Nathaniel Townsley, who is the wrong age to be either John's father or John himself. Considering I expected John to be in New Jersey in 1830, I utilized the clue from his son's internment record to research this census record. Using search terms: Tow*y Elizabeth, New Jersey I received 50 results for Townley heads of households in Essex County, New Jersey. I noted the following families in Elizabethtown by name, the total number of individuals in the home, and the age of the likely head of household. Caleb Townley, 5, m 20 thru 29 William Townley, 3, m 30 thru 39 John Townley, 5, m 20 thru 29 William Townley, 3, m 30 thru 39 Catherine Townley, 3, f 20 thru 29 Joshua Townley, 4, m 70 thru 79 Richard Townley, 7, m 30 thru 39 In this location, the John Townley discovered matches what I expected (especially after fixing the error of forgetting his daughter Joanna). Before I left this census record, I made a note of his neighbors. Isaac Bonnel Abigail Purcel James Werdel John Townley John Van Stone Abraham Van Black Sarah Woodruff Joshua Townley William M Woodruff I really want to know more about Joshua, aged 70. I'm not going to research him at this time. The surname Woodruff caught my eye as John's daughter Eliza married a Woodruff in Cincinnati. Did the Woodruffs and John Townley move together? Are they related in any other way? Searching in the 1830 Census Records for Effingham Townley Finally, I searched for Effingham Townley in the 1830 census. I only found one. He lived in Lansing, New York, and is about 30-39. If only the recorded Effingham lived in New Jersey and was a minimum of 50 years old! Time to Update the Genealogy Research Plan Wouldn’t you know it, my brick wall case was not resolved solely by exploring early US census records. I plan to research more records in Cincinnati in hopes of finding more clues to the past. Before I do that, I must update my research plan with the discoveries I made. You can view the updated research plan below. VIEW UPDATED RESEARCH PLAN If you want your own genealogy research plan template, get a copy of my Research Plan Template and print it out or use it online. Besides neglecting Joanna, what other mistakes did you notice in my research? This is a "Research-Together" experience. We learn by reviewing the research of others and discussing better paths and research strategies. Feel free to let me know your thoughts below, along with the video, or through email. Additional "Using Early Census Records for Clues " Show Notes Continue learning about early census records and other resources for your genealogy quest through the following blog posts and videos. My Genealogy Brick Wall - John Townley Genealogy Research Plans - An Essential Tool for Busting Brick Walls The Fundamentals of Genealogy Research Plans Principles for Evaluating Records Read More About #methodology #brickwalls #genealogyresearch
- Using Descendancy Research for Clues to Bust a Genealogy Brick Wall
Descendancy research in genealogy may help you find overlooked branches of your family tree to climb. It also enables you to tackle brick walls as you look for clues hiding in records of your ancestor's children and grandchildren. Watch this research plan development process in action in this video. Researching My Brick Wall's Descendants If you want to bust through your genealogy brick walls, you have to learn not only to SEARCH for genealogy records but also how to RE-search them. Part of the research involves investigating the clues from the descendants of your target ancestor. On the researching plan for my brick wall ancestor John Townley, I have a secondary goal of validating John and his children's relationships. In the previous post "Clues on Death Records for My Genealogy Brick Wall," I shared how I found a possible name for John's father. The clues appeared on John's death certificate and internment records. The working hypothesis is now that John's father’s name is Effingham Townley. According to the 1850 - 1880 census records and the death records, John was born in New Jersey. These records do not identify a city or county. Before I can research in New Jersey, I still need more clues. Clues that will help validate Effingham as John's father. I also need evidence to find a specific location for John's birth. I know that at some point, John moved from New Jersey to Cincinnati. Let's search and research the children of John Townley to gather more clues. Clues from Children's Birth Places John's children's births occurred before counties in New Jersey and Ohio began officially and consistently recording births. Therefore, I have to look for alternative clues to where John and his family originated in New Jersey before researching John in the Garden State. When I combine the currently invalidated birth dates for John's children and the birthplaces identified in the census records, I have a major clue. Joanna was born in New Jersey around 1827 while her next sibling, Richard, was born in Ohio in 1837. Sometime between 1827 and 1837, the Townley family moved to the West. Did you know that during this period that "The West" was Ohio? It's okay if you didn't. Being raised in Texas, that was nothing something I heard about until I was an adult. All of this information comes from what I already have in my genealogy research plan. Now, I need to begin researching what I don't know. Using Descendancy Research to Recognize Naming Traditions When we pause to look at the names of children and grandchildren, we may pick up clues to the past as each generation inherits their ancestors' names. Using FamilySearch, I can leverage the power of descendancy research to quickly evaluate potential naming traditions. What am I hoping to find? The internment record for John Townley identifies his father as Effingham. Suppose the name Effingham is passed down to one of John's descendants. In that case, naming traditions might establish the validity of the relationship recorded on the interment record. The descendants of John Townly have inherited many family names. The one that stands out is John Effingham Townley. Now, let’s look at how John Effingham Townley received his name. Effingham** -> John -> Richard -> John Richard -> John Effingham I recently discovered Effingham, particularly Effingham Townley, is not a common name. However, this particular family's habit of passing down the names of ancestors gives me a clue. SOMEWHERE on the family tree of either Martha Boyd or John Richard Townley, there is an Effingham. I will use this naming tradition pattern as a potential clue for John's connection to an Effingham Townley. ↪️ Are you struggling to break through your brick walls? Grab your copy of this FREE Brick Wall Busting Guide: Validate John’s Relationships with His Children In my research plan, I have a secondary goal of establishing the relationship between John and his children. I have conducted a reasonably exhaustive search of his son Richard, which brought me to this research question. As I research John's children, I'm looking for: where his older children were in New Jersey where his older children lived before moving to New Jersey if any record identifies where John was born in New Jersey if any records identify John's parents. (In the video Researching Catholic Church Marriage Records on Find My Past, I discovered it is possible to see grandparents named these records.) Be sure to watch this video for how I evaluated John's daughter Eliza. In the video and this post, I'm not going to share all of the details, but there is one highlight I have to tell you about. Brick Wall Opening Clue in Descendancy Research The most helpful record for John Townley’s children is the interment records from Spring Grove Cemetery for his eldest son Asa Townley. What details do you notice? Asa age at death and death date. (Use this calculator to find his birthdate) Parent’s names: John and Evaline Townley Relationship to Owner was not identified Burial ordered by John Townley and Alfred Speer. Birthplace - Elizabeth, New Jersey Let's Process These Clues John Townley, my 4th great grandfather, died in 1893. His son, Asa, died in 1883 and was buried in space 1, lot 60, section 100. The plot owner is John Townley and is the only John buried in this 20 person plot, which also includes his wife and other children. Who is providing the information to the record keeper? Alfred Speer is Asa’s brother-in-law and married Asa’s youngest sister. It’s not likely he knew the age or birthplace of Asa first hand. John is Asa’s father and would have first-hand knowledge of when and where Asa was born. What can we infer from this record? If Asa was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, what does that tell us? We can not infer that John was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey. We can infer that John Townley at least lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey, at the time of Asa's birth. What should we do next? We could look in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for Asa's family, particularly in the 1830 Census, to see if we find a place of origin. We should also update my research plan with the results of my investigation. If you encounter a genealogy problem that's more complicated than you can tackle, check out the professionals at Legacy Tree Genealogists. Record My Findings Once again, I will follow the genealogy research principle of updating our research plans after we search for each document. VIEW UPDATED RESEARCH PLAN Click on the PDF above to see the updates I made to my plan. You'll notice that I didn't include every detail about the children (else the file would become too large to share). However, my next step in my journey to discover the identity of John's parents will lead me to early US Census records. Stay tuned. Additional "Using Descendancy Research for Clues " Show Notes Continue learning about descendancy for your genealogy quest through the following blog posts and videos. Clues on an Ancestor’s Death Record - Genealogy Brick Wall Research My Genealogy Brick Wall - John Townley Genealogy Research Plans - An Essential Tool for Busting Brick Walls Descendancy Research on FamilySearch (video) FindMyPast Catholic Marriage Records: Explore Your Ancestor's Church (video) The Fundamentals of Genealogy Research Plans 5 Quick Tips For Finding Records Hiding in Online Collections Principles for Evaluating Records How to Find Genealogical Records for Your Ancestors (video) A Genealogy Case Study = Follow Along as I Solve a Family Tree Mystery (video series) Read More About #methodology #brickwalls #genealogyresearch
- Clues on Death Records for My Genealogy Brick Wall: The John Townley Case Study
Death records can provide a lot of clues to break through genealogy brick walls. After validating his death date, I can piece together small details that point me in the direction of discovering my brick wall's parents. Three Records for John Townley On the researching plan for my brick wall ancestor John Townley, I found three death records. Hamilton County, Ohio Death Register Find a Grave memorial page Spring Grove Cemetery interment record (not available online) Cincinnati Post Probate Notice (available via GenealogyBank) I also found probate records and land records following his death, but I’ll discuss those records in future posts. Stay tuned. Watch this research plan development process in action in this video. Evaluating John Townley's Death Register When I began working on John's case in 2010, I only had access to John's death record index. Since I can't recreate what the index looked like back then, I'll show you what you may find when you access records today. On FamilySearch, you can see that I added this source in 2013. Back then, I only had access to this information. What can I see in the image below? Notice the entry provides: Name Death date Death place Residence at time of death Age at death Birth year Birthplace Burial place Father’s name This record helps validate the information available on handwritten family group sheets created in the 1970s. The index provides a potential name for John’s father as Effingham. We can infer that Effingham Townley likely lived in New Jersey around 1801. Notice all the words I’m using to indicate that I have clues rather than proof? Proof comes later. In these registers, we do not know the identity of the informant. As such, we can't know if the name Effingham is accurate with any degree of certainty. So, we’re going to keep this as a clue. How Do I Know This Death Record Identifies My Ancestor? Since the death record is light on relationship details, how do I know it identifies my ancestor? Remember how I highlighted my direct ancestor Richard Townley in my genealogy research plan? (If not, go back and read this blog post.) On the digital image, I noticed a familiar residence. The address 82 Van Horne appears in the research of Richard Townley. This was the golden ticket that confirmed this document belongs to my ancestor. Now, I just need more proof for the biographical information. ↪️ Are you struggling to break through your brick walls? Grab your copy of this FREE Brick Wall Busting Guide: Evaluating John Townley's Find A Grave Page On Find a Grave, I found a memorial page for John Townley. While this profile has a lot of information, I need to focus on my research questions. Who are John’s parents? Can I validate John's death? The gravestone does provide evidence of John's death date and his relationship with his wife, Evaline. This entry also identifies the father's name as Effingham, but I can not validate the source of this information. Since I already have that clue from a death register, I'm going to ignore it from Find A Grave. SCORE! We also need to pay attention to the overlooked clues found next to the word "Plot." In the video linked above, I walked through the process of using additional clues on Find A Grave to discover other individuals buried in Section 100, Lot 60. They include the following: Notice I have identified eight of the fifteen persons buried in this plot. It's time to turn to cemetery records to finish completing this chart. However, before I do, I must update my research plan! Evaluating John Townley's Interment Record On Find a Grave, I found a memorial page for John Townley. While this profile has a lot of information, I need to focus on my research questions. On this internment record, I noticed many intriguing details: Details correlating with the death register The final residence as Van Horne The identity of the informant - Richard Townley, who is the son of John. Once again, the name of John's father is Effingham. This time, I know the name of the informant. Richard Townley might know the name of his father's father as Effingham Townley. While Richard could be misinformed, the strength of the clue has become more reliable. Beyond the cemetery internment record, I used the Spring Grove cemetery website to further identify the people buried in Section 100, Lot 60. To view those details, open the PDF file below as the table are too large to fit in this blog post. View the Updated Research Plan Record My Findings It's time to follow the genealogy research principle of updating our research plans after searching for each document. Eventually, I will write a soundly reasoned and coherent conclusion after analyzing and correlating the evidence while resolving any conflicting information. For now, I can move on to the next record identified in my research plan. Stay tuned. Additional "Clues on an Ancestor’s Death Record " Show Notes Continue learning about death records and other resources for your genealogy quest through the following blog posts and videos. 5 Quick Tips For Finding Records Hiding in Online Collections Principles for Evaluating Records How to Evaluate a Death Record How to Evaluate a Find A Grave Memorial for Genealogy How to use death certificates in family history from Family Tree Magazine UK How to Find Genealogical Records for Your Ancestors (video) A Genealogy Case Study = Follow Along as I Solve a Family Tree Mystery (video series) Read More About #methodology #brickwalls #genealogyresearch
- Writing Family History | Family History Fanatics | Humble TX
Writing Family History The Gift of Writing Family History When you find your family history, you should consider writing it down for others to read- especially your own family. Along with simply knowing about ancestors, these are a few ways writing family history can be a gift to present and future gen rations. e Bring History to Life History is about so much more than facts, wars, and numbers. It is a story filled with human emotion, personality, and choices. Think about it. Abraham Lincoln did not just wake up one day and decide that it was time to abolish slavery. There were things that led up to that decision- thoughts and feelings that told him that was the right thing to do. It is the thoughts and feelings of a person that encourages change, no matter how big or small that change seems. Writing family history provides a way to bring history to life- to make it more than just the facts listed in a history book. It is easier to understand a war when you understand the human side of what happened- even if you don’t necessarily agree with the war itself. Share Strong Characters When you start to find your family history, you will likely run across some strong characters that you had no clue about. And those strong characters can provide encouragement and motivation for others in the family. For instance, writing about a strong female character in your family line might help other girls in your family stand taller and fight for what they believe in. Or if you have a nephew that is “different” and feels down on himself, writing about an ancestor who was similar but did something great might help that young boy see that different doesn't mean you can’t be incredible. Builds Confidence When we don’t know where we come from, it can cause some self-esteem issues. It can leave you wondering who you are or like a piece of you is missing. By writing your family history, you can provide a sense of purpose and belonging to current and future generations that will give them more confidence. Don’t put off writing your family history. Start your research today and get ready to share an amazing story about your genetic line.
- Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques | Family History Fanatics
Genetic Genealogy Tips And Techniques 4 Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques Learning your genealogy can be both intimidating and exciting. The following tips and techniques can help you get started. Get Organized As you start sifting through old records, getting results, and researching different parts of your genealogy, you will end up with a ton of information. Before you even begin, have something that you can keep all of this information in. Whether it is for physical copies or digital ones, having a centralized location to keep up with your research can smooth your path a bit. And keep a running list of any interesting sites or sources so you can revisit them at a later t me. i Know What You Are Looking For What exactly is your goal for digging into your ancestry? Do you need it for medical purposes? A school project? To locate your family? Just to know where you came from? Or is it a mix of goals, like you need it for medical purposes but you also want to know your genealogy for personal gratification? No matter what your goal- or goals- is, being clear about what you are looking for from the beginning can help you find the right resources to do it. Be Prepared What if you have been told your whole life that you come from a line of royalty, but when you dig in, you find out you are a descendant of a low-class blacksmith? What if an affair is the reason you are here today? The truth is that fantasy is almost always better than reality, so if you choose to dig into your past, you need to prepare yourself. You never know what you might find until you get there. There is a chance, though, that you find out something wonderful about your family, so it may be very worth it. None of this should prevent you from looking. Just be aware that you might find something much different than you expect. Use More Than One Source Never rely on just one source. You can start your search with one genealogy company so you have a jumping-off spot, but don’t limit yourself. Take any information you get from one source to dig into as many other online genealogy resources as you can. Doing so should bring you pieces from several sources, giving you a much clearer overall picture of your past. Thanks to technology, there are so many offline and online genealogy resources available. Use the genetic genealogy tips and techniques listed above for a successful start, and keep yourself open to a variety of avenues that can help you learn about your ancestry.
- Books on Family History | Family History Fanatics
Family History Books that Educate and Inspire Family history involves everything from tree climbing with paper trails and genetics, to memory keeping and story writing. Throw in a few organization principles and inspiring memoirs and you have a library of valuable information at unbeatable prices. All books are available through Amazon, but you can obtain autographed copies of print titles when you purchase a combo packs through . our store Whether you have 1 hour or 1 year to downsize your possessions or those of a loved one, the task is overwhelming and fraught with error. guides you through the process with Action Plans based on the time you have available to complete the downsizing process. Downsizing with Family History in Mind You will also learn how to evaluate your possessions so you know what to keep to preserve your family's legacy and what you can give away. Learn why when you have less, you have more, through Downsizing with Family History in Mind. Learn more about this book. Save Your Legacy "Which is the best testing company for adoptees?" "Why did I receive completely different ethnicity results when I uploaded my AncestryDNA results to GEDmatch.com and MyHeritage?" "On 23andMe in DNA relatives, a woman is my father's half-sister. He doesn't have a half-sister. What is going on?" Genetic genealogy generates compelling questions as people around the world attempt to understand haplogroups, ethnicity, and genetic matches. shares the questions you have and the answers from author Andrew Lee. DNA Q&A Learn more about this book. Learn the Answers takes the fuss out of writing stories of your ancestors - the ones you’ve met and those you have not. This writing recipe will flood your mind with family stories and give you the confidence to put their lives in a readable form. You will move past writer’s block and fill pages with facts and details you never thought possible. A Recipe for Writing Family History is the best way to start writing today. Your ancestors will be “Gone, But Not Forgotten.” A Recipe for Writing Family History Learn more about this book. Begin Writing Now A " " guide for genealogy that changes the way you think about family history. covers where to discover the stories of your family history. What To Reimagine Family History Learn how to evaluate your reasons why you're climbing your family tree. Set goals and tasks to accomplish your purpose. In the end, you'll climb further, faster and have more fun when you know the right place to start with family history. Learn more about this book. Be Inspired Are years of photos scattered around your house or tucked in drawers? Are your children grown and out of the house or aging way too fast but you haven't begun recording their memories? Scrapbooking is a way to cherish childhood and life, but it frightens many people because of the enormity of the task. How do you scrapbook without feeling overwhelmed? How do you create books quickly so that you don't spend the next 30 years scrapbooking the past 30 years and never get to the 'current' stuff? for paper and digital scrapbooks answers the call and breaks down the tasks into achievable steps. Get caught up quickly, no matter your scrapbooking style! Power Scrapbooking Quickly Scrapbook Now Do you want to publish your family history research but feel limited by the lack of content that you have? helps you map out your heritage using photos, documents, or the content you have. Are you frustrated with the lack of creative control that large photo book printers offer? Family History Scrapbooking Simplified suggests a way to take creative control over your project using digital scrapbooking software. Are you ready to create a heritage scrapbook but do not know what to include in the such a project? Family History Scrapbooking Simplified explains what to put in your projects from a genealogical perspective. Family History Scrapbooking Simplified Tell Your Ancestor's Story Author Memoirs Devon Noel is a former beauty queen, and Andrew is an old English Class Smart-Alec. They've published their memoirs to help inspire you to write your own. Seriously, if they can write their stories, you can write yours - no matter how silly you may think it is. Everyone has to take high school English. Andrew found a few ways to make it fun! Read through this collection of Andrew's writings from high school along with his present-day commentary and memories about the events surrounding the writings. There are book reports, original poems, research papers, and creative writing. Some of them will make you laugh. Some of them will bore you to tears (don't worry, they probably bored Andrew to tears as well). Some of them may help you realize that the boring high school English class can actually be fun! When you wear holey jeans, rock concert T-shirts, and frizzy headbanger hair, why would you trade it all in for sequins, rhinestones, and Cinderella high heels? One day a woman planted a transforming fantasy in my heavy-metal-infused brain and mesmerized me with visions of tiaras and roses. When I asked my father if I could participate in my first pageant, he shouted, "You want to do what?" I then wondered, "Was this dream of beauty pageant glory too far-fetched for a dress-hating tomboy? Was this heavy metal duckling too ugly to ever achieve the crown?" Devon takes you on her journey through the teen years as she dives headfirst into the world of pageantry. Includes more than 100 photos documenting her quest for the crown. Laugh and Learn Now Read the Story Now