January 31, 2012
My name is Maggie Champion, and I am the sole proprietor of Maggie’s Genealogy Service. I am a professional genealogist, and a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
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July 22, 2016
Just because a person is born in a state does not mean that the residence of the family is in that same state.
It could be that a person lives in one state, and the closest hospital is in the neighboring state. Therefore, the child is born in Iowa, yet the parents live in Illinois.
July 19, 2016
From whom did your ancestor purchase their property?
If your ancestor moved from Kentucky to Indiana, examine the person from whom he purchased the property in Indiana. He may have purchased the property from a relative – the relative sold part of his property so that your ancestor would have his own property.
Additionally, if your ancestor simply moved within the same state, from one county to another, examine the person from whom he purchased the property. You never know, the person could be family! In the following document, one can see that Squire Jones sold property to Daniel G. Burroughs. Squire Jones is my 5th-great-grandfather, and Daniel G. Burroughs adopted my 3rd-great-grandmother (Mary Ann Charlotte Cordelia Cole) – she married Squire’s grandson, Sylvester Jones. Now I know that Squire and Daniel knew each other as early as 1828!
July 15, 2016
Your great-great-grandfather, John, married your great-great-grandmother, Mary. You have found the marriage date – 1856. In the 1860 census, you find that they not only have children whose last name is Smith (John and Mary’s last name), but also children (listed as sons and daughters) who have the last name of Jones. Who are these children? Orphans? Step-children of John’s?
It is important to investigate these children. It could be that they are children of a relative you died. It could be that they are children of Mary Smith and her first husband (Samuel Jones).
Do not assume that these children are orphans. They may be family!
July 12, 2016
My great-great-great grandmother was named, at birth, Mary Ann Charlotte Cordelia Cole. When she was quite young, both of her parents died. She was appointed a guardian (she and her four siblings), whose last name was Cole. Then, at some point, she was “adopted” by Daniel G. and Tryphenie Burroughs. Her name became Mary Ann Charlotte Cordelia Cole Burroughs. Then, after marrying Sylvester Jones, her name became Mary Ann Charlotte Cordelia Cole Burroughs Jones.
All of her names are correct!
Sometimes, a woman’s name changes because she marries one or multiple times. However, in this case, “Cordelia” had three last names, and only one was her married name.
So, be careful when you find multiple last names for your ancestor.
July 8, 2016
So, you have found the probate file for your ancestor. Wonderful! Now, it is important to check the newspapers for information as well.
After finding the date of death and the probate file, check the local newspapers. Many local papers described the probate, and other court, cases that were being petitioned. I have found some accounts in newspapers about the conflicts that were occurring over the probate case – information that gives names and residences of petitioners. This is sometimes information that is not found in the file at the courthouse.
July 5, 2016
When I receive a new-to-me photograph, I scan both the front and the back of the photograph.
Many times, there is identifying information written on the reverse side. By scanning, both the information and the handwriting of the “recorder” are both preserved.
This photograph is especially touching to me as this is a photo of my grandfather. For many years, my mother’s family – all of us along with her parents and her brother’s and sister’s families, met in South Carolina for the 4th of July.
July 1, 2016
When searching for an obituary of your ancestor, do not forget to check the local newspaper for articles concerning people visiting in the area. Relatives may have come a distance to be at the funeral of the ancestor. I have found relatives listed as visiting in the area, and the place of residence was included in the article – another piece of that all-important information.