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.  Since 2005, I have been researching families – hoping to find a way through brick walls, and also, hoping to find “new” families, for my many  clients.  Please see Research for more information.

You have reached my Blog page.  Please feel free to read and comment!

Maggie Champion

When researching, don’t forget about writing down the citation information!

I really do know how it is – you have found that all-important bit of information, and this happened when the library is closing in 10 minutes.  This happens to all of us!

You write down the information quickly, but you forget to write down the citation.  After you are at home and reviewing what was found, you discover that you have no idea as to what book/newspaper/catalog it was that had this piece of information.

If one makes it a practice of gathering that all important citation information BEFORE looking through the actual book, then the information will be there when one is ready to write the citation.  And, it is not necessary to actually “write” down the information – take a snapshot, with your phone, of the title page (and other pages).  A snapshot will take just a few seconds, and will save you much grief later on!




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Lately, I have been able to spend some of my free time researching my own family!  I have been doing well at keeping my Research Log of my research – whether I was able to discover something new or not.  However, I made a mistake, and I just discovered it!  The downloads of items found were not added to the correct folders on my computer.  Therefore, all of the downloads are unsorted – many different families are represented in the downloads.  And, the Research Logs which I kept are also not in the correct folders.  More to be corrected!

So, now when I would rather be researching, I will be using my free time sorting.

I realize that this is not something that I really want to be doing, so, next time, I will be more careful of the location of those downloads!


Last week, on Thursday, I was fortunate to participate in a discussion group about the concept of “Writing as You Go”.  The discussion group was presented by the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and this topic was presented by Elissa Scalise Powell, CM, CGL.

The subject of this discussion concerned a method of combining the aspects of research – planning, researching, analyzing, writing of the report.

If you have not yet tried this concept, I recommend it.  I have been using this concept for a short time, and I can certainly say that my entire research process has been more time efficient since doing so.


As I stated in my first DNA Post, I have finally taken the time to learn how to analyze the DNA test results that I have received from Ancestry, FTDNA, and GEDMatch.

As I read the book, The Family Tree Guide To DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, by Blaine T. Bettinger, I am learning much about the ethics of genetic genealogy.  If anyone is considering the purchase of a test for themselves, or for someone else, it is a good idea to read (and print) the Genetic Genealogy Standards found at

Enjoy discovering your results!


I received a gift from my cousin – she is the daughter of my grandmother’s brother.

The gift was photos that she has gathered over the years.  She thought that I may be interested in having them.  And, I am!!

I have scanned the front and back of each photo.  And, I have shared the “electronic” photos with various people.

The photographs each have writing on the back.  Some of the writing tells the identity of the people, and some of the writing tells of the location of where the photograph was taken.  However, not all of the people are identified, and not all of the locations are noted.

So, I have posted the photos to my “family” group on Facebook.  I have asked family members to add identities and locations so that everyone will know the information.  I for one want to make certain that those that look at the photos 50 years from now will know who everyone is!


I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!


As noted in the first blog of this series, recently re-discovered are the metal boxes that line the walls of the back room of the Clerk’s office.

Remember, the location of each box, and its contents, is documented in a chart. The Putnam County Public Library Local History Dept. has a copy (, I have a copy (, and there are a few other copies “floating around”.  If you would like more information, do not hesitate to contact either the library or me.

I decided that I would trace a probate record, in a book, to “papers” in a box.  Below are the scans that followed the probate record for the estate of Alexander Bryant – died in Putnam Co.  The first scan is from Probate Order Book E (Dec. 1852-May 1885) and the next three are from Book 1 (June 1855-March 1857).  The very last one is from Book 2 (June 1857-June 1859).  It is interesting that the Book E entry is the first entry in the books having to do with Bryant’s Estate.







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As can be seen from the scans, sometimes the last name of the deceased is Bryan, and sometimes the name is Bryant.  Samuel H. Bryant is the Administrator of the estate.  On page 285 of Book 1, the legal heirs are listed.

The box that contains the papers for this estate is Common Pleas Court – Probate Causes – Mch, June, Sept. & Dec. Terms, 1858 N-A-20.  The papers are many – over 100 papers.  I will highlight a few here in order to show some information that was in the papers but not in the Probate Order Books. The name Bryan and Bryant were used in the documents.  The earliest dated receipt in the papers was that of 15 November 1847.  The earliest dated receipt in the papers that lists Samuel H. Bryant as the Administrator is that of 2 May 1854.

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As you can tell, much information is given.  It may be that someone researching Alexander Bryant, or any of the others mentioned, does not know the information that is given.  So, investigating the papers in this box could be beneficial to the researcher.

Stay tuned for blog number 6 in this series!