February 2013

When searching online for a church’s records by searching on the name of the church.  Another item for which to search is the archive storage facility of the denomination.  Many denominations have their own archive storage facility, and individual churches send their important records to the archives location.  It could be that the church’s records are at the archives!



When searching for ancestors in the census, or other records, it is handy to have a probable birth year for the ancestor.  That way, when searching for John Smith, one can narrow down the time frame for possible hits.  However, have you ever discovered that birth dates can change from one census record to another?

I have been trying to find an ancestor in the 1900 census.  I have “M” in 1850 at 22 years of age.  In 1860, “Matilda” is 31 years.  In 1870, “Matilda” is 37, and in 1880 “M” is 48.  I have found “Mat” in 1910 at 75 years of age.  When “Martha” died in 1911, her death certificate lists her as being “86 78” years of age at her death.

So, what happened?  It could be that the census taker talked with someone differently from her, and her age was given as what that someone “thought” was correct.  Or, it could be that she did not really know her exact age, so she guessed.

In 1850 she was living with her brother and his wife (both she and her husband were residing there).  In 1860, she was living with her husband and her niece.  By 1870, she was living with her husband and a few younger nieces and nephews.  And, again in 1880, nieces and nephews were in the same household.  By 1910, she was living in a “Home for the Aged and Infirm.”  And, someone at the “home” was the informant on the death certificate.  If M/Matilda/Mat/Martha was not the informant to the census taker, that would explain the differences in her ages!  Especially for the aging of 11 years from 1910 to 1911!


One of the readers of my blog sent me link for a resource which he uses for his research.  Here is the link:


If anyone else has a particular link that they would like for me to post, please let me know!

Thank you Tom!


Thank you to everyone who helped me with this. Some others, who responded by email, said that they had seen this as Special Order – they had seen it spelled out as well! So, it must by either Special Order of Standing Order!

Thank you, Maggie

Hi Everyone,

I am back for today.  I am planning to continue my blog as soon as I can.At this time, I am planning to continue with the Mystery of John Bradshaw.  I hope that this will give ideas to readers on some steps to help in finding those hard-to-find ancestors!  Please let me know your ideas!

Today, I would like to show a card from a Civil War service record.I am unsure as to what the notation means in the area concerning the date.  At this time, I am thinking it says, “S. O. 2/7, 1864.”  Could this possibly mean Starts On February 7, 1864?

Thank you for your input on this!  Maggie

retired card