December 2015

Do you ever experience the feeling of being overwhelmed?

I have had this feeling a number of times! It is the feeling you get when you are beginning to find things about your “now known” ancestor. You are finding actual records online, you are finding “possibilities” online, you are hearing from people who you have contacted – it is a good feeling at first. Then, you realize that you don’t really know what you know – you know quite a bit, but you aren’t sure of exactly what it is that you know.

At that point, when you are feeling overwhelmed, it is time to sit back, relax, and organize what you have discovered. Then, you can begin your actual searching again once you are organized. And, you will realize what area you will need to focus on for the time being – military records or probate records or something else.

Take a deep breath, organize, and then search again. You will be glad you did!


I was researching someone who purchased land in Indiana. I had determined the section, township, and range of the land he had purchased. However, I didn’t really understand all that I was seeing – he did not purchase the land from anyone (no grantor), yet he purchased the land several years after others purchased their land from the United States government.

What I was finding was that the land had originally been “set aside” for a school – this land had not been sold to anyone initially, but had been “given” to the county government for a school. A school was never built on the land, so the land was available for purchase.

And, how did I determine this? I asked the county recorder! She knew exactly about what I was asking when I told her the section and township – most of these same section-numbers, in various townships, were set aside for a school.

If you aren’t sure about how the land was originally meant to be developed, ask the recorder!


As thoughts of Christmas are upon us, I thought I would share some photos that I have acquired. I don’t remember some these being taken, as I was born in March before Christmas 1954.

page 13 Orleans France Nov 1944-Aug 1945 Christmas 1944 Officers Mess  a photo found in my dad’s photographs he took during World War II – taken in Orleans, France

1954 Christmas Bryan family - Bob Rebecca Betsy holding Mar  a photo of my family before my younger sister was born – that is my mom and dad and older sister with me as a baby

1954 Christmas lt to rt John Rodman Jr and Elizabeth holding  a photo taken about the same time as the one above – my grandparents, John and Elizabeth Bradshaw, are in the photo as is my uncle (my mom’s brother) – I am being held by “Muno”- I do not know who “Gangy” is holding, but it is probably my cousin who was born in August 1954 – my older sister is also in the photo

1960 probably Christmas front  a photo of a Christmas get-together at the home of my grandparents, John and Elizabeth Bradshaw – I am the second youngster on the left side, my father being behind me

Feb 83 Bradshaw and Champion families 009 a photo taken Christmas 1982 – you can see me, very pregnant, in the back row


Make sure and take plenty of photos this Christmas so that others will be able to share the memories in years to come.


Do you ever wonder why there are “age” differences in the U. S. Census? How can your ancestor be 45 years of age in 1860 and 50 years of age in 1870?

At the time when those censuses were taken, people did not necessarily know when they were born, or exactly how old they were. This was not something thought of as important.

So don’t be surprised about how many years your ancestor aged in the time between censuses!


How long has it been since you checked your favorite genealogical websites for new information?

Some of the most popular websites –,,,, – are always posting new records. Other less popular websites that you have found are also posting new records.

Just like you are making new discoveries as you research, they are posting new records!


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