January 2019

When searching for a particular name, whether it is a first or a last name, do you only look for documents that spell the name the way that you spell it?

Documents, both old and new, may not have the names spelled as you would spell them.

My first name is Margaret – ask someone how to spell it.  I have seen it spelled so many different ways!  My maiden name is Bryan, and my married name is Champion.  There are many ways that each of them have been spelled as well.

So, be careful.  Not everyone spells your name the way that you do!



Have you written your genealogy down?  It is important to record what you have.

A number of years ago, I took a break from “researching” and began organizing all of the information.  I decided to put the information in book form – and did this by using a loose-leaf binder.

I lost count years ago as to how many relatives, and potential relatives, were so glad that I shared the information.  And, they were so pleased that I put the information in a loose-leaf binder!

Last year, I was visiting an older distant cousin – she did not request a book from me initially, but her daughter did.  And, I found the book at this cousin’s house in her living room.  She had the book there, with “other pages” interspersed with my pages!  As her daughter discovered more information about “their” family, the information was added to my book.  It was wonderful for me to see my book being read, and used, by the family!



The census we use today was not the one on which the census taker took his “original” enumeration.

The census copy that we use – the one that is the “good” copy, was written by the census taker after he finished taking the census.  He used his field notes to make the good copy.

If he had a question about what it was he wrote down (couldn’t read his handwriting), do you think he went back and asked the person again?

Think about it!


Recently, a cousin shared some photos with me.  The photos were in cardboard folders.

Inside, most of the folders had the name of the person photographed.  However, there was one that did not.  It was good that, both of us knew who the person was.

As I was closing the folder, I caught a glimpse of something written on the back of the folder – the name of the person photographed!

This was a good reminder to not only look at the front of the folder and inside the folder for information, but to also look at the back of the folder.


Have you ever found your ancestor enumerated in the census more than once?

I have!  It seems that the two census dates were 2 months apart.  In one of the census records, she was visiting her parents for a short time (after having a child).  The other census record was where she usually resided.  In this case, I was able to discover not just where her home was, but also the names of her parents, her husband, and her children!

So, don’t assume that your ancestor is in the census just one time.


You have found a document that names the house number and street on which your great-great-grandfather lived.  Wonderful!  And, you would like to visit the area and see the house.

Do you know if the house number has changed over the years, or is it the same as when your great-great-grandfather lived in the house?

If you are not sure about this, check maps and other items that may be found in the local (to great-grandfather’s house) library.  Also, there are many sites on the Internet where one can find historical maps.

Be sure of where the house was before you visit!



For the month of September, hubby and I made an extended trip to the Northeast United States.  As you know, I reside in Indiana. So, the trip was quite lengthy! Since we were traveling through New York, we stopped at five family burial grounds.  One of these was for the Champion family, and four concerned the Lyon family.

The cemetery we visited in Starkville, NY, was the Champion Cemetery. The cemetery was located in a field behind the volunteer fire department building. There were some familiar names on gravestones, and also some not so familiar.

My previous posts have been the wills of Dan Champion, Jr., and Elisha Champion.  Both of these men were sons of Dan and Ruth Harris Champion.

In the wills, various people are named.  Some of these people are buried in the Champion cemetery.  Also, in the wills, there is land given to various people.  However, none of the land mentioned mentions the land set aside for a cemetery.

I also found the will of Lydia Champion, wife of Elisha.  She gave all of her property to Lulu Rounds.  And, no mention was made of their being a cemetery on any of the land.

I am now in the process of examining other wills for possible mention of the cemetery.


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