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And More Census Information

Looking closely at the census, you have to analyze everything you see. For example. in the 1930 U.S. Census, the census taker asked how old the person was at his first marriage. The wife was also asked the same question. First, you can estimate the year when they were born. Based on the answers of both the husband and wife, you can compare them to see if this is his first or second wife. You can also look at the children to see if they are children of the first wife or the second.

Researching and Notes

Do you write your notes on any kind of paper? Whether it's a napkin or a used envelope, I've used them all. Well, let me tell you, that's a mistake. Notes are important. As such, they should be filed with the surname you're searching. I've learned that lesson. Little pieces of paper are no good to you if you can't remember where you got the information from. Note taking should be one of those things that you automatically do without stressing over it. Preferably use a standard size paper, 8 1/2 by 11 size. Don't use a tablet or spiral notebook because you want to file that paper with the other information. Use good handwriting so that you can understand your note and so you don't h

Have you taken a Photo of Your House?

In my collection of photos, I came across a picture of the house I grew up in. I didn't think anything of it until I started writing the first chapter of the family book. Then I realized I had missed opportunities throughout my married life. I do not have a photo of our first apartment nor of the second. I do have a photo of our first house, incidental, because I was really taking a photo of our children in front of the door. After that I started taking photos of the homes of every one in my family...those I can find that is. I took a picture of the house that my husband grew up in in Brooklyn. I took a picture of my grandmother's house. I took a picture of my mother-in-law's house,

Forms and more Forms

There are so many forms out there that you could go crazy finding one that particularly fills your need. Pedigree charts are pretty much standard, although I like some better than others. But the charts I'm talking about are the research logs or Source Forms. Even timelines differ. I like to create my own for the particular information that I like to have. Too, I can make the spaces bigger than I can find on forms that are on the internet. It's easy to create your own timeline, and you can add all the columns that you want. I like to use research logs with source forms together. I think the sources have much more information than can be accommodated on a research log. I just make su


I know that you've used before. You have probably used the word lists that you can access on the website. This is just a reminder that they are there. Sometimes as we search, we forget the many helpful articles, aids, and forms that are out there to make our "job" easier. If you don't know where they are, just click on "Help" on the top right of the window, click on wiki and you'll find them.


If you can"t figure out where your ancestor lived , look at the census. If he didn't own land, find the closest neighbor who owned his land and look for his land records.

Family Groups

When you're researching your ancestors, do you try to complete a family group, or do you just research your direct line as a link in the chain of descent? You might miss many things if you don't consider the family group. One ancestor might have a vital clue in his records that you might miss if you don't research all the members of that family. In my researching my family, only one sibling had the grandparents listed in his baptism. Even the parents didn't have their parents listed in their marriage record.

Jr.s and Sr.s

If you're looking in the census, and you come across a John Smith, Sr., on one page and John Smith, Jr., on another page, don't assume that they are father and son. He may be a nephew. The same thing happens when speaking of a family member. He/She may have called a family friend "Aunt" or "Uncle", but they might not have been family at all. Growing up, in my community, we were told as children, to say "Aunt" or "Uncle" as a form of respect. I referred to a family member as "Uncle Anthony" when I was growing up. It was only as I started genealogy research that I thought to question whether he was my father's or mother's brother. It turned out that he was not either one's but rather wa

Land Records

My last post mentioned using City Directories. These directories include whether a person rents or owns the property on which they live. A Census usually does too. Have you looked in your county's land records? These have a wealth of information you can use. Try it.

City Directories

As I mentioned yesterday, city directories are another source to research. If you find ancestors on there, look for the information on whether they are renting or if they own. If they own, look for the land deeds. If they are renting, look for the land deed, researching by address as well. You never know, the owner of the place might be a family member. If you live in the same city, go to the address and take a photo.

Missing from a Census

If your ancestor is missing from a census, don't forget to look in the city directory. My grandmother was listed in the census in 1920 with my 2 1/2 year old mother. She was only listed once even though I thought she died sometime in the early thirties. I found her in the city directory for 1931 and 1932. She was in the same house both times. She lived with another person whom I need to look into. But now I can place her in the timeline that I have for her and can create a research plan.

Research Using the Census

As I was researching my great grandfather, I found him in the 1850 census and then again in the 1860 census. But he had disappeared by the 1870 census. I checked the 1880 census and couldn't find him there either. I knew he had married his wife in 1852 because I had checked the Cameron County marriage records. I then searched Ancestry and FamilySearch using a wide search thinking maybe that they had moved from the area. I finally thought to use the mortality schedule. Sure enough he had died in 1869. But why couldn't I find his family? It was because I had forgotten one essential part in doing Hispanic research. Women retained their last name during their marriage. I found his wido

Keeping Good Census Records

Yesterday I found myself again leaving organizing my records to bringing my census records up to date for one of my ancestor lines. I had created an information page on my families so that I could track their census information. On this page, which I had created on Excel, I had printed the ancestor's name and his wife on the top of the page. I then added columns with the space for the census year, where located and date. On each column, I added the information from each of the census, including children or boarders and corresponding ages. When comparing census year to census year, I noted if some of the children were missing. I then surmised that they had either married or died. In th

My Favorite Book

I suppose, like me, that you have quite a genealogy library. Although I wouldn't have bought them if I didn't like them, I did buy a book that is extra special. Do you have one? I bought "Matrimonios del antiguo Valle del Guaxuco, (Villa de Santiago, N. L.) de 1745 a 1796" by Hector Javier Barbosa Alaniz, 2005. At the time, all I knew of my paternal ancestors was that my great grandfather came from there. I found that out through his marriage record. I bought this book from an online bookstore and I knew was that I had a lot of unknown ancestors from 1858 to 1796. I had not reached there yet. My great grandfather was born in 1858 and that's all I knew. Well, after researching several

Military Bases Yearbook

Yesterday, when I was writing about high school yearbooks, I remembered that several years ago, I went to the library and discovered a yearbook from the Military Base where my husband was stationed. Sure enough, I found his photo. What a find! Have you looked for yours yet? Start looking on google for military bases yearbooks. Get on the internet and start searching. This adds so much to the information you're gathering for that soldier in your family. This is one for the Harlingen Air Force Base in Harlingen, Texas in 1959.

Found my picture!

I know. You probably think that if you have lots of pictures, I should have them too. So what's special about finding one of my pictures. In organizing "my stuff", I found my picture from my yearbook. I'd forgotten that I got it several years ago from my yearbook that I found online. At that time, I also requested my school records from my high school and I graduated many moons ago. MyHeritage has the record collection of US Yearbooks. Check it out!

Making Resolutions and making research plans

Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet? I haven't but I intend to make them not only for my life but also for my research. This afternoon I will make time to consider what I want to happen this year and will write down everything so that I can get started.




Harlingen TX United States 78550

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