Step by Step Guide to Accessing Browse-only Records on FamilySearch

In my monthly contribution to the Slave Name Roll Project a few days ago, the content of the record I was writing about was more important than the steps I took to find the record featured in the post Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: William, Mary, and Orange.

I prompted my readers to ask me if they were interested in how I found the browse-only records on FamilySearch. Several took me up on the offer to explain how I found this particular record. One suggested I write an entire article talking about some of the shortcuts and easier ways I have learned to search the non-indexed records.

Your post – coupled with the recent announcement that Family Search is discontinuing microfilm distribution – is a good reminder for all genealogists to keep a close eye on the expanding online collections of digitized records. ~ Michael Dyer of Family Sleuther

I spend hours working with the browse-only records at FamilySearch. I also remember the days when I thought I would never get the hang of working with their immense collections. I’m more experienced today and it’s easier for me to find my way around the Library. Yes, I think of the FamilySearch site as a library with a librarian who will answer my questions and a catalog for helping me find the collections or books I’m looking for.

What will you find in the library?

Family history researchers have different levels of experience. A beginner may not get much further than the front desk and feel lost.

FamilySearch has changed and grown since I first began using the FREE site. I’ve gone from using the Search Historical Records box (as a beginner and, even now, as a more experienced researcher) to consulting the Find a Collection to doing geographical research with the Research By Location tool.

Click on Browse all published collections under Find a Collection to see a list of 2237 collections. A collection with a camera icon and the words Browse images in the Records column tell you it is BROWSE-ONLY and not indexed. The collections with a camera icon and the number of records available are indexed and linked to images. The collections with a camera with a rectangle are indexed on FamilySearch but the image will be found on another site which may be free or subscription.

Filter the list by searching for words in the name of the collection or choosing a place, time period, and/or type of collection. At the very bottom on the left under Collections, there is a little box you can check to view only collections with images.

Here I filtered the names of the collections with West Virginia in the title and shortened the list to ten collections. In this list I don’t see Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia, the database where I found birth records of two slaves of Wilson M. DEMPSEY born in 1855 and 1857 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia.

The Genealogy Girl, Amberly Beck, mentioned in a comment on one of my posts awhile back that FamilySearch is adding browse-only collections at a faster pace. They may not be showing up in the Historical Record Collections list – but they are being added to the catalog.

Let’s click back to the front desk and see if the librarian is available.

The FamilySearch Wiki, in my opinion, is not used often enough by researchers. It is the first place you should look to learn about genealogy research in different areas. I think of the FamilySearch Wiki as the librarian who is there to help – if you ask.

What is the Wiki?
Welcome to the Wiki! The Wiki is a free, online genealogical guide, with links to genealogy databases, images of records, and instructions on how to search for your ancestors. ~ from the FamilySearch Wiki Overview
We’ve taken a short tour of the front desk and seen where the librarian works. Before we check out the catalog, we need to know what we’ll be searching for.
“West Virginia Births and Christenings, 1853-1928,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X5PK-X25 : 12 December 2014), William Dempsey, 11 Feb 1857; citing Meadow Fork, Fayette, Virginia, reference ; FHL microfilm 34,485.

This is the indexed information from the birth record of William born in 1857. When FamilySearch shows a record with the camera icon and notation that no image is available, this means there is no image attached to the indexed material. However, the film may be browse-only and available online.

Remember the days when you could do a Request for Photo Duplication on FamilySearch?

We were all disappointed when this service was discontinued. But wait! If they could look up the record and send it to us, couldn’t we do our own lookup in the collections of browse-only records – if they are online?

Let’s try looking for the 1857 birth record in the search result above. The GS Film Number or FHL microfilm is 34485.

This is where the catalog comes into play.

Click on Search and then Catalog on the drop-down menu on the main page of FamilySearch.

Under Search for: click on Film/Fiche Number to open the box and fill in the FHL number 34485. Click on the Search button.

This takes you to Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia. Click on the link for more information.

Under Notes you will see this collection is a group of records held at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia. Scroll down to see the 10 films listed. Search for the number in the Film/DGS column.

The magnifying glass indicates this collection is indexed and searchable. We already knew this as the indexed record was found using Search Historical Records tool. The camera icon means the collection is available for viewing. If it were microfilm which has not been digitized you would see a film icon. To browse the records, click on the camera next to film #34485 for Calhoun – Hampshire counties.

This is where many people are overwhelmed as they think they need to click through hundreds of images to find what they are looking for.

On the left side is the tool to zoom in and out and view single or all images. Start with the filmstrip view instead of single images. When records are filmed they do it in a logical order. This is Calhoun – Hampshire counties and, in alphabetical order, these counties would be Calhoun – Clay – Doddridge – Fayette – Gilmer – Grant – Greenbrier – Hampshire.

Tip: If you don’t know the names of the counties, go to the Wiki, search for the state or use the interactive map to get to the state level or county level.

As you scroll down you will notice there are images that look like title pages of books (green arrows). If you click on one of these you will see the title, West Virginia Vital Statistics, and below in very light typewriting, the name of the county. In this collection, you need to zoom in as close as possible to read it. But since you know Fayette is the 4th county in the batch you can go to 4th title image.

Fayette starts on image 107 and goes to 159 as image 160 is the next West Virginia Vital Statistics cover sheet. The collection is for the time period 1853-1860 and we are looking for a birth record for the year 1857. There are a little over 50 images for Fayette County.

How were birth, marriage, and death registers kept at this time? Did they have a register only for births or were the BMD records kept together by year? Look at the small images. Some of the pages are not filled with writing. These could be the last pages of a year’s entries. Getting familiar with the record keeping of the time and place makes it much easier to jump through the images to find records instead of looking at every single image.

Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia; Film # 007499353; Calhoun – Hampshire counties; image 120 of 554. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9Z5-FZV3?i=119&cat=308753 : accessed 10 June 2017)

Once you’ve found the record, an important step needs to be performed. You want to save the record AND you want to be able to find it again WITHOUT having to go through all the steps mentioned above.

FamilySearch usually makes this easy to do. Click on Information, scroll down to Citation, copy/paste, and save in your usual manner (in your genealogy software, on the image, in Evernote with the image). In this case, we see No citation is available. This means you need to write your own source citation, similar to the caption of the image above. You want to include the name of the collection, film # and batch name, and image # just in case the URL (which you also want to save) is no longer accessible.

Another example of browse-only records

Instead of using an FHL film number to access a record, you can search by location.

Go to the catalog, in the Place box begin typing West Virginia (or any location you are interested in). The place name is always from largest to smallest: Country, State, County.

You can refine your search by changing the place, for example from state to a specific county in the state, in the box at left. Or, on the right, you can click on Places within….

to get a list of the counties. I want to find a bond taken out by Augustus BLAKE of Fayette County in the 1880s. Clicking on Fayette opens up a list of all collections for the county. Court records should include bonds. Click to open list of all available records.

Bonds, 1870-1926 matches the type of record and the period for the record we are looking for.

Scroll down the page to see if collections are available to browse or search.

Under Note check for the 1880s time period which would be in Vol. 1 1870-1887 or Vol. 2-3 1887-1900. We’ll try the first batch: Film #584751 Item 3. If you’ve browsed through microfilm you know they continue filming collections back to back. Because of this the mention of Item 3 is important for the search.

This is the beginning of the film starting with Item #1. We scroll down to the next black image.

There is a black image with End, an image with the title of the next item, and then a black image with Begin. Scroll to next black image.

Here we see the end of Item #2, info and beginning of Item #3. You can see it is a book and the index is on the front pages. If they aren’t at the front, you’d scroll to the end of the item and check the back of the book for the index.

Tip: There are some collections, for example, Wills where the index to all books in one section.

Item #3 is Releases and Official Bonds 1870-1887 Vol. 1. We are also in the correct location: Fayette County, West Virginia.

The first page of the index had several Blake individuals including the one we are looking for. The bond is indexed as being on page 210. Click on one of the first pages of the batch to see where the page numbers are located and if both left and right pages are numbered or counted.

In this case, each page in the ledger has a page number in the upper corner. Jump forward about 100 images by changing the number in the little box at the top left of the image from 129 to 229.

Image 229 was for pages 178 and 179. We are 32 pages or 16 images away from page 210. Go to image 245 (229+16) to get to page 210 which has the guardian bond taken out by Augustus BLAKE in 1886.

Click the Information tab on the bottom left, grab the top edge and pull it up to expand. We see the entire film is made up of four items. As was the case in the previous record searched for, there is no citation available.

An example of European browse-only records

In November 2015 FamilySearch started using the new viewer with the small images. I wrote an article, The New FamilySearch – I’m loving it! on how I locate the browse-only records in the Luxembourg collections.

Tip: European civil records for births, marriages, and deaths have an index at the end of each year. Instead of browsing through the records searching for the yearly index, check the tables décennales or TD. These are lists of BMD for an entire decade and also know as the 10-year index.

In the first two examples for West Virginia records the citations were not available. Don’t let this keep you from working with the browse-only records. This is not the norm. In The New FamilySearch – I’m loving it!  you will see the source citations are found in the Information tab in the lower left of the window.

If you’ve never had much luck finding non-indexed records on FamilySearch, I hope these steps and tips will help you become a successful browse-only researcher on the FamilySearch site.

P.S. thegenealogygirl left a comment below with another useful tip!

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Source Citation Trick for WordPress.com – HTML Code

About three-quarter of the way through Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks I wrote How I write my 52 Ancestors posts in 4 easy lessons. It was my first year blogging and I didn’t cite my sources at the end of the articles.

I’ve learned so much since then. Some of my favorite Facebook groups have pushed me to slowly revamp my research habits and improve the articles I write for this blog:

I also have wonderful readers and followers who leave comments like these:

How do you do your citations? Do you have a plug-in? ~ Amberly Petersen Beck of The Genealogy Girl

Does your blog provider give you the great footnote functionality? You’ve got a very polished citation game in place, and I’m envious! ~ Michael Dyer of Family Sleuther

Their questions couldn’t be ignored. I do my citations manually without a plug-in. Why no plug-in? Because I use the free WordPress.com which doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles.

Adding Citations to the Rough Draft

A lot of preparation goes into the citations even before they make it to the rough draft stages. I research the family and add all sources to each individual and event in my genealogy software Ancestral Quest 15. Only when this is done do I begin to write on the WordPress Dashboard in Visual mode.

When I’ve finished the rough draft of my post, I go back and add the numbers in brackets for the footnotes. Sometimes I will place [#] where a source will be added while I’m writing. Adding the numbers gives me an opportunity to read the piece slowly as I add them.

Once all of the bracketed numbers are in place it’s time to add the HTML code so that my readers can click on the source number, go to the source list, and come back up to the post.

In the body of the post the HTML code is:

with the 3 numbers in red being replaced by the number in the bracket in the text.

Update (20 May 2017): The HTML code is now an image. You will have to type it in. In my original draft, the quote marks showed correctly as straight double quotes. However, when it was published, they became curly quotes (also known as smart quotes) and messed up the code (I guess they aren’t so smart in this case). I want to thank Lois Willis – Genealogy and Family History for bringing this to my attention. If you want to know more about how she fixed the problem, please refer to her post Fixing source citations in WordPress.

My list of HTML code in Evernote for the bracketed numbers in the body and at the end of the post.

I keep the code in a note in Evernote. Presently, I have a list which goes to 86 because I actually did a post with that many sources in 2015: 52 Ancestors: #47 The SCHLOESSER-CONSBRÜCK Family.

Let’s say you have a post with nine footnotes. I copy the HTML code in Evernote for nine footnotes.

On the WP dashboard, I click on the Text tab to switch to HTML mode. Don’t worry. You won’t be messing up any of your formatting. Click in a free space, usually between the first and second paragraph, and paste the code you copied.

Switch back to the Visual mode where you will now see the footnotes with hyperlinks.

Highlight and copy the [1] with the hyperlink and paste it in place of the [1] in the body. DO NOT delete a hyperlinked number (in the list) until after you’ve pasted it into the body of your post. I find that deleting before pasting strips the code.

Continue copying the blue number and pasting them over footnote number. If you have a very long post, use Ctrl+F to find the footnote numbers in your post.

Not Afraid of Working in HTML mode?

For more advanced users: If you are not afraid of going in and working in HTML mode, you can use Ctrl+F to find a footnote number, then copy/paste the HTML code in place of the number.

When I do it this way, I copy a few lines of the code in the area I’m working (above) and copy/paste each line to the place it should go.

Adding Footnote Numbers to the End of your Post

Now that all footnote numbers in the body of your post are hyperlinked, you need to add the HTML code to the end of your post where you will be adding your citations. The HTML code is:

and, again, the 3 numbers in red are replaced by the source number. In Evernote, I’ve added a space and the word link to each line of code. The space is important as it keeps the HTML code from being attached to the citation you will be pasting in later.

In Visual mode, scroll down to where you want to add your list of citations and add a title. Mine are titled Sources.

Switch to Text mode (HTML), scroll to the bottom or use Ctrl+F to find your citation list title.

Copy your list of HTML code for as many citations as you have below the title you’ve chosen for your sources.

Switch back to Visual.

Now you have all your footnote numbers waiting for the citations to be added.

Let the fun begin.

I use Ancestral Quest 15 which has a Notes/Sources button that opens up a window with four tabs: Individual Notes, Individual Sources, Marriage Notes, and Marriage Sources. The tabs for sources give me a list of citations as they will look in a report. When I click on the text it highlights (seen in black above) the entire citation which I then copy. I don’t know if other genealogy software programs have the feature I use to retrieve my citations. 

I insert the citation text I retrieved from AQ15 in place of the highlighted word link next to the [1]. Some cleanup is needed as all citations copied from AQ15 have a number at the beginning which I delete. Also, any formatting included in the citation will not carry over (see example above).

This is done for each citation. I have a preview of the post open in another tab on my browser so that I can see which event each citation is for. If the post is short, I will scroll up and down to check.

I usually wait until all citations have been copied over before I do the cleanup work. The citations may not be perfect or up to EE standards since I’m learning by doing instead of learning and then doing.

There is no need to format the URLs in the citations. Take a look at the preview to be sure the WP template you are using makes the links clickable.

One last thing I do with the list of sources at the end of my post is to change the text color to gray and bold the word Sources. With the template I used prior to this one, I had the option to use a smaller sized font. I opt to not leave a blank line between citations.

The trick to doing source citations on your WordPress.com blog is HTML code. It may seem like a lot of work but once you get used to the routine it becomes easier and quicker to do. Getting compliments from your readers, like I did from mine, will also help.

I’d love to hear from you if you try this out. If you have any problems or see possibilities of improvement, please let me know.

bestwishescathy1

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

A Latin Rule You May Not Have Known

My 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks posts this year center around families in Luxembourg and Germany. Unlike my U.S. research, there are very few Facebook groups I feel I can share my posts with. Rob Deltgen, president of my genealogy society Luxracines, has a Facebook group for his genealogy website Deltgen.com and this is where I’ve been sharing my weekly posts.

I’m seeing more visits to my blog from people in Luxembourg. A couple of these have even commented in the group on my posts. Linda wrote this comment yesterday on my link to 52 Ancestors: #11 The Wollscheid-Barthelmes Family of Kirsch, Germany:

Hi, Cathy. I follow your research now every week and enjoy them a lot. I noticed you sometimes use the first names as they are used in the parish books such as Joannis, Caspari, Jacobi but these are the genitive forms of the names. In Latin, first names decline according to their role in the sentence. So the names in the example would be Joannes, Casparus, and Jacobus.

I had to read this twice before I replied. I may have been one of the best in my class while in school but sometimes I feel really dumb.

Well, Linda, as you can tell I’ve never learned Latin and this is new to me. I wondered why it was not always the same but didn’t think it had something to do with the grammar. Thank you so much for pointing this out to me. Now I may have a lot of correcting to do.

After sleeping on it, I checked online to see what Linda meant by genitive and decline in relation to the Latin language. As genealogists, we are always learning new things. I’m fluent in four languages but write only in English. For the generation I am presently working on, the records are mostly from church registers in Latin or indexed from the same. I thought I could get by without studying Latin. But, as I learned from Linda, it’s important to know at least some of the elementary rules of this dead language.

Latin for Beginners, 1911; Archive.org (https://archive.org/stream/latinforbeginner00doogrich#page/148/mode/2up : accessed 18 March 2017)

This is not a lesson in Latin

Linda’s well-intended comment showed me an error I’ve been making and, perhaps, you have too.

In grammar, genitive (abbreviated gen; also called the possessive case or second case) is the grammatical case that marks a noun as modifying another noun. ~ Wikipedia

Genitive refers to possession and decline or declension are the set of endings of words depending on their use in a sentence.

When I wrote the above sentence in my post yesterday, I included “Jacobus” and “Jacobi” in quotes as these were variations of his name I was seeing in indexed records. If I’d have paid a bit more attention I might have seen a pattern and realized my mistake.

Jacobus was the name seen on his death/burial record:

“Deutschland Tote und Beerdigungen, 1582-1958,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4MS-N59 : 28 November 2014), Jacobus Wolschet, 07 Jan 1826; citing 376 6, reference 376 6; FHL microfilm 469,141.

While Jacobi was found in records in which Jacob was seen as the father.

“Deutschland Heiraten, 1558-1929,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4FC-TYK : 26 December 2014), Nicolaus Schmidt and Maria Anna Wolschett, 17 Jan 1827; citing Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; FHL microfilm 469,141.

In the above example, Maria Anna was the daughter of Jacob Wolschett and Catharina Barthelmes. Maria Anna filia Jacobi et Catharinae. Or in the example of Jacob’s death, Jacob’s wife Catharina is seen as Catharinae (possessive). Wikibooks has a Latin lesson I plan to use for further reference.

Of course, I asked Linda’s permission to use her comment and after thanking her she sent this very enlightening comment:

It is sometimes quite useful when you read the parish books to be aware of the genitive, because in Latin all the words are just one after the other. In some cases you will have for example … baptisatus est Joannes Adamus Jacobi MULLER … Now you know that the child’s name is Joannes Adamus, and the father’s name Jacobus (and not child Joannes and father Adamus Jacobus).

If you are seeing several spellings of a name in Latin records or indexed information from Latin records, the difference is likely due to the rules which show who is being named: the child, parent, or spouse.

If you plan on checking out my last post, I’ve already fixed the error. From now on I will know the difference. I’ll also be making corrections in older posts, all thanks to Linda’s informative comments.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Using the Back Door at FamilySearch for Missing Records

Almost all of my research for the Luxembourg families in my family tree takes me to FamilySearch. The collections I use the most are for civil records, church records, and census.

The Luxembourg Church Records, 1601-1948 are the last new addition (for Luxembourg) to the FamilySearch site having been added on 9 January 2015. I wrote a post when they went online.

Included in the collection of church records are the Tables des mariages 1700-1798 (index organisée par l’époux/l’épouse), a card index of marriages performed in parishes in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg before 1800.

1790schwartzhaalermarriagecard
An example I used in my post 52 Ancestors: #8 SCHWARTZ-HALER Family of Osweiler

How this neat tool came to be

The Luxembourg Association of Genealogy and Heraldry (ALGH) was founded in 1984 and has its headquarters in the castle of Mersch. It does not have an internet presence. ALGH launched a huge project when the association was still young. A team of volunteers extracted all marriage information from the 156 old parish registers from before 1800 onto index cards.

The project took years to finish. The original aim of the ALGH was to make xerox copies of the index cards by parishes for members to consult in their headquarters making it unnecessary to go to the original.

FamilySearch microfilmed the marriage index cards in 1995 and included them in the church records collection for Luxembourg when they were digitized in 2012 and finally went online in 2015. The cards are in alphabetical order by groom’s and by bride’s surnames for each parish. They are also accessible in alphabetical order by groom’s surname for the entire country in Grand Duché du Luxembourg.

Why did I have to use a back door?

As I’m now working on the paternal 5th great-grandparents of my children in Luxembourg, I’ve gotten into an area which is no longer covered by the civil records kept in the country. Most of these ancestors were born, married, and had children before 1800. These can only be documented by searching through the church records.

Records after 1800 are relatively easy to access as civil records are indexed in the tables décennales, decennial tables produced every ten years since 1802. However, church records are not indexed and very hard to read.

1781marriagewilmescolman
1781 Marriage Record for Gangolphus Wilmes

I check the card index for marriages first as they make it easy to search for marriage records in the church records collection. Most of the time. In the example at the top, for the marriage of the SCHWARTZ-HAALER couple, the volumes and page numbers of the records are notes. Not all persons who filled out these index cards gave this information but the records can still be more easily found as the cards include the date and place of marriage.

However not all ancestors married in the town they lived in, so finding the card is not always easy. Some married in neighboring towns or in the town a bride was from. To be sure I didn’t miss anyone, I checked all persons (this works for grooms only) of a surname in the cards for the entire country.

And this is where I had a problem. The links for marriages of grooms with surnames from BIVER to HEISDORF are missing.
missingsurnamesmarriages
https://familysearch.org/search/image/index?owc=STH8-K6D%3A1501324901%3Fcc%3D2037955

I went to the FamilySearch catalog to find out where they might be found. I refined the search with Luxembourg as the place and church records as the subject. Under Luxembourg Church Records Indexes I found 8 entries including Fichier des actes de mariage avant de 1800 (index cards of marriages before 1800).

collectionoverview
https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/760002

Scrolling down to the Film Notes I found the collection is divided into 30 films including the missing ones (outlined in red).

themissingfilms
https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/760002

The camera icon is my back door to access the cards for grooms with the surnames BIVER through HEISDORF.

Happy Huntings!

This back door at FamilySearch can be used for any and all of their collections. When you go in through the front door, the name of a collection may not reflect the complete content of a collection. Not all records are indexed and not all browse only records may be showing up in a list as seen in my example above of the missing marriages for Luxembourg. Get into the habit of checking the FamilySearch catalog for the town, county, state, or country you are working on. Happy Huntings!
bestwishescathy1© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Save

Save

Save

A New Look for Opening Doors in Brick Walls

I’ve wanted to try a new theme for my blog for quite some time. I’ve seen a few themes I like but not enough to go through the “work” of switching. Too many format changes to the content would have to be made to make the theme work well for my blog.

I have a wiz-ee-wig 😉 obsession when writing my posts in draft mode. I know I should just write until I’m finished and then format. I’m always using the Preview button to see what the post looks like and to read through it searching for errors or possible re-writes.

From Twenty Ten to Twenty Sixteen

The year is nearly over and I decided to try the WordPress default theme for 2016: Twenty Sixteen. It took me several hours to customize the widgets, background, menus, headers, and fonts. I didn’t do it in one sitting. I put it aside several times, never closing the dashboard. There may be an easier way but I wanted to keep my old theme, Twenty Ten, active until I was satisfied with the new theme.

I became quite frustrated with the logo feature. Here I have what I think is a great logo – mainly because I made it all by myself – and it wasn’t showing up in the upper corner during the customization. In the end, after I had made all the changes to the menu and widgets, I went back to the headers and logo section, tried again, and it finally worked. The new theme went live last Wednesday and on Sunday I tweaked the size of the title to the dimensions available in the image field. Instead of using a picture I chose to make an image with the name of my blog in the fonts I used for my logo and hid the default title.

Some things which will have to be fixed

I haven’t gone through each post but I have found two issues that I will have to deal with.

sources
I’m not liking the way my sources look compared to the rest of the post.

My sources (endnotes) no longer appear in small print. They are now in a larger size bold print. This will have to be fixed as most of my posts from last year, when I did the Luxembourgish families, have between 20-50 items in the endnotes. This does not look “neat and clean” like the rest of the blog.

sourcefixed
This is how I’m thinking of re-doing all the sources.

I’ve fiddled around with solutions and have decided to switch the formatting to Paragraph (same as the rest of content) and then change the font color to a middle gray to set it off from the rest of the post.

sketch
Notice the numbering is too close to the side of the box.

Another difference I will have to get used to is the numbering in the Twenty Sixteen theme hangs the numbers or bullets to the left and places the text flush with the other content. I was used to the numbers/bullets being flush to the text and the rest being indented to the right. My boxes with the Genealogy Sketch have this numbering and the numbers are nearly attached to the left side of the box. I’ll be fixing these over the next few weeks.

Some things I love about this new theme

When quoting the old theme used indentation of the italicized text, This new theme still used italics, although the font size is a tiny bit larger. The text is flush with the rest of the content and sets it off with a thick vertical line to the left.

quote
I like the way the quoted material is set apart with the thick vertical line.

The featured image in a post now shows up at the top of the post. I have a few ideas of how I am going to use this to my advantage. For example, a recurring image for posts in a series or using my collection of photographs of doors (like the one at the top of this post) or photos of signs of the towns an ancestor lived in. I think this may work really well since I am not using a photo at the top of my blog.

I’m ready for the New Year and my blog is ready for another year. If you are a blogger, have you recently updated or changed your blog’s theme? To all of my readers, I’d love to hear what you think of the new look.

bestwishescathy1© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

How I Use and Manage AncestryDNA Notes

Last week I wrote about the six things I include in the notes on AncestryDNA for each of my brother’s DNA matches. With matches for hundreds of 4th cousins or closer and thousands of distant cousins on AncestryDNA, I needed a simple but efficient method of working through and sorting his matches.

As you can imagine I don’t have notes for every match. There are so many matches with no trees attached and I have become choosy about which ones I add notes to. Close matches and shared matches have priority.

When I’m on the results page or viewing shared matches I click on the notes icon to open up the information I have on the match. There is no need to go through several clicks to get to the information as described in my post last week.

ancestrydna6
A note opened on the results page

When I’m viewing Shared Matches and they don’t have notes, I take a moment to add the cMs/segs and the other 5 things I add to notes when accessible.

Chrome and AncestryDNA Helper

Although Google Chrome isn’t my default browser I’ve added it to my list of tools along with the web browser extension AncestryDNA Helper. It adds extra functionality to the AncestryDNA site. A warning if you are not familiar with this extension. There are known issues of the extension not always working. Very often I have to close the browser and open it again to get the extension to work. This workaround, as well as several others, are mentioned here:  How to use the AncestryDNA Helper extension for the Chrome browser (updated 23 Sept 2016).

ancestrydna9
Search box feature in Chrome’s AncestryDNA Helper extension

The extension has a feature which allows you to search for users, surnames, and notes. I use it to manage my notes. For sorting through my DNA matches, in Chrome, I click on View all Matches. The search box feature (circled in yellow above), found above Ancestry’s filters for Hints, New, and Starred, is what I use search the text in all notes.

ancestrydna7
In this example, the search feature generated a complete list of all notes which include the name William Henderson Dempsey.

I can search for surnames in the notes, messages sent, or kit numbers. When I search for the term cMs a complete list of all matches with notes is generated. This is the consistency I mentioned in my post last week. Each match has different notes but cMs is the one word which is used in all notes.

The success rate of contacting matches through Ancestry’s message service has been low for me! I would like for people who share DNA with my brother to upload their raw DNA to GEDmatch so that I can use the tools on the site to compare the results. While I wait, this is the method I use for working through and sorting my brother’s DNA matches.

How are you sorting through your DNA matches? Have you been more successful getting replies to messages? Please leave a comment below. I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

6 AncestryDNA Notes for Easier Comparison

With matches for hundreds of 4th cousins or closer and thousands of distant cousins on AncestryDNA, I needed a simple but efficient method of working through and sorting my brother’s DNA matches. A spreadsheet in Excel was not an option as I wanted something I could refer to while on site.

Reducing the Clicks on AncestryDNA

To find out more about an AncestryDNA match you have to click on View Match.

ancestrydna1
AncestryDNA Results for my brother A.D.

This takes you to a new page with your match’s name, ethnicity, predicted relationship, and DNA Circle connections (when available) at the top.

ancestrydna2
Match’s DNA Profile

To see the amount of Shared DNA you click on the little i.

ancestrydna3
Amount of Shared DNA

At this point, to avoid having to repeatedly go through these extra clicks, I add the following information to Add note. The note, limited to 500 characters, can be added to each match.

1. Amount of Shared DNA

The first item I include is the amount of shared DNA. I shorten “245 centimorgans shared across 10 DNA segments” to “245 cMs 10 segs.” Consistency is important as will be seen in my follow-up post next week.

ancestrydna42. Proven or Assumed Relationships

If I can determine the relationship to the match I add, for example, 2C1R instead of 2nd cousin once removed, and the common ancestor(s).

ancestrydna5
Check Shared Matches

In this example, H.L. had a public tree (not a tree attached to her DNA) with 7 people. By checking the Shared Matches and the tiny tree I was able to figure out the relationship. There were 51 shared matches – two 2nd cousins, three 3rd cousins, and 46 4th cousins. Many had scanty trees, no family trees, or private trees. The top shared matches suggested a Dempsey connection, a name seen for 2 of the 7 persons in H.L.’s tree.

3. Match’s Member Profile

I administer my brother’s DNA results and have access and editing rights to a more distant cousin’s DNA. He is in the 5th-8th cousins range and does not show up on the Shared Matches which is only available to the 4th cousin level. Ancestry has a feature which shows matches to tests you administer or have editing rights to. Click on the match’s name to View Member Profile. Below the profile photo and description is a box titled AncestryDNA.

ancestrydna8
AncestryDNA box on Member Profile page

I have not had my DNA tested and therefore this person is not on my DNA Match list. But when I click on your the two tests I have rights to can be checked. Surprisingly, in this example, both tests I admin are matches to H.L. This does not mean all three match the same ancestor.

I add to the note that there is possibly another connection. My brother’s match to H.L. may include DNA from our paternal grandmother’s side through the CLONCH or DOSS lines as well as DNA from our paternal grandfather’s side.

4. Date Message Was Sent/Received

When I contact a match I include the date the message was sent in the note. As replies or queries come in I note the date a message is received.

5. Date Results Were Viewed

If a match doesn’t have a tree or it is private, I make a note of this with the date viewed. This way if a tree is added later I will know it hasn’t been checked.

6. Match Name and Kit Numbers

If the match has shared his/her name, GEDmatch and/or FamilyTreeDna kit numbers, I include these in the note.

Feel free to leave a comment below with your favorite use of the notes feature. What information do you include in your notes on AncestryDNA? Next week I’ll share how I use the notes on AncestryDNA and how I manage them.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Where I Found the Land Records of my RUPE Ancestors in Maryland

So much like a never-ending detective story, Cathy, you think the mystery is going to be solved … only to be continued 😀

Janice Webster Brown of Cow Hampshire, New Hampshire’s History Blog wrote this comment in the Genealogy Bloggers group on Facebook about my most recent post
Proof of Patriotic Service During the Revolutionary War for Jacob RUPE in the series on my 6th great-grandfather. I was flattered by this compliment which makes the research and writing more rewarding.

To help solve some of the mystery in Jacob RUPE’s history I turned to MDLandRec, a digital image retrieval system for land records and indices for Maryland counties. The service is currently being provided at no charge to individuals who apply for a user name and password.

Our kids always make fun of us for reading the directions before we set up any kind of electronics in our home. I admit I didn’t do this for the Maryland Land Records site. I stumbled a bit before I found my way around. I should have taken some time to look at their Help guides.

My advice is take a look at the guides, don’t do what I did. It would have saved me some time as I was under the false impression, after my first login, that the land record instruments were only available and/or searchable for 1964-2016. I was going to give up on the site however all searches for information on earlier land records in Maryland pointed to the site. Also the Wiki on FamilySearch Maryland Land and Property was very helpful in confirming the older records are on the site.

Getting back to the MDLandRec site, for early records you need to click on Active Indices (see p. 24 of 38 in the other MD counties guide). There are likely many different scenarios for searching for specific land records due to what is available for each county. I’d like to give an example using my Jacob RUPE and one of his land records I was searching for.

Jacob RUPE bought Rhineharts Folly in Baltimore County in 1770 from Frederick Rhinehart. This was a “known,” not a fact until I could prove it, found in Theron A. Rupe’s narrative “From Oberhoffen to America” as mentioned in my posts, Rhineharts Folly in Pipe Creek Hundred, Baltimore County, Maryland and Proof of Patriotic Service During the Revolutionary War for Jacob RUPE.

For this time period and county MDLandRec has a Grantee Index 1653-1849, Grantor Index 1655-1849, and an Index for 1659-1800. There is also a Tract Index 1798-1851.

Since I knew the names of both the grantor and grantee as well as the tract name I could use any of the first three indices. The Tract Index begins in 1798, too late for the 1770 deed I was searching for. The Tract Index would prove helpful in tracking future owners of Rhineharts Folly but first things first. To use the grantee and grantor indices you need to know the meaning of the two.

If you work with land records, you have to keep these straight. Grantors sell; grantees buy. Or, put another way, the grantor is the sell-or and the grantee is the buy-ee. (Yes, it’s silly, but it helps keep them straight!)
~ Amy Johnson Crow in her post 5 Misspelled, Misused Genealogy Words… and How to Get Them Right

Since my 6th great-grandfather Jacob RUPE was the grantee or buyer I checked the Grantee Index:

1770granteeindexrupe
An Archives of Maryland Online Publication https://mdlandrec.net/

With the information found on the index (No., Folio, and letters AL at the top of the column)  I went back to the search page and entered Book B and Page 265. The search turned up two results – one description being AL B.

searchresult
An Archives of Maryland Online Publication https://mdlandrec.net/

This took me directly to the land deed.

1770landdeed
An Archives of Maryland Online Publication https://mdlandrec.net/

The deed continues on pages 266 through 268. Instead of saving each page separately I entered the page range into the bottom box on right. This allows the display of up to 10 pages. This is such a great feature! It allowed me to download the entire document in one file eliminating the necessity of merging the pages into one document.

1770landdeedsource
An Archives of Maryland Online Publication https://mdlandrec.net/

I took a screenshot with the page range (4 images) to help with my source citation. The land record and source citation “reminder” were saved to Jacob RUPE’s media file with the file names (MRIN Filing System):
MRIN00554 1770 Frederick Rinehart to Jacob Rupe land deed.pdf
MRIN00554 1770 Frederick Rinehart to Jacob Rupe land deed source.png

This done I was able to move on to the next search until I found ALL the land records I was looking for plus a few bonus ones:

  • 1770 Frederick RINEHART to Jacob RUPE
  • 1778 Christopher SHROD to George WEAVER
  • 1785 George WEAVER sold land to Peter ZEP
  • 1787 Jacob RUB to Johannes SHOWER
  • 1787 Martin RUB to Peter TRUSHAL
  • 1788 Jacob RUB to Henry RUB
  • 1793 Henry RUB to Jacob BOBLITS
  • 1798 Henry ROOP to Jacob BOBLITS

The files have been attached to each individual in my database. Next I will write the source citations and transcribe the documents. I’ve already read through them and found several clues which confirm known facts and others which may disprove some assumptions. And the story continues…..

 bestwishescathy1

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johann Jacob RUPP
Parents: Johann Jacob RUPP Jr. and Maria Apollonia FETZER
Spouse: Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER
Parents of spouse: Johannes NONNENMACHER and Maria Barbara STAMBACH
Whereabouts: Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Pennsylvania, Maryland
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 6th great-grandfather

  1. Johann Jacob RUPP
  2. Heinrich Thomas “Henry” RUPE Sr.
  3. James ROOP
  4. Gordon H. ROOP
  5. Gordon Washington ROOP
  6. Walter Farmer ROOP
  7. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
  8. Fred Roosevelt Dempsey
  9. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Save

How to Find Your 18th Century Immigrant’s Signature

What do you do when you need to see the actual passenger list for the ship you believe your ancestor, a non-British subject, came over on in the 18th century? My 1752 immigrant ancestor Johann Jacob RUPP of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg in Northern Alsace came from Rotterdam by way of Cowes on the Duke of Wirtenburg captained by Daniel Montpelier and arrived on Friday, 20 October 1752 in Philadelphia.

ships

The Harbor of Philadelphia seen from New Jersey Shore, based on Scull’s Map of 1754
(From Etching in The Historical Society of Pennsylvania)
published in “Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Volume II” (Strassburger, 1934)
Courtesy of the Internet Archive

There are transcribed lists but for one reason or the other you may want to see the original list or at least a facsimile of your ancestor’s signature. My Jacob RUPP, if he came on the Duke of Wirtenburg, was listed as Jacob BUB on the transcription. Further research as discussed in Three Fantastic Finds Made While Researching 1752 Immigrant Johann Jacob Rupp and Working Through Old and New Research Material to Prove the Immigrant’s Ship has narrowed the possibility down to Jacob BUB being Jacob RUPP due to other evidence found. However seeing his signature or his name written by the captain or a clerk on one of the three sets of passenger lists would be so much better than a transcription.

The Pennsylvania State Archives maintains official ships’ passenger lists on microfilm for the Europeans, mainly German, Dutch, Swiss and French, who arrived at the Port of Philadelphia during the years 1727-1744, 1746-1756, 1761, 1763-1775, 1785-1808. [Source]

There are three sets of passenger lists:

  • “A” lists are the Captains’ Lists of passengers being imported
  • “B” lists are Oaths of Allegiance to the King
  • “C” lists are Oaths of Abjuration from the Pope.

These lists have been published in Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808 by Ralph B. Strassburger and William J. Hinke (1934) in three volumes. Volume I has the transcriptions of the lists in chronological order of the arrival of the ship, Volume II has facsimiles of all signatures on the original lists, and Volume III contains an index of names of passengers, captains, and ships.

The index in Vol. III will help you locate your ancestor on the ship lists listed in Vol. I, or Vol. III if they arrived 1785-1808. When you know the name of the ship and the arrival date you can go to Vol. II to see your ancestor’s name as written by the captain on List A, or as he signed or marked on Lists B and/or C. It is best to use all three volumes of the collection when searching for your ancestor. But what if you don’t have access to them or believe you cannot access them?

I’ve searched many times on the internet for digital copies of books and usually if they are old enough and out of copyright I will find them on the Internet Archive. In the case of this collection I located Volume I a few years ago. I didn’t know there was a volume with facsimiles of the signatures or an index. When I learned about the rest of the collection I searched but, due to quirky indexing on the Internet Archive, could not turn up a hit on Volume II.

worldcatA search on WorldCat, which I rarely use, turned up the above result.

And this is why I was having problems finding them on the Internet Archive:

VolI
https://archive.org/details/pennsylvaniagerm03penn_2
VolII
https://archive.org/details/pennsylvaniagerm04penn_1
volIII
https://archive.org/details/pennsylvaniagerm05penn_1

Volume I was indexed as Volume 3, II as 4, and III as 5. But more important are the views. Only 70 for Volume II as it was only recently digitized in late 2015. If your ancestor came over during this time period, landing in Philadelphia, then Happy Huntings!

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Save

I Hit the Jackpot with Four Births and a Death!

or How to use the (online) Municipal Archives in Metz, France

Things have been a lot busier than normal for me since the New Year. I haven’t had the time to go to my WordPress Reader and read the blogs I usually follow. Luckily most of my favorite bloggers use Facebook, Google, and Twitter and I see them as I go through my feeds. A few days ago I had a bit of time and began reading the most recent (unread) posts on my Reader.

I follow Laura Aanenson’s where2look4ancestors. In her post Catherine Brun; My 6th Great-Grandmother she mentioned her favorite French website to go to and wrote:

Then a funny thing happened.

The Moselle Departmental web site was completely revamped!

This is a site I’ve used and it’s bookmarked on my Firefox toolbar as 57, the number the department is known by. Less than two months ago I consulted the site when working on  52 Ancestors: #47 The SCHLOESSER-CONSBRÜCK Family. I wrote:

It wasn’t very sporting of my 3rd great-grandfather Johann Joseph SCHLOESSER to spend the last years of his life in Metz, France. It’s not fair he chose to work, live, marry, have children, and die in Metz. You ask why?

While most French departmental archives I’ve consulted have civil records online, at this time, the Archives départementales de la Moselle doesn’t. They have the Tables décennales from 1792 to 1952 (10 years lists of births, marriages, deaths) and the pre-1792 parish records online but no vital records.

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel as an article I found online suggests they were to go online before 2015. On the Archives de la Moselle homepage there is a message which translates: Gradually, the microfilms of vital records will be unavailable from 17 November 2015. Users are advised to inquire before planning a trip to the archives. None online and may not be available in the archives? Hopefully this means they are pulling the microfilms to make digital copies for the internet. I’ve subscribed to their newsletter so I won’t miss the big announcement when they go online. I promise to be a good sport until they do!

So far I haven’t received any newsletters but thanks to Laura’s post I went to the site for a quick look around. I clicked on: Recherches > Archives en Ligne > Registres Parroissiaux > Concernant Metz et ses nombreuses paroisses. I was surprised to find a notice about the municipal and departmental archives being complementary and only the images of the departmental archives were on the 57 site.

For the municipal archives of the city of Metz I followed their link which took me to the Ville de Metz – Archives Municipals. I had to jump through more than a few hoops before I got to the page which took me to the records I was interested in. The site is entirely in French (I did not find a Translate button) so I’d like to share with you how I found my way to the records.

How to get from A to B on the City of Metz’s Archives Municipals Site

metz1sm
Click 1
metz2sm
Click 2
metz3sm
Click 3
metz4sm
Click 4
metz5sm
Click 5 to open parish & civil records and ten years lists.
metz6sm
Click 6 to open the registers of the civil records.
metz7sm
Click 7 to choose the civil records for Metz.
metz8sm
Click 8: scroll down to correct year and click Etat-civil 1840-1842.
metz9
Click 9 until….

This is where it starts getting interesting. Metz was divided into 5 sections so there are 5 batches of birth, marriage and death records for each year. I was searching for Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER’s death record. I knew from the 10 years lists (Tables Décennale) that he died on 24 November 1841 in Metz but not which part of Metz. We can leave out a few clicks here (I checked section 1, then section 2 and would have continued through 5).

Note: If at this point you realize you are not in the right time period and you use your back button or their Page précédente button to go back to the Plan de classement des Registres you will have to repeat clicks 5 through 8 as the list collapses when you go back.

metz9a
Click 10 to see the death register for section 2 of Metz for the year 1841.
metz11sm
Click 11 and 12

Click 11: Most registers have an index at the end. The site is not slow but it’s faster to click on 1 (see image above) and choose the last or second to last image to get to the end of the book. Click 12: After choosing the image number you have to click on 2 (see image), an “eye” to view the image.

metz12smThis is a screenshot of the the 2nd to last page (zoomed and pixelated*) in the register of deaths for 1841. The index shows my 3rd great-grandfather’s death record is number 194. Since he died the end of November I chose a page I thought would be in the area and then went forward/backwards until I found record number 194. This is similar to using images on FamilySearch (before their new feature was added) where you had to “play the numbers” to get to the page you were looking for.

*Due to the terms and conditions of the archives a license (free) must be obtained for non-commercial online use of images. I have pixelated parts of the index page to be on the safe side since I have not applied for a license.

After finding my 3rd great-grandfather’s death record I went on to search for the birth records of his four daughters who were born in section 2 of Metz in 1836, 1838, 1840, and 1841.

Now the work begins. I’ve picked out the most important items in the records (to be sure they are for the correct individuals) but a full transcriptions of each might turn up some little known clue. On item I found very interesting was the name of the street the family lived on was mentioned in each record. I’ve already taken a virtual visit of the street, rue Saulnerie in Metz, courtesy of a French blogger, Marc de Metz.

Un grand merci à Laura Aanenson for mentioning her favorite French website where I found the information about the Municipal Archives of Metz!

© 2016 Cathy Meder-Dempsey