Teaching a Friend to Find Records on FamilySearch

Amy Cohen of Brotmanblog: A Family Journey writes about her Jewish ancestors documenting their descendants’ lines to the present time. By reading her blog for the past several years, I’ve learned about Jewish families, customs, and traditions.

During the Thanksgiving weekend, Amy reached out to me for help. She’d been researching her relative Falk Goldschmidt using the Ancestry collection Mannheim, Germany, Family Registers, 1760-1900 (available in the World subscription). The original source is digital images of Polizeipräsidium Mannheim Familienbögen, 1800-1900 at the Mannheim State Archive.

From the description of the collection on Ancestry: When a family moved into their home, they registered at the local police station. Anytime a child was born or a household member married, died, or moved out, it was recorded on the family register with the civil authorities.

While looking into Falk, she came across two entries in the family registers for his marriage on the same date, 18 October 1868, to Clara “Babetta” Carlebach, the daughter of David, and to Pauline “Babetta” Carlebach, the daughter of Julius.

Ancestry image (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/7575/images/41680_b155960-00489?pId=160805 : accessed 6 January 2021)
Ancestry image (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/7575/images/41680_b155960-00472?pId=160763 : accessed 6 January 2021)

Was Babetta the daughter of David or Julius?

Amy posted both images on the GerSIG: German Jewish Genealogy Special Interest Group on Facebook. Michael, a member of the group, amazingly (to her) almost immediately found both a birth and marriage record on FamilySearch for Clara/Babetta/Pauline.

Amy wrote, “I can’t read either, and I tried to retrace his steps to find them myself, but couldn’t begin to do so because (1) I can’t read the script and (2) I have no idea how he narrowed down the search to find the right pages or even the right matrikel.”

In reaching out to me, Amy had three questions:

  • First, can you translate all of these for me? I know that’s a lot, and Michael gave me the essentials, but I want to be sure I haven’t missed anything.
  • How do you explain the conflict in the Family Registers? A clerical error? It sure seems that Babetta was the daughter of Julius/Juda, not David.
  • And finally—how in the world did Michael locate the birth and marriage records so quickly? I know being able to read the script is a huge step, but how did he narrow down which matrikel and then locate the page?

She also wrote, “I figured I would ask the third question. I’d much rather be able to do this myself at some point—assuming I can also put in the time and effort to learn how to read that awful script.”

Locating Records on FamilySearch

After this lengthy introduction, I’ll now come to the point of this post. How the birth and marriage records were found so quickly by Michael.

If the geographical location (in this case, Mannheim) and the time period (in this case, 1844-1845) can be narrowed down then FamilySearch‘s catalog is the key to finding records. It is important to read through the description of the collection found in the catalog as well as any further information included under NOTES.

These are the steps I shared with Amy for finding the birth records of the young women associated with the marriage of Falk Goldschmidt.

Go to the Catalog on FamilySearch. The catalog is in the dropdown menu Search. I’ve bookmarked it as it is the first place I go to search. https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog

Type Mannheim in the search box for Place. For this search, it automatically brought up Germany, Baden, Mannheim at the top of the list. I usually leave the Availability selection on Any so that I can see all collections available. Click Search.

On the list of Mannheim collections that comes up, you can open each category. I chose Germany, Baden, Mannheim – Jewish records ( 6 ) as your research is for Jewish families. My second choice would have been Civil Registrations which contains Familienstandsbogen, 1807-1900. This is the collection that you found to be indexed on Ancestry. [A collection on Ancestry that requires a World subscription but is FREE on FamilySearch.]

Open up the Jewish Records to view the 6 collections. The first two are for Matrikel, 1805-1870 for Mannheim. The next two are for Feudenheim. The last two are for records outside of the period you wanted to search. We are only interested in the first two.

Open the first two in new windows. [I use The Genealogy Girl, Amberly Beck’s tip: Ctrl+left mouse click.] This brings up the catalog information for each.

While trying to figure out the easiest way to explain to you how I found the records on FamilySearch, I discovered that the two collections were actually the same but filmed at different times. This is where reading the notes on a collection comes in handy. [There is an advantage to having duplicates as images were filmed or digitized under different conditions and may be easier to decipher in one collection than in the other.]

Note: The collections appear to be duplicated from the Mannheim birth register. I cannot be sure but it looks like they extracted all Jewish records from the main register of births to make this Jewish collection.

One of the collections was filmed by the Reichssippenamt, Berlin, in 1937. The left-side pages were filmed separately from right-side pages and sometimes in reverse order. The other collection is of microfilm recordings of duplicates in the Badisches Generallandesarchiv, Karlsruhe. The images are the same only that in the second the left and right pages are on one image – making them much easier to search through.

Before we go into browsing, you need to be able to recognize title pages in the collections so that you can navigate (browse) them. For each year, the records are arranged by births, marriages, and deaths (normally, in this order). If they are out of order, it is helpful to know how the German words are written in the old script.

Browsing the FamilySearch collection

In the Matrikel, 1805-1870 for Mannheim we want to find the 1844 birth record of Clara and the 1845 birth record of Pauline.

You will want to use the “3 microfilms collection” and the film for the years up to 1859. The 3rd microfilm in this collection is restricted. You can use the search feature but the images aren’t available online. You can, however, view them in the “9 microfilms collection” in the 8th and 9th microfilm (not restricted).

Click on the camera of the microfilm for Geburten, Heiraten, Tote 1815-1859. This is where browsing comes into play. It isn’t as difficult or time-consuming as you might think. The records are in chronological order. For each year you will find a title page for births, marriages, and deaths. There are 44 years of records. The years 1844-1845 are about 2/3 of the way timewise but there are usually more records in later years than in early years so I would suggest jumping in at the middle with image 400.

The first title page with the type of record following image 400 is on image 403 and is for the year 1841 Trauungs-Register (marriages).

Click on Browse Multiple Images (tile button) to see the small images. Notice that microfilm item 3 ends and item 4 starts in the row of images after image 403. This is where the year 1842 begins. Count over three title pages per year to get to the year 1844.

If you check the title pages for 1844 you will find two for births. For some reason, the births for this year were extracted twice. As you know from the image of Clara’s birth record you received from your help angel, her entry was the last for 1844 and followed by the index.

The index gives you the page number but not the date of birth. The indexes for births for 1844 are on images 451 and 458. The script used in this collection can be difficult to decipher. To help you find the Carlebach child’s name in the index, you need to become familiar with the letters.

As you can see the capital B and L are very similar. Since this is in alphabetical order, it is a good example to use for comparison. The capital C is similar to our E which is confusing until you get used to the script. In the list, the surnames beginning with C are for Cohn Ferdinand, Carlebach Heinrich, and Carlebach Clara (später Babetta). I only figured out the word später (later) after I did the screenshot annotations. [This indicates a later change in name.]

Clara’s record of birth is on page 8, the left page on this image. It is the last birth to be recorded. Labeled 35 in the margin at the bottom of page 8, it continues on page 9 at the top. Hirsch Traub, the scribe who made the entries, used the # sign to indicate missing words that he added in the margin. He made quite a few corrections including some on both records found for Clara (1844).

The Carlebach child born in 1845 was named Paulina. In Browse Multiple Images view, skip past the title page for 1844 marriages and 1844 deaths to 1845 births. Go to the last birth image with the index. Carlebach Paulina is on page 6. Go back to page 6. Her record is #26.

Rabbit holes

There were a lot of emails flying back and forth between Amy and me. She had many questions and quickly learned to browse the images even though her biggest handicap was not being able to read the script. We both went down rabbit holes trying to find answers to the questions we had concerning the fact that the two young girls were born close together to parents who shared the same surname – not only the fathers’ surname but also the mothers’ maiden name – and they both had their birth name changed to Babetta. Amy amazed me (and herself) by finding a death record which put much in perspective.

Is it Kurrent or Sutterlin? 

Amy had one remaining question she asked me early on in our email exchange about the script. Is it Kurrent or Sutterlin?

I really don’t bother thinking about which script it is. It’s like being multi-lingual. You switch between languages without thinking about the language you are using.

I had to actually look up what the difference is between the two. Kurrent was used from about 1865 and Sutterlin earlier. I’d say these records are in Sutterlin. I find Kurrent harder to read than Sutterlin. Kurrent looks to me like half the letters are m’s.

My father-in-law helped me in my early days and I learned to recognize letters that usually go together. When I’m really stuck on a word, I try to trace over the lines so that the letters will stand out for me. The more you work with the records the easier (yeah) it gets. After taking a break, it takes me a while to get back to my reading level. [Transcripts of the German text and translations of the records found were sent to Amy.]

Was Babetta the daughter of David or Julius?

Amy learned how to find the records on FamilySearch. Did they help her resolve her research question concerning the two ladies named Babetta? Her post for Falk Goldschmidt with the answer to this question and this post will be published simultaneously. To read about Falk and the two women associated with his marriage date, please visit her article The Mystery of Falk Goldschmidt’s Wife: A Lesson in German Vital Records on her blog Brotmanblog: A Family Journey.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Lëtz Research: Luxembourg Civil Marriage Records and Their Amazing Detail

In my post Lëtz Research: How to Find Luxembourg Civil Birth Records I shared a lengthy reply I sent to J. who posed a question via the contact form on Luxracines website asking for assistance on finding a Luxembourg civil birth record.

As I mentioned at the end of the post, J. had a follow-up question.

Another question, how do you proceed if you don’t have the date of birth or place?  For instance, the father Johann Peter Garnich.  How would I look for his father?

I hadn’t put her off with my lengthy answer and she appeared interested in learning. So once again I sent off a detailed reply.

Finding the date of marriage in the ten-year index

I was expecting your next question. That’s the reason I mentioned the tables décennales (TD) in my previous email.

BTW, the ten-year indexes (tables décennales) are very helpful when you know the name and place but not the date of birth, marriage, or death (BMD). For each 10-year period, you will find 3 lists (BMD) that include the name of the person and the date of the event. With the date of the event, you can follow the previous directions to find the record.

If a couple was having children in a commune, it was often also the place they married. By searching the tables décennales of Bettembourg where the child was born, you should be able to find a date of marriage for the parents in turn aiding you in finding the marriage record.

Details in marriage records

Marriage records are amazing due to the details they contain. They include the following information for the groom and the bride: name, occupation, age, place of residence, date and place of birth, names of the parents. This is followed by information for the parents: names, occupation, age, and place of residence. If any of the parents are deceased, the date and place of death are given. Four witnesses (name, age, occupation, residence) are also given and their relationship to the bride or groom is usually mentioned.

In my early days of research, I quickly learned marriage records had enough information to take me back a generation at a time.

As an aside, Luxracines has a very large database of civil marriages in Luxembourg (complete). It includes marriages of Luxembourgers in the bordering areas of Belgium (a work in progress) and Germany as well as several large cities (Paris, for example) known to have had workers from Luxembourg. Luxracinces is now accepting subscriptions for the year 2021 giving members access to the website and databases until January 2022. See the section on Becoming a Member on the Luxracines website. [I included this as she had initiated contact on the website.]

The entry in the tables décennales

Your couple of interest is in the above-mentioned marriage database with a date of marriage in Bettembourg in 1883. Without this information, you could have looked at the tables décennales to find their names and date of marriage. This is the page they are on in the TD on FamilySearch:

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (1).
Close-up of the entry for Jean Pierre GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN (seen here as Elise SCHALTGEN). Screenshot of FamilySearch website (2).

Click on the tiles button to view the small images. You can see the difference between the lists for births and deaths and the list for marriages. The marriage list always has two names and therefore looks different from the birth and death lists making it easy to navigate the images and each batch of 10 years.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (3).

Now that you have the date of marriage, I’ll let you search for the record. When you find the marriage record, let me know and I’ll try to help you decipher the handwriting and point out the information from the record.

Locating the marriage record

Less than two hours later, J. sent me three links. The first was for a marriage record from 1884 instead of 1883. I had failed to be more precise about the index’s location in the marriage register. The second link she sent was the index to the 1883 marriages and included the names of the couple. The third link she sent was the link to the actual 1883 marriage record. Good work!

A detail I failed to pass on to J. is that the index is normally at the end of the year. She needed to go back through the images to find the record instead of forward from the index (i.e. the reason she found the 1884 marriage record first).

Before I went into the details concerning the marriage record, I gave J. some advice on citing the source of the marriage record.

Cite your Source

If you click on the Information tab at the bottom of the screen and scroll down in the small window, you will find the citation. Click on Copy Citation to save it. This will be extremely helpful when you want to point someone else to the marriage record. If the link is ever changed the waypoints > will help you or them to find the record again.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (4)

This is the Source Citation:

“Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1796-1941,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6X5Z-9?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-K68%3A129623601%2C129637201 : 17 July 2014), Bettembourg > Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1885 > image 571 of 1479; Archives nationales de Luxembourg (National Archives), Luxembourg.

I always replace the date following the link with “accessed [the date accessed]” for later reference.

Annotations and translation of the marriage record

The marriage record of Johann Peter GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN is in German, the official language used at this time in Luxembourg.

1883 Marriage Record No. 5 for Johann Peter GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN in Bettembourg. Image courtesy of FamilySearch (see citation above)

This is the first part of the marriage record which deals with the groom.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (5)

In the year 1883, the 22nd of May at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, (followed by the name of the civil servant of the commune of Bettembourg in Luxembourg) came before us Johann Peter Garnich (occupation), 28 years old, born in Bettembourg the 8 November 1854, a resident of Bettembourg, of age son of the here present and consenting parents Peter Garnich and Katharina Wind, a married couple, farmers living in Bettembourg. The civil birth record of the groom was found in the register of this commune.

Part two with the information on the bride:

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (6)

And Elisabeth Scheltgen, without an occupation, 25 years old, born in Bergem in the commune of Monnerich (Mondercange) the 11 January 1858, a resident of Bergem, of age daughter of the here present and consenting parents Michel Scheltgen, an innkeeper, and Helena Nicola, without an occupation, residents of Bergem. An abstract of the birth record of the bride was furnished.

Part three concerning the banns, records read at the marriage, etc.

Who have asked us to proceed to the consummation of their marriage as agreed between them, and their proclamations, [place and date of the first reading of the banns, place and date of the second reading of the banns] were read the Sundays 6th and 13th of this month of May in this commune in the commune of Monnerich (Mondercange).

Since no objection to the intended marriage has been announced to us, we give justice to their request; and after we have read out all the above-mentioned acts (birth records) and the sixth chapter of the civil code, entitled Marriage, we have asked the bridegroom and the bride whether they will take each other as husband and wife; since both replied, each specially and in the affirmative, we declare in the name of the law that Johann Peter Garnich and Elisabeth Scheltgen are united by marriage.

This is the last part of the marriage record.

Of all this, we have established this act in the presence of:
Nikolaus Mootz, without occupation, 88 years resident of Bettembourg, not related to bride and groom
Jakob Hoscheit, (occupation) 29 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Bernard Klinsch, day laborer, 37 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Johann Kunsch, day laborer, 21 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Who, after reading all to them, signed with us.
The mother of the bride declared not being able to write.

[Followed by signatures of the bride, groom, parents, 4 witnesses, and the civil servant]

The bride Elisabeth must have gone by Lisa as she signed Scheltgen Lisa. I thought this was an interesting detail and makes it more personal.

Occupation of the groom and the 2nd witness

Now it’s your turn to help J.  I was not able to decipher the occupation of the groom on this marriage record. The second witness appears to have had the same occupation. If anyone can help out, I’ll pass the information on to J.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Lëtz Research: How to Find Luxembourg Civil Birth Records

As a member of the board of my Luxembourgish genealogy society Luxracines, I receive copies of the emails from visitors to our website. Often they are in French or German and answered by other members of the board. When they are in English, I help out with replies.

Recently the following message was received from J.:

Re: birth records
Looking for parents names for Peter (Pierre) John Garnich Born: Bettembourg, Canton d’Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, 29 Oct 1889. Any assistance would be appreciated.

I could have sent a quick one-liner with the names of the parents to the person making the inquiry. It would have been quick and easy but I don’t think it would have benefitted the person asking the question.

Any assistance would be appreciated…

J. wanted assistance in finding the parents of a person born in Luxembourg in 1889. I wanted my answer to also help her with FUTURE queries she may have on her ancestors in Luxembourg. The screenshots were not included in the email as I wanted J. to follow the instructions and have the wowser moment of finding the record on her own.

When a one-line question gets you a tutorial

Hello J.,

You can easily find the civil birth record of your ancestor by accessing FamilySearch’s database Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1796-1941.

You have his date of birth and his place of birth which will aid in your search. As Bettembourg is not one of the communes that have been indexed by FamilySearch, you will have to browse the collection instead of using their search engine. This is the case for most communes as indexing is ongoing and as far as I know, they have only finished Esch and Luxembourg City. Browsing the collection is not as hard as it sounds.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (1)

Click on Browse through 767,518 images to see the list of communes.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (2)

Click on Bettembourg to see the records available for the town your person of interest was born in.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (3)

Choose the record collection that includes births (naissances) for 1889. The collection you want to look into is Tables décennales 1803-1892 Naissances 1796-1890.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (4)

There are 1468 images in this collection. Don’t let this stop you. The collection has two parts. Tables décennales (ten-year index) and Naissances (births) – in most cases the names of the database reflect the order of the records in the microfilm. The births go to 1890, a year after the birth you are looking for. Therefore the register for 1889 will be nearly at the end. Choose image number 1468 and click on the tiles icon at the upper left of the images.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (5)

This will give you a view of the images at the end of the collection. The last two images on the microfilm look like lists. Click on the left one. At the top, it shows this is the index for the year 1890.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (6)

Click on the tile icon again to view the images. Going backward, look for the image with an index for the previous year. (see screenshot 5, green box in the first row of images)

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (7)

The index is in alphabetical order. Your GARNICH person of interest is on the first page, Johann Peter Joseph born on 29 October with record #54. Since this is close to the end of the year, you can use the back button on the image numbers to go back two images to record #54.

If it had been #10, you would click the tile icon again, look for the beginning of the records for 1889, then go to the 4th image for record #10 (as #1 is always on the first page followed by 4 records per image).

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (8)

Now comes the hardest part: reading the record. The records are filled in as opposed to completely written in longhand which makes it easy to pick out the names.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (9): Father, mother, and child’s names

The informant of the birth (line 5) was his father Johann Peter GARNICH. In the middle of the record (line 12) you will see the child was named Johann Peter Joseph. In the two handwritten lines above his name is the information on the mother. Her name was Elisabeth SCHELTGEN and she was 34 years old, without an occupation, and residing with the informant.

BTW, the ten-year indexes (tables décennales) are very helpful when you know the name and place but not the date of birth, marriage, or death (BMD). For each 10-year period, you will find 3 lists (BMD) that include the name of the person and the date of the event. With the date of the event, you can follow the above directions to find the record.

Although your question was simple and could have been answered with the names: Johann Peter GARNICH and his wife Elisabeth SCHELTGEN, I felt it more helpful to you to know how I found the answer. This will aid you in your future research of your Luxembourg ancestors.

Permission to use the question in this blog post was obtained from J. She had a follow-up question which will be shared in my next post.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Adding Footnotes to your WordPress Posts Using Block Editor

WordPress would like us to believe that footnotes are not as popular as they once were and that linking directly to the source is much easier. This might be the case for many blogs but serious writers, including genealogists, need to cite their sources, i.e. include citations in their blog posts.

There are several ways to integrate citations into our writing.  In-text or parenthetical citations interrupt the flow of our writing and our followers’ reading. On the other hand, a reference outside the main text to the source of information (or even a comment for consideration) adds professionalism to our research and writing. These references are footnotes.

Skip intro and go directly to
The routine to add footnotes and sources to the post.

HTML code and/or Markdown for Footnotes

In May 2017 I wrote Source Citation Trick for WordPress.com – HTML Code with instruction for adding footnotes to blog posts using HTML code. It’s the second most viewed post on my blog. In January 2018 Amberly Peterson Beck, who blogs at thegenealogygirl, added a comment to the post:

Cathy, I learned a new trick you might like. It’s a little bit faster than how you have been doing it.

Amberly pointed me to an article on Markdown and a footnote cheat on the Markdown Quick Reference Cheat Sheet. After adding [^1] where the footnote number should be, a new line starting with [^1]: followed by the source citation is added below the line or paragraph. When published the Markdown functions are converted to HTML code. All of the [^#] become superscript numbers with links to the footnotes. The [^#]: with citations are listed at the bottom of the post as footnotes with a link back to the original reference. Quick and easy.

The New WordPress Editor: Block Editor

In the last few years, WordPress has been working on and promoting the Block Editor on its platform. The Classic Editor is still available although accessing it is a bit tricky. We’ve been told that the Classic Block in Block Editor can be used instead of the Classic Editor. But will the Classic Block also one day disappear?

In the past few days, my friend Amy Cohen of Brotmanblog has been talking to the support people at WordPress about the problems she is having with footnotes in the Block Editor. What she came away with was that footnote functionality is not a top priority at WordPress and the ability to use Markdown is also disappearing. This is hard to believe as the Block Editor includes a Markdown Block.

If you search online for articles on how to add footnotes to blog posts you will find either how-to’s on adding and using footnote plugins or creating footnotes with HTML code. Plugins are out of the question for the free-plan users on WordPress and HTML code is, for most people, too complicated.

Preparing for the unavoidable

The fate of the Classic Editor, now only available on the WP-Admin page, is at this time unknown. We need to prepare for the day we can no longer use it.

Presently, Markdown is a standard feature of the built-in plugins on WordPress.com sites with the free plan. Even if WordPress doesn’t get rid of Markdown on the free-plan sites, it isn’t compatible with the new WordPress Editor. This is one of the reasons Amy got in touch with support.

Until two days ago, I had not bothered to look at the Block Editor. I’ve been using the Classic Editor for nearly seven years and have finally developed a routine that works for me. Learning how to use the blocks is not as easy as the young ones at WordPress would like us to believe. This is my first post written in the new editor.

Adding Footnotes in the Block Editor

After a bit of searching, reading, and experimenting, I worked out this routine to add footnotes to a post in the new editor.

The main function needed is Page Jumps, the term WordPress uses for the advanced HTML anchor. This is the same function as bookmarks in Microsoft Word. Although the feature is called HTML anchor, we won’t be working with HTML code.

To make this simple, let’s pretend we have a post in the Block Editor ready to publish and all it’s missing is the footnotes. We want to make it easy for our readers who want to consult the citations while reading our post to switch between the post and the list of sources. This requires linking to and from the list.

The routine to add footnotes and sources to the post

Add footnote numbers to your post. This can be a 1 or [1], in regular font or smaller text slightly above the normal line of type (superscript) – whichever format you prefer. For superscript, highlight your footnote number, click on the down arrow in the top toolbar, and choose superscript. Do this with all footnote numbers.

Formatting the footnote numbers with superscript.

Add the citation list. For our list of citations, we need a List block. Add it below the first paragraph with a footnote. In the top toolbar choose a numbered list.

Adding a List block with numbered list to your post

With your cursor in the List block, scroll to the bottom of the right sidebar, click the down arrow open the Advanced option. In the HTML anchor box enter fn. This will be your anchor or bookmark for the footnote list. The List block is now ready for citations to be added.

Adding an anchor to the List block

Add the source citations to the list. With your List block below the paragraph with the first footnote, click into the List block and add the citation for footnote [1]. At the end of the citation, leave a space and add a return arrow symbol – ↩

List block with first citation.

Using the down button on your toolbar, move the List block down below the next paragraph with a footnote. Add the citation. Repeat to the end of the article.

Add the link to the source list to all footnote numbers. Highlight the footnote number (including brackets if used), click on the Link symbol in the top toolbar or Ctrl+K, type #fn in the pop-up and return. Repeat with each footnote number.

Adding a link from footnote to source list.

Add an anchor to the text with a footnote. Each paragraph with a footnote requires an anchor to jump from the citation list back to the text. Go to the first paragraph with a footnote, add fnref-1 as an anchor (same procedure as with the fn anchor in List block). Repeat with each footnote changing only the number.

Recap of what we’ve done so far. All footnote numbers are formatted and linked (#fn) to the List block (anchor fn). The citation list is complete, anchors back to the text are in place (fnref-1, etc.), and we can now add links back to the text with the footnotes.

Add links to the end of each citation in the source list. At the end of the first citation, highlight the return arrow symbol ↩, add the link #fnref-1 back to the anchor. Repeat with each citation. #fnref-2, #fnref-3, etc.

Add a Separator block above the List block. Place the List block with the citations at the end of your post. To separate it from your post, add a Separator block. Choose Wide Line as the style and choose a color. (I believe white may be the default color and if your background is white, no line will be seen in your Separator block) Following the Separator line, you could also add a heading or paragraph titled sources, references, etc.

What this looks like when published

Caveat. There are some limitations to this procedure. Only one anchor can be used per block. If more than one footnote is in a paragraph, you can only use one anchor. Example: If [5], [6], and [7] are the footnotes in one paragraph, I would suggest always using the lowest or highest number consistently (fnref-5 or fnref-7) as an anchor.

Speeding up the process

Once you understand the routine, there are some things you can do to speed up the process.

  1. If you write directly in the WordPress editor, footnote numbers can be added and formatted to superscript while you write.
  2. You can place the anchors for the footnote reference number (fnref-1) in the paragraph block while writing.
  3. The List block can be positioned below your writing area and citations added as you write.
  4. Consider creating a Reusable block for the source list including links to each anchor for the return arrows to take the reader back to the text. If you average 3 or 20 footnotes and citations per post, create a List block (1. Source. ↩) with your average number of footnotes and save it as Sources.
  5. You can also group blocks. I’m going to try grouping the Separator block, a title for the source list, and the List block for the sources. Then after the three are grouped as one block, I will make it a reusable block. I’ve already tried this with my signature image and my copyright line that I use at the end of each post.

Getting over the fear of using the Block Editor

While writing this post I had to learn how to use the Block Editor. There are things that frustrated me. For example, I was unable to copy/paste snippets of text from one block to another. This was very annoying as I ended up re-typing things I wanted to copy. Adding images to the media gallery while in the Block Editor failed every time today and I hope it was only due to the servers being busy. On the positive side, I like that blocks can be moved around so easily.

The routine I described above is my first attempt at footnotes in the Block Editor. It may seem like a lot of work but once you get used to the routine of placing anchors and links, it becomes easier and quicker to do. 

If there is a better way or if you can think of anything that would improve my routine, I’d be happy to hear from you. Feel free to ask for help if anything is unclear. Good luck with your footnotes and using the Block Editor.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

The 1866 Fayette County, West Virginia Voter List

My friend and follower Brian S. Miller called me the record whisperer. His comment reminded me I hadn’t been checking the catalog at FamilySearch to see if new old records were available to view online. I’d been too busy working on my last series of posts on a Luxembourgish family to even think about other things.

Half of my ancestry is Luxembourgish with a few more distant ancestors coming from areas of France, Germany, and Belgium which were once part of Luxembourg. It hasn’t been difficult to find birth, marriage, and death records for these ancestors and their collaterals. My paternal side of the family tree which includes ancestors who lived in West Virginia and old Virginia for more than 200 years has been more arduous.

I have a frustrating brick wall at the 2nd great-grandfather level for one of these West Virginia ancestors. Compared to the rest of my tree, his branch is short and stubby!

A Reminder to Check the FamilySearch Catalog

Fayette County, West Virginia, is the first location I usually check for new collections as my Dad and many of his ancestors lived in the county even before its formation in 1831.

Map of West Virginia highlighting Fayette County

On Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I discovered a database I had not seen or been able to access. I can’t keep a secret when it comes to new collections which may help others. I immediately posted the find to the Facebook group for Fayette County West Virginia Genealogy.

Did your male ancestor live in Sewell Mountain, Mountain Cove, or Fayetteville in April-May 1866? If he was of age, he may have registered to vote. I found these lists on FamilySearch which include the age and place of birth of the person of interest.

Being a long-time user of the FamilySearch, I posted the link to the catalog not realizing how many group members were not familiar with this important tool on the site.

After several members commented the link was not working I revised my post. It was a long weekend and traffic to several genealogy sites was higher than normal causing temporary this site can’t be reached errors.

Screenshot of FamilySearch page with Evernote annotations.

In my revised post, I included instructions to scroll down to the camera to view the images to the non-indexed browse-only records. I added a short description of the collection which has six items for three districts with the names of voters being listed in alphabetical order. I also let new users know they needed to sign-in to the FREE site.

The 1866 Fayette County, West Virginia, Voter List

Here is the link to the collection: Register of name of voters : 1866. Since not all are familiar with FamilySearch or some may need a refresher course on using the site, here are simple steps to view the images. The link will take you to this page:

You aren’t there yet! To see all images, you need to either use the little > to go to image 2 of 154, image 3 of 154, etc. or click on the tiles icon on the left to view all images. You can then click on any of the images you might be interested in.

The items in this collection have many blank images. An item starts at the Begin image and ends at the End image. After studying the six items I learned they are for three districts – two similar copies of the same information for each district. At the end is a seventh item for the year 1867. Below are the direct links to the first page of each item for a district.

Item 1: Sewell Mountain 1

Item 2: Mountain Cove 1

Item 3: Fayetteville 1

Item 4: Sewell Mountain 2

Item 5: Fayetteville 2

Item 6: Mountain Cove 2

Item 7: Fayetteville 1867

Why is this set of records important?

Consider when the voter list was created. In 1866, three years after the state of West Virginia was formed. Immediately following the Civil War period when many records were moved to other locations or missing.

The fields on the form include:

  • Names of persons registered
  • Whether Sworn
  • Age – includes men between 21 and 84 years of age, i.e. born 1782-1845
  • Place of birth
  • Time of residence in ward, township, or district
  • Time of residence in state
  • If naturalized, date of papers and by what Court issued [in some cases this field was used to record honorable discharges from US militia service]
  • When registered

The list may be the only record you will find for the place of birth of an ancestor born between 1782-1845. Example: Enoch WOOD was in Lawrence County, Ohio, in 1830; in Gallia County, Ohio, in 1840; and in Fayette County, Virginia, in 1850 per the census. The 1850 census had all of his children listed as born in Virginia. Enoch and his wife Margaret JOHNSON had been known to be members of the Sand Fork Missionary Baptist Church in Gallia County, Ohio, before transferring to the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Fayette County. Their sons Levi and Felix WOOD are on the voter list with Gallia County as their place of birth.

Are you searching for naturalization papers? Example: Daniel McGuffin, age 36, born in Ireland, was naturalized in 1855 and his papers were filed in the County Court of Alleghany, Virginia.

The voter list could help you add events to your ancestor’s timeline. When and where was he born? Did he serve in the US militia? Was he naturalized? The voter list may be the last record your ancestor created before leaving the county or passing away.

And the search continues…

My 2nd great-grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEY was NOT found in the voter list. Family tradition is he died in a logging accident in the 1860s. Does this mean he died before April-May 1866 when the voter list was created? Perhaps. However,  the three districts didn’t cover the entire county of Fayette. Other names are missing from the voter list including William’s father-in-law Elijah WOOD who died in 1885.

If you haven’t recently checked the catalog at FamilySearch take a moment to do so. If you’ve never used the catalog an Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog is a good place to learn more.  Please leave a comment if you make a discovery. Happy hunting.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Rocking the Shared Matches on AncestryDNA

This year I planned on spending more time working with my brother’s AncestryDNA results and sharing discoveries here but…

The census analysis I’m doing for James SIMS and his sixteen (16) children for the Rewriting the Biography series is taking a lot more time than I had expected. I normally give myself a break the day after a post is published to look over new matches on AncestryDNA. OK, I admit I find myself checking more often than the day following a post.

Nearly two years ago, I wrote about the 6 AncestryDNA Notes for Easier Comparison and How I Use and Manage AncestryDNA Notes. Since writing those posts not much has changed with the content of the notes or how I use them. But there is one neat Chrome extension I can no longer do without – and I hadn’t heard about it when I wrote the posts in 2016.

A Time-Saving Chrome Extension

MedBetterDNA has an option you can check to “always show Notes” of your matches on AncestryDNA (see link at the end of this post for more information about this extension). All notes made for matches will show on the page you are viewing without your having to click each to open them. You see all your notes! And this simple trick is helping me to feel like a DNA rock star!

Take this match, for example. When she first turned up there was no tree linked to the DNA. She had a public tree which was viewable but it did not have a paternal side. Public trees which you can see do not necessarily have to have the match as the home person or even be the match’s tree.

Shared Matches on AncestryDNA

When I looked at the Shared Matches (SM) with all the notes open, I saw a pattern which indicated the match was coming from a particular line. Right off I could tell she is a paternal match for my brother. I use an emoji of a bride for maternal matches, a groom for paternal matches, and a leaf for Shared Ancestor Hints (SAH). The groom was showing up in many of the notes for the Shared Matches.

1st and 3rd cousin shared matches

Shared 4th cousin matches (1 thru 4)

Shared 4th cousin matches (5 thru 8)

Shared 4th cousin matches (9 thru 13)

  • The first cousin is a paternal match, i.e. points to DEMPSEY or ROOP. There are no shared matches with second cousins. The two 3C matches are cousins who share Alexander CLONCH, who was the grandfather of my paternal grandmother, Myrtle Hazel ROOP.
  • The first two matches in the 4th cousin category have Alexander CLONCH as the MRCA or most recent common ancestor. The next two have William CLONCH and Mary “Polly” DOSS, Alexander’s parents.
  • The next four 4C matches have as MRCA, the CLONCH-DOSS couple or Alexander CLONCH.
  • The next four of five 4C matches have the CLONCH-DOSS couple as the MRCA. One match has no tree and their name is not familiar to me. However, this test has a match with a cousin who also shares the CLONCH-DOSS couple as the MRCA.

There are 22 more predicted 4C shared matches (Possible range: 4th – 6th cousins). Nearly half of these do not include trees and an MRCA has not been determined. Seven have the CLONCH-DOSS couple. One match is a double 4C1R through Dennis CLAUNCH and Nancy BEASLEY (parents of William) AND through Levina DOSS (mother of Polly DOSS) – which will make for interesting chromosome comparisons. Four matches are at least 5C1R and have Jeremiah CLAUNCH (father of Dennis) as the MRCA.

Taking a Look at The Big Picture

Viewing the shared matches’ notes at the same time makes this part of “guessing” where the match may be sharing DNA much easier. In this case, I was able to assume she must have a connection to Martha Angeline CLONCH, a daughter of Thomas Eli CLONCH and granddaughter of William CLONCH and Polly DOSS. This may not be obvious from the above notes. I have access to one of Martha Angeline’s descendant’s tests (one of the shared matches above) who is a much higher 3C match to this lady. The Shared Matches he has also point to this area of the family tree.

And Then A Tree Was Linked

Now for the ta-dah moment. Early in July while checking out the DNA matches I noticed the match now had a tree attached. She’s on the first page (top 50 matches) with 60 cMs on 4 segments which made it easy to spot when all notes are open. Skimming through the notes I notice when a match who had No Family Tree or a Private Tree in mention in their notes are now showing an attached family tree. When I viewed the public tree she’d linked to her DNA results I saw it included her paternal side which was missing in the public tree I had viewed.

Cropped screenshot of her tree in the area I suspect the match.

Who did I see as her great-grandfather? Thomas Eli CLONCH, the son of William and Polly and the father of Martha Angeline. Her grandmother Fanny was Martha’s sister. Her great-grandfather Thomas Eli was my 2nd great-grandfather Alexander CLONCH’s brother.

Can you imagine my excitement [insert genealogy happy dance here] at finding our match is exactly where I thought it would be? I shortened the note to read: 60 cMs 4 segs. 3C1R thru William CLONCH and Mary E. “Polly” DOSS. MRCA found 9 July 2018. Need to follow up with a message.

I sent a message on July 22 including the link to my post, Dear Cousin – We Have a DNA Match, Now What? and received a reply less than 48 hours later followed quickly by a second with her Gedmatch kit number. She matches known cousins descended from the CLONCH-DOSS couple on Gedmatch on chromosomes and segments which can now be attributed to the couple.

We’ve shared a few more messages. She’s given me permission to use her match, without identifying information, as an example. To help others understand how they can use Shared Matches on AncestryDNA – to figure out which part of the family tree the match is coming from or to zoom in on the possible most recent common ancestor.

How This Helps in the Long Run

Rebecca Jane CLONCH is the mother of my paternal grandmother Myrtle Hazel ROOP.

The fourth cousin shared matches to DNA matches who are related through one of the CLONCH ancestors are going to be the keys to open the doors in several brick walls. Both sets of grandparents of my 2nd great-grandmother Tabitha Ann COOLEY, wife of Alexander CLONCH, are unknown. The father of my 3rd great-grandmother Mary “Polly” DOSS, “wife” of William CLONCH, is also unknown. Matches are also showing up for people who descend from siblings of Dennis CLAUNCH whose mother’s name is unknown.

MedBetterDNA can do more than always show notes. Click here to see more filtering options.

I’d love to hear about the methods you use to help work with your AncestryDNA results. Anything which makes this complicated subject easier is always welcome.

P.S. My apologies to my followers who receive notifications per email. The post was inadvertently published on the day I began writing it instead of the moment I hit the publish button.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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.

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.

Update (23 October 2020):
If you use WordPress Block editor
please see my latest post
Adding Footnotes to your WordPress Posts Using Block Editor

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 formattings. Click in a free space, usually between the first and second paragraphs, 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 the 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 codes 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 for improvement, please let me know.

UPDATE (3 August 2020): I am amazed at the amount of traffic this post brings to my blog. I would like to share with you a simpler way to do footnotes in WordPress. My friend Amberly Peterson Beck aka thegenealogygirl wrote the following comment in January 2018 as a follow-up to a conversation we had:

Cathy, I learned a new trick you might like. It’s a little bit faster than how you have been doing it. Here are two links to look at:
https://en.support.wordpress.com/markdown/
https://en.support.wordpress.com/markdown-quick-reference/
I used it for my most recent blog post. 🙂

Note: Since Amberly posted the comment, WordPress has moved on to using Block Editor. The first link no longer has the same information as in 2018. It will take you to instructions for the Markdown block in the block editor. The second link has instructions to the Classic Editor only. To enable Markdown on your blog for the Classic Editor go to Settings on your dashboard > Writing > ✅ Use Markdown for posts and pages.

UPDATE (23 October 2020): If you have moved from using the Classic Editor to the Block Editor, please see my latest post
Adding Footnotes to your WordPress Posts Using Block Editor.
This removes the need to use HTML code to add footnotes.

© 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.

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