Author: mjnrootdig

1938 Aerial Photograph of My Grandparents’ Farm

It took some doing to find this 1938 aerial photograph of my grandparents’ farm in Hancock County, Illinois. The original images are located at the University of Illinois Map and Geography Library (https://clearinghouse.isgs.illinois.edu/webdocs/ilhap/county/). That web page was located via a Google search for historical aerial photographs of Hancock County, Illinois. When using the overview of […]

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How Do I Know?

It’s often referred to as “correlation and analysis” in genealogical methods courses, but a certain aspect of it is fairly simple: Is this record really my people? When genealogists gather records, saving them in an organized fashion is crucial. How can you later find it otherwise? It is also important to capture enough information about […]

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It’s Wrong…But Why?

Genealogists often lament errors in census records. I’m not certain census records contain any more errors than any other record where there’s not really a punishment for providing incorrect information. The errors are easier to notice and remember because virtually every American researching their ancestry in the US before 1940 has a census enumeration on […]

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It is Not An “Immigration” FamilySearch

The search results for Ger* Miller in FamilySearch.org‘s “Illinois, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1998” lists several entries. The ones from Adams County, Illinois, were of particular interest. But the year given is referred to as an immigration year. They are not. While some declarations of intention do provide a year of arrival in the United States, […]

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Yes, but…

I usually hate the phrase “Yes, but…” because the “but” is often followed by an excuse. However there are times. The image in this illustration shows that “Penn” and “Tenn” could easily be confused by a transcriptionist or indexer. I realize that reading the entire page of entries would probably make it clear how the […]

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A String of Finds to Get to Ben

There’s a school of genealogical thought that essentially says “writing about the genealogy research process is not what matters. It is the finished product that matters.” While the finished product (the compiled genealogy or the analysis and correlation of records to make the case that a conjecture has been established) is important, the research process […]

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Bottling His Identity

The list of burials in the Vicksburg National Cemetery in Vicksburg, Mississippi, testifies to the number of soldiers whose final resting place is in that cemetery. The number of entries marked as “unknown” silently memorialize the large number of remains that were unidentifiable. Not all burials in the Vicksburg National Cemetery have identities that will […]

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